Thursday, January 24, 2008

What keeps you from riding? Bunion Surgery for one!

Well I am now in week 3 of recovery from a double osteotomy with hammer toe repair and various other things which produce a great and glorious FrankenFoot. I did this in the dead of winter so as to lose the least possible amount of horse time. Usually January-February are so cold and windy here that it takes a great resolve to spend much time with the horses anyway, and they are content to stand in whatever sun they can find, eat hay all day long, and daydream. My family is the bunion gene-pool par excellence; both my mom and dad had to resort to multiple padded insoles and both still had some mobility loss so I was determined not to let that happen without a fight.

Here are some things that surprised me:

1. Anaesthesia is a lot like getting run over by a Mack truck. I had expected blissful sleep and awakening to a new day. Ha! My brain had been adjusted and not in a good way. So had my stomach. So had my emotions. Who bursts into tears when someone holds a door open for them? Post-operative patient Flying Lily.

2. Pain medication is not necessarily your friend. Yes, it lets you sleep, but it also sends you strange nightmares of being chased through jungles by snakes with legs. I moved over to generic ibuprofen as soon as I could.

3. The pain was not that bad actually. It would come every now & then but didn't stay long. Now (the surgery was January 2nd) it is rare. If I overdo, walk around too much or something, I notice it.

4. Those strange pins the surgeon left in were scaring me - they would have to come out some day! Well they're out now and that was nothing; I barely felt it. I did not watch, but my dear husband took pictures so we could creep ourselves out later.

5. Crutches now: there was an awakening. All my life I have underestimated how hard it is to get around on crutches. I now have the greatest admiration for anyone who has to manage them. Biggest challenge: Carrying a cup of coffee on crutches. The carpets can testify that I did not get this down very well.

6. A Cavalier King Charles spaniel can be just the best little convalescent companion imaginable. My little Gabriel was at my side through sleepiness and waking, through daytime television (heavens what a wasteland!) and journal writing, through every minute and he was in lapdog heaven. I'm sure he thought I had finally seen the light, and given up all activity which takes me out of the house without him.

I did get to visit the horses last weekend, and my dear husband brought my thoroughbred his peanut butter sandwich and my Mountain Horse his sliced apple. I got to sit in the car and watch. They were looking happy in their blankets. I miss them so. I probably won't ride for another month, but they are being worked and well cared for by good friends.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I hope you are up and about and feeling like a new and improved self soon.

Olivia. said...

i'm a horseback rider also and i have to get bunion surgery on April 14th! im really upset i wont be able to ride for a while, almost enough to make me not want to get the surgery! but im glad your surgery turned out fine :)

Judy said...

I have bunion surgery scheduled for July 9th. I have 2 questions. I can't find a pair of riding boots in a wide width. Ariat says they make them, I ordered them, they came. They are 2/1/2 inches wide. My foot, now, is 4 inches.
Also I plan to go horse camping in September. Will this be possible? I figure I can wear my large pull on muck boots if I can't find real boots, but will the pain be okay two months after surgery?
And don't even ask why I'm doing it in the summer! There's no way I'm asking friends to clean stalls twice a day for three horses for 2 weeks...this way, the guys can just be out in pasture....with no one riding them!