Sunday, Feb 7(I'm really late posting this) was not a very good day. It didn't start well in terms of my psychological well-being. I had a rather long, intense UMPA which left me feeling pretty down and out of it. But DASH had invited Foxfire and I over to ride in their arena. And since our pasture was basically a mud pit and will likely continue to be one for quite some time, it was probably going to be the only chance for me to ride Shadowfax for a while. So... I sucked up all my bad feelings and tried to make the best of it.
Shadowfax loaded up in DASH's trailer without even pausing. And even when DA's mare in the next compartment made a fuss, he remained pretty un-fazed. He stood pretty still for being groomed and tacked up, which he doesn't always do. However, once I mounted him and started riding around, he started acting a little antsy. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the weather (the other horses were acting up a bit, too), maybe it was just that he hadn't been ridden in a while. But he kept tossing and ducking his head and trying to go where he wanted instead of listening to me. Because of this, I just walked him. And walked him. And walked him. I walked him around the arena, across the arena, through the heads course, over the trot poles. I just walked and forced him to go where I wanted to go. It wasn't always easy. There were times when I had to stop him. Force him around to face the direction that I wanted to go and really kick him to get him to go where I wanted instead of where he was trying to to go.
But finally, after 30 - 45 minutes, he seemed to settle down and was going where I asked him to without a fuss. I was pretty bored with just walking by that point, so I kicked him up into a trot and started to do some 20 meter trot circles. He was pretty willing to go into a trot at first, but after completing the first circle, he started to slow back into a walk, so I kicked him to keep him trotting. That's when something bad happened. I'm not entirely sure what occurred. All I know is that one moment I was trotting and the next moment I was flying over Shadowfax's outside shoulder. I turned sort of a somersault in the air and landed - HARD - on my tailbone and right hip. It hurt like hell all the way up my back. All I could do was sit there stunned. I still had the reins in my right hand and Shadowfax was pulling against them, but even if I had wanted to, I don't think that I could have let go.
Foxfire didn't see what led up to the fall, but he did see me hit the ground, so he and another friend of SH's came over to try and help. When Foxfire got to me, I handed him Shadowfax's reins. But I still didn't move, it just hurt too bad. I simply sat there repeating, "I hurt my back". Eventually, my brain started working again, and I sat up straighter and then accepted help to stand. I carefully moved my arms, legs and head around. Then tried bending my back in different directions. It hurt, but it didn't seem like anything was broken, just a lot of muscle strain throughout my back. So, after a few minutes to finish calming down and finding ways to deal with the pain. I led Shadowfax back to the mounting block and Foxfire held my stirrup while I mounted.
Shadowfax stood very still and when I asked for a walk, went into a nice even walk. I walked him around for about 10 minutes, then decided that I had made my point of getting back on the horse that threw me, and carefully dismounted so as not to jar my back any further. One of SH's friends helped me untack Shadowfax, and we turned him loose in DASH's fenced yard. I went and lay down on DASH's couch and waited for Foxfire and everyone else to finish riding and socializing. I'd raided DASH's supply of ibuprofen, but I was still in a lot of pain. Not fun.
The next day, I was still in terrible pain all up my back and down my right leg, so I finally made an appointment with the chiropractor that DASH and Foxfire had been recommending even before I took my fall. I really hate going to doctors. I think that most of them are a waste of time and money, but I was hurt enough that I willing to give it a try. And, boy, am I glad I did. Turns out Dr P is actually a caring and COMPETENT doctor. After that first visit, my back was already feeling better, WITHOUT any useless, expensive pills.
I guess I should explain that I have idiosyncratic reactions to a lot of drugs. Most relevant to this situation, most pain meds don't really work for me. Hydrocodone/Vicodin, Tramadol/Ultram and most other pain pills have absolutely no effect that I can discern. Oxycodone/Percocet does reduce the pain, although it doesn't get rid of it entirely, but it also leaves me fuzzy headed and sleepy, and I hate feeling fuzzy headed. I sometimes envy my husband who can take one little Vicodin and be feeling no pain, whereas I can eat pain pills like candy and still hurt. Just another example of how life is not fair. Oh well...
Anyway, Dr P said that I was pretty messed up and that he would have to work through various layers of injury to get me back to normal. For example, that first day while I was laying on my back on his table, he asked me to bend my knees and draw my feet up to my hips and my right leg just wouldn't do it. I kept telling it to move and all it did was lay there and twitch. WEIRD feeling. I'd known that my right leg was hurt. I'd had trouble getting dressed, and I'd had to use my right hand to shift it from the accelerator to the brake as I was driving, but I hadn't realized how bad it was. However, I was now convinced that it wasn't just my back that was injured. Actually, it wasn't my spine that was injured, it was that I had dislocated quite a few ribs. Dr P did his best to put them all back into place and my back did begin to feel better almost immediately.
After the third visit, Dr P had pretty much convinced me that my tailbone was probably broken so I eventually went to an urgent care facility and got x-rays done. And yes, he was right. My tailbone was broken and is now healing at a slightly different angle than nature intended. The urgent care doctor (not as disagreeable as most) said that since it was just my tailbone, that there really wasn't any reason to try and straighten it out, especially since it had already had a week and a half to start healing in that position. Dr P seemed a little more concerned about my tailbone being out of place, but agreed that there was really nothing to be done about it at this point. I suppose I should have gone and gotten x-rays sooner. Oh well...
While I was at the urgent care facility, I went ahead and had them x-ray my left foot as well. About four and a half weeks earlier, Shadowfax had stepped on it and then a couple of days later Tessla stepped on it in almost the same place. And Tessla didn't just step on and off, he sort of dug in and then slid off the side. It had been bothering me ever since, but I really didn't think that anything was broken and it turned out I was right. No broken bones. However, because of the continuing pain and the numbness in a few of my toes, the urgent care dr said that there was probably tendon and nerve damage, and gave me this stupid plastic boot to wear. It was very awkward to move in, and so, after driving home in it, I took it off and didn't put it back on. The next day was my fourth visit with Dr P and he said that the last thing that I needed with my back and hip injured was a thick rigid boot throwing my body out of alignment. So, no more boot. Yay!
I'd previously told him about my foot being stepped on and now that he knew that there were no broken bones, he felt free to get a little rough in his manipulations. He said that though the bones weren't broken, they were obviously out of alignment and he needed to force them back into alignment so that they could heal properly. It hurt, but at this point I trust him to know what he's doing. (And I do NOT trust many doctors.) I think my toes are a little less numb now. It's hard to say for sure. But my foot still hurts. I guess it will take more than one adjustment to fix it.
So... anyway... that's the story of my first fall as an adult. (I'd fallen off once as a teenager, but I don't think that I was even bruised that time. It was a more controlled fall and I landed and rolled properly so that I wasn't hurt. And no, I didn't really ride when I was younger. I was simply out camping with some friends and hopped on a horse that belonged to one of the other kids and rode around bareback for a bit until the horse decided to jump a ditch and I fell off.) I really wish I knew what happened to make me come off Shadowfax. But since no one else was watching me and I don't have any memory of what led up to me flying over Shadowfax's shoulder, I guess I'll never know. Frustrating.