Sunday, December 6, 2009
I did not take these photos today, I actually took them quite a few months ago, on the way home from Phil's last doctors appointment.
It was about four months after being married, and living on a ranch in New Mexico. When my brother and his then girlfriend came to my house to partake of the beauty and ride some horses in the big country. As we saddled up in the new mexican heat wave, Phil decided to jump onto the 2 year old Fillie he had been training for a year ahead. As I watched him walk along side where the stock trailer was parked, the fillie began to act up. She started skipping and hopping, then suddenly and unexpectedly bucked. As I watched this happen, as if it were a movie, Phils body jolted forward, straddling the horses neck. She gave one final and quick kick, causing Phil to violently fly backwards, her hind end struck phils backside and he flew at least 7 or 8 feet into the air. I watched this slow motion movie. He fell to the ground,hard.When he hit, he fell directly onto his left hip. And in an act of shock, he quickly jolted onto the right side of his body,and groaned. I have to admit, knowing Phil, I thought he might jump right back up and say some self proclaimed gesture like " Im a real cowboy!" Well, He is. He is the bravest one I've ever met. Because as I laughed to myself, and ran to his side. It was quickly brought to my attention that he wasnt going to jump up and brag. He was hurt.His face was nearly translucent, white as can be. His left hand held tightly to his left hip in an attempt to make his leg feel better. And it would never work. Because as I look down, It had become swollen immediatly.It looked as though he has a pillow stuffed in his pants. Instant saddle bag. The first words out of his mouth were " I think you need to call 911, I think I broke my hip." I asked my brother to pull the truck over so we could load him in, but realized he was so hurt and broken to move on our own. We happened to be at the headquarters of our ranch, where our ranch hand, Guierllmo, had his house. I ran to the door, and in an effort to speak spanish to his sweet wife- said- "telefono?" And thankfully she understood. I dialed 911 and asked where the nearest ambulence was. I'm sure you're thinking I should have asked for help imediatly, But in the event that we were 22miles from town, down a spiraling dirt road and at a place where there was no physical address, I needed to know how quickly they could get Phil to the hospital. In an huge blessing from our father in heaven, there was actually an ambulence there in Quemado.( probably in the event that any cowboy would get hurt riding crazy horses, or moving cattle) I asked then to send one quickly and hung up. Then I realized I had given her directions but that they may not know where that was. So , I called back. I said " I know you will be my best friend by the end of the day! Im sure Ill call a few more times. But..." and further explained the directions. The heat was bad, and I knew Phil, being in shock and in an intense pain that I could not begin to explain, needed relief. So, since I cannot speak spanish, and Phil is fluent, I asked him to tell Guierllmo to bring something to cover him from the sun. So, in pain and lying on the hard, rocky ground, he could even translate. I'll have you know, I was feeling an intense calm. Convinced and faithful that Phil would be just fine. I constantly said prayers that he would stay calm. That his pain would reside and that he would know he would be okay. I know that that sweet spirit that comforts us in time of need, was with us. I also know, I was not the one feeling pain. But I knew I was there with Phil in that moment for a purpose. He needed my calm. I need him to be calm and because of that- I was blessed to be peaceful. Think clearly and help Phil know he'd be cared for. As I sat on the ground, his head rested on my thigh. Guillermo held the piece of plywood over us so hat the sun would not shine. He was even whiter. He breathed as though he couldnt and his grasped his leg still. I knew he was hurting and had to know how soon that ambulence would arrive. So I ran and called 911 again. The same girl answered, and I was glad, because she truly was a friend in that moment. She told me it would be okay, they are very close. So I returned to Phil. As I approached him, the ambulences sirens reared in the background, attempting to warn us of their approach. I was instantly in protection mode. I think it might have been the mode a mother would go in, if she knew someone she didnt know was going to handle her baby when they are hurt. I felt exactly that. Please don't hurt him anymore, I thought to myself. They woman and man came quickly from the ambulence and asked what happend. I told them and as they inspected Phil, they said his may have broken his hip. For a cowboy, that would be the worst news. They proceeded to cut off his jeans ( which Phil would complain later that those were his favorite wranglers) They told me they had to remove his boot, and in some idiotic act, they began unbuckling his spurs instead. I told them they only need to pull of his boot, because the spurs would come with them. And they did just that. I held Phils hand, I knew it would hurt him, pulling on a leg that had a broken bone. He screamed and moaned and my stomach hurt. I wanted to cry for him. I always thought id be the one to get bucked off a horse. Why couldnt it be me? They finally got both boots off and as they lifted him be his side to slide him onto a gurny, he screamed again. I noise I never wanted to hear again. My wish wasnt granted. They loaded him in and I climbed in and sat next to him for a moment. I grabbed his hand and stroked his face.And in that moment,a tear fell from his eye. He hurt and he needed that touch to comfort him. I wanted to cry but knew he didnt need that. I asked my brother to drive my truck home and I asked if I could go in the ambulence. We began was seemed like the longest journey down a dirt road, with bumps and dips that could make for the perfect fourwheeling. But not the perfect friend for Phils leg. He felt every little bump, and I knew it. He screamed everytime. He is strong and tough but when a man is in a pain so intense, he cannot pretend he is okay. It is a way of survival. And I hated that survival tactic. But, We made it to the road.The road to the town east of Quemado was 125 miles.