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LwnmwrMan22
08-03-2008, 11:50 PM
Well, first time in 20 years I've had a major injury.

This morning as I was heading out to get ready to work, I missed the last step in my house, the same house I've lived in for 30 years, since I was 6, and broke my foot.

I go in tomorrow to talk with the orthopedic surgeon to discuss surgery. I broke outside bone on my left foot, the one that would like up with the small toe.

It broke at an angle and there's displacement of the bone, so the ER doc said most likely it'll have to have a plate and screws put in, since it broke completely off.

I figure once it's sewn back up, I can hopefully ride the mower, but I'll have to farm out the properties that I have to use the walk behind on, and I'll have to train some guys in real quick with how to use a trimmer.

Sad part is, I don't even have an exciting story on how I broke it, just that I missed the bottom stair in my house.

jsf343
08-03-2008, 11:57 PM
wow what a bad break, (no pun intended) hire someone for crew lead and just drive with him at first so you can train him. Also hire a temp if you have enough accounts that justify a 2 man crew. I feel for you that is a tough position to be in.

Good luck.

Whitey4
08-03-2008, 11:59 PM
Man, that bites.... but... based on your sig line, you are a spiritual man. We often get crosses we don't want. Then, after a while, often we can look back and see that thse things happened for reasons we could never understand at the time. Sometimes, it never makes sense.... but, you will find a way to get through this. best of luck, and I wish you a fast recovery.

TPendagast
08-04-2008, 12:00 AM
Dont farm anything out, just hire help, maybe this was natures way oftelling you you needed time to work ON your business more instead of IN your business.

MileHigh
08-04-2008, 12:05 AM
First time I ever started cutting grass for money was when one of my dads friends broke his leg. I was 16 and he said I basically saved his business, and thats when I decided that I wanted a lawn mowing company of my own. I had a great time a really caught on quick with all the equipment...and was a quick master of the wb with sulky. Just gotta find someone who can learn quick, or someone experienced.

Cool thing is that I know that he is retiring at the end of the 09 lawn season....wonder where all those accounts are gonna go...he did mostly resi's, and had a couple of apartment complexes. He'll be getting a lot of phone calls from me next season....maybe I should start kissin up now!

Cashio13
08-04-2008, 12:23 AM
First time I ever started cutting grass for money was when one of my dads friends broke his leg. I was 16 and he said I basically saved his business, and thats when I decided that I wanted a lawn mowing company of my own. I had a great time a really caught on quick with all the equipment...and was a quick master of the wb with sulky. Just gotta find someone who can learn quick, or someone experienced.

Cool thing is that I know that he is retiring at the end of the 09 lawn season....wonder where all those accounts are gonna go...he did mostly resi's, and had a couple of apartment complexes. He'll be getting a lot of phone calls from me next season....maybe I should start kissin up now!

haha id say start taking him out to dinner IMMEDIATELY! :)

MileHigh
08-04-2008, 12:26 AM
haha id say start taking him out to dinner IMMEDIATELY! :)

lol....good one.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
08-04-2008, 01:15 AM
Man, that bites.... but... based on your sig line, you are a spiritual man. We often get crosses we don't want. Then, after a while, often we can look back and see that thse things happened for reasons we could never understand at the time. Sometimes, it never makes sense.... but, you will find a way to get through this. best of luck, and I wish you a fast recovery.

Well put Whitey!

brandtb1
08-04-2008, 12:29 PM
Sorry to hear about your bad luck. You hear about pro athletes getting hurt doing minor stuff (washing the car, ironing a shirt, opening a jar) and wonder how, but it can happen. I would try to find someone to run the trimmer while you cut and run the walk behind. Maybe you can get a good employee and expand your business next year to keep the employee. Hope you get well soon.

LwnmwrMan22
08-04-2008, 01:31 PM
Man, that bites.... but... based on your sig line, you are a spiritual man. We often get crosses we don't want. Then, after a while, often we can look back and see that thse things happened for reasons we could never understand at the time. Sometimes, it never makes sense.... but, you will find a way to get through this. best of luck, and I wish you a fast recovery.

I just got the call I have a 1 pm appointment today with a specialist to see if I need surgery.

It's somewhat ironic that last week I had my cousin work with me, who just lost his job due to the business closing.

He had headed to Canada fishing an hour before I broke my foot, so I called him and said when he gets back, expect to have more hours than just 20 or so / week.

