Illnesses and Injuries

I don’t feel good today and I am battling through some sinus infection, sore ears and just a general overall feeling of blah. Being sick gets me thinking though about 40-hour per week jobs, calling in sick and being able to lay in bed all day. Something that farmers don’t have the luxury of doing. Who should I call when I don’t feel like braving the elements with a pounding head, ringing ears and snot running out of my nose? I don’t think the calves, cows or chickens are going to care. They want their food!

Living the farm life isn’t for everyone. We farm through broken ribs, flu season, broken toes, dislocated bones and everything in between. I’ve cared for animals in casts and splints. I’ve cared for animals through pounding heads and aching backs. Farmers who deal with livestock are care givers. When you get sick, you still have kids who need caring for or a dog that needs to go for a walk…it’s really not that much different for us. It would be much more convenient if the cattle were in the house so I wouldn’t have so far to go…but it doesn’t work that way.

Being a farmer takes grit. I’m sure you’ve heard that before but it’s true. We have to push ourselves to work through an illness or injury to get the job done. We don’t get sick days, we don’t get days off. It doesn’t matter, 365 days a year you will find me in the barn caring for calves and feeding the animals.

I’ve learned a lot about pushing myself to get the job done since I have been diagnosed with MS. You need to push but not overdue things. Even if a chore takes you ten times long than it normally would, do it anyway. When it gets done, you can sit down with satisfaction knowing that you  accomplished the job. Besides, if your dealing with livestock they will find a way to make you smile.

Now, since it’s raining outside and more extreme cold weather is coming…I think I’ll tackle some paperwork and housework! Wish me luck in finalizing my plans for 2014 and getting my entire life better organized!

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2 thoughts on “Illnesses and Injuries”

  1. I’m late on leaving a comment, so I hope you’re feeling better by now. But yes, you’re right. It takes “True Grit” to be a farmer! Like you, I’ve had to care for animals through broken bones, sickness and all sorts of malaise. I once cut a cast off two weeks early because I was struggling to trim goat hooves with it on! (Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, since I ended up re-breaking the wrist a few weeks later!) Today I woke up in the midst of a horrible tendonitis flare-up in my hips that’s going to make walking and moving incredibly painful. To make things worse, for the last three days I’ve been nursing a pulled muscle in my neck that’s giving me a non-stop, monster headache, and it’s snowing steadily. In a few minutes I’ll rally, pull my boots on and go start barn chores. Yup, you have to have a lot of “gotta wanna” to farm!

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