( needless to say, they coulndt even give Phil pain killers,I dont think many of us could even fathom that idea.) A journey that most would never have to drive with their husband screaming in the back seat. But I did, and Prayer was my best friend that drive. The driver spoke to me softly, telling me its okay that I didnt like it, He was not yet used to hearing people scream as he drove. He was responsible for hitting bumps, missing cracks and safely getting people to the hospital. In our case, The weather was bad, So instead of being airvacced , we drove 125 miles to soccorro. Where they loaded Phil onto a plane made for 3 people. They told me I could go. Because I was so caught up in being there for Phil, I forgot to grab my wallet, or anything. I only had a phone. I didnt even think that when we arived to the hospital, Id be alone and have no money or way to get anywhere. But that was okay, I was there.And that, was enough. On the drive over I called Phils mom, and told her the news. They planned to get on a plane the next morning and meet me at the hospital. I got loaded onto the small plane and was sitting in the seat that was in the tail of the plane. By this time, the men helping has drugged phil. His arms were like noodles, flailing of the gurny and his mouth slightly open as if he was in a deep sleep. We began to go down the runway..I have to say, I joked with the men. I was calmer. Knowing Phil wasnt hurting. I was also looking forward to the turbulence and rollercoaster ride Id get in that small plane. I help Phils legs, because he was so numbed, he didnt know his legs were sliding off the gurny, so I held him in place. The men on the plane told me I was doing very well and Laughed when I would smile at the plane dropping. I felt better. I felt good that I was able to have such a clear mind amidst chaos. We landed in albequerque about 25min later. We were met by another ambulence and I just tagged along as they quickly loaded Phil in and drove him through the busy and very bumpy streets. We arrived to UNM hospital. I was feeling good that Phil wasnt hurting, but I , for a small moment, felt alone. But then I knew I could handle this. I was meant to deal with these things, and I was able to do it alone. I am strong and I am able. And I was. We walked into the trauma where they put Phil on a table to take xrays. The nurses and doctors proceeded to ask about insurance and the story behind his broken leg. They let me look at his xrays as they took them and Allowed me to be near Phil the entire time. I was grateful. Needless to say, I had many funny looks. In the event of this crazyness, I had forgotten All I had was my filthy button up, some very dirty jeans, a messy ponytail and...boots with spurs. I jingled everywhere. And I think I noticed every person, especially the security check me spurs out. I was a walking attraction. When they were done they took us away, where they took Phil and asked me to sit for a few minutes by myself. I called my mom, My grandpa called me, and I was alone. Sitting in a hallway, thinking how I could do this without my mom to hug me, or without someone to hold my hand. And I could, but not right then. I wanted someone, or even a voice. I only sat for a half hour but It felt like an eternity. Finally they arrived back with Phil lying in a drugged daze. We were sent to a room in the bottom floor where they send all the trauma patents. They had told me they think he broke the ball of his hip and his femur. So they kept us in a tiny room. Phil slept and I sat, alone. Trying not to wake him. I began to realize I was light headed. So, completely embarrased, I asked if i could have a sprite. I think the receptionist know my life story by the time we were moved to another room. Poor thing. I was flooded with so much support from the people in my branch (extra small ward). Tawana was soo sweet. She drove the 2 hours all the way to Alb just to bring me clothes and be with me. Timber and Ace called and had a brother in law come give Phil a blessing. One that I think would eventually lead Phil to a quick recovery. A blessing I could never repay them for. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and knew I needed these people, and I am so grateful they were willing to drop everything and help. I couldnt have done it without them, and I thank them with my whole heart. One day, Ill repay them. Finally after a sprite, and what seemed like 5,000 phone calls, and a few hours, they moved us. We were up a few floors and now, we had a bigger room.It has a small bay window that had a bench.As the night came in the room, I felt a bit more alone. Knowing Phil needed sleep, I sat quietly. Waiting for Tawana. The nurse came in to tell me they wanted him into surgery as soon as they could. But that it might not be until midnight. I waited patiently. Finally, Tawana arrived with a bag of clothes. It was close to midnight, but we had time to run and get food. We ran out to tawanas trucks and hit up the nearest fast food place. I wasnt too hungry, but if I was going to stay awake through the surgery, I needed energy. We got taco bell. Gross. We hurried back and I as I walked in, the nurse hurried over and told me they were waiting for me. They needed to take Phil into surgery right then. I ran to the elavator with Tawana. We ran down the hall and made it just as they rolled him