I was feeling a little bit cocky because life was going so well. I’m gearing up for a new job. I’m buying a new house. I had a glowing report from the doctor. Of course, I had to do the dumbest thing possible and tweet about the good fortune.
My life is going too well right now. I’m starting to get paranoid that something really big and bad is about to happen.
— Farmers Daughter (@farmdaughterusa) May 17, 2018
Sure enough, I got a phone call a few minutes later (literally, a few minutes) from my brother Michael saying, “Dad got hurt. He’s on the way home. We don’t know what happened, but be ready.” When Jeremy, my other brother, and dad pulled into the driveway, dad had a towel pressed to the top of his head and blood running down his face. He jumped in the car with mom and they rushed to the Emergency Room.
Turns out he was helping Jeremy load the corn planter with seed. We use a one ton truck (see below) for the job; it is stocked with seed bags and the fertilizer tank. The back of the truck has two swinging doors, which attach to bars at the top and bottom of the walls. Dad stepped on the planter and grabbed the top bar to pull himself up onto the back of the truck. Likely because he was distracted and not paying attention (he doesn’t usually step on the planter to get up there), he smashed the top of his head into the bar, which has a sharp ridge on the bottom side. The impact caused him to lose his grip and he tumbled backwards, falling onto the planter. He landed on his back and arm.
Jeremy saw what happened and ran to the pickup truck parked on the other side of the field. He drove it over to the one ton and grabbed something for dad’s head. The only thing available was a dirty old towel that they use to clean their hands after handling seed or chemicals. Dad put it on his head and applied pressure to the area. Crazy enough, Dad apparently wasn’t sure he really needed to go home, but Jeremy told him to get in the truck because he was going to the Emergency Room.
Of course, all of us were worried that he may have hurt his neck again, after he broke it two years ago.
A visit at the Emergency Room revealed that he only (only!) had a deep gash on the top of his head – all the way across the top, down to his skull, and about a half inch wide. Doctors ran all the tests, but nothing else was amiss; no broken bones, no blood clots, and no swelling on the brain. He likely had a concussion. The gash required internal stitches to cover the lining over his skull (technical term?), and 13 staples on the outside to keep all of it together. The doctor also did extensive irrigating and prescribed antibiotics because the towel dad used in the field had questionable origins.
Thankfully, aside from the pain associated with the stitches and staples, dad was mostly pain-free and able to get back to work. While dad was in the ER, Jeremy removed the bar from the truck so it wouldn’t be in the way. A few days later, however, dad fell off the back of the truck again, this time because he went to grab the bar and it wasn’t there. He landed on his feet though, so no harm. He obviously just needs to be more careful!
Dad had the staples taken out about 10 days later. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as when the doctor put them in. It took all of 5 minutes.
Obviously, we’re all thankful that dad is fine and recovering and nothing more serious happened in the accident. We’re so happy he wasn’t out in a field somewhere by himself, because who knows what would have happened then. The entire ordeal was a stark reminder that we all need to slow down and pay attention. It’s planting season and we have a lot to get done, but it won’t all be accomplished if we don’t survive until the end.