By mrdanalee Latest Reply 2009-05-31 00:36:13 -0500
Started 2009-05-16 00:22:55 -0500

Almost 3 years ago I fell through the roof of my garage. I broke my back in 4 or 5 places and broke eight ribs. It was nine hours before my son found me. I called and yelled and wondered if I would die there on the cold cement floor. Nearby was the smell of death as a cat had died and I could only smell that smell that death creates. I tried to crawl but the pain was incredible and all I could manage was to go in circles. The sun was beating down on me and I was dehydrating fast. I had to urinate and so I did in my pants. I knew if someone didn't find me I would be dead. This was at eight thirty am. At around 5 pm my son found me. We had a little white dog who came to me and laid next to me while my son got a jug of water and poured over me. Then he called the ambulance and a half hour latter they arrived. And thus began my journey. My walk with death.
The pain was so intense that when they moved me the whole world turned bright yellow.
If anyone wants to hear what happened next just ask me. I'll be happy to tell you the next part. But maybe I am to far outside your world just looking for someone who might be interested in the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say.
As ever I remain.
Dana Lee Kimball

17 replies

Dancehawk 2009-05-31 00:36:13 -0500 Report

Awww god hun thank god your son came home when he did. Please tell us the rest and never feel you can not tell us any thing, we are here to listen and offer suport along with lots of hugs. Each of us have something that has happened to us or to dear ones and beleave me we know the pain in your voice all to well. Please please tell us what happen next.
lots of love and light and I pray your back eases up enough to breath.


MeiMei 2009-05-29 13:59:45 -0500 Report

You have an incredible story to tell. As was mentioned before, you should write a book. My ex-father-in-law fell at home while his wife was in the hospital and no one found him for days. He was, of course, dead by that time, which leads me to encourage all seniors who live alone or in situations that they find themselves without supervision for most of the day need to have some sort of medical alert system to call for help. And next time (hopefully there won't be one) tell the stupid emergency folks to drive the ambulance to you not the stretcher to the ambulance, I'm sure if you had a garage you were working on you had some sort of driveway and they could have gotten a little closer and saved you the pain of traversing a rough road. Much better the ambulance travel that route than a person with neck and back injuries.

cyncyn 2009-05-29 11:26:06 -0500 Report

WOW !! What a story. I know all about back problems and surgeries. You have led an interesting life. Glad all worked out for you!

Turtle 2009-05-27 20:11:23 -0500 Report

I am so sorry you went through this. I am happy your son found you in time. I am interested in hearing the rest of the story if you want to tell me.
I am sure the pain was horrific. I am glad you survived and I hope you are not still in lots of pain. I know how it can continue.

