It’s crazy how life works…you wake up one morning with so much zest, then whack! Life leads you down a much different path. Six months ago, “whack” happened to me.
I was excited to get a great 25 mile conditioning ride in on my horse, MP. Guy and the boys chauffeured me to my friends, dropping me off, because we all know I am not the best trailer backer upper!! I was so pumped to be getting out and prepping for an upcoming 50 miler. We chatted and tacked up our horses and walked out of the barn area. We led the horses through the gate, I was second in line. The last thing I remember was glancing to my left, seeing my friends horse backing up and hoofs connecting with my right elbow. It was in a blink of an eye, my life would change. I was in shock. I remember thinking, “you’re fine”… “stop being a baby.” The initial pain was minimal, thank goodness the body takes over. I still don’t remember the impact of the hoof on my elbow. But, the PAIN quickly came, I cradled my arm next to my belly, I could feel and hear every fractured bone moving…yet, I kept telling myself, “you’re ok, relax”., but I was outwardly moaning in pain. We decided to have me crawl into her car and drive me to the nearest hospital, STAT…I prayed and prayed for my next door neighbor/saint to be working in the ER that day, she is the best nurse in the universe! Viola!!! There she was as I stepped into the ER….little miracles do happen. I burst into tears and finally let it all out…………
I was heavily medicated to keep the pain at bay, which was beyond excruciating. I have never in my 39 years of life been in that much PAIN, intense, gut wrenching pain. I kept saying, “this is way worse than child-birth!!!” The ER doc was worried about possible nerve damage, which sent me into a swarm of tears again. I could wiggle all my fingers and feel the nurses and docs touch, so I was holding onto hope. We were done with X-rays and getting me comfortable, when they came in and said you will be having surgery! I’m so naive when it comes to the medical world, broken bones equal a cast, right!?? Surgery!!!!! Like being on a table, asleep?! What?!?!?! I can’t do this!!!! I have plans, big plans!!!!!
Well, the big day came, March 10th was surgery day. I was relieved to have the very best surgeon at DHMC working on my elbow. Looking back now, I had no idea how much work was involved with getting my ROM (range of motion) back. Surgery went off without a hitch, except I now had 16 screws and 2 plates holding my elbow together. I was so happy to see my hubby shortly after waking up. They did a nerve block on my entire right arm, so the pain was manageable. Spring and Summer were OT/PT appointments galore. Little by little I gained motion…slow and steady, this is hard for someone who has little patience and wants things NOW…I kept saying and still do, it could have always been worse. She could have struck my face, chest and I could very easily not be writing this today. Life leads us down great paths and bumpy paths, we just have to have know how to navigate both.
My reason for writing this, and telling my story is, life is not always easy, pretty, or perfect. I have a long road ahead still, possibly another surgery to gain more ROM, but I’ve learned to truly listen to my body and mind. I attempted a big endurance race last month with my horse, and couldn’t start the race..first time ever walking away with a healthy, strong horse. I needed to listen to the voice in my head saying “don’t!” I’m working on my whole well being through PT, therapy, and truly finding what makes me happy. I’m stepping away for now, from competitive endurance racing, I really need to mend the whole me before jumping in full throttle. Running has been a huge help for me in this journey, as soon as my surgeon cleared me to run, I ate up the miles. If anyone out there has had bumps in the road, don’t give up. Listen to your body, people will help you and guide you, but only you know best.
I think about things/adventures I may have missed out on, but I am so looking forward to the ones that await!!! Thank you to my three boys who have been there every step of the way in my healing journey…..xo