Saturday, February 6, 2010

October 4, 2000

When I woke up on October 4th, 2000 I wish that I had a premonition or a flash of what was going to happen to me in a few hours. If I had that glimpse into the future I would have done some push ups or may be even a cartwheel before I left for work. Even if I had that glimpse into the future, I would not have called into work. I was in a financial crunch, working every overtime and time and a half shift I could get my hands on. October 4th was a Wednesday. I already worked 40 hours and was picking up a shift on a unit that was not the unit I normally worked on. It had a notorious reputation of being disorganized, bad tempered kids, and lots of incidents. I should have known when I walked in the door that the day was not going to be a good one. Instead of three staff members on the unit, it was myself and one other female (let it be noted that this female already worked an overnight shift and had two hours left of her shift). The kids were already acting out, egging their fellow peers on through their doorways. As we brought the kids into the morning circle to start the processing group, whatever control was gained earlier was gone. The kid who assaulted me stated that his goal for the day was to “kick ass.” WHY DIDN’T I RUN OUT OF THERE! That statement sent the kids into a frenzy. We shuffled the kids back to their rooms thinking breakfast in their rooms away from each other was the only way we were going to keep some kind of order. A radio started to play loudly, banging of drawers and shouts of insults filled the air. I walked into the room and stood there face to face with the kid that was going to change my life in 10 minutes. This was not a normal ten year old that I was facing. Besides being 5’ 6” and 180lbs and some sort of Pacific Islander descent, he was filled with a ton of rage and hate from years of abuse that he endured from his mother. He was a ward of the state; women were his enemy. I could have been a fairy godmother with a magic wand that would have granted him a million wishes, but he would just see me as his hateful abusive mother. I asked him to turn the radio off and listed the consequences he would receive if he did not follow directions. Insults were thrown my way and the other staff member walked into the room. She tried to calm him down as I stepped outside of his room. I walked back in there a few minutes later to pure chaos. The boy was trying to lasso the cord of the radio around the neck of the other staff member. I ran to the office, grabbed scissors, and ran into his room. I gave him his options and he gave me insults. I cut the cord and ran out of there screaming for back up. As I hurled the scissors down the hall a male staff member came in as the boy was charging at me with his arm swinging. We decided to take him down into a prone (a restraint technique we learned if someone was violent). As I slid my right arm under his left armpit he grabbed on to my wrist with his teeth and would not let go. As we were trying to get him down to the ground, he was trying to go in the opposite direction. My arm was going one way, my body another. When we finally made it to the ground, he still would not let go. Other staff members came in, tried to get his mouth off my arm but nothing worked. The cops were called, and when they entered the building he finally let go. So there it is. This is the incident that changed my life forever. This is the incident that made me have 15 surgeries (16 in March), loose all function and movement in my dominant hand, and made me get a stimulator running up my spinal cord giving me constant shocks to help ease the chronic pain that I deal with on a daily basis. Sad part, I made $15.25 for what I went through that morning (actually less because I had to pay taxes).


  1. You're a awesome woman Becky!!!! Love you! I never knew the whole juicy story of what happened to your hand. Horrible. I'm so glad we worked together at the are one of my favorite people EVER! --Elle

  2. You are the most important friend I have ever known, I have seen you after countless surgeries and even used my handy nurses training to remove long bloddy cathiters from different body parts, changed bandages, etc. but I never asked the details. I feel so stupid not knowing all this knowing I didn't know anything at all. As much power as that sad ruined little kid had to change the coarse of your life with the surgeries and pain, he also changed the coarse of mine. Though my condition is so much a world away from yours we both deal everyday in a world away from the masses, the things others take for granted we struggle just to make people think we can handle these things for ourselves without help. God damn people with thier helpy helpersons! I am grateful that you are my damaged other half, I would take you without damage but I like the "Damaged in shipment" best friend that I have. Just remember that we will have a fully staffed hospital wing in our dream commune and we will grow old together and you can have the remote to my Hoverround when I can no longer move my hands and I will promise to remove all the temporary parts that the surgeons send you home with. I think those should be our wedding vows!
    I love you Rebecca for ever and ever.....Amen!