Today I did something I knew I shouldn’t do. I was using an ax to cut a tree stump. The ax was razor sharp since I touched up the blade last night; I had knicked the edge on a T post which is embedded in the top of the stump. I have the stump out of the ground but I need to reduce it in size so I can load it on the truck and then take it to the waste transfer station.
My mistake: I was standing in the wrong place and at the wrong angle from the stump. The outcome was I hit my leg with the ax. I thought at first I had missed my leg, but then I saw the 3/4″ tear in the leg of my new jeans (2nd mistake). The cut is just above the ankle but in the center of the leg. It is about 4 cm long by 4 cm wide or ~2.5″ long by 2.5″ wide, it looks just like an upside down L.
After I saw the blood, I realized I needed to patch it. Since I was in the front yard, I walked to the back porch where we have a chair and a bench. Once I sat down I looked at the hole in my foot. The flap of skin was raised and I could see the dark interior blood flowing out. I called to my wife to come help (she was out in the shop). My neighbor heard me call to her and he saw me sitting on the bench so he went and got his medical emergency kit and brought it over.
My wife brought out a large, clean dish towel, which looked very gray to me. I told her I wanted a clean towel and she told me in NO UNCERTAIN terms it was a clean cloth (mistake number 3). I put the towel around the wound while my wife went to find some VERY LARGE absorbent pads to compress on the wound while she looked for the medical supplies in the kit we have in the kitchen. My neighbor arrived then and he and my wife helped me place the pads over the cut. The tape was missing from our kit, so we gladly accepted the use of a wrinkly bandage from my neighbor’s medical kit. He put the pad on over the wound then wrapped the tape on top. I had removed my blood soaked shoe and sock so we could stanch the blood flow.
Since I was sitting down, I thought I was doing okay. However, I didn’t realize I had raised my voice a few times when talking with my wife about the various things that needed done (mistake 4). Once everything was wrapped we went inside the house to call our physician’s office to find out if he could treat us or if we should go to a Prompt Care Medical facility. I did not want to go to the hospital ER since it would cost us over $300 to be treated.
We ended up going to a Walk-in clinic run by the same group of doctors where I’m usually seen. It took five minutes for my wife to take care of the paperwork and by that time the PA had looked at my wound, decided he could treat it, and moved me back to a small room. The nurse did what nurses always do (pulse, temperature, etc.) and he did the suturing. Instead of stitches, he put about ten staples in my wound. He then covered it with an absorbent pad and wrapped it in more bandage. Then we went home.
I almost forgot that during our drive to the Walk-in clinic we had to find it first. We knew about where it was, but it wasn’t located in the place we thought. We drove down the block to the next medical complex (we were opposite Memorial Medical Center) so the area has a lot of medical offices. We found the office and my wife drove down a dead-end street to get to it. Once we arrived, she backed the car up into a parking spot. We got out but then found out the door we were at was an employee’s only entrance. We got back in the car so we could drive to the front of the building. My wife turned right (towards the dead-end) and I told her she needed to turn left (she says I shouted at her; I don’t think I did but she swears otherwise) [mistake five].
When they finished and we were leaving, my wife told me it only cost $20 for the visit and treatment. (NO mistake, good planning by buying the right medical insurance plan.)
Now I’m at home, using one of the canes I acquired a few years ago when a store in town was giving them away to Veterans on Vet’s Day. Since I have several vehicles and never know when I’ll need a cane, I keep one of these fold-up units in each vehicle and one in the house. Make is easy all the way around.
My biggest mistake of the day: Getting cut! I know better. I have boots which would have protected my leg but I had my running shoes on since I didn’t thing anything could go wrong and I was “only going to use the ax for a few minutes. [Famous ‘last words’]
The other mistakes I’ll just have to accept the responsibility and admit I did it, I’ll try not to make them again, but if I do something like cutting myself then the pain made me do it so cut me some slack.