Falling Up

Yesterday began with a bang so to speak.

I was getting up, as I usually do around 3:30, to visit the bathroom. While I was putting myself back together, the urge to sneeze came out of the blue. I did have the foresight to hang on to the bar next to the toilet, (in the words of my sister, “that must have been some sneeze”) but the combination of sleepy and sneezy twisted me around, knocked me off my feet, and I hit the bathroom floor before I knew what was happening!

Realizing now that a disaster of circumstances had occurred. I didn’t have my phone because it was on the end of my bed with the flashlight on to see by and no watch because it was charging. I usually put my watch on when I come back from the bathroom, I guess now I’ll have to change my strategy. With the watch at least I can access my phone, and use talk to text.

So, here I was in the wilderness, so to speak! No phone, no watch and my mother down the hall, sleeping the peaceful sleep of someone who’s deaf without her hearing aids. She’s always slept like the dead anyway.

When I was a kid sharing a room with my sister, I would stubbornly refuse to get out of bed and take her to the bathroom, even though that meant I had to endure her calling for our Mom for a good hour or more! She would lay there and call each time getting a little louder, until my father finally heard her and poked our Mom to see what she wanted. If I’d just taken her myself, I would have gotten a lot more sleep! It seemed justified at the time (I’m going to hell, I know).

After assessing the situation, I decided that the best pan of action was to crawl out of the bathroom to my phone. (Duh! I was getting colder and stiffer on the hard floor every minute!)

Gritting my teeth, I was able to inch like a snake until I finally made it out of the bathroom, onto the carpet, by using the cupboards, doorframes and anything else I could get my feet on. (Having only one fully functional leg and hand is really a drag! (Literally) I was able to get to my phone and TRY calling Mom, hoping maybe the dogs had heard me, and might alert her to my plight. No such luck! I just tried over and over, hoping that the repeated ringing would penetrate her unconsciousness. That was when I started to panic!

In my frenzy, I called my sister by accident. Once I realized what I had done, the words tumbled out in a jumble. She is the soul of calmness now as a nurse who’s seen everything. She talked me off my precarious ledge, said she would throw on her clothes and get in the car, coming to my rescue. In the mean time, someone was watching over me, because the constant buzzing had finally roused Mom!

My sister was already en route, so Mom just waited with me. My sister arrived as well as emergency services, who helped me get back on my feet.

I’m so grateful for all of them to be there when I needed them!

When I was lying on the floor, (this time,and others) it has really brought home the helpless feelings that the horses must have when they’re down and can’t get up, for any reason. Most of the time they have to wait hours for someone to discover them. If something happens in the night, which most grave things do. In a situation where you have to put your very life (because that’s what it feels you are fighting for, equine and human) in someone else’s hands, is a great act of trust.

The next time you’re faced with a situation where your horse is down and can’t get up for any reason, please remember those panic feelings, and address them, either with chemicals, if the vet has come, or just a soothing presence when the vet is on the way. Go to the zen place inside you, and find your calmest demeanor. Just because someone is coming to help with the physical problem, doesn’t automatically make the feelings go away, especially if they’ve had time to really get a hold. They also have a physical after affect including shaking, sweating and fatigue from all the adrenaline. So don’t forget a little pampering after the fact.

As for me, I went on to have a great day, in spite of the rocky start. Cooler heads than mine prevailed, making my panic, a distant memory. I’ve got some bumps and bruises but overall I’m good. I can definitely say that the calmness of those around me made all the difference between a scary situation and a manageable one.

The next time a scary problem crops up, manage your horse’s feelings as well as his body. His trust will be the reward, and his bumps and bruise will fade. He’ll remember how he put all his trust in you, and you didn’t let him down.