Sunday, November 10, 2013

My faithful old friend and companion, also known as the wheelgun...

As family and close friends already know, I had a bit of a bad (ok, totally stupid) accident a few weeks ago.

Long story short, I slid barefoot on wet concrete one rainy morning, went down hard while trying to stop my noggin from hitting the floor with extended left hand, and simultaneously dislocated and (avulsion) fractured my left shoulder.

My own successful garage door frame relocation of the upper humerus back into the socket further compounded the soft tissue injuries, but there was no way in hell I was gonna go to the hospital with the shoulder still dislocated. The relocation effort took little thought on my part, because my USAF aircrew survival medicine training kicked in automatically, just like the school's commandant said it would.

The pain was humbling, and still jabs sharply even with the current Vicodin prescription if I don't keep the elbow tucked into my ribs. 

The cool thing is that the VA doctors here think I can completely recover as long as I don't dislocate/fracture again, and I continue to make progress in the next 3 months of physical therapy.

However, simple tasks that one doesn't think about normally hurt like hell.  Turning the steering wheel while shifting a 5-speed truck, for example.  Picking up a bucket of wheel weights, oddly enough, wasn't too bad.  

Other mundane examples include rolling over onto my left side at bedtime (scaring my wife when I yip after doing so), or reaching up to put clean dishes in the kitchen cupboards. 

Or, for that matter, racking the slide on my Caspian Officer's ACP, my 5" 1911 Bancroft Special, or even my little Kahr K9. 

The VA doc and charge nurse said to wear an issued sling when things got sore, and that the appearance of the sling would signal a "buffer zone" for people to give me a wide berth.

That doesn't do it for me.  It's hard to drive around in a sling, and if that sling telegraphs anything, it's "EASY TARGET!"  The sling gets worn at home, period.

I'm optimistic that I can regain 100% function, but there's that nagging CCW aspect.  While I carry my 1911 variants and K9 with one in the chamber, it's still difficult for me to rack those slides.  Slapping a magazine home ain't a whole lot of fun, either.

What to do?

 It's getting down into the freezing temps at night here.  My winter coat can cover something a smidgen wider, as long as it's not too excessive.

There's this cool cellphone pocket near the zipper, which I can open and retrieve spare ammo with the right hand.

Gotta be able to reload right-handed.  Hmmm...

 I don't need to rack a slide that's not there to jam, and there's no magazine to ram home.  Were it summer, I'd go with my S&W Model 36 Chief's Special.

Since it's fall/winter clothing time, and I've always been a fan of calibers that start with ".4", my decision was made just a wee bit easier.

 I practiced reloads. Pop cylinder release with right thumb while left hand swings cylinder open from underneath.  Left thumb ejects rounds.  Right hand inserts speed loader and loads cylinder.  Left thumb snaps cylinder shut.  5+5 rounds of Federal 200 grain Lead Semi-Wad Cutter Hollow Point goodness, ready to rock & roll. Hell, I might even pack a second speedloader for giggles!

I'm good. I can do this until I've recovered.  Screw the sling while I'm not home, but even one-winged I'm not defenseless. Thank you for being my faithful little companion, Mr. S&W 696!

1 comment:

Brigid said...

Oh, that stinks. I didn't realize until I blew a perfectly good knee out in an accident, how well my body was serving me.

Do what you need to. Rest and regain strength. It will come back.