Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The good the bad and the ugly

Overall things are going just fine. Working at a major medical center always puts things into perspective. I have two healthy horses, I have a job, I'm getting around in my own two feel. However, if I didn't admit to a bit of a pity party I would be lying. 

I went back to work earlier than is recommended for nurses and it sucked. My surgical hip just wasn't ready for running around yet. My wonderful boss thankfully let me have more time off and ease back into things at 8 hours. My nrcg shift back was tiring but soooo much better. And compared to pre surgery it was heaven. My non surgical hip had been bugging me on and off but was getting better every day. My surgeon said the non op hip often got better at 12 weeks and sure enough it was getting better. Then this happened: 

I was coming home down a little access road between te St. John's bridges and a highway. It was a three lane narrow road. Two lanes were going up the hill to get on the bridge. My narrow one lane was going against traffic and cruising at speed limit. Two lanes going onto bridge were stop and go. Out of nowhere some asshat decided he didn't want to wait and tried to flip a u turn into my lane. I didn't even have time to stop. I t boned him at full speed. I was awake for a second after the accident then passed out. Came in an out of consciousness and finally crawled out of my car. I left in an ambulance. 

In the grand scheme of things I am fine. I see people at work with traumatic head injuries from car accidents, broken bones, paralysis, trach tubes, permanent vegative state.... With that in mind I am so grateful. I had my seat belt on and ha an airbag. At the same time things have been rough since the accident. I had a head injury so I didn't work for a few weeks. I still have headaches, ringing in my ears, and can't find words. It's so weird. I feel 100% as far as my nursing skills and reasoning but I can't articulate as well as I used to. I can see fancy words in my head but can't say them. It's  getting better but makes life tedious. 

The hip that was getting back to normal is worse. It's worse than the it was on the crappiest day before my accident. My whole left leg is a hot mess. My calf felt like I had torn something initially and limping had my foot angry. I don't know if I braced it funky in the accident or what. My massage therapist has been a blessing. 

I have hardly done anything with Dickie. Often my Dickie time consists of me giving him kisses in the stall then leaving. 

The good thing is the hip I had surgery on is AMAZING!! I never knew I could feel this good. I won't hesitate to do the other hip. I have an MRI on NYE. I won't be able to get surgery until I have more Fmla but it will help to know I have a diagnosis and a goal to shoot for. I am going down to .75 at work. That sucks but it's either that or break down so bad I can't work at all. 

I'm hoping to start up water aerobics after the new year. I just haven't been able to get organized enough to do it yet. I have ridden super lightly. Just walking around. Currently all the prep to riding is what keeps me out of the saddle. Catching the doofus, putting boots on, lifting the saddle, picking feet out.... That's worse than being in the saddle. 

So here's to 2015. It can't help but be better!!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

In true type A horse woman fashion I had a plan for how things would go after surgery. I did all the research. Talked to other patients. I knew exactly how things would go down. I decided would be in a ton of pain the first few weeks after surgery. I would use my ice machine religiously. I would use my CPM. I would do my PT as often as I was allowed. I would be a good girl and stay away from the horses until I was cleared to walk that far. There would be set backs but I was ready for those. In wouldn't be discouraged. Bad days happen. 

Surprisingly things went very different. I was barely in pain after surgery. I rated my pain a zero because compared to pre op I felt like a bionic woman. Yeah I was stiff and if I accidentally got myself in a prohibited position it hurt. But overall I was doing better than I anticipated. Much better. So much better I was giddy with excitement after over seven years of chronic pain. I might have had a sore day or two but I really didn't have anything I would consider a set back. Then I went back to work......

The surgeon hoped I would have a little more time off work but I was feeling strong and confident that I could start out with one 8 hour shift. My hip was sore right off the bat. My soft tissues are tight so I have to take a short strides. Getting up and down from chairs is a big stress too so I charted on my feet as much as I could handle. 

I woke up the next day feeling almost as sore as before surgery on my left side. SURGERY WAS ON MY RIGHT SIDE. Now I'm having the same type of pain in my good hip. I had to take another two weeks off work and have been in pity party mode. For about a week I was in too much pain to drive or even walk. I scaled my pt back to the exercises I was doing right after surgery. I'm starting to feel a little better but resting the new bad hip has meant I've lost ground with my surgical hip. The surgeon said it can take three months for the other hip to recover from doing double duty. My surgery was Sept 4th so I have a little ways for that milestone. Until then I'll try to keep my chin up and avoid panicking that I need surgery on the other hip. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dickie Has a New Auntie

This is a bit overdue but I feel like I need some posts with actual equines rather than equine hats. A new friend moved to the area in August. We have had contact through a FB group and she knows my best local riding buddy. It has been really fun to have another like minded horse person in the area. She's an Eventer and it's good for me to surround my wannabe eventer self with people who actually know what's going on. Plus she's fun and has a devilish sense of humor.  I love new horse buddies!!! She has ridden Dickie a few times this summer and is a badass. He liked her right away. 

