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Reminds me of the most painfull experience in my life, about 3 yers ago, working in a factory. I worked the ovens in a casting facility. We had ceramic molds that were heated up to between 2100 and 2350 degrees (depending on the job) which I would take out of the oven, and put in a machine that another person uses to fill the molds up with melted metal. Hot shit, rough job, but good money.
credit given to original author if known
The ovens were about 30 feet long, you put a steel tray on one end, put the mold on top of it, then use a hydraulic pusher to push it in the oven. Then you go in front, take a mold out, pull out the tray it was sitting on, and repeat the whole process... always had 15 or so steel trays in the oven.
Got burned a few of times, mostly from the hot air that got under my saftey mask and burned off my eyelashes and other hair, some worse, (got a lot of burn blisters over the course of the time I was there, but nothing scarring or anything. Good $$.
One thing you have to be carefull with is steel when it cools. First, it goes from bright yellow to black in about 5 minutes, so it looks cool even though it'll still set a newspaper on fire if you were careless. Second, as the metal contracts as it cools, little slivers pop off. We pull the trays out of the oven onto a cart, then put the cart in an open area where it will cool. At the end of the night, you'll have about 1 or 2 pounds of metal shavings that you have to sweep up. The trays had a life of about 6 months before they get shinned to the point where they get weak. You walk by one and you almost always get a small burn on your arm. That's what got me one Friday night when I was working the midnight shift.
I was pushing a hot load of trays (oven was empty, pulled out all the empty trays, mad heat coming from the cart I was pushig) and I heard a pop, felt the metal shaving bounce off my chin. (ow.. but you get those little burns all the time there) Problem was it bounced off my chin, off the inside of my face shield, under my saftey glasses, and lodged in my eyeball. Went to the emergency room, doctor numbs my eyeball, then flushes it, tells me I'm good to go. I'm gratefull, because eye injuries are my worst nightmare (still can't stomach the eyeball scene in Terminator =/) and it hurt like fuck. But all was good, got a ride from company security back to the factory.
About 5 minutes after leaving the ER, I feel it. The painkiller was wearing off, and the pain was coming back with a vengeance. I was warned it would hurt for a few hours because my eyeball was burned. I was NOT looking forward to trying to sleep that night. The pain got worse and worse all night, and all weekend. I couldn't get out of bed.. every time I blinked I would see a flash of white and feel pain so bad I got nauseus. I threw up countless times, and kept on the Tylanol PM, because I was desperately trying to just sleep through it. You can't stay awake and keep your eyes shut, and you can't keep your eyes open without blinking. As the weekend went on, I was sure that it wasn't a burn, the metal HAD to still be there. The longest weekend of my life, I swear it lasted two weeks. Imagine feeling like you are going to shit, barf, get dizzy and fall over every time you blink. It was so shocking to the brain that I felt like the guy in Metallica's ONE, because the real world didn't exist to me, just this li
I didn't sleep *at all* the entire weekend. Monday morning I had a follow-up appointment at the hosptal, which I was lucky enough to get a ride to. The doctor, who I'll go ahead and give his name, Doctor incompetentfuckingdipshit, gave me a lookover, and asked how everything was. I looked at him as sarcastically as I could out of my good eye, unshaven, and unshowered for three days, and told him "The metal is still in there, get it out, NOW."
He looked in and assured me it was out, it was residual pain and some burnt tissue causing the pain. I called his bullshit and, risking my reputation as a calm and laid back individual, told him to get the goddamned peice of metal out of my eye or I'll rip his balls off. I'm in no mood for this. He again assured me that my eye was fine.
I think back to a year earlier when I tore a ligiment in my thumb, and he told me I was able to go back to work (even though I couldn't carry a brick with that hand, much less the 85 pound molds) and discovered he wasn't a ER doctor, but a *company doctor* on call. Gets paid to get us back to work ASAP.
So thinking about that time, I tell him he's the same piece of shit that sent me back to work with an ACE bandage when in reality my ligaments were torn, and told him I have no confidence in his integrity or his competence as a health provider. He asks if I'd feel better seeing a specialist, I insist on it. He even had the balls to try and talk me out of it by saying I'd have to pay for it out of pocket! Asshole. He sets up an appointment across town for about 3 hours later. I'm there in 10 minutes.
The receptionist takes one look at me, and pulls me into a room. The doctor takes me on in two minutes, X-rays me, and puts some fluid shit in my eye that I was able to taste in the back of my throat. Some chemicals that numb the eye, and puts a dye in it so he can see foriegn objects. nasty. He gives it 5 minutes to do it's thing, whle he gets the X-rays.
He walks back in and shows me a picture of my eye. A thin, bright line that went deep into my eye, with only the tiniest of tiny end of it poking out. It was the peice of metal. A quarter of an inch. Don't just imagine it, go find a ruler, and measure out a quarter of an inch. Then imagine a sliver of metal sticking that far into your eyeball. I almost fainted when I saw the picture, but I was just so relieved that yes, there was metal in there, and yes, this man can take it out and get rid of the pain. He leaves again for a minute.
He comes back with a flashlight, and some tweezers. Pulls open my eyelid, reaches in with the tweezers which as an eye freak really scared me. I felt them pushing against my eyeball, and felt them grab hold of something. The outside of the eyeball was numb, not the *inside*. I never knew until that moment that, in certain situations, you could feel the inside of your eye. I know it hurts to look at a bright light, but that's kids play when it comes to an injury. I actually *felt* the insides of my eyeball that day. I actually get sweaty writing this when I think about the pain. I hope NONE of you ever feel it.
The most excruciating moment of my life was when he pulled the monster sliver, thinner than a pice of hair, out of my eyeball. I could actually see the distortion as my eyeball held onto it, like pulling a spoon out of a cup of pudding. I had a towel in my mouth to hold back the screams I knew were coming, and I was at the mercy of the pain as I felt my stomach heave, and my bowels move. I just could not control them. The more he pulled the worse it hurt. My eyeball snapped back into shape, the tweezers pulled away, and the doctor leaned back. I swear I heard angels sing. I saw a blurry spot, which was some puss and eye fluid coming from the mild infection that had developed.
"I got it" the doctor said, but I already knew that. Like a bad dream, the pain was fading quickly into just a bad memory. There was still a lot of discomfort, enough pain to make me buckle to my knees today, but at that point it was so miniscule compared to what I had just gone through for a couple days that this pain was like heaven to me. Another X-ray to make sure it was all out, a nice bandage, and I was on my way.
I was dizzy from sleep loss, and my head didn't hit the pillow before I was asleep. Best sleep of my life. Got the week off of work, too.
Got my revenge on the doctor about 6 weeks later, but that's a story for another Tuesday. In the meantime, just think Taco Bell, a gallon of Apple Juice, and a nice Mercedes Convertible with the top down.