The human body is a vulnerable thing

Posted by & filed under livestock.

I awoke a bit late this morning. Neil is off in Calicoon with friends and so I’m here alone and have been slacking off a bit, staying up until midnight watching movies and snacking. This is not a common occurrence for me. I’m usually in bed by 10, up by 6. Not today. 8:30. Shameful.

The dogs were barking at something so I picked some clothes up off of the floor, lazily dressed myself and stumbled out to see what all of the commotion was about. Nothing it seems, as per the usual. Stevie has taken to being vocal often and for unseen reason. There is a retreat going on this week and this sort of behavior can be undesirable when it appears compulsive and without cause. I’ve been trying to police it as often as I can.

So I go out to shush them and I start about my day feeding and providing water and hay for the critters. Carrot, my Flemish Giant doe, slept out in the run amongst the chickens all night. She’s been increasingly difficult to catch. I suspect she may be pregnant but I cannot be sure.

I attempt to catch her so that she can be put in her cage to enjoy her breakfast of organic alfalfa pellets, kale spines and orchard hay but she keeps evading me. She’s a big girl but she’s fast when she wants to be. It usually takes two people to wrangle the loose buns. Alas, it’s just me today.

Just when I think I have her cornered I quickly thrust my hand downward, scraping my forearm along the metal cage and creating a rather deep gash. There was no blood but I could tell it was bad. I clasped my hand over it, pinching the seams of my flesh together and calmly walked towards the house. I don’t cut myself often but I have a history of fainting at the sight of my own injuries so I knew I had to get someplace where I could freely pass out without further hurting myself if it came to it.

I made it indoors and got to the bathroom. I fetched some gauze, clean cloth, neosporin from the cabinet and took my hand away to see the damage. Yup. This is pretty bad. Not sure if I need stitches but I start to feel myself break into a cold sweat and my vision gets dark and fuzzy. Here it comes. I lay myself on the cold bathroom floor and heave my throbbing arm over the side of the bathtub, just in case the blood starts to come on faster.

The darkness never came, fortunately, but after a few moments of lying on the cool tiles with my two cats Huxley and Myra peering at me from the sink countertop like I was sprouting wings, I got up and braced myself for cleaning out the wound and dressing it. I rinsed my arm twice with cool water, patted it dry with a clean cloth and gobbed on some antibiotic ointment before placing a large bandage over the area.

As I finally looked up into the mirror I was struck by how pale I looked. White as a sheet. At that moment it occurred to me how absolutely vulnerable the human body is and how ill prepared I am for mishaps or injuries. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with this realization but I’ve got to do something. I doubt it will be the last injury on the farm. This was fairly small but what if something worse happens? It’s not unlikely. It would be wise to expect the worst and be pleased when it never comes. Does that seem extreme, readers? Or is it just common sense that I’ve lacked for so long?

Photo on 2012-08-26 at 10.10.jpg
Nice job, Meg!

Once I pulled myself together and had a moment to regain my color, I slowly completed my rounds, filling the rabbit and chicken waterers, feeding the dogs, haying the rabbit cages, collecting eggs. Then I came back and plopped myself down on the couch and had a good cry. Something about tending to your own wounds feels so terribly lonely. But we all are a bit alone in this life, aren’t we? I don’t mean it in a dark sense, really. Or perhaps I do. This has me feeling a bit low for a reason that I can’t put my finger on.

Fortunately, I’ve got the help of the Seven Arrows family here. Diane stopped by for some eggs for her son shortly after, saw that I was hurt and within minutes I had Lucas and his father both checking in on me to see if I needed anything. After I finish my coffee we’re going to take a good look at my arm and see if it might need stitches after all. Stitches are not, I should probably take a trip to the hospital to get a tetanus shot just to be on the safe side.

I feel as though I’m being a bit dramatic, but I rarely injure myself and today’s mishap really shook me up.



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