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Posts Tagged ‘Chainsaw’

Every once in a while a strange thing happens, you have an odd idea. Here is mine…. I asked a ghost blogger to do a post for me. I hope it is less stressful than mine.

image from intranet.tdmu.edu.te.ua

“One thought I think every person eventually thinks is, “Holy shit, I’m going to die!” Sorry, I just turned thirty yesterday, so my mortality is on my mind.
”
Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title

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Stress comes to each of us every day and in many forms, sometimes we hardly know it is present and at others it is right “in your face”. Here is a story of the humorous as well as the possibly tragic possibilities which surround stress in our lives. It is also how not to prepare for a stress test.

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The Scene is Set

Our story begins with an unfortunate and traumatic divorce which has left one party severely depressed and struggling to cope. As part of an ongoing counseling program, suggested during the separation, he attended stress management sessions on a fortnightly basis. Most of these sessions were fairly mundane, focusing on bringing his stress under control, offering a variety of brochures and lectures, however, one turned out to be very interesting. We’ll call him Joe.

This particular session, the counselor brought out a galvanometer muscle tester, to perform a stress test.  This little gadget clips onto any particular muscle, one small clip at either end of the selected muscle, in this case the forearm was chosen. The testing process. After the clips are attached and the subjects arm is at rest, the counselor would turn the control knob slowly from 1 to a maximum of 10. As soon as the machine begins to emit a steady click, click, click,a needle on a meter would indicate the stress the person is under whilst at rest. After this the subject would then be asked to clench their fist and when the muscle is tensed the machine would register the increase in frequency of the clicks by the needle rising.  This would indicate the stress load on the person tested.The higher the number reached indicates the higher the stress the subject is under at that time.  As luck would  have it, it was a fortuitous day for this test to be scheduled.

The first volunteer held out his hand and had the clips attached. On setting 4 of a possible 10, the machine made a slow buzzing noise until he clenched his fist and the buzzing increased a little, as did the needle.  The counselor asked the subject what he did  for a living to which he responded that he had a very highly stressed job. He was on the complaints counter at the Shire Council and the only people he saw were always angry at him.

Enter Joe.  The clips were attached to his arm. At setting 7 the machine began clicking. On clenching his fist the little machine began to scream and the needle on the dial went off the scale.

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“That’s funny,” she said. “Let me check.” A strange look passed across her face and she began to start the test again.

She attached the clips and turned the knob.  At setting 7 the clicks started.

“Clench your fist” she said.

The little machine screamed in protest!  The needle went off the dial.

“Must be something wrong,” she said.  Let me check that,  Relax.”

The noise instantly stopped, just a click, click, click.  She looked at him, confused.

“Let’s try that again.  Clench your fist?”

Instantly the machine screamed again and the needle went off the dial!

“Tell me what you do for a living,” she said.  “You have a very interesting stress test.”

“Let me tell you about this morning,” he said.  “I have a farm and an earth-moving business, and today I was cleaning bush for an electricity company to put power lines through.  We had a tree with a branch that had to be lopped, 5 metres up. .  It was a huge branch, about 10 metres long and almost a metre through it.  The only way we could see to reach it to cut it down was with me in the bucket of the bulldozer loader with a chainsaw.

David, my assistant, maneuvered the machine into place, I climbed into the bucket with the chainsaw and he raised the bucket to 5 metres, level with the branch.  I put a cut under the branch, half way through, and then started to cut down from the top so the branch would fall clear away from me.  I cut deep down into the branch, but it wouldn’t fall!   Perplexed, I asked Davis to reposition the bulldozer so I could reach it better, and started again, a little more cutting underneath, then down from the top again.  The chainsaw was screaming as I pushed down on it but the branch just hung there!  I looked at David, he shook his head and I kept pushing and cutting.  Suddenly, the branch vanished!  It dropped without warning, no sagging, creaking, it just fell, leaving me pushing down hard on a screaming chainsaw into thin air!

I swayed and grabbed for the side of the bucket with one hand, holding the chainsaw away from me with the other, at the end of my outstretched arm.  The branch had fallen and was bouncing on the ground, finally rolling against the front of the bulldozer.  We looked at each other and I think David saw the shock on my face.  I could see it in his.

Stress level: extreme. It’s like she was a jar with the lid screwed on too tight, and inside the jar were pickles, angry pickles, and they were fermenting, and about to explode.”
Fiona Wood, Six Impossible Things

He backed the machine away and lowered the bucket.  I stepped out and put the chainsaw down.  I looked at my watch.

“Somewhere to go?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.  “I have to go to a stress management session at the hospital, they are doing stress testing today.  Wonder how I’ll go!”

images from sunshinecoastmidwifery.com.au

Stress is good for you …. in moderation. That and an Angel sitting on your shoulder. “The Wisdom of Joe”.

Normal blogging to resume shortly…. perhaps tomorrow.

Ciao, Susan

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