Today, for the first time since September 25th, I took 3 steps without the aid of a walker, crutches or cane. I could see myself in the mirror gracelessly moving forward with the stiffness of Frankenstein. I didn't mind how clumsy it looked. I did it. I walked and my leg didn't buckle beneath me.
I fell off of a horse. I'd like to tell a tale of great athleticism that led up to falling off like I was jumping a 3ft stone wall but that is not at all what happened. The horse spooked, not horribly, just a wee shiver and quick scoot to the left and we parted ways. I landed and twisted enough to break my leg into a lot of little pieces at the tibial plateau.
Up until that moment I was feeling so good. The sun was shining. The farm was quiet. I felt a confident, solid sense of rhythm that didn't happen often when I rode. I had a goal. I wanted to be good enough to fox hunt on my 50th birthday. It is a few years away and seemed reasonable to assume that by then I would stop flailing about in the saddle and could safely handle myself in the 3rd flight. Oh how quickly a moment can change things. My whole life was turned upside down and came to a temporary screeching halt.
I spent 10 days in the hospital. I had 2 surgeries and ingested more narcotics that I ever imaged my body could handle. Morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl. None of it ever completely took the pain away.
The months at home afterwards were spent in an overstuffed recliner that I have affectionately nicknamed Pearl.
I knit 3 scarves, one hat and 3/4 of one sock.
I watched 7 years of Gillmore Girls episodes with Lily. Twice.
I watched several PBS series in their entirety and every Werner Herzog documentary that has been made. His voice and 2 Percocet were the perfect combination to lull me to sleep. I miss them both a little bit.
My friends, co-workers, neighbors and family brought meals, movies and pie. Lily's life continued on as normal as possible because of their generosity and kindness.
I haven't been able to find the right words to describe how incredible my people are. My parents and sister were at the hospital before the ambulance arrived and never left. My Mom slept next to me every night in a recliner that may have left her with a permanent kink in her neck. She held my hand. That was often more comforting than the pain medication. Between them, I was never alone. I truly believe that their presence and care played the biggest role in my healing. They lifted me up when everything felt heavy, dark and impossible.
I have been able to count on Joe for anything and everything. Turns out he is the best ex-husband a girl could ask for. He continues to take care of the house, dog and kid while I get my sea legs back. He locks the door on the way out. I never have to pick up his socks or put the toilet seat down. I have the very best of him.
I have a new plan for what I want to be doing on my 50th birthday. It does not involve riding on the back a large animal.
Hopefully, this next time, I won't be so breakable.