Use Caution When Operating Power Tools

I’ll preface this blog entry by saying that I’m fine now and there’s nothing to worry about.

I say that because this blog post is about me doing something stupid and hurting myself. I don’t want anyone to be in suspense and worry about the outcome. I’m fine.

On to the story…

Last night about 10pm, I decide to do a little metalworking project. I sit down on the front porch with the angle grinder and the piece of metal in my lap and get ready to cut a piece off of it. Instead of putting the damn piece of metal in a vice, I’m holding it in one hand and the angle grinder in the other. Why I thought it was a good idea to work with an angle grinder one-handed in my lap, I’ll never know.

I’m cutting along, doing fine, and the cut-off wheel catches in the metal and rips over it and into my knee. I pull up my pants leg, and I’ve cut a hole in the side of my knee. It’s not really bleeding, but it was a good 3/4″ long cut, which was stretched open maybe a half inch. I could see subcutaneous fat, but I guess I missed any tendons or major blood vessels. Very lucky.

I hop inside and have Samara grab the band-aid wash (Bactine). I irrigated it and stuck a paper towel on it and head off to the ER. Like I said, it barely bled at all and it wasn’t even really hurting. I just knew it needed some stitches. Dr. Stout numbed it up with a local anesthetic, revised the edges where the grinder had left it dirty, cleaned it and stitched me up. Four stitches and a new tetanus shot was all it took.

They didn’t give me any pain meds, because to be honest, it didn’t really hurt. I took some Tylenol at home, but then I woke up in the middle of the night in pain. Couldn’t get back to sleep until the next dose of Tylenol kicked in.

I called in sick for the first half of the day today, but managed to go to work for the second half. I was limping because it was sore. By the end of the day, though, I was used to walking on it again and wasn’t limping so much. I’m staying dosed up with Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

I think, all in all, that I learned a very valuable lesson for very cheap. No real damage, but it could have been bad. Now I’ll be smart enough to work safely with my grinder. I’ll be using two hands and a vice from now on!

I have pictures of my knee, but I won’t post them, because it’s gross. E-mail me if you’re morbidly curious to see the before and after. (Yes, I got a before picture at the hospital.)

Here’s some pleasant pictures instead, of Samara and I sitting in the booth at the Muddy Rudder, waiting for our dinner.

So I’m thinking of a new tattoo, right above my knee, that says “Use Caution When Operating Power Tools.” What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Use Caution When Operating Power Tools

  1. PurpleMoose

    the tattoo??? Perfect!

    And, the only thing to top this would have been if Samara had been taking a video.

    seriously . . . glad you’re not seriously hurt.

  2. Barbara

    Reminds me of the times I had to zoom Dad to the ER for slicing up (not off) his fingers in his saw. He never would put on the safety fence. Glad you’re not hurt too badly. Be more careful!

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