Thursday, April 28, 2011

Love That Tractor

And More News

I used the tractor to clear away most of the emergency manure pile by the barn yesterday. It took me a little while to figure out how to do it most efficiently, but once I established a method, it was great! I had to wait until the ground dried out a little from all the rain we've been having and yesterday was the first day.

While I was doing that, I let the Boys out into the back yard. I blocked the driveway gates with my car and truck as well as tying them closed. I know Chance has figured out they are push through gates so until I hook up the fence charger to electrify them, I had to be cautious.

Some of the grass is a bit out of control.  While I do need to cut the lawn with my newly restored riding mower, that too is one of those things that had to wait until things dried out. Now, it's going to be days of rain again, so I supposed I will be knee deep in grass before the end of next week.  I'd let the Boys out to eat it again, but when it gets too wet, they leave huge hoofprints in the yard making more of a mess than I already have.

Right now, priorities are to try to clean up some of the mess around the barn before the flies start breeding. I did put out my first order of fly predators, but there is still a lot of wet stuff that needs to be removed. I will work on it again today if the rain holds off.

And more news. I made an appointment for next week with a knee replacement surgeon. The fact is that my knees are hurting all the time--sometimes worse than others. While I can still ride, they hurt when I do and they definitely hurt when I get off. I am ready to make some serious decisions.

I could have met with the doctor who did my arthroscopic surgery, but I am going straight to the replacement surgeon for a consult instead. There may be one more therapy I can try to hold me for a while, but that would only be temporary.  What I need to find out:
1. Will he do both knees at the same time?
2. How long is the recovery time in the hospital?
3. How long before I can walk enough to at least feed the horses?
4. How much PT do I need?
5. How long before I can drive the car?
6. How long before I can ride again"?
7. How long do the replacements last?
8. Should I actually do it now?

I am hoping to shoot for the end of summer, mostly because I can use the swimming to build myself up as a prep for surgery.  Unless there is some way that I could have the surgery and be swimming in a couple weeks, my pool membership will be wasted and I will miss out on some of my better exercise.

I will, of course, continue to ride as much as I can, but honestly, the pain saps my energy and enthusiasm. I am sure that's a good part of the reason Chance's training is not as far along as it should be. Hacking out in the woods is relatively easy on me. Tucker is not the best trail horse, so when I do work him, it's mostly in the arena.  Fortunately, of the three horses, his conformation is the easiest on my knees, so once I manage to clamber on to his 17 h back, I am kind of OK.

So, even more so bless my tractor. If I had to cart all that debris away in the wheelbarrow, I'd be lame for weeks.

So much for the news. I will keep faithful readers posted and occasional lurkers updated as well. *G*


  1. Love those tractors too.

    As for the knee surgery it's your decision. A friend of mine had her two done at the same time and seemed fine with it. The physical therapy is painful at first but being horse people we can deal with that. I can say with mine I was in the hospital for two days and then I went to a rehab facility for about 10 days and then did out patient therapy. Everyone heals differently.

    As for riding my knee doesn't hurt at all anymore while riding, but once in a while you can hear or feel some clicking while posting, no pain though. The worst part of the whole replacement for me is I can't kneel down on that one knee anymore, I can live with it though. If you get the titanium joint I believe I was told they last 20-25 years. Good luck with the doctor and your decision.

  2. Big decisions. Good luck!

  3. Good luck with big decisions. I am sure you will make a well thought decision. You laready have a list of questions.

  4. i know of several people who've had knees replaced and all been hugely better for it.

    partner's dad had one done, and he was then able to dance properly and thoroughly enjoy himself, which he hadn't been able to do in years...

    and i would have thought swimming would be good rehab for it, exercise without weightbearing has to be a good thing

    i reckon you'll go for it...

  5. Blegh, I had a long comment written out & blasted Blogger killed it! I'm a PA student in my last rotation (in orthopedics) so I'll take a stab at answering some of your questions. Granted, I don't know much :-)

    1. Will he do both knees at the same time? They don't usually like to do both at the same time because of the increased risks due to longer time under anesthesia, increased risk of blood clots and the increased blood loss during surgery. Occasionally if the surgeon I'm following feels the patient is in good enough health he will do both in the same surgery,

    2. How long is the recovery time in the hospital? Barring complications, most patients stay for 3 days post-surgery. If you live alone without someone who can help you with daily cares, or have stairs in your home, you may need to spend a few weeks in a rehab facility until you’re ready to return home.

    3. How long before I can walk enough to at least feed the horses? Generally our patients are up using a walker the day after surgery and over several weeks they progress to walking with a cane. Bear in mind that it takes 3-4 months before most patients feel completely great.

    4. How much PT do I need? This seems to depend on what the patient’s insurance will cover, as well as how much progress you are making. Most patients are in therapy for several weeks.

    5. How long before I can drive the car? When you feel comfortable that you have the range of motion to use the pedals and stop suddenly as needed. You also shouldn’t drive within 4 hours of taking narcotic pain medications. My surgeon usually advises his patients to start out on a quiet morning & test that they are able to do things safely. I would guess for most patients they aren’t ready before 4-6 weeks.

    6. How long before I can ride again? Not sure about that one 

    7. How long do the replacements last? Most seem to last between 10-25 years.