Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gardening: A Contact Sport?

Nine days ago I was dragging a wire trellis to the garden shed when I tripped on it and fell splat forward. The trellis banged off the top of my ankle instantly raising a golfball-sized swelling. This was two hours before I was to get on a plane to Chicago, so I rushed inside to elevate and ice. It seemed to be doing okay until Monday when the bump turned a suspicious Knockout Rose-red. A trip to the doctor and one lancing later, I am still alive and at this moment, MRSA-free.

I’ll spare us all the posting of the gory photos. But it got me thinking about the health hazards involved in gardening: poison ivy, wasps, toxic thorns, cactus spines, sun exposure, lower back pain, and of course, the classic Green Thumb. My mother spent several years struggling with this fungal infection; it was a painful and stubbornly persistent.

Perhaps the most potentially lethal of all is the ladder-related mishap. I cite the hilarious passage from Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, wherein the narrator, after putting away several scotches, is out on his deck barbecuing and is suddenly seized with the notion that the Hedges Must Be Trimmed, never mind the fact that it is night. He gets out the ladder and begins shearing the bushes. Being drunk, he decides that rather than climb up and down to move the ladder along the hedgerow, he’ll grab hold of the ladder and “jump” it sideways. A trip to the emergency room ensues.

So no drinking and trimming, unless it’s eggnog and a Christmas tree.

No comments: