My 14th birthday

I lay there on the ground, motionless and frozen, my body jarred out at odd angles.

I stayed there for what seemed like an age, experiencing extreme pain and then nothing.When I awoke, my eyesight fuzzy, I could just make out blurred shapes all around me asking faintly how I felt. My senses were weakened; trying to make sense of what violent distress my body had just endured, I felt faint.

After a spell of lying on my back, I felt slightly better and less light-headed, I was helped to sit up, if I thought I could manage it. I could. Suddenly I felt an excessive surge of pain in my left shoulder.

I tried to scream aloud, let them know I was not all right, but all that came out was a muted squeak.I was subsequently helped to my feet, my arm being supported, my legs like jelly. I wobbled and swayed uneasily on the spot for a few seconds, being assisted I walked lamely over to the side. Without hesitation I sat down, the weight on my legs was unbearable; I could feel my knees buckling underneath me.

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Here, now, I had a chance to figure out and reflect on what had just happened. I was riding my horse. Yes, that was it.

I came around the top corner of the school then … what happened next I was not prepared for.My horse, Flo, had spooked at something outside, trying to remember now I believe it was a cat. Flo started bucking and I was thrown forward from his back onto the ground. As I was told later, I had rolled under him for some ten or twelve feet before I stopped. At the time, it was believed I had a dislocated shoulder, this being the reason for its temporary disablement.

My mum and dad arrived shortly afterwards and they were informed of what had happened. My mum turned ghostly white. My dad, trying to look on the bright side said that he could think of worse ways to spend my birthday; which it was, than in the hospital where I was now going.I spent five hours in the hospital that afternoon, where I discovered I had severely broken my left clavicle. I was lucky in this I was informed, just how I could not see until later. Had it broken the other way, I was informed, I would have required surgery for a punctured lung and major tissue and muscle repair, and I was very fortunate that the bone had not punctured the skin.

This meant I would have to wear a sling for six weeks and I would need a full five months recovery time. Due to my fall and horrific injuries, I required three weeks off school since my body ached and was bruised all over. I was unable to do anything for myself and needed aid in everything that I did.Looking back now I realise the accident has had a paramount impact on my life and I tend to view safety form a different angle than before. In addition, my left shoulder and arm are much weaker than my right and becomes very sore during exercise.

Furthermore, the bone sits at an odd angle in my shoulder because of the way in which it broke and subsequently healed. More over, when I am in my twenties, I may require corrective plastic surgery to prevent me from suffering from severe arthritis.I have returned to my horse riding, but I cannot even look at that horse let alone ride again, or any like it.My physical scars my be well on the way to healing, but the mental ones will be there for much longer; the memories of suffering acute pain and feeling useless, unable to do anything.