Mouse of Pain


I’m been doing home improvement projects lately [finishing off a basement] and have really screwed up my hands. More than ever actually. I recall an accomplished artist describing to me how he stopped his son from rough-housing with him once for fear of injuring his drawing hand. “That’s our family’s bread ‘n butter, son.” he explained. “Pussy.” I thought. Fast forward 15-years where you find me staring at a concrete saw and second-guessing whether to use it. Why? Cause the stress I’d place on my hands would directly effect several freelance jobs I have in. While it’s not as bad as putting a halt to family fun it’s certainly in the same ballpark. The Mr. Bread ‘n Butter story literally pops into my head anytime I hesitated from working with my hands now. It’s like having a cerebral bitching betty. So what could possibly happen, right? How many people lose, say, a whole hand -or arm for that matter, while working on their basement? What are the odds? Well, I dove into the work several times and major injuries are far away. It’s the little stuff that puts an end to the party. Here’s my injury list so far from the past month…

  • Inoperable right-hand for 2-days from various tool stresses. Sledge hammering 6″ concrete did it in.
  • Inoperable thumb following a love tap from a 22 oz. hammer. If you haven’t seen a 22 oz. hammer…you need to.
  • Mild irritation from a 1/8″ opening torn into thumb on right-hand.
  • Limited use of left-hand due to blood blisters and swelling.
  • Inoperable right-hand for 1-day following re-injury from moving three bundles of paired, 8′ drywall from the driveway to the basement in addition to two, 10′ sheets. A stupid decisions -but one instigated by NIN’s “Just Like You Imagine” [a.k.a. track from “300” trailer] playing on my Shuffle
  • Conclusion: Be a bit more careful. The days of restaurant work and warehouse stocking are long over.
    Reflection: Maybe, jus’ maybe, I’m being a bit whiney
    Noteworthy: Find me another artist who can carry paired drywall bundles the same distance in 90-degree heat and ink shortly after.

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