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Old 11-16-2010, 18:09   #1
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Ranger SXT 9mm: Life Lessons (home ballistic testing inside)

I posted these pictures in General Glocking a while back but the thread got closed because I made the title "getting shot with your own gun really sucks". I'd like to preface this post with the fact that getting shot really is NOT like the movies portray. I knew that before it happened, but living through a GSW really makes you appreciate just how fake movies really are.

To make a long story short, my friend that I went shooting with on a weekly basis for at least six months before this happened and had never seen anything unsafe out of, shot me on November 28th 2009. I was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound to my right elbow. It bled a little, but not a lot (life lesson #1 - don't count on the BG bleeding out like in the movies) and until I saw it myself in a mirror I thought my arm had been blown off by a 12 gauge or something (it didn't sound like my Glock at all, but I had never shot it indoors either) and freaked out a little. Once I saw there were only two holes in my arm, I calmed down and when deputies and paramedics showed up, they were kind of surprised to see me sitting there acting normal except for the grunting because of the pain and outbursts of curse words. It was definitely a 9 or 10 out of 10, but I haven't ever experienced any pain worse than cracking my wrist when I was in 5th grade, so take my assessment for what it's worth. The bullet barely hit my ulnar nerve. The muzzle was probably a foot from my arm when he pulled the trigger for whatever reason, went through my arm, grazed my knee, bounced off my desk and landed by my feet.

I bring up the number of times we had shot together because I know someone will be a ****-wit and tell me not to leave guns lying around where people who have never handled them can get access. That was not the case here, it was someone I trusted because I had no reason not to, and that bit me in the ass. Yes, I have since re-evaluated who I shoot with. I would say that any lesson there was to be learned in this experience has been well reinforced by the experience itself and there is really no need for random people on the internet to chastise me over the mistake of trusting him.

I was half way through the police academy and had to quit because of this. Along with racking up nearly $50,000 in medical debt WITHOUT the hospital stay added in because it was paid for by a charity (I had school insurance only while I was losing the extra 10 pounds I had to fit into the weight range for my age and height and get my own insurance plan, separate from my mom's plan because it was costing her too much). Yes, he should have to pay for the damage he caused. Yes, I am going to contact a lawyer. This thread is not about what he or I did wrong, or what I'm currently doing to resolve that.

After a five and a half hour surgery the next morning, I woke up angry and extremely thirsty. Later that day, my surgeon came in and told me I'd be lucky to get 80% use out of my arm after this, I'd most likely have loss of strength and numbness/tingling issues in my arm and hand, never be able to do push-ups, go back to the academy, etc. I told him that wasn't acceptable to me, and I went home three days later. Five days after being shot I was down to one 5/325mg Vicodin a day, and three days later, I was completely off of them. After 10 months of occupational therapy (beginning of January to the end of October), here I am.

Just to give you guys some ideas of how long it took to get "normal" functions back, it took two weeks to be able to tie my shoes just by moving my fingers and hand enough to make a double loop knot. Think about how little effort is required to tie your shoes. I got the cast off three weeks after the shooting and it took me an additional three weeks (we're up to six weeks from the day I got shot) to cross my arms at my chest like an indignant teenager. It took about three to four months to be able to touch my right thumb to the far left side of my face. Six MONTHS later I could finally wipe with my right hand when I finished taking a crap without wanting to cry because the pain was so bad. Just recently I've been able to stick my finger in my right ear, use a q-tip, or wash my face right-handed, and I'm two weeks from a full year after being shot.

I can barely do female push-ups now, but I'm doing god damn push-ups. The biggest issue is chest strength since I have barely used my upper body over the last year, so I have a lot of strength to make up. I went to the doctor again today to talk to him about getting a couple of the screws out (last picture highlights which ones are being taken out) and he wanted to do it as soon as the day after tomorrow. I could care less when I do it as long as it's ASAP so I can continue on my road to recovery. I'm planning on re-entering the academy in August 2011 as January is a little too soon and I'm still not as physically fit as I should be.

