I'm not as active as a volunteer firefighter as I used to be, because over the years my body has been beat down pretty good ... by doing yard work.
Other than a couple of back injuries, I've never really been hurt on that hazardous job. Firefighting, I mean. Yard work, now that's the task that leaves me moaning on the ground, and not in a good way.
|You ever try to mow with this stuff on? |
With firefighting, you wear tons of protective gear, which changes the most likely medical problems to heat stroke and heart attacks. With yard work, you wear shorts and a tank top, and in some cases hold a can of beer. In addition, with firefighting you tend to have the topic of safety going on in your mind:
"Say, I'm in zero visibility, crawling over a burned out floor, shoving a metal pike into the ceiling when I don't know if the electricity is still on." It's just an example. I've never pulled a ceiling while crawling on the floor, so don't sweat it.
When I'm doing yard work, I have other topics on my mind:
"I wonder how long I could let this grow before the lawn police arrest me?"
|An action shot. |
But the biggest reason for this seeming paradox is that fire just doesn't give a darn about me, while Mother Nature hates me.
Oh, yeah. Mother Nature is a vindictive bit ... being. She hears me complain. I complain a lot.
"It's too cold." "I hate bugs." "That's not rain: It's a cloud of pollen!"
Once, as I was mowing in the front yard, one of our trees bent down and beaned me with a limb. It had nothing to do with me not paying attention. It's also the only time in my adult life that I did a full somersault.
But recently I learned a new twist: My furniture is in cahoots with Mother Nature. Much of it is wood, after all, an increasingly expensive resource that doesn't just grow on trees. I'm always shoving furniture around, banging into it, and of course sitting on it. This axes of evil (see what I did, there?) recently tried hard to do me in.
I was mowing in the back yard, near the lilacs I've horribly neglected. If you were a lilac and your caretaker doesn't trim you or keep other trees from growing up in the middle of you, wouldn't you be upset? I don't know, either.
As I pushed the mower around one of the bushes, it reached it's driest, deadest branch out and clobbered me in the arm.
|The evidence. |
The above photo is my arm, just so you know. Now that I think of it, maybe this is what the far side of my forearm always looks like--I usually can't see it. But no, my wife takes great joy in pouring peroxide on my fresh wounds, and when they're old I don't scream like that.
The very next day, I noticed the TV remote was missing. (Just hang on, it's connected.) No big deal: It can always be found by sweeping a hand between the cushion and the inside of the couch's side. We put it on the arm, it slides down, and Bob's your uncle.
(That's just an expression: I don't mean to offend anyone who actually has an Uncle Bob.)
Now, the couch is only a few years old, and we really like it. It has two recliners, something that's always seemed like rich luxury to me, but boy, am I glad for them--especially on bad back days. But when you recline and unrecline and plop down on something all the time, there's bound to be some wear and tear.
As near as I can tell, a nail popped loose and just hung there, between the side and the cushion. Waiting. For me.
I swept my hand down there, just like I always do. What happens when something suddenly stabs into your hand? You withdraw your hand, don't you? Which I did, but the nail had already embedded itself into my finger. I'm pretty sure it bounced off the inside of a fingernail.
I'll spare you the photos.
Have you ever bled so much that you couldn't stop it even with pressure, elevation, and cold? It was just a finger, for crying out loud, which is exactly how I cried. Out loud. Luckily no one was home, but that meant I had to do the peroxide thing myself, and it's not nearly as much fun that way.
Two injuries in two days, on the same arm. And what swung that nail out to grab me? That's right: the couch's wooden frame. I got even by bleeding on it, but still. Also, I hurt my back again jumping halfway across the living room while waving my hand wildly, and later I had to clean up that blood.
Luckily I'm used to cleaning up my own blood.
Don't doubt the connection: The truth is out there ... and in there. Mother Nature is out to get me, and there's nowhere to hide. Today the couch--tomorrow the bed.
There's a thought to sleep on.
|When I'm going to give blood, I prefer advanced notice. |