Prison Pete

Saturday, May 17, 2008
  Broken Leg.
I am back at real work. Computer programming!!! Yeah. I received your latest letter and was warmed by the thoughts you had about getting our correspondence up to a more frequent basis.

As I write this letter I am now two weeks and two days on the road to recovery. Recovery from what you might ask. One broken right femur. I had some screws and a plate installed on my right leg, just below the ball joint. The initial surgeon's consult said I might need a partial hip replacement but that proved to be unnecessary. Thank God for that.

You might be asking how an otherwise health male of 52 could break a bone without suffering any direct trauma. That is what had the doctors worried too.

But as the pain set into the deeper recesses of my gray matter, I remembered an incident with the table saw at maintenance. We are talking at least eight months ago.

I was putting some dado grooves in 3/4" plywood for a custom cabinet I was building. The cabinet was about 36" deep and high and about 8” wide. There were four shelves. So I was cutting 36" long grooves in the two 36 x 35 side pieces to hold the shelves. In other words, the open part of the cabinet was the 36" high by 8" wide, with the shelves going back 36 inches.

At one point I lost control of the wood and it came spinning back at me, catching me in the right leg, right below the hip. It stung like hell at the time but like someone else just recently told me about his injury, I was too proud to notify any staff members. Sometimes it is staff, sometimes the wife.

So what the general consensus is I must have given myself a partial fracture, which did not get worse, but was never able to heal. About three weeks ago I finally started heading out to the Rec yard to do some speed walking. After three days, the bone finally gave way and hence I ended up in the hospital.

It seems entirely possible at this point that I was walking around with a broken femur for over eight months!

I am mobile now, with minimal weight bearing on the right leg and a pair of crutches as my constant companion.
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