Caliber Corner

Entry


Caliber Corner

Exit


Caliber Corner

Pre-surgery


Caliber Corner

Post surgery (top view)
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Ranger SXT: Life Lessons

Last edited by Six Feet Under; 11-16-2010 at 18:15..
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Old 11-16-2010, 18:10   #2
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Caliber Corner

Post surgery (side view)


Caliber Corner

Three weeks later, after cast removal


Caliber Corner

Fired and unfired comparison


Caliber Corner

Close up


Caliber Corner

Recent side view (June)


Caliber Corner

Screws circled in red are coming out soon as they're backing out on their own and feel wonderful during any heavy use of the arm



Any questions?
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Ranger SXT: Life Lessons

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Old 11-16-2010, 18:19   #3
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Very interesting.
I hope you heal up and can get back to normal life, that humerus definitely took a beating.
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Old 11-16-2010, 18:32   #4
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It's healed now, I'm just having those three screws removed because they're backing out on their own and have been since May or June. The only thing I can't do now that I did in the month pre-shooting is push-ups and I'm currently waiting to re-start school. That was the worst part of the whole ordeal because working in law enforcement is literally what I've been interested in since I was four years old and this whole situation has been a huge mental blow because that dream was snatched away from me as it was being molded and I'm still not 100% sure I will be able to do what's required of me, but I'm working towards it. If I could see myself with how far I've recovered now back when I was in the hospital, I wouldn't have believed it. I have zero issues with strength or numbness in my arm, both hands are at 85lb grip strength as of three weeks ago, and the only numbness I get is when I push on my right pinky fingernail.
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Old 11-16-2010, 19:37   #5
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ouch!!!! was that a 147?
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Old 11-16-2010, 20:19   #6
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127gr
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Old 11-16-2010, 20:20   #7
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It's healed now, I'm just having those three screws removed because they're backing out on their own and have been since May or June. The only thing I can't do now that I did in the month pre-shooting is push-ups and I'm currently waiting to re-start school. That was the worst part of the whole ordeal because working in law enforcement is literally what I've been interested in since I was four years old and this whole situation has been a huge mental blow because that dream was snatched away from me as it was being molded and I'm still not 100% sure I will be able to do what's required of me, but I'm working towards it. If I could see myself with how far I've recovered now back when I was in the hospital, I wouldn't have believed it. I have zero issues with strength or numbness in my arm, both hands are at 85lb grip strength as of three weeks ago, and the only numbness I get is when I push on my right pinky fingernail.
Very cool. Very much hope you will be able to realize a career in law enforcement.
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Old 11-16-2010, 20:31   #8
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All the best for you SFU.
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Old 11-17-2010, 00:57   #9
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Glad to hear that you're doing better. Out of curiosity, do you have an agency sponsoring you for your academy? If not, you might want to try and get on with a large metro agency so they can pay for it. Some of the larger ones require you to go to their academy no matter what. I just got hired by a large agency and while I was in the hiring process I asked them about doing the academy on my own. The told me that unless I was a lateral transfer with 2 yrs experience from a dept with more than 100 officers I would have to go through their academy. I don't know you're situation, but I thought I might help you save the costs and get you paid while you're in if you aren't already. Just some info for you.

Out of curiosity, did you ever ask that dip **** why he pointed the gun at you and pulled the trigger? I mean, seriously? One thing that you can do that might prevent a dip **** from being a dip **** is keep all your loaded guns in a holster. I do that. That way they have to take it out and figure out how the ALS works, which typically requires them to ask me "how the F do I get it out?" Just a word to the wise. Good luck with therapy!
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:51   #10
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That's a very interesting write up of what happened and the aftermath Six Feet Under. That is very fortunate that you were not permanently disabled or dead and even so the cost has been very high for you. Thanks for sharing this, those pics are graphic evidence of why an ND has to be avoided.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:29   #11
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Wow, you sure have gone through a lot. I admire your attitude and desire to continue following your dream. I wish you the best!
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:16   #12
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I felt sorry for you and thanks for sharing. However, you dealt with the nightmare with exceptional attitude. I wish you the best.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:21   #13
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I remember the original post. Glad you are seeing improvement over time. Your wound is typical of what I've seen...no grapefruit-sized exit wounds, and no explosion of blood from the entry hole. If movies got it right, it would more often look like someone being shot with blanks at first...their reaction is all you see, then blood from the hole.
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Old 11-17-2010, 13:29   #14
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and no explosion of blood from the entry hole. I
In fairness (and we are likely comparing apples to oranges here) I have seen this. I'm in the medical field and years ago we got a trauma team called to the ER for a shooting. Some whackjob had chased his wife and 10yo son down, ran them off the road, and shot them with an M1 Garand (30-06). He was later killed by the cops. At any rate, the kid went to another hospital and ultimately survived. We got the mom. She had been shot once through the chest and once in the neck that exited her jaw. The jawbone was jutting out of the exit hole, all glisteny white. Kinda gagged me seeing that, not sure why. When they cracked her chest and did open cardiac massage on her deflated (bled-out) heart it didn't phase me. But that glistening white bone.......

