Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Winds Have Changed

Things were all going my way!  Finally after this long term plan of school and establishing my career to then be able to pursue my passion and fulfilling goals.  Just as soon as I finally burst out of the gate ready to conquer the world.  The area 8 Novice world at least.  We were ready.  Our dressage was balling our XC was on point and our Stadium was finally at a place where it was mostly controlled.  We hit our one schooling Event before we were to head into the fall ready for USEA events.  I even, for the first time in my life, joined USEA for myself and for Steady (talk about a wasted $130).  I had two entries filled out and ready to mail with coggins copies  printed and ready.  Then life decided to make my plans a great big joke and just laid me out.

I was not able to write about this until today.  The reality of all of it was just too much for me to bear emotionally.  But I've been doing my best to work through the emotion and get down the practical reality of what my life will look like for the next several months.  So what is it that has set me back?  Well here is the story:(get some snacks, its a long one)

Saturday late morning my 3 girls and I went on a trail ride.  I decided to ride in my dressage saddle because my stirrup leathers on my jump saddle were being borrowed by E.  This is relevant to the story that is why I point it out.  The weather was beautiful.  Such a perfect day.  When we entered the woods we heard a chain saw.  Figured the neighbor was downing some trees.  As we got farther into the trail we saw that was indeed the case.  There were a couple newly downed trees.  Which of course the horses were a little snorty at, but walked past completely uneventfully.  Everyone was well behaved.  We stopped over at the neighbors house for about 30 minutes to visit then started making our way back.  We came around the trail on a different route then we passed the first time around.  Steady stopped and froze when he saw the downed tree.  I let him look for minute and kicked him on he moved forward.  When we approached the tree I initially was going to walk around it.  At the last second I thought, "I want to jump that log".  I trotted a few strides.  Steady reluctantly popped over it then  upon landing came to a complete halt.  Being in my dressage saddle I had no forward stability like I would in my jump saddle. I fell forward onto his neck and he balked at that a little.  I knew I was coming off immediately because of my loss of stability when falling forward.  I got myself upright he bounced left and I did a flying dismount off his right side.  I say flying dismount because I knew I couldn't help coming off but I also knew it was slow enough I could control it.  I came down landed on my feet but mostly on my left foot.  As soon as my feet hit the ground I heard a snap and saw my left leg just above the ankle go completely 90 degrees.  I knew immediately I had just broke my leg.  From that moment forward it was like an out of body experience.  I am sure it was the shock of it all that kept me going.

First thing I said was, "No way I just broke my leg"  I then quickly grabbed my foot and put it back straight.  I could not stomach looking at it sideways.  I then said, "girls you need to get my phone, call your dad and tell him I just broke my leg and I need help fast."  I guess it was the fact that I knew I needed to get myself and the girls out of there before I could let the reality set in of the amount of pain I was in.  Because I kept thinking, wow this is really bad and I knew in my head that it hurt like hell but I didn't actually physically feel very much pain. I was extremely calm.  Macy pointed out that I am the one with my phone.  Elaina had immediately dismounted and grabbed Steady.  Steady BTW was just as shocked as all of us that I had come off.  Last time I actually came off of Steady was over 4 years ago and only 2 times in 7 years have a come off of him.  Then for something so completely uneventful he did not see that coming.  He didn't really do much of anything.  Definitely not anything that should typically warrant a fall and by no means a fall bad enough for that kind of injury.  Anyways, I get the phone and decided to call Ryan myself then there couldn't be any miscommunication about the problem or location.  My words on the phone were, "Ryan I broke my leg really bad.  You need to come get me as fast as you can.  I am down at the shooting range.  I am  not joking.  Are you going to come?"  He said yes and I hung up.

The wait:

To add to it Lego got a big horse fly on his butt.  He was panicked and started spinning in circles.  Elaina tried to stop him but she was also holding Steady.  Lego came inches from trampling me and wasn't calming down.  I knew I need to move.  So I grabbed my leg with one arm and drug it while I army crawled to a log safely away from Lego.  I told Elaina to let go of Steady and get the horse fly.  She did and of course Steady wasn't going any where.  I waited what felt like 2 hours but was more likely about 30 minutes.  The whole time I was just in disbelief that this was actually happening.  I could not wrap my head around it.  There was a moment that I started to black out.  I explained to the girls that I might pass out. That if I do do not panic.  That it isn't a huge deal if I do and that it will be fine.  That I was going to lay down just in case I do I don't fall over. Thankfully I never fully lost consciousness. It was wild to me that I was so calm and in control in those moments.  Ryan showed up with the neighbors Gator, two pieces of wood and some ace bandage for a splint.  I was freaking out about my boot.  I knew the swelling was getting worse.  I knew as soon as I showed up to the hospital that they were going to want to cut it off.  I kept saying I need to get my boot off.  Ryan refused to oblige my request assuring me that it was a terrible idea.  I finally conceded and he held the wood while Elaina wrapped.  Those Pony Club wrapping skills sure came in handy! The nurses were impressed with their splint job. Our neighbor came down with Ryan and took the girls and the horses back to the house to get them settle back at home.  Thank God for amazing neighbors.