mrdanalee 2009-05-16 12:54:55 -0500 Report

I am back. Someone has asked how I am now. Well do you always read the end of the book first.
Let me caution u. I may make statements which may seem insensitive to some but I assure u I am not racist or bigoted.I do have a hard time with stupid people. That is not IQ but people who do stupid things because of the system or for personal gain. I worked at Johns Hopkins as a computer consultant and the man who hired me was a world wide famous researcher and he related this joke to me. If u are caught in an elevator with a surgeon and the door is about to close what will the surgeon do to make sure the door does not close. Well as you know we mortals will put our hand out to stay the closing of the door. But to a surgeon his hands are his most important body part. So the surgeon will put his head between the doors his least valuable part. I tell u this joke because with my experience with Dr's I find they don't know everything. But the person who does know is u. Never let a medical person persuade u that ur pain or ur symptoms are in ur head unless maybe you have a head injury(ha ha). Anyway here I am laying on the floor of the garage. The ambulance boys are here they wheel me in the gurney and strap me to it. My garage is about 50 yards in from the road. The ambulance boys couldn't figure how to get close to my garage. And so with broken back and ribs they wheel me over the rough ground. I though I had pain before but this pain made me cry. Now the next part is not for u who are squeamish and if you want to skip this part feel free. Why did I fall through the roof. Well my insurance co was going to cancel my insurance if I did not fix the roof. So as I am a diabetic I have to urinate a lot. And also being not circumsized my ability to pee without pain was absent. So it was 8:30 and I had only another hour before it was too hot to work on the roof.
Since the garage was way away from the road and no one could see me I decided to pee of the roof. I have two garages and one I was fixing was safe but the second garage was definetly was in bad shape so I laid down two large 8 foot planks and walked on these to the edge of the roof. But I never made it. All of a sudden I felt the roof give and I was sliding into a garage full of bicycles and computers and yes a dead cat. I guess I passed out not quite sure of that. But I hurt like I never had hurt in my life before. My son gets great pleasure in calling me stupid for trying to pee of the roof. So I guess I can claim my fair share of stupidity. Well back to the ambulance we are now rushing to downtown Charlotte and the main hospital.
I am conscious and I can see everything passing by. Then I must have passed out. All I could remember is them turning me. And when they did my whole vision even with my eyes closed became a brilliant yellow like looking directly into the sun. I do remember the urologist inserting a catheter in my penis I assure u that hurt also.
And then began a journey so strange u will find it hard to believe. They gave me some medicine which knocked me out and I was in intensive care for about two weeks and was not conscious during that time. But my brain was having fun with me. As I remember as clearly as anything else which has happened in my life. I was tortured to death over and over again. I remember about 5 different times I was tortured to death. Remembering how I was begging for my life. The first time I was tied to a chair and where i was was filling with water. And they were for some reason watching and waiting as the room filled with water.Trying desperately to break my bonds my breath growing shallower and shallower. After wards my son told me that my lung had collapsed and every time I breathed the blood would flow out. I looked at the hospital bill and I counted 22 blood transfusions. Well I save the rest for latter as I hope I haven't grossed u out but it is all 100% true to embellish this story would be ridiculous as it is hard enough just reliving these events. Just a little history about me. I am a retired computer consultant having worked in about 50 different companies. From the Pentagon, Radar analyst in the aluetian Islands, have a certificate to navigate a submarine, worked on rocket launching wind profiles, and on and on. The best compliment I ever got was from the head of the Wilmer eye clinics laboratory. He happened to be my neighbor and good friend. He said I was the most creative person he had ever met. Before I left Hopkins he offered to give me my own department to run. But I could not stand still as I went on many adventures in South America. Culminating in being alone in a canoe on the Amazon river.(Another story) So feel free to ask questions and comments. My being in the hospital was like the quote from Charles Dickens "It was the best of times it was the worst of times" obviously u know the worst but the best of times was those people nurses, aids and all others who dedicate themselves to helping those of us who end up there. In no small measure do I owe my life to these wonderful caring people who walked with me every step of the way. Tears come to my eyes now as I relate this to u. Never believe there are no good people left in this world they are at ur hospital taking care of us in our need or in our final moments. Until next time.
As ever I remain.
Dana Lee Kimball

Two painful feet
Two painful feet 2009-05-16 13:20:29 -0500 Report

Very interesting story. You have a gift to be able to write your story.

Your Friend

ralprugger 2009-05-16 14:57:35 -0500 Report

Hi Dana, Your life events contain a lot of Encouraging things for those which may find themselves in similiar circumstances.
Thanks For sharing Your story.
I would like to read about your therapy
and the tasks you faced.

daniel velazco
daniel velazco 2009-05-16 20:39:26 -0500 Report

It is hard to even imagine going thru something like you did. The lord must have been looking out for you. It's great
that you are doing fine now. And yes you should write a book on all your experance's.

