A Broad Ribbon

So after a horrendous week that I would prefer to leave most of in the bin, I had the most amazing day Saturday. As a lot of you will have seen (if you follow me on FB) that I was at a National Show with one of my horses. I have American Paint Horses, they look like what the Apaches used to ride many moons ago.

Now the problem for me with my horses is:

a) its almost impossible to get a horse ready for a show with one arm (plaiting of the mane, clipping ears, snout and legs, painting hooves, horse make-up on the head, checkers on the rump, and of course the washing – so much washing) – horses do not come out of a paddock looking like mine
b) riding at a show with one arm is probably prohibited – not sure yet
c) leading a horse at a show must be done with the horse on the right – quite difficult without your right arm
d) in addition to that above the simple task of bridling a horse, putting it into the float, dragging it to a show, putting its hay in hay feeders – everything is difficult with one arm.

Also, if you cast your mind back, the one and only show I ever ventured to post my accident a few weeks ago was a disaster and my horse kicked me in the ring (that means in front of the judge whilst working out for a placing – not in my bum – hahahaha) for my efforts. Now before you think that horse deserves the glue factory (admittedly it crossed my mind momentarily at the time) it wasn’t his fault. I pulled him out of the paddock @ 2 years old – just, fed to the eyeballs, and asked a lot of him and pretty much got what I deserved.

So when I woke up on Saturday at 4am next to a snoring husband I thought momentarily about jabbing him (snoring cure) and rolling over to go back to sleep, but there were some friends at the show I really wanted to see and I did wonder – would I regret not going? My gorgeous friends had also offered to help me plait (make the beautiful braids in the horses mane) so I thought, get your disabled ass out of bed Roxanne and move.

Plus I had worked and washed the horse the night before.

To his credit my horse, who remember is a baby, just 2yo, came to me and got his halter on and walked into the float in the dark without hesitation. This was reasonably difficult with one arm, but every time i achieve something like this it makes me happy. So i dragged my horse that I loaded in the dark on my own across the countryside by myself to the Arena where the National Show was.

As I drove in I spotted one of my friends, the Mum of my girlfriend, who I was so happy to see. She came and hugged me and I thought even if everything goes wrong today, I am already glad I came.

You see I met these ladies and their kid(s) – one bun was in the oven – exactly a year ago at this exact show of 2016 – when i deliciously had TWO arms. I instantly felt bonded with mother and daughter and what a find they were. They were open and helpful and I loved them immediately. We then spent Sydney Royal 2017 (the biggest show in Australia) together and I could not wait for our next adventure.

So the morning unfolded with the girls helping me enormously as I was on first @ 8am. Of course my darling 2yo horse had slept in his own shit and needed re-washing, measuring, identifying, plaiting and prepping. Including me – I needed hair, make-up, dressing in show outfit, hat etc. Not as easy as it sounds with one arm.

Anyway we did it all and out I went. The first class was a ‘futurity’ class or a class just for young horses. It was a big line up. As luck would have it I went out, a bit nervous to work out in a big class at a National show in the indoor arena, and when my horse had kicked me last attempt, and my baby horse was a right gem. No kicking or naughtiness (he only kicked me last time as I was trying to make him run by flicking a whip behind me – and he kicked at the whip but got me in the process). BUT as we ran along the back straight of the work out, the part where you try and show the movement of the horse by running as fast as possible, my skirt fell down.

I know. How much fucking bad can a person have luck right.

So I am running along incredulous that my baby horse is being an angel, running wonderfully on the right with no right arm and I felt my skirt fall down ever so slightly, then I think “no that bastard is really coming down” and when my whole arse is on display I stop running, pull the horse up in the middle of the workout and grab my skirt with my only arm which was pre-occupied holding a 600kg animal – at pace – and apologise to the judges for my wardrobe malfunction. 🤦🏻‍♀️. They laughed – all three of them. They weren’t good undies either – grey cotton boy legs. Eeek.

So this class they award at the end of the day when everything else is finished. So I thought I would get last given my butt came out for a visit. But that was ok. I had adopted Husband’s philosophy of just having fun. We all laughed and laughed and wondered if the official photographer had caught it.

I then took my baby on to win first in his junior class and then we won Champion Junior (baby) of Australia. When the judge called me out I cried like a baby. Then the judge cried. And the photographer cried. And the steward cried. I think even my shit arm cried. #tearsfordays

Anyhoo after all that excitement we got a few more ribbons including a third in the ‘pants down’ fiasco class. Amazing!

My beautiful friends hauled in a shit load of trophies also which was just lovely. I am trying to find a way to thank them properly. They deserved them though with a magnificent stallion to boot.

So my brachial plexus message is this – I was judged alongside two armed competitors (ALL of them), undid bottles, containers and horse make up with my feet and my onegoodarm. I laughed, told stories, listened and enjoyed every moment with these beautiful friends. I wished they lived closer.

So just when I thought about giving up, moving on, giving up something I have done my whole life, we won, we got the trophy and I was so glad I got out of bed.

My good arm hurt, my bad arm hurt, everything hurt really. But i got myself there and home again and with the help of some amazing friends anything is possible.

Working is good for you

I have always loved working.  In this way I am blessed.  If you love your job you never really have to work, as working is enjoyable.  This for me is very true.  Especially now as I love my current job – which I have had for more than a decade, I happily work long hours as I am passionate about the company I work for, the work I do and my team.

I have dedicated my entire career to helping others, my job is either keeping people safe or building frameworks to help them when injured.  It is ironical is some ways that someone who dedicated their whole life to safety suffered a life long injury slamming into something at 200kph.  What is ironical in truth is that the event that injured me is a never event, all the planets aligned in a negative way and an event occurred that should not have been able to.  Ironical.

So for the last 28 days I have been blundering around between a drug hazed stupor and pain related exhaustion.  One load of washing or trying to put on my bra required a lay down.  Struggling into a new pair of underpants and sports bra left me heaving like a marathon runner.

Despite this I have dragged my ass to work a number of times despite being certified unfit.  The first day I went to work was 3 days after being discharged from hospital and on that day I did two separate one hour presentations on separate subjects.  One was to a room full of 45 CEOs.  I didn’t miss a beat in either, except for an excess amount of sweating.

At least I don’t have a brain injury.

So the point I am painstakingly getting to is work is good for you.  I currently cannot drive (one of the perks of a serious injury – your licence is cancelled), I live over an hour from my work, I am exhausted all the time, I have every excuse under the sun to stay on the lounge but every day I want to go.  Because when I am there I am busy and I stop thinking about how much pain I am in.  I feel like I did before my injury.

It is the same when our house is buzzing, the kids are running around, my husband and I are doing jobs and I forget I am in pain or that I only have one good arm.  For a moment anyway (or until that god damned plastic bag shows its stupid face).

So today was the first full day, well eight hours anyway.  A full day for me normally is closer to double that.  Whilst I hit the wall of exhaustion in the afternoon I enjoyed being there, thinking, responding, making decisions and being the normal me.  My arm or lack of it was not relevant and that felt great.

So I continue to be a believer of the work is good for you philosophy.  Hi ho hi ho, its off to work I go.

This was me today in my office, which I love, slowly smashing out left handed emails until my dragon software arrives.