Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Injury Assessment

with 2 comments

During one period of my career, I volunteered to be a medical first responder to incidents that might occur in the workplace. The company paid for my training to become a certified first responder. One of my motivations for learning advanced first-aid skills was having two young children I was responsible for at home. They would invite friends over for all manner of child’s play which increased the pressure of responsibility I felt, as it also increased the opportunities for someone to get hurt.

If a freak accident were to occur, say something poked in an eye, I learned not to pull it out and some ways to protect the area. Thank goodness I never needed to respond to anything that serious, in terms of injury. Knowing what to do helped ease some of my anxiety over being responsible for someone else’s well-being.

In the workplace, I had the support of many other responders to share the decision-making process when situations arose and I relied on them heavily. In one case where I was the main person tending to an ankle injury at the racquetball courts, I misread the woman’s level of distress and assumed a sprain. After seeing her doctor, she reported there was a broken bone.

I’ve never trusted my interpretation of other people’s symptoms since. It gets even harder when the patient can’t talk because they are a horse. Mia’s behavior tells me she isn’t hurting too badly but she has an ugly-looking abrasion on the back of one of her front feet. My first suspicion was that she scraped it on the icy crust of the snow in the paddocks.

I saw her out beyond the wicked polished ice trying to navigate the deeper snow with Light. In that case, she was limping and favoring it. Once she got back under the overhang, it didn’t look like it bothered her much at all. Our support from This Old Horse stopped by last night to look at it, clean it, and spray on a protective shield, similar to the NewSkin I apply to my hands.

Mia, the most skittish of the four horses, went a little crazy at the sound of the spray can with the metal ball inside. She headed down the hay path toward the waterer and then just kept on going over the slippery ice, through the gate, and out into the hay field. As I was walking down with a lead rope to retrieve her, she headed back toward me, at a full sprint!

Mia stopped right where I was standing. I clipped on the lead, and we walked up under the overhang where Mia stood perfectly while Johanne lifted her hoof to treat the wound.

The wound looks just as fresh and angry this morning as it did yesterday. I am not confident about assessing how serious it could be. Thankfully, Johanne volunteered to return to check on it at noon.

I still don’t like being responsible for someone else’s well-being.



Written by johnwhays

February 18, 2023 at 11:15 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Poor Mia! But, it’s easy to mistake a Sprain from a Break. The pain (I ‘ve heard) is actually more intense for a Sprain. That’s actually a tough call without X-Rays


    February 18, 2023 at 3:24 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: