Wart Remover This one has been in the news a lot lately because of a medical study that was just released. Here is an email that we've had posted for a while: My dermotologist recommended using duct tape over warts. My son put on a piece of duct tape over a wart for about six weeks. When he finally removed the tape, the wart was gone. We've been touting that cure for at least five years in our act and on our web site. In fact, we were recently interviewed by the Associated Press about the duct tape wart cure. Read about it in Duct Tape Headline News. Basically, what you need to do is put duct tape on the wart for six days (to two months, depending on how subborn the wart is), then remove the wart easily with a pumice stone or something rough - like sandpaper. Save your money on all of those doctor visits or nasty, poisonous over-the-counter wart remedies. Buy a roll of duct tape and do it yourself! To read the entire study in the "Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine," click here: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org for a listing of articles.

Click here to hear Tim being interviewed on NPR about Duct Tape Wart Removal

Testimonial: My uncle who is rather unconventional told my wife who was complaining about a plantars wart that wouldn't go away to put duct tape on it and it was gone in less than three weeks. ...a helluva lot cheaper than the remedies from the drug store that did natta. - Jeremy

Testimonial: I had a wart in the crease of my leg for 42 years. It started to get hooked in chairs when I got up and would bleed. My Daughter-in-Law told me to use duct tape. I did and its all gone. - M.

Testimonial: When I recently heard that Duck Tape would get rid of warts I was ready to try. Having a number of plantar warts (on the bottom of my foot) I was anxious to test the alledged cure. It has taken me several months but it now looks like the warts a just about completelly gone. I feel a need to brag on it because I have tried almost everyway known to medical science. I have spent thousands of dollars to no avail up to now. About $.50 worth of Duck Tape has taken care of it. I'm about to call all of my foot doctors and tell them they are a bunch of Quacks! (Pun intended of course) - Paulo P.

Testimonial: One day out of the blue I started getting this big wart looking thing on my neck. It started to ich and burn so I went to the doctor thinking it was something bad. She looked me straight in the eye and said that I should put duck tape on it for five days and see if it would go away. I thought she was out of her mind and I didn't think it would work. But it was cheeper than the cream she was going to give, so I said what the heck. So I walked around school for five days with this piece of duck tape on my neck. I felt like a big dummy. But after the five days the wart was gone. - Suzy W.

Testimonial: My son Brian (23 yrs. old) has been suffering from Plantar's warts on his foot for 12 years, since he played football in high school. He has tried many over the counter remidies, with no success. Somewhere I heard to cover your warts with Duct (Duck) tape. Leave it on 24 hours. He covered his foot bottom, and wrapped his toes. He took it off after 24 hours. Some days later, he noticed ALL the 100 warts were gone on his foot. I asked his Dr. about this remedy, and she said she had heard of it, but didn't know it worked! - Jan B.

Testimonial: My nine-year old daughter had warts on her hand. We tried everything to get them off. All the products on the market only worked for a short time. Are pharmacist told us about this wart stick. We also read in the paper that same day about this woman who used Duck Tape to cover her daughter’s warts. What it does is makes the body fight what is covered up. Warts also need air to keep growing. With the Duct Tape you would not believe the results. They were going to have to burn them off and told us it would be very painful. With the Duck Tape - no pain. Just cover the wart or warts with the Duct Tape after a bath or shower and wear. Do this until they are all gone. This is not a quick fix but it works and the results are amazing. Thank you for a product that you may do many things with. Let your mind go wild. - Amy B.

Testimonial: My wife had a planters wart under her big toe. After several attempts by the doctor to freeze and scape off (it kept growing back), our doctor made an appointment to have it removed by laser. She told us in the mean time to try duct tape - jokingly saying that it fixes everything. Seeing the fear of surgery my wife has, we tried it. We cleaned the area, covered with duct tape and repeated daily. After five or six days, when removing the duct tape the wart came off with it. This has been over a year and still has not returned. I am a skeptic and thought it might be a fluke. When my daughter found a wart on her finger I decided to try it again. Same procedure and four days later 'No Wart'. That was a month ago. - Terrance M.

Testimonial: My four year old son has had a plantars wart for about three months.  We were told by the pediatrician to use any over the counter wart remover, which can take up to 12 weeks or longer to correct the problem.  The price on the remedies were high, $9-10 for a 24 dose package, if only all you needed was one per day, as directed (the pads don't stick well to a four year old's busy and moist feet) we were using 2-3 pads a day trying to keep the wart treated.  After using up the first box didn't change the appearance of the wart (in fact it looked worse) I browsed the Freeze Away product at the drug store which tells you, and you don't know this until after you buy it for $24.99 & open it, that the treatment if not done exactly as directed may cause nerve damage and scarring, and you can definitely expect burning & pain lasting 3-24 hours.  I wasn't about to put my 4 year old through this - so I tried (with tongue in cheek) the duct tape suggestion for curing plantars warts.  We covered the wart with duct tape, changed it each morning after cleaning the adhesive residue off the edges of the taped area and waited for results.  We kept this up for about 2-3 weeks.  This morning in the bathtub (we remove the tape before each bath), my son showed me that there was a flap of skin lifting from the perimeter of the wart.  I was able to carefully lift the flap of skin and remove it, which brought with in a round white ball of skin (smaller than a pea) with a dark center in it.  I believe this is the wart in its entirety.  The skin below what was removed is pink and new.  DUCT TAPE WORKS FOR PLANTARS WARTS!!!  $1.89 per roll, no harmful side effects!!! - Ilona

Testimonial: One of the boys I babysit for was covered in warts. His mom tried every over the counter remedy on the market to no avail. Camp was starting & Fischer was worried that the other kids would make fun of the warts all over his chest. His mom tried some duct tape on each wart to smother them & within a few days, all of the warts were dead & had stopped spreading. Fischer went to camp & didn't have to worry about anyone laughing at him during swimming. - Lauren S., New York, New York

Testimonial: My son developed the largest plantar's wart on his heel, but didn't tell me until two weeks before football practice started his senior year. The dermatologist told us she could surgical remove it taking a large portion of his heel and taking six weeks to heal or we could use duct tape. He applied one strip over his heel daily, removing and reapplying after his shower. The duct tape took one layer of skin at a time, painlessly. It took about six months but worked great. We went to the playoffs with him as our quarterback. - Patty

Testimonial: My left foot has been in peril for the past ELEVEN years! it has been infested with NASTY warts. One big one split into one big and one smaller, side by side, then split and started completley taking over my foot. About ten years ago, I went to a dermatologist who "burnt it off" (started to see it shrink and let me go away) with "bug juice". Then about two years ago, IT CAME BACK WITH A FRIEND ON MY LEFT THUMB!!!! After freezing, scraping, SURGICALLY REMOVING PART OF MY TOE, my pediatrist saw the light in the form of a silver adhesive advice on a roll. So he prescribed THE GRAND ADHESIVE ADVICE OF THE WATER FOWL [duck tape]! And now, three months later I AM FREE!!!! THERE ARE NO WARTY BONDS TO HOLD ME DOWN NOW! - Charles

And now, the step-by-step instructions - as posted on WebMD:
Tape occlusion for wart removal
Tape occlusion is an inexpensive method of wart removal that involves covering the wart with tape. It is often called the "duct tape" method.
• Cut a piece of adhesive tape as close to the size of the wart as possible.
• Leave the tape in place for 6 days. If the tape falls off, put on a new piece.
• After 6 days, remove the tape and soak the area in water. Then gently rub the wart surface down with an emery board or pumice stone. Leave the tape off overnight.
• Repeat this process until the wart is gone, but not longer than 2 months.

