Thursday, 13 June 2013


  Here is a story that was twenty eight years in the making. It isn't about making some lovely furniture but I am sure you will enjoy it. Some names have been changed to protect the innocent.

  A while ago my half brother Raúl and I had gone to Oakville to load some oak, cherry and walnut planks into a truck for delivery to my place. They were all about 8 feet long and 2 1/2 inches thick and averaged 10 inches in width. While loading I dropped a plank on it's edge landing beside my right foot and it then tipped and knocked against my leg. "Wow, that was close", I said to my toes. But my leg was struck by the edge of the board. " I'm good" said Leg which was unfazed and took it in stride, just another knock to go with the many that came before.

  After putting away the two thousand board feet of lumber at home that Saturday afternoon I realized there was a small lump on my leg that stung. Must have been that board I dropped. Just a bump, another knock for the tough guy I thought. A few days later the feeling went away and I forgot about it.

Fast forward 4 weeks.

  Raúl , (who is actually Paul and hasn't been innocent for a long time so I will no longer hide his name) and I were harvesting some firewood on a lovely spring day. A Saturday to be specific. We were enjoying the fresh air and sunshine mixed with the loud bark of chainsaws, the swirling blizzard of wood chips and the heady scent of two stroke engine exhaust. Ahhhh...... heavenly.

  As I was splitting and stacking the last of the wood the next day an area about 2 inches above my right ankle swelled up into a hard lump. It was sore to the touch giving me a shock like a wasp's sting. My work boots were rubbing on it and lightning bolts of pain were shooting through my leg. Probably too much working on Saturday I thought. The lump should subside when I relax for the evening.

  Monday night came and the lump was still there and sorer and larger than ever. Shannon talked me into going to Emergency.

  After a couple of hours at Emergency Dr. Whasthismane ruled out a clot but a further investigation was deemed necessary.  I went back two days later for an ultrasound of the lump.

  Dr. Ooh (again protecting the innocent) performed the ultrasound. His words were, " Oh.... Oh boy....... what is that? How did that get there?" I was almost off the exam table trying to look past him to view the monitor when he backed away and said, " Look. How did you do that?"

" I dunno..", was the best I could come up with.

"Head to emerg and maybe they can cut that foreign body out for you", said Dr. Ooh.

"Thanks Dr. Ooh", I muttered and headed out into the hallway to make my way back to triage.

  I ducked out of emergency and phoned Shannon (her real name) to let her know what was going on and I would call when they had the thing out.

After triage I was settled into an exam room. Not long after the doctor in residency came in. Dr. Beautiful (yes she is really beautiful) asked me some questions then explained to me that she would freeze the area around the swelling and attempt to extricate the foreign body from my leg right after she returned from conference with the doctor in charge of the ER.

  I began to think it would have been a good idea to get a coffee before I ended up in this room. No sooner had I finished that thought when Shannon walked through the door. Gotta love her. I guess she couldn't resist seeing them cut into me. I love her. I was so happy to see her and she could go for coffee!

  Shannon did so and we were just starting to enjoy our cups of joe when Dr. Beautiful returned.
I introduced her to Shannon and then the doctor went right to work. At the first flash of the scalpel Shannon sprang out of her chair and took a picture with her Iphone to send to our friend Chris. Well Chris just loves that kind of stuff.

   Shannon asked me if I wanted to see the picture. I declined. I am not good with the sight of my own blood. Just the thought of it was enough to give me tunnel vision and start the roaring sound in my ears. But I fought it off after a little sweating.

  After some attempts to find something inside my leg Dr. Beautiful came up with nothing. She did strike something a couple of times but just couldn't drag it out. She then brought in Dr. Incharge to see if he could help. He also came up empty but being a man with years of wisdom suggested we do a CT scan and go back in with the scan as a visual guide. "Sometimes the little things are the most difficult", he said.

  I was all for that. Now I could get back to coffee with Shannon while I awaited the scan.

  Following the CT scan the radiologist and doctor were having an animated conversation. This might be more than met the eye I thought.

  Unfortunately Shannon had to be leave for an appointment before the doctors returned.

  After a lengthy wait Dr. Incharge and Dr. Beautiful returned from a three ambulance ordeal. They informed me that the scan showed the object in question had entered near the ankle bone at an upward angle suggesting I had stepped into or on something. They figured it was a metal object by the looks of the jagged edges and it's thickness.

How the hell did that get in there? I am sure I would remember an object that long piercing my body. I began to think that maybe men in black suits had implanted a device in my leg and erased my memory afterwards. I wonder what the device would do?

  As they advanced with scalpel and clamps for the second time I suddenly remembered that I had at one time put my foot through a plate glass window on a folding overhead garage door.

A few minutes later Dr. Beautiful said, "Got it".

  The picture shows what they extracted. Not the penny but the 1/8" thick shard of glass.
A little souvenir from days gone by.

  Truly amazing how the human body can harbour an object. The glass has weathered the years much better than I. Disappointed about the Men in Black though.

  It was a great relief to have that removed and before I could leave a nurse came by and asked if she could see the glass and take it around for the others to see. I wish the ER moved as fast as the news does in there.
  "No problem, have fun with it", I had to find a rest room and get rid of that coffee anyway.

thanks for reading.

I still don't trust those black suits they are sneaky.