The drive:
The trip there was wretched.  We don't live close to anything and I am usually grateful for that fact.  But taking a trip to the ER in that much pain I wished we were closer.  Ryan was my complete and total hero.  He drove as fast as he possibly could.  Running red lights when he could and determinded to get me help as quickly as he could.  He never once mentioned anything negative as he well could have in that situation given his feeling towards the whole horse thing.  He just kept reassuring me that he would get me help as fast as he could and that he is just grateful it was only my leg and that I was OK otherwise.  I was angry.  Very angry at myself for doing it.  I knew anger at myself wasn't rational but I felt really stupid for letting it happen and I think that is where the anger came from.

The Hopital:
They got me in immediately and I'd say within 15 minutes of arrival were administering Fentenal.  It didn't do a whole lot for the pain.  They then gave me a double dose of Fentenal.  That finally knocked off the edge.  It was time to address the leg.  I asked them to try to pull off my boot first.  They said they didn't think it was good idea but would try it if I wanted to.  BAD IDEA.   OMG  Mind you we didn't know exatly what was wrong with my leg at this point but as soon as he tugged a little it felt like he was ripping my foot off.  I screamed and cried from that moment on.  I was out of my mind in pain.  He felt awful for even trying.  He cut my boot as fast as he could.

RIP my lovelies

  And that was that.  I couldn't bring myself to look at my leg so I do not know what it looked like.  I just couldn't handle that image in my head.  I am glad I didn't because the flash backs of the sound of the snap and seeing my leg at 90 degree angle haunt me over and over.
Nope NOT supposed to look like that.

But I knew from how it felt what it most likely looked like.  They told me it was mildly deformed and obviously broken.  I was still hoping for good news at that point but the more and more I was realizing there was very little hope to be had.  But to be honest I knew it was as bad as it was the second it happened.  I just hoped I was over reacting.  I got xrays and then the Doc came in to explain my injuries and the immediate plan.   First off my foot was dislocated badly and that has to be put back into place.  Secondly you have a fracture of your fibula and Tibia.  The piece on the Tibia is floating and we are a bit concerned about where it will go after the dislocation reduction.  Of course I asked, "how realistic is it that I would be able to ride in a competition in 4 weeks?"  He laughed and said, "You could be looking at 6 months before you are back on a horse."  That was the moment I realized the actual severity of it all and it was crushing.  He said it so flippantly like he almost thought I was joking.  I guess I can't blame him pretty much no one on earth understands how serious we take this thing that we do.  That it's not just a hobby we do to pass that time.  They can't fathom the commitment and effort put into the "hobby" we do.  It's not his fault he doesn't get it but damn if it doesn't sting my heart with equal amounts of pain that a pretty much severed leg does my body.  The best news I heard since arriving was that they are going to put me under to put it all back into place and splint it.  I as terrified to let anyone touch me so I was relieved I wouldn't remember any of it.  And that was that.  They put it back and we were on our way home shortly after that with a referral to the Orthopedic DR. 

We won't get into the last several days I've been at home writhing in pain and waiting to get into the ortho.  But I am extremely blessed to have a doting husband and children that have done everything humanly possible to make this as easy as anyone could possibly make it.  The kids are on full barn chore duty and Husband has taken over the running of the place. 

And Hank don't forget the miraculous healing powers that the Corgi possesses.

I just get to sit and heal.  Well not healing yet because I am not officially put back together yet.  I finally got into the ortho today and got the run down of how to get me on my road to recovery.  It all starts with surgery that is scheduled for Tuesday.  They will put in a plate and several screws.  They are not sure exactly how they will put it all together until they get in there but they may just leave the Tibia piece to do its own thing because they don't feel it will make me any less stable if they leave it alone.  The bad part is surgery means full recovery will take significantly longer but the good news is that once the surgery is complete my leg will be much more stable than it is now.  It looks like 10-12 weeks before I can even consider starting up normal tasks or getting back on a horse.  I am happy to find out they do not plan to permantely cast it at any point and most of my recovery will be spent in a boot.  I can't walk on it at all for 8 weeks but at least with a boot I will have more movement and less loss of function that I will have to regain after recovery.  And I can take it off and itch my leg if I need to :)   I will be completely couch bound for another 2-3 weeks.  I forsee the mental game of all of it being a bigger struggle for me than the physical one.  Thanks all for reading and am sorry there will be no horse content on this blog for quite some time.  Maybe I can do some fill in's with the kids stuff?




