Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So, how's the knee?

Someone left an anonymous comment asking how my knee is doing since the replacement.  Well, most of the time I don't think about it much, which is a good thing.  I walk with Cliff every day.  I still do the therapy exercises when I think about it; it's a funny thing, nobody tells you exactly how long to keep doing the exercises.  Searches on the Internet have told me "at least two months" and "as long as six months".  
If I ride the motorcycle two or three days in a row, my knee gets a little "achey", and if I'm on my feet in the kitchen a lot, it swells a little.  Not enough to talk about, really, and not enough to slow me down.
This subject brings up a story that I have intended to share for several days, but I just had not found the right time to do it.  
Bonnie-the-cow has gotten to the point lately where she is restless when I'm milking her, once her feed is gone.  With her head in the stanchion, she can't go anywhere, but she'll move first to her left, then to her right, with her back feet.  
"I'd just give her more feed," Cliff said.  
That cow can eat so fast, I'd be giving her an $8 sack of feed every time I milked if I tried to keep feed in front of her all the time I'm milking.  
One morning while I was milking, she moved rapidly toward me and knocked me backward; no big deal, but you know, with an artificial knee, it makes you think.
"Why don't you just put the kicker on her?" my husband asked.  
I found these pictures on the Internet of the kind of anti-kick device I have, so you could see what I'm talking about.  

You adjust the thing to fit the cow, and indeed, kicking is an impossibility with that kicker in place.  The last time I used it was probably fifteen years ago on KoKo, a big cow.  It had been hanging in the barn ever since.  
I got it off the nail on which it had hung for these many years and found out it was full of mud from mud daubers, and rusted so badly I couldn't get it to adjust.  Bonnie was in the little barn lot, so I held it up to her to see how much adjustment would be needed.  Then I took it to Cliff in the shop, and he proceeded to get it working again.  He'd make it smaller, I'd go try it on the cow.  This was repeated about three times, and he finally put it on the smallest setting available.  
Fasten your seat belts, folks.  
I walked up to Bonnie and put the kicker on her as she stood in the lot.  This time she felt the tightness of the thing and took off bucking like a bronco through two gates and off down the hill.  She couldn't set one foot in front of the other, but she could buck.  I hurried after her, afraid she would end up in a ditch or something, the way she was going.  She wouldn't stop and let me get near her.  Then in the midst of all this, she remembered her calf and started bellowing to him; obviously she thought she was under attack from some invisible monster, and she didn't want her baby to be abducted.  
Well, I finally did get the kicker off her.  I only wish I had stopped at that.  
I got the cow back to the barn, put feed in the manger, and let her in.  I locked her head in the stanchion.
And I started to put the kicker on her.  
In the blink of an eye, before I could get the thing all the way over her backbone, she gave a kick forward with the hoof on my side, made no contact, and then kicked backward with all the force she owned.  The hoof, moving at lightning speed, made contact with my left leg about three inches below my artificial knee.  
I let her out of the barn and went to the shop to tell my family what had happened.  
I was shaken up, believe me.  The doctor once told me I could kneel on soft surfaces if I wanted to, but to NEVER fall on my knee hard, because the kneecap is plastic and it can break.   
So my first thought was, "Thank God she didn't kick my knee."  
There was a huge bruise that hasn't totally gone away yet.  
Now the only thought that nags at me from the back of my mind is this:  "What if that blow loosened up the cement that holds the prosthesis in place?"  
This cement loosens over time anyway, but at a very slow rate.
I don't feel like any damage was done, but the thought is there.  It's no use to go to the doctor and ask her to check me out, because there isn't anything she could do about it if it was loosened.  I have an appointment in February, and we'll see if she says anything about premature loosening. 
I haven't milked Bonnie since the incident.  Oh, I'll tackle it at some point.  I'm just not ready yet.   
Lest you think bad things of Bonnie, she wasn't kicking at me; in her mind, that terrible monster-like device that grabbed her earlier was about to get her again.  She was kicking at the monster, not me; I just happened to be in the way.


JCWillow99@gmail.com said...

Thanks for letting me know how your knee is. I am very nervous about my surgery which is next week. My knee is bone on bone and I have alot of pain, and am desperate for some of the pain to stop. I want my life back. I miss going and doing the things I use to do.
I am glad the cow did not kick your knee, that is a scary thought.
Let Cliff milk that cow, it sounds like you do enough as it is.
take care..


Hollie said...

So glad you weren't seriously hurt! Praying all is well with your knee! Scary! I'd probably never milk again....although I know she wasn't trying to intentionally hurt you!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It seems that it would be worth the feed to let her eat rather to endanger your knee. My but that was scary. I sure wouldn't use that kicker ever again. Be careful!


Poor Bonnie. Poor you. What a scary ordeal. I hope there is no permanent damage to the knee. Be careful when you start to milk again.

Midlife Mom said...

My goodness that is scary! glad you are okay!

Michaele said...

I must be a terrible follower. I laughed in the middle of this post. I am sorry for that. I did NOT however, laugh when you got kicked. I have never heard of one of these things and can't imagine ANY animal not doing the very same thing. I liked how you read her mind about her thinking the same thing might be happening to her baby.

small farm girl said...

Wow! That could have been a lot worse! I thought the same thing when my horse kicked me. Can you use hobbles on her?

Tango said...

Wow that was close! I'm glad that you are okay!!

darev2005 said...

Good grief. I'll have to admit I laughed too. But only in the middle part. I'd hang that kicker up and let the daubers have it back.

Margaret said...

I would be terrified too! I always think of the worst case scenario. (unfortunately, several have come true lately)

Astaryth said...

I don't know if this will work with a cow... but.... If we have an animal that eats too fast and we want to slow it down, we put a few good sized rocks in the feeder. The rocks need to be big enough she will have to move them around to get to the feed. Small enough she can easily push them around, but big enough she won't accidentally eat them. For a horse I will sometimes use the small salt blocks, sometimes broken in half.

Robin said...

Oh goodness that's scary!!!! Out said your knee cap is plastic? I was able to keep mine, not sure if that's good or not. :)