Why a preventable mishap led to “is my tetanus shot up to date?”

The weather has been cantankerous. It just won’t give in to the arrival of Spring.

On Saturday, the weather finally improved. I raced around the yard like a calf just out of the barn, with 60 lb bales of soil to top up my raised beds. Everything was going great until I stopped being mindful of what I was doing. 

I turned my focus toward calculating how many more bales I would need for the last five planters that are back ordered. That was when I mis-stepped, tripped and did a three point landing onto a piece of rusty rebar.

The rebar is part of what pins my 4×16′ pre-fabbed planters. It was supposed to be countersunk and the caps placed on the connections. But I wanted to get that soil distributed so I could get a list together for the next round of soil and other garden supplies. 

That short cut is why I am writing this with my leg propped up. I’m okay and lucky it wasn’t worse. My right knee is wrenched and it will heal. 

However, the side of my right knee got sliced on the rusty and very sharp rebar that had been cut to fit the planters, which brings me to why I am writing this post.

I cleaned and dressed my knee, but for my life, I couldn’t remember when my last tetanus shot had happened. Lock jaw isn’t fun.

I have medical files for both of us, but my budget binder contains a fast referral section on key medical info. At a glance, I can tell when the next colonoscopy or blood work is due. For some reason, I had no information on tetanus shots for either of us. I found out this morning it was 2018, so in 9 years I will make the arrangement to have another before the 10 year expiry on it.

We need to know this information and keep it current and in print format because if the SHTF something as simple as falling could end up in lock jaw for the lack of a simple tetanus shot.

Medical conditions, recurring tests and blood work, vaccine record and current medications, including any and all allergies and adverse reactions need to be on hard printed copy. Don’t forget any anaesthetic problems or prior surgeries.

My haste and carelessness were a reminder of what an infection and an expired tetanus shot could become in a crisis. Even without the wrenched knee, I plan to move more thoughtfully in the future.


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