Broken Shoulder

Allie HeadThings are never dull in my home. In many respects events there mirror the weather pattern here in Colorado, meaning that if you wait 15 minutes things will change. This last weekend is a case in point. It began innocently enough, and I was looking forward to a relaxing Saturday. My wife and I had finished the bulk of the living room painting, and our kitchen remodel was mostly done. I planned to go for a ride on my horse and to spend the afternoon doing some fire mitigation work around the house. When I returned from my ride I lay down for a brief nap. I had just fallen asleep when the house phone rang. Irritated, I got up to answer it only to find my wife calling to tell me that she had been thrown from her horse and that she thought she had broken something.  I went down to the round pen where my wife had been training her three year old. I found my wife lying on her back, and she was clearly in pain. I got her to her feet and began to assess her injuries, and it became apparent she had broken her collarbone. Off we went to the ER where an x-ray confirmed what we suspected.

We have since been to an orthopedic surgeon, and we return next week to make a final decision as to a surgical repair. My wife is sleeping in a recliner at night, and is, as you might imagine, very uncomfortable. As for me, I have taken on the chores my wife often did, and am, as the old country song says, ”sleeping single in a double bed.”

Last night as I lay awake in bed I was reflecting on all that had happened in the last few days. What I had thought would occur did not, and the unexpected had reared its head and upset the normal routine of my married life. Fortunately, we have good insurance, and in 4-6 weeks, barring complications, my wife’s shoulder will be almost back to normal.

What will not be normal is the fear my spouse now has about riding a horse, and how that natural fear impacts where we go from here with regards to having horses in our lives. We will deal with this, but the larger question is whether we are prepared for other changes that interrupt our lives. A family friend just lost his wife; she had been ill off and on, but died suddenly; he had expected her to die before him, but not on the day she did.

Are we prepared for what life will bring us? In my wife’s case we had insurance and she had worn a helmet and thus had suffered no head injury, so in this case we had been prepared. But if she had died would I have been prepared? Probably not. And if this were to happen to you, you would likely be in the same boat. Where do I go from here? I am going to have those tough discussions with my wife that we have not yet had; I advise you to do the same. Call if you want help with planning for that someday that will surely come.

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