I’m getting old – I’ve been pondering getting a pressure washer for a while now. I’ve missed washing and cleaning my car properly – I’ve not really been able to wash my car at home of years. Before I can even GET a pressure washer, I needed something to connect it to – an outside tap. We don’t have one, and I’m certainly no plumbing expert, but I have kitted a kitchen, and an outside tap before, so, I thought.. Why not do it yourself, Kip?
I was prepared – I read up on all the best practices for installing an outside tap that would meet building and water regulations. I wanted to do it properly, you can buy kits with the stuff you need, but some of them don’t meet the regulations, and are prone to leaks. With mains pressure water, you don’t want that!
I assembled everything I needed and set to work. My trusty SDS Drill sailed through the wall like it was butter – I’d really recommend one of them, it’s not missed a beat on even the toughest of surfaces. I had the pipe through the wall and screwed in position. It was lined up beautifully – which was great because I didn’t want to start all over. Then I decided to screw the tap into position. As I started to tighten, it was clear it was going to be wonky.
I unscrewed the tap and started again, at a slightly different angle… As the tap tightened up, it was looking like it’s final tightened position would be perfect. I knew I needed to get my adjustable spanner to get it fully tightened, but I thought I could shift it a tiny bit more by hand. Then it happened.
There was a horrible sound from my thumb and a searing pain rushing through my body. This wasn’t good, not good at all. I’ve had a few DIY issues before, like some mild electrocution. But this felt serious – I’d done some proper damage. I knew this by the pain in my thumb, and the fact I stopped. I couldn’t continue. I hate leaving stuff unfinished, but I physically couldn’t continue.
I felt sick, and dizzy, the pain intensified when I moved my thumb, it was agony. I briefly pondered A+E however it was Saturday early evening – it would be getting busy. Plus, I genuinely dislike using A+E – they are so overstretched, I didn’t feel like it was THAT serious. However, it REALLY REALLY hurt. I tried to stay calm, and took some painkillers to see how it went. Vicki thought that A+E was probably a sensible idea, however I decided to ride it out. Like the idiot that I am.
I slept on it.
I say I slept.. I didn’t really, little bolts of pain interrupted my slumber (at least it wasn’t the toothbrush!)
I awoke the next day, tired, grumpy, in pain and with moments of numbness and pins and needles in my thumb, and arm. Not only that, it had swollen too – it definitely didn’t look right.
“I think I should probably go to Hospital” I declared, and off we went.
The waiting area at Colchester A+E was pretty quiet, it’s never a really good indication of how busy the area is because invariably there are ‘Sub Waiting Areas’ just around the corner or down a corridor. I got booked in and waited. After about 20 minutes I was called in and explained the issue to the nurse. After some poking, prodding and bending, she told me to head down to the X-Ray Department because it could be a fracture.
Once again, the waiting area for the X-Ray Department was also quiet, both in the number of people, and audio-wise too. The silence was broken by a very kind sounding nurse saying “Right, just pop your knickers off for me please” somewhere in a nearby room. Clearly, someone was having a much worse day than me! I got called into a room and had my X-Ray taken. The radiographer needed me to place my hands at several weird angles to get the right shots. But I duly obliged and was sent on my way.
A few minutes later, the nurse had seen me originally called me back into the consultation room. As I walked in, there was an x-ray on the computer – I could see two small fragmemnts of bone floating next to my thumb. Had I broken it?!
“Right, those two bits ‘floating’ are actually meant to there like that” she explained.
No. No I hadn’t.
I’d damaged the ligament in my thumb – a cracking sound is quite common when you’ve done that. The nurse showed me some excercises to do, and advised me to take it easy with my thumb for two weeks, and advised it might hurt for several days and to treat that with painkillers. That was it! I was there less than an hour and had a diagnosis and a remedy.
So – that was Sunday – it’s Tuesday now, and I’m happy to report, I’m better. There’s still funny twinges and little pains, but it’s definetely getting there.
What has this taught us? I’m a stickler for planning, and a worrier about the details – however even with all that in mind – it’s still possible for it to fuck up!