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Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017

I almost made the news yesterday, but not for good reasons.

Posted Sunday, May 15, 2011, at 9:34 AM

The headline might have gone "Local weekend farmer dies after freak accident while gathering wood."

"he was found by his wife less than 100 yards from their home, bled to death from being pierced with a tree limb to one of his femoral arteries."

I was pulling some tree tops, left over from the selective logging we had done over the past few months into an area, where I cut them up for firewood.

As I was passing a tree I had previously drug into the area I brushed up against some limbs with the tractor. While they were pushing up against the side of the tractor, all looked to be going well until.....

In literally a blink of an eye, a limb snapped and changed direction. Two smaller limbs about the size of a wrist snapped into the cab area of the tractor and immediately pinned my right leg against the side while the other was head straight at my groin and femoral arteries.

Because the right leg was pinned, I could not get out of the seat. Trying to step on the clutch was blocked by this sharp, cracked limb moving quickly into my groin.

I have had enough angioplasties to know where they access the femoral artery in the groin and this limb was already pressing against. I stood up as much as I could with my right leg continuing to be pierced by the other limb.

That slight move changed the penetration by about an inch and the limb pushed into my leg as the tractor kept moving forward. The tractor fender finally came in contact with the limb and broke it, relieving the pressure. (maybe a period of 7-10 seconds)

I was able to reach the clutch and I immediately ripped open my jump suit to see if I was gushing blood. The bleeding was minimal so I knew I had dodged the big one. Then the pain took over, but I put the tractor back into gear to finish pulling the tree where I wanted it. (crazy practicality)

Getting back up the hill to the house was a mix of pain and nausea, but I am here now, writing about this so all worked out well. Of course, I walk like an extremely saddle sore rookie, but I will take that.

Lesson learned? I should have stopped when I could not get the chainsaw started, but these cool overcast days sure are nice to work in. I am thinking about trying the chainsaw this morning, but.....

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If it were football season, I know my choice, but at least I can get some things listed on eBay.

Hmmm, if Debbi ties the two together, she might take my tractor keys away. Don't say anything!

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, May 15, 2011, at 9:37 AM

OMG. I am glad you dodged the arrow. We need to keep all our good people alive.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Sun, May 15, 2011, at 4:12 PM

And my hubby wonders why I worry about him if I don't see or hear from him for long periods of time when he out on his tractor. There are times I think the tractors have mind control power over men, enticing them on when they know they should reconsider an idea. They bring out the boy even in the best of men. :) Good to hear all went well, do be careful though.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Sun, May 15, 2011, at 6:59 PM

You are right about dodging the "arrow". Two of them.

Keep your instincts well tuned wonderwhy. Hubby should be pleased you are aware and concerned. Deb picked me up off the ground last year when I passed out using the chainsaw.

I knew I was iffy, so I stopped for a while but as soon as I started again the "iffiness" returned. I shut it down and barely got across a fence to the side of the road, but cold go no farther.

Debbi noticed that the saw had not been running for a while and came by to see why I was slacking off. (just kidding) My blood pressure had dropped way low.

Had to make a quick trip to the emergency room before the Titan's game, but got back in time for kick-off.

Young folks, Take care of your body NOW. You will need the benefits later.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, May 16, 2011, at 7:09 AM

By the way, the healing seems to be progressing but I am not sure I will be ready for Speedo season.

Come to think of it, if the Lord thought I was going to wear a Speedo this year, he probably rigged those branches to get me. Even if it was just here on the farm!

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, May 16, 2011, at 7:13 AM

It just goes to show that life can change in a split second, and how the decisions we make can make profound changes in our life, no mater how trivial those decisions seem at the time

-- Posted by docudrama on Tue, May 17, 2011, at 8:41 AM

Extremely true docudrama. Extremely.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, May 17, 2011, at 9:38 AM

The bruises are starting to recede and so is the pain.

I have not cut one stick of wood since last Saturday, nor been on the tractor.

Maye Sunday.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 20, 2011, at 8:52 AM

Did you get checked out and get the puncture treated?

No doubt,you're up to date on tetanus shots and the like but puncture wounds are tricky things.

I'd hate to think of you getting in trouble from nerve damage,lacerated tissues or contracting Dutch Elm disease,Chestnut Blight or what-have-you because you were so stoic that you didn't do enough follow-up.

Back in the day,folks would just put cobwebs or coal oil into such an injury then go on and plow the back forty.

I prefer our era of modern technology and chemistry in tandem with Nature's remedies and

the strength of the spirit.

Take care and heal well.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, May 20, 2011, at 4:43 PM

I have had a desire to speak Dutch lately but I think it is of the oak dialect.

You guessed it, I just spread some Moose lard on it and went back to work (at the desk).

Actually I did put some Chinese medicine on it to reducing the bruising. It is made from soaking a "special" root in whiskey. I have heard of people drinking it, but it looks and smells too nasty for that.

I have some ginseng whiskey for that. Debbi's mother and I sip on that when we are playing poker with "the boys".

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, May 21, 2011, at 7:24 AM


I am so glad you are ok, and hope for a speedy recovery.

-- Posted by cats4me on Sun, May 29, 2011, at 1:26 AM

Thanks for the well-wishes. The right leg's cuts have just about healed, although sensitive.

The left leg had more muscle damage than cuts and it still has very sensitive welts and one large bump, but they seem to be getting better each day, so I went out to cut some wood yesterday.

Now my chainsaw is dying, AGAIN, but this time it may be a fatal ailment. I have been holding off buying a new chain, since I think it will eventually just stop.

After it runs for a while, it starts having slowdowns and eventually just stalls. When it does that, it will not start again until it has cooled off.

The cause for the overheating may be my fiddling with the carburetor adjustments. I had to fiddle to get it started the other day. I will go back to the basics again and think it out.

In the field, I tend to forget exactly what I've done, so fiddling some more can just make it worse.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, May 29, 2011, at 9:36 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.