So last weekend I went to the local trash & recycling center dumping the cut remains of an old metal cabinet probably built sometime during the Eisenhower administration. And when you are hot, tired, with a back ache and thinking about getting home, shower and having a cold soda instead of paying attention to your chores, shit happens as it did. The last piece of the cabinet was sheet metal that I pulled out of the back of the truck and somehow managed to encounter my left arm, left arm lost.
I felt the cut but it was not painful. More like “something went in that was not supposed to and deeper than usual…hmmm.” I looked at my arm and saw the cut…and inside the cut. “Well, that looks like the adipose layer which is not supposed to be exposed to sunlight.” was my thought. “Hey! No blood! Cool!” and of course, blood started to come out, slowly but surely.
I carry two first aid kits on my truck: A small one in the center console and a decent size bag with more serious stuff in the rear seat. I pulled the small kit, opened and extracted a trauma dressing (Bandage with a thick pad attached to it and proceeded to treat the wound. I was more worried about not getting blood on my brand new white microfiber t-shirt than anything else (A gift from SWMBO and she frowns on me not being gentle with clothing) as I am giving the bandage the last wrap, I look up and see that almost everybody at trash center is looking at me with this OMG/In Shock face (Saturdays are a busy day with all the yard work) but not one was reacting either. I shrugged, fired the truck up and went home.
I knew that stitches might be needed and kicked myself for not having bought a stapler even though it is in my list of Must get Shit for the bags. Then I remembered that I hadn’t a tetanus shot in over 14 years and I might be due for a booster (Note: tetanus & diphtheria boosters good for 10 years) so I whipped the cell and called the Boss and informed her about the result of me juggling with sharp metal. No, she was not happy.
Instead of going to the ER where I could easily wait 4 to 5 hours for a low priority case, we went to one of those small clinics that do urgent care. I was the only patient which i took as a good omen…till I realized why I was the only patient. Let me just say the “quality” of care was so crappy and nonchalant that I demanded to check the date on the booster before getting it.
- It pays to have the proper first aid supplies and redundants. I did not have to worry about what to do or use a dirty bandana (the available choice) or some other sub par item.
- Carry a knife. The packaging of my compress was a good one and a labor of Hercules trying to open one-handed. A sharp folder that I keep in the center console was the solution.
- Keep your shots, specially tetanus, up to date. If I had mine, I would probably forego any medical treatment and tried to crazy-glue the wound.
- Rethink your kit, check for expired content (I had done so 2 months before) and don’t wait to order the supplies you need. Besides the stapler, I will get steri-strips. Having options is a wonderful thing.
And lastly, if your significant other is an impressionable person, don’t make jokes with your wound or go “Here honey, take a good look!” She may not appreciate it and you may end up with additional injuries…. and it is a good thing I have cold packs in all my kits, they came in handy.
All Home Improvement Projects Demand A Blood Sacrifice.