Friday, February 22, 2008

Third Trip to Emergency Room

Yesterday's riding lesson started out well but ended painfully.

I was excited because recently I've felt really comfortable riding and jumping. This is an activity I'd done a lot in the past but had left behind after college. Lately, my horse and I were like one going around the ring and gliding over the fences. I think I was happiest about the fact that I had no fear, that the whole exercise was a challenge I could meet.

But yesterday morning, about four paces after I cleared a fence, I lost my right stirrup. I couldn't slow my horse because I'd given her too much rein. I tried to hang on but I couldn't. Down I went into soft sand. I felt hurt but I tried to get up and crawl away from my horse in case she might step on me. Then I saw she was standing still, about two feet away. (Oh how I love that horse!)

"Frances, are you okay?" my teacher asked.

"I don't know," I said, feeling I shouldn't make too big a deal out of it.

He helped me stand up and brush off the sand I was covered in from head to toe.

"I think you're okay. Get back on and we go again," he said.

My teacher is a very nice man and an excellent instructor. He is from Morocco and speaks Arabic, French, and English - sometimes all three in a group lesson. I knew he wanted me to put the fall behind me by having a good finish to the class. But my right arm was killing me.

I drove myself to an emergency room and waited in the females' waiting room with about 12 local ladies covered in black. I closed my eyes and tried to keep my tears from spilling down my dusty face. Once again I found the emergency-room care to be excellent, though everything did take a long time. After two rounds of x-rays it was determined that I broke my arm, about two inches above the wrist, in three pieces.

About seven hours later I was ready to go home, my arm in a cast from the middle of my upper arm to the ends of the knuckles on my fingers. M drove me home and has been an angel ever since.

I can't ride or run or write long-hand, or do pretty much anything, for eight weeks.

But as usual, there's a silver lining to my incapacitation.

"I wish I could make you feel better, but I honestly don't know how to comfort the comforter," my 17-year-old said last night.

Everyone has been icredibly kind. My dear neighbors brought me chocolates and offered rides for our kids. My ten-year-old says he'll lead the kitchen clean-up for the next week. My 13-year-old daughter helps me dress and will wash my hair. My rambunctious eight-year-old says he will follow me from room to room, seeing what I need. What more could I ask for?


Eppler Family said...

Frances - we wish you all the best. Allow yourself some rest since you might need more energy for the "big move" coming up this summer.

If we can help - you know where we are....

Dieter and Franziska

Frances Gunnison said...

thank you so much. i'd advise short conversations with me if we should run in to each other - i'm a bit crabby these days!

Ilka said...

It's no fun getting hurt but there's a plus when so many ppl want to help you while you get better. That is mighty sweet of your kids....and they are teenagers!

Frances Gunnison said...

You said it! My experience has been that my children's elementary-school years are harder on me than their teen years. In any case, it is absolutely wonderful to have my children show so much love when putting mascara on w/my left hand leaves me w/a black eye. Grrrrr!

American Muslima Writer said...

I'm sure you're running into many frustrations with a broken arm and it's fabulous you don't let yourself get too down (that is to say in the future if you've been "crabby" in the past). It's increadible the amount of help kids can be when you're in trouble and it makes it worth it that you took the time and effort to care so kindly for them so when the favor needs to be returned it is earned. I truly hope you feel better insha'Allah it will heal quickly. I'm sorry to hear you hubby's company is moving him but life IS an adventure and I'm sure you'll make the most of it.

Frances Gunnison said...

dear amer muslima writer,
thank you for the kind words.
to my surprise, i have found hidden benefits to this broken arm: since i can't drive i am home all the time and thus able to mind the kids at a closer range than the usual "hi/bye" in passing or a mobile call from carrefour's (the supermarket). i feel more in touch w/what is important. just wish i could ride!!