90% of my jobs are wide open, done with the ZTR with minimal trimming.

The 2 that I need to use the walk behind on, I've already farmed out to the guy that does irrigation work for me.

I've got another cousin that does concrete work that's only getting about 20 hours / week right now.

I'll be calling him as well, seeing if he wants to pick up some hours.

The work will get done, but as one that wants something to do myself, it's VERY hard to just sit in the chair.

LwnmwrMan22
08-04-2008, 04:57 PM
Just got back from the doctor.

Friday I have surgery.

They're going to try to repair it with 2 screws, if that doesn't work, then they'll use a plate as well.

I cannot be on my feet from now until 2 weeks after the surgery. After that 2 weeks, I MIGHT be allowed to run the mower, but still no walking for 6-8 weeks.

Watch out for that bottom step.

Lazer_Z
08-04-2008, 07:37 PM
LwnmwrMan, Good luck with the surgery & I hope you have a speedy recovery.

JBlawncare
08-04-2008, 08:03 PM
man this brings back some memories.. I broke the same bone in my right foot earlier in the season and all I have is a walk behind.. I went and got a sulky the next day and mowed with my cast on 2 days after it happened.. I contacted all of my customers saying that the trimming might not be the best for the next couple mows because I hired a friend to do it and i was still training him.. I am actually glad it happened because it gave me a reason to buy a sulky. I dont buy any equipment i don't need, i just spend it on toys. good luck with your foot..

MSS Mow
08-04-2008, 11:50 PM
Just got back from the doctor.

Friday I have surgery.

They're going to try to repair it with 2 screws, if that doesn't work, then they'll use a plate as well.

I cannot be on my feet from now until 2 weeks after the surgery. After that 2 weeks, I MIGHT be allowed to run the mower, but still no walking for 6-8 weeks.

Watch out for that bottom step.

Best of luck to you. We'll be praying for a speedy recovery. :weightlifter:

Lawn Enforcer
08-05-2008, 12:09 AM
I've thought of things like this when I start doing this full-time as a solo op, but I do have my Dad as a partner who can do a lot of work. It's good to have family that is willing to help in the time of need!
Hope it all turns out for the better for you my lawn mowing friend, I'll pray for a speedy recovery for you!

Jason Rose
08-05-2008, 12:11 AM
Holy cow man! What an ordeal! Something like this is one of those fears in the back of my mind, because I work solo as well. A guy would never think that a STEP could mess you up so bad. Though I'm pretty sure that a few years ago I blew out my knee stooping down on my front step to put on my shoes... I heard the POP and squeek, and after that just more and more pain for months. Of all the dumb things, walk hundreds of miles on uneven terrain mowing and then, just like you, get hobbled on the front porch. Luckily mine wasn't bad enough to keep me from working though.

I had a four wheeler and actually stopped riding and sold it based somewhat on the fear of having an accident and loosing my business, which in turn meant I would have lost everything. Of course there's always other options. Hiring some HELP is a great one, and I hope it can work out for you.

Genlandscape
08-05-2008, 01:26 AM
Good luck with the surgery, interesting thread for me. I got up as usual 5:30am loaded up the equipment and the coffee cup, and off to work we go. Started at our first small comm. with a stomach ache, by the third property was doubled over in pain. I proceeded to the E.R. and two hours later I was waking up from surgery!! I had a large incarcerated hernia, and apperently it needed to be fixed ASAP. We have notified all of our 125 customers that we will have to shut down for the rest of the week, and will resume monday with a new employee. I will only be allowed to ride i the truck and supervise. Doc. said not even a ztr for at least two to three weeks, and no trin/blow for 6-8 weeks...I just hopr my guys don't hate me in two months. Again good luck, and our prayers are with you!

Genlandscape
08-05-2008, 01:30 AM
:dizzy:I think I forgot to add that this happened today and I am posting from my hosp. bed. (thank god for wifi) and please excuse my typing, I don't think the meds have quite worn off.:dizzy:

HOOLIE
08-05-2008, 11:54 AM
Sorry to hear that Jeremy...but at least you have some options as far as help goes. Hell, you may even start to enjoy sitting back and cracking the whip :laugh:

My wife completed tore her ACL just stepping into 2 feet of water at the pool...she thought it was deeper and wasn't ready when her foot hit the bottom and that was it. So this stuff happens. A break in the long run is ususally better than ligament damage at least.

