Feeling Concussed

So, it’s happened three times to me now…that amazingly other-worldly sensation of losing time due to my skull coming into contact with something a lot harder than it is. The first time was many years ago when the bicycle I was riding was struck by a car. I remembered who I was when I regained consciousness, but not how I got there or where I was. Those memories returned later. But I was 12–12-year-olds have younger brains than…well, I guess that goes without saying.
I’ve had three concussions since then, though I didn’t lose consciousness (or time) with one of them, and didn’t have concussive symptoms until a few days later. All three of these events, as you might have guessed, occurred during an “unscheduled dismount” from a horse. Two of them were particularly bad. With those two, I got up, walked, talked, and was otherwise active, and have no memory at all. None of these events were fun. This latest one was particularly not fun, probably because it just happened last week.
And I’m still feeling concussed.
What I’m discovering is concussed is both a physical and a mental/emotional state of being. And at my age, there’s just no such thing as bouncing back quickly. Or perhaps, bouncing back at all. It’s pretty scary, actually.
And yet…I’ve been horse-crazy since I was a kid. Was also a poor kid, whose parents said she’d grow out of it in time. But I never did. I didn’t get my first horse until after I was married, and except for a few months, have had horses for nearly 40 years since then. The reality is, I don’t know who or what I’ll be, exactly, if I don’t have a horse in my life. In many ways, my horsey-ness defines me.
But I don’t like getting hurt. I really don’t. I don’t like being ‘concussed.’ And for the first few days after this latest accident, I didn’t allow myself to think about it all too seriously. It’s not a good idea to make major decisions when your brain is floating around loosely within your skull (or whatever the exact definition of ‘concussion’ is). But…things are changing. And the decisions were made before this last unscheduled dismount. Here’s a picture of Callie:IMG_0753
Isn’t she cute? Does she look like a (wo)man-eater? {Sigh} No, she’s not. But she’s more horse than I should be trying to handle in my almost-sunset years and she’s going back to her other mom tomorrow. The reason she’s going back is not because of her involvement with my latest concussion but because my daughter will be teaching in Europe this year…and is bringing her two horses to live with me for the duration. But I’ll miss Callie. I know it’s crazy, but it’s true. She’s been my girl for the last year and a half and it makes me sad to let her go.
But, concussed or not, it looks like I’ll still have horses around for awhile. I just need to remember a poster I saw a number of years ago. Along with the photo of a very cute pony, the words said–You can love a horse and ride it, but a horse can love you and kill you.
Words to live by.

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About raincountrywriter

Child of God, freelance writer, horse lover.
This entry was posted in Mostly Horses, writing about horses and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Feeling Concussed

  1. I’m so sorry! There’s definitely an emotional side to head injuries. I sold the last horse who bucked me off … I knew I’d never trust him again. He was a good horse, a beautiful horse, and I loved him. At the time I questioned my lack of bravery, my inability to get back on. A wise friend said, “That’s not cowardice, that’s wisdom.”

    • Thanks, Lauren. Yes, this emotional thing is one of the hardest parts of it. I don’t know if I’m really upset about something…or that my brain has just lowered the stress mechanism! And thanks for the comment from your wise friend–I knew I shouldn’t keep trying to jump, but I didn’t want to be cowardly, so pushed on. End result? Should have listened to that little voice in my head. {Sigh} Leaving for Slovakia in the morning with a group from New Heights; hopefully, when I get back in 2.5 weeks, I’ll be able to make a rational decision about where I’m going, horse-wise. Enjoy your summer!

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