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A big welcome to old friends and new. Follow my crafting adventures as I take you on a journey through the daily life of a creative crafter. Experience the successes and disappointments that are all part of my working day, but most of all, enjoy the ride.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Lucky Break

It's hard to believe that it all happened a year ago today. I'd been looking forward to 5th August as the weather forecast predicted a hot week of sun starting on that date. My riding buddy, Ellen, and I went out for a lovely hack on our horses, down to the water's edge in Reddish Vale Country Park. We noticed that our horses were both a little skittish and took it slowly. I am a very cautious rider, particularly as my horse, Sid the Sod, is a twit who jumps at anything, even his own shadow, but for the last couple of weeks we'd been cantering up a field in the park, something that I did not normally do. On this particular day just before we went into a canter I noticed a large man with a large stick and 2 large rottweilers. Ellen led the way into a canter but Sid would only trot so with one kick I had him up and running, but he reared and accelerated, making me lose my stirrups and eventually my hold on the reins too. I screamed to Ellen to stop as Sid never overtakes the leading horse but he swerved and went into a gallop. By now I could see the whites of his eyes and I was bouncing about in a tight ball, trying to stay on him. After a quarter of a mile I came off him and still with my body in a tense state I landed in the long grass, the centre of my back taking the full force. My head, legs and arms didn't even touch the ground. I was not even winded. After a minute the pain started to kick in and the adrenalin rush had me jibbering nineteen to the dozen as Ellen told me not to move. As she phoned for an ambulance I had already made up my mind that it would take me 10 minutes before I was back on my feet and riding the horse to his field. It took half an hour for the ambulance guys to reach me, across a rough field, by which time I had hundreds of ants crawling all over me, up my nose, across my eyes and in my hair, and many of these critters ended up still with me as I lay in A and E in a curtained cubicle, all alone, still strapped to the stretcher, hungry and scared for 2 hours.

I was begininning to think that I had been forgotten when a porter came and asked if I was OK, went and fetched me a sandwich and lent me his phone so that I could call my 88 year old mother to collect my child from summer play scheme. 'I had a fall' I told her 'and I need you to take her home. I'll be back later this evening'.

4 hours after the fall I was wheeled to X-ray then into a ward where I was left alone for another hour and told not to move a muscle. Eventually a consultant told me that I'd fractured a vertebra and those words meant nothing to me at all. 'OK, so can I go home now?' I asked. They needed to keep me in for anything up to 12 weeks, I was told.

My tearful daughter arrived that evening. It must have been an awful shock to see me like that, although I felt fine, not ill, no longer in pain, just wanting to get home to look after her. When the lady serving supper came to my bedside and said to me 'Aw, did you know you'd broken your back when you fell?' the extent of my injuries hit me at last.

Being a vegetarian in one of the worst hospitals in the north west for 6 days was beyond belief. I was given chicken for each meal, remained unwashed for 3 days until I pointed this out and the situation was resolved when a nurse brought a luke warm bowl of water with a bar of soap half melted in it and left it just out of reach. As I was not allowed to move still I could not reach it and developed a horrendous rash all over my back. I won't even go into the bed pan issue other than to say that I was left on one with my back arched for one and a half hours on one occasion and I put my current back pain down to that experience. A night nurse gave me morphine on my second night there which I said I didn't need, then returned 10 minutes later to give it to me again, insisting that she had not already dosed me.

After 4 days I was allowed to move my legs. After 6 days I was fitted with a back brace, a rather Heath Robinson design with thick metal rods up the back and front and a kidney shaped plastic piece that stuck under the chin and rubbed the skin raw around my neck. Physiotherapists walked me up and down the ward for 5 minutes then left me sitting on my bed. I was dressed and out of there so fast, well as fast as I could hobble, and back in my own bed by that evening. I had lost over a stone in weight and was filthy and angry.

4 months later I was allowed to remove the back brace forever, and a month ago I was discharged from the hospital's 'care'. So today I have been a little emotional, remembering the event, my lucky fall. I was lucky, very lucky. I could have been killed. Worse still, I could have broken my neck.

I have taken this happening and turned it into a positive experience. At the time it happened I was struggling to sell my handmade ceramic pottery, but with a back injury I was no longer able to lift heavy bags of wet clay, and started getting interested in the lovely online bead shops while recuperating on my bed with the laptop. If I hadn't had the fall I would not be making jewellery. I'm thankful for my experience. It changed my life in so many ways. I no longer ride and miss it dreadfully, but I still have Sid the Sod, happy as a sand boy and stuffing his face in a huge field with his mates.

18 comments:

  1. oh my goodness, that sounds terrible, glad to hear you are ok now!!

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  2. What an awful experience Amanda,the hospital stay sounds terrible. I'm so glad to hear about the positive way you have changed your life since then. x

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  3. Horses, don't you just love 'em?
    What a complete nightmare Amanda and your hospital sounds exactly like my local District General - apparently the worst in the county.
    So glad you recovered and joined the mad world of jewellery making!

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  4. Makes me suffer 4 years of severe back pain at the bottom, and so far not found anything, why turn to drugs like Vicodin, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Soma, and which alone calm the terrible pain I feel, makes a few weeks ago I visited a specialist and indicate that I have to take the medicine, now I'm taking Vicodin because it is the one that best meets my body, and the doctor prescribed that I should take it with moderation, and my question is, can I take another dose daily to feel better since in findrxonline.com indicate that the dose can go up, but I feel more calm the pain for 5 hours with me and I must take medicine every 8 hours, pc. reviews that can give me.

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  5. Kim, it sounds like you are suffering badly. Maybe you should check with your doctor or pharmacist about the dosage or another medication to try. Hope you get some improved pain relief soon.

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  6. Wow BB1!!! What a traumatic experience!! Glad you can move forward positively. I for one and thrilled you fell in love with jewelry making!! My facebook days wouldn't be the same without you "by my side" cracking me up and helping me with promoting. You rock BB1!!!! xoxo,Wendy

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  7. Aw thanks, BB2. Right back at ya. I really miss you when you aren't around on FB to muck about with. You see, none of this would have happened without that fall. I wouldn't have a Folksy shop or be on FB and would have missed out on the lovely new friendships I've made recently.

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  8. Likewise BB1!! Every thing happens for a reason!! I love my FB friends and am grateful to know you!! Cheers!!!

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  9. Oh my goodness. I'm glad to hear you're recuperating though! And that's great that you can see the good things that came out of that experience.

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  10. What a dreadful story,to think you would be treated so badly in hospital in this day and age.Best wishes

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  11. I'm full of admiration for the way you view the positive from this awful experience. And so glad you survived the hospital!
    xx

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  12. Oh, guys. There is so much more to tell about the treatment I received in hospital. Out of the 7 nurses on my ward, only one was on the ball. I really wish I'd written a formal complaint but was just so relieved to get out of there. I supose it's too late to do so now!

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  13. Glad you are out of that mess! Sounds like you had an interesting experience.

    Found your blog today and love it!!! I will read regularly.

    Kathy

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  14. Thanks, Kathy and welcome to my frazzled world!

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  15. Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for popping by on FB (Lulliloo Designs). I had a nasty accident horse riding several years back and I can honestly say I got about the same standard of care! 12 weeks with a trapped nerve after I shattered my upper arm and only because my doctor had to jet off to the US and shunted me on to someone else they finally decided to operate (4 months after I broke my arm I finally came out of hospital with a metal plate and 8 screws - 18 months later I finally got most of the movement back).
    I was so lucky that I didn't damage my back and I cannot imagine how terrible that must have been. Putting up with that with an injured arm was bad enough, at least you don't rely on that to walk!

    I think you'll find that you have several years to lodge a complaint, but I think like you most people just get so fed up they just want to walk away and put things behind them.

    Anyway, I'll stop rattling on! :)) So lovely to have read your blog and I'm now following and liked your FB. Absolutely love the wrapped wire rings - one of my favourite things right now :)
    Melissa

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  16. Melissa, thanks so much for your comments. I really hope you are OK now. Your injury sounds far worse than mine was. Onward and upward is the only way!

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  17. Wow Amanda, when you said you'd hurt your back I had no idea...you were amazingly lucky and along with Wendy, I'm glad you found the beads, too!
    PS...I'm not stalking you , promise! Just like you and want to know more...still sound stalkerish??? Lol! xxx

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  18. Loved reading this Amanda !!
    You certainly looked the picture of health when we met :)
    You're a feisty chica and I'm happy to know you galfriend xox
    Vicki

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