13 Years

There was a warm breeze as I walked into the courthouse on that mild West Texas December morning. Cowboy offered to wait so I could have the big wedding most girls dream of, but I never wanted that. Small and simple were good for me.
With one of my best friends watching, we exchanged our vows. Words were said, rings exchanged, and we were man and wife. The memories of that day are forever in my memories.
I wore a hand-me-down white dress, and he was as handsome as ever in his dress blues. Our wedding dinner was the local Chinese buffet. I was on top of the world.
It hasn’t always been easy. We have struggled, we have sacrificed. We have faced things no young couple ever should face. Over the last 13 years, we have moved across the country, made choices we did not think we were able to make, and matured a lot quicker than most people our age, together. We said goodbye to two children and were blessed with Mini Cowboy.
There have been fights and sleepless nights. Times of tremendous sorrow and blissful, wordless joy.
13 years ago we were two kids who fell in love after a whirlwind courtship. But, now, through all we have been through, the tears, the joy, the sorrow and laughter, we have matured and grown up together.
Every year we prove the statistics about tech school marriages wrong, we prove the cynics wrong.
I love you now more than I did on that warm winter morning at the courthouse in West Texas. You are my best friend, my confidant, my heart, my soul, my partner, my love, my husband. Every year I think I could not love you more, and every year I prove myself wrong. You have sacrificed so much to provide for Mini Cowboy and me, to give our family the life we deserve. You are the man who has captured my heart.
I love you with all that I am. Thank you for 13 amazing years, and here is to about 90 more, my love.
Is bre√° liom tu.

Gimpy McHobbles

September 2 I got a call from Cowboy’s boss saying that an ambulance just left to take him to the ER. They took him to UAMS, the local Level 3 Trauma Center, and she said “Its bad, real bad.” When I get the full story from her, something happened to Cowboy’s breaks and the tractor of his big rig rolled over his right (driving) leg.
I quickly made arrangements for The Mini and got to the hospital just as they were bringing his back from x-ray. The x-rays were negative, so he did not break his ankle (which amazed everyone). He was diagnosed with a severe high ankle sprain, given an Ace bandage and crutches, a script for 5.0 hydrocodine, and sent on his way.
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This photo was taken in the ER

I went with Cowboy back to his company’s headquarters so he could do some paperwork and I got a few things out of his truck, since it was obvious he would not be driving for the next 2 weeks. After the paperwork, we were sent home to follow the doctor’s orders of ice, elevation and compression.
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These were taken later that night, at home. The swelling is not too bad, it just distorts his foot a bit. The black “X” is on his foot, just so you know what you are looking at.

The next day, he went into work for the day shift, since he is on light duty, he needs to work 40 hours a week in the office. He also had a doctor’s appointment and physical therapy, and he was set up with three times a week physical therapy until he is cleared to go back on the road.
Physical therapy gave him some stuff to do at home to get mobility back. Everyone was impressed with his range of motion, especially after having 5 tons of truck on his ankle and leg. People were amazed he didn’t break his ankle, or anything for that matter.
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The swelling after the first day of physical therapy. The swelling got worse, but everyone said it was from working it during therapy, sleeping with it unwrapped, and not elevating it completely.

He continued with the physical therapy, icing, wrapping, and elevating it. On Friday, he had another appointment with the doctor, who said he looked to be getting better. The swelling was getting better, then worse, then better again, and he was not in pain.

Then, September 10, the swelling got worse, alarmingly worse, and new bruising showed up on his toes. We kept doing things the way we originally were. We decided to hold off on raising alarms because he had a follow up appointment with the doctor on Friday, September 12.
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Notice how bad the bruising is? Cowboy said he could feel the skin at the base of his toes stretching! His foot also looked like a grapefruit. The doctor was very concerned and decided to do another x-ray before ordering an MRI of the foot. This time the x-ray was higher, though.
After taking 2 out of the 4 x-rays that were ordered, the x-ray tech said “Oh, that is broken.” The level 3 trauma center did not think to take an x-ray of the entire part of the leg the truck rolled over, just the ankle. It turns out, his fibula is broken, clean through, nice, clean break. The bone is not displaced, which is a positive.
They caught it before the bone started to knit back together, so they do not have to rebreak it and there is no need for surgery. They put the leg in a boot and have canceled his physical therapy, obviously. He has a follow-up with the orthopedist on Monday to see what our next step is.
In the last 24 hours with the boot, the swelling has gone down, so has the discomfort. Thankfully it was caught, even though the original ER did not think to x-ray everything, just the ankle. The bone is not shattered, and no joints are broken, so we got VERY lucky.
Recovery and all future plans have been delayed by a few months, and he will be home, on day shift, for a few months. There are some positives in the situation, though, and we have to look at them. He will be home for the Razorback games now, and he probably will not have to take his vacation to ensure he is home for Christmas and New Years, since the office is closed those days. Gotta look for the silver lining.