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?