Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Ah, the holidays. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t absolutely adore this time of year. People are happier (kind of), nicer, and though probably a bit more stressed, seem lighter in a way. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I hope it does.

Christmas today has been wonderful and a much needed day to relax at home and enjoy being around the fam. We all live under one roof (except for my brother who is away at college for the majority of the year) and we’re usually headed in different directions, so to be together is sadly, rare. Is what it is, just makes being together even more special!

Updates:

  • My normal PT has been away for the past few weeks so i’ve been working with another PT who I worked with for a year. Taking a different approach to things while we wait for him to get back… always good to get a second opinion!
  • Acupuncture was getting a bit complicated and confusing for a while there, in the sense that we had absolutely no idea whatsoever what was going on. BUT, that seems to have changed and now we may have found the source for some of my symptoms… whoopie!
  • Going to see some myofascial guy next weekend about my ankle to see if he can get my motor control moving in a better direction.
  • Riding is on the back burner right now. My old lease went home and we brought in a new horse for trial. She quickly re-aquainted me with the ground so it’s fair to say that it didn’t work out and we’re back to searching for a new horse. *Sigh*, wasn’t meant to be. Oh well.

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Another day.

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Look at that, i’m back already! Today has been a bit of a rough day, so I thought i’d include a picture of Patrick Dempsey posing with a gorgeous horse to cheer myself up. Why not, right? I had PT today and kinda got slapped in the face with reality. Truth is, my ankle isn’t holding up well and isn’t happy with me. Despite my desperate pleas for it to settle down, it has taken on quite an attitude and has been throwing impressive tantrums. *Sigh* there are just some battles you just can’t win. I’ll be taking 1-2 weeks off of riding (mark my words, it will be no longer than that) to hopefully allow the pain to calm down so we can focus on improving my motor control, which will help me ride more comfortably and effectively than I can at the moment. While I admit that I almost broke down crying when I was told that I needed this tiny bit of time off, i’m okay now and am moving forward. I’ll be back soon, and better than ever.

Quiet? I don’t think so!

It’s a bit busy in my house today. Maybe more than just a “bit” actually. Gardeners are outside pulling weeds which have taken over the “garden” that we have and are probably up to my neck, though they aren’t making much noise. Then we have 2 guys in the basement ripping up flooring because yet another pipe burst which led to water leaking which then leads to more lovely mold. Woohoo! Our cleaning lady was also here this morning, though she left a bit ago. So all in all, today has been loud and busy.

Yesterday consisted of PT and a glutathione injection, so that was fun (please note the sarcasm). PT is something I look forward to, but getting stabbed with a needle… not so much. Seems like my ankle is going through yet another “phase” of throwing tantrums and has been refusing to calm down for the last month or so. We’re not exactly sure what’s going on as the pain has increased and my motor control isn’t getting any better. It can be a bit frustrating for me so right now i’m trying to just get through it. We used ultrasound on the side of my ankle yesterday to help with pain, along with massage… did anybody say OW?! It looks like a lot more of the hands on therapy is in my future which is fine by me, it can just be a bit painful. Even so, it’s clear that you don’t get through life unscathed, so it is what it is for now. i’m lucky to have such a great physical therapist who is extremely knowledgable and is helping me get through this + is helping to keep me in a positive mental place along the way.

Today is just a boring day at home though so really I have nothing even relatively interesting to talk about. I upgraded my Iphone to IOS10 which i’m loving so far, and The Sims announced a new expansion pack which i’m excited about. I’m a bit of a techy kid, but what teenager isn’t these days?

So for now, that’s all. My dog is staring at me and clearly wants something which means I better figure it what she wants ASAP. She’s a 4 year old terrier so ignoring her isn’t exactly an option! Who knows when you’ll hear from me again or if you even want to hear from me again. Stay strong and take things day by day! Bye for now 🙂

9/8/16 Update

Whoops… I haven’t exactly been blogging. Not that people read this as it’s more of a way for myself to keep track of my progress, but still. Here’s a quick update of sorts…

  • Physical therapy: It’s going well and i’m trying to be patient as my motor control inches (centimeters would be better, but that’s not a real term) forward. I took a few steps back about 3 weeks ago and though we’re not sure why it happened, we’re trying to get me back to where I was. Slowly but surely i’ll get there, just have to be patient with myself.
  • Riding: WOOOO! Big one here. I’m allowed to jump again! I do have to tape my ankle and be sure not to overdo it, but i’m SO happy to be jumping again. I missed it oh so much and it feels good to be back in hunter land where I belong.
  • Health: Uhhh…. not really sure about this one as of right now. I’m in limbo I guess you could say. I had a setback a few weeks ago where I felt absolutely awful, but i’ve since recovered from that episode. I’m almost back to my baseline, just not quite there yet. I should have bloodwork results back pretty soon and i’ll see my doctor again at the end of this month so i’m hoping for some answers. We’ll see.
  • Random: I am still oh so obsessed with Hamilton… very, very, obsessed. Something about it just speaks to me and I can always find something in the music to help me through a rough patch. Love it.