mrdanalee 2009-05-18 05:47:25 -0500 Report

This is a continuation of my story about death. I am now in the hospital in intensive care. My son relates to me the following. The Doctors advised the family to look for a place to bury me as they didn't think I would live. I was constantly on Iv's and blood transfusions. AS I said before my right lung had collapsed and they put a drain tube in my lung and I was constantly bleeding I guess because of the eight broken ribs on that side. It is interesting when this happened to me there was no thoughts going on just one huge rush of Adrenaline. My thought were of this lady who had killed her parents by having there plane crash in Nevada or California. Her pleasure was killing people and she wanted to kill me but make it look like an accident. She had me tied up in her house and was about to burn it down. Some how I escaped. In this state I could phone by using the florescent lights and speaking the numbers. It was not crazy disjointed like a dream but in this state I was living it. It was very solid and real. In this state I would call 911 the FBI anybody I could to tell them I was trapped in this hospital. Anyway the details could fill a book. The most interesting one was that I was on board a ship and it had small personal containers for troops.Each container had life support. The ship was sent to the shores of Nicaragua and there the ship was sunk. And from there the troops would leave in there escape pods to land on the beach in Nicaragua.
So now to the point where I became Conscious. When I woke up I was in the center of a room and the nurse asked me if I wanted breakfast. But my first thought was how wonderful to be able to live a third time. In my mind my other lives were their. And now I was in Miami a professor at the University. People said I had been in a boat wreck and broke my back. And my nurses name was Wendy like from Peter Pan. I lived this life for a day or so until finally I realized I was back in Charlotte. I was so disappointed because the life of a professor was so comfortable. This was such a strange thing for me. I don't accept things unless I have a firm grasp on them. And this was beyond anything I had ever experienced except for Deja vu. And thus began my recovery. I had tubes and ports everywhere. One day Wendy was attending me and something went wrong a tube or something. She shook me and blamed me for what happened. I never ever saw her again. Being a nurse in ICU is very tough because a lot of ur patients die. They care about u but they also hold back as u may soon die and each death takes a toll on them. My next nurse should have been a drill Sargent she was in charge. But there is a down side to this as they don't listen to the patient. I was getting an infection in my private area and I told her this but she wouldn't listen as a results my scrotum became infected and became the size of mangoes. I was on morphine and I am surprised I never got addicted. I would get bags of the stuff. Anyway I had to learn to eat again. The only thing I could eat at first was jello. With the broken back it was impossible to sit up. So they would raise the bed until the pain became to great. I would eat a little but would become exhausted and have to be put back down. I am a big man about 250lbs and the nurses had a hard time moving me.
So I was Conscious about 3 or 4 days before they moved me out of the icu. I was so happy to be free of that place.
But little did I know the nightmare was just beginning. In ICU I could push the button and a nurse would be there almost instantly. In My room it would take forever for someone to come. Now I had a button for the morphine. I could only get a shot once every 5 minutes. Now because everything was swollen to pee was close to dying. So I would have to plan my urinations to hit the button about a minute before i peed so the morphine would dull the pain. But even then it was like a living hell to pee. Now comes a part which some may feel is racist but I assure u it is not. The head nurse in this wing was an older black nurse. And this was her area. She made the rules. They brought in an older negro man to be in the same room. But I screamed so much with the pain he didn't want me to be there and refused to enter. The nurse came in and told me to be quiet and unhooked my morphine. Later that day two angels came to clean me up. They were young black girls and they were so gentle and kind. But when the older black nurse saw this she became furious and gritting her teeth she told me I would be out of there as soon as she could arrange it. And 4 hours latter I was shipped to a private room. But with another older black nurse who I guess was given the job of punishing me. As for four hours I could not call the nurse as she hid my call button. Remember my back is broken I can hardly move and unless the call button is nearby I can't search for it. It was some of the hardest hours I ever had. Just like lying on the floor of the garage. I don't like depending on others for anything and this was really tough. But the next thing that happened is so incredible that I have no Dr or person explain it to me.
My sister called from upstate NY and it was not her it was some lady speaking in Spanish. I thought maybe someone had invaded her house and took it over. I told her I was calling the police. Anyway I hung up. Then a few minutes latter the nurse told me my sister was on the line. And yes it was my sister and we talked.How wonderful it is to talk to family when in the hospital. One night my son(20) stayed all night with me sleeping in the chair beside my bed. Anyway I discovered that in the accident my left ear had been damaged. And everything I heard with my left ear was Spanish. Watching TV David Letterman spoke in Spanish. This lasted for several weeks until finally it faded away. My left ear has lost all lower tones.And everyday I would tell Doctors I couldn't hear and not one Dr looked at my ear. Today Doctors are so specialized and busy that they won't refer another Dr. So I was conscious for 15 days of my stay and not one Dr would look at my ear. Then the surgeon came in. Ok he said we can have surgery on ur back or stay in a shell until ur are better. Well my answer was very simple no surgery.So they came in and measured me and fitted me for my tortoise shell. Which I wore for the next 2 months.
So getting out of bed was taking 15 minutes to get my shell on.
The next part I find hard to believe but it did happen.
They sent me to xrays and were Xraying my Pelvic area.
The xray techs were women. They would take an xray and go away and I could hear them laughing. They must have taken at least six xrays. It was quite embarasing them giggling like they did. Anyway I was getting better day by day and so I was transfered to another rehab hospital. When I reach the other hospital I heard a nurse or someone yell out "Is that the man with the extra muscle in his groin" So then I understood what the nurses were giggling about. But nothing in my record says anything about it. SO next time I'll recount my adventures in rehab. Also they told my family I would never walk again. And how I hate wheel chairs. Hopefully my telling this story helps someone else to know that miracles do happen. That I Dana Lee Kimball literally walked away from my death bed.

