Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘broken ankle

November Third

with 4 comments

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

My Experience

with 3 comments

Moms and dads who are primary caretakers of kids who need to be clothed and fed, helped in the toilet, and supported and encouraged day and night do not get enough credit for the loss of their own personal time. Having sat down only to get right back up more times in the last two days than my old body is used to has revealed how much I prefer to stay in one place for as long as possible once I settle in for a rest.

My emergency room experience frequently involved feeling like I was in the way while slowly accumulating things to hold in my arms. I took the thick fleece jacket from Cyndie that was now overly enmeshed with fragmenting dried leaves after she had fallen and then tried using it to support her dangling right foot. It was dropping a trail of leaf shrapnel everywhere I went.

I was handed the dish towel she had tied up around the jacket to make a sling. I was handed the sock they cut off her foot. I was already shouldering Cyndie’s purse and handing her phone back and forth as she looked up info for the nurses. I was given Cyndie’s pants to add to the bundle.

Not long after, I was sent to the pharmacy to pick up her pain prescription before closing time. Cyndie asked me to buy a pair of loose pants to wear home from the hospital while I was there. Picture me trying to pick out pants for Cyndie to wear. Now stop laughing.

After the chaos of an emergency room, we got home to the challenge of getting her up the stairs into the “cabin” and settled into a lounging position. I was back and forth to the car several times. In my personal chaos, I set my wallet somewhere after returning Cyndie’s health card to her.

By bedtime, I knew I had no idea where that wallet was, except it had to be in the house somewhere because I knew the last time I used it.

Luckily, the routine at home is rather familiar for me, having taken care of Cyndie through multiple surgery recoveries. I still remember how to make coffee for her.

We need to survive the weekend. While driving home from the lake yesterday, Cyndie was on the phone with several treatment places, seeking immediate surgery, if possible. We had possession of her x-ray and the detailed analysis from the Hayward ER that Cyndie was providing to the people on the phone.

The description of her condition included the word, “comminuted.”

Comminuted: adjective 

reduced to minute particles or fragments.

• Medicine (of a fracture) producing multiple bone splinters.

She was told she will need a trauma surgeon and none were immediately available Friday afternoon.

An appointment for assessment by a trauma surgeon is scheduled for Monday.

Moms and dads and people raising their grandchildren don’t get enough credit for their loss of personal time.

Luckily, love is the key that more than makes up for the loss. It’s a privilege to take care of our most beloved friends and family.

That’s my experience.



Written by johnwhays

November 5, 2022 at 10:11 am