Saturday, June 29, 2013

Non-Life-Threatening Injuries

The newscaster has given us all the details, ending always with that one final piece of information. Oh, he/she won't die. Allrighty then. End of story.

This is just anther of those phrases which has become so over-used and tossed off so thoughtlessly, meant no doubt to be reassuring, but instead is just meaningless. It's time to re-institute some meaning.

Bureau of Fate
Winner Notification Division
Somewhere In the World

Tomorrow's Date

Dear ____(your name here)___:

CONGRATULATIONS! You have been selected to be a WINNER by our Luck of the Draw Division to receive our most significant prize: NON-LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES! There are no fees, no applications to fill out. While we cannot give you advance details at this time - that would spoil the surprise - we have thoughtfully provided a list of just some of the possibilities. Prizes awarded are by no means restricted to this list. You will be awarded at least one item from each category, and luckier recipients will receive more. The selection, amount, and timing of all the prizes will be at our discretion. Again, congratulations on being one of our select winners, and may you enjoy the anticipation. You never know when our team will show up with your next prize.

Your Event:
-a car accident
-a sinkhole opening under you
-getting shot
-getting caught in a fire
-a terrorism victim
-a spousal murder attempt
-falling off a cliff
-victim of a dog attack

Resulting in Injury to:
- 3 inches of skin
-moderate sprain
-four ruptured discs
-burns over 22% of your body
-seven broken bones
-spinal fracture at the C5
-loss of partial limb of our choice
-loss of entire limb or limbs of our choice
-25-35% damage to or loss of 3 organs of our choice
-temporary disembowelment

Length of Medical Treatment
-treated and released, no follow up needed
-two day hospitalization with no follow-up due to lack of funding
-six months including physical therapy

Time Lost From Work
-sorry, none: it happens on the weekend
-an afternoon
-three weeks
-six months, including a required career change
-permanent disability

Cost After Insurance Coverage
-nothing: full coverage
-several hundred dollars
-immediate costs covered but rehab not covered and too expensive

Success of Medical Treatment
-full cure: you hardly know it happened
-minor residual effects
-recurring sporadic "discomfort" at a level of our choice
-seventeen surgeries finally make you independent of the machines
-permanent disability 

Pain Levels
-minor and fleeting
-gone after two weeks
-moderate for a few months but somewhat controlled with good meds
-reminders the rest of your life when the weather changes
-searing and intractible, requiring narcotics in ever higher doses resulting in addiction and treatment, which results in no effective meds

Mental/Emotional Distress
-a laughing story for the buddies around the water cooler
-nightmares for six months, decreasing over time
-a new phobia
-suicidal ideation but no action (remember: we promised non-life threatening)

Long-Term Effects
-a small fading scar
-no visible effects so nobody understands your pain
-permanent limp
-disfigurement repulsing strangers and frightening children
-another person will always need to wipe your behind
-dependence on caregivers and financial assistance

So remember, LUCKY YOU, to look for us around the next corner for your AMAZING PRIZE!

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