I can now remember what it’s like to be 15 years old again…anxiously awaiting my chance to drive.
I had to undergo a little medical procedure last week, at the hospital, and I was given very strict orders concerning what I could and couldn’t do for the first seven days after release. Normally, I would take those orders with a grain of salt, and fast-track my way back to my normal routine, but my wife is a retired nurse and she was witness to the stern instructions I received from both the surgeon and nurse. It’s like sharing a cell with the warden.
As usual, there are a thousand things that need doing around the farm, but all of them either require the operation of a motorized vehicle, or at least a little bit of strenuous, physical exertion. According to the warden, I’m not allowed to do either.
Helplessly, I sit on the front porch, watching thistles sprout up like a freshly watered chia pet, banned from taking the spray rig out to kill the wicked plants. When I get up and move to the back porch, I see a young bull here in the pasture where he shouldn’t be, and unclipped seed heads that do nothing but irritate the eyes of the cattle, setting them up for a record year of pinkeye. Fly mops on the mineral feeders would help, but they weigh more than 5 pounds, so that is a no-no, also.
I have two more days to go, before I receive a parole, and am allowed to drive again. I still won’t be allowed to “overly exert myself” (do doctors have any clue as to what farmers do, every day?), but I will at least get a little caught up on the most pressing of activities.
Unfortunately, after that one week parole, I have to return to the hospital for an even more invasive procedure (bypass surgery), which will keep me from driving for an entire month (that’s assuming I live through it) and unable to do much of anything for about two more months. By that time, realtors will start to think my farm is abandoned property and start erecting “for sale” signs all over the place.
The warden tells me I’m lucky, since all of these problems were found with routine tests and before experiencing a stroke or heart attack, that would have damaged the heart muscle. I simply have about five arteries that are clogged up and need repairing. I still think baling wire, duct tape and WD-40 would have solved the problem, but the surgeon disagreed and chose the more expensive option of surgery. I think it’s all an insurance scam.
So, over the next few weeks, if you read my column and think you’ve read it before, that means I lived through the surgery and you’re reading reruns. On the other hand, if I didn’t make it through, you’ll only get to read my final column, in the form of an obituary. You won’t want to miss it, though. It’s a dandy!
Jerry Crownover is a farmer and former professor of Agriculture Education at Missouri State University. He is a native of Baxter County, Arkansas, and an author and professional speaker. To contact Jerry, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’