Thursday, April 28, 2011

A different kind of journey

Many of my blogs are about our travels.  I really like to write about the places we visit.

However, since December, I've been on  a different kind of journey - a spiritual and a physical one.

On December 23rd, I was doing an ordinary, daily task - feeding the horse. Because it was a bright moonlit night and I was feeling good, I walked up to the barn rather than driving up with the car (which I usually do because it gives me light to see what I'm doing.)  Gambler was acting a little edgy as I put the feed in his trough. And then . . . in a quick moment in time . . . he was in my space . . . I was falling . . . I was looking up at the roof of the barn, flat on my back.

When I fall, I tend to lay still for a few moments, to let unexpected pain sensations die down to a dull roar so I can access if I've just gotten the wind knocked out of me or if I am truly injured.  While I lay there making these accessments, I noticed that Gambler was over by the fence, nowhere near his trough and grain, head down.  I brought myself to a sitting position and Gambler immediately got on to what was most important in his mind . . . dinner!

I pushed myself up to a standing position and truly went OOOEEEYYY-OUWEEEYY all the way home.  My wrist hurt and my back muscles were most upset with me.  But I was happy to have gotten back to the house on my own steam.

A trip the next morning to minor emergency gave me a wrist brace for a hairline fracture and muscle relaxants for the back.  

Within a few days, the back pain had dulled and I thought I was well on the road to recovery.  With each passing day, movement was better, the wrist was doing well.  I was in good spirits.  And I started the year with ambitious plans of getting many things done both on a personal level and a professional level.

January 6th was a particularly productive day. I worked at my desk all day, happy with what I was getting done.  But at the end of the day, my back started speaking to me.  A visit to the hot tub didn't dull the increasing discomfort.  By the next morning, I knew another trip to the doctor was in order.

X-rays showed deterioration from L-1 down.  That didn't surprise me a lot because I had fractured L-1 when I turned 40. Falling through your ceiling from the attic to the ground floor is not a prudent thing to do.  Physical therapy was ordered and I went gladly and with optimism.

The first few weeks were painful.  I hobbled when I walked.  I kept up with much of my routine, but even short distances seemed excruciatingly long.  However, if I had responsibilities, I made sure I fulfilled them.  Other things had to be put on the back burner.  We bought a new heating pad and we already had a good ice pack.  I alternated heat and cold.  We used our inverter so that I could drive to and from my obligations with the heating pad.  Fortunately, most of my responsibilities could be done sitting which I could do with minimal discomfort.  I was doing well with therapy, but the one area that I couldn't make work was walking 15 minutes a day . . . Standing or walking even a short period of time left my body demanding that it was time for me to sit.

By the end of February, I was thinking longingly of the things I could do before the fall in December.  It seemed such a long time and far away.