Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Hammer Goes Topless (in a good cause)

This may be the one (and only) photo you will ever see of me. This photo was taken of yours truly in hospital almost 30 years to the day. As you can see my animal magnetism and virility was still overwhelming for most of the nurses (especially the 40 something chubby ones) even while lacking a proper nose, with an atrophied muscular system and in desperate need of a barber etc. In this photo I am 9 weeks into a three and one half month stay and about 2-3 weeks away from getting out of bed and starting physical therapy. In the "accident" I suffered extensive life threatening internal injuries plus a crushed hip (literally), an absolutely destroyed elbow, broken ankle, finger, nose, cracked jaw and I must report my sense of humor was also severely impaired.
This was all the result of what I can only deduce was a drunk driver. You see I was driving home from work one evening (very late) and was hit head-on. The (ostensible) owner of the offending vehicle (who was unlicensed due to several DWI convictions) stated to police he had met a girl at a bar and that she was driving the car at the time of the accident and unfortunately he did not know her name. The ever conscientious State Trooper therefore entered "driver: unknown" on the accident report. As it turned out the actual owner of the car was the "unknown" driver's father who had bought the car for his wayward son in the hopes that a 20 year old land-yacht of a car may dissuade his son from getting drunk and high and hanging out in bars night and day. His largess was apparently misguided. And although I was very nearly killed suffering severe, debilitating and permanent injuries costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat, with my life in tatters in so many ways it would be impossible to relate and although I was clearly wronged by an out of control, criminally irresponsible addicted maniac, I was offered no solace by the criminal justice system whatsoever. The system failed least part of it.
But what did not and has not failed me is the healthcare system in these United States. At the time of the accident I was one year out of college. I had nothing, apart from Prudential Comprehensive Healthcare Insurance. My life was saved by two Harvard educated surgeons. My hip was initially operated on by a Georgetown educated orthopaedist and I've had operations at Duke and hip replacement at Johns Hopkins. I can honestly say I have never been denied the absolute best care on this planet, and all for some guy with no money and no connections. And the thing is my experience was the norm, not the exception. That my friends is what we lose with Obamacare. The access, the choice, the quality and the options will all be taken away with the so-called Affordable Care Act. We will all be at the mercy of the government. And when I hear someone badmouth insurance companies I can only think "you damned idiot" because I've been let down by government, but my life was saved by an insurance company.


The Conservative Wahoo said...

Hammer--what a story. Thanks for telling it. I truly admire what you've done since that photo.

I'll be visiting my folks just after Christmas, let's go have a steak.

"The Hammer" said...

Thanks you CW, I agree my story was heart-wrenching. Look, what do you think about setting up a charitable non-profit for the care and maintenance (and bar tab) of of me? You know, strike while the emotional iron is hot. And, since your retirement has just been cut to the bone by the new budget you're raving about (unlike your civilian government worker counterparts) you'll probably be looking a side gig. Point being you can administrate the fund at say...(I'm thinking)... 25%. Whadda ya say? It's all in a good cause you know.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

You sound like a Democrat, Hammer, and it is not flattering. My retirement hasn't been cut; the rate of its growth has been cut.

What about the steak? Leaving me hanging....

"The Hammer" said...

Your retirement hasn't been cut? Excellent, you can pay. And bring Tub or Jimbo along. They're a helluva lot smarter than you.

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