Reading is fundamental: I even quoted you and thought I saw "bone", not "blood". Sorry for my inconsequential walk down memory lane.
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Old 11-17-2010, 14:11   #15
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OP:

Damn awesome attitude you have to recover and move on with your goals!

Fight hard, don't quit and keep your powder dry!
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:59   #16
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In fairness (and we are likely comparing apples to oranges here) I have seen this. I'm in the medical field and years ago we got a trauma team called to the ER for a shooting. Some whackjob had chased his wife and 10yo son down, ran them off the road, and shot them with an M1 Garand (30-06). He was later killed by the cops. At any rate, the kid went to another hospital and ultimately survived. We got the mom. She had been shot once through the chest and once in the neck that exited her jaw. The jawbone was jutting out of the exit hole, all glisteny white. Kinda gagged me seeing that, not sure why. When they cracked her chest and did open cardiac massage on her deflated (bled-out) heart it didn't phase me. But that glistening white bone.......

Reading is fundamental: I even quoted you and thought I saw "bone", not "blood". Sorry for my inconsequential walk down memory lane.
And there you are in a nutshell describing the difference between high powered rifle versus a handgun wound.
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Old 11-18-2010, 13:57   #17
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Yeah, sorry. I was talking typical handgun wounds. Of course, there will always be variance either way from "typical".
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Old 11-18-2010, 15:18   #18
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six feet,

thank you for sharing your story.......i think we can all learn from this!!!!!
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Old 11-18-2010, 18:59   #19
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I dont doubt for a minuite you will make it to the police dept, you have what it takes, you will do just fine.....
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Old 11-18-2010, 19:10   #20
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I thank you for the details. It must be hard reliving something as bad as this. My best for you.
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Old 11-18-2010, 19:28   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegriz18 View Post
Glad to hear that you're doing better. Out of curiosity, do you have an agency sponsoring you for your academy? If not, you might want to try and get on with a large metro agency so they can pay for it. Some of the larger ones require you to go to their academy no matter what. I just got hired by a large agency and while I was in the hiring process I asked them about doing the academy on my own. The told me that unless I was a lateral transfer with 2 yrs experience from a dept with more than 100 officers I would have to go through their academy. I don't know you're situation, but I thought I might help you save the costs and get you paid while you're in if you aren't already. Just some info for you.

Out of curiosity, did you ever ask that dip **** why he pointed the gun at you and pulled the trigger? I mean, seriously? One thing that you can do that might prevent a dip **** from being a dip **** is keep all your loaded guns in a holster. I do that. That way they have to take it out and figure out how the ALS works, which typically requires them to ask me "how the F do I get it out?" Just a word to the wise. Good luck with therapy!
No, the academy I was in is a self-pay school. I want to work for the local sheriff's office as I have a lot of friends here, I know the area, I know most of the people (good and bad), they run a tight ship, they have a TON of training opportunities, are extremely physically fit as a rule and not an exception (something I'm working on, but it's good knowing the guy backing you up can fight along side you for however much time it takes), they issue a lot of great gear (every car has laptops, ARs, active shooter bags with spare mags and ammo, tasers, etc), there are a lot of different avenues as far as advancement and special teams opportunities, and the command staff all seem to be involved with their personnel's home lives and willing to help or offer advice at the drop of a hat. Plus they have a lot of overtime.

