Post Op

I know it has been a while but I swear I have a good reason. Let’s start back with the good stuff. Last weekend our barn hosted a show. There was no primary division at this show so I was not riding Tango, but I did get to ride in a class. A friend of mine, J, has been showing both a schooling horse, Radar, as well as his fancy lease horse Riley in the beginner division. He has been doing well on both of them over fences and was having a hard time deciding who to take in the flat class and since I still qualify for beginners I got to take Radar in the hunter OTF! Who doesn’t love getting to ride new horses! This was extra cool for me because even though both Tango and Radar are thoroughbreds they could not be more different. Tango is very compact where as Radar is taller and super long. I swear he is about 3 feet longer than Tango!

Handsome and very long Radar
Handsome and very long Radar

I really only had time to do one quick WTC in the warm up ring before going in the class. Right from the get go of the walk I was shocked at how different Radar moved from Tango. Radar’s trot was smooth and lofty which was really nice and his canter made me wish I was going in to an eq class with him. His rhythm just lulled you in to the saddle and it took everything I had to actually stay up in a hunter seat!

As we went in my trainer told me that Radar likes to trot around the corners and can have a hard time with his right lead. He definitely wanted to give up a few times but with a little leg he gave me a great ride! He even picked up his right lead like a pro. I had so much fun! We ended up 4th which I was so happy with. Thanks J for letting me ride him!

Now on to the not so good. From my previous posts you know that I have had some back issues. Tuesday morning I was in terrible pain. I was able to shimmy to my couch and called the pain clinic that did my spinal injections back in January. They had told me back then that I could get them every 6 months and I was right about at that time. I scheduled an appointment, laid on the couch and did some work with my laptop on my stomach. About 2 hours later I needed to use the restroom and I tried to crawl to the bathroom. It was very quick that I realized this was not the same back problem as before. My back started spasming with such intense pain that I had never felt before. I did everything that I could to reach my phone and called me cousin, A, who is not only engaged to an amazing neurosurgeon, M, but is also a nurse and surgical sales rep for spinal rods. She told me that it sounded like this was a nerve issue this time and to try to relax on the couch and see if it goes away.

I waited about an hour and it was clear it was not going away and I needed to get to a hospital. A friend came and got Oscar for me and my dad came to take me to the hospital. As soon as he tried to sit me up though, I could not take the pain and we had to call an ambulance. I have never taken one before and for some reason I was so embarrassed by the defeat of having to do this. I got to the ER and they asked me to sit up to determine how much pain killer to give me. Needless to say I did not get up very far. They gave me a shot and told me that once I felt better they would discharge me. I was NOT happy! I wanted some sort of diagnostic tests because I knew this was not right. They waited about 30-40 minutes after the pain killer to ask me to sit up again. I did and OMFG my back started spasming so violently that my entire body seizured! It was so violent that I somehow threw my body sideways and pinned myself on my left side against the railing of the bed with my head, shoulders, and legs hanging off the bed and my legs were kicking like I was running. This seizure lasted for 50 minutes straight. Once it started the nurse quickly put an IV in my hand and gave me another dose of pain meds but it didn’t do anything.

Sometime during the spasm I heard the doctor say that he was going to admit me and get an MRI as soon as possible. DUH?!? I felt like yelling at them that that was what I was asking for from the start! After the MRI, I was taken to my room and was in for a long night. I am so thankful for my nurse that night. There was not much that she could do to take the pain away but she was there for every spasm to hold my hand and made sure I was not alone. M came in my room at 6:30 am on Wednesday and told me that I had a huge herniated disc that was compressing on the nerves in my spinal column and that is why I was having the spasms and that I would be having surgery on Thursday. Technically first he told me that I looked like shit. Lol. M also started me on steroids which helped the inflammation so that my nerve wasn’t compressed as much and while I could not sit up still the random spasms definitely lessened.

Surgery day was finally here and I was ready! I did get a little nervous when they told me that I would have to have a breathing tube to breath for me. I know that this is normal but for some reason that is the thing that scared me most. But before that could happen I needed a new IV. The one the ER put in was too small. The OR nurse said they need to be able to get fluids in me quickly so they needed to put a bigger needle. 3 nurses and 8 sticks later they gave up on getting a bigger needle in and decided to keep my current IV and to add a second smaller IV to double my fluid intake. Let me clarify, this is not the nurses’ fault. My veins do not like IVs and I have always been notoriously difficult to drop an IV in.

Cause 1 IV just isn't cool enough!
Cause 1 IV just isn’t cool enough!

The surgery went well and M was very pleased with result and said he only needed 13 staples. I was up later that night for a walk down the hospital hallway. It was difficult to stand up but once I was up it got easier.

Overall I am very happy but am very sore. I can move around but it is difficult to get up. I cannot lift anything more than 2lb for 2 weeks and I start physical therapy in 3 weeks. The best news is that M said I will be back on a horse in 6 months! I know that seems like a long time but the fact that I will be able to ride again is keeping me going! I did end my lease on Tango which is sad and I will miss him but when I do come back in 6 months I need to make sure I find the right horse that is smoother.

In the meantime I will lay here on my back and get lots of kisses from Oscar!

The best medicine I could have!
The best medicine I could have!

3 thoughts on “Post Op

  1. Amy

    So glad you are doing better, Kar and I wanted to come see you, but hospitals are very stressful for me so we will just come see you as soon as you are able to have visitors, you sound better to by the way a little more positive. Miss you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I appreciate the thought but really not necessary to come to the hospital. I miss you guys too! I am still resting but trust me I will be back out to the barn as soon as I am up for it (pun intended lol). Give Kar a big hug for me!


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