When Richard returned home from the grocery store, he relayed a conversation he had with a gal we briefly met at a local trail riding group I’d hoped to join.
She had asked if I would be riding soon, Richard shared I had a short, non-eventful ride here and was then out for four days. He said, “I think her riding days may be over for good.” As most folks on this path of TBI know, the losses are many, often unending. That phrase was a dark cloud shrouding and suffocating my heart.
I’ve loved horses all my life, choosing the horses themselves rather than the stuff of horses. One of my favorite pictures is of me as a four- or five-year-old on the back of Blue, my favorite pony. I always wanted to go riding, always. Later in school, one of my annual photos would show me wearing the “I’d rather be riding” t-shirt I loved so much.
Since the accidents, my need for speed and adventurous, sometimes reckless spirit have given way to safety and wanting no further injury. (Heck, just to be out of pain would be nice!) But to be on the back of a horse, especially when you’ve been handed so many limitations, it is a freedom unmatched by anything else this earth can offer. It is, indeed, a touch of heaven.
With that phrase in mind and a little sorrow about what I’ve had to give up with the sale of the house, starting over, etc., I set out to garage sale this weekend. The last sale I stopped at, the woman had tack, naturally being a horse person, one can never have too much tack! We started talking, she asked about the type of riding I do, I mentioned my neck injury and not yet really being able to handle it.
As it would turn out, she is a trauma nurse. She and her husband used to have seven horses, and, at one point in time she had broken her neck. She asked if I’d ever used a neck collar, I said I’d never even thought of it. She had me wait, she got one for me to try on and let me keep it. I asked if I could give her something for it, she said no. She said it helped her because it absorbs the shock. What a blessing. (There is an extraordinary type of kindness like that out here, if people know of your need and they can help you, they will. My term is, “the people out here extend their hearts well.)
She also recommended folks to me who helped her in her care, a massage therapist and chiropractor.
I think at this point, it’s time for me to write the at-fault party’s insurance, I need to pursue further care. It’s a daunting thing, because to me, whether it be fighting the Social Security System or an insurance company, this is choosing to go back into the fire, and heck, as we know simply trying to live with TBI is a difficult challenge. But the pain is constant and it would be helpful to be able to feel better or at least have direction with pain management, and then get on with the business of having a good life.
I’m off to go write my letter…maybe a little caffeine to get the brain started first!