One small study found that in 22 out of 26 people, common warts went away completely within 2 months. In most people, they were gone in 28 days.1
1 Focht DR III, et al. (2002). The efficacy of duct tape vs cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (the common wart). Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 156(10): 971–974.

Belly Remover Jim came up with this one after reading the wart study... To remove that hideous middle-aged gut, simply apply a strip of duct tape over your mouth for six days to two months.

(left) First Aid in Berea for Peace Trail Worker What had happened was while they were moving some equipment in the rain, he slipped in the mud and bumped into a 300 lb peace stone and as it fell. The temporary metal support holding it sprang loose from the weight of the falling stone in the mud and hit him in the hand. The wound is not that bad considering, and temporary first aid was applied (including water proof duct tape) so that the work could be completed on schedule. - submitted by Renate J.

Removes "Skin Tags" Works great for removing those ugly and annoying skin tags that a lot of us get as we age. Just put a patch of the tape over the area and leave on for a week or two. Replace tape if needed if it starts to peel.They shrink over a short time period and eventually go away if you keep the tape on. Worked for me anyways. Tried it on a plantars wart that went away so thought why not try it on a tag. - Patty

Broken Neck Stablizer My roommates and I just got through watching a NBA playoff go Lakers, then started drinking and watching CAGE FIGHTING 10PM. We started Cage fighting and in the mix my neck was hurt. Thinking it was only jambed I lay there wrapped it in a towel 1st and lay there some more drinking trying to ease the pain. Another roommate walks in the door and I'm like in so much pain, I tell Micheal to cut up a girl roomates CATO BOX and DUCT TAPE it around my neck. We rode on a scooter at 3am in the morning across town to Cookeville Regional Medical Center. I'm on the back holding my DUCT TAPED neck in one hand and onto Micheal with the other. When we got there, the doctor put me right in CAT scan and said, "Yep your neck is broken. You're lucky to be alive. You have to have surgery right now. You know, that DUCT TAPE really may have saved your life." All the nurses came to see the guy that DUCT TAPED SAVED. We all laughed until we cried. (I give my dad the credit for teaching me about duct tape.) - John Mackey

Vet Helper This past February, our dog got his leg cut in a hunter's trap. He got his tendon's severed to the bone. The dog survived and at the vets the reconnected all of his tendons and such. But his cut was so big (1 inch wide by 4 1/2 inches long) they were quite worried that his inclination to bite and chew at the "repair" would cause an infection and the dog would loose his leg.

So I was given all sorts of supplies and ended up dressing that wound several times a day as the dog would eat off the dressing as soon as I could put it on. Finally, after spending several more dollars on dressing my husband had enough. He grabbed the Duct tape and securely taped the dog's leg. The dog sniffed the tape and kind of nibbled at it, but quickly left it alone. Three days later we took of the dressing, it was clean and beautiful. So we re-cleaned the stitching and reapplied a nice thick layer of duct tape. Seven days after the accident we went back to the vet's office. They laughedat us, and one of the vets was quite angry at us for "putting that crap on your dog." However, when they cut it off, the wound was clean and one of the best looking wounds they had ever seen. In fact our dog healed so well that no one can tell which leg was the one that was damaged!

The other day I was at the farm supply store... and over heard a farmer laughing about the Vet... apparently they duct taped up one of his cows over a bunch of stitching... I wonder if it was the Grumpy Vet? - Roberta V., Sebringville, Ontario

Emergency Bone Relocator I was at my hockey practice the other day and i got checked and my wrist bone popped out the team doctor wrapped some duct tape around my wrist, left some slack, counted to 5, then pulled the slack and the bone pooped into place. I was able to play in the game the following day. And the tape served as a good cast until i got a real one. Heck it was real enough to me! - John

Jim's son's knuckle bandage On the way to the airport for some duct tape evangelism, we stopped to meet Jim's son for lunch. After which his son, Sam (sorry, girls, he's taken), was transfering some stuff to his trunk and sliced a nasty chunk out of his knuckle on something on the trunk lid... It was a bleeder! Out came Tim's hand sanitizer, a tissue and Jim's roll of duct tape. So far, Sam's not dead. Must have worked.

Best Eye Patch Ever I had surgery on my left eyelid for an entropion (the eyelid turns inward and the lashes scrape the surface of the eye) about 6 years ago. Ever since that surgery, my eyelid no longer remains closed while I sleep. I tried at least a hundred different types of adhesive eye patches and tape, all of which either took off hunks of skin in the morning when I took it off, or did not stay on through the night. Out of desperation, I tried duct tape, and it worked perfectly. It stays on through the night and comes off without tissue trauma in the morning--I've been using it every single night for 6 years, and without it, I probably would have lost my eye. - Ben, Boston, MA

Horse Bandage I am a veterinarian - I specialized in horses. You want a bandage to stay on a horse? Some horses will not stay bandagedno matter what you do either because the horse is not a good bandage citizen or else because the injury is just someplace that is not amenable to bandaging. Put a cover dressing over the wound. Spray the surrounding area with WD-40. Apply duct tape over the cover dressing and sprayed area. Apparently the WD-40 melts the glue on the duct tape just enough to make it
permanently bond to the hair underneath.
DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE IN TO CHANGING BANDAGES EVERY WEEK OR SO! This is for those field horses that you only get to see once and then never can catch again. The bandage will not come off until the hair falls out and you will earn an equine enemy for life if you try to take the bandage off before most of the hair has shed underneath it. - John H.

