Tuesday, April 23, 2013


For some reason, Loki or whatever mischievous deity that I've managed to insult continues to tie my life into knots. 
I mentioned previously that our builder had skedaddled with a sizable chunk of our money, leaving us with no house to move into.  We had then located an adorable little stone cottage that met our needs but literally the day prior to closing Bruce had to be hospitalized.
Hospitalized is an understatement.  He had been battling what seemed to be a severe cold, but early one morning he stumbled into the room stating that he could not breathe.  I immediately drove him to the ER, where they started him on fluids and IV antibiotics while ordering a slew of tests.  As I paced nervously by his side he rapidly slid into shock and was subsequently rushed into the critical care ward.  I stood by helplessly while he lost consciousness and was placed on life support.  It turned out that he had a severe pneumonia that led to septic shock, and now he was literally fighting for his life.  The hospital was doing all it could for supportive care, but what he needed was a top level trauma center, and after much finagling and begging a bed was found for him in a shock trauma center in Virginia; the kicker was that a snow storm was coming and we had less than 2 hours before all of the Medvac flights were to be grounded.  Within 20 minutes he was loaded onto the helicopter...only to have its rotor blades slowly shut down.  We panicked, fearing that Bruce had taken a turn for the worse, but as it turned out the helicopter had broken down.  This flight was Bruce's best chance at life, and with the clouds quickly closing in, a second helicopter was sent; the staff had to clear out a parking lot for it to land in, since the helipad was occupied by the immobile one, but this second attempt was successful, and within 30 minutes Bruce was being settled into a new critical care room just as the snow flakes started to fly. His was the last area flight for the next 24 hours!
After 9 days in a coma Bruce began to come around.  That time is a blur for me, since I stumbled around in another plane, unable to grasp that the man I loved more than anything in the world was fighting odds stacked highly against him.  I barely slept, was unable to eat, and couldn't bring myself to leave his side all that time. Bruce was running a fever of 104, had renal failure, and less than 25% of his lung function.  According to the numbers, he was supposed to be dead.
But he did pull through, and made exponential progress once off the ventilator.  He was transferred to a rehabilitation facility for a further week, and one afternoon I received the happy news that he could return home the following afternoon.
Having been through the wringer and feeling as if I had lost all sense of self and orientation, I headed to the farm for a ride.  It was a beautiful day, and some saddle time would certainly do me some good.  Alas, Beamer had one of his "young and stupid" horse moments and started crow hopping at the canter.  I pulled his head up only to have him rear, lose his balance, and topple over on top of me.  Then he had trouble getting up, so he thrashed back and forth over top of me, his legs flailing in all directions. I was wearing a helmet, but he still managed to clobber me in the face with one hoof before rolling over me one last time and heaving to his feet. I lay in the area for 20 minutes until Mom found me and called an ambulance.  I was rushed to a shock trauma center of my own!  After seemingly endless CT scans, radiographs, ultrasounds, and bloodwork the results were in: four fractured lumbar vertebrae, some cracked ribs, a bruised liver, and a torn medial collateral ligament to one knee. I was in intensive care myself for 4 days prior to discharge.
That was a few days ago, and now Bruce and I are both convalescing at my mother's house since we are unable to care for ourselves.  We are staying on the pull out couch in the living room since stairs are out and we have some health care professionals that come check on us every few days.  We both have been given our own PT regimens along with handicapped parking placards for both cars.  Our lease on the stone house is up this weekend, but how we'll get moved is beyond me.  For the past month we've been in the hospital more than at home...I can't remember the last time I slept in my own bed with my own cats!
For what it's worth, I have no intention of reining in my riding ambitions but I am concerned about how I'm going to sit the extended trot after this, plus it's my RIGHT knee that's injured.  How I'm going to manage riding aside is troubling.  I hope I don't have to make the switch to offside...with all of our medical bills I don't see much in the way of new saddles in my future. 
Someday this will all seem rather humorous.


  1. Oh my goodness! You've had a rough go lately. I'm so glad you're both on the mend. I wish I lived closer, I'd help with the move. If there's anything I can do from a far, please let me know.

  2. Oh my god! I'm so glad that you and Bruce are alright after all of that. How terrifying. I wish I was closer too, I'd come over and help if I could!
    Take care & heal fast!

  3. All I can say is "you got to be kidding".

    You are one tough cookie. And here I thought my spring was tough and dreary. Best wishes for a rapid and full recovery for both you and Bruce.

  4. Oh my... I am hoping that things get much better for you! I can't imagine how hard it must be to go through all of that, so I can only send my best wishes for the both of you. Get well soon!

    bonita of A Riding Habit

  5. I've had little time for personal pleasures (which would be checking your blog & admiring your activities). Your above info makes me sad to say the least. If I can do anything helpful, please make contact. Heal up; get better; come visit in VT.

  6. For the little it's worth, if you *DO* need an offside, talk to me. If mine fits one of your guys, you're free to use it until... we'll sort that out. It doesn't fit Preston (of course), so it's not like I'll be using it.

  7. Hang in there! Life stops the lumps after a while! If you need support for the lumbar injuries, especially at the extended trot, Karen Wright (corsetkaren@hotmail.com) makes corsets specifically for side saddle riders. Best of luck!