Thursday, July 23, 2009

Daisy and Her Demons

AKA: One day at a time. This is a picture of Walt on Daisy for the second time. I wasn't there for his first time actually mounting her and riding her, so had to make due with his second ride. She spent two months with the trainer over by Whitehall, as we knew she needed more than the basic one-month start. In the first place, she is a huge horse and has a very spirited and outgoing personality. Besides that Walt is a few years past 60 and we wanted to be sure that he would be as safe as possible when he started working with her. Patrick, the trainer, said she did really well during her training, but she came along slowly because of what he called "trust issues."

Walt started out with her very slowly just working in the corral, walking with her, etc., before he ever even attempted to mount her and ride. And when he started riding, he also did that very slowly and two days ago was only taking her out of the corral area, down the road and across a little irrigation ditch--that kind of thing. Certainly not out on a trail ride or something like that.

Well, day before yesterday on Tuesday he took her out and she was doing very well, calm and doing everything he asked her to do. They headed back to the Beckers and she started bucking, so he immediately dismounted and walked her around and got her all calmed down--made sure she was ok and then remounted her and continued back to the corral area. Walt still isn't sure exactly what happened, but something must have spooked her and she took off down the road at a dead run, and no matter what he did to stop her, she was done being nice and docile. At that point he could see the driveway area and the corrals and the fences and the gates ahead and knew that they both were in imminent danger of a possible disastrous accident. So he decided to bail. Which he did. (From his clothes and his injuries it appears that he landed on the back side of his right shoulder.)

He got up off the ground, knew he was injured--obviously--but walked to the barn where Daisy was standing calmly waiting for him. He unsaddled her, brushed her, turned her back out into the pasture, walked back to the truck, and drove home. He knew he was injured. He got out of as many clothes as he could and got into the shower hoping that some hot water would help soothe the pain in his shoulder. At that point he began to feel lightheaded, so got out of the shower, got the phone and lay down on the bed--all wet!!! He didn't have a phone book so hit the number for Jenny's cell phone (in Kansas!!!) and called her in order to ask me what was the phone number for the Beckers!

Well, it was obvious to me that he was in a great deal of pain and he was breathing hard and having some difficulty talking. I gave him the phone number and talked a little trying to get some information, then hung up. Jenny said right away, "Mom, you need to call the Beckers to be sure that he was able to make the call and didn't pass out or something," so I did that and Jim answered the phone and I asked him if Walt had called and he said no he hadn't. Well, I got pretty fired up at that point and asked Jim to go over and take Walt to the hospital, and then I called Walt back. He answered the phone and I asked him if he had called Jim--he said, "Well, I thought I did!!!" It turns out that Jim heard the phone ring, but wasn't able to get to it so Walt left a message on their answering machine!!!!! Unbelievable.

At that point I got really fired up and called Betty and asked her to call and get the ambulance over to the house as soon as possible, which she did and she also called our neighbors, Barry and Joan, and they went over immediately. Walt probably didn't know what had just happened to him--a house full of people!!! They got him out of the bed, on to a board (ooooooh so uncomfortable, but the guys had no clue as to how badly he was injured at that point), down the stairs and loaded into the ambulance for the trip to town. I heard later that Barry thought that was a pretty nifty (fast) way to get to town with lights flashing and sirens blowing and all the cars moving out of his way!

Well, needless to say I threw my suitcase together as soon as Jenny and I got back to her house and said goodbye to all the Gang and jumped into the car to start the 1430 mile trip back home. I made it as far as Mitchell, SD, where I stopped for the night--that was about seven hours, I think. Didn't sleep very well. Got started the next morning about 5:30 and arrived at the hospital about 8:30 in the evening. I was a total wreck. I had never really rested up from my drive to KS to fly with Allie to Europe for 8 days, fly back to KS, drive to Montana with the Gang--they were here for 8 wonderful days--so enjoyed having them, and then the drive back to Kansas. All that to say that my drive back here was exhausting--I kept having to stop every couple hours yesterday to nap for 10 or 15 minutes before I could drive on. I'm beat, but I'm here and we're together and he's going to be fine.

So. The medical details. He has a collapsed lung that they're working on stabilizing--it is looking much better today. He has 9 broken ribs and some of those are broken in several places. And his shoulder blade (scapula) is also broken. I think that is causing him the most pain right now. He's certainly going to be weeks healing from all this. For sure, a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) is a very serious problem (the doctor called it a "major" injury, possibly fatal) and the broken bones are very painful, but the truth is that we are thanking God that it was not worse--he could have had head injuries, broken neck, internal injuries--you name it!!! So we are most thankful that it is a good as it is.

And we are so very thankful for all the prayer--Jenny was twittering immediately to all her followers for prayer, our neighbors praying, my mother and her church. . . . And we are so very thankful for all the help--from neighbors, from the fire department ambulance crew--they are the greatest--we are thankful for all the caring and concern.

Later this afternoon they will do more xrays of his lung--it looked much better this morning. If it is back to normal, the doc will pull the pump from the lung, but leave the tube in his lung cavity for 24 hours. If everything remains stable at that point, he will pull the tube from his chest and probably let him go home on Saturday--I have my doubts that we will actually be out of here tomorrow. We'll see.

From here on out, it's praise the Lord and one day at a time. . . .

1 comment:

Jess said...

Thank God he is okay Linda. Thanks for keeping us all updated and I hope that you are also getting the rest you need