Know what I hate? I hate working out and then going outside when it is cold. I hate that feeling of being hot and sweating and then instantly freezing. Yeeee … I shivered just thinking about it. Miserable. And lately it's been really cold here. Like hurt deep down in your tushie cold. And the normal discomfort of the cold after a workout has been replaced with downright pain. Especially since I rarely remember to bring warm, dry clothes to change into after a workout. Thankfully, I have The Hub who looks out for me and makes sure I have at least a hat to wear when we leave the gym. Last night, after our workout, he offered me the choice between the orange fleece hat or the black knit cap. I chose the black knit cap and pulled it tightly down over my sweaty ponytail and soon to be icicle ear lobes.
Fast forward a little bit later and I'm sitting at my desk in the office typing up an email. I had removed my coat and scarf and my wet clothes and put on my pjs. I still, however, had on my hat because it was chilly in the house and a hat does a lot of good in that area. So there I am typing away when The Hub asks me a question from the hallway. As I answered he moved into the office. I was still looking down as I answered but tracking him with my peripheral vision. I could see he was just standing there. Looking at me. I finished answering him and looked up. We locked eyes for a brief second before he turned away. It was then I caught my reflection in the big mirror across from my desk. Pjs. No makeup. All of my hair tucked up inside a cap pulled way down on my head.
"Hey!" I cried, "I look like Chemo Jenne!"
A few months ago my friend, HOLLIE! broke her ass. Well, she didn't break it, it was broken for her. By a horse. A really big and feisty horse. And a very hard saddle.
There's not much HOLLIE won't try or do. She's a bit feisty herself. Feisty may be the wrong word … fierce. That's a better word. HOLLIE is fierce. She's determined. She's a planner AND a doer. When she was going on vacation with her boyfriend (hi Rob!) last year to Italy I asked her about month before if she was going to try to see Michelangelo's David. "It's on the itinerary!" she said and I guess I assumed either a) she meant it was on a mental list of things they wanted to do or b) they were joining some sort of tour group for the day and it was on their itinerary. But no. What HOLLIE meant was it was on HER itinerary. The one she had created. The spreadsheet of places to go and things to see all tied to a timeslot and directions and special notes. I just had to laugh because I went to Italy the year before and not only was my "itinerary" mental, it only contained two items 1) drink wine and 2) eat pasta while drinking wine. But that's so HOLLIE. What's even better is she sent it to me and I have to say it was wonderful to be able to know at any given minute (and yes, I do mean minute) where they were and what they were doing. HOLLIE doesn't miss a trick. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that when given an opportunity to ride a big, feisty horse HOLLIE would respond with "Giddyup!"
(Now, at this point, HOLLIE would chime in here and tell you all the reasons why she shouldn't have been on that particular horse and why that horse was saddled too early and what sequence of events led up to the disastrous decision for her to be on that horse and why in the hell didn't the owners of the ranch have some sort of spreadsheet to keep track of all of this? But the bottom-line, pardon the pun, is …)
…. Her butt was broken. Not in Italy, in Colorado. They were at a dude ranch (seriously, who goes to Italy AND a dude ranch in the same year?). She was on a horse, the horse took off, she bounced up and down… hard… and her tailbone broke. It was fractured … not just bruised or beaten but fractured. And it hurt. So bad that she had to sit on a donut for like 6 weeks. My total planner and put together friend had to carry around and sit on a therapeutic donut seat so her boom boom could heal.
(pause here so I can laugh again … Not at! I swear I'm not laughing AT! … It really was terrible. It's just … okay I know, I shouldn't laugh. And I'm not. I won't. <deep breath> okay, I'm composed again)
So the tailbone broke and because of it she couldn't work out for a long time, she couldn't complete the bike ride across Iowa she'd been planning (seriously, who goes to Italy and a dude ranch AND rides across Iowa on a bike all in the same year?), and could barely sit without pain for WEEKS … months even. It was awful. And I'm sure I don't know the half of it. I'm sure it was much more painful and terrible than she let on. But she's much better now and back to doing all the things she did before and the donut is long put away.
Then this past week HOLLIE wrote me to tell me she had to have a cracked molar replaced. This is terrible news for HOLLIE because she loves her teeth and also because it's a hell of a process to fix it. Apparently the problem of the cracked molar was exacerbated by an infection. An infection that was started when the tooth cracked and has been increasing in intensity for a while now. In fact, the infection was so bad it had begun to eat away her jaw bone. All of this without her knowing. This was just going on under the surface while she continued her life. Now she'll have to go through heck to get it fixed including pulling out the old molar, putting bone powder in the tooth-hole, letting the bone regenerate, placing a post and eventually putting in an implant. It's a terribly long and expensive process – it will take 5 months and thousands of dollars to complete and the scariest part is that had she not taken care of it, it could have killed her. Yeah, you heard right, the infection could have caused a heart attack. Now, guess when she cracked that tooth … Yup. On the horse. That same ride that busted her fanny also busted her tooth. Peeps, that was one bumpy ride. Sure, she knew the tailbone was busted but she never dreamed months later she'd still be dealing with that big, bad, bumpy ride. That impact caused not only immediate damage but long-term hidden damage. And the hidden damage was much more expensive and insidious.
Last night, after I spurted out the words "I look like Chemo Jenne!" The Hub turned back to face me. His eyes were wet and full. He had seen. Clearly, he had recognized it…had recognized her. He looked away again and said "I know." And then shook his head slowly, took a breath and walked out of the room.
That chemo … that was one bumpy ride. And I never dreamed all these months later we'd still be dealing with that big, bad, bumpy ride.