I brought Bill home from the hospital on Sept 26th. Within hours the PhD Physicist’s brain was at work, leaving bits and pieces of evidence around the house.
His mode of transportation was a walker with wheels on the front, but not on the back. He attached a shopping bag to one side. Bill’s biggest concern was keeping the injured hip (the left one) from automatically engaging muscles when he moved his right leg. He took himself off the pain meds Thursday in the hospital following a fainting spell during his morning physio session. He was at the top of the flight of stairs when he distinguished himself. He woke up in bed. Bill decided the meds and his body were not mixing well. The physio staff suggested “altitude sickness” (there are three stairs on the practice staircase).
Bill announced early that Friday evening, “I’m learning to really plan ahead.” (Had to choke back a laugh on that one!)
In the house every once in a while I hear strange sounds, sort of like an animal caught between the walls. I stay very still and listen closely. Ah…not an animal. It’s Bill. He’s on the move with the walker.
Saturday morning I came into the house after tidying up the barn. I noticed some spots on the dining room floor. I entered the kitchen, more spots. I found Bill and asked how things were going. “I learned that transporting a mug of tea in the shopping bag doesn’t work well.” A few hours later I thought, “A thermos. That will help with the liquids.” I retrieved a thermos from under the sink and presented it to Bill.
Saturday afternoon I entered the family room and saw one of the kitchen chairs. I found Bill and asked about this additional piece of furniture in an already packed room (the bed from our guest room was brought down and placed up on blocks so Bill could operate on one level of the house). He said, “That’s my wagon.”
“OK” I thought, I’ll bite. “Wagon?”
“Yes,” he said, “a wagon. I had it behind me with my lunch on it. I pushed the walker, stood still and pulled the wagon.”
“I’ll bet the vizslas really enjoyed THAT!” I envisioned Bobbe and Trooper positively delighted to see a plateful of food at nose height scooting along the floor.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the weather was sunny and in the mid 20’s. Between Bill and me we got him down the two steps into the garage, then into the Gator with the walker in the back. (The stairs are extremely tricky to navigate. The only reason we were able to attempt them was because Ron Marino created a railing. He had it installed in time for Bill’s homecoming. Whew!) Trooper joined us, running and sniffing and playing. We toured the farm. On Bill’s first outing he fixed a rail on a fence, harrowed the arena and filmed most of the fundraiser for Horseplay Sanctuary. Monday we cleaned up some thistle and took some downed branches out back. Tuesday he had his first physio in-house before the Gator ride. He was given a lesson on his crutches. We placed those in the back of the Gator. This was Trooper’s third time out with Bill in the Gator (Bobbe isn’t allowed to join us because she has taught us over the past seven years that is she’s not on a leash she’s GONE!!!!). On this occasion Bill helped Trooper into the passenger seat. The vizsla has never enjoyed riding in the Gator and has shown he’s very uncomfortable being driven. But this time he sat happily. When I asked him to step down and let me sit, he looked at me with that sweet face and didn’t move. Hmmm….
We finally got Trooper out of the Gator and into the house, then headed over to the barns. I fetched Kye and Bill drove the Gator into the arena. Within minutes he was free-longeing Kye. Both were enjoying their time together. We played a game: I set up the big ball for Kye, he pushed it and Bill gave him a treat. This required Kye moving right up to the Gator. Kye loved the game: push the ball, eat the treat!
I set up the “horse mail only” mailbox on the kickboards. Kye opened it, took out the mail and dropped it. He then walked to the Gator expecting a treat. He received one. But, surprisingly, a few minutes later he opened the mailbox, took out the mail and carried it all the way to Bill. He got three treats.
Recovery for the hip is supposed to be 12 weeks. Three days home from the hospital…so far, so good.