Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Countdown Begins

I'm already getting nervous. A week from today-- next Wednesday-- I'm having surgery to temporarily attach a new lead to my implanted nerve stimulator. If it successfully controls most of the residual pain that I feel after I ride or exercise then I'll go back to the hospital in another few weeks and have it permanently "rigged up."

I wish this were the sort of good nervousness I used to feel about a week before a horse show, but it is not. I'm sort of dreading the surgery, even though compared to some of the medical stuff I've been through it's a cake walk. It's just that I have a certain routine to my horsey life now and I don't want to have it disrupted, even if ultimately I'll benefit from that disruption.

In other words, I just want the pain to magically go away without having to go through the stressful experience of signing into the hospital, wrapping myself up in one of those ridiculous gowns that hide nothing, and hopping onto a gurney. Then there's that dreadful, long, drawn out period of time where the nurse starts the IV and I just lie there, wishing that I was home, trail riding Wally.

And the ultimate irony? In order to have a procedure that will (hopefully) result in less pain, I have to first endure the pain that comes from having the procedure performed.

But, as always, I'll find some humor in the situation. For example, I'm going to judge a horse show the Sunday after this little trip to the operating room. I happen to like judging, and nothing will keep me away from a chance to spend a day around horses and get paid for it! Yet that means I'll be sitting in the summer heat, with wires coming out of my upper back that are connected to a pocket-sized, battery-operated computer.

No, I'm not kidding.

My doctor said, "Don't worry, you can cover it all up with your clothes."

It'll be at least 90 degrees. Precisely how much clothing does he anticipate me wearing that day?

I can feel the sweat collecting underneath the white adhesive medical tape right now, and the stitches and staples snagging on my shirt each time I scribble notes on my score sheet. Yet believe it or not, I can laugh at that scenario. Why? Because it's just further evidence that I am, indeed, horse crazy.
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Nancy said...

Oh Cindy, my heart goes out to you. Wishing you a speedy recovery and the start of a new pain free life! Sending big nurturing hugs!

Anonymous said...

I personally hate surgeries. They make me shudder so I'm hoping for a big, quick recovery for you! I'm actually having my wisdom teeth taken out this month, and I'm about as excited as you are....

Anonymous said...

Cindy, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I had two back surgeries this past winter for herniated discs so I know what you are talking about. I wish you a speedy recovery and a pain free future.It will get better, I can tell you from experience.

Christina de Pinet said...

Good luck, Cindy! Though I must say. while I am glad you can scrape humor out of this, it is not helping my nerves about the upcoming and inevitable first ride of the Mustang I am training... I hope your surgery goes well, and I hope I don't end up on a gurney in a hospital a state away!

Anonymous said...

You're the Bionic Woman! You'll be just fine! If you need a laugh - although it may cause more pain - just remember your brother flying thru the air when he thought that he'd show you and your friends how to ride your first horse, Honey. Bareback with just a lead rope and a halter! That worked out really well. HAH! Get well quick!

Cindy Hale said...

Thanks for all the support... from everyone! Hospitals are not a fun place, and I find nothing exciting, glamorous or (God forbid) sexy about them. That's why I'm so "over with" the various TV shows that try to make hospital life so thrilling. Ugh.

Christine, I'm sure you'll be FINE on your mustang! Just remember: GO FORWARD! It seems we can always stop our young horses. It's when they balk and won't "go" that trouble starts. But you're a good horsewoman and you've done your homework.

And now I'm going to start planning a big ol' trail ride for this weekend so I know I've ridden a lot before... *gulp*... Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

Be brave Cindy! My heart goes out to you too. I know how it hurts to ride with pain, so I am truly hoping that this surgery will make you much better!
p.s. My first horse's name was also Honey. he was a beautiful deep golden Palomino quarter horse with just the faintest star. I still miss him very much. If he's still living, he'll be 29 years old now. :)