(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the proceedings.)
XV. LIFE CHANGE
Since being diagnosed as a quadriplegic, Mr. Smith’s entire life has changed. In his deposition on page 184, lines 10 through page 189, line 4, Mr. Smith testified how dramatically his life has changed:
“A. My life has changed. I lost control of my bowel movement. I have accidents two or three times a month.
I lost use of my legs and my left hand.
I can’t work because as a plant supervisor there are no other job at this time. I worked a lot. I spent a lot of money on my backyard building a fish pond and building water falls, put a lot of trees in, a lot of bushes in so I could take care of them when I retired and I can’t do that now and that’s what I planned on doing when I retired, but now most of it is lost.
I can’t drive so I need to have somebody to help me every time I go somewhere.
When I get up, I have a hard time dressing myself. I need to do that while I’m still in bed to get my pants on. I have trouble getting in my wheelchair on my own. I can do so, but I wouldn’t want to do it without somebody being there.
My bathroom, I need extra room and I had to lower everything down in my bathroom so I could shave and clean myself and shower.
The toilet, I need bars on there and I have had a hard time getting off and on.
I need to stimulate my bowel movement every morning in order to have a movement, which we already talked about.
If I take stool softeners, which I’m supposed to do, I have more accidents and that’s probably one of the worst things that happened to me in this whole thing, I think, is my own personal – – is having a bowel accident. I have to, you know, and it’s just – – I go to pieces when that happens.
I have a three-inch hole in my back that needs to be changed three times a day. I put down two, two or three times a day. Someone has to – – my son has to do it now.
I take a lot of pain pills, the Vicodin, because of my pain in my back and my legs hurt a lot. I wake up during the night hurting a lot and have a lot of leg spasms.
I feel a lot better now since I came back from Palo Alto, though, this time. I have a better attitude. I’m trying to work towards trying to have a better attitude making myself – – before I went to Palo Alto, I was – – laid in be all the time and I didn’t do nothing besides lay in bed and feel sorry for myself. I’m trying to change that.
Just dressing, I need to rest afterwards. It’s a shame here, I try to dress myself, then I have to rest, you know, because I get tired. Taking a shower I get tired which don’t sound like it makes sense, but I get so tired.
Just sitting in a chair sometimes I get so tired and so sick, I have to lay down. If I lay down a couple hours I feel I can get back up like today I went pretty good.
To transfer to a car I get real tired and I can’t do it again for a little while. I mean, if I had to go just down the street a little ways, I don’t think I could get out of the car and transfer again. I have to, if I rest for 20, 30 minutes maybe a half hour I can transfer back out of the car.
I tried transferring more than twice, about four times total, and I just can’t do that. I can’t make another transfer if I go to the K Mart and then go to the grocery store. I can’t transfer out of the house, out of my house. I have to sit there in the chair for – – sometimes I spend a couple hours sitting in my sister’s car because I couldn’t transfer again, so a couple of transfers, so I want to make it one time, go somewhere.
When I go to the bathroom I need help to pull my pants up. This is especially if I – – like go out and go some place and I have to go to the bathroom, toilet, just take a bowel movement, I can’t pull my pants up so I have to have somebody else. O I usually have to ask somebody to pull my pants up, which is very embarrassing, but I do it. I have had – – they’ve always been nice. They always help me, so. . . Never had no trouble doing it, just that its. . . (See Part 23 of 23.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.