This story is being told by request.  That said, the topic is a safer one for me to write about than the post(s) I had actually already started, so I will take the request as a sign to abandon my previous blogpostular direction and instead commit to 1’s and o’s this cautionary tale of a self-inflicted wound.  As usual, I was going to over-write in the retelling of the story, but it occurred to me that the original telling of the story was likely still available in my gmail, and I was right.  Actually, this is an email that went to several friends after I wrote the original reply to my sister’s husband, who had only heard about the event via my dad.  Here it is, from late 2004, written in Franklin, TN, after having returned from rural Louisiana:


date Mon, Nov 29, 2004 at 2:30 PM
subject so I won’t have to tell the full story again…

This is the story of how I visited the Jackson Parish Hospital ER on Thanksgiving night, and followed up with an English-speaking doctor today upon my return to civilization.

Yes, I am a certified dumb-ass, and I now owe the hospital 100+ bucks to pay for the x-rays that prove it.


>From: my sister’s husband
>Sent: Monday, November 29, 2004 1:48 PM
>To: email address I used to have
>Subject: how’s the hand?
>Just checking to see how your hand is doing?
>It’s slightly heavier than the other, and still more painful.  The doctor here verified what the ER doc in thriving Jonesboro said: removing it would likely cause more nerve damage than was caused by putting it there in the first place.  Unless it becomes infected or causes noticeably reduced range of motion, his strong inclination is to leave it there.  He said it may be weeks, months, or years before it stops causing pain when pressure is applied (canoeing, for instance), but that his opinion was that I’d rather that than run the risk of a severed nerve during its removal.

Just to let you have some info that I was unable to find on the Internet: he said lead poisoning **in adults** over something like this is extremely unlikely unless it is in or near your cerebrospinal fluid or your brain or your lungs.  He did say that if I was a child, they’d more strongly consider its removal.

Also, just to tell the whole story since I doubt my dad told it 100%:
[My ex]’s dad gave the pellet gun to [my son] years ago, after deciding it was broken enough to be a safe toy for him to play Army with.  I have tried to make it fire several times over the years, as have [my son] and [my ex]’s dad and brother.  [My son] had already pumped it and pulled the trigger several times (once with his finger on the barrel as I walked into the room, before I could stop him) on this trip before I got to it.  All of this was proof to me that there was no way it was going to fire.  So, I decided to see if it was compressing any air at all, and when I stupidly pointed it at my (dominant) hand and pulled the trigger, a pellet fired into my hand.  I strongly recommend you don’t ever do this.

Sorry we missed you guys this time, but I hope yours was uneventful, comparatively speaking.

It is now safe to turn off your computer.
-Don’t rock, wobble.