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Discussion Starter · #664 ·
Brett just said to me (while bringing me strudel and cream), "You've only got yourself to blame. After all, you were the one who broke the Number One Rule of Horseriding."

"And what's that?" I enquired, eyebrows raised in puzzlement.

"Don't fall off!"

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
 

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Brett just said to me (while bringing me strudel and cream), "You've only got yourself to blame. After all, you were the one who broke the Number One Rule of Horseriding."

"And what's that?" I enquired, eyebrows raised in puzzlement.

"Don't fall off!"

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

:eek:mg: are Brett and my DH twins? Or one and the same?????
I can totally hear him saying that :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #670 ·
Thank you, @weedlady ! :hug: Is Ohio good for cherry-growing? You'd have enough chill there, I think? Yeah, we love cherries... good thing we got to put the extra compost on the new cherry trees before I had my accident. They'll be flowering before I'll be walking like a normal person again! What have you been up to? Are you getting more horse-time in now? How are Raven and Tucker? Any exciting summer riding?

@frlsgirl , this is a good point! :) I was pretty useless yesterday, except for reading and typing. Brett goes back to work today, vacation over - what a way to end the vacation... :rofl: So until my peg-leg gets here, I'll be on crutches, which really limits what I can do outdoors, but I'm thinking of crutching to the farm dam today as it's good weather, sitting on the wall and throwing the ball for my dog, who's had no walks or rides since my foot broke. Also I'm going to use the office chair to scoot around the house, and bake some bread, and try to get back into as useful a state as possible.

:gallop:

Last night the signals I was getting from my foot morphed from intermittent sharp toothache type pain to a dull, depressing ache, which was actually worse, but this morning it's good, and I'm basically pain-free as long as I don't move the astronaut boot around too rapidly (and obviously no banging into things). I've also slept completely through the night, which is great. Part of the trick to that was to take off our normal heavy cotton coverlet, and substitute an unzipped sleeping bag, shiny side down and tucked into the bottom of the bed, as bedding. This is a light material, and the shiny side is very low-friction, so you can turn in your sleep without the big astronaut boot being caught in the sheets and causing a burst of those cartoon pain stars that yank you from your sleep, and at the same time you are snug and warm.

This is a fabulous bone healing guide, showing the three stages of healing on a timeline, and the nutritional factors that need to be present at each stage for optimum healing.


I'm in Stage 1, which is inflammation and cleanup, since bones bleed into the surrounding tissue when breaking. The repair stage doesn't start until about Day 4 - that's revascularisation, and laying down protein fibres which will form the basis for the new bone matrix, which eventually gets mineralised in Stage 3. And it's interesting that some of the nutrients needed for optimum bone healing are notoriously deficient in the average Western diet.

I don't have the average Western diet, but it will still help to focus on getting plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, general antioxidants, and a constant supply of all essential amino acids for Stage 2 in particular, but starting now. With protein, it's making sure I have decent protein at every meal so that the requisite building blocks are freely available, instead of bottlenecking the healing process.

Vitamin D is actually an issue I need to address for the ossification stage in particular. I will actually supplement here, as well as make sure I get enough skin exposure with sunshine whenever I can, since the naturally formed version of Vitamin D in the skin is actually superior to the supplemented form (and will be used preferentially). You can see how this can go by the wayside if people get more housebound with an injury, or if it's winter as well.

Also super crucial is that the bones are totally immobilised during the first two stages, and that I have no accidents, falls etc that compromise any of the baby connections the broken bone ends will be making to each other. At the same time, I have to be as active as possible and get my circulation really working on a daily basis, both for optimum bone healing and for not losing more fitness than I absolutely have to.

This will be much easier when my peg-leg gets here, but today my goal is to leave the bed as much as possible to scoot about indoors on the office chair doing various chores, and to have that on-crutches expedition to the dam wall to play retrieving games with my bored dog who is also in need of exercise (and who has been carrying her balloons to my bed and throwing them in the air :rofl:). I still have to come back to bed in-between to elevate my leg to facilitate drainage of the inflammatory swelling. In coming days, I will increasingly substitute the sofa for that and leave my dodgy leg on the armrest for extra elevation.

So that's Day Two coming up! And this morning's challenge will be to take the rugs off the horses for the sunny day ahead. I will be using extra carrots to help immobilise the horses during this procedure. When I am not injured, one big carrot inserted into a horse's mouth buys way enough standing-totally-still time to unrug in a jiffy. I may need two until I have my peg-leg! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #671 ·
De-Rugging on Crutches!

