Friday, August 15, 2008

Surgery Is a Lot Like a Horse Show...

I survived Wednesday's surgical procedure to do a trial of a new lead for my already implanted nerve stimulator device thingy. (See how scientific I've become!). My doctor is experimenting to see if an additional lead will reduce the pain I still have around my shoulder blade.

This is all related to that jumping accident I had almost 3 years ago. Or was it yesterday? Or in another lifetime? Quite honestly, it's all a blur.

After the anesthesia wore off my body discovered that there is yet another entity about the size and shape of angel hair pasta shoved underneath my skin. Therefore Wednesday night was Not Pleasant. Aside from that initial shock, I'm dealing with the constant annoyance of the wall-to-wall tape plastered across my entire back, which conceals a few sutures and the battery that powers the temporarily implanted lead. Ask me how comfortable it is to have my back shellacked with tape and gauze in 95 degree weather. *sigh*

But, being horse crazy and thereby certifiably insane, I saddled up and rode Wally today. My only concern was the fanny pack I'm forced to wear. I didn't want it flopping against the cantle of my western saddle. It's loaded with cell phone-sized gizmos. They're all attached to each other and then to me, via gray cables. I literally cannot "unplug" myself from this fanny pack and its contents. Needless to say, that fanny pack was cinched tightly around my waist while Wally and I were loping around the arena.

Riding did make me feel better. It was a relief to be back in the saddle, even if I'd only been out of the saddle for a day. Truly, there are not many things more traumatic than going into a hospital for surgery, at least not from my point of view. That wall of medicinal odors-- sterile and plastic, so different from manure and sweet hay-- sets off all sorts of alarm bells in my subconscious. I'm not sure how I hold it together, but I do. Perhaps it's because I've tolerated a series of major health problems and multiple surgeries over the last couple of decades. I'm sort of battlefield tested. Yet I still dread that horrible wait from the time the nurse gets the IV line started and the time that I'm actually wheeled into the operating room. It sort of reminds me of entering some high stakes jumping class at a horse show: My adrenaline is racing through my system, I'm psyched up, I'm mentally prepared.... And then the judge takes a potty break or the arena needs to be watered. Everything comes to a grinding halt so that I end up standing at the backgate under a tree, holding the reins of my horse, wondering just how much longer I can tolerate my feet swelling inside my boots before I run screaming from the showgrounds.

Yup, that about explains how I felt when I got to the hospital at 2:00 (as directed) but I didn't actually go into the operating room until 6:30. You know you've spent a long time in the pre-op area when the shift change occurs at the nursing station and the staff begins talking about being paid overtime because of, "that last woman back there in Bay #2."

Too much longer and I was going to bolt from the gurney and gallop out to the parking lot.

But I'm home now with Wally, and that's all that matters.


Anonymous said...

I personally am glad that you are happy at home with Wally. He will be sure to keep you good company and cheer you up! Get well soon!

Christina de Pinet said...

I'm glad your surgery went well! And I'm also glad you got home to Wally and were riding so soon! Here's to a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

It's so good to be back home with Wally, isn't it? I'm so glad your surgery went well!

I know that waiting time is horrible. I've never had to get surgery, but when my horse split my face open with his head, I had to wait in the ER forever. The accident happened aroung 6:45 or 7:15. I got to the hospital aroung 8:30. I got admitted around 9ish, maybe a bit after. I didn't get in to see a doctor until about midnight. I don't think he came back to start putting the stitches in until about 12:30. We didn't get to leave until 1:00am, and the hospital is 30-45 minutes away, so, needless to say, we got to bed pretty late (or early). So I was pretty tired for work the next day, and as much as I would have liked to go to the show we were supposed to go to, I was glad that the truck needed to be fixed (which meant we couldn't go) so that I could catch up on sleep.

Jessica said...

Oh that sounds like NO fun whatsoever!! I'm so sorry! But i'm SO glad you have Wally to help you through it! There's nothing like a horse to help you through your hardest days!

Cindy Hale said...

I am so glad that I have Wally, too! And I'm glad that my doctor actually wants me to ride, so I can tell if this thing helps me with the pain I feel after I ride... or not. It's just that I have to be careful, because Wally is very "mouthy" and I don't want him chewing on any of the equipment!

Anonymous said...

I love that last sentence....I completely share your views.