Bale of Hay = 1 - Average Joe = 0
The hay won this round, but I will be back.
I have stated in a few other posts that my family owns several horses and recently two of our horses have been requiring special dietary needs with larger-than-normal amounts of hay as the foundation of that special diet. I’m not a horse person, so we will just leave it there, as I don’t know enough about this to question, and I’m not certain that there is anything to question. Moving on, so here I am, I was picking up freshly baled hay in round bales. These bales weigh around 750 pounds or more each. I had one in the back of my pickup truck and I was unloading it which consisted of one person pushing and one pulling.
Obviously, the person pulling wants to make sure that they can get the hell out of the way when that bale starts to come off the end of the truck. We have done this dozen a times before, so it wasn’t new to me and I had implemented my standard safety protocols. One was to put a cinder block on the ground to stop the bale from being a steam roller and make me a pancake. All I needed to do was pull and once it started to come, I would just pivot out of the way. We remove the tailgate of the truck, and back the truck up to where we want the bale to be. Then we just unload it, quick and easy and simple.
Well, best-laid plans….. The bale was on its way out of the truck, I tried to pivot, lost my footing (slipped as I was wearing muck boots, which have next to no traction) and I was suddenly right in the way of this falling bale of hay. Instinctively I pushed myself away from the bale (I pushed against the bale), causing me to move with force, now in the same direction as the bale. My push had no effect on the bale (duh, but that wasn’t the intent), which I swore gave off a sinister laugh like Dr. Evil when I pushed against it.
I now effectively pushed myself with force into the gate that was behind me. I tried to push myself off the gate, but I failed and I ended up flat on my back on the concrete. I know my arm is hurt, I figured it was broken, and I was certainly feeling a fair amount of pain from it, so I gathered my wits about me (yeah, who am I fooling, “wits”). I do a quick systems check and then I look down at my feet, expecting to see the bale lying on top of me to my surprise the cinder block stops the bale and it is only slightly pushing my toes backward. My wife is freaking out and calling for help from the people who were with us, just not helping us move the bales and asking me if I’m Okay, I start to sit, and as I tell her I’m pretty sure have broken my arm. I get to my feet and I check out my arm to my surprise, I can move it, but it is extremely sore. Knowing that I still need to pick up one more bale, I do the only thing that a good Marine would do and suck up the pain, give a good, damn that was stupid thought to myself, (rub some dirt in the wound) and move forward.
We get the next bale loaded and unloaded with no issues and we clean up and go home. I basically held my arm in the sling position for the rest of the evening. I told my wife that if it still hurts tomorrow morning, I will go to a doctor, I was trying to avoid our local Emergency Rooms as they are total shit shows, to say the least.
The next morning I woke up sore in places I didn’t know I could be sore in. My costochondritis was in high gear, and my entire right side was in pain. My arm felt like it was broken and my arm was bruised in several spots as was my back on my right side. I did go to a “Doc in a Box” and they ran a series of x-rays and determined that there wasn’t a break in the bones and all the damage was soft tissue. He wrote me a script for steroids for a week and a muscle relaxer. We skip the pain meds as I pretty much take enough crap to kill a horse (just not a Marine), already. And I get to wear a sling for a week or so.
The moral of the story is “Bale of hay, too heavy for Jarhead, ugh!”