I took a fall while walking the dog shortly before Christmas. We had some snow, and then of course some ice that packed the snow. It stuck around for several days and during that time I walked the dog on a nice-ish morning before work, and before the last kiddo was awaiting her pick-up. I was picking up the dog’s business and all 55-60 lbs of him noticed a neighborhood lady friend coming towards us on her morning walk. I didn’t feel the tension in the leash change because it was a retractable leash.
While I was tying off the bag of his business, he yanked me over the entirety of a sidewalk AND grass embankment that was covered in snowpack trying to get to this nice lady. I launched through the air, nearly landing my chin on the curb side. I landed flat on my gut and hips, gripping the handle of the leash as hard as possible, trying to pull my arms inward but with him pulling as hard as possible. The wind was knocked out of me, and it was slippery and snowy so I had incredible difficulty standing up. As I looked to my right, I could see my daughter’s ride in the driveway three or four doors away. It felt like a mile or more and I couldn’t get up. Then I saw the lady my dog saw coming closer, trying to help me get the dog calmed down. Luckily she didn’t have her dog with her.
I was incredibly embarrassed, not because of the fall or launching through the air, because my dog is a strong ass puppy, but because my damn body wouldn’t allow me to get up. It felt like I was moving through unmelted butter. Once I did get up, it was agony walking home but I couldn’t stop. The ride couldn’t, or at least wasn’t supposed to leave before I got there.
It was less humiliating, this experience, and more of a humbling experience. It made me realize just how important it is to make sure that every single member of the family maintains command training with Leo every single day at all times. If any of us are lazy in the continued training and maintaining, he won’t obey when it’s important. He didn’t obey me once I was down for the count. He didn’t obey me well once I was up and trying to get him back home; he didn’t obey well when I needed to be able to physically control him the most and couldn’t. He didn’t obey when I needed to get him into the crate so that I could check myself for injury that might need immediate attention. It was a nightmare.
I had a come-to-Jesus with the family later that day once we were all home.
I should have gone to the emergency room that morning, right away, but I didn’t. Next time I fall, I will. And I’ll explain why in a minute.
I went to work instead. I checked myself, but there weren’t any immediate bruises. I was out of breath, and waited to see if that went away. I was able to move my arms and legs, and my neck. My hips were a little sore but I figured that was just a jolt to my arthritis. I didn’t even think about my fall history and how I break bones easily. It just never crossed my mind. I just knew I had to get to work to cover the phones. It was my coworkers who asked why I didn’t go to the ER.
It wasn’t until I got home later and then rested, especially in the evening, that I started to feel the bruising. Every day since the pain in my hips, primarily the left one, is getting worse. The pain in my lower back where the bulging discs are is worse. My sciatic is worse off than it was. I mentioned the fall to my pain management slash back specialist, and we discussed the ER thing; she said to keep an eye on it and she gave me my injections so I could get through Christmas.
At my two week or three week check up, the hip pain was worse. I’ve been procrastinating, but I have the orders to get the X-Rays to check my hips for fracture and to check the lumbar spine again. I’m starting aquatherapy next week. I’m nervous about what the X-Ray will find, but cross my fingers that it’s nothing but a serious bruising. I don’t know what I’ll do if there’s a fracture. I can’t think beyond. I just know that my left hip causes agony at times, and it’s tender to the bone. Something has to change.
Now, the dog’s training has been reinforced. All I have to do to get him into his crate is talk to myself about the crate and move his water into it. It helps if I pull a treat out of my pocket. He then gets in without a command. I thank him with the treat. He seems to want to have commands again on walks, and receive the praise reinforcement and occasional treats for obeying, so that’s excellent. It just has to remain consistent. That’s so important. If you have a dog, and are disabled, or hey even if you’re not there’s a chance that you or a family member could be in the future it’s so important to maintain training for your dog and to be consistent. Take some classes as a family. The training is for YOU as much as the dog.
And if you fall, and there’s even a chance of a fracture; especially if the pain persists then go to the ER. Get X-Rays done. It’s not a waste if they say you’re fine. You may still need PT or OT. These things are important. Please.