In short, not recommended. :)

It's not so much actually taking the rug off the horse, as transporting the rug to its hanging place on crutches. That's far too risky for a fall, because you're not hands-free and the rugs are long, heavy and awkward.

My usual technique for carrying all four rugs back to the shed is to fold each one twice lengthways so that they are long and narrow, and put two evenly across each shoulder, one on top of the other, and put my hands up on my shoulders on top of the rugs, and then I can walk comfortably and not lose any rugs, even though I look like a walking rug rack! :) It's then a simple task to load them directly onto the hanging rope in the shed by flipping the back parts forwards over the rope. After that I can spread them out if I want to.

I can't carry rugs in this manner without the hands on the shoulders, so I tried carrying just one folded up like I usually do, then draped around the back of the neck. It slips and falls when you move, because the shoulders round down on crutches and because of the hopping motion. You can't drag the rugs, because it's not good for them and because you might trip over them. My best compromise was to fold the rug up compactly and jam it under my arm, but this interferes with your motion and also the rug tends to unfold, and then you have to gather it up again.

All of this is too much mucking around and possibly getting unbalanced, and though I got the job reasonably done today, I won't be doing it again until I get my hands-free peg leg. Good thing my husband is a competent rugger / unrugger; we'll work as a team until I'm a pirate.

The horses are 75% unrugged. No issue with old Romeo as he left the garden after breakfast; he snorted once when he saw me coming down to the gate on crutches, but once I let him sniff the crutches and gave him a scratch, I could undo all the buckles and snaps without trouble. I stowed the rug on a carport seat for tonight.

No issue with Sunsmart either, and I showed him the crutches before I worked my way around him. The other two were very snorty, although Chasseur settled quickly and had a scratching session from me, and was then 100% OK about my funny way of moving around him. Julian however was too nervous for me even to be comfortable attempting to un-rug in the open paddock. It was far too likely that he was going to take off mid-procedure and then I'd have a horse gallopping around with a flapping rug which would probably get destroyed in the process. So, he's staying rugged today, and that's OK because although sunny, it's cool and windy and he's only wearing a lightweight waterproof combo - like Sunsmart's - both are "hot" horses and good doers and don't need much fill. Romeo and Chasseur are the two oldest horses, have always been lean types, and don't overheat easily, so they are in thickly quilted warm waterproof combos, which keeps them cosy in winter and in good condition. (A combo is a rug with a neck covering worked into it.)

Hope you have enjoyed this adventure from Temporary Crutchville! Go out and enjoy your rides, all ye who are currently not incapacitated! :cowboy:

And if you're currently incapacitated, you can have a virtual coffee here! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #672 ·
Horizontal Leg-Up Time

I think I've achieved all the physical goals I set myself for today, and any more would be overdoing it - the body has to get used to a new way of doing things. The pectoral girdle in humans isn't made for significant weight-bearing, and even circus artists have to work on their tricks sensibly, gradually building up any strange demands on the body.

:mylittlepony: :welcome: :music019: :charge: :eek:mg:

The de-rugging experiment described in the post above would have been enough to give me a good cardiovascular workout for today. The three younger horses were under the big tree across the paddock and I chose not to call them in because they were resting sedately and I didn't want to get them stirred up. This, of course, increased the transportation distance for the two rugs I did manage to remove, and ended up being the most time-consuming and sweat-inducing part of the whole exercise. I ended up leaving them over the tie-down in front of the shed, instead of on the hanging rope in the shed. This increases unnecessary UV exposure and therefore fabric damage, but will be OK until my peg-leg gets here.

After that I was definitely ready for a bath, but the neighbour's dog turned up. He and Jess are both (de-sexed, platonic) friends - two kelpies who love to run, play and tease each other. Max occasionally turns up if his master is away in town and someone else in the family lets him off the chain. He's a one-man dog and only stays reliably home if his master is home. Said person thinks he will take the dog to town from now on, like we do, to prevent him from going walkabout. Anyway, I couldn't have a bath until the neighbour had collected his dog, but I was hungry and made myself an early lunch of Sunday leftovers - tomato soup, a chicken leg, baked potatoes and gravy, with a big mandarin after and several cups of green tea.

This was my first scooting-around-in the house-on-the-office-chair practice session. That went well and is much more fun than crutches, and it's very safe, but you really have to mind that you don't turn and bash your trailing-out astronaut boot on something, because that could be painful, and possibly damaging to the incipient bone repair. (I scoot by kneeling on the office chair with the bad leg and using the good leg for propulsion.)

