Monday, January 30, 2012

Lucky Number 13


I believe in it.

Sure we often manufacture our own luck by being prepared. Knowledgeable. Smart in how we approach matters.

But sometimes luck shines upon us. Even when we are unprepared. Stupid. Ignorant in our actions.

Today I'm going to share a story of great luck.

Now most stories that involve trips to the Emergency Room are not about luck at all.

I'm proud to say this is not most stories.

It started with the wind. As many things do here in the blustery Texas Panhandle.

A week ago Sunday we had gusts in excess of 70mph here in my region of Texas. Those gusts led to the toppling of a 50 maybe 60  foot Ponderosa Pine.

Being of a frugal nature I volunteered to remove said tree from atop the house it fell on for I figured I could use the firewood next winter.

I had help, good help, and in less than two hours we had the tree cut and loaded onto this trailer.

It was after my help left that the story took a bad turn.

I shall warn you at this point. If you are squeamish sickened by the site of blood turn around now.

So after the tree was on the trailer, and my help had left, I decided to start cutting the pieces into fireplace sized chunks.

With this ...

 For those of you who've never made like Paul Bunyon let me show you the teeth attached to the chain ...

This is where the luck comes into play. for you see when you are cutting wood with a chainsaw and suddenly have the idiotic idea to reach out with your left hand and hold back a branch so you can cut a certain piece it it takes only a split second for the concrete to look like this ...


Yes. I was stupid enough to take my left hand and place it into harms way.

Yes. The saw hit a knot or something and kicked to the side.

Yes. It caught me.

Yes. I yanked it back pretty damn quick.

No. it wasn't quick enough.

For that one brief second I stared looked at my hand and thought wow, it only scratched me

Why? Because there was next to no blood at first.

Of course when I dared take a closer look I could see the base of the pinky finger -- the round ball of the bone where it met and rotated inside the cup-like joint of my hand.

It's never good to see internal workings of your skeletal structure so I calmly, yes without uttering a single curse word walked inside and rinsed it off. Then i called my wife because sadly my truck died earlier in the week thanks to a faulty alternator. i instructed the kids to get their shoes on and we waited for Jennifer to abruptly end her shopping at TJ Maxx so she could drive me to the ER.

It was while sitting in the ER, I first had the thought. Hey this is gonna make a good blog post.

And when I took the first picture of my small but deep wound. 


Now as far as chainsaw accidents go mine is VERY minor.

And it wasn't long before the doc came in toting this ...

Yes, a tackle box.

And he stitched me up with what I'm pretty sure was some Stren 20 pound test.

 As I laid there I couldn't help but notice the light above me looked  a lot like a startled Pinocchio

And I left with some fancy purple wrapping.

And then last night, as I lay in bed quite saddened by the fact the numbing agent had given up the ghost, I couldn't help but think that the 13 stitches I had on both the inside and outside of my hand where quite lucky.

At least I can still count to ten, and wave hello with either hand.

And for a chainsaw accident ... that is pretty damn lucky.


Lissa! said...

I saw these and said 'Dear God' outloud. Then showed it to Randy, who said 'Yep' like he saw it everyday!! Boys are dumb.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You are one lucky bastard. No more chain saws for you! You've used up your chain saw luck now. I'm glad it wasn't worse (not as glad as you are though, I'm sure).

Anonymous said...

Travis' wife says:

I knew when he called me and had decided that he needed to go to the er by was bad. He is very lucky that he has all of his hand. I am glad because that wood will smell so good in the fire place!

alex keto said...

I'd tell you about the time I played with blackpowder and wound up with a hand wrapped in gauze, but I'll leave it for another time.

Lyzzydee said...

Travis you need to protect your precious typing fingers!! hope it heals soon without too much pain.

Old Kitty said...


Step away from all things sharp and saw-like! Good grief!

Take care

Akum said...

Dude you are lucky... stay safe bro!

G. B. Miller said...

Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor? Is that you?

Curiously, I saw an episode of Ax Men over the weekend and it showed one guy who sliced up his forearm with the chainsaw that he was carrying by the blade slipped from his hands.

On the bright side though, you got a mini paid vacation from work.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Holy crap, Travis. You do realize that if you cut off fingers, it's going to be damn hard to type. Right? I have half a mind to wring your neck. But then I realize how many stupid things I've done and got away with. So... Glad you're okay and got to keep all your fingers. Heal fast so you can get back to work. ;o)

Melissa Amateis said...

Wow, wow, wow. I am just glad it wasn't worse.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ouch, dude. Be careful.

Reb said...

I knew when I saw the photo of the limbs still attached to the trunk, that that was what you had done! Glad you are okay, but get some help to remove the rest of the limbs...and maybe just a sharp axe! Luck like that only goes so far after all.

Eric said...

Travis, don't make me come down there and slap you around. You have a book tour coming up and you're supposed to be visiting Colorado soon. If you go and cut off a limb (human, not tree)...well anyway. I'm very glad you're okay bud. Next time avoid doing anything dangerous with a chainsaw, particularly after everyone else has left.

jjdebenedictis said...

That is indeed lucky for a chainsaw accident. Glad you're going to be okay!

Deborah Elliott-Upton said...

If you just wanted to wear purple, it would have been okay to just do it. On a personal note, most of the men I know have a similar story...chainsaws are like candy to men. I have heard exactly none such stories about this sort of thing happening to women...

Angie Ledbetter said...

I just read a great article in the AMA magazine that said lettuce consumption aids in wound healing. ;) But seriously, glad it wasn't worse!

tera said...

Ha ha! I love creative people. You're like, oh it's a chainsaw wound but, seriously - the cool part was the light that looked like Pinocchio! And that I thought to take pictures!

You rock.
Hope your hand is okay. :)

Phats said...

ha wow! I am the same way I believe in luck

Barrie said...

I had to scroll quickly through the photos. One of the many reasons I'm not a doc.