Circle of Five

Daily Prompt: Circle of Five.

A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?

First of all, who are the people I currently spend my time with?

  1. My husband (Eagle):  Noble, stubborn, rock-steady
  2. My son (Bam-Bam):  Verbal, high-spirited, sensitive
  3. My daughter (Pebbles):  Sweet, affectionate, nurturing
  4. My dog (Duke):  Happy, loving, social
  5. My horse (Buck):  Stubborn, recalcitrant, dominant

You know, I think I’m good with this group.  I’d be doing pretty well if I were the sum of this merry bunch.

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Mix Tape

Daily Prompt: Mix Tape.

This is going to be fun (Selections based on titles only):

High School: If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep On Movin – Rodney Atkins
Basic Training: What Was I Thinking – Dierks Bentley
College: Patience – Guns ‘n Roses
Deployment: See Basic Training
Marriage: God Blessed the Broken Road – Rascall Flatts
New Parenthood: See Basic Training (kidding, kidding.)
Today: Life Is Good Today – Zac Brown Band

Re-reading this list, I just realized that this is mostly Country music. Who Am I?

Email from the surgeon: He’s Fixable!

Subject: Duke’s summary

A summary of Duke’s injuries and recommendation of therapy:

Right hip: The hip joint is luxated, and was not willing to stay in place when Dr. Xxx reduced it. It also has arthritis secondary to hip dysplasia (as does the left hip), which indicates that there is not likely healthy cartilage to start with.  One option is to reduce the hip and hold it in place with an implant (toggle pin), but a prerequisite for this with a successful outcome is healthy cartilage. For this reason I think Duke will do better long term with a femoral head ostectomy (FHO). This entails removing the head of the femur to allow his body to form a pseudojoint. Dogs generally do well with this procedure, but do maintain a limp for life, because that leg is shorter than the other.

Left knee: Duke has avulsion fractures (small bone chips that are pulled off the main bone) which are likely associated with some torn ligaments. Based on palpation Duke has torn his ACL (cranial cruciate ligament injury) and his medial collateral ligament of the knee. This results in instability of the joint with bones moving inappropriately in relation to each other. My recommendation for this injury is to use an implant (tightrope) across the joint to provide stability to the knee in place of the ligaments.

Left tarsus (ankle): Duke has some instability of his tarsus, as well has a fracture of the articular surface of this joint and a luxation of another bone within the joint. In some cases, fractures and dislocations can be fixed directly with surgery, but with Duke’s fracture involving a large portion of the joint surface, he is unlikely to do well with that repair. I recommend arthrodesis (fusing the joint), which will address all the problems in his joint.

We discussed that with any individual surgery there is a risk of
implant failure (which Duke will be at a higher risk for since he cannot favor one limb over another) and infection (which is of greatest concern in his knee with the tightrope, and he carries a slightly higher risk of with his skin wounds). Duke will require a splint on his left foot to protect the arthrodesis to try to avoid implant failure, and the bandage will need to be changed weekly. Duke will also likely need a screw removed from the ankle after recovery, but the remaining implants are designed to stay in for life if there are no problems.

We plan to address Duke’s right hip and his left knee today, and will address the left ankle tomorrow or Wednesday, pending arrival of the implants I would like.

What happened to Duke

Last Thursday afternoon, I was wrapping up my workday and talking through the day with Nanny when I suddenly heard a shrieking-howling noise coming from the direction of the road.  I ran outside, and saw Duke flailing at the end of the driveway, and a van in the ditch nearby.  I yelled to Nanny to call 911 and started running.

When I got to Duke, I saw that he had blood in his mouth and cuts and scrapes all over his body.  He was trying to stand up and walk, but his back legs weren’t working, so he was basically dragging himself in circles and in a lot of pain.  When I approached him, he lay still, and I petted him to try and keep him calm.  I checked his mouth and noticed that his gums were white, which meant he was going into shock. 

My husband drove up a minute later, returning home from work.  I told him what happened and asked him to go and check on the driver of the van, since I had seen no movement in that direction.  He asked me if Duke was going to be ok.  I shrugged and shook my head, afraid to speak.  His eyes teared up as he went back to his truck.

The rest of that night is a blur, but here is how things ended up…

The driver of the van, an 81-year-old man and our neighbor, had been drinking, but blew well under the legal limit at the scene.  His blood alcohol test at the hospital was below the legal limit as well.  The police determined that he hit Duke, then swerved into the ditch.  The airbag deployed, obstructing his vision, so he was unable to see or move well enough to stop the vehicle for a couple hundred yards.  He suffered cracked ribs, damaged vertebrae, and had six staples in a large laceration on the top of his head.

Duke was stable when we got him to our vet, but x-rays revealed a dislocated hip in his right leg, and several fractures in his back left leg.  The vet tried to pop the hip back into the joint,  but it popped back out again.  On that night when I left the vet’s office, I didn’t think that Duke would have a chance at life, given the extent of his injuries and his already-diagnosed hip dysplasia.  Things would change considerably in the next 72 hours, but on Thursday I thought we would be burying another dog this year.