J-Dub’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events #3 With Three Parts

This piece could also be called the luckiest, unlucky guy I know …

Billy Bob is puritan in his work ethic. He much prefers¬†physical activity, does not like to sit still; he is always puttering around doing something even on his time off work. ¬†Over his career, he has had the opportunity to work in¬†the office; to estimate and close deals. ¬†He tried it; he hated it and went back into the field as fast as he could. ¬†No more two-hour lunches to hash out deals while other people REALLY worked … (no offense all you desk jockeys, me being one myself)

My personal experience is that some judge that his trade is somehow less than. ¬†Less than what ?!?! ¬†Pisses me off. ¬†Words cannot describe¬†how practical having him around is … He is super resourceful. ¬†Yes that’s a good word to describe him – resourceful. ¬†So unfortunate to be judged! ¬†Fortunately¬†there are those loving souls out there who do NOT judge. ¬†Good thing there is room in the world for diversity. ¬†We can’t all be MBAs. ¬†Not to diminish academia or white-collar work either; I am just pointing out that one is NOT better than the other – they are just different.

Mini-side bar aka rabbit hole … my nephew is a 17-year-old high school senior. ¬†He wants to be an auto mechanic. ¬†My mother in law is horrified (her words not mine). ¬†I am like “Are you freaking kidding me that is AWESOME!!!” ¬†That is the career his mom (before she died) told him she wished for him because he was naturally mechanically inclined. ¬†Of course why should I expect anything different, the mother in law¬†did the same with her two boys – Billy Bob’s brother by default was better – with college degree and job in the state attorney general’s office while Billy Bob was a lowly laborer (again her words not mine). ¬† WTF, I mean really. ¬†Billy Bob is a sweetheart; super¬†talented … not better just different. ¬†He was a part of the enormous crew that restored the TX state capitol. ¬†He was the freaking Michelangelo of plaster-work, creating beautiful ornate plaster moldings on the domed ceiling. ¬† Who can do that? ¬†Not many! A dying art unfortunately. ¬†Who will the next generation of plasterers be??? … And scene … out of the rabbit hole, hopping along …

Back to¬†the unfortunate events … there are three and here I will divert some from chronological order … 1994 is next then adding 2013 and 2014 before going back to¬†1996-1998 in future editions.

Unlucky #1 – The summer when Billy Bob was working on the capital, they took time off for the 4th of July – 1994. ¬†I wanted to go to the movies but¬†the so called summer blocker busters were not very good that year. ¬†Plus have I told you? ¬†He can’t sit still; movies are not really his thing. ¬†So instead,¬†we were cleaning house. ¬†This was before Lulu was born and Pony Boy was done with his room so he was outside playing in his fort.

Our stove had a row of candles on the top in various states of melt. ¬†Billy Bob was cleaning out the candle holders with a steak knife … you already know what’s going to happen right?? ¬†Not his brightest moment. ¬†He broke the candle holder and the steak knife pierced the tendon in his left hand. ¬†Blood squirted everywhere. ¬†I was across the hall cleaning the bathroom and I hear “Jill, come here” ¬†He doesn’t panic, he calmly walks to the drawer pulls out some kitchen dish towels, wraps his hand ¬†and says, “get Pony Boy, we’re going to the ER”.

SE Baptist Hospital … again … a place jammed packed with all kinds of memories for us. ¬†It’s a holiday and maybe more the usual, we wait and we wait. ¬†A gunshot and motorcycle accident go back before he does … people are staring, and moving away … not sure how many towels¬†he went through. ¬†He would require surgery. ¬†The ER doc did a temporary “stitch” to hold and then an appointment was made with Dr. G for the next day. ¬†The lucky was when his hand was pushed back, the tendon popped out making the repair easy. ¬†Like a rubber band, Dr. G said the tendon could have popped in, the other way = more extensive and invasive surgery. ¬†Billy Bob was fortunate¬†despite having this weird apparatus with his middle finger doing a reverse flipping the bird. ¬†This would have looked like¬†a hook em horns \m/ but the ring finger was not involved ¬†… there was also what looked like fishing line holding everything in place. ¬†He was out of work several weeks that time and he has pain until this day that he is just used to. ¬†Me, that’d be an excuse for permanent disability!!! See people, going to the movies beats cleaning house any day.

Unlucky #2 – March 2013 – Spring break and¬†I am working in Phoenix because it is easier than trying to figure out how to get Lulu to school if I travel while school’s in session. ¬†I always picked March and October for my business travel to Phoenix … back when I used to go twice a year to see my peeps. ¬†I miss Phoenix by the way … that particular job not so much but the people … well I miss them immensely. ¬†What an awesome group of co-workers!!!

