On Sunday, I texted a friend to see if I could drop off a book for her. I knew she’d be there but figured I should give her a heads’ up anyway. She returned my text and asked if I would mind helping her with a quick project when I stopped by. I said “sure” because any time she does ask me for assistance, it’s not usually much assistance. And, of course, my schedule is now “fluid”….
The project was changing the lightbulb in an outdoor light fixture. Sounds easy enough but the light fixture is above the side door, which is itself at the top of four stairs. We needed the tall ladder for this. Opened up the ladder didn’t fit on the top step. It didn’t fit over the steps either. Leaning the ladder up right under the light fixture didn’t seem like a good idea since its full weight would be on the glass of the side door; we ended up shifting half of the weight to the left door lintel (is that the right word?).
My friend was nervous about this procedure and although I volunteered (it wasn’t quite high enough up to trigger my fear of heights) she insisted. Unfortunately it did frighten her and her hands shook enough that she dropped the screw a couple of times. After the second drop we decided we’d better test the light before trying again. She came down the ladder and I swiveled it out of the way so she could go inside to flip the light switch. It was then that I got a very hard and painful thump on the head – she had left the screwdriver on the top of the ladder and it tumbled right off onto me.
It broke the skin and my friend was really worried that I’d been stabbed with the business end of screwdriver (it was a Phillips). We applied a paper towel and a small ice pack. I was sure I’d been thumped by the handle. There wasn’t all that much blood and a good stab would have bled more. The physics were also on my side. It was about a 4 foot drop from the top of the ladder to my head and the weight of the handle was enough that, like a cat, it would have righted itself and hit me handle first.
After a few minutes we finished up the job. Fourth time was a charm; I tried again to take over the ladder climbing but after I’d been injured helping with her project, she was adamant that I stay off the ladder.
No headache, no pain, no other symptoms. I do have a scab now that I’m trying to avoid with the comb and the shampooing but my brush with the screwdriver doesn’t seem to have damaged me permanently.
What hand tool would make the best weapon if you needed to protect yourself?