Not so funny….

23 Jun

Someone made a joke last night about how I got my injury.  “I heard it was from looking at phone too much.” Let me tell you about this injury.

 

In 2000, I got the opportunity to serve an internship with Army CID.  For six months, I was excited to go to work every day, and every night I went home feeling like I did something that mattered.  I found something that I was good at. No, I found something that I was great at, and I was able to use my gifts to help people.

 

After the internship, I had to return to my infantry unit. I had been approved to attend the school to become a CID agent, and I was excited to embark on my future.  But the process still involved a lot more waiting. In the meantime, 9/11 happened and we were preparing to invade Iraq, even though we didn’t yet know that. We had a guy from the UFC come in to train us in ground fighting techniques.  I got partnered with some new guy from the NBC room who threw me the wrong way, and that’s where my vertebrae were crushed in my spine, which have progressively deteriorated and pushed onto a vital nerve ever since.

 

I’d been a runner.  Running was my meditation. I could no longer run.  It hurt a lot. The army couldn’t use me if I couldn’t run, and I was discharged after ten years of service.  My future in a career where I felt for the first time that I mattered was gone.

 

What followed was depression, alcoholism, opioids, divorce.  I was unable to maintain work at any place that required me to stand for too long, or sit for too long.  My back couldn’t take it.

 

I couldn’t work.  Hell, sometimes even keeping my apartment clean was physically impossible.  I felt useless. I tried to kill myself three times.

 

The army, for my troubles, gives me a small stipend.  I currently get $276 a month for my troubles regarding my back.  And now, after 20 years, I finally convinced them to do surgery. They only finally decided to agree because the nerve was getting pinched to the point that my right arm stopped working.  That’s right. Stopped working. It would just go numb. At first, the doctors said, “Oh well. It’s going to keep getting worse. Nothing we’re going to do about it.” Seriously. My arm was going numb for two years before they finally sent me to a neurosurgeon.

 

So some folks might want to be assholes and make fun of me because I’m not walking around like a hunchback following the surgery.  That says more about who you are. This injury destroyed my life. It separated me from my family. It took away my career. It made me feel useless.  And the army just threw me away and abandoned me despite their responsibility for the entire situation.

 

So it’s not been so funny to me.

One Response to “Not so funny….”

  1. Robert E. Wronski, Jr. June 23, 2019 at 9:37 am #

    Reblogged this on Robert E. Wronski, Jr..

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