Exactly one week ago, I had a slight mishap.
A neighbor called Glenn to let him know his cattle had come over onto her property. He responded with, “I’ll be right there.”
Looking out the window and down into the pasture just below the house, we saw bunches of cows and calves. Evidently, not the entire herd went over to pay a visit.
Glenn informed me that he would need my help to be guardian of the gate. This way he could easily slip over on his ATV without having to get on and off to open and close the gate and it would guarantee that the remaining herd would not follow him onto the forbidden grounds through the fence vulnerability which had not yet been found…by us.
I had not gone for my morning walk since it had been raining and still was. So, the reprieve from the wetness I thought I had gotten was not to be. I had to go out into the pouring rain. I followed Glenn, in tractor, down in the ‘mule’ and was able to guard the gate without incident. I stood solid while the herd crept closer to me. They did not intimidate me. The cows and bull gathered within feet of me but not one tried to make a run through the inviting open gate - ‘the grass is always greener’ syndrome. Shortly, Glenn retrieved one calf and one cow. Not the numbers we had expected. The two easily ran back through the open gate and joined the herd in waiting. Two delinquents are easier to rescue than 40.
On his return, Glenn wanted help with a second gate while he went to fetch some of that amazing corn he gleaned last week to feed to the cows. As he approached the gate, I opened it for his access while the cows looked on with eager anticipation. They cooperated, again, by following the corn laden tractor deep into the pasture where they would spend the next few hours munching to their delight. But, where were the sheep? I could not see them and I did not want to reclaim my mule and have the flock decide, on their own, to change fields. I waited and waited for Glenn and his turn to watch the gate for me. I was getting soaked having only layered with two sweatshirts and no raingear. The dogs, quiet by my side, waited for some indication of my intended plan.
Finally, I decided to take a chance and check on Glenn. Just a few steps from the gate, I felt a horrendous jolt to my ankle and went down to the ground instantly. Snowball either decided to run at me with his full force or he was playing with Buddy and jumped without thought of where he would land. I do not know exactly because my back was to the dogs. All I know is that he collided with my ankle with the entire weight of his body. Snowball is one big dog, a Great Pyrenees to remind the readers.
I was prone in the mud and manure (again, remember that the cows were just waiting in that exact spot and when they stand around they just go through their normal activities - relieving themselves of excrement, for one) with the rain falling at a steady clip.
My entire left ankle was throbbing in pain. I immediately thought I broke my ankle and about all the things I would have to put on hold. My dogs are no Lassie. They stayed by my side, jumped on top of me as if I was playing and made no attempt to get Glenn. I put up an arm to wave to try to get Glenn’s attention, but he was still a distance away inside his tractor cab which is quite comfy - no rain and no noise (as in my yells) for him. Eventually, he made a turn to where he could catch a glimpse of me on the ground. But, would he? Thankfully, he did. He drove me back home in the ‘mule’. I undressed from my wet and soiled clothes, hobbled to the recliner, covered up with an old blanket and remained as still as possible, cold and in pain. Glenn did bring me an ice pack (oh, so cold) for my foot, heating pad for my body, and two ibuprofen. Sympathy was not in the picture.
Five hours later, I managed to get up and walk slowly if I kept my foot straight and stiff. After 5 hours of sitting, I was quite bored.
I could not wiggle my toes without pain. I self-diagnosed…a bad sprain.
I told myself that ‘Tomorrow, I will be back to normal.’ That was my hope, anyways. Ah, wishful thinking…
Still, I know I will need to be careful for weeks. My plans of getting my perennial garden fully weeded in the next few weeks might be delayed until spring. My entire ‘to do’ list is based on my ability to move about freely and with vigor. Not this past week, maybe soon. I did go out into the garden for a bit on Friday, four days after the incident, and was overcome with pain. Ugh - more rest. My recovery might take longer than I want it to - double ugh!
A couple of years ago, I chipped a tooth while I was guardian of the gate. A cow slammed the gate into my mouth. I never saw that gate coming.
Farming, at least gate duty, is certainly hazardous to my body. And, being careful is irrelevant to blindsides.
Maybe next time I should gear up with full-body padded protection…couldn’t hurt.
Update: I am still hobbling with a swollen ankle/foot - a totally blue foot to be more accurate. My dogs are not happy and they are confused as we have not been on our daily walks. Can they not notice that I am barely walking?
The up side is that last week it rained daily and the forecast for this week is the same…more rain. My outside activity has naturally been minimized giving me a bit more guiltless recuperation. No great photo opts from inside the house, though. I do miss seeing my birds and nature’s daily changes I realize on my daily walk with my canine buddies.
I will return…routine here I come!