Anyway as I¬†get ready to drive to¬†the office my last day there,¬†Billy Bob calls me to say, he’s had a little accident … ¬†torques his back on the job. ¬†This is where we learned the bureaucracy of insurance. ¬†Ah Calgon take me away. ¬†The paperwork: drowning and confusing. ¬†He was at first treated like a criminal, sponge of society, big phat phoney¬†…¬† when in¬†actuality all he wanted to do was get back to work. ¬†Eventually the carrier ruled him out as a money seeker and did the right thing.

Unfortunately the first authorized treatment made the ailment worse leading down a road of injections and stronger medication¬†than would have otherwise not been needed. ¬†One particular night after the medication stopped working; we ended up at¬†the ER around¬†2¬†o’clock in the morning ¬†– Mission Trail this time (no doctors are there by the way; something had changed between¬†1994 to 2013) I guess this was evidence of the shortages in healthcare. ¬†Billy Bob was in¬†triage, his weight was announced and he looks over and tells, me “life style changes start now, I will not go through this again”.

Unfortunate event, fortunate outcome – to this day in 2016, he is 35 pounds lighter than his all time heaviest. ¬†He couldn’t quite maintain the 60¬†pound weight loss he reached by the end of¬†2013. ¬†The weight has been creeping up this past year, by how much he won’t say (but … +25, I can count and not saying doesn’t make it not so) … my guess why was stress over Lulu leaving for school made ice cream a renewed fave. ¬†However, as of Monday 8/22, it is 2013 all over again. ¬†Certain sound lifestyle choices are being made. ¬†So far we have both been good. ¬†Let’s see where this leads …

Unlucky #3 – April 4, 2014. ¬†I am at lunch in the break room @ 12:30ish. ¬†My phone rings, Billy Bob’s face comes across the screen. ¬†I answer “hey” ¬†nothing. ¬†Me again “hey, can you hear me?”

Instead of what I expect, it’s Kimbo. ¬†Cousin and co-worker. ¬†“Jill … Billy Bob’s had a little fall. ¬†He was knocked out and we think he broke his nose. ¬†EMS is with him and he is talking … sort of … so they think he’ll be okay. ¬†I have his keys and wallet which I’ll¬†keep with me. ¬†We’ve got to figure out how to get his truck from the lot before midnight so it is not impounded. ¬†They’re making me go to the office to give a statement. ¬†I’ll call you back when they decide where to take him … either University Hospital or SAMMC”

Unfortunately, the scaffold he was on collapsed and he fell about 10 feet to the floor with it. ¬†Prone, hitting like a belly flop into the water, only there was no water; he fell onto concrete sub-flooring. ¬†Immediate forehead swelling, think Frankenstein. Nose pushed under left eye. ¬†Facial bones pulverized was the word they used. ¬†Right wrist broken and various cuts and bruises. ¬†He spent about 36 hours in surgical ICU. ¬†Released quickly after the brain bleed was ruled out. ¬†He went back for various treatments until he was sprung from the pokey completely in August of 2014. ¬†This unfortunate event was why Lulu didn’t learn to drive that summer as we had originally planned. ¬†It’s why she went a little off the rails herself that September of 2014. Two unfortunate events I may or I may NOT write about in later blogs. ¬†Only to add, everything did NOT go not as planned but everything is still as it SHOULD¬†be!

Fortunate, he was working at the St. Anthony Hotel and EMS was at he NIX so they walked over to him in less than 5 minutes. ¬†Plus he ended up at SAMMC where trauma is the name of the game. ¬†Fortunate, he did not re-injure his back. ¬†His recovery this time was aided by a 60 pound weight loss he had maintained. ¬†Unfortunate, he only has about 80% mobility in his right wrist, fortunate he has reached his maximum mobility index and he can work with that. ¬†Could have been so much worse, a slight turn one way or another and bam, wheelchair, brain injury. re-learning to walk and talk. ¬†I am not minimizing what did happen because that was BAD too … and I didn’t even unleash all the gory details … and there were facial surgeries gone bad and other assorted messes … though in the end, it is just … well as my daddy would have said … “no harm done, it could’ve been worse”

Now for the lucky parts:

#1 – he is married to ME :). ¬†Hehe, very funny … I know … I thought so too … actually that’s kind of lucky for both of us don’t you think ?!

#2 – he is stronger now; we all are … we learned what we are made of. ¬†Injury and/or illness can either push you together or tear you apart – in our case the bond was sealed forever.

And #3 – since I have known him, he wins at any raffle he enters, he has won several thousand dollars on scratch off lottery tickets. ¬†He’s just lucky that way; always has been! Maybe karma is offsetting some of the unlucky following him around …¬†who knows?!?!? ¬†March 2013 and April 2014 became superstitious¬†months for him … (well me). ¬†My fears dictated that if we made it through May 2015 and June¬†2016 then he’d be home free. ¬†Of course July¬†2017 will be a jittery month … you’ll see. ¬†Anyways, that is all for now except to say:

Life is too short …¬†“theirs is not to reason why, theirs is but to do or die” ~ ¬†Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

As always, more to come …

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Here he is in hog heaven …