Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bouncin' outta the tack: Part 3B

You might be thinking, this is much ado about not-much, and you would be right. Thank heavens! The ambulance trip was the right decision, I think -- at my age, and with my medical situations, it was the safe choice. And the outcome was good! I'm happy to be just a whiny middle-aged dressage rider with a few scuffs and bumps.

The whining continues
Aside from the fear, and the pain, here are a few things about my trip to St. Lukes Bethlehem that I could have lived without.

  1. Sand, everywhere! It dripped from my clothes, my hair, my boots, it was in my ears. I left deposits in the ambulance as it  sifted out of skateboard (AKA stretcher). It was on the sheets in the emergency room -- which they changed twice--and it surrounded the chair where my sand-covered shirt and purse were. X-ray room? Ditto. Everyone that walked into the room said "Hey, what's with all this sand?"
  2. Embarrassment. A young resident had to remove my sweat-saturated socks and breeches -- a task with a high ick-factor -- and exposing the new underwear style I was trying out to reduce chafing-- boyshorts.  Never did I imagine this unflattering display. Poor guy. 
  3. Re-dressing. Getting dressed to go home, my only choice in my rapidly stiffening and painful state was to put on the same wet, sticky breeches and socks I'd worn in. They did give me a hospital shirt to wear so I did not put on my sand-and-sweat-saturated LL Bean polo.
  4. My own whining. I was terrified of being touched and resisted when they suggested I 'move this' or 'press against' that. I announced I had brittle bones (cripes). I informed them I was anemic. I said I had restless leg syndrome.  I showed them my broken finger (see, the same horse has already broken something!). I was super-weenie. 
  5. Confused thinking. ER staff asked me to describe my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I could not pick a number. "Is 10 pain I have actually felt or pain that I can imagine?"
For so many reasons, I'm not wanting to repeat this. In another post I'll share my concerns about riding again.

My advice? If you're over forty, try to avoid this "falling" phenom and fly instead. Like Ford Prefect said in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy -- if you want to fly, "The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." We should all try that sometime...


  1. I am glad you were not hurt worse. Now for the mental damage to repair itself. I was bucked off (quite violently) a couple of years ago. I broke a few ribs and had lots of bruising. The worst part for me was the fear that lingers. I still ride the same horse, but have flashbacks sometimes. I am a little paranoid in some situations that I feel might lead to another bucking fit. I know it is unlikely to happen. I actually have a great, laid back horse. I am still trying to overcome that fear though.

  2. Oh, the sand... I fell (er, was launched... ) back in March. Fortunatly I didn't need an ambulance ride. The sand managed to penetrate even my winter layers. Despite shaking out all the outer layers to return the sand to its rightful place in the indoor, I still had a bucketful on my bathroom floor. Glad you're OK!

  3. Well you might have been embarrassed, but the hospital people were probably just fine. They have seen a lot worse, I'm sure. And boyshorts are cool!!

    Fact is, the whole scenario smacks of the fact that you were really actively pursuing a physical sport when you had your accident. Nothing to be ashamed of there.

    I always hate that 1-10 thingie about pain. Is a "10" to me the same as a "10" to you? Are you a coward if you say "9 or 10?" Should you be courageous and say it's OK, you can stand it?

    And then the "move your leg this way," so they can take a picture when the whole point is that is hurts to move in the first place. You weren't whiney, you were normal.

    Now, the key is to get better and deal with the riding concerns in the best way possible. Falls are never easy no matter what the circumstances.
    Once again I am sending good wishes for a full recovery, both mentally and physically.

  4. No, this is the first time in many years, and never on Riley. Harvey once bucked me off at a standstill when he saw his shadow and was afraid of it. I cracked him with the whip to get him to move (he was rigid with fear, refused to move) and he bucked -- from a standstill. I came off but landed on my feet. That was probably around 2002.

  5. All mothers are the same: Wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident. Wearing "clean" and wearing "flattering" are not the same thing, and those of us over "a certain age" even if we are toned and fit do NOT look our best when on stretchers and being undressed by someone trying to get to the place where the damage we've done to require being ON the stretcher can be assessed. Just be glad you're okay. In pain, yes, but overall, okay.

  6. Sounds like everything you went through is par for the course when we're talking riding accident (or, perhaps, "beach accident," given all the sand). I know *I* would be a most unhappy camper and pretty whiny, too! We are older, we are more aware of what COULD be wrong, and we know that anything significant could jeopardize our ability to ride again, which (not that anybody who isn't a horse person would understand) is pretty darn scary. Between all of that I don't blame you in the least. Plus, it's always better to give the ER folks more medical details and stay on top of things than to lie there completely at their whim.

    Note to self: Ask whomever is meeting me at the ER to bring a change of clothes - I can just imagine you trying to cram yourself back into those nasty breeches. OUCH.

    My grandma always said: "Never wear holey underwear. You might be in an accident and then what!" So at least yours were intact, and I think something like a pink leopard-print thong would have been far more embarrassing! ;-)

    How are you doing now, a few days later?

  7. I guarantee you were not the stinkiest patient they have encountered TODAY, much less ever. And at least you were wearing underpants!

    This is the best commentary I've ever read on the 1-10 pain scale:


  8. I just dislocated my knee and tore my ACL. After looking at my xray, my doc said "My, you have a lot of arthritis. You say you ride horses? Have you considered Combined Driving instead?" At fifty two, I am now.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.