It's always nerve wracking when someone you don't know well gets on your green horse. Dickie is a good boy but has quirks. He needs someone to lay down the law right away. She asked me "can I work with him on the ground first?" I knew right away she would be fine. I wish more people would realize spending five minutes making sure your horse is tuned in will save you from a battle under saddle. 

One of the times she came out we didn't warn her that it was actually a photo shoot for pony bonnets and she would be the costar. "Here get on this green horse who's not being handled and let us take photos we're going to post all over the internet." She was such a good sport. 

Dickie is a funny guy. He can be pushy and dominant but he doesn't actually want to be the boss. If he gets one over on you pretty soon he's all "wait I'm scared, it's too much power!! Save me." It was really fun to watch her ride him. He's been ridden two times since August so he was a little fussy at first but it didn't take long for him to remember his job. My friend'a baddassery helped him feel calm and confident with a new rider on board. 

This photo was actually her first ride on him (blue photos were of the second ride). They hit it off right away. She hadn't been on a horse in over a month and happily got on the green 4yo who has been a heathen because mom is lame. They are so cute. We went on a trail ride that day and she even took him down her bank into the water. 

I'm sad she boards across town. My other riding partner in crime boards a 15min trailer ride straight up one road. We need to figure out a way to steal her to the west side. She has a gorgeous horse and I envision some wild trail rides next summer. The fourth member of this potentially dangerous group of ladies also boards across town but at least she has a trailer. We will have to find places to meet in the middle. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fancy Pony Hats Continued

I have real horse to pics to post from a horse show and friends playing with Dickie. I'm working on that post right now ;) Sadly though my horse time
Is still really limited. If I go see Dickie that's it for the day. I can push myself further but I will pay for it later. And I don't want to take any chances of doing long term damage to the joint. 

Making pony hats has kept me tolerant of rest time. I think I'm channeling my former figuring skating days because I'm obsessed with sparkle. I started a Facebook page because I'm casually selling them.

This is one of my favorites so far. I had a hard time getting to scallops to look tidy and symmetrical. I think I finally got the hang of it. 

This one doesn't show up great in the photo. It has a white/silver twisted cord. I also found this thin metallic string for the edges. It was for a gelding so I didn't add too much frilly stuff. 

This was for one for my best friends. She loves sparkle so I went over the top. It really shines in person. 

I made bonnets for several geldings so U was excited when I friend wanted pink and sparkle for her mare. 

The rescue Dickie came from is having a benefit auction so I'm currently making my self crazy sewing crystals onto this one. I can't wait to see the finished product. 

Photos don't do this one justice. The white and dark navy have subtle sparkle and there's a strip of tiny rhinestones. They twinkle in sunlight but are small so it doesn't look like it came from the wardrobe of a Vegas showgirl. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ear Bonnet Project 2.0

Things are going well with my hip but I'm still taking it easy. Even when I'm allowed to drive the next three months I'll be going slow. I'm used to running around, seeing people, working horses, and in general being out of the house all day. That won't be a good idea for months. My energy needs to be focused on work, PT, my family, and horses not my usual on the go lifestyle. My ear bonnet project has been a fun way to keep me busy while I'm on house arrest. And I love that when I get bored of one color scheme I can just tear it apart and make a new one. 

Currently I'm perfecting get best way to remove tassels from the premade bonnets as well as which stitches come out looking balanced. I've been stalking bonnets online for ideas. 

One of the minions loves pink and has her first horse trail this month. Her vest is blue so I used the blue sparkly yarn for trim. The blue is so dark it doesn photograph well but the trim is a cute pointy scallop. It was fun to make once I figured our how to do the point. I planned on sewing the pink crystals but glueing is going to work better. I'll finish it once I get the right glue. 

I made a green one for Dickie that is probably my favorite. The only problem is it was the first one I took apart so I ended up removing a little too much on one side. I covered it up pretty well but I'm hoping it doesn't bug me too much. 

I wanted navy blue because Dickie has a blue pad and I'm giving a navy one to my trainer but one of my blue bonnets was royal. I love love royal blue but I don't have a royal saddle pad! Good thing the tack sale is around the corner. Dickie is going to rock the blue and pink. I added a navy trim so I might be get away with using my navy and white pad. 

