Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stepping up, rung by rung

Yesterday, during evening barn chores, I achieved a considerable step up in the path of my recovery:

I climbed the ladder to the hayloft, wrestled two hay bales from the stack to the ladder opening, dropped them, climbed safely down, and moved them to the opposite end of the barn.

This was not easy. I still lack strength enough in that left leg to climb the ladder normally, so had to do the gimpy hitch-step: while grimly clutching the ladder, lift good foot up one rung, raise bum-side foot to join it, repeat. Coming down it was lower bum-side first, etc.

As for moving the hay, well, no way was I going to try lifting 40 to 50 pound bales. So they got to where they had to go through a judicious mix of sliding, end-over-end flipping, and held-vertical corner-walking. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

This is for me a big deal, another thing I no longer need to rely on others to get done. About the only barn chore left to accomplish now is getting a 50-pound grain sack from where the feed store delivers it (lower level at rear of bank barn) into a cart, up the drive to the main level of the barn, and out of the cart into the grain bin. Which will need doing in a couple of days. Which I’m not ready for yet, so will gratefully accept help – this time around. I expect to be able to manage it myself next time, in a couple of months.

Now, if I could just stop needing the cane to walk down stairs….

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Midsummer Update

Greenheads and a heat wave. Whadda revoltin' development. At least Ben is placidly enjoying his daily cold hosing instead of going through his usual shrinking shying "Stop stop I don't like it!" dance. He even likes having his face misted. Then he wants to go right back inside the barn to wait for the evening's blessed banishment of the bugs, when it's finally safe to emerge for overnight turnout. I've whacked off several inches from his unkempt shaggy mane, just rough-combed out most of the snarls and then hacked away with the scissors, never mind the long, fussy, arduous mane-pulling process, which Ben hates anyway. It actually came out looking good.

I continue to improve, slowly; can't go for the long walks I'd been building strength with while it's so brutal, but am managing Ben's mucking, feeding, watering as well as the usual ruck of daily chores without trouble. I can now walk a lot without the cane at home and when doing barn chores but need it on stairs, especially going down, and feel safer having it with me in the outside world. I expect there'll continue to be improvement over the coming months, but if I never got beyond where I am now, the hip replacement would still be worth it, oh yes, so very much worth it all.

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