Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wooden-headed woodsman

On Saturday, May 11, I was using a draw saw to cut lengths of downfall into fireplace lengths.  I was working on smaller pieces, three-inches or less in diameter.  Many of these had branch stubs that would make it difficult to lay a good fire.

To cut these stubs, I placed the pieces vertically in a section of my saw horse to stabilize them and then would cut down.  Sometimes I would hold the piece above the stub, sometimes below.  The latter was more stable.

As I was doing this, I noted that my work gloves were mostly fabric, not leather.  I told myself that I should be careful.  That worked for about five pieces and then the saw hit my hand.  Oh, drat!  My glove had a small shredded patch!

Hm, I better check my hand.  Oh, I have a good cut there and it's bleeding a bit.  I licked at it a bit to minimize the blood flow and went inside to get a bandage.  Hoo boy!  It started bleeding more!  I grabbed three or so pieces of facial tissues to sop up the blood.

I found the first-aid kit and managed to open it without getting blood on it.  Grab more tissues to sop up the blood.  My wife had gone to the Brimson post office.  Should I call the post office where she would be visiting with other neighbors and ask her to come back to the cabin?  Should I call 911?

I managed to get a bandage on just before my wife came back.  She suggested that I also put bacitracin on the cut, and she bound the wound up better than I had.  We changed the bandage(s) often as they became soaked.  By sauna time, there was little blood flow.

Of course, as I sweated in the sauna, the latest bandage loosened up.  No big deal because the bleeding had stopped.

My wife had washed up and gone back to the cabin.  I washed up and started to get dressed.  As I put on a sock I bumped my thumb.  Oh, great!  It's bleeding again.  With no bandages around, I just kept licking the wound.  I got the other sock on with a spot of blood on it.  I managed to get into my pants but no way was I going to put a shirt on with my thumb bleeding.

I put my feet in my boots and grabbed my shirt and jacket to get back to the cabin.  At least it wasn't freezing.

Once back at the cabin, I put another bandage on and could finish dressing.

Over the past week, I've put bacitracin and a bandage on twice a day.  The wound is healing nicely and I can use my thumb for most tasks.  I still bump my thumb with various tasks, but my only reaction is a grunt.

Have I learned my lesson?  Probably not.  There will always be another situation where the most convenient way of doing something is the riskiest, and in the interest of saving time or ...