Tuesday, October 09, 2007

When Gardening Turns Dangerous

Most of the time, gardening is very therapeutic. Even on days when I overexert myself (predictably related to me getting out the garden shovel), and return from the garden sweaty from head to toe, I know that the time spent in the plants and dirt and sunshine has done wonders for calming my spirit, lowering my blood pressure, and strengthening my heart and muscles. Gardening, to those who enjoy it, is one of the most rewarding activities for maintaining health and happiness.

Andertoons cartoonBut at times it can turn hazardous. I found out for myself, in my own small but distinct way, as I was weeding underneath one of my rose bushes in July. I suddenly felt a sharp pain in the back of the joint of my little finger. I was wearing gloves at the time, so pulled them off and looked for the thorn. Nothing obvious. I remember thinking at the time, what an irony it was, since I really don't have much fondness for roses in the first place, and have only 4 or 5 bushes which I either salvaged or bought on clearance ($1 is a hard price to resist).

That evening, after I had washed off my hands, I could see a very small spot in the skin where the puncture had occurred. So I took out a needle, and made a serious attempt to search for the thorn. Unfortunately, it was my right hand, so I was working with a handicap, using my left to poke around. The thorn was pretty close to skin colour, and went straight in, leaving little sign. No luck. So I decided to leave it, and see if it worked itself out eventually.

More than 11 weeks later of regular pain when bending or touching the finger or trying to wear gloves (I cut the little finger off my usual pair of gardening gloves, so I could continue to wear them), prayer, and two more serious attempts at digging out the thorn, I was finally successful tonight. I wish I could take a photo of it, but it would be too small (approx 1 mm) to show up well. But the relief I feel is so great, I knew I had to share this moment, even though it means working even later tonight (anyone following my blog and/or gardening painting project will note the infrequency of either lately!).

A big thanks to Mark Anderson, whose "Andertoons" have brought me many chuckles over the years, as I have enjoyed his "Daily Cartoon" on the sidebar of my blog. He generously provided the cartoon which is shown here. To view more of his cartoons and to order cartoons for presentations or cool merchandise, visit his Andertoons site.

1 comment:

Owin & Irena said...

11 weeks of pain! I would have gone crazy. I got a splinter on my palm a few weekends ago during a garden clean up. I picked and poked at it endlessly until my husband yanked it out with some tweezers.
Sweet relief -- for us both!
Cheers
Irena

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