Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘ankle surgery

Two Shoes

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It felt like it had been a while since we got out to see the world beyond our place. For Cyndie, it was the first time she had stepped out of the house in a couple of weeks. The landscape looked like a postcard with the trees all flocked white with frost.

We were on our way to an appointment with Cyndie’s trauma surgeon. Upon our arrival, Cyndie was immediately directed to “Imaging” for X-rays of her repaired ankle.

It occurred to me that Cyndie and her surgeon might be a little biased in their assessment of the surgery outcome. They both want it to be as positive as possible.

That is exactly what I heard from each of them. I asked how soon she could carry a bale of hay and received some chuckles. I didn’t get an answer, but my point was made. The doc knew what my priority was.

He seemed a little surprised that Cyndie hadn’t walked on it at all up to this point, grabbing the boot to see if the bottom was significantly scuffed. We were in no hurry to overrule the doctor’s order. He said to wait, so Cyndie waited and I completely supported her staying off it. We had both grown eager to move on to the next “step” of her recuperation.

The surgeon said her foot looks great. He really had no negatives to mention. He issued a new order for her physical therapist, detailing what to work on. With great humor, he discussed all the issues Cyndie asked about and more. He pointed out where Cyndie will likely experience pain from tendons that haven’t been used for months, talked about shoe choices, and recommended “Superfeet” insoles for added arch support.

As we left the office, Cyndie crutched away while using that right foot a little bit for the first time since November 3rd.

First thing she did when we got home was dig in her closet for a pair of shoes. A pair. She hasn’t needed two shoes for so long, single left shoes were the only thing showing up.

Tomorrow will be the first PT day where she can put some weight on that foot. The therapist will need to guide her with advice about gradually increasing the percentage of walking pressure while still using crutches for support.

After being patient about doing any walking at all, there is no need to suddenly get impatient about losing the crutches completely.

I saw a comment yesterday about raising children that stated, “The days go by slowly but the years go by fast.” It feels like Cyndie’s ankle rehab will be slow in days, months, and probably a whole year.

I don’t expect her to be throwing around hay bales anytime soon.



Written by johnwhays

January 24, 2023 at 7:00 am

November Third

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It was a Thursday, almost three months ago on November 3rd, when Cyndie took Delilah for a walk while we were up at the lake place. We had just spent two days watching some major tree trimming and removal on the Wildwood properties. As Cyndie reached the top step of the bridge that crosses a lagoon, Delilah bolted after a squirrel and yanked Cyndie back down to the ground. The impact snapped bones at her ankle.

Today, she sees the surgeon who screwed plates to her bones for an assessment of the healing and, hopefully, the doctor’s permission to begin physical therapy to walk again.

This has been our life since that fateful incident:

  • Thu Nov 3 – Anxious trip to Hayward Hospital emergency room with a suspected broken ankle.
  • Fri Nov 4 – Drive home from the lake with Cyndie in the back seat calling around for an appointment to be seen by a surgeon.
  • Mon Nov 7 – Drive to Woodbury for analysis by a trauma surgeon, then to Stillwater for a CT scan and COVID test.
  • Wed Nov 9 – Cyndie has surgery on her ankle in Stillwater, receiving metal plates and many screws to hold things together.
  • Thu Nov 10 – Delilah’s stomach issues (vomiting) becoming increasingly worrisome.
  • Fri Nov 11 – I bring Cyndie home from Stillwater hospital. Delilah has the first of a series of vet appointments.
  • Sat Nov 19 – Delilah has been refusing to accept prescribed medication and a new diet.
  • Mon Nov 21 – Delilah was put to rest by the veterinarian due to suspected acute pancreatitis.
  • Tue Nov 22 – Discover cut on Mix’s leg that requires a visit by the equine vet for assessment and treatment, including medications.
  • Wed Nov 23 – Mix refuses to accept medications I added to her food. Johanne from This Old Horse starts coming twice a day to administer meds.
  • Mon Nov 28 – Drive Cyndie to Woodbury to have stitches removed from her ankle.
  • Tue Nov 29 – First big snowstorm of the year that needed to be plowed.
  • Wed Dec 14 – Drive Cyndie to Stillwater for bone density test.
  • Thu Dec 15 – Second big snowstorm requiring plowing.
  • Thu Dec 22 – Mia gives me a big scare with an episode of choking in the middle of eating her evening feed. Minor snowfall forces more plowing.
  • Mon Dec 26 – Plowing required to clear drifts from the driveway as a result of blowing snow.
  • Wed Dec 28 – More plowing is needed to clear drifting snow.
  • Tue Jan 3 – Another brutal snowstorm.
  • Thu Jan 5 – More snow. As soon as one session of plowing is done, the process starts all over again.
  • Tue Jan 10 – Farrier visits to trim all four horses.
  • Thu Jan 19 – Heavy, wet snowfall triggers another round of plowing and shoveling.

In the previous ten and a half weeks, per the doctor’s order, Cyndie has avoided putting any weight on her right ankle. We have had our eyes set on this day as the time when she might be allowed to begin the process of returning to the fine art of walking on two feet again.

It feels like it’s been a long time since November 3rd but the time we anticipate it taking Cyndie to recuperate fully will be magnitudes greater, along the lines of possibly a year or so, if not longer. It’s a rather harsh notion to consider, given the challenging terrain of our property.

Today’s assessment by the trauma surgeon about the amount of healing that has occurred in her broken bones is very important to both of us. It makes January 23rd the next milestone after November 3rd from which we will begin measuring her ultimate recovery to safely walking on both her feet without supplemental support.

Here’s hoping for some great news!



Written by johnwhays

January 23, 2023 at 7:00 am