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[RC] Sidelined! - Valerie Jaques

Well, three weeks ago today, I took a bad fall.  Not a horse in sight, though!  No, it was mountain bike vs dog that put me out of commission.  I was "racing" my fastest dog, a Catahoula/Cattle Dog cross named Mac, downhill on the dirt road.  Mac's been clocked at up to thirty miles per hour, so I'm pretty sure I was going between twenty and twenty five; he wasn't working hard enough to be going faster, and working hard enough that we weren't going much slower, and I was pedaling like crazy.  He was very slightly ahead of me when he saw a rabbit bolt.  I had time to realize I was in deep doodoo when he cut in front of me and I hit him just in front of his back legs.  While flying over the handlebars, I had time to holler an invective sentence I can't repeat here, which still causes Mac to leave the room or the house if I repeat it!  I landed largely on my left shoulder, some on my head, and had road rash on my knuckles, left elbow, and left knee.  Had to walk home the last half mile - nobody was answering any phones, not at home and nobody I knew who would be close enough to scrape me off the road and take me to the hospital.  I've been told I'm overly practical.  I didn't call for an ambulance because I knew I had someone at home to get me to the hospital -- my daughter, who's cell phone was understandably off, as her friends text and call at all hours, but was sleeping and doesn't have a house phone in her room -- and I needed to get the dogs home!  I did, however, abandon the bicycle pretty much where it fell, althought I did stand it up and make sure it was far enough out of the road to be safe.  It's fine.  I guess I managed to let go of it early enough not to damage it.  Sent a friend to get it later.

The result is an aricular clavicular separation.  Basically, I tore a bunch of the ligaments in my left shoulder.  The best part at the ER was the ortho doc telling me I hadn't dislocated my shoulder "per se."  My chiropractor can tell you it wasn't exactly where it belonged, though, and it took three very painful adjustments to put it back.  I had some improvement up to about a week and a half ago, but since then, I don't feel like I'm getting any better!

So, here I sit, unable to do much of anything.  Had to take my Mustang, Hoss, to the trainer since I can't ride.  Good timing for him to go, as he does need finish work, but my plans seem to be as wrecked as my shoulder.  I had planned to send him after the Manzanita Endurance Ride in October, where I was hoping to elevate to the fifty.  Now I'm not even sure I'll be able to ride at all.  Add to that, I can't work.  I'm a farrier, and the horses are starting to pile up.  I do have some farriers who are doing their best to help me out, but they have obligations as well.  So, I'm making less money and my expenses are going up.  Hoss was living at home, and now I'm paying board.  I don't have to pay the trainer -- I've got credit built up with her.  We're good friends; I shoe her horses, she trains mine and gives me and my daughter lessons.  Works out for both of us.  But, Phoenix and Tahoe, the other horses, are still at home.  They need to be ridden/exercised and bathed.  There's four dogs in need of daily walks, and a pair of chickens, although they're remarkably easy to care for.

Oh, and Mac did not come out of this entirely unscathed.  A week after the accident, he was limping on a hind leg (side I hit him on).  So, off to the vet.  At about the point I struck him, he has a near-bulging disc.  Chiro can tackle that.  He's also got a torn cruciate ligament they want three thousand dollars to fix.  I do have a way cheaper fix (same one I'm enlisting for myself), but it's not like we're rolling in dough right now, and Mac's not lame and hasn't been for two weeks without pain management.

Anybody out there have a similar injury?  How long did it take to recover?  I'm just feeling like I'll never get better.  Farriers are not well known for our patience in ourselves.  Besides, I need to work.  Not just for the money, but for my mental health.  For the moment, just looking for a little conversation and maybe some encouragement!


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