The dog days of summer are clearly upon us or maybe it is the cat days of summer. It is hot, muggy and afternoons seem to hold a hint of a thunderstorm. It is a time when riders are gearing up for the fall show season and Zone finals. It is a time when students are headed back to class. And even if they are reluctant to do, a certain excitement about classes, teachers and new adventures fills the air.
Neither of those things will be happening for Lauren this fall. There will be no riding or writing. She had to dis-enroll from college due to her horrific broken arm. She still cannot use her fingers of her right arm at all. They are paralyzed in to a sort of claw-like position from which they do not change. There is absolutely no chance of her being able to type or write for quite some time. When the bone dislocated through her skin, it severed nerves that lead to her hand. The really sad thing is that her hand hurts constantly. But it is without movement. We certainly hope this will change and that she will regain use of her hand but the time frame is unclear right now.
Riding is so far out of the question right now that it isn’t even on the page. I can see as Lauren continues to push her abilities with her casted arm that she might one day climb up on Snowboy and let me lunge her around some at the trot, just to keep up her strength in her legs. She wants to join the local fitness center and walk on the treadmill or ride a stationary bike some. I feel that would be pretty safe.
At home, with the heat creating sauna like conditions, I worry about her sweating into her cast and perhaps causing issues with the still healing incisions in her arm. She has two lines of incisions, top and bottom, plus the multiple places where the bone left her arm.
But Lauren wants to try to help with the daily chores. I am juggling home and work responsibilities and always have more work to do than the day allows. I want Lauren to be able to do some things. Each day I come home and am surprised with what she has accomplished. But then there is the issue if she should have accomplished those things.
Lauren has (not necessarily wisely) taken over vacuuming the house again (with one arm). She bought 22 bags of 40 pound shavings for the stalls and she and six year-old Jordyn unloaded them into the stalls. She suffered deeply for that the next day but I cannot tell her anything.
I am sure many active people with bad injuries have suffered this same frustration at not being able to do any of the things they love, or even just feel they need to do. I have not necessarily set myself as a good role model in this area, doing chores with a broken pelvis or after shoulder surgery. It is no wonder Lauren tries to do all kinds of impossible things as well. I am constantly thinking of things for her to do and then realize they are just not possible for her.
Today Lauren and her barn friends are designing a new jump course in the arena. In spite of my warnings, I know Lauren will get too hot, will try to move jumps and standards and will suffer later. I guess she will learn as she goes what she can tolerate and what she cannot. In the meantime, the sight of her on a ladder, balancing on the top step, turning on fans high in the rafters, while she wobbles to maintain balance with her one arm, is a little too much to bear.
My grandson, Riley, will start kindergarten tomorrow. Jordyn will be headed on to second grade next week. My best wishes to all of you starting back to school and onto the fall show season. We will look for you at the shows!
Thanks for riding along!