Keep us posted on how things go if you don't mind. A lot of us are solo and this is the 'worst case scenario' so I bet a lot of guys are interested in how you manage things the rest of the season.

amdx64
08-05-2008, 02:23 PM
Just got back from the doctor.

Friday I have surgery.

They're going to try to repair it with 2 screws, if that doesn't work, then they'll use a plate as well.

I cannot be on my feet from now until 2 weeks after the surgery. After that 2 weeks, I MIGHT be allowed to run the mower, but still no walking for 6-8 weeks.

Watch out for that bottom step. just think of how much more time you now have to surf lawnsite :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

White Gardens
08-05-2008, 02:38 PM
Dont farm anything out, just hire help, maybe this was natures way oftelling you you needed time to work ON your business more instead of IN your business.

I defiitivly see an opportunity to this also, hire help to get going, and sit back sit back in your truck managing your biz, and push to get more accounts, all while your foot heals. You might take a hit the rest of this season, but you would be set up for next.

I've had about 9 broken bones, and 5 casts. Whatever you do, make sure you let it heal complety. The last break I had was the lower joint on my thumb 3 years ago. I pushed too soon and I still have problems with it, including re-fracturing it once or twice.

White Gardens
08-05-2008, 02:41 PM
Holy cow man! What an ordeal! Something like this is one of those fears in the back of my mind, because I work solo as well. A guy would never think that a STEP could mess you up so bad. Though I'm pretty sure that a few years ago I blew out my knee stooping down on my front step to put on my shoes... I heard the POP and squeek, and after that just more and more pain for months. Of all the dumb things, walk hundreds of miles on uneven terrain mowing and then, just like you, get hobbled on the front porch. Luckily mine wasn't bad enough to keep me from working though.

I had a four wheeler and actually stopped riding and sold it based somewhat on the fear of having an accident and loosing my business, which in turn meant I would have lost everything. Of course there's always other options. Hiring some HELP is a great one, and I hope it can work out for you.



I also quit playing soft-ball, basketball, and realized I'll never ride a motorcycle ever again.

milo
08-05-2008, 05:25 PM
well this year just like in may my busy time i broke my ribs on my dirtbike. i could not bend down. i could not lift my gate up and down without pain. starting trimmer and blowers lol.. it sucked bad but had no choice to work thru it. also i could not laugh or sneeze. well i did sneeze once driving and had to pull over and could not move or breathe for like 3 minutes.
its just one thing really bad about working for yourself. my uncle broke his ribs this year too on a slip and slide he's 50 lol and was out of work for over 1 month paid too.

corey4671
08-05-2008, 09:28 PM
it sounds like you did what I did...stepped off a porch the wrong way an broke the fifth metatarsel(sp?). I was on crutches for eight weeks and in an orthopedic boot for 13. Do yourself a favor and get on EBAY NOW..look for an Exogen 4000+ Bone healing system. Doctor will most likely try to fit you with one. YOu can save a TON of cash buying one on EBAY. I just sold mine last week for $365...I think I paid well over $1k for it. I wish I had better news for you, but this will be a long drawn out process. this is a slow healing injury, commonly referred to as a jones fracture. just be patient. I know I nearly most my mind when I went through it BUT I did have a lot of time for Lawnsite!

LwnmwrMan22
08-05-2008, 10:25 PM
Here's what I've decided.

Tomorrow I'm going back to work.

I've set it up on the ZTR with a bucket upside down for support and to keep my leg elevated.

I figure I'm not going to damage anything more if I do it that way than if I sit at home on the rocking chair.

After the surgery I'll sit in the truck, and by then I'll have 2-3 guys working with me and can tell them what to do and where at each location.

I just went and picked up a 16 year old nephew today, he's good until the 25th of August, which will get me past the 2 week window after my surgery.

After that I'm hoping the incision will be healed enough where I can get back on the ZTR.

I've also got another kid showing up that used to work with his dad in lawn care, but his dad had to get out of the business, due to cancer, so that should help as well.

I'll give another update tomorrow. Once I get done with the invoices tonight, I'll see if I can scan the x-rays in so you can all see what I'm dealiing with.

topsites
08-05-2008, 10:37 PM
Sad part is, I don't even have an exciting story on how I broke it, just that I missed the bottom stair in my house.

Oh that's exciting enough, I am sorry to hear that.

AJ Lawnscapes
08-05-2008, 10:50 PM
I'm in the same boat brother. Let it heal, let it heal, let it heal.

