What a week. First off, all my condolences to Chris and Logan Bearden and your family. Your loss is unimaginable and I can only hope you can find a way to live with it as best you can. Carol...we all miss you. Cheers.
Now, what about me? Shallow and self involved? yes, yes indeed. So as you know I spend countless hours at the beck and call of my friends in exchange for tasteful compensation. Such was the situation last weekend when the Petaluma "client" beckoned and I hastened to do the bidding of my horse show bound friends. I was somewhat suprised that I was also watching two gigantic dogs that closely resembled lions. But being easy going and even tempered I dealt with it and carried on..The weekend was most satisfactory in that the horses were well behaved. The dogs, not so much in that they chased one of the horses in his paddock barking and carrying on like a pair of d*** fools. Eventually one of them got smacked by the horse and went limping off to sulk. I ascertained nothing was lobbed off nor was there any blood, determined injuries were deserved and probably painful but not life threatening. I informed the mother of the bad dog of his sins and went back to what ever it was I was doing.
You faithful readers will remember I was in Petaluma when the dropped drawers shipper visited. I was forewarned that the same shipper would be arriving to pick up a horse at some point over the weekend and having previously endured that treat I was prepared. Imagine my delight when the shipper arrived and 1.) it wasn't the same bare mooned fellow of before and 2.) I received insider information on the Kentucky Derby hopefuls.. So the going away horse left I hustled back to the house to catch all the pregame excitement of the Derby on the Tee Vee.
Eventually I had to go back out and do the evening chores so I did that, expecting that my timing would be such that I should be back at the house in time for the start of the race. I cleaned the stalls, changed out blankets that needed changing and did the water refilling, got the hay fed and all that. So I was on my last horse and he was in a paddock that was on the way back to the house so I untied the bad dogs and put the halter on the horse and reached around the back end of him and the explosion happened. It was exactly like a gigantic bomb, but no noise and the next thing I knew I was several feet away from where I'd been an instant before and I couldn't breathe. And I thought, well this sucks, I can't breathe. If I can't breathe I will die and I'm not ready. So I made myself breathe then I rolled out of the pasture under the hot wire and reassessed. Hmmm, oh yeah, I believe I've just been double barrelled by the hind feet of a big horse and I was alone and I should correct that. So I did what any of you would have...I called Steve and he said call 911. I became hysterical and told him to just get over here as fast as he could. He was about 45 minutes or more away . So then I told him to call Muffie and he said he didn't have her number and said I should call 911 so I hung up on him and called Muffie myself and she said call 911 and since we had discussed the idea of her going to nursing school and because of that she was practically an expert and a doctor so I called 911. Then things got really exciting.
I was able to remember who I was, where I was, even the address and the gate code and all that stuff and the next thing I knew there were about 500 ambulances, cars, lights, personnel, and a helicopter milling around. Did I say helicopter? Why yes I did. Remember the horses in their paddocks? They saw the helicopter too and thought that was really interesting and stampeded around, and I was still on the ground and there was only a hot wire between me and them. One of the paramedics (you should not smoke BTW) was trying to pull me close to the wire for some unknown reason and since I was having a little bit of a time getting enough air to scream that the wire was H.O.T.! she had just had to find that out for herself, then she pulled the wire down in her uh "shock" and the horse got out and all kinds of pandemonium let loose. And I was thinking I might have been better off by myself since none of these guys knew the first thing about horses much less ones that were in a panic state, and the blades of the helicopter were taking a really long time stopping and I was on the ground on a back board with one of those "C" Collars on. So there was no way I could get myself out of the way and was at the mercy of at least three different medical response teams each vying for the opportunity to provide excellent care, but there was all the requisite posturing to be done first and I decided to freak out. I believe I was in shock and I was freezing and I kept wondering why they kept lifting my shirt up. Suddenly they remembered they had an ambulance and it would be quieter and warmer and maybe even safer in there so off we went and they did all their EMT stuff to me and decided they would transport me to the hospital then they decided I was a trauma case and I could go in the the helicopter. My first thought was that Steve would be really impressed by that, and my second thought was that the helicopter would have to start up again and the horses were loose and after the helicopter left there would be no need for the ambulances and the rest of the personnel to be there and they would leave and the horses would then be loose on the property (hopefully) or loose on the road (probably). So I refused to be transported till the guys told me they had captured the horses and put them in stalls with water and food blah blah. So anyway, eventually I was strapped in the helicopter and went for my first ride in a whirlybird. Wish I could remember any of it, or perhaps I don't.
At any rate I found myself enroute the trauma unit at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and I was fretting that I had Kaiser and they told me Kaiser did not have a trauma unit and so I just had to go where they took me and I decided they might have done this before and I was better off just going with it. In the mean time my cell phone rang and rang and rang. What exactly was I supposed to do about that? I had a needle the size of two penny nail in one arm, the other was strapped under a seat belt thingy, my entire body was strapped to a board and still it rang. Finally one of the EMTs answered it and talked to Steve or Muffie or both told them where I was. Under my concise direction the medic/receptionist told Muffie to go Petluma to make sure the horses were ok and the dogs were locked up in the garage and all that housekeeping stuff was done and to bring me my purse. He then told Steve to come to Santa Rosa to see me. We arrived on the roof of the hospital, just like in the movies, and they moved me again, excrutiating pain, to a guerney that they all agreed was the first one ever built and chugged me down to the E.R./Trauma place. Then the hospital personnel began cutting my clothes off. I had successfully forestalled this action while in the field in Petaluma, but I was no match for trauma docs and the like. It did not matter the jeans were brand new, the shirt was Ralph Lauren and the bra was comfortable snip snip off they came. Thankfully I'd managed to push my paddock boots off before they had a chance to get to them as well. I may sound a little pouty at this point, but I maintain I was in shock, wasn't sure what all had happened, wasn't sure how damaged I was or any of that yet, but things were happening, they took a chest x-ray then they sent me down the hall for a cat scan, brought me back, Steve called and said he was at the hospital emergency but they no record of me, which didn't sound like a good thing, but one of the trauma nurses heard the conversation and said they assign trauma patients a code # and never release their names, so she ran down and fetched him and brought him back with her. At last a face I could recognize. Then Muffie showed up and she had no problem getting in because, well she's Muffie and few people have the energy to argue with her for any length of time. Finally the trauma doc. came in and said they'd be keeping me overnight for observation and I said what's wrong with me? and he said lot's of stuff and left. Kid you not. Eventually he came back and said I had fractured my Sternum and broken 7 ribs. Dayum.
Each time he told me something was broken or cracked they gave me more drugs and that was a really good thing, but not so good if you were meant to remember anything important like how to manage breathng and things like that. I had only he word of Muffie and Steve to go on, but they were pretty involved listening in on the woes of other more interesting patients, the lingo of cops and medics and taking unflattering pictures of yours truly. Then Muffie gave her personal assessment of the drugs I was given and gave her recommendations of successful companion narcotics to enhance my pain control regime. And Steve was thinking they should serve the families of patients alcoholic cocktails and a nice meal while they waited and all I wanted was to find out what they were going to do to/with me.
So finally they decided to send me to a room so I could be observed by some other hospital people. My only wish was granted and I had a private room. And all I had to do was ask and the narcotic fairy would appear and send happy juice into my IV and I would waft away in to oblivion and be pain free. On the down side I kept mistaking the Tee Vee turny on button with the STAT call nurse panic button and so they became disenchanted with me rather sooner than I would have liked.
..to be continued