That’s all for now, maybe i’ll be back soon, maybe I won’t. Who knows. Goodnight all!

Walking on Eggshells

I am currently feeling sad, frustrated, and unmotivated. I got up this morning in a fairly fowl mood which wasn’t surprising considering that recently I haven’t been much of a morning person. No big deal and I went on with my morning to get ready for physical therapy, as I do twice a week. Normally PT will put me in a better mood, but even today it couldn’t kick the mood I was in. It was a good session considering I rolled my ankle again the other day and had a not so hot lesson yesterday, but I still left feeling agitated, which is far from how I typically feel afterwards. This mood has continued throughout today so it has been a bit of a rough one for me. It’s okay and I know tomorrow will be better, but damn, today was hard. I’ve lashed out at my mom a few times (sorry mom) as well as my dad which he frankly, deserved. Not even “Hamilton” is pulling me out of this rut tonight, AKA those of you around me better run and hide, like now.

I’ve been known to set a little “too high” standards for myself and the last few days i’ve been shoved back into reality so maybe that’s the source of this mood. Between riding and PT, I have high expectations for myself and when I don’t reach those it frustrates the hell out of me. Instead of admitting that something is hard for me, i’ll find any way to swerve around admitting it. Now this has been going on a while and my PT has said a few times “There is no denial in the Nile”. You have to admit defeat to move forward at times, and I guess that’s where I stand at the moment, and it frustrates and confuses me. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and if I find the motivation to get myself out to the barn, that i’ll have a good ride.

Dear 15 Year Old Me,

Dear 15 Year Old Me,

Hate to break it to ya, but your life is going to be turned upside down soon. I know you’re probably pretty confused but i’ll lay it all out for you. Listen, before I get into the nitty gritty of it all, know that you’re going to be okay. Despite everything that you are going to face in the coming years, you’re going to make it through each day alive. As long as you’re alive and breathing, things could always be worse. You’ll make it through, that I can promise you. As i’m writing this at the ripe old age of 18 having more experience than I did 3 years ago at 15, I know a lot more now than I did then. Kiddo, you’ll be alright. It’s going to be a long journey with a fair share of its ups and downs, you’ll struggle but you’ll also realize how strong you are.

14 will have been your last full year of health for quite a while. I know, I know, I didn’t write this warning to you when you were 14, but I guess I just wasn’t ready to face this… my bad. As school gets more and more stressful you’re going to start getting sick. You won’t know it for a while, but that hand that is slowing down? Yeah, you’ll lose the ability to use that for a few days. And that nagging oh so annoying back pain that just won’t leave you alone? Get ready because it is going to take things up a notch soon. March will roll around before you know it, brace yourself for what is to come because honestly, it’s going to move pretty quickly from here. You’ll see an orthopedist at first who will shrug the pain off and send you to physical therapy for what was supposed to last for 6-8 weeks; you’re still in it when you’re 18 and will be for the foreseeable future. That hand will lock soon and you’ll be misdiagnosed with something called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome. I know you’ve always been told that doctors know everything, but explore other options. Ultimately, CRPS won’t be your biggest problem or even your diagnosis. You’ll be in and out of the hospital many times, you’ll have to put up with the torturous PT/OT sessions. I know they hurt but do everything you can to tolerate it, those people have your best intentions in mind.

Unfortunately, your pain will get worse and neuro symptoms will start flaring. You’ll be rushed around from doctor to doctor. Trust me on this one, start getting over your fear of needles and doctors now, it’ll help you in the long run. You’re going to have to deal with nerve blocks, mri’s, blood draws, PICC lines placed, a port a cath placed, etc. Like I had explained about your hand before, your foot will be paralyzed for 8 months. This won’t last for forever, with hard work and an incredible physical therapist you’ll get use of it back. With that and other things, you will be out of riding for quite some time, don’t you even dare think about walking away. There is a horse out there who is waiting for you, i’ll explain that later. You’ll also be out of school completely for over a year, don’t let that put you off. You’ll be back in school, even if just homebound, and you’ll excel as much as you can. None of those are fun and some are scarier than others, but again you’ll get through them. You’re stronger than you know, please don’t let anyone tell you different.

