I Hurt My Back

dead deer

It wasn’t something dramatic.  To tell you the truth I didn’t feel a thing for two whole days.  It was the afternoon of the second day that I began to have trouble walking upright and bending over to take my socks off became a serious struggle.  You would think that I would know by now to take it easy on certain things on the farm but this was a little bit different.

I was attracted to livestock farming as opposed to vegetable farming because of the nature of the work.  There is generally a divide, real or imagined by me, between those who enjoy the seasonal rhythms of crop work and those who enjoy the mostly quiet days punctuated by holy crap emergency moments when raising livestock.  There is also a particular level of nutso that actually enjoys working with animals that are 10 times their size and that’s where I fall in.

So when a few trees fell on my fence during a windstorm last week I knew that I had to get them cleaned up prior to the cattle hopping the fence and exploring the neighborhood.  The windstorm was accompanied by microbursts that left some massive trees strewn right across my high tensile lines.  This was not a problem for the fence as these things have proven to be an incredible piece of engineering and I wonder what my uncles and aunts who farmed in the 1950’s would think of these nearly indestructible barriers.

So I got to work.  It is with great pride that I can tell you that I donned my new protective gear recommended to me by NYCAM last year during a safety audit at the farm.  I do feel better having all of this on as it’s an awful long way for emergency equipment to reach me should something go wrong.  I would also like to mention that beyond my safety equipment I consider the second most important tool to be my cell phone and I shudder to think about all of the farm accidents that have happened to my brethren alone and injured in the woods before cell phones were common (really that’s only been about 20 years).

So I was able to get the tree cut up into manageable pieces and then I had to move them.  The trunk was so big that it was not feasible to cut multiple logs so I had to suffice with doing it like an Egyptian complete with wedges, levers, and incline planes.  Long story short, I got the wood moved, went on with my week, and now here I am unable to sit down without a struggle and don’t even get me started on my new procedure for putting on clothes!

So what could I have done differently?  I could have asked for help.  I could have brought some more tools or a winch that would make the job easier on my back.  I could have cut more and lifted less. But I didn’t and I am paying for it now, but I promise that next time I’ll take the time to do the job right and that includes taking care of myself.

P.S. anyone want to help me put on socks?



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