A couple days ago, as┬áI was feeding ZGirl’s first bottle of the day, I heard my husband’s cell ring and he answered. Since I was in ZGirl’s room and he was in the kitchen, I could only hear the mumblemumblemumble of a one-sided conversation typical of a phone exchange, which went on for several minutes.

ZGirl was almost finished with her bottle and when it was gone, so was I, or I had hoped. I had made plans to take a trip to The Metro to get out of Dodge, so to speak. The mumblemumblemumble of the conversation became louder as Mr. DD walked towards and then into ZGirl’s room. He paused and said, “Your dad’s in the hospital,” and then he continued the alternate speaking/listening on the phone.

I sat agape at him with a million questions even though in my head I was like, “Dang. I guess I won’t be going to The Metro now,” (selfish, much?). I could hear my brother on the other end of the phone. Soon, Mr. DD and I traded, baby for the phone, and my brother began the story again.

Dad was out petting the horses in the early afternoon and while doing so, one of them smashed their head into my dad’s face. While he doesn’t think so, my brother believes that he was probably knocked out for a bit. My dad ended up on the ground (a good stiff wind would knock his 80 yr old slight frame down) and unable to get up. He crawled 200 yards plus to the house, got out of his over’alls, and went to lay on the couch.

My mother, who arrived home after work, didn’t go into the house but went to help my brother instead with the cattle. When she finally got into the house at 8:30, there was my dad, in the same spot for the past few hours. He said that he might have to go to the hospital. My brother was called to the house and he took the reins and called 911.

My dad suffered a fracture to the hip socket. Besides trying to manage the pain and keep him as mobile as possible to reduce the risks of clots, there’s nothing really they can do. As part of the routine work-up, a chest xray revealed a small mass on one of his lungs. They will rule out TB and then refer him to a pulmonologist. Yes, my dad is a smoker. Rolls his own, in fact, so what little protection filters were ever designed to do, was – and is –┬ánonexistent.

Almost three days later, watching him writhe in pain in the hospital bed when the nursing staff put on his socks, I marvel that he was able to get from the pasture to the house – and on his hands and knees. Only a stubborn, old coot would be able to do something like that, and my dad is the most stubborn, the oldest, and the cootiest of all. It has served him well.