Isn’t it just my luck that I would start the new work season at a new company, and in my first week of full-time work: BREAK MY ARM?! Seriously?! Of course.
Last Thursday I was working the ground on a Manitoba Maple removal. Pretty straight forward. No big deal. As I fed a log into the chipper, the machine grabbed the wood way faster and more violently than I was expecting, and it slammed the wood against my wrist. You have to understand that my job involves a lot of critical thinking and problem solving, but there is also a lot of muscle memory associated with some of the more repetitive tasks like chipping. Because the chippers that I was accustomed to using grabbed wood so slowly, I was used to feeding the machine a particular way. It took me by surprise when this new-to-me chipper took the wood so quickly, and I didn’t have time to move my arm out of the way. It hurt. I learned my lesson.
My arm was sore, swollen, and bruised for a few days, but I thought nothing of it since I’m used to being bruised and achy. I continued to work like I normally would. I have been carrying wood, running ropes, and climbing trees. My wrist felt slightly sprained if anything, but I had a wrist guard on while I worked, and things were okay. This morning, I woke up and felt fantastic. No pain. So I felt fine to work on the large Norway Maple removal we had to complete today. The branches all came down fine. And then…as I cut a chunk of wood and was about to push it over, I got an electric shock through my arm, my hand went limp, and I was in excruciating pain. At that point I knew something was wrong. This couldn’t be a simple sprain.
After that final painful cut, I came down from the tree and another employee finished the body-wood portion. I was supposed to go to another job site at that point to do a small Pussy Willow removal. My co-worker asked if I wanted to go home or to the hospital, but that’s not how I roll. We did the second job. I dragged brush with one arm. Laughing the whole time.
After work, I went to the Urgent Care centre at the hospital. They took a wrist X-ray and then I sat in the waiting room, laughing about the whole thing. The girl in a wheel chair sitting across from me, who fell down the stairs, was told she simply has a sprained ankle. Take Tylenol, and only put as much pressure on it as is tolerable. That’s what I was expecting to hear regarding my wrist as well. When the doctor called me over to review my X-ray, she asked what happened. I gave her a brief summation of the story above. She burst out laughing in disbelief. “I can’t believe you’ve been working for seven days like that….it’s broken!”
Of course! So now I sit here, typing with one hand while my other is confined to a cast. This is a temporary cast; tomorrow morning I have to go to the fracture clinic and get a proper cast. I only hope it offers me a bit more mobility because at the moment I can’t knit!
That is dreadful considering I cast-on for Woodruff last night. Plus there is nearly a full bobbin of bamboo on the wheel that needs to be plied! This is oh-so-horrible. At least I managed to finish my big lace project on the weekend. Phew! What a relief. Got to look on the bright side, right?
Who knows what happens next. Go to the fracture clinic and see what they say, I suppose. I want to get back to work. I still have one good arm. I can drag brush. If I can’t knit and I can’t do tree work, what will I do? Go insane? Probably.
This entire time, friends remain astounded that I have been climbing trees for a week with a broken arm. I, on the other hand, am a bit ashamed. I only wish I had dealt with it sooner. Well, live and learn. I will keep you guys updated.