Accidents will happen…

Spent a great deal of the week writing about ACC.  So on a lighter if slightly solipsic note, here’s my own experiences with the corporation.

  1. Shoved a chisel into my fist in woodwork, 1976.  Missed a major vein by about a millimetre.
  2. By some miracle missed copping compo for car accident injuries in my late teens/early 20s.  I don’t want to labour this point, but one of my nicknames at the time was Crash. Did get concussed in one crash but I didn’t bother the doc:  just went home and slept.
  3. As a postie in Auckland, mid 1980s.  Delivering mail in Brighton Rd, Parnell. One place had a large timber wall with a rosebush growing over the top next to the mailbox.  It was a gusty day.  A branch got blown into my face:  a thorn went up my left nostril.  Stung like hell, real eye-waterer.  Mentioned it next day when I knocked it picking up mail from the sorter and she said ‘What are you doing here?’  I asked her what she meant:  she said ‘That’s a week’s compo, easily. Take it.’  I didn’t. 
  4. Badly sprained ankle playing touch.  Went back to work  – a gardening job – too early.  Tore muscle in the other calf because I was favouring my injured foot. Off work for a couple of weeks.
  5. Numerous subsequent injuries in both lower legs. 
  6. Not my experience, but someone I know – a farmer – got kicked in the leg by a cow.  Went to the doc who did his stuff.  He’s talking with ACC a few days later and is told ‘we don’t cover knees.  Only legs.’  His other half, who is (a) a nurse and (b) in possession of a stroppy streak especially with minor bureaucrats, phones up the ACC person and points out the knee is in the leg, its it the bit in the middle that bends.

And then there was the insect.   Woke up one night about seven years ago with what felt like a moth on the edge of my ear.  Flicked it the wrong way. It went in.  Tried to shake it out but no luck. 

Got tweezers, torch.  Woke Better Half.  She blurrily comes awake, the first thing she sees is me , proffering the tweezers in one hand and the torch in the other while occasionally flicking my head to one side and going ‘Arrgh.’ 
She wonders, perhaps not for the first time, if she’s married a lunatic.  I tell her the situation:  she peers in but can’t see anything.    I drove down the road to A & E (it is about 2.30am).  By this time I’m starting to get a bit worried:  the insect has hit my eardrum and is trying to get through it and I can tell you this is quite painful.  
It also occurs to me at this point that we’ve just had a load of firewood delivered and if the insect is a borer beetle it’s going to have the power in its jaws to go through the eardrum – and to keep going beyond. I don’t fancy the idea of a borer beetle chewing through my brain.  That stuff is mine, dammit. 
With these thoughts in mind I walk into A & E, twitching my head onto one side spasmodically, and occasionally banging it with my fist.  The eyes of the receptionist widen and I can see she’s thinking ‘what’s this guy taken?’  
I explain:  the first thing she does is hand me an ACC form.  
Long story short:  they can’t get it out but they pour something into my ear to kill it.   Next day I come back to Ear Nose and Throat.  A lady doctor eases it out with a delicate suction thing and as it emerges starts screaming ‘Oh my god, it’s horrible, I can’t look at it!’ 
Which is not something you ever want to hear your doctor say.  
She went into mild hysterics, then calmed herself and apologised.  I said I was quite happy for the doctor to freak out because usually it was me. 
She explained she just never could stand cockroaches.
Yep, that’s what it was.  We don’t have them around the house, btw – it must have come in on the firewood. 

3 thoughts on “Accidents will happen…

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