The office chair scooting allowed me to work comfortably and safely in the kitchen, and to scoot cups of tea back to the bedroom without spilling anything - a no-can-do on crutches. I also put on a ryebread. Unfortunately I was out of sunflower seeds, but I found pepitas and also put in lots of walnuts, which are great for supplying essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, various minerals, and some good protein. The flour I use is 1:2 to 2:3 stoneground local rye flour to sourdough rye premix - if I only want to use the stoneground rye, I have to do an overnight fermentation.

Of course, I had to open our new bag of rye flour just today, and this comes in 12.5kg bags, which was a bit of a hoist with the scooting technique, but not too bad as long as you watch that your back is nice and straight when lifting from your office chair base! :rofl:

After that, Max was collected and I decided to go out again to do some games with Jess off the dam wall, while getting some Vitamin D from the lunchtime sun.



It's a good place to throw tennis balls and ball/rope toys a long way for her to retrieve. It was funny because she kept expecting me to throw a stick in the dam for her like we do in summer, but I really didn't want a wet dog in the house afterwards. So she had to go the other way. On the way back, I collected some loose tree-guards that the wind had blown into the bushes on the edge of our nature reserve. That wasn't too bad because I could slip them over my arms to carry them.

The crutches (free hospital loan here in Australia) actually aren't too bad as crutches go; they have soft hand grips and movable arm rings, so you can let go of a crutch and it will be suspended off your arm for opening doors etc. They're fine for up and down stairs...we have stairs up to our toilets as they are compost toilets, so I get practice on stair technique several times daily...



...and I will have to keep using them for that for the next six weeks. These crutches are OK for up and down hills too. You just have to watch them on hard floors so you don't slip taking oversized swings.

Coming back in from the dog games on the dam wall, I was sweaty again and definitely ready for a bath. Normally I shower, but that's too dangerous at the moment because it would be done with the broken foot bare and you could slip, so I'm having baths, which is nice anyway. You have to take huge care getting in and out of the bath so you don't bang your broken foot or fall on it again. I can sit on the tiled platform behind the back of the bath before rotating my feet out from that stable surface.

Another alternative we have explored is for me to use the guest shower cubicle, which I tried yesterday. It has a tiled non-slip floor, whereas in the ensuite we have a combined bathtub/shower I won't be standing in with a dodgy foot. The cubicle also has two solid walls to brace against, but disconcertingly you need crutches to get in and out, because of the shower base, which has a tiled raised edge you have to hop over. These are photos from when I first made and tiled that base:





We are playing with the idea of bringing a plastic chair into the shower cubicle so I can get my astronaut boot back on before leaving the shower cubicle, because I absolutely can't afford to fall accidentally on my bare broken foot again for at least six weeks. It wouldn't be brilliant to take a fall in the boot either, but far less risk of re-breaking in the boot. (The problem with any weightbearing on broken metatarsals, boot or not, is that they are in the arch of the foot and weightbearing deforms the damaged arch. The boot gives the foot some cushioning and stability, but it is not like a cast.)

Anyway, Jess is happy that it's my left foot that's out of commission and that my right can still be used for scratching the loyal hound when I'm ensconced in bed and she is keeping me company:



That's the update from Temporary Crutchville. An afternoon of paperwork is on the menu now!

Greetings to everyone reading. :pinkunicorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #676 ·

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Have thought a lot about your injury with reference to Louise on Horse Forum. How debilitating for Louise if she should break her foot! She must be very careful with her feet, which can be so prone to injury (hands too, but really feet). I am certain I have broken every toe by getting stepped on or crushed at one time or another. I think you had planned to do some foot training to get more flexible and do what Louise does to a limited extent. Now, all that is on hold. Lousy luck for you.

When I was young, my brother, my best friend, and I had pinch battles with our feet which I always lost badly because I have very little flexibility with my feet, no matter how I practiced and tried. My best friend was really skilled at grabbing me and my brother with her toes and giving us a good pinch. She could pick up things with her toes and toss them. I imagine if she lost her arms, she'd be fairly proficient. I can't even pick up a dirty bra with my toes. I tell my toes to move and they say, "Nah."