mrdanalee 2009-05-29 06:16:01 -0500 Report

Hello again, I think I can finish the story now.
I now was in another hospital with a lot of specific rules. I had to do therapy each day if I didn't they would kick me out. I remember the first steps I took. I though my legs were made of cement. I think I took 3 steps and was totally exhausted. And so each day a few more steps but after a few days I was sort of walking. I remember having to have a bowel movement and them bringing the bed pan. Well not having practiced my aim was off. The male nurse who was on that night was furious and shook the hell out of me and yelled at me. That was the last time I used a bed pan. Being a diabetic I had to urinate a lot and so I had two urinals. Because I would ring for a nurse but I would have to pee before they came to empty it. There were some good nurses and some pretty bad ones. The event which changed my life was this. Shortly after being in this rehab hospital unit I had a hard time breathing and I was sure I was about to die. In came two nurses one older and one younger probably in her late 20's or 30's and her name was Hatie Mathews MY angel. The older nurse said I would be ok and left. But Aunt Hatie stayed and asked if there was anything she could do. And she offered to tuck me in. She rolled me on my side and tucked a pillow at my back. For u married people u know the feeling of your husband or wife sleeping at ur back. There is nothing so comfortable than to sleep in the arms of another person. I then exhausted went to sleep and the panic attack subsided. And at that moment I knew that if Aunt Hatie was there I could comfortably die in her arms. Hatie is black and I then decided I must die in the arms of a black woman. There compassion and strength brought me from death to life. And over a year later I was in African on the shores of lake Victoria living with my new family there. I was in Kenya for one year and it made my diabetes almost a thing of the past I was using 120 units of Humilin 70/30 daily and when I left Kenya I was using about 20 units. In Kenya I would walk about a mile per day. My breakfast was always toast and tea. Lunch maybe some beans and chapati(a flour type hard pancake) and after work upon arriving home more tea and toast. Then around 8-9opm the main meal, ugali, fish or some form of tomato sauce.
Anyway I tell this to you to let u know that even at 65 I left the USa went to Africa and spent one year in Kisumu on the shore of lake Victoria in Kenya. I learned so much about myself in my travels. Anyway I did a lot more in rehab but it seems this is the end of my story unless someone asks me a question. Take care fellow traveler and know life is full of surprises just keep going I did.
As Ever I remain
Dana Lee Kimball
Jambo Sana

hubbysnurse 2009-05-29 10:41:43 -0500 Report

Hello Dana,
You sound like an amazing man with a very strong will to live. My husband has a similar story. He fell off the roof of our house into a pile of rocks.

Could you tell me how long ago you fell? Has your health changed…in any way… since the fall?

My husband’s diabetes, the fall from the roof (and changes I’ve noticed) have prompted me to do a great deal of research. I would like to share what I have learned, and will be posting in weeks to come, as soon as I get comfortable with how to use this site.

I wish you well Dana,

ralprugger 2009-05-30 21:06:32 -0500 Report

Hi Dana,
What an Incredible story. Awesome.
The trip to Kenya was quite a step. Most would be afraid to do that. Not me, it sounds like You had a Lot of Fun there.
Good for You!

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-05-16 07:55:33 -0500 Report

Wow! Horrifying! I cannot even imagine how painful and frightening that had to be. I'm sure your journey to where you are at this point has been extremely difficult, to say the least. First, I'd like to know how you're doing presently. You're obviously able to use your computer, and I'm sure the computer is a great source of pleasure and comfort to you. Please let us know how you are doing.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-05-16 08:02:44 -0500 Report

Just took a look at your profile and see that you are walking! How wonderful. Your injuries seemed serious enough that you might not be, so I'm glad to see that. Your life sounds fascinating! You've been to a lot of places. What an interesting life you've had.

cherryman 2009-05-16 01:46:29 -0500 Report

I would be very interested. It sounds like you have come a long way. I am sure others like me on this sight would find your story very inspirational.

Next Discussion: Radio Show »