Thursday, September 18, 2008

How I Spent My Day in the Hospital

I haven't posted on here for a few days because I suddenly got the news that I had been scheduled for my surgery. Just to review, it was to permanently add a new "lead" to my implant. That will provide electrical stimulation to the muscles of my upper back, thereby controlling pain and spasms.

To mentally prepare myself for the whole ordeal, I began yesterday by riding Wally. I knew I wouldn't be riding him for a while after my surgery. Then it was off to the hospital, and that long, tortuous wait in the pre-op area where I resisted the urge to bolt and run from the bed while the nurses started the IV and got me into a gown that was cut like a homemade Halloween costume.

It's interesting, the thoughts I had while I waited for my doctor to appear from the other side of the curtain surrounding my bed. I kept thinking about the most rewarding ribbon I ever won in a horse show: The championship for adult huntseat equitation that I won on Barbie at the year-end show in Del Mar, a few months before Barbie and I had our accident (the very accident that led to this very surgery). I kept reliving the way the stadium lights cast odd shadows across the arena in the nighttime performance. The class was huge, plus an entire course of jumps remained in the ring. We rode the last half of the class without our irons, but since I had practiced for hours without my stirrups, I was up to the challenge. At one point during the sitting trot, the judge asked the entire class to reverse. I still recall focusing on a spot diagonally across the arena and riding Barbie forward and on the bit to that exact place. I dodged jump standards, decorative floral arrangements and other riders. I was coming through! When we lined up, I had an inkling that I had won. I just had a sense of rising to the occasion and displaying my best horsemanship. When I was handed the tri-colored ribbon, I made a mental note to myself: "Always treasure this moment."

And I do treasure it. That memory eased my anxiety as I waited to be wheeled into the operating room.

The surgery itself went quite well. I have yet to turn on the stimulator, but that's because I'm really sore from the sutures and metal staples, so why bother? Besides, I know it worked properly because they tested it in the hospital before I was sent home.

The worst part was the unexpected nausea that began just as Ron pulled the car into our driveway at about 8:00 last night. Not to be too graphic, but I was throwing up all night long. Even by morning all I could keep down was ice and a few sips of water. My doctor said it was a reaction to all the pain meds and the anesthesia, and prescribed some anti-nausea medicine. So now I'm at least well enough to sit here and type this.

Wally, I'm sure, is wondering where I am. My goal is to shuffle outside and hand him some carrots. This temporary discomfort will pass, and then I'll back in the saddle, which beats sitting in the hospital any day.


brunettebarbie said...

~*~Get well soon! I was wondering what happened, I've been missing your blogs. I'm glad your surgery went well, you'll be back in the saddle in no time. I hope to one day when a prestigious ribbon like you did that must be awesome! :)~*~

Anonymous said...

I was worried about you too. It's odd to feel so connected to someone you've never met who lives clear across the country! Hope you're feeling better soon!

And, yes, I'm sure Wally missed you! By the way, what is his registered name? Just out of curiosity. My paint mare's name is DJ's Leo Lakota. But I call her Koda.
Take care

Anonymous said...

I was worried about you too. Get well soon--I believe after having two back surgeries this past winter that you can heal much faster when you are with your horse. Wally definitely missed you, I am sure and will be waiting for you to go riding again.


Cindy Hale said...

Jamie: Wally's registered name is Wallstreet Wally. His sire is Street Legal, a well-known Paint horse stallion that produced a lot of successful show horses.

I am feeling better today, but I still can't imagine riding. Yet.