The doctor and his assistant walk in the room and the doctor says
"Well,I have looked at your X-RAYS and we have a couple of problems.First off the bullet shattered both bones just above the ankle.The first bone is not too bad and should heal pretty well.The second bone is a problem though,for the most part it looks like a windsheild that has been crushed by a large rock.There are several fragments of the bullet lodged in the bone.However that is not the biggest problem,when the bullet broke apart the largest fragment fused to the bone on the way threw and it does not look like it will allow the bone to fully heal without exstensive surgery.
"How is your insurance?" he asks
"I already told the hospital administrator that i don't have any insurance!" I tell him
"O.K. well in that case i am going to have to refer you to a specialist and maybe they can help you." the doctor says
"What the hell are you talking about?This is the emergency room and you have to help my son by law!You can't just send him away because he has no insurance!" my father yells.
"No actually all we are required to do is stabalize him and we will do that before he leaves." the doctor replies with a strong tone of self-rightousness.
The doctor turns around and walks out with my dad hot on his heels.The door closes and there is alot of yelling in the hallway but i could not understand all that was said.The doctors assistant starts to explain what he is going to do to stabalize my leg before they discharge me.Then he leaves and my dad comes back in.
"Pompous A******." my dad says refering to the doctor.
"What did he say?" i ask
"He says that in order to go in and get the bullet fragments out,it will take about 6 hours of surgery and then 2 or 3 more surgeries after to repair the bones.All in all he says it will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $35,000." he says
"Well,I guess i will have to go to the specialist and maybe they can help me and let me set up a payment plan or something".
The doctors assitant returns with a nurse and a bunch of medical supplies,the nurse gives me a shot of morphine and antibiotics.The nurse explains that they are going to have to try to straighten my ankle and that it is going to hurt considerably.
My dad comes over and takes hold of my shoulders.He tries to encourage me and help me prepair for what is about to happen.As they are about to start my wife comes walking in.
"Where the heck did you go?" I ask her
"I went to the house to meet the police officer who needed to see the gun and do his investigation,the cop i talked to here said he would tell you guys what was going on!" she says
"Well they said they did not know where you were and that they were looking for you to ask you some more questions." I say as she comes over and hugs me.I geuss i did not look so hot because she starts to cry as she holds me.
The doctors assistant asks if i am ready.To which i say sure.Had i known how bad it was going to be,i would have asked to wait a little longer for the morphine to kick in.
He lifts my leg and then with no further explanation he gives my ankle a sharp twist to the left.I have felt pain before but let me tell you the shear agony that i was in at that moment can not be put into words.I cried out in pain and locked down on my dads arms holding my shoulders.I closed my eyes,and began to weep.He thenputs his hand on the top of my foot and the other hand on the back of my calf and gives a sharp tug in oppisite directions.I don't remember much after the loud crack of my bones.When i came to shortly after my wife and mother were both crying and my father was still holding my shoulders.They had put a temporary rap and brace on my leg and were in the process of finishing my paperwork.
I was discharged shortly after and sent home.My parents,sister and brother in-law followed us to my house.My father and brother in-law carried me into the house and laid me out on the sleeping pallet my wife had made up in the living room for me.After they left my wife just layed down next to me and cried.I finally fell asleep and only woke up twice in the next 36 hours,both times were to take more pain meds.
On monday we wnt to see the specialist and found out that there was nothing they could do because the bone had already started healing around the bullet fragments and the only way they would be able to get everything out would be to go in and do alot of seriously invasive surgery.
Over the next 6 months i had 5 new casts put on.When i finally got out of the casts i had 4 months in a walking cast then spent another 3 months with a cane learning to walk again.
Since i had no insurance in all of this and since i was denied MEDICAID I now walk around with a fragmented bullet lodged in my ankle and a serious limp.There is not a single day that goes by that i am not in pain.I have learned to deal with it but it still gets on my nerves.I will probably never be able to run all out again and jumping is right out of the equation.
So now you know my story of how i shot myself.I ask not for your pitty!All i ask is that you learned two important things from this story......
#1 the medical system is seriously flawed and do whatever it takes to have insurance.
#2 BE EXTRA CAREFULL WITH ANY GUN.I have handled and owned guns for almost my entire life and all it took was a split second and one horrible accident to renew my fear and respect of guns.
Thanks for listening,maybe one day i will tell you about the time when i spilled 350 degree molten plastic across both my hands and had to have reconstructive surgery.