|Spider Claus says, "Are you done with the pictures yet? Let's get to work."|
So, Merry Christmas to all! I'm a little late on that.
I had my Orthopedist appointment today, to read my MRI and x-rays and decide on a course of action. The good news: It's not fatal. The bad news: They're not sure what's going on and the plan is to throw treatments at me and see what sticks.
And that's what has brought me to the "I think I'm going to die" stage I'm at right now. I'm not really going to die, that's just how I feel. But, let's back up to the diagnosis....
So, I've got a 20 degree scoliosis curve in my lumbar spine, significant arthritis and some herniated discs. None of it is so bad as to warrant surgery, which is good. But, my back still hurts, and that's bad. So, the Dr. wanted to try a steroid injection. He thinks that a lot of my pain is actually coming from my left Vastus lateralis muscle. It is extremely tender upon palpation, and, when challenged to stretch it, it just doesn't do that. Plus, when asked to shift left (a movement that would require the left Vastus lateralis to engage itself) I just fall over. So, something isn't right with it, and the doctor feels that might be the problem.
|Courtesy of Gray's Anatomy, via Wikipedia.|
To test this theory, the Dr. injected my Vastus lateralis with steroids (Depo Medrol). And I instantly felt better! It was amazing, I could have danced a jig! But, here's the thing about getting steroid injections: They hose down the injection site with lidocaine first. Lidocaine is a short-acting analgesic that makes getting a giant needle into your hip not hurt. Once the lidocaine wore off all my original pain came back, plus I had a giant bruise where the doc put the Depo Medrol in. So, now I've still got sciatica, and my ass is bruised. Oh joy!
And that's why I think I'm going to die right now.
When I got my injection this morning, I asked the Dr. specifically if I could ride my horse today. He said I could, that there was no problem with me exercising or going about my normal lifestyle after the injection. So, I did. I had a lesson with my trainer, because I'd already scheduled it and he doesn't get down here too often. By the time he got here the lidocaine had worn off, but my back doesn't hurt so much when I ride. It's the tacking up, getting on and getting off that does me in.
So, I had my lesson, and my trainer told me that I rode better than he had ever seen me ride. And he told me that Spider went better than he had ever seen him go. All the time, I felt like I was going to die of pain (riding with a bruised ass is not fun!). But the work I've done with Spider is still good, the training I've put on him is sound. He carried me through that lesson with the training I've given him. That gives me hope.
I'm not giving up. I've ridden a lot of horses with problems over the years. I never gave up on them. And I know Spider isn't going to give up on me.