Over the course of the next few years you are going to learn a lot about people. Not everyone is going to make an effort to keep in touch with you, accept it and move on. Those people aren’t worth your time anyways. Doctors, yeah, they don’t know everything and some of them are real jerks. With that being said, they are only human as well. Sadly, not every doctor will be able to help you. Don’t let it get you down, when you’re 16 you’ll find a great doctor who will really help get you on the path to healing. Hang in there. When you’re 17 you’ll find another great doctor who will join the team to help you heal.

15,16,17, year old me… know that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to have a total meltdown. You won’t start accepting this until you’re 18 but I so wish I could change that. It’s a lot to take on for anyone, let alone a kid. You don’t have to hold it together for everyone else. Crying doesn’t show weakness, it doesn’t say that you aren’t strong, it simply just shows that you’ve had all you can take and need to get it out of your system. Let it out, there is no shame in it. Be strong, but don’t be so strong that you don’t allow yourself to feel.

Along the way a little miracle will come along. That not so little miracle will be a Dutch Warmblood standing at 16hh. January 2nd 2015 you will meet your best friend, your partner in crime, the one who will make you smile even when the tears just can’t seem to stop. The soft nicker he lets out when he sees you, the quiet cuddles when no one is around, the quiet hacks, all those little moments will remind you of the beautiful moments that life holds. Embrace those moments, they will help you get through the tougher times. Despite things that will come up, don’t give up. He’ll take care of you, he knows his job. Trust him, he will be there for you through everything. That Dutch Warmblood will make everything worth the suffering. He is worth it all, I promise you. Stay strong for him if for no one else, he will be your rock.

A few months after you turn 18 things will change and pain will intensify. This is the point that i’m writing from now. I’m not giving up now and 15 year old me, if you could have seen this then, I wish you saw the beauty that life does hold. Things will be very dark for a while but they won’t stay that way, okay? You’ll be alright, you’ll get back on your feet, give it time. Deep breaths, take any pony cuddles, and find joy in the little things that life has to offer. Keep kickin’ kiddo, one day at a time.

Sincerely,

I wish I had known the things I know now

-18 year old me

Where I Turn

In hard times people tend to look for somewhere or someone to turn to. Sometimes that is faith and they will turn to their God for help and pray for their health to be returned; or it could be a family member. “In sickness and in health” is a vow you make to one another at the alter and is meant to be honored. Or, if you are like me, you turn to an animal(s) who don’t understand your language, but seem to provide comfort and strength in an indescribable way.

I have been an avid horse lover since I was little and started riding when I was 5 or 6, i’m 18 now. It has been a long time and I of course can’t imagine my life without horses in it. Yes, they are animals who have a mind of their own. Yes, my horse could easily kill me with one kick from his hoof to my head, but he is my comfort. He is my reassurance, the reliable element that exists in my life. He doesn’t speak my language, but in a way that almost makes me feel more connected to him. It is a silent yet solid connection that can be witnessed in a quiet cuddle or even jumping a long course. It’s all communication between horse and rider, and one that I am very thankful to be able to understand. I can trust him with the whispered secrets that I tell him when nobody is listening, I know that he’ll be there for cuddles after a horrible day, I know he won’t judge me. I know he will love me unconditionally, no matter how sick I may be. He is the one steady element in my life, one of whom I literally trust with my life.

When i’m having a hard day, where is the first place I turn to? The barn. Something about that sweet (what some people call “disgusting”) smell of fresh hay and a soft nuzzle from my favorite pony (really a horse) makes everything disappear and the stress and weight of the world be lifted from my shoulders. There is no better feeling than climbing on the back of a horse in a quiet ring while enjoying each others presence to help the stress and tension melt away.

Today I realized just how lucky I am to have that outlet. One of my friends who i’ve known for about a year now lost her outlet, dance, to this awful thing called Lyme. It’s hard as I lost riding for nearly 19 months out of 24 months, and I know how devastating it can be to have to lose the one thing keeping you sane. So for anyone who has lost their outlet, their stress reliever, know that one day you will get it back. Keep fighting for it, because when you do finally get it back, it is the best feeling in the whole world.