Last Sunday, the 11th, I was booked to have a jumping lesson on Melanie at the stables at 9 am. I think there were six riders in all, and Eva, the owner, was holding the lesson. I got there in time to help carry out the fences. Melanie had a small wound on her left shoulder but Eva said it didn't seem bad and she wasn't lame.
I took her out, and she felt very good. For once there was no problem keeping her at a collected trot, she responded very well to my hands when I asked her not to rush on. gnapp
showed up to take pictures and I asked her to hold my new iPhone so I wouldn't risk it falling out of my pocket or something. When we were all warmed up, I started trotting towards the end of the paddock to make a turn and come up to the first fence.
That's when it happened. Melanie stumbled and was almost down on her left knee. I was sure she'd go over and I'd get her over me, so I let go of the stirrups so I could get away if I needed. Instead, she righted herself with a jerk - and I flew off, landing on my left foot. It broke. Or, rather, the leg broke close to the foot. People were asking me how I was, and I remember yelling that this was Not Good. Gnapp came running up and I told her to get the shoe off quickly before the foot would swell up. She did. Eva came up and they both agreed that the leg looked really broken. Eva got a bale of hay to put my foot on (by this time I was lying on my back - fortunately it wasn't raining, as it had been when we were carrying the fences out) and Gnapp called an ambulance. They took turns staying with me and fetching blankets and things to pile all around me. I borrowed a phone and called Calle to tell him what had happened.
The ambulance showed up within ten minutes I think - it felt a lotlonger, but I don't think it really was. One of them gave me morphine and I was ready to marry him on the spot. Gnapp went with me in the ambulance because I really didn't want to be alone. Once we'd gotten to the hospital they put on a plaster cast and took some X-rays. Gnapp had told Calle where I was and he came shortly after I'd gotten back from the X-rays. They had had to cut my riding trousers off of me, so it was a really good thing that I'd made Gnapp take the boot off at once - it would probably have been very painful to have it cut off, not to mention a waste of a good boot.
I got a bed at the orthopaedic ward and was scheduled for surgery during the afternoon. This turned out to be the hospital term for evening - I got into surgery around 8.30 pm and they weren't finished until it was past 10. I got a spinal block instead of general anaesthesia so I was more or less awake during the procedure. Then I had to stay in the post-op ward for several hours while they made sure I got the feeling back in my leg (while I wished I didn't), so I wasn't back in my ward until it was almost 4 am.
On Monday I was allowed to eat again, but we also found that one of the fast-working painkillers (Oxynorm) makes me throw up, so I didn't actually get all that much food down. I had to keep my foot elevated and it's really hard to eat when you're in that position.
On Tuesday they took some more X-rays and a CT scan and then there was a second operation. This time they took off the plaster cast and put on a Hoffman's brace, like the one I had on my arm a few years back. They also adjusted one of the plates that had been put in on Sunday. I got back up to the ward around 5 am.
On Wednesday they told me that they needed to make one more operation but that the foot was so swollen they couldn't do it at once. They said I would have to wait for 7-10 days and I would not be allowed to go home in the meantime, they didn't want to risk my being without medical attention and maybe the swelling getting worse without my noticing.
Thursday was uneventful. On Friday I was told I would be sent to a rehab home for a few days while waiting for the swelling to go down. I called Calle who rushed over with some clothes for me, and the transport people showed up around 2pm. The rehab home, Furuhöjden (www.furuhojden.com) turned out to be a very nice place. Everyone has their own room, the food is cooked there and not transported from somewhere then heated in a microwave, the furniture looks more like a nice hotel than a hospital, and it's all very comfortable. I got a wheel chair that I can use to go down to the dining room, and I can get into and out of it without help. There should be wireless internet access to all rooms, but on my floor it's broken and the people who can fix it aren't back until Monday, so I've still only used the iphone for net access.
Yesterday I got a lovely bouquet of flowers and some very nice chocolate from my brother in the U.S. I have the bouquet in my window where it looks very beautiful with the autumn colours of the bouquet set against the yellow leaves of the birch outside and the blue-grey of the sky.
As I type, it's almost exactly one week since I broke the leg. I was very
lucky - it might have been the back, or the head, that hit the ground first, or Melanie might have gone down and rolled over me in which case my rib cage and other stuff would have been crushed or broken. A broken leg is just a mechanical problem; broken back or neck or head is bad
Anyone who's on facebook can read my updates there - it's easier to post a small update there from the iphone than it is to write a livejournal post, so that's where the day-to-day stuff will be while I don't have net to the laptop. My gmail account also works to get in touch with me.
Now I shall get into the wheel chair and drive around the hospital until I find a spot where the wireless net works, and then post this. Oh, and the wheel chair is a metallic purple - how cool is that? And I've learned how to steer it by turning the wheels in opposite directions to make a neat turn, feeling like a pro wheelchair driver :-)