Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How life can change in an instant

Two beautiful Clydesdales and a pretty half-Clyde. I'm no horse expert, but as I understand it, work horses are more mellow than "regular" horses. These three all have lovely personalities and I love being around them!

I'm not in my happy place at the moment. On Sunday, one of my closest friends, someone I can always rely on and who has brightened my life immeasurably, was thrown from her horse while out riding on her farm. She's now in the orthopaedic trauma unit at an Ottawa hospital with a broken pelvis and a concussion. We're just glad she was wearing a helmet or she might not be here, period. Her husband found her confusedly wandering the field (on a broken pelvis!) after the horse returned to the barn without her. It's going to be a long recovery for my friend, but fortunately she has "just" one break, not several. She is a fit, active, energetic person but she's also technically old enough to be my mother (if she had been a teen bride!), and it seems the older we get, the more time it takes to heal.

I'm still not over the shock of all this, and it strikes me yet again how fragile life can be, and how everything can be turned upside-down in an instant. I am immeasurably sad for my friend, who now has this long, painful recovery ahead of her. She dearly loves riding, but has already talked of giving it up, and I wouldn't blame her. Who would want to take the chance of going through this again?

My friend is not one to enjoy sitting around doing nothing, and I know that spending any extended period in hospital will test her patience. She will have to go to a rehab hospital after she is stabilized. Thinking of her being held back by this devastating injury makes me well up.

I am also sad for me, because I will miss my friend's happy presence at yoga class, and at the community choir practices we attend together, even if it's just for eight weeks or so (that's the amount of time she will be made to stay relatively immobile.) I want everything to go back to the way it was before Sunday afternoon, when something unknown spooked my friend's normally-placid horse, and everything, literally and figuratively, came crashing down.

My friend and her husband are very active in the community and spend a lot of time helping others, including making deliveries for Meals on Wheels. One hopes that all that kindness and generosity will be reciprocated, now that they are facing a struggle of their own. We live in a rather tightly-knit rural community where neighbours look out for each other, so that helps a lot.

And on that note, if you have any suggestions for nice things I can do for my friend and hubby, especially while she is in hospital, let me know! I'm trying to think of more imaginative stuff than taking flowers and chocolate (not that we aren't doing that, too!) Gordon took a pot o' chili over to my friend's hubby last night, which is a start.

Be careful out there... in many ways, humans are very strong but in others, we break easily. Life can change so much at any given moment. It's important to enjoy today.


  1. It is so easy for like to change in a flash. On a minor note I ruptured a tendon earlier in the year and I am still hobbling nearly 8 months later!

    I found staying entertained was the big thing after getting out of hospital... The last thing I wanted to do was read, despite the nice big pile of books awaiting my attnetion... Stimulation and being able to do some of the most basic things of course!

    I hope your friend recovers quickly

  2. Oh that's awful. Not sure what to suggest but as jams said, books seem sometimes too heavy. Magazines are good I think because they are silly, fun and maybe make you forget about stuff...even for a short while.

  3. That's terrible! It happened to a friend of mine last year. I am so sorry.

    Maybe you could help with the horse chores?

  4. I hope your friend recovers in he quickest possible time. I guess the best you can do is to help her pass the time by being there, chatting with her. Maybe she can start on a project like scrapbooking, painting or knitting that she can do while sitting up in bed (can she?) and like connerdog said, you could do laundry, cleaning the house etc to help out the husband?

  5. Knat...I will keep your friend in my thoughts and prayers that she heels quickly, and back doing the things she loves!

    Things to help her and her husband...have the husband over for dinner, bring him meals, even after she comes home.

    Go visit her in the hospital and rehab. Visitor are so important!

    Help at the farm??


  6. The most important thing is not to give up HOPE!
    My brother-in-law was near death a year ago in the hospital. He stayed 1 month in intensive care and 4 months at a convalescent hospital with tubes everywhere. However... he is now home, a year later, enjoying his life and his kitty cats (7 of them!)
    Be there for her, but also for her husband who will be the caretaker.
    We rightly pay a lot of attention to the patient - but the caretaker also shoulders a large burden and should be encouraged.
    So... Tell your friend not to lose hope and keep her eye on the prize : her life as she sees it,strong and healthy...and to her husband: Hang in there, don`t be shy and ask for help - people are there for you too!

  7. I'm glad your friend is not hurt in a way, that she's bound to a wheel chair or something. She's lucky to have friends like you! Taking food to the husband right now helps a lot, I can immagine, and visiting her as often as you can, would help too.
    I used to do horseback riding, and loved it, loved the horses and everything, but after one fall too many, when I was 39 I got scared, to hurt myself more seriously (breaking the tail bone was NO fun!). All the best to your friend!

  8. So sorry to hear about your friend! How scary! Glad it wasn't more serious! My gift suggestions: some soft pajamas and a CD of soothing music (maybe nature sounds or some jazz.)

  9. I know you love goats, here is a link to a blog I follow (she has cats like us), and a post featuring goats - to cheer you up - a bit.


  10. My best to your friend. I hope she recovers quickly.

  11. Hey, you guys are great! These are wonderful suggestions, thank you. Thank you too for all the good wishes for her. She had surgery today (Thursday) to put a plate in so that the fracture is stable and will heal properly. She'll be stuck in the hospital slammer for another week.

    And Anna, I love the goats! And the poutine! Thank you for sharing that blog with me. I'm bookmarking it. Goats are so adorable.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!