Monday, March 28, 2011

Don't Try This At Home.

As I sit here typing this post I am looking at the second toe of my right foot. It has turned a very interesting shade of purple. Why is it that color? Before I tell you, I have a piece of advice for you. If on your bucket list you have "run over your toe with a pallet jack," trust me and scratch that from the list. (If you don't know what a pallet jack is, look at the picture.) It is not the first time that I have done that. No, I did not tell anyone at work. It is not broke and I am not the type who runs to a doctor every time he has a little boo-boo. Even though it would not have not cost me anything to go, I do not see the sense in making my employer pay. My toe will be sore for awhile, but it is nothing that I can't handle.

I am not accident prone, but things do happen. I have gone to the doctor three times in all the time that I have worked retail. The first was when I was working in receiving at Kmart. A stack of bleach fell and some splashed in my eye. It was a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The second time I was still at Kmart but working in a different store. I was stocking and when I bent down to put the merchandise out my head hit the corner of the shelf and I started bleeding. I went into the restroom to check it out. I had a cyst on my head which was the spot that hit and was bleeding. Since I could see the cyst I grabbed it and pulled it out. The reason for seeing the doctor was to make sure that there would be no infection from removing that. The doctor said it looked fine but the cyst might grow back. (To stay on subject I will talk a little more about that at the end of this post.) The third time I was working for my current employer. I was pushing a pallet of meat into the cooler. Pallets come in shrink-wrapped but this one was wrapped poorly. A 50 pound case of hamburger fell off and hit me in the head. I was looking down because it was a narrow area and I was guiding the pallet in. I had a severe headache and after about an hour I was getting a little dizzy, so I figured I had better get it checked out. The doctor found what I have known all along, there was nothing there.

Working in retail there are always little things that happen, but rarely anything serious. When I was receiving manager, my motto was if you haven't bled at least once during the day, you aren't doing it right. Most of what happens are cuts, either from paper or using the box cutters which have razor blades. The cuts from box cutters are 95% carelessness or overconfidence.

My toe was hurt because I wasn't paying attention. I had pulled a pallet out of the freezer. Had I been looking behind me I would have noticed a cart. When I ran into it I turned around to see what it was. The pallet kept rolling and my toe paid the price. Oh well, as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. When my toe heals I do not plan on trying this again to see if it is stronger.

The doctor was correct about the cyst, it did come back. I had had it for years but never had it checked. There was no pain involved, although the cyst would get larger and then shrink. That is probably why it opened when I hit it. I had a habit of running my fingers over it while I was reading online. One night when I was feeling it it felt like there was an opening on top of it. I started squeezing on it and got a little blood but mainly a clear liquid. I kept working on it and managed to pull it out again. That was nine years ago and it has not returned.


Travis said...

Ouch, sorry to hear that. I used to work with pallet jacks quite a bit myself, and I avoided major injury with them. Mine were always of the not stopping it in time and getting crushed a little bit by the weight.

Now blades...I've cut myself with so many different types of blades at my various jobs I've lost count.

Vol-E said...

What really fascinated me about this post was your description of, how you say, self-examination? That's neat. You feel comfortable enough with your body to participate in your own diagnosis & treatment. So many people are really squeamish about that sort of thing, and surprisingly, doctors don't do more to encourage them. I've been asked by MD's "How ever did you discover that cyst?" My stock answer: "I was taking inventory." Duh.

Hope that toe mends quickly.

The Angels In Order said...

Awesome story. I worked for a wholesale vendor for several years after HS and can relate to all the bumps and bruises. Good times!