Do-it-yourself Surgery, Part 3

Our Old Ranch House

We seemed to work cattle quite often and I seemed to always manage to either get slightly damaged or in the way.

This time, we were loading a truckload of cattle to haul for sale. Dad didn’t get the truck backed to the loading ramp very well, so jammed a log in the gap and I had to stand on the large boulder beside the truck and shoo the cows away from trying to escape out the side gap. Yeah, you can see this one coming. I didn’t.

I was busily shooing the cows back from the gap and getting yelled at for not keeping them moving faster when at least one cow stepped on the other end of the log between the bottom of the truckbed and the edge of the ramp. Wheeee! The end closest to me smacked me under the chin and flipped me backward off the boulder.

I came to a bit later, flat on my back on the ground, the sky slowly circling overhead. Someone was yelling at me and I tried to get up, but kept falling back. Finally I managed to get up and staggered over to the boulder and back up on it, shooing the cows back in the gap.

Finally the truck was loaded and we all got back on our horses for the ride almost 10 miles back to the house. Every step the horse made felt like a small hammer thumping my head. I couldn’t open my mouth to talk, even. My chin looked like a caricature of a lantern jawed prizefighter. The bruising was quite impressive, too.

I found that I couldn’t let anything touch my chin or it hurt even worse and I would get woozy and a little sick to my stomach. If I turned in my sleep and it touched anything, I woke up in pain. As the swelling went down, I discovered a hard small lump in my chin that wasn’t attached but painful if touched. Then I found I had a nick in my jawline about the same size. Evidently a small piece of my jawbone was free floating around in my chin tissue.

I eased it back into position, but it wouldn’t stay. Each attempt left me weak in the knees and ill feeling. Finally I decided enough was enough. No one was in the house, so I sterilized a razor blade and did some surgery using the bathroom mirror to see what I was doing.

Just as I made my cut, Mom opened the bathroom door and made a small screech. I jumped a little bit so have a bit larger scar than I expected under my chin. I did get the piece of bone out, convinced Mom I wasn’t doing a weird suicide thing and bandaged up my chin.

Life on the ranch was always interesting.