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Back on board with a long-winded mishap tale of woe!

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  • Back on board with a long-winded mishap tale of woe!

    Hi folks - first an apology for being AWOL from the forum for a good while for a number of reasons which I’ll not go into apart from saying that time seems to pass me by very quickly since I retired last year. The good news is that my family and I seem to have escaped the worst of Covid and are in good health which is what counts the most these days. Having said this I have had a recent self inflicted medical mishap which I'll share with you in this long-winded post in my normal flippant way, so here goes.

    My last posts several months back focused on an extension I made to my existing small workshop which I finished towards the end of May. During June and early August I spent 6 weeks in the USA in Simi Valley, CA, to sell my BMW motorbike and, as it turned out, to take an 11 day tour of Central California - more about which I’ll post later. I returned to my Central Mexico home just at the start of our rainy season.

    When I built
    the extension I cleaned out the galvanized sheet metal rainwater guttering of my old shop which over the years of neglected maintenance had accumulated a couple of inches of depth of fine dust sediment. What I didn’t know or notice at the time was that underneath this sediment patches of the guttering had began to corrode leaving it with numerous pinholes. The first large rainstorm we had brought this to my attention. The ‘cleaned’ gutter leaked like a sieve causing a stream of water to run through my shop floor. No damage was done to my shop equipment or contents but the constant need to move things around to avoid the falling water and clean up after each new deluge was frustrating. It was obvious that the best cause of action was to replace the guttering but, as it was an interior guttering between the base of the inclined shop roof and an adjacent house boundary wall, to do this I needed to lift up the existing roof to remove the old guttering and insert a new one. Since I had to do this I decided to replace the metalic roof altogether with one using an exterior grade plywood base covered with asphalt carpeting. I calculated that I needed a couple of rain free days to do this.Normally, here in Central Mexico our rainy season is brief lasting at most 4 to 6 weeks but this year it dragged on and on through to the end of September until finally 3 weeks back, good weather was forecast for at least the following week giving me a chance to attack the task in hand. This is when the fun began!

    Being the stubborn, independent guy that I am I decided to take on this task alone. I started by removing several sheets of the corrugated sheeting and lifted the first almost complete sheet of plywood onto the roof to drop it into place over the hole I had just created. Its time like this when its advisable to remember one of the principles of Sir Issac Newton’s law of gravity, namely -what goes up, will come down! Rather than go into the details of what happened next suffice to say that as I was up on the roof manipulating the first almost full sheet of heavy ¾” plywood into place I misplaced my left foot on the inclined roof and stepped on a piece of underlying polystyrene sheet insulation and immediately plummeted downwards through the hole in the roof into my shed. As I fell I was able to grasp a structural support of the roof framework with my right hand but my left hand had crashed down onto the top edge of the exterior brick wall of the shed leaving me half dangling into my shed. As soon as I looked at my left hand I knew I was in trouble. My hand was twisted about 45 degrees to the wrist and there was a large swelling at the base of my forearm with a nasty looking and large bloody scrape. As I couldn’t place any weight on the damaged wrist I couldn’t drop down into the shed so instead, using my right hand I heaved myself back up onto the roof and clutching my left forearm shuffled across the roof of my shed extension on my backside to reach my ladder and somehow managed to gingerly descend it to ground level. I then thrust my wrist under an outside cold water faucet in an attempt to reduce any further swelling then made my way into the house to retrieve a long bandage to bind up my lower forearm wrist and hand as tight as I could to prevent any further movement.

    Norma started back to office based work at the University that same week so I called her to tell her I was in trouble and needed to take a trip to the Emergency wing of our local Social Security hospital. Once we got to the hospital I was immediately shipped to the X-ray department. The subsequent X-ray showed I had fractured both my forearm bones, the ulna and the radius, just prior to where they meet up with the wrist bones which themselves were twisted out of position. Next stop was with a trauma surgeon who after studying the X-ray told me I had 2 options; 1) surgery, or 2) fitting me with a plaster cast using what he called ‘tratamiento minero’ – translated means ‘miner’s treatment’. He then said that if I needed surgery I had to go to Mexico City to be treated. Despite not fully understanding the meaning of ‘miner’s treatment’ I didn’t want the hassle of traveling to Mexico City so I opted for the plaster cast route. Note here – Norma was born in a nearby small town in the hills which in the past had a number of silver mines and what was the local hospital for injured miners is now a museum.

    The miner’s treatment – To prepare me for applying the plaster cast the doctor first securely tied my thumb and forefinger with a loop of bandage which he used to hang my hand from a drip stand. He then filled a bucket with water which I imagined was to wet the length of plaster bandage in before he applied it. Wrong! His assistant lady doctor then hung the heavy bucket of water from a bandage wrapped around my upper left arm. At this moment I felt an extreme discomfort on my wrist! The doctor then started to apply the plaster bandage from above my elbow towards my wrist. He then said something to the lady doctor who immediately placed a small roll of bathroom tissue in my mouth and told me to bite on it. In the same instance the trauma doctor pushed down on my upper arm to set the fractured bones into place. Boy did I jump! The pain lasted no more than a second or two but it was excruciating causing me to double up my backbone and practically levitate from the couch to the ceiling whilst shouting profanities in both Spanish and English. Thinking this was the end of my suffering I gingerly settled back on the couch when the trauma octor said that he had nearly finished and just had to manipulate my hand back into position. Bite! he told me and once again I doubled up to reach the ceiling! So much for the miner’s treatment!!!

    A few minutes later, once the plaster had set, and I’d stopped sweating a cold sweat I was back at the X-ray dept to verify if the trauma doctor had done his job. Following an evaluation of the X-ray the doctor declared that everything was in place and I was good to go. Boy did I breathe a sigh of relief, No way did I want to go through that procedure again, better a trip to Mexico City! Call me a wimp if you must but I can tell you that seeing actors on the TV having bones set is very different to the real thing!

    Its now 2 weeks since the accident and I probably will need to have the cast in place for another 4 weeks. A friend helped me out by putting a temporary patch on the hole in the roof and my shed is back to being almost waterproof. Fortunately it hasn’t rained during the past 2 weeks and probably won’t rain again until I’m back in business. Having to suffer the use of a sling to support what is a heavy plaster cast is a pain in the neck, literally. One handed, one finger typing on my PC is also frustrating plus one can only binge watch so much Netflix and Prime Video and read ebook novels but probably my biggest frustration is constantly listening to Norma chastise me everytime I complain about my discomfort for being on the roof in the first place at my age! Really? Its only by undertaking such tasks that I keep myself active and stimulated. Life would be extremely boring otherwise!!!

    For the No Photos, Didn’t Happen crowd!

    fractureo2.jpg fracture01.jpg fracture03.jpg fracture05.jpg


    Hoping to be more involved in the forum going forwards
    Last edited by jim_mex; 10-30-2021, 01:04 PM.
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Post data:

    Before undergoing the 'miner's treatment' ordeal I had to have my normally tight fitting wedding ring removed from my badly swollen finger. Can anyone guess how it was removed?
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein


    • #3
      Hopefully, cut off with a ring cutter and NOT a Dremel tool.

      Nope Jim! - nothing so dramatic but cutting it off was contemplated
      Last edited by jim_mex; 10-26-2021, 06:14 PM.
      When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
      Too early to leave, too late to call in.


      • #4
        Ouch! Quite a saga, but as usual, you ended up with a smile on your face. Speedy recovery, my friend, and may your next posted adventure be a tad more upbeat!

        Follow me on my blog:


        • #5
          with a string, i seen that done in the hospital by a dr, RJ

          You got it RJ!
          Last edited by jim_mex; 10-26-2021, 07:55 PM.
          Life Begins @ 190 MPH


          • #6
            Oh my gosh! You sir should NEVER move far away from the ER. Goodness you have had more than your share of misfortune with accidents. Guess it's time to let Norma get her medical degree.

            LOL Linda! - never a truer comment written in jest, but hey, someone has to keep the medics in ER busy.
            I'll pass though on the suggestion for Norma. I prefer to use duct tape and a staple gun when needed!
            Last edited by jim_mex; 10-27-2021, 09:33 AM.
            Linda at


            • #7
              Sorry to hear about your mishap, but glad that you are on the mend.
              Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


              • #8
                Wow.. sorry for the pain.. It is hard to say could have been worse.. I keep reminding my self that I told my mother when she was now my age to stay off ladders. I usually remember that when I am up on the roof......... Stay safe........
                The other John A. Nelson
                I just follow the lines and make sawdust
                on a Seyco ST-21 and a Yellow DW788


                • #9
                  Only our Jim. Your story made me chuckle a little. Sorry. I do have to say Norma has a small point. I can hear my wife saying the same thing if I did it. I guess this means no trip to North Carolina this year. Prayers for a full and speedy recovery.
                  Creator of fine designer sawdust.


                  • #10
                    I guess this means no trip to North Carolina this year.
                    Hi Scott - the trip to your neck of the woods was continually being put off due to your government extending the land border restrictions prohibiting non essential travel by foreigners into the US. Naturally the very day after my accident it was announced that this restriction is going to be relaxed to allow foreigners with proof of vaccination to travel into the US as of Nov. 5th. Since my plaster cast will likely not come off until the end of November this has scuppered my plans for this year. Hopefully I'll be able to reschedule and travel north sometime next spring.

                    Meanwhile, to add salt to the wound Norma is abandoning me tomorrow to travel up to Rocky Mount, NC with her elder sister to spend a couple of days with their younger sister and celebrate Day of the Dead. I'll be hunkered down with Kevin celebrating Day of the Half-Dead!
                    Jim in Mexico

                    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                    - Albert Einstein


                    • #11
                      Thanks to all for your thoughts and best wishes. Hopefully I'll be back creating sawdust in a month or so meanwhile I'm going to try to stay out of trouble. It will be a challenge!!!
                      Jim in Mexico

                      Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                      - Albert Einstein


                      • #12

                        When my son was 7, we were over my aunt’s and he fell out of a tree. He came in the house with his wrist in a “u” shape and said I think I broke my wrist. You think. Both bones. He had to be in a Chinese finger splint to align the bones and cast. 3 tries and 6 hours later everything lined up. Meanwhile, there was a prisoner in the er complaining he had waited 4 hours for treatment. The police officer took him back to jail and told him my son was more important than him and the day shift would bring him back. Don’t know if he made it back or not.

                        “Oxymoron” - Jim staying out of trouble. Glad you are on the mend.
                        Last edited by will8989; 10-28-2021, 11:43 AM.

                        "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital


                        • #13
                          So sorry to hear this. Hope you have a speedy recovery and get back in your shop


                          • #14
                            Glad to hear you are improving. I cringed reading your description of the procedure.
                            "Time to Give Back"


                            • #15
                              OY! My first thought was that you had a motorcycle incident. Glad you are on the mend!
                              RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                              Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                              Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                              And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


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