“Foggy” © Lance Ward
Doctors say I was diabetic, and that caused Necrotizing fasciitis. The incidents since June I went into the ICU and they kept me for seven days. Letting me go July 3rd, they assigned a nurse for home care. At 8 PM she showed up and gave me 15 dollars for a taxi ride to the ER.
Around 1 AM in the night, they awoke me from a drugged sleep and said sign this and within two days I awoke with all the skin gone from my ankle. Kind of wild. First time I fainted in my life, I believe. They did not tell me anything until I awoke. The nurse came in, did not say much and started removing the gaze. To the bone. Wild to see the bone of your ankle and well, I was not prepared for that. I fainted.
A few weeks later, my company laid me off. Wonderful. So I got better and went to work in an unfamiliar state. Only to have my foot die. During this time I had to pay for Obamacare. The insurance did not pay for much. Meaning on the weekend I had to fly home because the insurance did not cover out-of-state work. I got there from the airport, wanted to take an ambulance to the hospital. I said no thanks. The last insurance forced me to pay 6,000 out of pocket for a seven-mile ride. I got to the hospital on my own. Oh, you are okay. Around 3 AM they awoke me to sign this. Matter of life and death. Signed it. Three days later I awoke without a foot. At least this time I did not faint. I was kind of wildly unsure what to do.
So without a job again, and the insurance sucked, I tried to get help. I did more paperwork than most people do in their entry lives within a few weeks. Still no help.
Eight months and almost all my 401k spent, I was thinking I would be going back to work. The US government was slow in processing everything. I think they just wanted me to die. Personally, I thought I was dead already.
Finally, nine months later. They accepted that I was partially blind, partially deaf, without a foot. And mentally, I was a person of interest.
With that, I thought life would have changed. Instead, Obamacare wanted almost all the disability coverage. I could not eat if I paid for the insurance and my medicine. So i took a hike.
The hike included a ride in a plane. By this time I had borrowed 11k which I am still paying back from a family member and got a foot with Winnie the Pooh on it.
Now the hike required a plane ride. So I was in shorts with a patch on one eye, seated with a Winnie the Pooh left foot.
This boy comes up and stares. I talk with him. He asks what happens? Now I had already gotten used to people not liking my zombie story. No one wants to hear a person was the living dead for 21 days.
So his mother came up, and I asked her, do you want the truth or a tall tale? She looked kind of like what was going on. Let’s be honest, I sort of look like a lost teddy bear pirate.
I told a tall tale. I point to my wife, who is coming over from the airplane gate. I say she and I were snowmobiling in Yellowstone. She fell off and was telling me in a rather loud voice that I do not know how to drive. She woke up a bear. I got her into the tree and well. I got up there, but the bear scratched me. So I have long socks on and I pull the right ankle down. The boy’s eyes grow in wonder. What about the foot?
Oh, a few months later I was pushing a boat into the water. When a drug lord of Salt Lake City let loose his pet shark into the Great Salt Lake.
Well, I saw it going after my wife again and got her out, but the shark well got my foot. I push a button and my foot drops off.
A little taken back, my wife comes to assure his mother that is not the truth. And the eye? Have you ever watched The Three Stooges? Well, beware of playing that game with your wife.
At that time the plane was calling boarding, and I left with a wave. I believe I heard the boy say to his mother; I don’t want to play with girls anymore. Life is wild at times.
Now I am following other western outlaws. I am La Paz, Bolivia watching from all my speculation the end of the world. Yes plural.
Clinton Siegle grew up in Lame Deer, Montana on the Cheyenne reservation. He is writing poems in the dark due to his eyesight and other disabilities. Residing in La Paz, Bolivia his translation of Ayer es Pasado became a short film which was viewed at 6 festivals.
Lance Ward is an award winning artist/writer (Blood and Drugs; Flop Sweat) but is also a painter of strange art.