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I was a lot younger the last time I…

February 6, 2009

So the weekend was all planned out, Friday night Joanna and I were going to go to the young adults Bible study that my church has at the Mack’s home and then spend the night with Heather at the house she is currently house-sitting at…that went as planned. Saturday morning and early afternoon, we were all three going to work on grading and lesson planning and possibly enjoy some of the sunshine outside by tanning a little bit…also went as planned. About three o’clock in the afternoon, the three of us and Ruth were supposed to go to a place called Warmbaths to go horseback riding….this is where plans started to change. Ruth wrote me a message in the morning and let me know that she was not feeling well and that she might not be able to go on the trip. We assured her that canceling would be in her best interest, but decided that the three of us would still go since Joanna had not yet been up to Warmbaths and there probably wouldn’t be another good weekend for quite some time.

We arrived at the stables and met our steads. I hopped on the big white horse that was brought out first as the horse that I have ridden each time we have gone has been a big white horse with some dapple spots. I usually ride him as I am often the most experienced rider and he can be quite a handful at times. Once I was on the horse and the other horses were being brought out, I realised the horse I was on was WAY too compliant and that it was not my usual horse. We were absolutely validated in our suspicions when the last horse came charging out of the barn and it was a rather large and high spirited white horse and the only rider left without a horse was my little travel-sized friend, Heather.  Heather went ahead and got on the horse and walked him around while our guide was getting his horse from the barn. We quickly came to the conclusion that Heather was not comfortable riding him and he was being quite cheeky already and we hadn’t even gone out on the ride. As soon as the guide came out of the barn with his horse, we asked if Heather and I could swap horses since mine, though big, seemed to be quite compliant and hers was big and very NON-compliant.

Not too far into our ride, Flash was being his normal naughty self. Jumping around, being silly. I thought things were under control…and then Flash got scared… headed for the tree with a lowlying branch… not wanting to concuss myself on the low lying branch, I grabbed said branch and raised it above my head. That is when Flash bolted. Because I switched horses with Mighty Mouse (Heather) who is half my height, my stir ups were a bit short and one of my feet was out of the stirrup because I was resting my leg. One stirrup while leaning back, holding a branch, after taking an inhaler, and being a bit shaky all work together for disaster. Flash went one way, I went another, and in a flash, he was nothing but a flash and there was nothing but a lot of dirt and grass on my head.

The guide quickly went back to help me up, but I declined and thought I should sit for at least a moment and collect myself. Plus, my glasses were missing and that’s a problem… Heather could see a bump on my head from her horse at least 8 feet away and insisted on getting down and checking me out, much to the guide’s dismay. After letting Heather check me out and finding my glasses and my shoe which had thankfully fallen off (because otherwise the one foot that had been in a stirrup would still be in the stirrup today), and since, as any true horseman knows,  you must get back on the horse after getting thrown, I went against Heather’s request to turn around and said, “let’s continue the ride” and remounted Flash. (I should have known when I had trouble getting back onto the horse that there might be a problem, but NO… not me…”

About five minutes later, I realized my head might be hurting a little worse than what I thought, but I didn’t want to stop the ride because it was Joanna’s first opportunity to see our beloved African wildlife. About 10 minutes after that, while trying not to puke, Flash decided he didn’t want his rider again… Now, remember inhaler, jockey stirrups, now very sore head, and wanting to puke. Fast forward 10 seconds… Flash spinning, me sitting on ground… on my bum… at least not my head this time… Did I mention that when I fell the first time my five pound camera hit me in the back of the head? Ouch…

Once again, going against the recommendation of others that we take the quickest route back… I hopped on the guide’s horse, and he took Flash much to my dismay and we continued on our way with me trying to hold my head on while my sweet little new horse just puttered along and the guide continually switched Flash for his naughtiness with him.

Fast forward 20, 30ish more minutes. Much leaking from the eyes has begun to occur as I realized my head might actually fall off and I just don’t want to fall off the horse again. At which point Mighty Mouse turns around, sees my bobbing head, and says to the guide, “That’s it- we are going!” Fast forward 15 more minutes… when we finally arrive back to the stable, and it’s my turn to get off the horse. I had to use the cheat steps and Mighty Mouse had to help me to even get off my four foot tall horse. Then I collapsed into a heap. Wow, did my head hurt.

I still insisted that I was fine and did not need to be checked out at a hospital, but first aid would be ok as a compromise. However, they were closed. After letting Mighty Mouse call Lois, it was decided, that I would just have to see Heather’s smiling face a few times in the night to make sure I was ok, and if the need arose then I would have to go to the hospital. But I was DEFINITELY concussed.

You know that movie, 50 First Dates… Where Drew Barrymore can’t remember anything? That’s kind of been me for the last two weeks… Lots of notes, lots of weird things. Like the day I started crying because I thought I’d left Maddie out in the storm. Or the same day when I thought I needed to tell Simon something, but I don’t even know Simon. Or that I’ve told Heather the same thing 5 times- or asked the same question 3-4 times an hour.

Nine days after the fact (Monday) I finally went to the doctor as things seemed to have taken a turn in the wrong direction towards the end of the week and over the weekend. She sent me for a CT scan which confirmed the concussion and showed only “normal abnormalities” with my brain. After which, she said, “No school, no books, no computer, no TV, no standing, or really any brain stimulation whatsoever… just rest!” I am trying to be thankful for my opportunity to rest and obedient to my restrictions. In fact, I am even obeying right now, as I am not writing this update. I am dictating it to Mighty Mouse. I’ll be resting through the weekend in town with Mighty Mouse who continues to faithfully answer all of my repeated questions, remind me why alarms are going off, and tell me exactly when I did last take my medicine.

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