“No laughing, coughing, sneezing or breathing until the pain subsides” was the recommendation my IP (Imaginary Physician) gave me after hearing the details of my symptoms. Without X-rays it would be impossible to tell if I had bruised, cracked or broken a rib, but the bottom line was there was nothing Medical Science could do to speed my recovery. For the next two to four weeks, I would just have to live with the pain.
“No Problem” I said to myself. It’s a small price to pay for 44 years of bliss on horseback. Even when added to the other cracked ribs, bloody lips, broken bones, concussions and stitches from mishaps along the way, the price is paltry.
My personal prescription, therefore, is to consider a few of these memories whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself:
- Galloping across acres of cropland with my best buddy, Bob
- Jumping fallen logs in woods blanketed in dogwood blooms
- Painting our horses and riding in parades
- Watching a Perseid Meteor Shower with Bob while laying back on our horses, our heads on their rumps
- Swimming in an irrigation ditch with my horse paddling after me like a dog
- Watching the sparks fly from the hooves of Bob’s horse at twilight as we gallop home for dinner
- Leaping through snow drifts bareback, our legs warm against their winter coats
- Pulling Bob across the pasture on snow skis
- Leading riders through the rain forest, machete in hand, to Mayan ruins, waterfalls and caves
- Topping a rise to see a herd of antelope on what is now the Denver Tech Center
- Picking asparagus for supper and putting it in our saddle bags
- Cantering along a Caribbean beach on Fat Bunky
- And most recently, fox-trotting in open pasture on Silver and Monty with my good friend, Sharyl