Thursday, September 25, 2008

9.5 Outta 10 Ain't Bad...

"Virgil Briggman is back on the air...", "Good morning Vietnam!", and all that crap. So, I'm sitting here waiting for my double-dose of Percocet to kick in, I thought I'd sneak in my first blog in a while. As you may or may not know, I had a little "industrial accident" in the shop Friday morning.
That roughly translates to cutting my middle f'ing finger off (I'm already qualified to be a high school shop teacher). Luckily, it was still hanging by a little flap of skin, so I didn't have to go through the agony of looking for it.

I was in the process of milling 2" legs for the matching night stands that will complete our bedroom suite. Anyhoo, I was doing something relatively safe, and something I do all the time. I use 4/4 stock to do all my glue ups, since thicker stuff is more expensive, and I think it's a little more environmentally responsible. I'm modifying the plans to beef up the leg thickness to give it a much more substantial, antique look, that worked really well on the dresser. So Friday morning, I was ripping my blanks to 2+ inches, so they could be jointed and planed down to their finished thickness/width. I was actually thinking about safety as I was pushing the
4+ inch wide, 2+ inch thick board along the rip fence. Halfway through
4+ 4+
the board I grabbed the push stick to finish the cut with my right hand safely out of the way. For some reason, at the very end of the board, maybe I torqued it by not having enough lateral force fom the push stick.
Whatever the cause, I don't have anti-kickback rollers or a splitter installed, so that's my bad. Anyway, the board shot back toward me, missing my ribcage (thank god I always allow kickback clearance) and somehow drug my hand back with it. With the way my hand had contorted because of the kickback, my middle finger took the brunt. I thought my ring finger got compressed and was broken, but it turned out that my index snapped. There's also a nice gash on my thumb that took my thumbnail off, along with the bone tip. All in all, a pretty gruesome sight. I haven't had the guts to look at any pics (which I was thoughtful enough to insist on) or the x-rays, which we might've actually stolen. Always thinking about the blog!

After emitting a scream that elicited from the depths of my soul when I saw my finger flopping loosely, I calmly took control of the situation by clamping my right hand around my wrist and getting Kim to stop doing her decapitated chicken dance. We put the remains of my hand in a bag of ice, and tied a tea-towel around my wrist. Kim managed to beep the car and I was able to just barely crawl into the passenger side before blacking out, which would've been a major problem for Kim to get me into the car by herself.

There were typical communication issues with the various medical personnel we encountered. Somebody asked where my finger was. I said "In the bag".
The discrepancy caused Kim to have to go home and look for more parts. They kept changing their minds on which digits were involved. The shots into the base of each digit were excruciating. They kept asking me silly questions like name, age and pain rated from 1-10. Some bookkeeping yutz came out and immediately started discussing financing options, while I was mentally preparing myself to be an amputee.

Another ambulance ride, and I was in Stanford. I won't bore you with any additional details, but some of the highlights were "F**k Seth Thomas", regarding how slow the minutes were during the nights they wouldn't let me sleep more than an hour. When the nurse who had just given me a suppository (the size and shape of a rifle bullet) asked if I needed anything else, I said, "Hell, I was going to ask you out to dinner!". The same nurse, upon removing my catheter, told me that if I didn't pee in the next six hours, it would have to go back in. I leaned over to Lisa Chapin and said, "She gets me. Incentive through implied threat". I dutifully spent the next two hours trying to pee into an empty jug, something I used to do all the time when driving between Austin and Houston. On a side note, I'm still "farting" out my peehole, which is something I've never experienced in all my 39 years, and certainly wasn't on the list (way down from three-way with twins). It doesn't get much better than that, though. I can certainly tell you that much.

Well, I'm kind of tuckered out after this, so I'm going to watch TV through a narcotic haze. "Hi, I'm Chris Larsen and I've been sober for five days..."

No comments: