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Ok, well this may be a long post but has been a week coming so go get you a cold/warm beverage and pull up a chair. I should have been taking notes of my thoughts all week but couldnt write and still think my mind is as sharp as a tack, as if. lol

First of all trying to make an attempt at thanking everyone would be about as easy as streaking across the White House lawn. Mel and I have have read over all the posts all week as my family made sure to make copies and bring em out every few days. The time we have spent crying over ya'lls prayer, well wishes, and and outright Texas charm have been quite substantial. We have no way of ever thanking or repaying all of the gratitude and love you have shown us. Yall have taken one worry out of our hands as we pondered the next several months with neither of us working. For that I am ever grateful and will from here on out count myself blessed and involved in any other 2cooler who ever has a need. Thank yall from the depths of our heart, my wife and children all are so fortunate to be around a Church family and internet family such as this. To say we are blessed is but the epitomy of understatements.

Now, back to last Monday. I wont go much into the mechanical aspects of what happened cause its really inconsequential. Except for the fact that Im sure I invented some tangent of the Laws of Physics as lemme tell ya, the fat kid can move when he's gotta. It was a day like any other, a little work, a little ttmb, and the normal routine. We were having some problems so I was asked to go outside and help the outside operator troubleshoot what was happening. After getting over there and seeing roughly 10 maint. hands in the area I alerted them of the potential problem and told them now might be a good time to head to the shop and take a break. After they cleared the area we began searching for possible causes of our upset. We had no idea what was going on but knew it was a matter of time before something gave, preferably one of the many safety reliefs we have in place. A co-worker and I converged in an area where we walked up to discuss what we had and had not found. As we walked up we noticed on a cooling water line nearby that the paint on it was blistering and bubbling. As my coworker raised his finger to say,"that doesnt look good!" it happened. We were enveloped in a cloud of steam and the instant burn could be felt. I never lost consciousness and although it felt as if it was about 5 minutes Im sure it was mere seconds. Survival instincts take over and all I could think of was getting out of there. I managed to crawl out on my hands and knees and once clear I got up and made a run for it to only go back down 100ft or so later. Although my co worker and I never heard the blast everyone else did and folks were on me within seconds. I knew everything was still attached so I yelled for them to find the other guy. They found him and I was relieved to hear he was only slightly burned and would be ok. I on the other hand was actually getting hotter and hotter by the second. I thought I would cool once out of the steam and condensate but I actually was getting hotter. By now the First responders were on site and all I can say is with out a doubt they saved my life. I have high blood pressure and was most worried of a heart attack or stroke. They made sure to talk to me and calm me and do thier best at removing my thoughts from the rest of my body. I heard them say chopper and although I could not see myself I knew it must be bad for me to get the 12 minute ride to Herman.

Laying there waiting for that chopper was one of the most surreal and life changing events I have ever been a part of. I did not know but when you have major second degree burns you lose a lot of fluids quickly from seepage. I was very quickly dehydrating and even with an IV going I was beginning to cramp and my hands and arms were twisting and knotting up in a strange way. I could not feel my legs and my stomach was cramping up like nothing I had ever felt. At this moment I remember thinking,"So this is what it feels like to die." It sounds so silly now but that was how scared I was. Right then my girls(Melanie, Madison, Meagan, and soon to be Rylie) just popped right into my head as if they were talking to me, calming me in a way. I knew I needed to be there for them and wanted to be, we had so much to share and so much to do. Thats when I began to fight, I started taking the deep breaths and fighting the cramps. And in a 180 degree turn I knew I was gonna make it. I had no idea as to the severity but I was completely on fire. But as the flight nurses took over I had changed my tone and was heading for higher ground. In a short time they had me loaded up and we were in the ER at Herman in what seemed mere minutes. They rushed my wife in there and after we cried a bit together we began making arramgements and taking care of things. I needed her to calm down as she was hysterical and mucho preggo. I think her seeing me was enough to make her take a deep breath. I was so relieved to see her and get to speak with her, gents never take your last conversation with your spouse or children lightly. It can happen in an instant. Between a kiss from her and the twang of Dr. Red Duke filling the room(and a lot of morphine) I was on the mend. I then asked Mel to get a hold of the board and let em know, yall are like family and I needed my prayer bucket filled for a long road ahead. At that point I knew the Lord had spared me for something better.

