Did I tell you I’m a one handed carpenter?
Well, I have two hands but my left hand, although still attached, is pretty much worthless. In case I haven’t told you, I will briefly recap how this happened. The only reason I mention this is that it’s relevant to my story as a future carpenter and furniture builder.
Several years ago when I was a heavy equipment operator, I had a bad accident. While working on a brand new back-hoe, digging-in a new electrical line, I noticed some leaking hydraulic oil on a new hose located on the back hoe. I stopped and wiped off the oil with a rag and at that exact moment, the hydraulic hose exploded, injecting hydraulic fluid into my thumb and hand.
My thumb and hand sustained serious and substantial injury. After eight surgeries and several hospitalizations over the course of a year, I was left with an almost non-functioning left hand. Besides the unbearable pain, I had four very long and ugly scars, a deformed thumb and several other complications with the hand. One is extreme sensitivity to hot and cold; the worst being the cold. When left unprotected in the slightest cold, it freezes almost instantly.
I live in Minnesota; enough said.
The hand and thumb with its unsightly scars is a constant reminder of the shame and embarrassment I feel to this day. I always have it covered or tucked in a sweatshirt pocket. I try never show the hand in public.
In short I am still ashamed.
Unable to move or bend the thumb, the hand has no real functionality. It is constantly throbbing with pain. I can really only use it as hook-like appliance because of its severe limitations. Picture a grasping claw that has no clamping strength.
Arthritis has really taken its toll on the hand and fingers. Permanent swelling, pain and sensitivity persist. A pocket of hydraulic fluid about the size of a marble is trapped in the web of the hand. The doctors tell me that this needs to be removed someday.
After all the hell I have gone through? “Over my dead body!” I tell them.
I am not mentioning this because I want pity. I had enough self-pity the first year of my recovery. I mention it because it permanently changed my life and ended my career in the construction field as a heavy equipment operator.
After substantial rehabilitation and learning to live with the pain, I enrolled in college to train for a new career. I began my retraining with a major in business and as a Para-legal.
I hated ever minute of it.
I am a farm boy. I grew up on a farm and have operated equipment of some sort all my life. I loved being around construction and all the trades.
Again, the only reason I mention this is that it’s relevant to my story as a future carpenter and furniture builder.
Especially, when I hire a crooked carpenter to help me with a project and he disappears with all my money and never finishes the job while leaving me and my client with a huge mess.
Oh the irony of a “crooked carpenter”.
(Protected by copy write, all rights reserved ,D.Jerzak 2-26-2007)