IntrepidWoman's Journey

Posts Tagged ‘pain

Having a high pain tolerance is not always a good thing. My story:

Many years ago I lived on a farm, 3 km south of Lundbreck, with my horse Freckles. It was a beautiful place, with the house sitting on a hill, overlooking the valley all the way to the road that led back to town.

Winter was tough as the snow had melted and re-frozen into lots of ice around the house. One day I happened to look out and spied Freckles almost a mile down the road. There was a cattle guard so I could not imagine how he had escaped the fenced area.

I hurriedly donned winter wear and headed down the road to the cattle guard. It looked like it was frozen over. Freckles was old so I did not think he had jumped it. Being a city kid, I decided he must have walked across the frozen guard so I proceeded to do the same. I fell in with my right leg, all the way up past my shin. It hurt, but I was more concerned about rescuing Freckles so I hobbled down the road, finally catching him and bringing him home, locking him in a corral for his own safety.

The next day I went to my doctor who sent me for an x-ray. He said I had 3 cracked bones.  Being dumb and not really understanding what that meant, (cracked is broken, duh!), I continued on with life and took Tylenol for the pain.

About a week later, I came down the steps from the house and fell hard. It was nearly 9 pm and I knew I had some serious damage as I heard the bones snap as I landed on the ice.

My first thought was that I had to get into town to the little store before it closed at 9 pm to get someone to help me, as I was alone. I dragged myself into my Bronco with standard transmission and drove into town with my injured leg having to move between gas and clutch petals. My high boot was keeping everything in place.

As I pulled into town and stopped near the store, I realized I was going into shock and that the store was already closed. I parked in the middle of the road and a couple in a van stopped to help me.

The story only gets worse from here. The man drove me in his vehicle to the hospital in Blairmore while his wife followed in my vehicle. Once in emergency, the hospital cut off my boot and phoned the doctor on call. He was busy with his cows and told them to put me in a bed and he would see me in the morning. During all this, I refused morphine because I wanted to remain lucid.

I was mad at the doctor for not coming in so left the hospital and ended up on a friend’s couch for the night, with my leg propped up on pillows. The next day my son came and drove me to the hospital in Pincher Creek. They took one look at my leg and phoned ahead to Lethbridge to arrange for an orthopedic surgeon and surgery.

After finally letting them give me a shot of morphine, I laid in the backseat of the Bronco and endured a bumpy ride to the city. They offered an ambulance, but of course I said no.

After surgery that included a steel plate and pins to hold together 3 breaks, I had a cast from my toes up to my knee. I wanted to go home. The surgeon said I had to stay in the hospital until I was able to walk to the bathroom because I had no one to look after me at home. As soon as he left, I hobbled to the bathroom, pulled the cord for the nurse, then told her to tell the doctor I was leaving. He said it was against his advice, but I left.

Next time I saw my family doctor, he gave me heck because I should not have been walking on bones that were ‘cracked’ after the first fall. He had not told me that at the time, but assumed I understood. Poor fellow was my doctor for many years and I always made him earn his fee.

Best part of story – I was told to stay home for at least 9 weeks and they would not be giving me a walking cast. One of my students phoned me after about a month and pleaded for me to come back. The substitute teacher in my art room was not to his liking. I did go back and sat on a chair with my leg up. I was just as happy to be back in the classroom as my student!

So what did my bravery due to a high pain tolerance get me? Today I have osteoarthritis in my ankle and it can be a real pain some days. BUT: I also have a story in dumbassery to tell, (according to friend Deanna.)  Is ‘dumbassery’ a word? With stories from my life, I can make it so.

 

 

 

 

 

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