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Very cool. Very much hope you will be able to realize a career in law enforcement.
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Originally Posted by G26S239 View Post
That's a very interesting write up of what happened and the aftermath Six Feet Under. That is very fortunate that you were not permanently disabled or dead and even so the cost has been very high for you. Thanks for sharing this, those pics are graphic evidence of why an ND has to be avoided.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubimow View Post
Wow, you sure have gone through a lot. I admire your attitude and desire to continue following your dream. I wish you the best!
Quote:
Originally Posted by pimuk View Post
I felt sorry for you and thanks for sharing. However, you dealt with the nightmare with exceptional attitude. I wish you the best.
Quote:
Originally Posted by G31 View Post
I remember the original post. Glad you are seeing improvement over time. Your wound is typical of what I've seen...no grapefruit-sized exit wounds, and no explosion of blood from the entry hole. If movies got it right, it would more often look like someone being shot with blanks at first...their reaction is all you see, then blood from the hole.
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Originally Posted by SIGShooter View Post
OP:

Damn awesome attitude you have to recover and move on with your goals!

Fight hard, don't quit and keep your powder dry!
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Originally Posted by glocknbruce View Post
six feet,

thank you for sharing your story.......i think we can all learn from this!!!!!
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Originally Posted by mikegun View Post
I dont doubt for a minuite you will make it to the police dept, you have what it takes, you will do just fine.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by janice6 View Post
I thank you for the details. It must be hard reliving something as bad as this. My best for you.
Thanks for the well wishes guys. Honestly, the worst part has been mentally/emotionally dealing with all the anger and some depression from having my only REAL dream in life (at least right now) yanked away from me and being told it would never happen. Seeing as I haven't made it happen yet, the pessimist inside me isn't giving up, just making sure the viewpoint doesn't get TOO positive (aka, lazy) toward the outcome of the overall situation...

I really do think the biggest issue is the one of safety, I was completely in condition white in my bedroom and got blasted from behind by someone I trusted. There are times where I don't feel safe in my own house, even when no one is here, but those kind of feelings usually only last for a minute or less before they're gone. Talking to people who have BTDT and experienced the same feelings really helps, because it really isn't the same just talking to someone who has never been there. I've got a good friend of mine who is currently battling stage 2 hodgkins lymphoma and is still slated to start working for the sheriff's office in January. We were in school together from 6-12th grade, went to the same community college and were in the same academy class. Now he knows what I felt like (having your dreams ripped away, at least for a while) and that gives me someone I can converse with on that aspect. He's actually the one who made me reconsider my decision to give up on the law enforcement idea about a month and a half after I got shot, so I hold him in very high regards right now.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:20   #22
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Mind if i ask how you ended up with $50k of medical debt, didn't the insurance cover it, or had it lapsed?

I'd just like to avoid a similar financial fate if I have a bad accident. Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:10   #23
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Mind if i ask how you ended up with $50k of medical debt, didn't the insurance cover it, or had it lapsed?

I'd just like to avoid a similar financial fate if I have a bad accident. Thanks.
A lot of academy guys who go through without being hired by the sponsoring agency will have to rely on a p/t job for insurance and extra money. Many of them even pay for their academy classes or get student loans to do so.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:52   #24
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Mind if i ask how you ended up with $50k of medical debt, didn't the insurance cover it, or had it lapsed?

I'd just like to avoid a similar financial fate if I have a bad accident. Thanks.
"I had school insurance only while I was losing the extra 10 pounds I had to fit into the weight range for my age and height and get my own insurance plan, separate from my mom's plan because it was costing her too much."

The wonderful health insurance system.

I wish the OP the best of luck.

Last edited by dkf; 11-27-2010 at 10:53..
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Old 11-27-2010, 13:54   #25
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"I had school insurance only while I was losing the extra 10 pounds I had to fit into the weight range for my age and height and get my own insurance plan, separate from my mom's plan because it was costing her too much."

The wonderful health insurance system.

I wish the OP the best of luck.
Right, so he didn't have insurance because he didn't pay for it. Funny how that works, I don't have a Ferrari because I didn't pay for it. The wonderful auto industry

To the OP, if the home where this happened had homeowner's insurance, or if the guy who fired the gun has home owner's insurance, even if it wasn't his home, you MIGHT be covered under that.
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