Horse Leg Gash Healer I’ve had horses for over 60 years and of course have seen my share of wounds in them. I’ve used duct tape over a kotex pad on gaping wounds of the legs with a lot of success. You can’t always get a vet, and some wounds really just need home treatment anyway. We keep duct tape in the house, in the barn, in the tool shed and in the vehicles including the horse trailers- Eileen T

Wrist Guard Mary P. of Portland, OR came up with this stylish wrist guard. Why pay big bucks for a commercially-made wrist guard when have duct tape on hand?

Taping for a Good Cause I have done two 60-mile walks for Breast Cancer and am in training for my third. I use the tape to keep me from getting blisters. I put a strip of duct tape around the bottom of my foot, from the top of my big toe to the top of my pinkie toe. During all the training walks the tape kept me from getting any blisters. During the first walk I only got blisters after 45 miles. I think I pulled the tape too tight and made my toes rub together. The second walk I got them sooner, but I didn't have NEAR the problems other walkers were having. I will definitely be using duct tape throughout this training and walk!! - Kimber Streeter

Post Surgery Running Bra I am an avid runner and I have run daily for the past 15 years since I quit smoking. Not only do I enjoy the physical benefits of running to stay in shape, but I also enjoy the psychological benefits of mood elevation and stress relief. Running was never more critical for me than when I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past year. Fortunately, I had a lumpectomy but after my surgery I remained very stressed because I couldn't run until my surgical wounds healed. There were no post-surgical running bras. Then I remembered the duct tape that I had recently purchased to temporarily hold the side mirror onto the door of my daughter's car until repaired. Could it work? With a little duct tape I tailor-made a support over the top of my running bra each day until I healed. And because I had already purchased the see clear duct tape it was also very discreet. Thanks to duct tape I missed only two days of running after my surgery and I was able to participate in The Susan G. Koman 5K Race for The Cure in Louisville, Ky. - Denise Mott

Cure all? I have a daughter who is a mosquito magnet. They love her at least 3 times more than the rest of us. But she frequently gets infected mosquito bites and has to be rushed to the doctor for a shot and an antibiotic. It's really a headache and I would always get stressed out every time she got a mosquito bite. But then I heard that duct tape (medical tape too, but duct tape is far superior) draws white blood cells to the area which then clears up the infection. So last summer while we were on the road vacationing she got a bite and it started to get infected. We didn't know what the heck we were going to do. We were on vacation! So I put some tape on it and was sure to change it at least once a day, or whenever the tape fell off, and within about a week the mosquito bite and infection had completely cleared up!
I used it on myself once when I skinned my knee and it got really really infected before I did anything about it. I put the duct tape on and whenever it would come off because of the infection goo I'd clean the area and put more duct tape on. Within about a week the infection had stopped oozing and within about two weeks it was all better.
It can be used for anything where white blood cells can heal the problem. I've used it on warts. My husband always gets these nasty cold sores that grow and fester for weeks. He started putting duct tape on his lip and it not only stops growing, but shrinks and goes away. Of course he only uses the duct tape at night so he doesn't look silly during the day (no offense!)
Personally I like the clear duct tape the best. For those of us who may be a little more conservative it's great because it doesn't broadcast to the world that you are wearing duct tape. But for those who like color you can get rolls in many different colors and show off that nasty bug bite, or infection, or whatever.
The reason why I choose duct tape over first aid tape is because you can get any size piece of duct tape that you need to cover the offending area. When I skinned my knee first aid tape would not have stayed on that thing for anything. And duct tape sticks much better than first aid tape too. So at our house we sing the praises of duct tape! Especially when it's mosquito season. - Gail Baird

Fungus Toe Nail Remedy I had toe nail fungus for some years. My doctor prescribed a pill that I took for a year and the nails normalized. Several years later, the fungus returned, particularly to one toe. Because of the possible side effects on one's kidneys, pills were out and I resorted to a topical solution that really did not help. About to lose one toe nail, I applied duct tape encircling the nail. Now after two months and no topical solution, my nail is half way back and looking healthy. One never knows.

Pain-Free Miracle on a Roll? I am a bilateral ( double ) below knee amputee. Both legs were amputated ten years ago after open heart surgery. During the pas two years my legs have undergone atrophy and there is little flesh left to cushion my stumps and my knees. Just thin skin and bones. I have suffered extreme pain in these areas because I am very active on my prosthetic legs and these area started breaking open and bleeding. The Chronic pain has cause me so many problems that I cannot begin to list them. However, two weeks ago, I started covering the ends of my stumps and both knees with black duct tape out of desperation. Amazingly, the pain stopped almost immediately. After a few days, when I removed the tape, the wounds were completely healed. Now, I keep those areas covered all the time with the tape and am experiencing pain free living for the first time in several years! I haven't experienced any kind of infection either. Thank God for duct tape! I mean this sincerely! - Mike Foley, San Diego

Bursitis Cure Duct tape was the key in the cure of my bursitis of the elbow about ten years ago. I developed such a painful bursitis in my left elbow that I couldn't hold a small frying pan horizontal. I didn't understand why my left elbow, as I am right-handed and did all my heavy stuff favoring my left arm. Ah, I discovered that I not only drove with my left arm, but I bent my hand sharply at the wrist, the unergonomic culprit. I could not remember not to drive with my left arm until I wrapped duct tape around the left side of the steering wheel. It worked, and when the duct tape got hot from the sun and so very sticky, I really couldn't stand touching it, and my months of painful bursitis went quietly away. I was cured! My right arm did fine, by the way: I was more conscious of my wrist's angle on my right arm. - Ray T., Santa Rosa, California

Ankle Mender (right) I twisted my ankle when I was playing basketball and could barely walk. The pain stopped for the most part later on, but the next day, the pain returned, along with some swelling. I took a long skinny strip of a towel and wrapped it around my ankle, then wrapped the towel with duct tape. It healed like a charm. - Josh S., Chester, Va.

Ankle Mender II A few years ago my friend and roommate had a plaster splint placed on her ankle for a severe sprain. The plaster cast fractured at the ankle and therefore did not provide the support it was intended to provide. I decided to see what I could rig using duct tape to hold the repair together. I found a 1/4 inch rod out in the shed which I cut in half and I slightly bent it and placed them on either side of the splint and secured everything in place with duct tape. It held together til the sprain healed. It looked pretty archaic but did the job. - Becky McM., York PA

Horse Warts and Ringworm I have used duct tape on my horses for equine warts and also my horses ringworm: Two years ago I had a mare that got a really bad case of ringworm on her chest. In case you do not know ringworm is super contagious and horses can give it to humans etc. I had booked an expensive breeding with a stud for this mare and had tried every medication available. My mare was due to be taken to a stud to be bred and the owner of the stud did not want her there because it could spread so we compromised and we taped her chest with duct tape so the stud would not be exposed. The ringworm had been on her chest for over two months. I picked her up ten days later and took of the tape and the ringworm was gone! - Montana Momma

Football Knees Chuck from St. Mary's, PA, suffered from achy football knees. He saw a television ad that featured the use of some high tech and very expensive tape to relieve pain in the knees and back. He decided (with the sage advice of his brother, George) to substitute duct tape and it worked fine! The 3/4 by niine inch strips placed under the knee caps provided support, relieved the pain and provided steadyness. Chuck says it stays in place for days, even during showering.