to the surgery room doors.But, he wasnt calm. He wasnt okay, He needed pain meds. But as he sat on that gurney,and groaned the doc (who I suspect was new) proceeded to ask Phil question. My heart hurt, but my chest was burning up, the kind of burn you feel when you get angry enough to punch some sense into someone. I almost did. I looked at Phil and told him he'd be okay. And that I loved him.And Finally, the doctor got my hint, hurry up and give him meds! who cared about the questions Id been asked 50times before. Then, I asked the doctor if I could watch the surgery. They just laughed. I assumed that meant no. They pushed Phil off and I walked back to the waiting room where Tawana waited. I was grateful to see her beautiful face. We went back to the room where I ate. We talked for a minute and I told her she didnt need to stay. I told her I would just sleep for a bit. I told her Id be okay. I was lying, but I also knew Id be okay. She left and told me to call her any minute I needed her. I was thankful. She left and I walked over to the bench, in this dark room. I had a bag of clothes that werent mine and an empty heart. The nurse came in, and I asked her if I could shower off. She told me "Im not supposed to let you, but Im goin to let you, I know how it feels to be alone". My heart wa thankful for a Heavenly Father who Loves me enough to send people the message that I needed them. Even though I never cried, even though I was on my own, every once in awhile I needed comfort. And I recieved that. I showered, Which felt weird. But I was finally clean. I put on some clean clothes and walked out of the room in some comfy sweat and socks. All I had were boots. That wasnt on my list of things to accomplish at the hospital "wear boots with pajamas around hopital." I walked to the elavator and when I got in I realized it smelt like a doctors office. and that If I was caught walking around in socks, they might not like me. So, I tried, really hard, to cover my feet up with the long sweat pants. and I was successful. But Im pretty sure it was obvious that I was doing that, But no one said a word. I got to the waiting room and sat in the chairs that look soft, but arent. They have big wooden arm rests, that arent very restful. There were sports on, and a very cute old man in the corner behind me, trying to catch some z's. I sat for awhile and realized my butt was numb. No bueno. So I walked back to the room to see if my chalupa was soggy. It was. I threw it away and walked back down to the waiting room. It was nearly 2 hours. So I just went back to the room, folded a blanket and layed my head down on my arm to try and sleep away my empty feelings. I tried to sleep away my feelings until I could have someone lying next to me, and until I could know it would all be fine. It was. and I knew that. I never doubted it. Perhaps it was because of he blessing Phil recieved. But I think from the moment he hit that concrete packed dirt, He was strong. He would be okay. They Finally wheeled Phil into the room. I felt to relieved. And then I was able to sleep with him sleeping next to me.
Phils parents arrived the next day with a care bag from my mom and sister that contained new comfy pants, a new shirt and some very comy flip flops. Even bathroom essentials! My mom sure knew how to make me feel like she was right there with me. I love her and am so grateful for her support. And I hope she knows I was okay. Phils parents rented a hotel, they even got me my own room. It was big and empty. But, We went to walmart, got a whole slew of things we'd need for the next week. Even makeup so I could feel normal. We returned to the hotel where I showered and put on my new, clean, and very comfy clothes. We planned to eat at applebees in an hour. So we could all nap. I couldnt. So, Oprah kept me company. Finally, they came to my door. We ate some very yummy food, or what seemed to be yummy cause I was starving. We made it back to the hotel, Phil had his new and improved steel rod and leg and my tummy was full. We visited. And when it was time to leave, I couldnt. I felt bad that they got my own room for me, but I wanted to be by Phils Side. And I would. The rest of this hospital stay, which was about 5 days, was successful. All was going well. I felt like Phil personal Nurse, and it would be that way for another 3 months. We slept on a blowup mattress pad in the living room or on the couches. Woke up every 2 hours to take pain meds. It was eventful and heartwrenching. My house was a mess and I felt like one. But the journey was worth it. Phils leg Is completely fixed. He rides horses and does everything he used to. He even got bucked off again, but on soft dirt this time, and laughed. I didnt think it was funny. I didnt wanna go through that again.
The reason I shared this, is because today, I am grateful. Grateful for love, for friends and for trials. I am grateful that I am strong and that I was blessed with the personality that I have, I know we each are given our specific traits for a purpose and in some way, we lift, strengthen and build eachother up. I know that I have been blessed. And I know that this life on earth is only the beginning. I am being molded, gaining knowledge and growing stronger to be with my family, friends and Father in Heaven. I know that I can always be watched over and that I am. I know I have support and always will. And I hope you know that I hope that I will see each of you, my friends, family or even those I dont know, In heaven. For, the trials we have here on earth, the people we encounter, are all for a purpose.
I marvel at the beauty of the earth and and at the Love I am blessed with. As I posted the above Photos, I was thankful this day for all that I have,and All that Phil and I have over come. A peace I will always have, and will always be grateful for.
(Phils leg after he for the rod and three pins put in.)