I'm in the process of a do over for the brown and turquoise pony chapeaux becuase I'm much better with my basic stitch. They tend to get stretched out as you work so after I'm done I get them wet and scrunch them back in. They also have some irregularities in symmetry so I've found tightening things with a needle and thread helps the finished product. The blue and green are the only two I have 100% finished. They were wrinkly and stretched like the brown one below until the final wetting and evening out process. 

Im looking forward to a mini outing to the craft store today! It's in the radius I can handle driving at this stage. That could be dangerous. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tack Shopping

II've been off work for 2 months and it took one month for disability pay to kick in. When it did I decided to make a few pony related purchases. I won't be able to ride until December so I want new ideas for ground work. I also need better lines for ground driving Dickie. My first purchases were long lines from Dover and the book Horse Training in Hand. I worked Bre in hand quite a bit when she was young but haven't done much with Dickie. The book is wonderful and I would suggest it if you are interested in furthering your in hand skills. 

After making a small splurge my mom sent me a chunk of birthday money. It was enough that I felt like I could buy myself some fun presents. I knew I really wanted supplies for more ear bonnets as well as a few more colors so I stocked up. I have a few green, blue, pink, red and black. 

Stateline was my best friend becuase the ear bonnets were on sale for $4.40. I just about fainted with joy when I saw kerrits sit tight n warm tights for half off. I've been wanting the knee patch version of this breech but they are so expensive. I bought full seat ones last year but hate the feel of the full seat material. They are so warm and cozy though I still wore them all winter. I don't even need long underwear riding outside on cold days!! I also made a big splurge and got the saddle pad in the photo above. I loooove saddle pads and wish I could have bought ten more. 

I've ended up with multiple packages all week. I made the Dover order before I knew I could make a mom sponsored shopping spree. I can't wait to get my dover stuff on Friday. I have a few ear bonnet related packages coming too. I found some cheap cord and rhinestones for trim. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pony Art Project

I have been following the wonderful horse blog She Moved to TeXas. A few weeks ago she showed her homemade crocheted ear nets. I was inspired because I love ear bonnets. Dickie has one to show in but I don't have any everyday ear hats. The problem is I Iust over the fancy ones with all the colors. The other problem is I can't bring myself to spend 20+ bucks a piece. 

The logical conclusion would be to make my own ear nets. However, I know that I would never have the patience to crochet the same stitch over and over. I come from a family of gifted knitters and they have tried. My grandma taught me when I was young. We have both tried over the years and it never works. I lose attention a few rows into the project and angrily quit. I haven't considered picking up any sort of needle since I was a teenager. 

But I started thinking adding borders to pre made bonnets might be up my alley while I'm recovering. I do like making things (I'm just a big brat and don't want to do it unless it's perfect) and I'll have a lot of time on my hands. This would appeal to my love of instant gratification because I'll have a finished product in a few hours. Another big bonus is the fact I can change my colors anytime. 

Stateline has ear bonnets like the one above on sale for under $5 so I stocked up. Buying yarn and piping does increase my start up cost but it takes hardly any yarn to finish a bonnet so it will last long time. I plan on making a few for Dickie, Bre, and friends. The ear hats I ordered have tassels but my friend took the tassels off and they look great. I have two orders out and my first one came today. It's a light reddish brown and it's meant for my minion's red dun. 

Turquoise is her color so I picked that for the first trim. I'm not sure I love this particular stitch but I was pretty happy with it. I love the contrast. I bought some off white yarn with gold strands to that I used for the final border. I can't wait to try it on a horse!! The rest of my bonnets come tomorrow. I have a few trim colors, some piping, and pink rhinestones. 

My iPhone doesn't pick up the gold flecks very well. I think it's a good color combo for a red dun. I have ideas for how to make my stitching look more even the next time around. I can't wait to play with the colors. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Art Of Walking

My one week follow up with the surgeon's assistant went well. The short story is I'm ahead of schedule in range of motion. At this stage of the game range of motion is the most important thing. I'm better than before surgery. I get the biggest grin when the docs or PT turns my hip into positions that would have brought tears to my eyes two weeks ago.

I spent the first few days close to bed. I'm restricted to short periods of sitting and walking with crutches is a pain in the ass. I've had several stints on crutches for other injuries but was non weight bearing. When you can just swing the bad leg is pretty easy to build up some speed on crutches. I am supposed to walk with a normal gait and use the crutches to offload the weight. I'm trying to be hyper aware of my core muscles and how I use my pelvis. People with this hip injury spent years learning how to walk incorrectly to protect the bad hip. Now I have a few weeks to unlearn all those habits. I'm really motivated because I won't be able to ditch the crutches until I can walk correctly. 

