A Tale of Two Metatarsals

Three days into my apprenticeship as a journeyman carpenter I had an unfortunate incident. For the lack of one nail in the scaffolding I fell from a three-story building, along with my friend. Not only was it the third day of my apprenticeship, it was also the third day of marital bliss. After driving 75 miles to bring me my lunch, my wife pulled up and watched me hit the ground. I landed on a sandhill left by the masons. When I looked up, I was surrounded by my wife and a bunch of strangers, who turned out to be from the neighborhood. They had come running from as far as three blocks away after hearing me scream on my way down to the ground.

My friend Jim bounced off the garage roof on his way down and landed near me, seemingly unhurt. However, my wife drove us both to the hospital for x-rays. I had discomfort in my right foot, while Jim thought he might have had a broken thumb afterall.

After our x-rays, we waited painfully for over an hour before hearing the results. Finally, a doctor came out and said that Jim had a broken thumb but I could go home. As I was getting up to hobble out with my wife’s support, another doctor asked where I thought I was going with two broken metarsals. He told Jim he could go home because he had no broken bones in his hand. The first doctor had gotten it all backwards.

That incident brought my apprenticement to a halt for six weeks with my leg in a cast up to my knee. I spent the summer on disability and fishing, but I couldn’t wait to get back to my job. That painful lesson has kept me safe while remodeling and building additions, decks, and garages in New Braunfels, San Marcos, Wimberley, Kyle, Buda, Spring Branch, and Canyon Lake.



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