Try not to panic

In preparation for our upcoming Poplar Place Event, I decided to devote at least 2 days a week riding sans stirrups. I began yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see that I could actually remain in the saddle for the duration of the ride. I definitely have a big case of the weenie legs as a result of stirrup dependency, but it’s nothing a few weeks’ worth of stirrup-less rides wouldn’t fix. All was going so pleasantly well…
And then the bomb dropped. At 2 o’clock that afternoon, I walked into the orthopedic clinic to meet with a new doctor. My previous orthopaedist had referred me, telling me there was nothing further he could offer me. After a brief set of x-rays (seriously, I should be glowing green and have incredible strength by now), his PA came in to torture me. I’m sure that wasn’t her actual intention, but after I nearly kicked her in the face (reflex–not intentional), she quickly apologized and backed out of the room. It took the doctor all of 30 seconds to tell me that I did, in fact, have FAI (Femoral Acetabular Impingement Syndrome) and that it would require surgery–sooner rather than later. Actually, what he told me was I could get the corrective surgery now, or wait until I had no cartilage and debilitative arthritis, leading to a hip replacement when I met the age eligibility. After he left the room, his sadistic PA spelled out the gruesome details of what they had planned for me. Due to the nature of my type of FAI (Cam), they would have to do an open (versus arthroscopic) surgery, dislocate the femoral head, shave off a section of the greater trochanter to detach the muscles, shave down the disfigured femoral head and neck, then re-attach the trochanter sliver with 2 screws before closing me up. She assured me that, as she would be closing, she would do her best to keep the sutures under the skin to minimize scarring–it’s a 6-10″ incision. To add insult to injury, I will be totally non weight-bearing for 4-6 weeks and out of the saddle for 3 months. As I sat there in shock, she asked if I had any questions. I couldn’t actually form words, much less think of any intelligible questions to ask! She sent in their appointment scheduler, who gave me a form that would allow my primary care manager to sign off on the surgery and told me they do surgeries on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and that they can usually get me in within a week.
Suddenly, everything was moving way too fast: what was going to happen to the show season? How would I take care of the horses? Who would take care of me?? How would Carson deal with Momma not able to get out of bed? A whirlwind of questions coursed through my head.
Long story short, everything I had planned for this summer is now on hold. I’m in search of someone to short-term lease Johnny so he can keep going, and Cayenne will go stay at my parents earlier than planned. Hopefully I’ll be recuperated well enough to finish out the season with one or two events, assuming I find someone to keep Johnny going. And, I guess I’ll tough out the bed rest the same way I did when I was pregnant. At least this time I won’t be cooped up in the hospital–maybe I can get an electric off-road wheelchair and get out to the barn….now there’s a thought!
Until they cut me open I’m going to KEEP CALM AND RIDE!

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