I just had carpal tunnel surgery. Struggling to find reliable help, but it's coming together. Strained the hell out of my hand today, going to the doc tomorrow for some more pills, cause what I got is gone and the pain's still here.


Now to get more accounts. So that I can sit back and watch too.

Abe

corey4671
08-05-2008, 11:35 PM
Here's what I've decided.

Tomorrow I'm going back to work.

I've set it up on the ZTR with a bucket upside down for support and to keep my leg elevated.

I figure I'm not going to damage anything more if I do it that way than if I sit at home on the rocking chair.

After the surgery I'll sit in the truck, and by then I'll have 2-3 guys working with me and can tell them what to do and where at each location.

I just went and picked up a 16 year old nephew today, he's good until the 25th of August, which will get me past the 2 week window after my surgery.

After that I'm hoping the incision will be healed enough where I can get back on the ZTR.

I've also got another kid showing up that used to work with his dad in lawn care, but his dad had to get out of the business, due to cancer, so that should help as well.

I'll give another update tomorrow. Once I get done with the invoices tonight, I'll see if I can scan the x-rays in so you can all see what I'm dealiing with.


just be careful. especially getting off and on the mower. I tried it too while I was on crutches. Shirt tail hung the handlebar and threw me off balance. in trying to catch my self from falling I put the injured foot down and all my weight went down on the injured foot. THAT was painful and may very well have delayed my healing. The best thing you can do is to keep moving the foot to keep blood flowing through it but just don't push it man!

FinerCutslawnCare
08-05-2008, 11:40 PM
Dude, that sucks! Hopefully everything works out for ya, to bad I live in Iowa I would try to help ya out!

LwnmwrMan22
08-05-2008, 11:41 PM
just be careful. especially getting off and on the mower. I tried it too while I was on crutches. Shirt tail hung the handlebar and threw me off balance. in trying to catch my self from falling I put the injured foot down and all my weight went down on the injured foot. THAT was painful and may very well have delayed my healing. The best thing you can do is to keep moving the foot to keep blood flowing through it but just don't push it man!

I understand. I wear polo style shirts tucked in with a belt, so hopefully that won't happen.

I'm not going to work fast at all, just try to get some yards done while trying to train in a trimming guy.

The first properties we're going to do are all wide open with minimal trimming, so it should be a fairly smooth go, hopefully.

I'm done printing off the invoices now, so it's upstairs to see if I can scan in the x-rays.

LwnmwrMan22
08-06-2008, 10:55 PM
Update from day #1 back at work.

I once again remembered why I don't have any employees.

I should say I once again remembered why I don't hire "kids".

I got my nephew (15) out this morning. We went to the first place, a large commercial place, takes 2 hours to mow, takes me about 20 minutes to trim.

I pulled up and told him that he needed to trim around all the trees.

I guess I should have said "things in the planted and mowed areas" but I figured that would be too hard to figure out. He trimmed around all the trees. Not the signs or not the picnic tables in the grass or along the building, but around all the trees.

I chalked that up to him not wanting to mess anything up. He has no idea how to work as a LCO, so he may have thought that I just wanted the trees trimmed here.

Anyways, told him he's got to trim around everything in the grass where I've mowed. Took him about an hour.

Went to the mower dealer and bought a new 21" mower. $400. Nice Honda. I have accounts that are small that I've learned just to do with the trimmer. There's no way anyone else is going to have the finesse to mow a yard with the trimmer in the first 2 hours they've been running a trimmer.

2nd account he hit a tree stump in the grass, bent the shaft coming out of the engine. So much for that $400.

Sooooo... we got 6 accounts done, then had thunderstorms roll through. All in all I'm out $45 in wages, lunch and a $400 mower. Nothing like losing ALL the revenue, not just profit in one morning.

TPendagast
08-06-2008, 11:34 PM
Update from day #1 back at work.


Went to the mower dealer and bought a new 21" mower. $400. Nice Honda. I have accounts that are small that I've learned just to do with the trimmer. There's no way anyone else is going to have the finesse to mow a yard with the trimmer in the first 2 hours they've been running a trimmer.

2nd account he hit a tree stump in the grass, bent the shaft coming out of the engine. So much for that $400.

.
And people are always whining "why buy a commercial 21"?? The resi models are the SAME machine."

Ya ya ya , bent shaft, they arent the same. Thats why you spend $1000 and not $400.
Resi machines wont stand up to abuse, sure as a owner/operator, solo guy you might have enough insight to avoid this. But heres the situation, people working for you never will.