The trip to the burn unit was highlighted by a very great scene. In less than an hour over 30 family and friends had gathered in the hall and when they brought me up there they all were. What a fresh of breathe air that was. They got me cleaned up and in the bed and basically medically put me to sleep for the day so the rest is all but a blur. The next day started a little rough as I learned a little word called, "debreadment." Or at least I think that is what they were saying. Anyway, they called it the tank and I called it the torture chamber. Imagine that last burn you got that blistered, now cover your stomach, right side, right arm, right face/neck, and upper third of your back with it and hold on. Basically they would drug me up and sit me in a chair in a shower room. They used pads that felt like SOS pads and scrubbed the burns until all the skin was gone. Now I can tell you I have felt pain, sever pain actually. But this is by far, even with a mix of vicodin and morphine, the worst experience of my life. The pain is unbelievable and I could never give it words but I promise you if we used it in GITMO this war would be over. lol I went through this for three days and each time I came back to my room and cried until the next round of meds sent me to sleep. Luckily by day four they were getting bareable and this morning I actually took the treatment refusing any pain meds. And I never even punched out any nurses all the while. lol

So I sit here today right where I should be, home with my family and here with yall. This is where I always wanted to be and after my wife and family have seen its a pretty dang fine place to be. They have been so touched by yall's giving hearts and thoughts and have cried amongst themselves at what has transpired around these parts. Although I certainly dont feel deserving of such an act I will always hold what yall have done for my family and I as the greatest thing I have ever seen. Melanie now realizes why I spend the time I do here and promised to never give me the "look" when she tires of my typing. lol I will be out of fishing for a few weeks and then it will be strictly at night if anything. I can not be in the sun for quite some time and sweating is out of the picture. I found that out today as as my walk to the car turned into a mild sweat which in turn was quickly a slight sizzle on my skin. It will be a hard climb as Im an "outside" guy and dont wanna be cooped up for too long but I promised Nurse Melanie Id do what Im told and work as hard as I can on a quick and speedy recovery. So look forward to my posting to probably increase, Im heading for the top. lol Its all I got right now folks so I want all fishing trips reported and with pics, dont make a brotha suffer ya hear. lol

I love all you guys and gals

With our deepest love and admiration,

Zac, Melanie, Madison, Meagan, and Rylie(almost)
 

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That DamnYankee!!
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GOOD TO SEE YA BRO!!!

Jeff
 

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Wow. I'm humbled. Thanks for reminding me about what's important.

Thanks for sharing and get yourself better!
 

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I'm very glad to hear you are back home. Lots of good words in your post but these are the key ones for me.

********* said:
...gents never take your last conversation with your spouse or children lightly. It can happen in an instant.
I hope that you speed down the recovery road.
 

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Wow, what an expierence. Glad you're back home with your family. I can't imagine having those thoughts running through your head and thinking you've seen the wife and kids for the last time. As the old saying goes, take nothing for granted - you're living proof. Here's to a speedy recovery, rest easy.:brew:
 

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Zac it is so good to hear you are doing better. My Dad was burned from the neck down with 2nd and 3rd degree burns back in 1953. Dropped a cig into a open 5 gal can of gas. It hit the side of the can and exploded. He spent over a year in the hospital (never expected him to live) then 5 years at home. So I kinda know what you are going through. Not really cause I have never been there myself. Just small burns. You take care of them girls and yourself. Glad your home. Guess I better stop I am tired of talking (typing).
 

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thanks for taking the time to write. My church has been praying for you and I am so glad that you are back with your family. God bless and heal quickly.

tropicalsun
Rob
 

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Just Happy to Be Here!
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Awesome news, Zac! We know it's still going to be a long recovery, so take it easy.

So glad you got to go home and will be able to join us here during your recoup time.

Prayers answered. Thank you, Lord!
 

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It doesn't get much better!
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I am very happy to see you posting on here. Now don't overdo it....and are u saying your a FULL TIME MODERATOR NOW????? Oh heavens....I better get back over on that one post I made and delete it now!!!!!!! :D J/K

Prayers answered! And I know your wife and girls must be so glad to have "daddy" home!
 

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Take it one day at a time bud. Great news your home with the girls for fathers day, because you are one heck of a dad.
Tight Knot
 
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