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Oops

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Oops

Postby oldclaypaws » Thu May 15, 2014 12:03 am

No feeling too clever tonight, having just got back from A & E, and going in tomorrow for surgery. Having never had an injury in the wood, managed to nearly take off a thumb with a billhook in the front garden chopping up some old Leylandii hedge. It only takes a slight lapse in concentration, but I'd sharpened the thing an hour before and it was well sharp. It says goes through limbs up to 2", so that covers thumbs quite nicely. Fortunately I'm not the first idiot they've encountered, and repairing garden wounds is pretty routine. Although I've severed several tendons and nerves, they are confident I can regain most of the use of my rather sad looking semi-detached digit. Clever stuff.

Did you know its hard to dial an Ambulance with one hand, when you're also trying to use it to stem a major leak ? Eventually asked a neighbour to dial for one. Fortunately it wasn't a leg, as they took about 30 minutes.

Apparently nice weather brings a spate of lawnmower, brushcutter and other garden injuries, so mine was par for the course. Dangerous business, gardening. Will stick to the safer hobby of felling trees.

It's just a reminder that no matter how safe you think you are, it can happen, so I'm suddenly more interested in PPE.

No photos, you might have just eaten. Won't be doing much in the wood for a few weeks, will catch up on some reading.

Feeling a 24ct dipstick, but grateful to the NHS.

Take it easy out there folks.
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Re: Oops

Postby Andy M » Thu May 15, 2014 8:08 am

You want stupid? How about this.

WARNING - this involves mention of gory-ness

i have been using sharp tools especially axes for many years and I am a keen green woodworker. Last Friday I was heading off to the Bodgers Ball in East Sussex when I thought that, in view of the poor weather forecast, I would take some really dry kindling. Off out the back to the chopping block with a nice sharp axe - needs to be sharp to make it effortless. Due to illness and recent chemotherapy I have lost muscle mass and am more clumsy than normal so some of the kindling fell on the floor off the block. I put my axe down on the block, bent over to pick up the bits and brushed against the axe. It fell off and landed on the back of my thumb, splitting it open and liberating a concentrated oxygen-and-nutrition carrying liquid. Put hanky around thumb (always carry a clean one for other peoples injuries), made sure axe not damaged, picked up kindling and went back indoors. Luckily wife not in so I made a more secure dressing and hid all the bloody tissues in the bottom of the bin. Packed car - why did I need to take so much stuff?

The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital A/E were great. No tendon or nerve damage, just a load of stitches and out in just over an hour.

My punishment for stupidity was having to have a huge dressing on my thumb all weekend and explain to other bodgers what I had done! My wife had to find out eventually as she is the one who will take the stitches out.

The Bodgers Ball (as always) was a fantastic occasion. Lots to see, plenty to learn and even some nice tools that I didn't know I needed to buy! Do think of going next year - it may well be in a more northern location.

Stay safe.
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Re: Oops

Postby Dexter's Shed » Thu May 15, 2014 8:14 am

I bet it was one of those cheap imported billhooks, that don't have the safety features of the decent ones, they are a death trap, you would have been far better off paying that bit extra and getting a good one :D

seriously, hope all goes well for you, at least you'll be able to sit in the woods, contemplating life, and the mistake of buying cheap billhooks
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Re: Oops

Postby oldclaypaws » Thu May 15, 2014 8:25 am

Thanks Dexter, I was waiting for that and was going to add 'no, it wasn't Chinese.' Top quality Finnish carbon Steel. Quality bit of kit, goes through flesh and sinew like butter, unfortunately.
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Re: Oops

Postby smudge » Thu May 15, 2014 5:58 pm

Oldclaypaws good luck with your recovery just think it could have been worse, my biggest problem is I think I can do what I done 30 years ago no chance,
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Re: Oops

Postby TerryH » Thu May 15, 2014 6:50 pm

Can I give a little plug for my favourite (and cheap) bit of PPE ?..Ripeur 2 gloves http://www.safetyhut.co.uk/product.aspx?productid=207

I rammed a hawthorn needle into my knuckle joint last year .. took months to get my finger right again.
So I bought a pair of these gloves. Having a steel mesh lining, they're impenetrable to most things. Cheap compared to other makes of anti-cut/anti-stab gloves too.

Happy recoveries bodgers!
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Re: Oops

Postby oldclaypaws » Thu May 15, 2014 8:40 pm

Back from surgery, which took about 1 1/2 hours. They did a 'block', so basically anaesthetised my arm from the shoulder down. Still can't feel it after 4 hours, its like having a log hanging from the shoulder. One blessing is it was a very clean cut, 1/2 inch deep through to the bone. They had to explore up the arm to retrieve the tendons which were cut through, but successfully tied the ends. A major nerve is ok, so should keep most of the feeling. Gonna take about 3 months before i can use it properly, but should recover fairly fully in time.

Pride is irretrievably ruined.

NHS were fantastic, whatever people say, i was well impressed by the quality of care. Think my days of chainsawing in a pair of crocs are at an end. :?
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Re: Oops

Postby Lincswood » Thu May 15, 2014 9:14 pm

Hope you feel better soon OCP. If it's any consolation, the winter is when the work needs doing in our woods; the spring and summer is when we should be sitting back and just enjoying them. Never seems to work out like that though...
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Re: Oops

Postby TerryH » Thu May 15, 2014 9:27 pm

I'm sure you'll be fine OCP. Just give it plenty of time and rest. Many years ago my father in law completely severed the tops of three of his fingers...scooped the bits up, walked to the hospital and asked if they could do anything about it ! They connected them back up (for want of a more 'medical' term) and, after time, his fingers became fully functional again...

It can happen to the best of us. Things get taken for granted, a lapse of judgement perhaps, or just bad luck... danger is not far away.
I can't get out of my head the time I was winching a tree trunk off a fence.. it got stuck, balanced on a single, manky old fence post. So I thought it perfectly okay to get both my arms under there to tie a rope round the post. Dumb, dumb thing to do.. I was lucky that time!

Hope the thumb mends quickly. Maybe you can do some more woodland videos while the thumb heals up.. only need the one hand for that !
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Re: Oops

Postby oldclaypaws » Fri May 16, 2014 8:03 am

Just off to do a bit more coppicing.......

You can't keep a good man down ! (or a plonker from plonking)

wound.jpg
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