Ranchers are some of my favorite patients. They usually only come in when something’s not working. Pain is not a huge issue, I don’t know why, but they seem to be either too busy to come in or so tough they just put up with the pain.
I remember years ago when I practiced in New Mexico, I had an eighty-two year old widow come in to see me because she couldn’t raise her arm. She ran a ranch herself in the northwestern part of the state since her husband died.
She was tougher than a garlic milkshake, but the shoulder was useless to her, worsening gradually over the last year until she just couldn’t lift it. Pain in the shoulder was there, but really wasn’t why she came to see me.
What happened? “Well it started when I was in this corral with a big billygoat. I turned my back on him and he charged me, put me through the wooden fence and hurt my shoulder.”
Here she was – all of 90 pounds, and that goat could have killed her (probably outweighed her).
“Did you call the doctor or go to the hospital?”
“Nope.” she said, “I went into the house, got my shotgun, and shot that damn goat.”