Yesterday, I was riding with my friend and ended up riding in an ambulance to UNM Hospital before the day was out. We went out on the ditch banks on our most reliable horses. As we're moving along, Amy says Diablo is feeling tight and asked if we could switch horses. No problem. As I step up on Diablo (anyone who has met him knows that he is a huge, Thoroughbred gelding so stepping up really means climbing up the side of him), he spun around (also called rollback - he made a 180 degree turn keeping his hind end stationary while spinning on the front end) and took off bucking. He's an ex-racehorse so he has a lot of get up and go when he taps into his resources. So, I ended up hanging on the side of him since I wasn't on him completely when he took off. However, because I had the momentum of trying to get on and him turning into me during his rollback, I ended up hanging off of the right side. As I tried to get in the middle of him, the feeling of me being so off balance scared him even more so he started moving faster and bucking harder. I decided that I better bail off or I'd get really hurt. As I push myself away from him, he bucks and I end up in the air (Amy says I was launched about 3-4 feet above the horse before I made my graceful decent onto the ground) and then come down on my right side. The ditch banks are frozen solid and the dirt is packed hard by the vehicles that use it.
I swear I felt lightening go through my body when I hit the ground and bounced before coming to a stop. It was kind of like jumping out of a car going 20 mph and landing on the asphalt. I knew I was hurt pretty bad. Amy jumps off of I Be Streakin' and starts making phone calls. Now usually, when I get hurt, I take a few deep breaths and literally, get back on the horse. However, I could not breathe let alone get up. After making a couple of calls to get someone to take the horses back home, she called the ambulance. It took 40 minutes for them to get to me. I was so cold that the EMT supervisor who had come while we were waiting for the paramedics asked if I wanted a jacket over my head. I said, "Now, don't get out the body bag just yet!"
When help arrived, they strapped me onto a backboard and strapped my head to it. As they roll me over to the bus, I start to get car sick. Thankfully, they gave me something to stop that since puking with broken bones hurts. It took three attempts to find a vein that would support the IV so I look like a total drug addict today. The educated guess about my injuries was that I had fractured my hip, cracked ribs and maybe had a neck fracture. So, they cut off my favorite sweatshirt and the only riding jeans I fit into (see the post regarding running for further details) to start working on me. Side note: my ER doc was a University of Utah grad who is in one of the Albuquerque wards. Anyhow, they took x-rays and got me on some pain meds. However, during the 6 hours I was there, even with morphine every hour, I still hurt. Not once while I was there did we get the pain managed.
They had a cat scan done to make sure I didn't have internal bleeding. I had to wear this horrible neck brace that was more painful than the actual injuries for 5 of the 6 hours I was there. I kept taking it off and they would yell at me. Finally, I took it off and threw it on the floor. The nurse told me I needed to wear it. I told her I would walk my crippled self out of there if they even tried to put it back on. Another side note: for those of you who love me, if I ever end up needing a bed pan on a regular basis, please take me out to the barn and shoot me. Totally humiliating and awful.
The good news is that nothing is broken. My ribs and sternum are bruised. Breathing is really painful. My hip is so badly bruised they could see the damage to the tissue on the cat scan. My butt swelled so much that I look like J-Lo on one side. If you've ever seen me, you know that is some serious swelling. The pictures show where the IV was supposed to go - did I mention that they had to use one of the unsuccessful veins in the ER because I need two IVs; it does not feel good to have them put a needle into a spot that has just been poked an hour earlier - and the small road rash I got. Those are obviously the most minor of my scuffs and scrapes.
Doctor thinks it will be 3 or 4 months before I really heal. I always say the if God needs you to get the message and you aren't he will lop you off at the knees and get you where he needs you in a hurry. I've been having promptings that I would be get hurt badly while riding for about 6 months. However, I had issued a "Return to sender, no forwarding address available" every time I got that feeling. Well, I got the message loud and clear yesterday.
When I got home, Lexi saw me and started bawling. She was crying, "Momma, momma" and just wanted a little Momma time. I can't pick her up and I know that hurts her feelings. She has no idea what is going on so it only makes her more upset. I had already decided in the hospital that my first priority, responsibility and love is my daughter. I will not be starting colts or taking problem horses. I don't know if I'll be training horses at all. Diablo is my lesson horse, my tried and true, exceptionally well trained buddy. I ride him when I want to have a good ride. Now I know that horses are animals and I never assume a horse will always be perfect, but Diablo and I have a relationship of trust because he has proven to be awesome. So, to think that taking horses that are broke, gentle, experienced and generally wonderful is going to exempt me from getting hurt is just plain ignorant. Thus, my hesitation to train horses period.
I know I'll keep I Be Streakin' to ride for recreation. I was just asked to head up the 4-H horse group and I really enjoy giving kids lessons. I'm sure I'll be able to keep busy that way. I don't want to end up missing out on my child's life and my own life because I am stubborn. I have been given agency to be able to make good decisions. I don't want the choice to be made for me. I'd rather choose now what I know to be best for me and my family.