It's a sick sensation to feel nails punch through the sneaker and into one's foot. Three of them made me feel queasy for a moment and I had to sit down, even though there wasn't much actual pain from the punctures because the nails were so thin and sharp.
Here's my (dirty) sock, showing the small blood marks from the puncture. Not much to see, is there? There wasn't much to clean on my foot, either.
I limped for a few hours, but except for a bit of soreness today, my foot feels fine.
However the first thing I did was to call our local medical clinic and speak to their Records Department to see when my last tetanus shot was. My last shot was in 2008, so I'm good for another five years. (Tetanus boosters should be given every ten years.)
Tetanus, as you doubtless all know, is a neurotoxin that incubates under anaerobic conditions, such as deep puncture wounds. The common term is lockjaw, because muscular spams of the jaw are some of the first symptoms. The condition causes prolonged and agonizing muscle spams. For unvaccinated people, the mortality rate can be very high (50 to 70%).
|Painting by Sir Charles Bell, 1809 - Patient Suffering from Tetanus|
In short, tetanus is no joke. And on a farm, there are endless opportunities for puncture wounds -- wire, nails, tools, horns, you name it. The fact that we can get a shot once a decade to protect us from such horrors is nothing short of a modern miracle.
I urge everyone to make sure your tetanus booster is up to date. You never know when you'll step on a board with three nails.