GravelyNut
08-07-2008, 12:54 AM
I feel your pain. 20 years ago I missed a step on a loco and took a 3' drop. Right foot caught the edge of a saw cut concrete slab. Broke the foot from the arch to the little toe. That healed in a week. But the damaged ankle took 3 months to be able to put weight on without pain. Just thinking about yours made my foot hurt. Stay off of it as much as possible but don't let it just hang down all the time.

LwnmwrMan22
08-08-2008, 06:55 PM
Well, I've been operated on.

They had to run to Home Depot to get all the parts.

Today I had 4 guys running, and it took them 1 hour less to do 13 accounts that I usually do myself.

At least the work is getting done.

I go in Monday to have the incision looked at, and then 2 weeks from there I get a walking boot but still not weight bearing.

Yesterday I mowed 9 lawns with another guy doing the trimming.

corey4671
08-08-2008, 11:04 PM
you REALLY need to look into the Exogen 4000+ Bone Healing System. Trust me on this!

LwnmwrMan22
08-22-2008, 07:09 PM
Just giving another update, I know a couple of guys that are solo-ops wanted to now how things went, so if it ever happens to them, they've got an idea on what to expect.

Yesterday (Thurs 8-21) I had the stitches taken out.

I tentatively got the okay to ride a zero turn, as long as I can get on and off without stepping on my foot.

It's been 2 weeks today (Friday) since my surgery to put the plate and 4 pins in.

The doctor said I no longer have to worry about elevating it or putting ice on it, it's now just letting the bone heal.

Sunday or Monday I get to finally wash the foot, put it in water and let it soak. I was sitting in the truck yesterday with it out the window, and the wind was blowing in..... crap did that thing stink.

I mowed yesterday for about an hour, and the foot started to hurt a little, so I got off, let the guys finish the last property.

I mowed again today for about 4 hours, but then hit a big hole that jarred my body, and figured that was enough for today.

The foot doesn't hurt if it's out in the open, but this walking boot they put me in hurts like the dickens. It's mostly because I've got to keep my ankle at a 90 degree angle, not let it rest like normal.

We're all done for the week now though, so it can rest Sat. and Sun. I lose one of the guys helping back to school, so it'll be down to two guys and myself, when my foot feels good. Once I get a twinge in it, I'm back in the truck.

The wind was blowing 20 mph today, and everythings dry grass and dust. It doesn't take much to get me back in the truck in those crappy conditions. :laugh:

My next appointment is Sept. 18. That's when I learn if I can start putting weight on it or not. 4 more weeks of crutches.

STIHL GUY
08-23-2008, 01:35 AM
hope your foot is better soon and you can get back into things

LwnmwrMan22
09-19-2008, 12:19 AM
Another update, 9-18.

I broke my foot on 8-3.

Today I went for a 5 week checkup after surgery, and I was told I can start to walk on the foot.

I tried walking without crutches, but the foot and leg just shot up with pain. I haven't put any pressure on the left foot since I broke it.

It's looking like a couple of weeks now walking with crutches, getting the foot used to impact again.

Honestly, it's probably one of the best things that's happened to me.

I've hired 2 guys full time now to take over where I was working 80 hours / week.

Next year I'm adding enough work (already landed a $25,000 contract yesterday) so I can start to work a full week myself again, and let the two guys that are working for me now go out on their own.

I already own 3 trucks, 4 trailers, 4 mowers and enough hand held and other equipment, so I won't have to put any money into equipment to start to run two crews, just land the accounts. The bottom line will have a huge leap next year.

corey4671
09-19-2008, 10:41 PM
yeah the first day with pressure on the foot sucks. I remember leaving the doctor and going to walmart and thinking I'd really screwed up by walking too much the first day. But I'd been on crutches for nine weeks and was ready to walk again. Keep plenty of Advil Liquigels on hand. THat is all that got me through it.

LwnmwrMan22
09-19-2008, 10:51 PM
This morning I was walking in the boot, with 2 crutches.

By 9 am I had gotten down to just 1 crutch.

By 3 pm I was walking with the walking boot with no crutches and no limp, albeit a short distance across a parking lot.

I then went home and put a pair of Nikes on, and was able to walk somewhat without crutches.

We went out to dinner and got a hair cut, and I was back to using one crutch. The foot was a little to tender to go without.

I'm hoping to be trimming by the end of next week.