Ankle Wrap My husband and I were following Route 66 from NM to CA. One afternoon he stopped at a small general store in the "boonies" between Grants and Gallup, NM. While he went into the store for ice cream, I walked our dog Tootsie. Being lively and glad of her freedom, she pulled me down a culvert and in the process my ankle dislocated. I was able to get it back into place, hobbled to the van, and looked for my ace bandages. Alas, I had not packed them for this trip. What a dummy! When David returned to the car, he assessed the situation and promptly said he had some duct tape in the rear of the van.  Since it was important to get pressure on the ankle, he taped my sock to my ankle, firmly but not enough to stop the circulation.  Normally, I have to put ice on the ankle and even though we had ice in the cooler, I was leery about putting it on top of a duct taped sock, so I kept the foot wrapped and elevated until we found a motel in Gallup. This was the first time that my ankle had not swollen after dislocation! Thanks to my problem solving husband, I had experienced a duct tape miracle! - Darlene A., Palisade, CO

Toe Preserver I walked into a rock at night on a beach while my family was on vacation in Costa Rica and cut off the front part of my toe.  We got it treated but since i could not get it wet, but still wanted to swim, I covered the gauze wrapped toe in duct tape and then covered it with a plastic shower cap which was also duct taped to my leg (photo right).  I put a sandal on over this whole concoction and I was able to swim and my cut stayed perfectly dry.  Thank you Duct tape!!! - Lauren P.

Heel Healer My shoe had some torn leather in the heel cup that was not only irritating my heel skin, but was ripping through my socks. A little strip of duct tape over the offending leather put a permanent stop to the pain and the sock fraying. --- Tim

Heel Softener The skin on the heels of me feed gets very dry and will crack, leaving an extremely painful and uncomfortable. By taping the heels the natural oil and moisture is retained, the areas remain moist and comfortable. There are many who suffer from this. There are prescription creams made for it. I have found the tape to be much better. You just put it on and forget it. - Michael N.

Skater's Blisters I'm a figure skater, and I would get horrible blisters in the same places every single year. Practicing for hours with blisters on your feet is very uncomfortable. I would get blisters year after year, and it would take a few weeks for me feet to toughen up. I tried to put bandaids on my feet, but they would never stick. My grandfather suggested that I use duct tape. Now I swear by this, it's been years since I've started doing this and I haven't gotten a blister since. I suggested the idea to a bunch of my friends, and now they all duct tapes their feet before they skate. Great performances have been possible because of duct tape. - Melissa

Victoria's Secret? Do you have any idea of how many hundreds of duct tape "boob lift" notes (and pictures) have we gotten in our years of collecting duct tape uses? We do. We also know that this technique for enhancing the female form is a lot safer, not to mention cheaper, than cosmetic surgery. Duct tape is a common proportion enhancer at most beauty pageants. The technique has been demonstrated on the "Oprah!" show and in fashion magazines such as...
"More" lift (left) MORE Magazine’s fashion and beauty director provide a pre-photo shoot "lift" to get a model ready for a shoot. The ?lift was accomplished with duct tape on top of surgical tape. (Source: November 2001 issue, More Magazine)

Pinworm-Be-Gone Sometimes I wake up in the night with an incredible itch just aft of the top of my inseam. I immediately suspect pinworms, and head for the bathroom with a roll of duct tape. The little guys (or gals) like to come out at night and lay their eggs, thus the itch. If I can catch them quickly before exposing them to light, they'll still be there. A three-inch piece of duct tape, sticky side up, not only grabs the worms for a confirmation of the diagnosis, but it gets some of their eggs too. I then fold the tape in half, wormy side in, and toss in in the biohazard receptacle next to the toilet.
The next day I head to the pharmacy for a $10 bottle of pinworm remedy (the only vermicide available without a perscription). I can skip the expensive doctor's office visit, expensive lab test, and expensive drugs associated with unknown worm infestations.
A penny's worth of duct tape takes me directly from first symptoms to the treatment phase! - Andy's Dad

Body Cast Fix My eight year old son Chad desided to break both his legs this summer and send some time in a full bodycast. The hospital places a wooden broomstick handel between his knees to keep the cast spread wide. Well even in a full bodycast Chad somehow breaks things like that wooden rod but I took my roll of ducktape and wraped the bar up and around the cast several times. Should hold up well until his change! You wouldn't believe how much bodycasts cost - a two dollar roll of duct tape was well worth it. - Chad's Mom

Jump Start I recently had defibrillation training (you know the keen little machine that can save lives) and learned that the defibrillator pads might not stick to a hairy chest. Duct tape to the rescue!!!! Grab the duct tape, stick it on the chest hair and then rip it off, and then go going to save the person’s life!!!!! I am in the environmental protection business, and we use duct tape to seal our tyvek suits and full face air filters!!!! --- Reggie from PA We're thinking that pulling the duct tape off of a hairy chest alone will jump start the person!

Wilderness Knee Stabilizer While x-c skiing alone in the back country of far northern British Columbia, I caught a tip and tore my knee out. Damaged the medial, anterior collateral and posterior collateral ligaments and chipped the tibia. I'm 72. I wrapped multiple layers of duct tape very tightly around the knee outside the pantleg, eight inches above and below to form a splint (almost a cast!). The compression also slowed swelling. Then I crutched out to the road on my ski poles. Every moose in ten square miles now knows the F-word, but I didn't have to wait for rescue.
Since our home is 100 miles from any source of knee braces, I tailored one from a plastic Krazy Karpet and a lot of duct tape, and it worked quite well enough to get around with until I could get into town for one of the $600 models.
Incidentally, I'm the author of a Canadian wilderness first aid book, and have found you can use duct tape to make everything from emergency goggles to prevent snowblindness to sturdy emergency stretchers out of otherwise wimpy materials. Most people going light carry several yards of it wrapped around their water bottle rather than packing a whole roll. --- Wayne Merry, Atlin, B.C.
Excellent idea, Wayne. Jim is wrapping several yards around his beer bottles right now.