21 comments:

  1. I was so sad to read this on Facebook, and I'm even more sad to hear the details! Poor you, poor girls, poor boots.

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  2. I'm so sorry this happened, and I hope your surgery and recovery go very well! Also, I'm in awe of what a level headed and strong person you are.

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  3. Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry! What a blessing that you and your girls have such level heads in an emergency and your husband was able to get to you quickly. I hope surgery and recovery goes well and that you are back on your feet sooner than you know!

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  4. Woah! That totally sucks. I'm so sorry to read about this. I broke my jaw a few years ago and that was miserable - I can't imagine a broken leg.

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  5. Dammit this just sucks. No way around that. Your girls and husband are amazing though. I think I would have puked all over myself if that had happened to me. Do not know how you handled that kind of pain. Hoping your surgery and healing goes smoothly and quickly.

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  6. So sorry about your leg. I broke my back a few years ago and was on bed/couch rest for a few months. The mental things is definitely the worst part of it. I was going seriously crazy from boredom with nothing to do stuck in a recliner all day. So I can totally sympathize. I hope your leg heals quickly.

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  7. I'm so sorry. It sounds like you handled the whole incident really well and have a really amazing family to keep it together so well. Wishing you the speediest of recoveries.

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  8. Ohhhh noooooo :( ugh that is the absolute worst, I am so sorry to read this. Breaking my leg was basically the worst thing that has happened to me in recent memory, and I didn't even need surgery.

    My fingers are seriously crossed that your surgery is straightforward and uneventful, and that you heal quickly and without much pain. I hear you loud and clear on your disappointment tho. It's the actual pits. Take care of yourself tho and try to trust that the time WILL pass (even if it feels like it's taking forever!)

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  9. Aww man, I am so sorry to hear this. Thank goodness you are otherwise ok. I wish you the best during surgery and that you heal quickly!! *hugs*

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  10. Ugh, so sorry! Wishing you a speedy recovery :)

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  11. Ugh - this story had me squirming. :( I remember saying - F#CK! I just broke my arm - and my trainer not believing me. Then pulling off my brand new OTTB sweatshirt before the pain hit because - priorities.

    So glad you have such a great support system. Hardware will help the mending. No itchy cast is a giant plus. And anesthesia is delightful. :D

    Wishing you a speedy and comfortable recovery.


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  12. I was so sorry to hear you broke your leg, and badly at that. I am glad that is all that got broke. Ortho docs are like MacGiver, they will get that leg all fixed up. Try to get a trial of HBO and get some series binge watching in? I hope surgery goes well and recovery is fast and uncomplicated.

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  13. Oh Amy what a big pile of shitty luck. I'm sorry.

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  14. The winds will turn back your way again. Hope your surgery and road to recovery goes smoothly. It's amazing you stayed calm, what a great example you are for your girls.

    I can't even imagine how it must have felt trying to pull that boot off.

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  15. Oh my god- what a terrible thing to happen. You were a rock start to handle it all so well. There will be other shows.
    I totally get the 'when i can ride question'. I did that once at the ER and the doc looked at my husband and said 'is she serious?'

    Heal up quickly!

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  16. Oh Amy, I am so sorry. I am so glad though you weren't hurt any worse. I love how you prepped your daughters for the worse case scenario, man, the adrenaline that must have been flowing through your veins. But seriously, to think of the girls while you were the one in trauma, that's awesome mom skills - you're my hero. If you need Netflix suggestions, I recommend Longmire, The Office, Parks & Rec, Firefly, um... well, let me know when you need more!

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  17. So glad you have fantastic kids and that Ryan is so helpful. :-)

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  18. 1. I have an HBO GO password if you want it ;)
    2. You are forever my hero
    3. I can keep you company and we can drink wine and I can watch you get extra inebriated from wine+ pain pills hahah
    4. Ryan and the girls are simply amazing humans. I love you all and your level headedness

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  19. Dang - so sorry this happened to you! Hope surgery went smoothly and recovery is fast!

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  20. Just checking in - hope you are recovering comfortably! :D

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  21. Hope you are doing ok.

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