I am feeling sad because we have a number of folks currently on Horse Forum who are struggling with injuries, and some of them are at very inconvenient times--like right before a big life change. I hope everybody heals quickly with a minimum of discomfort!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #678 ·
Dear @knightrider , Louise said she once had to have one of her legs cast because of ligament damage from playing soccer, and that it was most inconvenient not to be able to use all her toes fully. It never fails to amaze me how adaptable the human body and brain can be; and if someone can live well and be completely amazing with just two appendages instead of the usual four, it puts my temporary incapacitation into incredible perspective. I am learning to scoot around inside the house on the office chair. The dog thinks it is amazing fun and keeps bringing me balloons! :)

Thankfully I still have one good foot to train presently, and I'm probably right-footed anyway! ;-)

I am sorry to hear about other people's injuries at the moment. :shock: As I was for what happened to your poor foot and knee...and I laughed at how you rode anyway, you crazy person! :dance-smiley05:I also have this tendency in me, just I'm probably presently a little older than you were when you did your awful grape squashing scenario, and therefore feeling a little more careful than I used to when I was a whippersnapper! :cheers:

Please extend my well wishes to everyone you know who is struggling with injuries at the moment. :pinkunicorn::blueunicorn:

I am so aware that a big part of the reason I can laugh about my injury scenario is that I am well supported by a lovely husband and friends at this time, and that in Australia I'm not going to be a cent out of pocket as a result of an emergency injury and all its follow-up, it's all covered under our Medicare levies, so I'm only dealing with physical stress instead of compounded financial and emotional stress. Also I'll be able to do pretty much everything except ride my horse once my peg-leg gets in!

On which topic I was sent this:



Sending you lots of good wishes! :love:
 

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Discussion Starter · #679 ·
Day Three (only 39+days to go!)

Statistically, my bones are just beginning to heal, starting with making new connecting blood vessels and protein fibres between the broken ends. That's why I am having high-quality protein at every meal, and supplementing with Vitamin E and C on top of our usual healthy nutrition featuring lots of now increasingly homegrown fruit and vegetables, plus wholegrains, meat, fish, eggs, full-fat dairy etc. We avoid refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar (not completely, but mostly), trans-fats, fake packet foods etc, and we bake and cook everything from scratch, and enjoy doing so. This is what it looks like:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/redmoonsanctuary/albums/72157687753093115

Don't let anyone tell you that healthy food doesn't taste great! And we do this on half the average Australian grocery budget per capita.

In Australia we are part of the Grass Roots community, a bunch of nature-loving, DIY-orientated, low-footprint, creative people who are loosely grouped around a national magazine, which like this forum is very much a mutually supporting community, but on paper! :clap: So, this is completely normal for a GR type person - both the way we live, and the personal openness we cultivate - the attempt to be fully human, rather than a persona. For GR, I also write on lots of different topics, and enjoy reading the contributions of others.

Brett knows I love tangelos, and brought me a huge bag of them from town after his first day back at work, to aid the bone mending. Great that it's tangelo season at the moment, it's my favourite citrus fruit, and our own tree is still small.

Today was the start of three days of forecast wet blustery weather, so I got some boring tax paperwork completed, and will be using the next couple of days to edit and finalise another magazine article - this one on living off-grid, a bit of a technically orientated article for The Owner Builder, for whom I've written some articles on installing a recycled kitchen and building our strawbale eco-house in recent months.

We're an environmental open house, and a good technical summary is here - in the drop-down menus under "Sustainable Features" - although the main blurb on the bottom left is woeful (we didn't write it and we both abhor poor grammar etc, but unfortunately you can find it quite commonly on a lot of Australian websites :icon_rolleyes:...one of the reasons I've hung around HF is because the vast majority of people here seem to care about their language use :cool:).

https://sustainablehouseday.com/house-profile-view/?house_id=38556

So that's what I'm writing about this time, with a broken foot and in bad weather, which is OK really!



I love working with this editor, she is so ultra professional, and has an incredible eye for presentation. I also love and support independent publications just like this one!

Because I did the equivalent of over 1000 pushups yesterday going around on crutches, my pectorals are a wee bit sore and I've been letting them have an easy day today. My typing fingers are just fine. :smile:

The horses were self-exercising whenever there was a rain break, in their rugs! Typical off-track racing breed. They thundered past the garden several times today, heading out to the sand track on adventures and coming back later. They've got miles of tracks here to use as they please, which is super considering I won't be riding Sunsmart or continuing to work with Julian for a while.

All we had to do was feed them their bucket feeds this evening (and ancient Romeo in the morning too); because of the woeful weather they were in rugs all day. They pretty much self sustain on pasture most of the year so we feed no hay, but some added tree fodder at certain times.

I've finally got a photo of Romeo in his brand new rug, which is keeping this 33yo veteran nice and toasty as we speak! Two photos actually; and then a few photos of the others - Chasseur (green rug), Julian (maroon), Sunsmart (purple), and the dog watching them graze this morning.
 

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