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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


It was back during the last century - 1981 or round about thereof - that the “chainsaw incident” took place. The day was a Saturday, it was a warm clear day and if memory serves, it was in the spring. Next to my in-law’s place of business was a thick growth of trees and vines and the task for the day was to clear out some of this natural growth.

The chainsaw was not a strange tool to me as I had used one on varying occasions for about 15 years at that time. This saw was a rather large one equipped with a bow - as opposed a bar - and was particularly useful for cutting up trees after they were on the ground.

A fair amount of trees had been cut - these were about 6” to 10” through the middle – with a good number still to be felled. Two of these 8” ones growing side by side had been cut but because of the heavy growth of vines, would not fall all the way down. They were hanging in these vines at about a 45-degree angle with one on top of the other and the only solution I could come up with was to cut them up in short sections and pull them out a piece at a time.

A section was cut out of the top tree and removed. It was only while cutting through the second one that things really went wrong. Just as the chain of the saw went through this second tree trunk, the other one on top of it broke loose, sliding down into the side of the saw, driving its still moving saw links down into the top of my shoe and foot.

A small amount of wisdom and/or sagacity would have dictated that I wear leather boots or shoes for my cutting chores of the day. It seemed that I was a little short on both these good qualities that day because my feet were shod in cheap canvas knockabouts. Immediately, if not sooner, I knew I was cut, I just didn’t know how badly. In fact, I didn’t even want to know right then, as I called for bro-in-law to take me to the ER.

He drove and picked up Carolyn and on to the Emergency Room we went. Afraid to take off the shoe, I just wrapped up the foot, shoe and all, with a cloth to stop the bleeding. Only after getting to the treatment room did I become aware of how grubby I was and found myself wishing I had cut my foot when I was a little cleaner. Dirt and wood chips scattered about as the surgeon cut off what was left of the shoe and I could almost hear his thoughts about getting the dirtiest and sweatiest patient of the day.

After washing the wound a bit, he found that the blade had cut through the skin and the top of the tendon sheath but stopped short of lasting damage as it spared the tendons themselves. As the doc sewed up the damaged area, he did mention that I should keep my toenails trimmed better – my thoughts were that I would do exactly that, at least before I cut myself with a chainsaw again.

Even though I was told that all this would heal back and be normal again, I was left with a very sore foot in the interim. For the first time in my life I had to have crutches to keep the weight off this sutured foot. We rented some because I didn’t intend to need them permanently, and then I set out to learn how to use them. Level ground wasn’t much of a challenge but stairs were tricky and I stumbled coming down a set of them at church. I was able to check my fall only at the expense of much pain to the sore foot.

The crutches were a big help but I grew tired of them very quickly and was glad to give them back to their owners when the injury healed up properly. These crutches reminded me of what I have heard several people say over the years. Their contention was that going to church, reading the Bible and living for Jesus were all crutches that the weak use to survive.

The definition of the word crutch - besides the physical support - was anything that serves as a temporary support or prop. The sentence given as an illustration was: The use of liquor as a psychological crutch. There are more of these, including many other chemicals, material things and even people that are used as crutches. But the Bible, or church and living for Jesus are definitely not crutches, they are WINGS and if used properly will lift us high above the troubles that surround us – that’s my kind of transportation!! ec


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I have been on crutches. Although they might be good for what ails you, they also soon become a pain in the ass.

12/13/2005 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - also in the arms, shoulders, neck and back. :) ec

12/13/2005 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

In 1970 I had a disagreement in an M-60 tank. It outweighed me by about 51.95 tons. The crutches were with me for many months. I spent a lot of time in bed. The good that came out of it all—gotta look on the bright side—is that my first son was conceived during that time.

12/13/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger MilkMaid said...

Owie Mr Eddie! Had to laugh about the toenail comment. That's sorta like wear clean underwear, you never know when....LOL!

A nice message, wings...I'll remember that one for sure!

12/14/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - Let's see if I have this right - tank + crutches = son - I think there is something left out of that formula but maybe that's the new math.

milkmaid - I did trim them, just in case. :) ec

12/14/2005 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

good word Edmundo! in 15 yeasr construction the only time my Skilsaw cut me was when I was cutting... firewood. the thumbnail grew back and my ER was at the local hardware store. I walked in and said, "Can you wrap this up for me?" They took good care of me!

12/14/2005 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

David - Hey, now that's a man's man, I had to wimp out and go to the ER. They wrapped it with duct tape, right? Aw man, why didn't I think of that? :) ec

12/14/2005 05:12:00 PM  

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