Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pet therapy: My dogs and cats help heal broken bones

Sinead the Boston terrier sits close by

It's been a rough week for the dogs and cats of the menagerie. As I mentioned in last week's Sunday Selfie post, I broke my leg while on an icy walk with little Liam and I spent several days in the hospital trying to get the pain and swelling under control. This week, I came home for a few days to recuperate yet more and get the swelling down yet more.

The only real way to get a leg to stop swelling to gargantuan proportions is to raise it above the level of your heart. That meant I had to spend long days in bed with my foot on a five-layer tower of pillows. The pain medication made me sleepy, so I spent most of that time snoozing. Sinead the Boston terrier never left my side during my entire bed rest stay. She curled up near my right hip and slept, but she slept very lightly. Whenever I moved or made any kind of noise, she'd bolt upright and run up to my face to see if I needed help.

When I wasn't asleep, I tried to work on calming and soothing tasks that would help to keep my mind occupied (so I wouldn't think so much about the pain). My Secret Paws partner, Broken Teepee, gave me The Cat Coloring Book by Charlotte Fraser. It's filled with very complicated coloring designs that are a whole lot of fun to work through. I colored so many of them, and every time, I felt so much better. And they're so pretty!

Completed page from a cat coloring book

On Tuesday, I went in and had surgery. My orthopedic surgeon specializes in traumatic injuries like mine, so I felt as though I was in good hands. I had a spinal anesthetic and a general anesthetic, and all in all, the procedure took a little more than 2 hours. But he did so much during that time.

My fibula was in several tiny little pieces, and much of it couldn't be tacked back together. So the surgeon pulled the fragments and replaced that bone with a plate. That plate bends and then extends up over my tibia. There are multiple screws holding this thing in place.

Broken leg repair

I felt miserable in the hospital and even worse when I came home. Cramping and aching and bleeding and itching. At times, all I could do was just cry. Many of my little ones were up to the task of helping me, and I had a little crowd of rotating characters who would leap onto and off of the bed when I needed them. And that crowd would follow me when I used my knee walker to get to the bathroom.

But some of my critters are just frightened of all of the noise and commotion and new things. Maggie is taking this all especially hard. I haven't seen her at all since this episode began. She runs from me.

But, this is very much a temporary situation. Already, my pain level has dipped precipitously, which allows me to move better and think clearly. On Monday, I'll head back to work in my little writing studio. And in about 5 weeks, I'll start with physical therapy.

Thanks to all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for your kind words and well wishes this week. I needed you, and you were there.

And thanks to The Cat On My Head for hosting this hop. It allowed me to make so many friends in the blogosphere, and I couldn't be happier about that.

And on that note, here's Fergus posing for his selfie. He encourages you to leave a comment and tell him how handsome he is.

Fergus the Siamese cat in his chair

If you haven't joined the hop before, what are you waiting for? It's so much fun to meet new fur families and make new friends. Give it a try!


  1. Fergus ... you are HANDSOME. Super duper handsome, in fact! Sending love and prayers for healing to you, Jean.

  2. My how handsome you have become, dear Fergus, you'll have all the lady cats running after you soon. Oh my, Jean, seeing that break and the pinning involved makes me wince in sympathy for what you have been through... so glad that the pain meds are helping and more so that you have your support from your fur family. They are brilliant. healing purrs and love to you all from us both. Erin

  3. That x-ray just makes US want to cry...very ouchie looking. Nice selfie!
    The Florida Furkids

  4. Fergus, you are awesome at those selfies ... so handsome!

    Jean, we can't even imagine the pain you're going through, but it sounds like you're on the path to recovery. And that you've got a loving crew of little nurses to help you with that. We'll keep sending healing purrs and prayers your way. Hugs!

  5. Jean, our mom is a terrible slacker. She missed about your broken leg. She is so sorry. She broke her leg in 2011 and was out of commission for 22 weeks. Even though she had a fractured fibula and a displaced spiral fracture of the tibia, her ortho didn't want to do surgery as he has already done so many on her ankles and feet. Be thankful for the surgery. You will be up and around so much more quickly. Mom is going to add you to her prayer list. She has that same coloring book. It is so much fun and very relaxing. Tell all your critters to take good care of you. Cooper Murphy showed up two weeks ago and several people have tried to claim him, but he hasn't belonged to any of them. We all believe Fiona showed him the way. Fergus, you are most handsome, and really know how to strike a pose. Take extra good care of your mom. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo and Cooper Murphy.

  6. I am glad your had your furbabies to take care of you during this awful ordeal.I am praying you heal quickly.

  7. Lots of purrs from all of us too. We sure hope the healing happens quickly.

  8. First of all, Jean...get better really quickly. I am like Maggie and would hide if mom was in pain. She is my rock so if she makes a noise because of pain....I would probably hide or sit quite away from her. Kali would jump in and cuddle with mom so mom would be ok.

    Furgus you are a good looking meezer. Keep up the good work.


  9. We're sending you a ton of healing purrs, Miss Jean. With all of your furbabies, we know you have lots of good nurses to take care of you.

  10. Fergus that is one handsome selfie! Glad you have your furkids to comfort you and keep you company. Our continued healing purrs and prayers for a complete & swift recovery for you.

  11. You poor thing :( I'm so glad your furry nurses are taking such good care of you. (And thank you for the lovely comment on our blog today!)

  12. He is handsome and I'm glad you're feeling better.

  13. wow your broken leg is much more broken than Mum's was a year ago. Still hospitals are no fun and the pain can put everything else out of your head can't it.

    Hang in there and your fur family will provide the healing medicine that works paw in paw with the Dr's stuff!