Friday, June 17, 2011

Hunger And Hope

Fragile as a spider's web
hanging in space
between tall grasses,
it is torn again and again.
A passing dog
or simply the wind can do it.
Several times a day
I gather myself together
and spin it again.

Spiders are patient weavers.
They never give up.
And who knows
what keeps them at it?
Hunger, no doubt,
and hope.

May Sarton 1912-1995

I came across that poem last week at Desert Canyon Living and it immediately struck a chord with me.  Partly because my horse is named Spider.  I won't lie, since acquiring Spider I have developed a definite affinity for the little creatures.  But, also because it illustrates so perfectly where I am at right now in my life.  I am fragile, my horse's training is fragile.  The slightest disturbance can and does destroy everything I have built.  But, like the spider, I pick up the pieces and start again.  To some it seems that we're running in circles.  Sometimes even I think that I should just give up.  But I have a hunger.  Without horses, without riding, I feel empty.  And so I gather myself and begin spinning again.  My hunger drives me and I can only hope for a positive outcome.

I have good days with my back and I have bad days.  It's frustrating, but that's just the way it is.

Yesterday I had my first appointment with the physiatrist.  Being a specialist, he won't really say anything until the full barrage of tests are done.  Being a specialist, that will take forever.  I need to get an MRI and an EMG done, then I'll be back in to see him in August.  August!  That's half of show season, right there!  I had intended to be starting 3rd level by the end of this show season, but something tells me my back won't be fixed by then.  Actually, the diagnostics won't even be done by then.  This specialist only wants to work on part of my back at once, starting with the lower.  Which makes sense, since the lower back is what's causing all the problems, but it's just so tedious.  I'll have the MRI done of my lower back, the EMG done on my left leg (EMG is to diagnose and locate nerve damage), then meet with the Dr. to discuss those results and treatment plan.  Then I'll have an MRI done of my upper back and neck and an EMG on my left arm, then meet to discuss treatment plans for that.  At this rate, it will be 2012 before I get an answer!  Well, perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration.  It feels like it will take forever, though.

On the bright side, the Dr. didn't say anything about limiting my physical activity (not that I asked, but still...).  So, I guess my show season is still open.  My saddle is pretty heavy, I figure if I can lift over my head to get it on my horse's back, then I'm OK to ride!



  1. I love spiders, although not when they come in on my sheets from the laundry line ;)

    Must be daunting facing such a drawn out set of procedures. Patience isn't my strong suit. I hope that you'll get the help and relief you need. And glad the doc didn't restrict you!!

  2. Spiders are amazing creatures, and as you say, so resilient. We have the giant orb weavers here in our tall prairie grasses, and coming upon one of their huge webs beaded with dew is wonderful.

    Do what you can as things are getting figured out and enjoy every moment.

  3. This was a beautiful post. The 'hunger that drives you' resonates with me, and makes me remember various stages I've been through with riding. Not giving up, starting over if needed, is a theme I see in a number of blogs lately and a perspective I have tremendous respect for.
    I'm like you - why can't they just do all the tests when you're in there the first time? Oh well, at least they're getting done and you're still riding. I hope it goes well and as quickly as possible.

  4. Spiders amaze me, but scare me at the same time. I certainly admire them and am in awe of their web construction, but when one suddenly shows up a bit to close, I jump away.

    But that poem speaks so well of the feelings I've had over the years with many things, especially my riding. Right now, like you, I am finding the physical struggle to seriously pursue my riding a bit too much, so I truly empathize. When I through my back out earlier this spring, it overshadowed my knees by a mile of pain. I can hardly imagine what it must be like for you on those bad days.

    The medical world does seems to take forever to sort things out. I am convinced doctors live in their own "time warps" where conventional time means nothing. But, if you have a good doctor, the wait is always worth it.

    Wishing you well and more good days than bad.

  5. Doctor's and their tests take forever. I never can understand why it all can't be done in a day or two, I mean really, how long does it take to get results from a test.

    In the meantime you're riding when you can and have a good attitude. Wishing you all the best and hope things go faster than they predict.

  6. I'm so sorry about your back. After watching my husband go through similar problems I can totally relate. I hope things go quicker and better than you're expecting. I send good thoughts.


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