Preparation DT Sometimes hemorrhoids must be removed surgically. A hemorrhoid is cause by a blood clot in tiny blood vessels around the anus. So, how does a doctor cut the clot out if he/she is alone with the patient in his office. How does he/she keep the butt cheeks apart in order to get at the anus for the inpatient operation. It is easy with duct tape. The patient lies belly down on the examination table, butt naked. The doctor then gets two strips of duct tape. He applies an end of each strip to each of the butt cheeks. Then he pulls each cheek away from the anus and applies the other end of each strip to the table. Thus, the butt cheeks are spread apart leaving the anus fully exposed and the patient incapacitated from being able to "pucker" when antiseptic, injections, and the scalpel are applied. When the procedure is completed, the tape is removed with quick vigorous pulls. And how do I know? Experience. --- Stephen M. R.

Ingrown Toenail I recently fixed an ingrown toenail by attaching a small strip of duct tape near the offending toenail and using it to stretch the skin back away. It relieved the pain and pressure and gave the toenail a chance to grow out instead of being buried and getting worse. - Luke Miller

Poison Ivy Helper I discovered I had some poison ivy on my ankles. When the calamine lotion wasn't working I turned to duct tape. It not only protects the rash from being scratched, it also helps to heal it faster. The adhesive keeps the wounds open, so they clear out much quicker than if left alone. Duct tape is the cure-all. Viva la duct tape! --- Kristen R., S., New York

Suture on a Roll Hundreds of you have written us about using duct tape to seal wounds. Some of the more memorable ones are listed here: The Tinner and the Snuff An old Swedish tinner (sheet metal worker) gashed his forearm with a piece of metal. Instead of rushing off to the emergency room, he spat some snuff juice in the wound and covered it with duct tape. The wound healed just fine (although the guy's arm is now going through nicotine withdrawal).
The Mountain Climbers A couple of guys were climbing in the Pacific Northwest when one fell and had his rock pick puncture his neck. His climbing partner (who happened to be a doctor - without his medical bag) grabbed a roll of duct tape and secured the wound with duct tape stopping the bleeding while his partner went to the emergency room. His quick-thinking and duct tape carrying friend saved his life!
Self-Administered First Aid for Head Wound I'd been building a log cabin in a remote northern Alberta location and had taken the two hour, four-wheel drive trip into the site alone to drop off some supplies. After placing some roofing materials in the rafters a chunk of wood fell and hit me in the head splitting it open from the top right down to my eyebrow. The bleeding was profuse, and knowing that I'd have to use both my hands to drive myself to safety, I used my shirt and about 30 wraps of duct tape to create a helmet-like compress bandage on my head. The doctors had one hell of a time. --- Joel Hynes
Repair a Chest Wound (no photo, sorry... no we’re not) Let me tell you how to TEMPORARILY treat a sucking chest wound (gunshot for example) with duct tape.It's VERY IMPORTANT TO CALL 911 IN THIS SITUATION! Make sure the scene is safe!!! Work quickly, as time is of the essence.
1) Find your ever-ready duct tape and a square of celophane large enough to cover the entire wound(the kind from a chip bag works best)
2) Put the cellophane over the wound and closely tape down all but one corner. This is called a "Flutter valve".
3) Treat for shock, any other injuries, watch your back.
4) Transport them immediatly to a hospital.Might want to call the cops too.
This really works and can be found in EMT and First Responder textbooks. --- A.F., Fire Explorer (cadet) in California

Construction Human Hole Patch My husband deeply punctured his bicep on reinforcing rods (rebar) while constructing a cement block wall. In order to stop the bleeding, he packed it with sawdust and wrapped it securely with duct tape and went back to work as usual! The scars a little ugly, but no stitches were ever needed. Once again, a two dollar roll of good old duct tape saved hundreds in emergency room visits! He always uses duct tape to patch his wounds. ---- Kelly (and Justin), Emmaus, PA

Prevent Frostbite When by brother was at a ski race in Canada he taped up his face to be protected from frostbite (right). It was succesful! --- Robbie

More Frostbite Preventative Alaskan Iron Dog racers Steve H. and Michael L., like Robbie's brother mentioned above, use duct tape on their faces to protect exposed skin from frostbite during the race. (Photo by Stephen Nowers / Daily News archive 1998)

Duct Tape Ear Warmer Knowing good 'ole Michigan, the weather suddenly turned bitterly cold and windy one night during marching band practice. My ears get terribly achy in cold wind, so when we were given a break, I whipped out my duct tape and stuck 2 3" pieces to my ears. Girls beware, long hair in the wind won't come out of duct tape nicely if you don't have a high tolerance for pain. Lucky enough for me only a few lil strands were caught- as long as you're cautious enough to keep it out of the way and apply tightly. My inner ears kept toasty warm and free of pain. --- Nina

Duct Tape Helps Arthritis "Handicapped" Golfer I was a 3-hdcp. golfer until arthritis entered the picture. It is pretty severe and my thumbs are partially dislocated at the wrist joint. I suffered a substantial pain in the left thumb on completing the backswing and especially at ball impact or taking a divot. I was going to quit the game but found I could tape my thumb to the palm of my hand leaving just enough room for gripping the club. This has worked for many years. The duct tape is strong, does not stretch and is much cheaper than medical tape which I started with. Can't play golf without it and managing a 14 hdcp. at age 73. Thanks and best regards. --- John B.

Exfoliate with Duct Tape Use duct tape (sticky side) to remove that nasty layer of dead skin after a sunburn. With global warming what it is, you may consider using duct tape as UV protection. Hey, a foot of prevention is worth a yard of cure! - submitted by Tom S., Dickinson, ND

Duct Tape Stops Thumb Sucker When my daughter was about one year old, my wife at that time (now my ex-wife) was trying to get her to stop sucking her thumb. This was recommended by the family doctor to prevent my daughter from ruining her teeth. My ex-wife tried everything by putting/wrapping various materials such as band aid, scotch tape, masking tape, etc. around my daughter's thumb just before she goes to bed. My daughter would just take it off and she kept sucking her thumb. I finally tried DUCT TAPE and it worked. My daughter could not get the duct tape off her thumb and she stopped sucking her thumb completely in about a week. Thought you might like to hear about this. --- J. Blanco

Cast Protector Working in the field of Orthopedic medicine for many years I have seen it all. One of the best ideas that I have seen and pass along to patients is the use of duct tape to repair a broken cast. It is tough enough to hold it together until the cast is ready to come off! It is also easy to keep clean as dirt wipes off easily.
Cast protection while in the shower is also accomplished (and recommended to us by several orthopedic surgeons) by covering the cast with a garbage bag and taping around the top of the bag (to the skin) with duct tape.

