Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Belated Christmas! Also, I think I'm Going To Die (Figuratively)

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.  


  1. Hang in there, kiddo. I have new understanding of back pain after my last fall (lumbar sprain) and how it impacts riding. I hope the injections give you some long time relief and aren't just a pain in the a--.

  2. I hope your bruised butt heals quickly. You must have been doing something very right to get those compliments during your lesson. One tough cookie.

  3. I hear those steroid shots are seriously painful - glad they're giving you some relief, excepting your behind... ;D

    Hoping that 2013 brings you health, happiness and continued progress with Spider!!

  4. Thanks for the well-wishes!

    It's actually feeling a bit better today. My sciatica isn't acting up as bad, so maybe the steroid is starting to take effect. Still feels like I got kicked in the rump by a mule, though!

  5. Merry Belated Christmas and sorry to hear about your back pain. I am certain that Spider will not give up on you, but you may want to invest in mounting ramp. We have one for therapeutic riders and I use it exclusively to get on my horse, because it is better for his back and the saddle then stepping into a stirrup. You can use it for dismounting, too. I bet you (or a helper) could put one together without too much trouble!

  6. So sorry about your back. I'm wondering if some acupuncture might help as well. Just a thought.

    Hate those darn injections. Never had them in my back, but in my knees instead. On the plus side, they do work once you get through the initial negative reactions. Here's hoping they do the same for you.

    Good wished for the New Year and many painless days to come!

  7. Happy New Year!
    Hope you get the pain under control. My cortisone injection in my foot (Morton's Neuroma) didn't really start working for a couple of weeks, and the pain was worse at first, so maybe yours will kick in too.
    Sounds like things are going really well with Spider, despite your challenges. Good for you guys!

  8. HaHa, I saw something shinny....
    Hope you feel way better soon. c


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