Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Big Fall, Part 8

It's been almost seven weeks since I broke my ankle when my horse, Scout, spooked at the neighbors' pack of dogs, while we were out riding, and reared over backwards on me. Last week, I was able to trade in my wheelchair for a boot because now, although I still can't put weight on my foot, I can use it for balance. This coming Thursday, I go back to the doctor who will (hopefully) tell me that my leg is healing and I can begin walking. The underside of my foot is still all black and blue bruises and very uncomfortable. Every day, when I get home from work, I take off the boot, and surgical (support) stocking and massage my leg and foot. I peel off dead skin and rub in lotion. I am amazed at how much my skin is peeling away! I've been trying to bend my ankle back and forth in preparation for the physical therapy that is supposed to begin on Friday but my ankle is still extremely swollen and won't hardly bend.

Here are some photos of my sic looking foot. Notice how skinny my calf is now? The outside of my ankle is at least as big.

I have learned to go around without crutches for short distances by hopping on one foot. It's amazing how necessity really is the mother of invention. I use a small backpack as a purse and I've learned how to balance a 32 ounce soda cup in my hand holding the crutch below the hand grips although I can't manage a full cup of coffee too well. I don't trust myself to carry cups too far, either. Sometimes, I can even move my crutches with no hands just by balancing with them under my arms. This only works for a step or two but it sure helps when I'm working in the kitchen and I've got hands that need to be washed. It's amazing to me how tired I am all the time though. Just going from my car to my desk at work wears me out. Trying to manuever doors that don't automatically open is a master feat to me nowadays. 

Also, I hobbled out to see the alpacas this past weekend. My son set up a chair in their pen for me to sit on. He then put out some hay for them, at my feet. I sat and hand fed them for some time. I was able to touch Thelma's topknot a few times but they are both very, very timid. I can see it's going to take some time to halter train them but I am very hopeful. They stay within ten feet of me even without food bribes and they do come over to see if I have any food. They are curious about my crutches too. I really, really need to get them sheared. I've been calling a guy who shears, if only he would call me back...

Then, I made the additional journey over to the horses. Yalla! and Annie stood with me and nuzzled. Scout would have come over to me too except that Annie gave him a full on kick to his flanks. Bad Annie! Nadia is not in with the other three very often anymore so that she doesn't get bullied like poor Scout. I visited her for a while too. I can't wait to get out there and really begin working with them and feeding them properly again. My son, Trevor, is the primary feeder and chore doer around the house and gets lazy about feeding mashes and extra grain to the horses. Plus, the grass hay is not such good quality right now. There are a lot of weeds mixed in. And, although it is recommended to feed grass hay to horses, my horses seem to do better on alfalfa or alfalfa/grass.

I'm wondering if Yalla! is wormy because she looks pot bellied and ribby to me. Her birthday is coming up and she still looks little and gangly, not like a two year old. The horses are overdue for their vet visit because I've been waiting until I can tend them. However, fortunately, I'm not taking them anywhere to be exposed to other horses.

Soon, soon, I'll be walking on my own two feet and everything will be back to normal for me, I hope!


Jo Castillo said...

Wow, I miss coming by for a couple of months and find you all laid up. Well, guess you are recovering. So sad to hear/read about your fall. I'm glad you are nearly back up to speed. I love your blog and sorry to have been absent. Take care of yourself now. Whew.

fernvalley01 said...

Slow I know , but you seem to be doing well. Best wishes for a continued steady recovery

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm so glad you were able to get out with your two herds and visit with them over the weekend.

It'll be great when you're up again and can do everything you want to do. I know that the horses will be happy to have you taking care of them again. Yalla! will soon realize she's not the leader of the herd anymore. You are. hah!
That will not only be good for her, but also good for Scout, Nadia, and even Annie. :)

And I know that Nadia will be glad to get out of her stall and get some exercise. I bet she'd be happy to take you on your first ride when the doctor says you're ready.
It's crazy how much muscle mass we lose after an injury and not being able to use a limb. It seems to happen even faster the older we get.
And I also remember the peeling skin. It's weird how it continues to peel until we start using that part of our body and the skin gets toughened up. It sometimes feels as if all the skin will peel right off and there'll be nothing left. lol!

I'll try calling the shearer this week. I hope he's still shearing. The nights have still been cool, so I'm going to wait to shear my herd until the end of June.

Take care,

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I'm sure this has seemed like an eternity to you. :(

Beretta wasn't shedding very well and looked kind of pot-bellied a bit back as well, I wormed her and she looks better, although I never saw any worms in her poop, so I don't know if that was really the problem. A lot of youngsters just seem to go through a phase in the spring. Personally, I think some of them look the worst right before they take off on a growing spurt.

As for the hay...if your horses do well on alfalfa or alfalfa/grass mix, there's really no reason you shouldn't feed it. Especially if you can get a better quality (weed free) than what your grass hay is now and it could make up for the missing mashes and stuff til you are on your feet again. I know how that is. I have all the time in the world to mess with my horses and make sure they get all the little extras. However, I have learned that it's not that easy to get other people to invest that time or attention. Better to just make the feeding program as easy as possible.

I'm sure the ponies were glad to see you. They will be happy when you are back on your feet.

Merri said...

ooh, looks much better, you are healing! glad you got to spend some time with your animals - that's the best therapy : )
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Leah Fry said...

Hope you're able to get back out with the herd real soon. I can't even imagine how uncomfortable that must be.

Rising Rainbow said...

Wow! It really is still bruised a lot. Tells me how bad you got hurt in the first place seeing how long it takes for the brusing to be gone. Hope you are healed soon.

Sounds like you're getting pretty darn crafty with those crutches.

smazourek said...

Oh, I want to add a little tidbit I learned after I broke my ankle that could help you (hopefully you can find comments on old posts). Acupuncture helped me A LOT. It was amazing how much my swelling reduced after only one treatment. Might be worth a try if your leg is still super swollen and stiff.