To the editor:

Reading Jack Ronald’s “Back in the Saddle” on Wednesday got me to thinking back when I had such an “old man moment."

It was June 23, 2014. A tech from Dish Network was at my home to check out a problem I was having with our TV reception.

As he was checking items in the house he could not find anything wrong, and suggested we go look at the dish.

He hooked up a meter to the dish and said, “There is some interference happening.”

He asked if I would watch the meter while he climbed up in a pine tree that was in the path of the dish. He climbed up the tree he started to push on various limbs with his foot. When he hit a certain one I noticed the instrument show a variation in the signal. He came down and said, “That limb was the problem.”

He stated he had another call next door.

I said, “OK, I will try to do something while you are gone.”

I got the long extension ladder from the garage and had my wife help me position it up as far as it would reach.

She asked, “What are you going to do?”

I replied, “I am going to cut off the branch.”

Well, Vicki and I got into a discussion about whether I would or not. She was very upset that I was going to do this. You know, she was entirely right, but I just would not admit it at the time.

After a bit I got out my chain saw (electric) and climbed up the tree with Vicki watching the cord while I pulled the saw up. I proceeded to cut off the offending limb. I next started slowly lowering the saw back down to the ground.

 Well, I did something I knew was not right, but I did not think about it at the time. After bouts with surgery and cancer, I have a tendency to get dizzy and pass out if I bend down for too long a time. I remember I was having a dream-like experience in which a ladder in front of me was spinning counter clockwise, and I was behind it. 

I do not remember hitting the ground, sitting up, talking, being picked up by the ambulance, going to Jay County Hospital, talking to the doctors, having a scan or telling the doctors that George Washington was president when asked if I knew who was.

The next thing I remember was waking up in the trauma center in Ball Memorial Hospital with Dr. Mark Saleem looking down at me.

I asked him, “What am I doing here?”

He said, “You fell out of a tree and have some very severe injuries.”

I asked him, “Did I bend something?”

Well, seeing how he was in a serious mode that did not go over well with him. He informed me I could have easily died from the fall.

I replied with another remark: “Well, God wants me to be here so I can iritate people, and I am doing the best I can.”

Now this really did not set well with him. He informed me I had broken four ribs on my left side, punctured my left lung, broke the left scapula and cracked the T8 through T10 vertebrae in my back. You just can’t believe how the whole left side of my body was black and blue.

I was in intensive care for three days and spent quite a bit of time recovering from a very unpleasant experience. Just as Jack said when he fell, there are things that your body does not want you to do for a while, when you have an accident, and it is very reassuring to have someone who can take care of you when it is needed.

Being on the ground and your body not responding to your thoughts is very scary. At least Jack was awake. I was in la la land.

And also I did not have to sit in the rain in a puddle.

You never know when it will happen to you. The “Old Man’s World” gets you when you least expect it.

Charles E. Tague

Portland