Turtle Medic I have found quite an interesting use for duct tape. One day my father put his pet turtle in its outdoor pen. Somehow it managed to escape its pen and Gus, the turtle, went into the road. A good ole SUV ran over it (that is a tire ran over it twice!) and we found poor Gus with a cracked shell. We did not have super glue in the house so we made a make-shift cast of Duct tape for Gus, holding his shell together. Well now Gus is still alive and kicking. --- Tia

Head Immobilizer In an article about how paramedics saved Steelers' quarterback Tommy Maddox, their list includes: ...And to keep his head and neck completely still, the paramedics relied on that old standby, duct tape. Said Mothershed, 32, who has 14 years experience, "There's nothing better."

Duct Tape Saves Traveler’s Toe On a recent trip to Italy I had cause to use duct tape. I had broken my little toe just before I left. I had brought along some tape, to tape the two toes together but ran out. One of my traveling companions had duct tape in her purse, she carries it everywhere, so each day I would cut two small strips to use to tape the toes together. --- Barb O., Oak Harbor, WA

Pebble Pain Preventer Alaskan marathon runners duct tape around the top of their shoes to keep small rocks from entering their shoes - therefore preventing the inevitable pain and blistering. (Photo by Anne Raup / Daily News archive 2001)

Post-Lasik Eye Protection Recovering from LASIK surgery is a breeze with duct tape. You need to protect your eyes at night for about a week so you don't inadvertently rub the “flaps” out of place. They provide you with plastic eye guards and some flimsy tape to secure the guards onto your face. Well, I wasn't about to trust my new eyes to this lesser tape! Heck no... I went right for the roll of duct tape to hold the things in place. Now, I just have to figure out how to get them off without removing my face. --- T.N.

Paw Protection for our Four-Legged Friends I wrap duct tape around my dogs' feet when they go out in the snow, so they don't get those painful ice balls between their pads. This actually works better than the expensive dog boots. --- Shirley Allen
We use duct tape to wrap our hunting dogs feet when there are a lot of sand burrs. Helps to keep the dogs hunting. --- Roger Buddin

Horse Hoof Repair I had a horse that had an abscess in the hoof. I made a paste of meds and duck taped a diaper on the bottom of hoof for padding and to keep the meds in place. Worked great and horse was better in no time. Equine vets have told us that they make a "duct tape dam" to hold in the epoxy when repairing horse hooves.

Duct Tape Ace Bandage Recently my son got hit with a baseball, in the leg. It swelled up. NO ace bandages around. After applying ice, we found some cheesecloth ( light cloth for draping over picnic food to keep flies out), wrapped it tightly around the injury, and applied two widths of duct tape. worked like a charm, swelling went down by that evening. --- Nick Spagnola

Bandage Bandage As a housewife-turned-dayschool teacher, I've found that the only way to keep a bandage on a small child is to TAPE it. My 5-year-old cut off a good portion of the tip of his thumb (try band-aids on THAT area!), and I just wrapped some gauze with duct tape around it; that protected his thumb, padded it, and *eventually* came off. --- Amy

In Sickness and In Health... Duct Tape The Allens of Escondido, CA used duct tape to remove hair stubble after ten radiation treatments. "It's extremely soothing!" reported the recipient of the treatment.

Duct Tape Dental Floss I was at work one night and a large piece of food became wedged between my back teeth. I tend bar so I asked the customers for floss. One lady had an old round tin of travel floss in her purse but the floss would not come out of the tin. I looked in our tool drawer to get a pliers to open the container. Lo and behold a roll of duct tape with several strings hanging loose. I pulled a six inch piece loose and behold dental floss. The food was gone and I was no longer being irritated. --- Forrest R.

Duct Tape for the Goat Breeder I breed dairy goats and several years ago I had a doe (female goat) who prolapsed or inverted her "reproductive organ", (trying to keep it non-offensive here) just before kidding, so since she was due to have her kids anyday I tried to think of a way to keep it in place without a Vet call. I used duct tape! It worked great. I had the same thing happen this year but this time it was an inverted rectum. I did take the goat to the vet and he put in a suture used for this type of thing. It didn't work because of the irritation the doe could not preform normal functions. I removed the suture and did the duct tape thing. Again it worked like a charm. I published a goat magazine and a full article on using duct tape in this manner is in in the next issue. Bet you'll never get another story like this one, but it IS true. Attached is a picture. --- Nancy H., Yucca Valley, CA

Finger Splint Jam a finger playing basketball? Break a finger during a trip? Quick! Eat two popsicles, and duct tape a stick to each side of your finger to form an instant, immobilizing splint. Similarily, you can use two by fours and duct tape if you break a leg, or two four by eight sheets of plywood and duct tape for a total body cast.

Cast Immobilizer My son had foot surgery and had full legs casts put on both legs to keep him from trying to stand. About a month after the casts were put on my wife discovered that his left cast had broken just below the knee. With three 8" pieces of broken yard stick and several wraps of duct tape, the cast was more than secure. When we took him the next day to the hospital, the cast technician said she had seen a lot of home repairs but this was the best she had ever seen! --- Jim B.

Emergency Colostomy Repair
(left) This was the third time that "WP22" had to repair his/her colostomy with duct tape. But they swear it works great and "holds all day".

Duct Tape EMT Technology Some ambulance and fire agencies use duct tape to secure patients to back boards when transporting injured and ill people to the emergency room. It can be a life saver when used to prevent spinal injuries by minimizing head and neck movements. --- Laurel Paulson-Pierce E.M.T. Golden Feather Volunteer Fire Company
And Another EMT: I have worked on an ambulance for more than 18 years and occasionally we have a patient that may have a severe spinal injury and on numerous occasions we have used duct tape to secure the patient to a back board.Now more than once the nurse in the ER has made a remark about the fact that we used the duct tape. My response has always been that the patient hasn't moved since we put them on the board. I don't think any of them ever questioned the use of duct tape more than once. --- Lonnie M.

Lifeguard Uses As a lifeguard I am familiar with the methods of reviving drowning victims who's hearts have stopped (one definition of clinical death). We commonly use CPR (Cardiopulminary Resusitation) to get hearts going again when no AED (Automated External Defibulator - electric shock) equipment is unavailable. Part of this technique requires breathing into the victims mouth and/or nose at regular intervals to force oxygen into their lungs. We typically wish to use pocket mask (also known as face masks) to create a barrier to limit the passage of communicatible deseases between victim and rescuer. You can create on the these with duct tape by creating a circular tube with both ends open. It must be somewhat cone shaped, one side large enough to provide coverage of both mouth and nose, and one end small to fit nicely between the rescuers lips. This type of device would be preferable to any rescuer over simple mouth-to-mouth. It provides enough protection to limit risk to the rescuer.
Duct tape can also be used to keep the victims tongue out of the way of the windpipe or tie down people who may limit you ability to revive a victim (i.e. over helpful family members) Once again, this is not simply useful for rescuing people but rather also capable of reviving drowning victims already clinically dead. The improvised face mask provides enough protection to the rescuer to give him/her the fearlessness to act quickly enough to save a life. --- Nathan

Splinter Removal When I get a splinter, thorn, or sliver of metal so small you can't find it with the naked eye, just press duct tape over the area,and viola! Pull off the tape and out comes the offending object. --- Gomer

Duct Tape Finger Splint Jory B. found that duct tape made a great finger immobilizer when his sliced his hand open on his gear shift knob. A little folded over duct tape positioned between the fingers (see photo on right) kept the sutured finger immobilized during the healing process. Man, that's what we call an aggressive driver!

