Tales From the (Minorly) Injured Farmer

There are a lot of things to fear on a livestock farm. Will predators attack any of our animals? Will another crazy wind storm destroy one of our buildings? Could our animals ever get out and wander away into the woods? Something that we try not to think too much about but is actually our biggest fear is the fear of getting injured. 

Seriously. Statistically, farming is actually the one of the most dangerous profession in the US (yeah, that's crazy, I know). But when we stop to think about it it's easy to see why. Heavy equipment, large animals, power tools, and sharp objects.  This week, I ended up in urgent care because of a much less expected farm related issue....getting dust and straw in my eye ball.

It all started while I was running electric cables in the barn. I hammered something into a floor joist above me, and while I was looking up, some dust/straw/dirt/who-knows-what fell down into my left eye. I've gotten sawdust in my eyes before and it usually comes out immediately. But, this time was different. I slowly made my way back to our house and inspected my eye in the mirror. It was burning like crazy and getting increasingly puffy and blood-shot. 

I put my head over the sink and poured jarfuls of water over my eye, got into the shower and tried to flush it out, got a large bowl filled with water and submerged the left side of my face and blinked repeatedly to try to get the particle out of my eye. I even got a shot glass, filled it up with water and held it in front of my eye to try to wash it out (thank you Internet....not helpful). Nothing was working. 

I don't panic very often, but I really started to panic. I couldn't help but wonder if whatever was floating around in there might cause me to lose my vision. What would farming be like with one eye? I called Jenney, who was at work at her other job, and she patiently talked me through what to do next. She sent me to urgent care, where they quickly numbed my eye and swabbed out two fibers and a speck of dust under a black light.

We always share about how much we LOVE farming and how we want to keep doing this work until we're old and gray  And that's why we make a point to take good care of our bodies. We eat good food, exercise, get enough sleep, and try not to put ourselves in situations where injury is likely. But then there are those things that you can't predict, like when a few specks of dust fall from the ceiling directly into your eye ball, that you just have to accept. And then thank your lucky stars...and your wife...and the nice PA at the urgent care down the road... and then move on.  

Your Farmers, 
Greg and Jenney