Broken wrist leads to new hairdo, and other things I can do one-handed

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pam Stone on her own, Go Forrest Go.

Pam Stone on her own, Go Forrest Go.

So last Friday afternoon, I broke my wrist (of course, horse related – it’s always horse related) and the conversation, approximately one minute before I mounted up, went like this:

“OK, I can’t afford to get hurt so before I get on, is there anything I need to know about this guy? Any buck or rear?”

“No, nothing like that, he’s too lazy.”

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We walked sedately half way around the arena. He stopped, I clucked for him to walk as I squeezed with my calves and his response was to rear up … and fall over, scrambling to the right until he landed on his bum, outside the arena, beneath an oak tree.

I’m a church goin’ gal and even though I caught sight of my left wrist crumpling grotesquely upon impact, as far as I’m concerned, the good Lord grabbed me under the arm pits and flung me far out of danger (I mean really far, I mean, like, Chesnee) to the left, and I am eternally grateful not to have been eyeballing that horse’s back coming down upon me, crushing my chest and pelvis – a common and sometimes fatal, scenario.

It’s sort of like if a big rig cut you off and you rolled your SUV and found yourself ejected somewhere on the side of the road with just a broken bone. Your first thought would be, “Seriously? I’m still alive? Well, thank you! Thank you very much, indeed!”

So that’s how my Memorial Day weekend began. There was no operating room available when I got to ER, so was sent home in a splint and hefty dose of oxycodone (which I advise never to take, unless you don’t mind the feeling of charcoal briquettes exiting your colon, four days later), then returned Saturday for surgery with plates and screws and a note for the TSA, only to return Sunday at 4 a.m., whimpering and cussin’ because I got behind the pain by not taking enough meds.

In six weeks this will all be behind me and I’m ever so grateful for my support team consisting of Paul, who drove me hastily to ER and sat quietly as I came to from surgery, announcing, among other things, the drugs must be great because I dreamt Trump had the nomination, and has blearily headed out to the barn at 7 a.m., sharp, to feed and muck stalls, while assorted horse friends and my sister have taken turns hand-walking my horse, Forrest, as he continues his own rehab.

The biggest surprise of all is learning what I can do with just one hand! At 6 feet 2 inches (“We’re gonna need a longer gurney,” said one operating room nurse), I’ve always had big ol’ man hands. Which is why I never wore delicate, feminine women’s wristwatches. They look ridiculous around my big, bony wrist. I always wore a vintage, round-faced men’s watch with a thick, leather band. Don’t ask me why, but it always made me feel like Amelia Earhart. I’m pretty sure she’d never have worn a dinky, girlie one.

I have found that in my crustacean-like work-hardened claw, I can open a bottle of Advil – that’s right, squeeze the cap with two pincher fingers while I turn the bottle with my palm, blowing through the entire ‘childproof’ (and elderly, arthritic knuckles proof) safety feature in three seconds. I can also feed the dogs and fill, wedging the empty, opened gel capsule in the fingers of my broken wrist, with an eyedropper, the herbal supplements Bonnie takes for her heart and liver.

I can even, I thought triumphantly, wash my own hair!

Drying was a different story. And once again, Paul came to the rescue. My thin, fine hair needs to be blown dry with a section of hair wound around a round brush, hair dryer trained upon it. For a man who can disassemble a bush hog and repair the thing, or erect a garden gate or rebuild a transmission of a 1970 Triumph TR-6, I kinda thought hovering the dryer back and forth upon a few inches of hair at a time would be a cake walk. Nope. He got that same queasy look as do men who have to go shopping in a Victoria’s Secret at Christmas.

“Just hold the thing near the hair!” I said, exasperated, as we crammed in next to the mirror in the upstairs bath, “Closer! It’s never going to dry if you hold the damned thing in Virginia!”

“Won’t it burn it?” He said nervously, moving the nozzle level with my scalp.

“It is, NOW!” I bellowed, above the din, “You’re burning my ear off!”

Suffice it to say he was relieved to be relieved of his duty and this past week I’ve looked something like Buster Brown (on a good day) or Bill the Cat (on not a good day). So if you see me on the street with my cast, now you don’t have to ask, “What happened??” And I won’t have to make up a new tale out of boredom, and reply, “I was attacked by a Sanders supporter!”

Also, please don’t say, “Will you keep riding?” because that’s just stupid. I’ve got two more horses arriving for training as soon as this cast is off and I can’t wait – and yes, I know these particular horses very well!

But please do say, “I LOVE your hair! Who’s your stylist?”

You can even wink.