Thursday, July 6, 2017

Two Bird Trick

We had a semi-cool breeze this morning that was so refreshing.  I haven't been cleaning stalls in the mornings because I've been struggling to get acclimated to the heat once the sun rises, but I did take the time to clean the stalls and paddocks for as long as that breeze hung around.  All was well until I touched Rock on his rump to get him to step to the side.  He had his head buried in the food trough and totally overreacted to being touched.  He ripped his head out of the trough, jumped up and kicked out.  I was standing to his side, so he missed me, but him startling was contagious and I jumped too.  When I came down, I may as well have experienced my leg spontaneously imploding.  I couldn't put any weight on it at all and thought I was going to vomit from the pain.  I just can't handle horse spooks anymore.

I got in the Mule and drove myself back to the house.  Nearly two hours later I realized that I never turned off the sprinkler system that waters our trees.  My leg had not recovered, so I was still unable to walk.  I stood at the back door leaning on my cane wondering how I was going to get that water turned off.  Then I remembered the Mule.  It's a much shorter distance to the Mule than it is to the spigot.  I hobbled through the garage and drove to the spigot.  I love that little machine.  It's better than a wheelchair.

By lunch time, my leg was allowing me to put some weight on it, so I took Scrappy in for his vet appointment.  There was only one parking spot available and it was tight from all angles.  Normally, I'd drive out to the back of the lot and walk rather than to risk scratching or denting my truck, but I couldn't walk today.  I needed something up close.  The handicapped spots were empty, and I considered asking my doctor for a note to get a handicapped permit for my truck.  In the meantime, I had to make an 8-point turn to get into that one spot.  I didn't give a damn if some impatient jerk came along and started honking at me.  I was gonna fit my truck in there however I could.

When I opened the back door to get Scrappy out, he had fallen off the seat onto the floor and was wedged between the two seats!  Another perfect storm.  I normally put him in a kennel, but my leg was hurting too much to make another trip between house and truck.  Also, I had recently pushed the front seat back as far as it would go to give me more leg room.  Poor dog.  He wasn't panicked, though.  He was just waiting for assistance.

I realized that I couldn't possibly carry the dog, my purse, and my cane simultaneously, so I left the cane in the truck and limped to the vet's office.  There was a lady in the waiting room who immediately began asking me questions about Scrappy.  I don't mind small talk with strangers, but most people around here tend to cross the line by nosing into my business and telling me how to live my life, so I'm pretty good at acting aloof and inaccessible to ward off conversation.  However, this lady would not quit.

In a matter of seconds, she was hinting that Scrappy is too old and should be put to sleep.  I'm sure this was a judgement she made based on the fact that I was carrying him, his face is gray, and he was wearing a diaper.  Well, first off, I carry him in part because the pavement is too hot for dog paws and in part because he walks too slow and gets under my feet and trips me, which is the worst thing that can happen when I only have half of my legs available for transport.

This happens every time someone comes into contact with Scrappy.  They all bring up the "suggestion" of putting him to sleep.  It's none of their business.  They don't see him galloping around the house happily every night after dinner playing chase with Stewie.  He's a happy dog.  If he's in pain, he hasn't expressed it.  He's just old, deaf and blind.  I have my method for knowing when the dog decides it's time, and Scrappy has no intention of going anywhere soon.

I was relieved that the woman was called up to the counter to pay her bill.  When she was done, she turned around and saw this hanger stuck to the top of her cat kennel.  She said, "Oh, I must have accidentally grabbed that hanger on the way out the door and carried it all the way here."

I realized that the lady was probably half-blind or senile.  Then a younger woman walked in with a large rambunctious puppy.  The older woman asked her to hold the door open for her.  I was unsure why she needed help.  She had one hand on the cat kennel and the other hand was free.  The younger woman's large puppy started jumping up on the older woman, so the younger woman had to let go of the door in the lady's face.  She said, "I can't hold the door and control my dog at the same time."

I thought, "Good for her."

I hate it when I'm obviously busy or struggling and someone asks me to do something for them that they can easily do for themselves.  The younger woman then shot me a look that said, "Why can't you get up off your duff and help?"

Since she didn't ask for my assistance outright, I did not bother to defend myself.  I knew that leaving my cane in the truck would come back to bite me.  Then I got called up to the counter to pay, and the younger woman got to see me hop on one leg.  I'm sure everything then made sense to her.

I had the brilliant idea of stopping at the dog salon on the way home and getting Scrappy's nails trimmed (i.e. killing two birds with one stone or getting two tasks done in one trip).  The first thing the groomer said when she took Scrappy from me was, "You're still here?  You just keep chuggin' along, don't you?"

Yesterday I met a couple of older ladies in physical therapy who had knee replacement surgeries.  They brought up some interesting points.  One lady said that she had one knee replaced only to have the other knee start going out on her.  She's trying to treat the second knee with injections rather than surgery, because now the ankle on her fake knee leg hurts worse than the original knee pain because she has to overcompensate for the fake knee.  The other lady said that she tried injections for a while and they did nothing for her.  They kind of made it sound like there's not much hope for me.  Once you start getting old and falling apart, you can fix one thing, but another thing will just break down immediately.

Then I met a young teenage boy who was in rehab for a sports injury on his foot, and he told me that his mother gets the injections in her knees and they last a couple of months.  They relieve the pain enough that she keeps going back for more.  I will definitely try the injections before anything else, because they do seem to work for some people.  But after hearing about all the physical therapy needed after the surgery, and the recovery process, I'm not sure the benefits of surgery would outweigh the costs.  If I were young and it were just my knee bothering me, surgery might make sense, but I've also got hip and spinal problems.

Obviously, my goal is to be able to ride horses again and be self-sufficient so that I don't have to rely on others to help me do basic tasks day to day.  Most of the time I just suck it up and pretend like I'm fine so I can get stuff done.  Mind over matter.  It's not like the leg is broken and I'll make it worse by putting weight on it.

When I got back from the vet and dog salon, I found a couple of packages on the porch.  One was ripped open, but nothing seemed to be missing from it.  Then I found this postcard that said it was supposed accompany some free sample of something, and if the sample it missing, I should notify the post office.  Huh?  Of course, they never said what the sample was, so the post office wouldn't know what to look for.  I wondered if someone had been on my porch pawing through my mail and took it.  Maybe the dogs chased them off before they could finish opening the other package.  At least they were nice enough to leave behind what they didn't want.  We needed those water filters.


TeresaA said...

Glad that things are cooler and the mule is working out.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I guess everyone is different on how surgery affects them. I had the knee injections and they didn't help much so I went ahead and had my knee replacement. This was about nine years ago. The recovery took about a month but wasn't so bad. I got it so I could still ride and walk without pain and it's been wonderful. if a knee or hip replacement would help your pain and mobility you might want to consider it in the future. I look at it this way, how much worse could it be than what you're dealing with now? It might help a lot too with some of the pain.

Crystal said...

That Mule sounds like exactly what you needed. We had a bobcat one fora while I really liked it. Hbby traded it in :(

I know quite a few people who have had knee replacements there is a recovery period after of course but maybe a month or so and back to doing normal stuff. My neighbor never did her PT afterwards and it took her way longer to recover. Most people need both knees done if they have waited too long cause they are overusing the one while trying not to use the sore one.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

GHM & Crystal - Thanks for that information. I want to know what other people's successes and failures were with both injections and surgeries.

ellie k said...

I had back injections for about three years and they worked wonders. They do not help now so I am getting ready for surgery. I have a pre cancerous condition on my uterus so I have to have that taken care of that first.