At the beginning of the month I stepped onto a busted piece of concrete in a business parking lot, and twisted me ankle. It bent far enough I was standing on the tiny bone that sticks out to the side of your ankle and made a loud pop. I thought I broke it for sure, but after a few minutes I was able to get to my feet, and surprisingly it didn’t hurt too bad. So I walked around the corner and went back to work. After about 10 minutes it felt like someone was pouring hot liquid into my shoe, and I thought “maybe I ought to take a look at it”. First of all, bad idea. I kinda knew that, but I looked anyway. It looked like I had an apple under my skin. It was weird, but I didn’t think much of it until it started hurting a few minutes later. It happened to be my right foot, so I knew I couldn’t drive. So, I called my baby brother, who lives a few minutes away in the next town. Then we were off to the hospital.
It was about a half hour later, and my foot was swelling. They took x-rays, and luckily I didn’t actually break anything. They sent me home with some ibuprofen and an air cast splint. My mom had damaged her ankle a few years ago and happened to have a waking boot that she left me borrow until the next week when I could meet with a podiatrist.
Turns out that the boot was the best thing I could’ve done, it kept my ankle from moving at all so it could heal properly. The podiatrist said a lot of things that didn’t make sense, but the gist of it was I didn’t tear any ligaments completely, but they were frayed from the stress of the twisting I did. He said to wear the boot for another week, then a brave of some kind for 3 more weeks until he could see me again.
Is been really sore, and there are a lot of bruises. I honestly didn’t even know my foot bent like that, but my whole foot is cooked in them, plus a couple that go up the back of my leg and the side of my calf. It’s still really sore, but much better. I see the podiatrist again next week.
The reason I began with this story was to help explain the next part. I have been really good to make sure that our costs have banking soda available because they are somewhat prone to bloating with alfalfa hay. Apparently they tipped the container over, because when the kids went out to do chores Thanksgiving morning they came in and said Molly was laying down and not moving. In a panic I grabbed my trusty box of baking soda, tossed on my slippers (I still can’t fit my foot into a regular shoe because of the brace), and hobbled of through the fresh snow as fast as I could.
When I got to the goat pens my deepest fear was confirmed. My sweet goat had bloated, and wasn’t breathing. I threw the gate open, and rushed in. When I touched her she was cold, I knew she was gone. My heart sank. Milking is extremely intimate, and you can’t help but bond with the animals you spend time with anyway. I went in the house, sent the baking soda on the table and went into the bathroom. I think I cried for a solid 10 minutes.
I knew we had to take care of her body, Smeagle was very nervous with her there and not moving. But it’s mid November and the ground is frozen, I have a bad ankle still so I can’t dig a hole anyway, and my husband and son were out for their traditional Thanksgiving rabbit hunt. I couldn’t even move the body out of the pen by myself.
Thank goodness we live in a tiny town, in the middle of nowhere. We know our neighbors well, and are blessed that most of them are also homesteaders. So I called my neighbor. I felt terrible, to ask them to help me on a holiday, and to do such a grisly task. I was a mess anyway, and unable to help. But the respect they showed handling the situation showed me I called the right people. They were so delicate, caring and showed so much kindness for Molly and myself. They even called the next day to see how the family was handling the whole thing.
This year I’m so grateful for the kindness of others, the blessing of the homestead, and Molly’s life. She will always have a space in my heart, and we will remember her fondly.