Animal care can be dangerous

Going out in the back yard to water and feed a pet dog might be thought of as something enjoyable. Certainly, it is usually not something that would be considered “risky behavior.”

Susie Oliver might be hard to convince of that after her recent experience.

According to Oliver, she was on her way out to the dog on Jan. 3 with a bucket of food in one hand and a bucket of water in the other when she suddenly found herself flat on her back and in excruciating pain.

She had been walking in the snow and, without warning, stepped on a patch of snow that had ice under it. And down she went, and as she described it, “hit just right.”

“I didn’t spill the food or the water,” she said. “I crawled on out, fed and watered the dog and crawled back to the house.”

Oliver called her sister, who lives nearby, who came immediately over with her husband. She was bundled in a car and taken to a hospital to the emergency room.

“At the ER, they took one look at the huge knot on the outside of my ankle and rushed me into X-ray,” she related. The X-rays showed that she had broken the head off the lower end of the tibia (the small leg bone). With no one on staff that could do anything at that time, the ER personnel wrapped Oliver’s ankle very well with Ace bandages and sent her home, telling her to see a surgeon the next week.

The following Monday, she appeared promptly at the office of Dr. Timothy Galbraith who immediately took her into surgery. The bones were put back where they should be and were secured with a plate and seven screws. For six weeks, she had to take it easy, even though she was able to make it to work at the California R-I Superintendent’s office. First, she wore an air cast. Then for the final healing time, Oliver wore a medical boot.

Although Oliver will not soon forget the event, she is back walking without need of crutches or other support. One of the good things about the surgery is that it barely left a scar.

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