The important things in life....
Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
116Trip End Aug 01, 2009
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Aaaahhh priorities; what is important in life? I know what it is. It is health. On Friday we went out to Redberry Lake to pick up Becca from Ranch Camp. The kids had made the parents lunch, put on a short program and then ran over to give us a demonstration of their new riding skills. Within the first minute 2 girls had come off of their horses and left the arena crying. Having that mishap under control the demo continued. The girls rode around the arena turning in a tight circle this way then that way. It was on the 'that way' that Becca ran into problems. Her horse, Rocky didn't like to be left behind and so part way through his turn began to lope to catch up with the others. Partly due to the quick acceleration, partly due to being mid turn, partly due to being bareback, Becca fell off. Rocky is almost 16 hands high, and so she fell from about 5 feet in the air. Unfortunately she fell badly in a 'V' shape with her tail bone hitting first. With all of us around her, she lay there on the ground going from crying to hyperventilating, but not showing any desire to get up. Fnally we decided that we really didn't know if she had any other injuries and we had best be cautious about moving her. A spine board was brought from the pool and the lifeguard with first aid training came and finally gave some direction as to what needed to be done. The camp director called for an ambulance and we moved her to the nurses office on the spine board, now fully immobilised.
The ride to Saskatoon in the ambulance was a bit strange. Between hope and a gut feeling I knew she'd be fine, and yet I knew nothing, my mind not going in a negative direction except once when I imagined pushing her in a wheel chair knowing of course that I would do anything for her. I quickly dissolved that image and got back to the task at hand. She had started to feel uncomfortable within the first 15 minutes of travel on gravel roads. Another 10 minutes later the back of her head started to really hurt. It was nothing serious or medical, just the pressure of the firm foam at the back of her head on the spine board was really painful. It became the main concern for her comfort. We thought that her ponytail might be between her head and the board, but we were able to rule that out. Shortly after she hit the dirt I asked her to squeeze my fingers. It was the one thing that came to my mind from the various bits of training I've had over the years (which isn't a lot). She had good grip strength, so I was relieved. After being on the ground for awhile her thumb and pointer finger on both hands tightened together in a pinching type grasp and her other 3 fingers were curled in toward her palm. This worried me. I couldn't figure out why she couldn't move her fingers now when before all was o.k. During the ride to the city her fingers would go from normal to this wierd, immobile position. It turns out is was from hyperventilating. I've got to look that up - I like to understand the physiology behind these types of reactions is so if it ever happens again I don't need to be worried.
We were pleasantly surprised when the Doctor came into the room and we both recognized her. Vicky Cattell worked with Jim at the auditorium many years ago, and her mother taught me grade 1 at Pleasant Hill School. We had attended Mrs. Cattell's funeral a few months ago where we had chatted with Vicky and her brothers. Vicky and the nurses fairly quickly got Becca off the spine board, which made her more comfortable. She was in a lot of pain and was given morphine!!! Yikes that's powerful stuff. She also complained of severe pain whenever anyone moved her right ankle. They took her to x-ray and found that nothing was broken, neither her tail bone nor her ankle. I could tell when the morphine started to take effect because she started to talk. Her voice became normal and she started to tell us about things they had done at camp during the week. It was just as if nothing had happened, as if we hadn't just ridden to Saskatoon in an ambulance. Becca was declared 'sound enough to go home'. She was tender around her tail bone but that's it. Those of us who have fallen on our tail bones will know that she's got a long road to recovery. Both Jim and I fell on our tailbones playing hockey as kids and remember it taking months if not years to be pain free. Becca fell while snowboarding in March and has been free of pain in her tailbone for almost a month!!!
Jim and Simon followed the ambulance to Saskatoon. Simon had taken photos of the whole ordeal, none of which I will post here. I'm sure he was thinking about possible blackmail in the future, also quite confident of her recovery, and subsequent reclamation of her role of little sister and her desire to drive him nuts.
So when you are riding in an ambulance, placing your daughter on a spine board, watching her not get up after a fall, you quickly realize plans can evaporate in a heartbeat. What is most important in life.....health.