My life changed on March 3, 2015 at 2:45pm. I was a treatment technician at Foothills Treatment Plant helping to produce potable water and megawatts of hydroelectric power for the Denver metro area to a broken marionette. I fell 20 feet down into a cistern and I became known as “Crash Monty”, a TBI survivor. I have spent the last 2 years in a comprehensive rehabilitation program with the O.T. Plus team of therapists and specialists.
To be clear, I don’t remember the accident or hospital stay at all. These details are all taken from my wife’s daily journal. In the movies, they would show who did what, when and how the accident all played out, however, in this case, I do not remember the accident. The ironic truth is, as frustrated as I was with the TBI, I really missed WORKING. I missed the obvious parts, like the pay and the self respect, but also just being part of a team of professionals to protect our public’s health.
One of the challenges I have now is the fact that my intellect was comprised by the injury. My memory, executive functions and sharp wit were not only my shield and goggles for reality, but also my favorite personal tools. In addition, I have missed the masculinity of getting dirty and sweaty on those long 12 hour shifts. What has the experience taught me? Overall, I have become more patient, a better planner and a man that is much easier to satisfy. I take solace in what I CAN DO. I listen more and deal within the reality that is around us, without being lost in my own fantasies to suit a wounded ego. Each day is a gift and with the understanding of challenges, comes success. Great success. For example, throughout my recovery process, I’ve been able to cook, complete the housekeeping and even volunteer at Denver’s Metro Caring food bank. Not bad from being bed-bound to walking completely on my own within the FIRST YEAR of recovery!
The simple truth is that I am just a human being, with all the mortal flaws…and with that, I’m still enjoying all the wild gifts of an active conscience and proper senses of humor and humility as I continue on this journey.
Crash Monty, 2017
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Denver, CO 80222
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