Doing routine ranch work becomes more difficult when you have to work around an injury, as Ty Barnes is discovering.

Over the past 10+ years in the ranching world, I have personally experienced several injuries. Anything from dinging my shin on the hitch of the pickup to a horse rolling over the top of me and everything in between. The injuries seem to come and go. But sometimes it’s an injury that needs extra attention, as in Ty’s case this spring.

While trying to get a bale feeder cleaned out he slipped off. When he landed on his right foot he twisted and heard a pop! He didn’t think much was wrong until he tried to step and instantly had no strength in his leg. Gus brought his trusty little Honda 4-wheeler over and hooked his dad up with a ride to the house.

It was obvious he did more than just tweak his knee. He had instant swelling and the pain kept getting worse. The next day we were off to the doctor for a referral to a specialist. A few days later, after X-rays and an MRI, it was determined that he had completely torn his ACL. After an explanation from the doctor about how the surgery was going to go down, we had to make a game plan.

We asked ourselves if we should do the surgery at all, and if so, when? It came down to the fact that in our lives there is never a “slower” time or a “better” time to do it so we scheduled the surgery for May 24. Actually, as I sit here writing this I am waiting for him to come out of the recovery room after arriving at the surgery center at 6:30 a.m. I decided to make the best of my time and get caught up on some shopping. We haven’t made a big grocery run since before calving started. Ty said we weren’t coming back until after calving; well, we just got the cows to grass this last week and it’s time. My cupboards are bare, snacks for the kids are long gone and we’ve been out of Ranch dressing for three weeks!

In my time waiting for his surgery I not only got my grocery shopping done, I washed the Suburban, and picked up some dog food and fly spray from Tractor Supply. I even managed to slip in a Chinese food lunch, as I had no husband or kids to tell me NO! Even though it was a difficult day, it was a much needed trip to town that, because of busy ranch life, I hadn’t done in several months.

Malloree Barnes and her husband, Ty, own Smilin' Ranch Co. located southwest of Gothenburg where they run a cow-calf operation.