From the first time that our son, Quade rode his first sheep at a junior rodeo when he was only 18 months old (that will be a future blog!), I have gone through periods of time when I feel like I'm a cross between a horrible and irresponsible mother! In either case - being a mother of a son of a rodeo cowboy is like being between a rock and a hard spot!
Quade has endured many injuries since he decided to follow in his dad's footsteps. Some due to riding bulls, and some due to school sports. I have always encouraged him to pursue basketball - thinking that would be so much safer than bull riding. During an intense high school basketball game one night, Quade made a daring baseline move and ended up rolling his ankle over in front of a home-town crowd.
Well, you know the routine - the audience gasps - then goes silent. And my husband Rex and I sat there, quietly whispering back and forth to each other, "You go down!", "No, you go down!" "He's OK", Rex finally said, "He has to learn how to handle pain." Finally, Quade was helped up and was literally carried to the bench. "Looks like his Mom should go see what's up", Rex advised. It was then that I noticed some of the other mothers glaring at me - and I went down. It was pretty bad looking - but Quade could put weight on it, and I had witnessed quite a few ankle injuries with Rex during his rodeo career - and knew that the swelling would have to go down before any doctor would be able to x-ray it. So, Quade opted to watch the rest of the game. When we got home and got a good look at it, it was cranked around very unnaturally to the inside. Rex straightened it (while Quade hollered and I had to leave the room for a bit). Then, I went into the attic and dug out the "Broken Bones" (yes, that's the real label on it) box and grabbed two pair of the crutches that looked like they would fit Quade. Rex and I stayed up for the next 48 hours, taking turns icing it for 20 minutes, every hour on the hour - just like we had done many times with Rex over the years.
One week later Quade was still on crutches and the school principal was really encouraging us to take Quade to a doctor. Rex and I were very sure that we were making progress and that it was not broke, but I made an appointment to keep everyone happy.
When Quade got checked into the doctor's office and the nurse assistant was getting his ankle all lined up under the x-ray machine she exclaimed, "Yep, I'm sure it's broke! Did you already go to the ER?" "No", I replied sheepishly. To which she snidely commented, "Well! After a week - what are we supposed to do?"
Boy! I was feeling like Mother of the Year!!
Then, the doctor came in - "Well, no break - what we have here is a real bad sprain. What did the other doctor tell you?" Again, I was feeling a little sheepish, "You're the first doctor we've seen." Surprised, he asked, "Where did you get the crutches and the brace? This brace is just what I would've advised you get!" I explained that my husband is a retired rodeo athlete, and we have our very own little medical supply store in our attic.
There is something pretty neat about Oklahoma - All I had to mention was that we made a living with rodeo, and it was all clear to the doctor. "Well, looks like you have this handled! Just keep doing what you're doing, and you don't have to come back unless he goes and breaks it!"
You know - that's when 18 years of bumps, bruises and breaks in the rodeo arena pay off -
We walked out of there with no bill - just a nominal fee for the x-ray - and total vindication with that snide nurse! :)