Yesterday my doctor stripped me of my fanny pack and its contents. He also pulled out the temporary lead from where it was sutured under the skin of my upper back. It was transmitting an electrical impulse from a battery to the muscles surrounding my shoulder blade, in an effort to control the pain I still have. I was pleasantly surprised that this removal process didn't hurt, but then maybe I was just thankful to have a mummy's worth of tape and gauze off my back.
So the verdict is... I'm going to have the permanent lead "hitched up" to the battery that's implanted in my right side of my, uhm, fanny. (There's that word again). As you can imagine, when that's done I won't be able to ride, let alone walk sprightly, for a while. But it's worth the trouble, as it means that I will be using less oral pain medicine, which will then make riding and taking care of Wally that much easier.
Honestly, I am keeping this ordeal all in perspective. When I'm in my doctor's office (he's a pain medicine specialist), I'm usually surrounded by patients who are, in my estimation, far worse off than me. Some are wheelchair-bound with their breathing dependent on a ventilator. Others are crippled over with back pain or advanced arthritis. Some are trauma victims still healing from their wounds, bound in bandages. They almost make me feel guilty, because why we all live in our own hell, surely some of us suffer more than others. I, at least, for all of the problems I've endured, can find daily comfort in the most wonderful of companions, my horse.
When I bought Wally I never knew he would end up being my best buddy. He was sullen, hated his job as a show horse, and delighted in figuring out how to take advantage of any human stupid enough to try to associate with him. Over time, he has become a lovely horse to ride, a character (of the best sort) to handle and a four-legged soulmate. Regardless of how I feel, I can climb aboard Wally, turn him down the trail and forget whatever is ailing me. He jogs his little pitty-pat trot and I'm a cowgirl moseying after a herd of wayward calves. I nudge him into his rocking chair lope and I'm on the lookout for bandits. We gallop and I'm the sole female rider for the Pony Express. When I ride him down the trail that borders the main street in town, where the cars cruise past and people shuffle in and out of store fronts, I feel like the luckiest gal in the world, astride my flashy Paint gelding.
If I could bottle how I feel when I'm riding, I'd pass it out to all the patients in my doctor's office and whisper, "Here. Take a swig of this. I guarantee you'll feel better."
That's what I like best about being a horse lover: My horse can transport me to a time and place where my heart sings.
I wrote a short article for Horse Channel. It's our monthly installment of HI Spy. You can find it on the home page or click on this link:
Share the Bestest Thing Ever About Being a Horse Lover.
After reading it, you can leave your comments there, where it says, "Submit a Comment."
In the meantime, I'll be scrubbing tape residue off my back.