Cactus Remover: In the Arizona desert we have many sticker bushes, like cactus. On hikes it's easy, almost inevitable, for hikers to brush up against a cactus and receive a batch of spines on their pants leg, or worse, bare flesh. Tweezers work to remove the larger ones, but not the many small spines, especially from cholla and prickly pear cacti, that are almost invisible. You know they're still there because you can still feel them poking you. To remove the tiny spines, dab duct tape against your skin or clothes. --- Leanna A.

Sprain Reliever I sprained my ankle. and after moaning about it for a day, my roomate suggested that i use some duct tape for a bandage. So i made a long strip of duct tape and folded it in half, sticky sides together to not rip out my leg hair, and wrapped it around my ankle. it feels good as new. --- "Dr. Duct Tape"

Callus on a Roll Jim (the Duct Tape Guy) used duct tape to get some more mileage out of his aching feet during a Rocky Mountain hiking trip. He thought of the duct tape as "Callus on a Roll." It's both protective of existing blisters and prevents new blisters from forming.

Or, Blister Preventer When you are up in the mountains and have a blister with no mole-skin. here is what you do (left). This picture was taken at 9,000 feet and features the feet of Kathy Wollman, JC Wollman and Kyke Orrell.

Once again... I was on a one week hike and kept getting hot spots on my large toes the first day, which eventually leads to blisters. Before I put my boots on the second day, I wrapped my large toes with duct tape to keep them from getting blistered. It worked wonderfully for the rest of the hike, a total of 50 miles. - Dan, Petaluma, California

Asbestos Shield I'm in the asbestos abatement industry - we use duct tape by the case! --- Steve U. We've also seen duct tape being used to seal the cuffs of Biohazard worker suits. In fact, we put up a whole page of pictures... click here.

Ouch! As a nurse, I never cease to be amazed at what people will do! I was telling another nurse my story about the colostomy bag that the patient had held on with Duct tape, when she had her own patient use of Duct tape to relate. A condom catheter is one worn by a male patient who needs a long-term catheter but not the invasion into the bladder required by a regular Foley catheter. The sheath is held on with a light coating of a gentle adhesive, so that removal is not traumatic. That is, normal men keep them on that way. Seems that my acquaintance had a patient who taped his on with DUCT TAPE! Now that's one tough guy!!! --- Linda H.

Emergency Budget Dog Repair My dog got hit by a car and I was totally broke and there was no way I could pay a vet. Luckily I'd begun watching a lot of emergency vet shows, don't know why. I could tell the break was high in the leg, hip in fact.  I fashioned a bendable metal rod to sort of outline the hind quarter, and another rod to run straight down the leg and over the dog's back and partially down the unbroken hind quarter. I put it in place and duct taped it all to the dog. I took the clippers to these areas first. The dog was able to hobble on it with in hours. I changed the tape regularly. The dog wasn't very happy about it, he still cringes at the sound of duct tape  years later. One day he actually ran laps around the yard near full speed in the duct cast with in 2 months. When my tax refund came I sprang for the $60 X ray. The vets said they couldn't have done better themselves.  The joint had been badly fractured and healed leaving a large calcium deposit around it. The vet said the calcium deposit may have been smaller had I had it casted right.

Conehead Ala Duct Tape This past October our Great Pyr Half Pint punctured the vein in his leg, well to make a very long story short he ended up not only chewing off the stitches but making a big hole in his leg.  We had to use an Elizabethan collar, well his head was too big and he still managed to get at the wound so I put an extension on it and wrap the whole outside because the collar itself was to flimsy and the plastic kept coming off with Duct Tape:  It worked great and it held up with her friend Lil Bit (an Aussie) trying to figure out how to get in there.  Didn't even come off when Half Pint drank water.  As you can tell Half Pint was not a happy camper. - Toni

Cast Protector I broke my arm and was put in a cast, but for a college class, I'm taking swimming and my grade depends completely on participation in class. So what did I do? I duct taped over the cast to create a water-proof seal, thus keeping my cast dry! - Katie, Mesa, Az

A Cast of a Different Color When AJ got sick of the boring white cast, hot pink duct tape made short work of the problem (photo right - duh).

Cryotherm on Roll My cast (right) was removed and I had to ice for 20 minutes two times a day. Since I didn't have the ice packs (not the cryotherm gel things), I took two small plastic cups, filled each with ice, and put one on each side of my ankle (outside and inside). Then I duct taped around that area of my foot a few times (to keep them secure and make sure no water leaks out) and voila!. A water-leak resistant, instant ice pack. - AJ
Note: You can also wet a sponge, put the wet sponge in a plastic sandwich bag, tape the bag seal, and freeze it. Then tape the bag (do-it-yourself Cryotherm) to to the problem area.

Doctor Duct (a word of warning) In 1988 I was working out every day and running 5 miles a day. My workout routine was not only running, but sit ups, side bends, etc.. I decided to add holding five lb weights in each hand as I did my side bend exercises and that was really not a good idea. I injured several of the cartillages between the ribs and it was similar to having rib fractures . I could not sneeze, or cough or move without pain. I told my husband about this and that I felt that some rib support would help while my ribs healed. You guessed it, he got out his duct tape and proceeded to tape me from the center of my chest around to the middle of my back, down to my waistline. I was instructed to wear this for three weeks. (I am an R.N. by the way and I went along with it)... DUMBEST THING I EVER DID! When it was time for the tape to come off, I asked my husband to help me SLOWLY remove the tape that was getting loose at the edges anyway. He promised he would do it slowly and insted, with one big YANK , ripped off half a pound of duct tape skin and all. I truly resembled the Tazmainian Devil cartoon character with the spin I did as I was being striped of the tape. I lost three layers of skin that day, but gained a lot of respect for the damage duct tape can inflict. It should come with a warning label not to be used in first aid unless under temporary and emergency circumstances! My husband and I are still together and still in love, but I am very select in the medical help I ask him for now. I make sure that it can have nothing to do with duct tape as a cure! Hope you got a chuckle as I do now when I tell this story at get togethers! --- Tazzii Hey, Tazzi - just spray yourself down with WD-40 first and the tape won't remove your skin.

