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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

The Road to Workman's Comp

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 4/15/2024
Page Views: 258
And then, to add insult to injury, I had an injury added to the insult.

At this point in my truckin' career I was discovering, not only that I wasn't making the hours (and therefore the pay) I had been promised, but that trucking isn't just about driving long hours, hauling heavy loads, and dealing with traffic and weather. It's also about taking care of one's health, which can be a challenge when one is on the road.

I'll tell you how I learned this lesson the hard way, when I got a double hernia and a lung cancer scare and wound up on an extended vacation.

The Shoes

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 6/17/2003
Page Views: 210
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver #Hernia
How I Lost My Feet, My Job, and My Intestinal Cohesion

I woke again about 11:00 AM. Now, I decided, it was time to complain. I marched to the dock, as best I could in aching feet—more about that, shortly—and found a guy I hadn't seen before. It was he, it turned out, who was the dock foreman. I've been waiting since 6 o'clock, I announced.

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It's Pat!

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 6/18/2003
Page Views: 220
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
It was absolutely none of my business. So why did I care?

That's right; he or she. I wasn't sure. Laine had a rather bland, androgynous face. From the photo, it really wasn't possible to tell if the photo was of a man or a woman. The person in the photo was wearing pajamas. He/she was heavyset, not grossly obese but chunky enough to make the shape of his/her breasts a genderless mound. He/she had no facial hair and the sideburns were cut short enough that it wasn't certain there were any. There was no obvious beard or bodily hair. The photographer had caught him/her with a cat.

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Workman's Comp

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 6/19/2003
Page Views: 2840
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
An entry from Alternate Roads: Paul S. Cilwa's Truck Drivin' Journal

Then she asked me to drop my shorts, which surprised me a little, as my hernia was clearly located beneath my navel. But she did the turn your head and cough thing, and announced I had a second hernia, a worse one, to the right of my scrotum. When she poked at it, I nearly went through the ceiling…which isn't unusual in itself, except that this time, I wasn't smiling.

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Surgery

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/2/2003
Page Views: 269
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
And so I go Under The Knife.

Michael left early to take his final exam in Physics, a grueling subject that we both spent hours last night studying for. This morning, I was allowed to eat breakfast as long as I was done by 10 o'clock. Michael returned unexpectedly early from having taken his test (How did you do? I don't have any idea.) and was able to join my ex-wife, Mary, daughter Karen, and my mother shortly before one as we set out for the hospital to have my double hernia repaired.

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Lite Duty

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/21/2003
Page Views: 234
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
How light must light duty be before it becomes no duty at all?

And so my light duty assignment came in last Friday. I was to go to the Schneider office at the Phoenix warehouse for CSK, the auto parts retailers. Schneider has the trucking contract for these people, which gives them the right (and responsibility) to maintain an on-site presence. I have driven cargo to and from CSK before, but mostly dedicated drivers handle their loads.

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Unfounded Fears

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/24/2003
Page Views: 218
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
So, then, about that 'spot' on my lungs…

So, without my earring or wedding ring, and in paper shorts, I laid on a platform attached to a metal ring. The platform slid into the ring until it encircled my chest. A nurse appeared, to attach me to an IV, then inserted the dye into it. Almost instantly, my head felt like it was swelling and my tongue developed a metallic taste.

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