I have a few exercises to do hourly and some passive exercises with the assistance of a helper 2x daily. There are just 3 hourly exercises and they are really easy on paper. I contract my glutes, abs, and quads ten seconds each x 10. Now that my hip is fixed I can feel how crooked I was. I can't wait to see how I feel when I get back in the saddle. I'll finally have even seat bones! 

I'm really excited for next week when can start doing more myself. At the two week mark I can start weaning off crutches. It's strange to feel so much better that pre surgery and have so many restrictions. It's tempting to test out all the positions that used to kill me before. I have to admit I've gotten a bit wild here and there but my muscles get angry before I can get too crazy. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Up and Cruisin'

This post is late. I wrote it over the weekend but for some reason it didn't post: 

Thursday was long day of pre-op appointments. I met with PT in the morning. I have a long list of excercises to start on ASAP. The first two weeks are primarily passive range of motion therapy. I'll need a helper to rotate and stretch out my hip joint. I'll also be using a continuous passive motion machine six hours a day. My leg sits on it and the machine flexes my hip joint. Every hour I increase the degree from 40 to 90. 

After physical therapy I met with the short stay team to make sure I didn't have heart conditions, airway problems, or anything that might make surgery exciting. Last stop was my surgeon's physician assistant. She reviewed everything with me and I signed away my life. 

Friday I had to check in at 600am and was first up at 730. I was nervous because I don't have much expirience being on the receiving end of the knife. Overall I was just excited to finally be getting better. 

The nurses and anesthesiologists were wonderful. I opted to for the nerve block and was worried it would be as bad as the cortisone injection. Before I could get myself into a tizzy they gave me happy drugs. I'm a cheap date and 15 seconds later I was cracking jokes and telling them they could do anything to me. My vaguely remember watching the nerve block on an ultrasound screen and being wheeled into the OR. I do remember I was still laughing and thinking I was pretty much the funniest thing alive. 

Two hours later it was all over. The only pain I had was my back. During surgery they put my op leg in a boot then hang a weight off it. This stretched my hip out just enough to fit the camera and tools in my joint. I have two small incisions that are currently covered by a waterproof bandage. Sunday I can peel that off and shower. 

I spent Friday high as a kite between the anesthesia and dilauidid for pain. I had almost no pain and would have been cruising if I wasn't so drunk. I hopped up right away out of surgery and was sure I could have driven myself home. Thank god my girl loves me even when I'm drunk on pain meds and sassy. I cruised up the stairs alone when she turned her back becuase I'm INVINCIBLE on pain meds. 

Between my girlfriend and our little dog I've been in the best hands. I've been spoiled rotten. I could get used to this. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Soaking up the Sun

I neglected the spotted beast a bit last week. I was trying to get my life in order before the big day next week. And I must admit a few days I locked myself inside with a book. I'm half extreme extrovert half hermit. I love having friends and tend to be one of the most outgoing in a group. However, I go nuts if I can't spend time being completely antisocial. After a day of reading and watching Xena warrior princess I made sure the ponies got some love. Dickie hasn't had a relaxed pony walk in a long time so we went exploring. Luckily the fates were smiling on me because it was warm and sunny. Every nice day feels like it might be the last before the mud hits. I'm praying it's nice every day this week since Friday is surgery day! 

One side if the water jump has especially green and yummy grass. He always tries to balk in that corner under saddle not because he's scared but because he wants to get to the grass. Today I left him have his way. At one point I left him there to get a drink of water. He was happy as a clam to hang out in the water eating. 

The blackberries are ripe and taste like candy. My step mom came on our walk to pick some for a cobbler. When Dickie figured out how yummy they were he kept begging. I tried to show him how to pick his own but he wasn't having it. He wanted us to do the work for him. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Squeezing in A Ride

I'm gearing up to be out of the for almost five months. I've been out to see the ponies and usually bring a minion to do the heavy lifting. Yesterday was a rare day when I felt good enough to ride. I've been really careful about bending. I always get help tying shoes and putting socks on. I have cut out walking up/down hills. I wear yoga pants or breeches every day because I can get those on w my left foot and a grabber. 

I'm thrilled that my horse can go weeks not under saddle and he will let me hop
on. He throws in the occasional hop in and spooked a bit when he thought a deer was a horse eating monster but he's still more solid than most horses twice his age. His spooks are limited to head shakes and snorts. He's such a good boy!!  

Since I'm sure you don't want to hear me whine about my hip here are happy pics of the pony.