Monday, August 18, 2008

"Why is the Judge Scratching Her Back All the Time?"

Later today I'm heading to my doctor's office where I'll meet with both him and the representative from the medical company that makes and monitors my nerve stimulator implant. We get to discuss how well this trial has worked for me. Or not. My quality of life was improved so much by the first one I had implanted. This second one needs some "tinkering." Honestly, though, my main goal is to get this body cast of tape and gauze peeled off my skin and untether myself from this black fanny pack. I swear, the danged thing weighs a couple of pounds, including the wad of narrow gray cables that run from the Thing Inside My Back to the Things Inside the Fanny Pack. I hate it. Now I know why horses often nip and chew on their leg bandages. It's just such an annoying nuisance! I tried not to get distracted by this whole, tortuous ordeal while I judged a locally-rated English show this weekend. Here are a couple of photos from yesterday:
I had my workmate in the judge's booth-- the cute, clever young gal who served as the announcer-- snap this photo of me. Before you gasp and faint at my casual attire, let me assure you that no, this is not my usual style of dress while I'm judging a horse show. But then, what DOES go well with personalized medical equipment? And which accessories complement a hefty fanny pack? My answer? Clothe myself in a baggy horse blouse, stick a ball cap on my head and call it good.

And just so that I'd feel at home the show manager gestured over to the other arena and pointed out that the EMTs were stationed within earshot of me, just in case I should feel the need for yet more medical attention. Very funny.


As I'd predicted, the weather was quite warm, but the facility was lovely. It has an abundance of grass and leafy shade trees, and I got to sit in a comfy judge's booth, so I didn't suffer. The kids I judged were all properly mounted on reliable horses, and it was nice to observe that, for the most part, they all had consistent coaching and preparation before they went into the show arena. Anything that helps prevent accidents, and bolsters a rider's chances for success, makes my job as a judge all the more pleasant... even if I'm not exactly feeling pleasant.


Jessica said...

Kudos to you for having such a positive attitude! That's so very inspiring! I've been out of the show ring ALL summer due to one thing or another going wrong with my horse (that's horses, right???), so even judging sounds fantastic!! :-)
Hope you're able to keep working out the kinks with all that "machinery." It would be really awesome if they were able to have it really help!

Cindy Hale said...

You know what, Jessica? I believe it will help me, which is why I'm going forward with the final surgery to put it in permanently! I hope you and your horse get back in the show ring soon!