Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back To Work

Getting back into the swing of things is always difficult.  Laziness is written into our biology at the most basic level.  Evolution favors streamlining.  Things that aren't really needed are lost, like the human tail and most of our horse's toes.  These things happen because the metabolic (energy) requirement for creating and maintaining the structure outweighs the benefit of having it. Nature favors a low energy output.   See, laziness is good! 

Unless, of course, you're trying to train a horse.  Then laziness is slightly less than desirable.  Inherent laziness aside, Spider and I starting to settle into a good routine.  I work him every other day and we work on something different every time.  Some days we focus on trot, some days canter or lateral work or collection.  There are so many areas of our training that need improvement, it really isn't hard to change up our routine!

We are not working on anything new.  I am being a bit conservative, partly because of the heat and partly because of my continuing back issues.  I fired the Physiatrist I saw previously.  He wanted to work up my lower back first.  My lower back is not giving me the most problems right now.  And, really, I know what's wrong with my lower back:  I broke it!   Yes, it does cause me pain, but that pain is mostly background noise and rarely bothers me in the saddle.  Whatever is going on with my neck is acute, severe and prevents me from riding, so let's address that first!  Plus, because his practice was affiliated with one of the big hospitals in Philadelphia, his appointments were booked up for months in advance.  It would have taken him the better part of a year to work up my whole back and get a treatment plan in place.  I don't have time for that.

To that end, I found a very nice Orthopedist right here in my little Podunk town. He is even featured on a very large billboard along the (only) major highway in our area.  Exciting!  So what if he isn't affiliated with the finest Sports Medicine practices in Philadelphia?  He listened to me, and (aside from one admonition that riding was "very bad for my back", that was shut down very quickly)  is doing his best to figure out what is going on with me.  So far, I've only gotten an MRI of my neck, it showed a herniation between C-6 and C-7.  The Ortho thinks there may be more going on, though.  From his examinations of me, he feels that my left shoulder and my left elbow are involved, too.  These three competing problems are combining into a Voltron of Pain and that is what's causing my neck to seize up.  Great.  For now, I have a referral for physical therapy.  I will go to physical therapy for a month, and if I haven't improved then I'll start having injections. 

Funny side note:  The Ortho started to describe the injections and I was like, "Oh, I know what they are.  Sport horses get them all the time."  Then he described how the injections would be done:  We would start by injecting my shoulder.  If that didn't provide relief, then we would go to my neck.  My response:  "Oh, just like nerving on a lameness exam!"  And people say horses are a silly hobby....

And now on a completely unrelated topic...

I am very proud to announce that my dear Lucky Duck is the proud Mama to four absolutely adorable little duckies!  I had worried she might be lonely all by herself, so earlier this spring I bought her a boyfriend:

Rex, Lucky Duck's handsome new fella'

I am pleased to report that Lucky is a lonely duck no more!  Her new little family is just beautiful.



  1. Glad to hear you've been able to keep up with riding. And good for you being proactive in your health care! I hope the ortho provides you some relief and sets you on a productive course of treatment.

    Too funny about the horse / human health care overlap! ;)

  2. Aw-w-w-w-w-w-w-w is right. I am happy for your duck.

    Have to laugh about the equine and human medicine correlation, I have had similar things happen to me more than once.

    I too needed an orthopedic doctor who would listen to me. Found one and he's going to replace my knees. I also have have an excellent chiropractor who always listens about where it hurts. Any doctor who doesn't goes off my list at this point.

  3. That yellow. They are so cute ^-^
    Good for you to change medic!
    You need somebody who is ready to work with you. I guess he wanted to start with the lower back because everything is connected. If you fix the lower back it can help fixing the neck.

    Once by gently mobilising my pelvis it helped "pop" relaigned my cervical. But I do not have the same pathology than you.

    I wish you good luck and hope you get good results.

    I am looking too for a new vet/bareffot trimmer for Teena. Because evenif I told him that Teena needed help he is not able to fix an appointment ;-( My life does not have to bend over to fit his life. Grrrrrrrrrrrr

    Last time I am working with him. Next time I am trying a new vet/trimmer.

  4. Great news that you found someone to get to working on your neck/back issues.

    Love the babies!

  5. I dislike doctors in general, but I hate the ones who on't listen to you. Um, hello? I didn't go to med school, but I live in my body every single day.

  6. I have some serious neck pain/issues as well. Went to a chiro for over a year and while he helped, it didn't last. It wasn't until I started doing yoga that my pain was all but gone.
    Your issue is probably more involved and severe than mine but I just wanted to share that with you.

    Oh, and you couldn't find Lucky Duck a better looking boyfriend;) just kidding.

  7. Thanks for making me feel better for being inherently lazy hehe. :D I have to work on that all the time.

    I'm glad you and Spider are settling into a nice routine. I just wish your neck/shoulder/etc would heal up so you could ride pain free. I hope this new doctor works out for you. It sounds like he's definitely more willing to listen.

    Your new baby duckies are so cute!! I have Muscovies too and I love them. They make really great moms too. :)


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