Tetanus? – week two cabin update


Cabin roof (before), Photo by slc

My critical demo question this week was “When did I get my last tetanus shot?” While helping my son-in-law remove the second story windows of the cabin, I slightly ripped my work pants just to the left of my knee. I walked too close to a three-inch nail protruding out of one of the window frames.  I felt some pain at the time but I didn’t think it had done any damage until later that evening.

After a much-needed shower and putting on comfortable clothes including shorts, I was eating dinner and watching the news when I noticed a deep bloody scratch to the left of my knee cap.  It hurt when I touched it and that’s when I wondered “When did I get my last tetanus shot?”

After Demo Week 2, Photo by slc

Working under dangerous and unsanitary conditions on this cabin rehab has been interesting and a real test of my “guts to take on a fixer upper.”  We knew we would be working with mold in the drywall and insulation.  We knew there was low levels of asbestos in the floor tile. We knew we would be working around black widow spiders as we discovered two during our inspection.  We also knew we would be working with rusty nails and wet, sagging floorboards.  We didn’t know we would be working around large red ants and removing at least eight large garbage bags of animal excrement and pinecones discovered deposited in the walls and attic space.


East side of cabin (before), Photo by slc
After Week 2 Demo, Photo by slc

Despite these working conditions, we accomplished a lot this week, as you can see from the photos.

I finally remembered I was immunized with the Tdap vaccine when my granddaughter was born in 2012.  At that time I was employed as a high school teacher and my daughter wanted to protect her newborn daughter from pertussis (whooping-cough) so I was vaccinated.  Now, that same vaccine is protecting me from contracting tetanus from the rusty nails I encounter during this cabin demo/build.

When did you get your last tetanus shot?

4 thoughts on “Tetanus? – week two cabin update

    • Thank you for your concern. It is a valid one! My son-in-law and I wore goggles and respirators during much of the demolition. Even full protective body suits for two days! Overall, he was better at wearing protective garb than I, as he has asthma and I would forget sometimes. I have been paying attention to possible symptoms of hantavirus and so far I don’t exhibit any of those. I’m more concerned about my exposure to black mold as I have some minor symptoms from that exposure…sore throat and a some coughing. Believe me all of this is a concern for us and we are taking necessary precautions. All of the drywall and insulation from the water-damaged addition is down and disposed of. Now, we have to deal with some water damage in the original cabin and get it buttoned up for the winter and demo the rest of the addition.

  1. So Proud of You Sherry:). You 2 are really making thing change fast❣️❣️. On your shots too:)!!!❣️ I carry with my passport a (child’s) shot record book. Have been doing this for a number of years. Think we never grow past the need for this info for us and for a medical team:)). I hope we can visit by phone in the future:). And I hope I can visit you and Nikki’s Family, see your homes and your cabin TOO. Love You Both So Much.

    • Thank you for your reply Ruth Kay. Your idea of carrying your shot record with your passport is a great one! We are making progress on the cabin but unfortunately that slowed this week. My son-in-law’s grandmother passed away and he went back to Iowa for the funeral and to be with family for a couple of days. She was 100 years old and I believe only in the past year or so was in a nursing home or assisted living. I too hope we can visit soon. My email is the same if you want to send me your phone number then I can call. Love you much!

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