Did you know drill bits are sharp?

I KNEW, but somehow I’d never put that into context with human skin.

Ooops.

Yesterday I was attempting to drill out the holes for the hose hookup and over-flows in my new rain barrels.  Discovered that the 3/4″ bit was just a bit too small, and the 7/8″ bit was just a bit too big.  But in the process had a bit of a error……

In the process of drilling I had apparently not tightened the drill down to hold the 7/8″ bit properly and when I went to pull it out of the hole, I apparently did so at a slight angle, and the bit got stuck in the hole and came free from the drill.

Muttering rude words at myself I braced myself with my right hand and yanked the drill bit with my left.

I spare you a picture of the un-bandaged cut, but I promise no stitches were required, luckily.

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Basically I managed to take off a nice layer of skin for close to three inches down the inside of my lower arm.  Missed, or didn’t go deep enough to hit, everything important there.  And yes, I’m up to date on my tetanus shot.

Washed it out, slathered on antibiotic cream, and Band-aids (yes, brand name ones, I have horrid reactions to the adhesives commonly used in such and the brand name ones are usually marginally less likely to cause me to break out in a rash).  And remembered that I was scheduled to work a full shift at work on Thursday (today as I’m typing).

See, big box stores like the one I work for try really really hard to be as clean as physically possible, but in reality are actually really dirty places.  ESPECIALLY when you have saws of all sorts running, and carry dirt and chemicals and all sorts of other things for sale.  Never mind the occasional bird in the rafters.  Which, btw, means bird shit on (and occasionally in) boxes.  Trying to keep everything spotless in a situation like that would require a literal army of cleaners who were willing to climb into the stacks, 20ft up, and wipe down everything almost daily.

Its hard enough trying to keep your average papercut from getting infected in that sort of environment.  Something like this?  Crap.  Digging through the first-aid kit I discovered a rather major failing.  I have regular Band-aids in all sorts of sizes and shapes.  I have telfa pads, gauze, medical tape, and vet wrap.  But I didn’t have any big bandages of an appropriate size to cover this sort of scratch without having to wrap my whole arm.  And since I’d rather NOT go into work looking like an attempted-suicide survivor the whole gauze and vet-wrap option wasn’t my first choice.

So I got in the car and drove to the local pharmacy to look at bandaging options.  Discovered that “x-large” does NOT mean the same thing from brand to brand.  While the over-all bandage sizes were all within 1/2″ of each other, the actual portion that covers the injury varies by AT LEAST that much in size.  My little scratch there was long enough that I had to pick and choose to find something that’d cover it all the way.  The Band-aid brand ones weren’t going to work.  Crap.

Nexcare’s waterproof bandages in xlarge were big enough, and sealed all the way around so that hopefully I’ll be less likely to get grime into it.

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And maybe, just maybe, I won’t have to explain to everyone that, no, actually, I wasn’t trying to commit suicide with a drill bit…..

But just in case I also bought a box of Curad’s Performance Series xlarge bandages in “assorted colors”.  Maybe a bright purple bandage will freak people out less.

 

*all products mentioned in this post were bought by me for me

4 Comments

  1. Comment by Mrs. S.:

    The Nexcare waterproof bandages are good; they stay stuck quite well. But if you can, switch to something else once you come home from work. I have found if the Nexcare waterproof bandages are applied to the same place repeatedly or kept stuck to the same place for a long time, they tend to peel off skin where the adhesive has been in contact with the skin. Hope it heals quickly without causing any collateral damage.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      Yah, I pulled it off as soon as I got home last night, and noticed the skin was peeling. And this morning the area where the adhesive was has turned red and irritated. I’ll have to try the Curad ones and see if they make a difference.

  2. Comment by bogie:

    Drill bits are tricky to the brain – they are round, so appear “soft”, but the brain forgets they have sharp edges cut into the round shape. Next time I get a drill bit stuck, I’ll have to remember this as a precaution!