Monday, March 30, 2009

Back at home

I am back at my own house after 3 weeks of staying at my friend Michelle's house. It is great to be home! I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for everything Michelle did for me while I was laid up. Not only did she have to look after her 3 year old, she had to look after a cranky gimp as well. Once again, a big thank you to Michelle for all her help over the last 3 weeks. I hope that someday I can do something to repay her.

At the condo where my family were staying the day they left to go back to Canada

After two weeks, I had to go back to the orthopedic specialist for an assessment and was able to have the hard splint removed. Let me tell you, it was not pretty when I looked down at my leg and foot! I am sure you can imagine after two weeks of not being able to put any weight on my foot, wash or even shave, my leg was in quite the state. It was a black and blue, stinky, hairy, little chicken leg with little to no muscle left. The specialist assured me this was normal since muscles start to atrophy in a matter of days.

I have started rehabilitation exercises and have been off crutches for several days now. I think the best part was saying goodbye to those damn crutches. It has been a slow and incredibly frustrating process but it feels really good to be moving again. Apparently, it takes about 6 weeks for a ligament tear to heal. After that, I will have to work very hard to get back to the mobility and strength I had before the fall.

My friend Shelley has generously offered to come by and walk the dogs for me until I am stronger and can do it on my own. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful, generous friends in my life.

The 4th annual PATA Manzanillo spay/neuter clinic started on Friday. It is a 5 day clinic where local families can bring in their pets and/or stray animals in their neighborhood to be spayed/neutered at no cost. Local veterinarians and vet students, along with vets from other parts of Mexico come to volunteer their time. The clinic is run entirely by volunteers in an effort to reduce the over population problem. The local people of Manzanillo volunteer in many ways from day to day activities at the clinic - checking in the animals, post operation recovery, administering vaccinations and medicines, to feeding the volunteers, housing the vets from other cities, lending and/or donating supplies, animal crates, etc. It is amazing to see what can be accomplished in a matter of several days. Since this is a cause near and hear to my heart, I have been helping out. As I am not that mobile, one of the veterinarians suggested that I could learn how to tattoo the animals (as I can do this sitting down with little to no walking). This year, an organization has generously donated the tattoo identification system which is similar to tattoo and microchip identification systems in Canada and the US. After being trained by one of the veterinarians, I started tattooing. After the animals come out of surgery, while they are still anesthetized, I use a tattoo machine to give them their ID number. After that, they immediately go to post operation recovery where they are cared for by volunteers until they wake up.

We've reached the half-way point of the spay/neuter clinic to GREAT (and record-breaking) success thanks to all of the volunteers. A record breaking number of surgeries have been completed thus far: 48 on Friday, 67 on Saturday and 60 on Sunday-- 175 in total and with still two days to go. Local press is even taking notice: we made El Noticiero newspaper on Thursday and the Correo de Manzanillo newspaper two days in a row with a full-page photo spread. Click on the link if you want to check it out.