Duct Tape Knee Repair I used duct tape to repair my wooden leg. I have an above knee amputation and I wear a peg-leg. While waiting for a new leg to be built I was on vacation away from home when the knee unit of the old one split. I used duct tape to hold the knee together along with a 10 inch hose clamp. The prostethis guy was impressed. --- Bill H. Speaking of which, check out this short video of another guy who holds himself together with duct tape.

Skate Boarder Mathias Rinstrom survives with a duct-taped valve.

It was my last trick (or what turned out to be the last) in my second run at the West 49 contest in Toronto, Canada. I did a Cab heelflip, and it felt a little bit off, but not too bad. I know I landed on the paint where the logos were because it was slippery when I over-rotated onto it. I've had eight concussions, so I didn't want to hit my head again. While I was going down, I tucked my head in, which made me land more on my ass than on my back.

Right when I hit, I felt something weird happen - I couldn‚t breathe and it hurt like a motherf_ _er to move around. I'd punctured my lung before, and it felt kind of the same. Anyway, when I slammed I sort of held my breath and cut off my airways, so instead of the air going through my mouth, it blasted its way out through my lungs. While I was in the ambulance, the guys listened to my lungs and didn't hear anything to make them think something was wrong.

When I got to the hospital, everyone was still wearing those masks from the SARS thing, so I couldn‚t tell the patients from the doctors. They took two X-rays - one while I was breathing in and one while I was breathing out. The results showed a mild pneumothorax (a collection of gas or air which surrounds the lungs). The doc told me it wasn't too bad and that I should go home and come back tomorrow. But then he looked at the other one and happened to notice that about 80 percent of my lung was collapsed. My lung looked like a crumpled-up grocery bag.

The doctor told me that I needed a chest tube, so I laid down on a table, and they brought in a stick about eight inches long. They put a local anesthetic on the skin, then the doctor jammed the stick between my ribs all the way up to my rib cage/chest plate. He gave me a countdown, and then popped right through it. I felt the pressure run through and build up, and I couldn't breathe for a while. Then he pushed a tube in and hooked it up to a valve. The valve lets the air out but not back in, and every breath I took, I could feel the tube rubbing up against my lung.

After all of this, I left the hospital and went back to the hotel. I met up with everyone, and then went out to the afterparty. At this point you‚re probably wondering, "Is a party the best treatment for a popped lung?" I asked myself the same thing. Anyway, the next day, I went back to the hospital and they took another X-ray. They said it looked the same, and that I should go home and come back again the next day.

Toronto was okay, but I didn't want to stay another minuteˆmuch less another day. Don't get me wrong, it‚s a nice place, but I wanted to be at home. They told me I couldn't fly home because the air that was stuck in between my chest and my lung would expand and fully collapse my lung. A fully collapsed lung on an airborne jet only means one thing: a stopped heart and a dead Swede. Since I couldn't fly home, I was going to have to take the train - 60 hours to San Diego, California!

My friend Andrew (I owe you one, buddy) drove me to Buffalo, New York, where I got on the train to Chicago, Illinois. When I got to Chicago, I took a cab to the hospital. I got there around 10:30 in the morning, and I had until 3:30 p.m. to catch the next train home, so I thought I had plenty of time. They took an X-ray right away. I asked if they could take an X-ray where I was exhaling also, but they didn‚t want to. I explained that I had an 80 percent collapsed lung when I exhaled, but I guess they thought that was normal.

I sat around until three o‚clock until I finally told the nurse that I had to leave. She grabbed the doctor and he told me that I had a punctured lung. He said he'd never seen the kind of valve I had, but decided that I should come back tomorrow for another X-ray. I got on the train instead. Another train had broken down, so all the sleepers were sold out - I had to sit the whole time.

The first morning on the train, I woke up and thought my chest was going to explode. It was hard to breathe, to say the least. I looked down and saw the valve rolling around on the floor. At this point, I had a tube sticking out of my chest letting the air in and out, not to mention a bit of anxiety about the whole "living and dying" thing. Ever heard the expression "Duct tape fixes everything"? Well, chalk up "use number 137," ‚cause I duct-taped the valve back on and settled in for the longest trip of my life.

When I finally got back to San Diego three days later, I went straight to the doctor‚s office. They took another X-ray. As we were looking at the X-ray, the doctor made a really weird faceˆat least weird for a doctor to make while looking at an X-ray. I said, "It doesn't look that good, does it?"

"No, it doesn't," he answered. He couldn't believe the Canadian (or the Chicago) doctors let me leave the hospital. He looked at his watch and told me that I was going to have surgery that night or first thing in the morning. Of course, he was leaving on vacation the next day, so he admitted me to the hospital and gave me another doctor. The new doctor hooked me up to a suction, which basically goes onto the other side of the valve and sucks out the air that's stuck in between the lungs.

Right away I felt the lung expand all the way for the first time in days. It hurt really bad, but felt really good all at the same time. After a shot of morphine, I was good to go. After all of this, they explained to me that the lung can‚t heal when there‚s too much pressure built up in between the rib cage and the lung. So they relieved the pressure with a chest tube. They left it on suction for a few days, and then they turned the suction off to see if the lung stayed inflated. After a few days and a lot of drugs later, my lung collapsed again (surprise!), so they were left with one of two optionsˆeither go in and glue my lung to my rib cage, or they could just staple it to my ribs. They decided to go with the staples.

First, they scraped my lung so it would adhere to my rib cage, and then they hit it with three staples. When I woke up after surgery, I had a long tube stuck in my chest, tubes coming out of my nose, and I couldn't move a muscle. After that, everything is kind of a blur - they gave me way too many drugs. One of the nurses told me she had to run and get the adrenalin shot, because she thought I was going to OD. If you‚ve seen Pulp Fiction, you know what I'm talking about.

I ended up staying in the hospital for two weeks. I got sent home with a big hole in my side (because it‚s round, they can‚t put sutures in). Ten days after being released, I went back to the hospital. The lung looked good, but the doctor wondered if I'd be able to skate at the same level again, since I'd be losing some flexibility and mobilityˆnot to mention about eight percent of my lung capacity. Oh yeah, my chest is numb, too. But the way I see it, since I got my lung stapled, it can't collapse again. So that's just one less injury I have to worry about getting ever again.

And since my chest is still numb, I can slam even harder without feeling a thing. I guess you could say I'm like the six-million-dollar Swede.

- as printed in Skate Boarder magazine