an update, a shock, and a slice

I had quite a day today, but first things first. I apologize for the delay in updating y’all on the covid status of my household. I believe I told you that my son had tested negative, but we were still awaiting Clark’s and my test results. Clark and I tested negative as well. Having our negative test results and ten days of quarantine, he and I returned to work Monday (December 30th), but our son was beginning his third week of being out sick.

The poor guy is still breathing laboriously. His energy reserves are practically nil. He said to me this morning that the act of drinking is strenuous. He’s dizzy and light-headed most of the time. He’s alternately stuffed up or runny. There’s more, but the bottom line is that he isn’t feeling any better. I continue to work with the doctor regarding diagnosing and treating him.

Misadventures of Tiffany aka today

I get to work a little before four because shift starts at four and we’re expected to be at the press five minutes before shift. Clark’s tool and die, so he’s supposed to be there at quarter ’til and when our son is working as quality, he’s supposed to be there fifteen minutes early, too. Anyways, I arrived early and checked in with the lady I’d be taking over from. She has health concerns, so I gave her a little extra space as I took over from her.

what a jolt

It was a little bit past four when I finally got around to signing the book. The book is a binder with operator instructions specific to the job. There’s one at every press. They sit in file holders –similar to the one your medical chart was slipped into when you visited the doctor pre digital age– on the side of the press .

I grabbed it with my right hand and felt a sudden (and painful) jolt course up my arm and across my body. There was a pain behind my left armpit. I was explaining to my husband what had happened. When I put my right hand over the sore spot on my left side, I felt another jolt –not as powerful as the last one– course through my hand up my left arm to my elbow.

I was a bit shaky and jittery for about ten/fifteen minutes afterwards, but then I started to feel more like myself again.

science for dummies

The press, which is metal, metal, and more metal is a conductor. Rubber and plastic (the combination of which the material I was working with was made) are both insulators. The material beads were stored in a plastic drum with a metal vacuum nozzle attached to the hose that runs the material up to the loader. That plastic drum was pushed up against the breaker box.

There it sat for how many hours since the last person had reached through there for any purpose. Those little rubbery beads built up one heck of a static charge. All that static electricity bounced like crazy amongst those millions of tiny little rubbery beads looking for something, anything to provide the arc they needed to escape. I was that arc.

ring, ring…

My phone, which isn’t supposed to be out at the press (so please don’t tell OSHA on me), was sitting in front of me. I was waiting for the doctor to call me with the newest plan of action regarding my son’s treatment. As luck would have it, Clark was standing nearby when it rang. He took over for me, and I slipped into the ladies’ room so I could hear.

the plan

I actually spoke to the doctor’s medical assistant. The new plan is to try the Z-Pak along with a second round of steroids. I confirmed the pharmacy and that they would fax another doctor’s note to work confirming that he remains under a doctor’s care and will return to work no sooner than next Monday.

the drama begins

Wouldn’t you know it, I wasn’t alone in the ladies’ room while I was on the phone. In fact, the quality person who –as part of the responsibility of the position– was covering for my son happened to be in a stall at that moment. She had already gone to the big boss to complain that she hadn’t been given enough notice that she had to stay. He, in turn, came out and reprimanded my husband that our son needed to call in daily.

She shot me a look as she came out of the bathroom shortly after me. I, in turn, offered her a head’s up that she would likely be expected to stay again tomorrow because he was not going to be in. She raised an eyebrow, so I said that they were going to treat him with antibiotics, and he was to rest the remainder of the week. She gave me some attitude, said, “that’s not what I heard;” and walked away.

what? a doctor’s note isn’t enough?

For the next few hours, the supervisor repeatedly came over to my press to hassle me about the status of my son’s health care. He suggested that the emergency room or an urgent care might be a better option than our primary physician and associates (which, by the way, is also an urgent care facility). He told me that somebody needed to call him in every day. He said that there’s no note on file verifying his negative covid test.

What’s a negative covid test got to do with his still being out? He’s got a doctor’s note that he’s still sick. Coronavirus or not coronavirus. Negative test or no test. The poor kid is still sick. And he has the right to follow doctor’s orders and continue to rest at home until he’s better.

it’s a gusher

It was almost five hours into shift. The eavesdropping complainer had gone home. I’d only recently come back from lunch. I was still irritated and frustrated that the company my son has given almost four years to is being such hard asses about his getting sick.

Admittedly, I probably wasn’t as focused as I should have been. That’s probably how I came to slice my finger open on the stack of chip board. Have you ever gotten a cardboard cut? They’re a bit more intense than a paper cut.

I’m holding my hand above my head [always keep a bleeder above the heart] and shouting to my supervisor –who was across the aisle watching maintenance work on a broken press — “I’m bleeding!

He just stood there staring at me. I repeated myself. He came closer and still stared at me. I ordered him to cover my press while I went to the bathroom to clean myself up. He snapped to. After I’d cleaned myself up, the wound continued to bleed.

I took my press back over while my supervisor went to get me a band-aid. Well, I held my right hand beside my head while my left hand moved parts from the conveyer to the table until I could check them, assemble them, and pack them.

He unwrapped the band-aid and gave it to me. I fetched some green tape out of my bag and wrapped it around the bandage. I bled through both. He fetched the gauze and tape while I continued to pile parts on the table. I looked around to assess where all I’d bled.

I mostly managed to not bleed on things. That was good. With my finger wrapped in gauze, I continued to hold it beside my ear for another hour while doing my job onehanded. Every time I’d forget myself and let it drop to my side, I could feel the wound pulsing again.

Clark checked the box I’d been packing. Though I’d gotten a drop of blood on the box flap, I managed to avoid getting any on the parts. I cleaned up the area and spent the last couple hours of my shift repeatedly searching for any missed droplets of blood. I didn’t find any.

With days like these, is it any wonder why I’ve started an entire thread dedicated to The Misadventures of Tiffany?

4 thoughts on “an update, a shock, and a slice

    1. What, everybody doesn’t end their year this way? lol.
      Thank you, Michelle, for the well wishes.
      Careful with those negative thoughts. I was doing a whole lot of grumbling and growling, and that may be how I sliced my finger open. 😟

      Liked by 1 person

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