Sunday, June 24, 2012

In an Instant

It’s amazing how life can change in an instant. Two weeks ago, on a sweet sunny Sunday morning, I got up and went out to feed the horses. I walked down the path by the tack room, my mind drifting to who knows where. My ankle twisted, and I went down with nothing nearby to grab or break my fall.  I landed on a wooden log next to the flowerbed crashing down on my right arm. The pain was so sharp, and when I looked at my elbow, the shape was totally out of whack. Completely dislocated. 

My husband rushed me to the hospital, where they were wonderfully kind and immediately loaded me with pain medication. The rest of that week is a haze, with visits to the surgeon, very heavy-duty pain killers, and finally, on Friday, surgery to fix my broken bone and dislocated right elbow.  It was as if time stood still for five days while I waited. The surgeon, who is an elbow expert wanted to have the wrist expert with him when they operated so we had to wait until he was available. They say I will have full recovery of the use of my arm.

My husband and daughter have been amazing throughout this ordeal.  Four days after I fell, I was able to wobble down to the barn hanging onto my daughter’s arm.  Everyone was worried by how upset Silk was that I had disappeared. When she saw me, she made a loud “nnnmmm!” noise and ran to me.  My arm was in a huge soft cast at that point, and Silk put her nose right on it and sniffed up and down from my fingers to shoulder and back. She got it, I could tell, and relaxed. Since then, when I am able once a day, I go out with someone to hold onto me and check in with the girls. They are doing fine. I have no idea when I will be able to fill a water bucket or pick a hoof, but I remind myself that the surgeon is positive that I will have full recovery.

Now, I’m sporting a robot like splint that we refer to as my “ex-o-skeleton”.  Doing any simple thing, like opening a bottle or brushing my hair, is a big deal. I hope that my arm heals quickly, and I faithfully do the exercises the doctor has taught me. Being this dependent on other people is really frustrating, but I am so grateful for such good help. And I think it’s better to have broken my elbow than my knee. What this has done is put my whole life in a new perspective. As I drifted off in the dream state that dilaudid, a very strong pain med, induced, I felt the roof peel off above my bed and reveal blue sky with fluffy white clouds floating above me. I realized that for the first time in many years, I was able to feel the space between the minutes open up wide.  I haven’t tried to plan or fill the space since then, and living so completely in the moment, appreciating how good my life is, really helps me now that I no longer am taking any pain medication. I feel very free to just be the way I am for now.

I don’t know how long all this healing will take, but I do know that I am more than okay, I am blessed.