posts tagged with 'injury'

injury theories and reality

Up until the last week of May I was enthusiastically telling people about my plan to avoid the brittleness of old age by continuously subjecting my body to the types of bumps and falls that people start to want to avoid as they enter their late forties. The theory being that if I keep, for example, falling off my bike, I stay tough and supple and don't have to worry about big injuries from falling accidentally. Then I put the idea to the absolute test by smashing my face into a tree after a failed landing on a jump, and for a couple weeks I wasn't crowing at all: I was sure I had broken myself forever.

Well, it's now over a month later and I'm back to my original theory. Sure, there are a few lingering effects from the crash. I have a scar on my cheek (which I think looks rather dashing). And, while all the pain in my arms is gone, my left thumb is still pretty numb. At least once a day I wonder if it'll stay numb forever and, if so, how long will it take me to get used to it? But it's not too worrying because it doesn't stop me from doing anything. I'm also still weaker that I was before I got hurt, at least in my left arm. That's recovering, though: I don't need to use two hands to put a saucepan of water on the stove any more. And, needless to say, I'm back on my bike! So it's safe to say that I haven't learned my lesson. The experiment continues!

my poor battered hands

Our lifestyle these days is tough on my hands. Looking at them now I see that only three out of ten fingers are free of marks of recent injury. Thorns, splinters, and fencing wire have all done their minor damage, compounded by the stress of dry skin and all the handwashing. On Tuesday, though, I got a couple headline wounds while putting a new roof on the chicken coop run. First, while lifting the rafter assembly I jagged a fingertip on a splinter. It didn't break off, which is of course better than the alternative but also means that it was pretty big! There was some blood, which I think now will permanently adorn the rafters of the run. A memorial, like. After they were up I had to get a bandaid.

Then a few hours later I hit my thumb with the hammer. So embarrassing, so stereotypically clumsy! But I have an excuse, which is that it was a challenging situation. I was putting up hardware cloth—which, I have to say, is about the worst thing ever invented when it comes to dealing out small scratches. But never mind, I'm used to that. No, the real trouble came when I was putting in one of the many poultry staples needed (if you've never worked with poultry staples, they're basically curved pieces of nail with points on both ends: staples that you put in with a hammer). I was reaching up above my head, holding the hardware cloth with one hand, the staple with another hand, and the hammer... wait. Alright, hold the hardware cloth and the staple with the same hand? Which is how, in the tapping-in phase, I got my thumb. I guess I tap pretty hard, since it instantly raised a blood blister and moments later a welling of blood around the nail. I asked Leah to put a bandaid on that one; two, actually!

Those wounds kept me from doing any more damage to myself yesterday. Today the bandaids were off, but I still stayed pretty safe: the only issue was a bleeding blister from some over-enthusiastic work with the axe. Life is good!