HagonNag Update #3 - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 37 Old 08-06-2012, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: State of Confusion (SC)
Posts: 890
• Horses: 3
ANOTHER setback! Grumble, grumble, grumble....

Thank y'all for your kind words. Most of the credit really goes to our vet who made us aware of this option. He spent a lot of time going over Big and talking with us (while other patients waited) and then refused to charge us for the visit. His comment: You guys spend enough money with me already!! I guess you know we'll be clients for life. LOL What a GREAT vet!

Another update. I just came back from the Drs. office where we got another little setback. My breathing has been worse for the last day or two and my right lung isn't fully filling with air in the bottom so we had to go for another x-ray. It's either another pneumothorax or fluid. We'll find out late this afternoon if it's something that will resolve itself, OR...as Dr. Buice said, he'll put me in the hospital, run me down to surgery, knock me out and stick in a video camera to see what the heck is going on. And then it's either back to a chest tube, or he'll aspirate fluid. So we wait. And I play on the computer while Jim is fixing my lunch. I keep telling myself it could have been a LOT worse. I'm actually pretty comfortable as long as I don't do anything that requires breath! LOL

I've stopped the prescription pain meds and I'm down to tylenol or advil - 22 days post wreck. I'm doing WAY good.

I asked and he said to play it safe and not think about getting on a horse for at least 3 months. He also said that I might not even feel like it then because I really wrecked my chest. There goes my October plan. Between the flail chest, ribs and sternum, he expects me to be dealing with pain issues for at least a year. HAH! He doesn't know the Johnson girls and their tough mama.... It takes a LOT to keep us down! He also gave me a referrel to an orthopedic surgeon for my shoulder for an evaluation.

So... I'm sitting and waiting and I'll let you know when I know. It is really wonderful to have friends who care and to whom I can reach out at any time of the day or night through this computer.

I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.
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post #22 of 37 Old 08-06-2012, 02:25 PM
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Location: Seattle, WA
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As an asthmatic, when I read that you have trouble breathing, my lungs get tight! reading about your broken sternum made my chest hurt. I don't know if I should be reading these updates. I might need to have some of your meds.

just kidding, of course.

I hope you get you lung cleared up. When my dad had some fluid in his lungs they actually put him on diauretics. beleive it or not, it worked.
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post #23 of 37 Old 08-08-2012, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: State of Confusion (SC)
Posts: 890
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Good News!

It was a little fluid, Dr. decided to give it a day...and it resolved itself! No trip to the hospital, no more needles, and my breathing is good again! Yippee!!

I'm going to try to go back to work on Monday. I may not make it through the whole day at first, but I've got to do something because sitting around the house is driving me nuts! Retirement is coming mid February, and if I haven't developed some stamina and I have to sit around like I'm doing now, I might just go batty. I won't be able to do all my work, but I'll be able to do the part that requires sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, talking with people and making decisions! Wish me luck!

WHAT did sick people do before electricity? If I didn't have ceiling fans, electronics and a constant supply of ice, I'd go nuts. Books are great, but after awhile even they get old. Of course, back in those days I'd be dead, so I guess it's a moot point! I am SO lucky.

I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.
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post #24 of 37 Old 08-08-2012, 07:46 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SE TN
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Yes, now is a good time to be alive. It's amazing how far medicine has advanced.

Don't push yourself, but I think it's important to get up, stretch, and move around a bit.

No plans yet for physical therapy?

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #25 of 37 Old 08-08-2012, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: State of Confusion (SC)
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Gunslinger, I have an appt. with the orthopedic surgeon (the same one who did my carpal tunnel surgery --she's very thorough and very nice) on August 29.
I imagine she will take MRIs or cat scans of the shoulder and then decide what to do ---therapy or surgery. I'm hoping like heck for therapy because I hear shoulder surgery is the PITS. The affected shoulder is on the same side as most of my broken ribs and the incision for the chest tube. In other words, the REALLY crunched side. I doubt very much I could even attempt physical therapy at the moment.
I know I screamed and I think I passed out when the cat scan techs tried to force my arms over my head for the initial cat scans. Raising that arm higher than parallel with the shoulder is impossible ---in any direction. And even that hurts.

My right side and front seems to have taken the brunt...The cracked sternum is one border...then the flail chest between the sternum and the shoulder...all the broken ribs down the upper right side under my arm. The kidney that was lacerated and the adrenal gland that was bruised was on the right also. The only damage to the left side was one broken rib...and I can't even feel that one. The cracked cervical spines and the T1 damage are right in the middle (naturally! LOL) opposite my sternum crack. I'm afraid I might end up as a lop sided old granny. I'm having to work REALLY hard at standing straight and breathing deep, because the instinct is to sort of curl over and collapse a little on that side. The ribs right under my right breast still stab me a little at times and aren't real happy about the deep breathing and straightening up.

The doctor told me I'd have a permanently deformed chest cavity....Oh, I'll look all right with my clothes on and as long as I don't try for swimsuit modeling jobs no one will realize there's any problem. <grin> I have a slight hump over the point of my right collar bone...it may or may not eventually smooth out. I'm still dealing with strained neck muscles on the right side also.

All in all, physical therapy will have to wait for awhile. Breathing comes first.

I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.

Last edited by HagonNag; 08-08-2012 at 09:38 AM.
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post #26 of 37 Old 08-08-2012, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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And you are thinking about going back to work

I think breathing deep and trying to be as straight as possible sounds like good therapy for now, I'm still amazed that you are on OTC pills already, I would still be hooked up to the good stuff I think.
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post #27 of 37 Old 08-08-2012, 12:00 PM
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I am in total agreement with GH. Pat, where have you got that wonder woman cape stashed? Glad to hear the lung corrected itself. Keep healing and please don't push yourself too hard.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #28 of 37 Old 08-08-2012, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Gh and MHF, Thank you for your concern. I promise you I am NOT going to push myself to the point where I go backwards. I've always had a pretty high pain threshold and at this point, pain isn't really my major issue -- stamina is. And I can't build that by babying myself. I WILL ride again, and at my age, I can't expect to regain my normal life without fighting for it. Now that I'm breathing normally again, it's time to put those lungs to use and make sure they KEEP working.

My job has two very different sides. On the one hand, I do library administration and management. Out of 102 employees, 43 are mine. I supervise all the eight branches, the courier service, the bookmobile. Everything outside the main library is mine. That part is a piece of cake because I have absolutely wonderful employees. They keep functioning whether I'm there or not. My branch managers and the courier and bookmobile people are incredibly hardworking and dedicated. I can do what is necessary for this part at a desk with a computer and phone, and of course sitting in meetings...My LEAST favorite thing.

The other part of the job is the problem area and I'll need to rearrange & train some staff to help. I'm responsible for weeding the library and the branches. Just like your closet, some things have to go, if you want to get new clothes. We have new books coming in all the time, and other books becoming obsolete. Knowledge changes, tastes change. And we don't have ever-expanding shelves. Sometimes books get pulled because they're falling apart, sometimes because they're just plain obsolete (A science book that says "Someday man may walk on the moon" springs to mind, or Our Wonderful 48 States! LOL) Books that once were incredibly popular may not have checked out in the last 5 years. They're taking up space we need for books people want so they need to go (we can always get copies from elsewhere, if someone requests the title.) When books are really "hot" we buy or lease extra copies to keep up with demand. When the demand dies, we no longer need all those copies. So they get pulled. And there are always exceptions: classics, important literary titles, important authors, books that are part of a series. You can't just give employees a list and say pull these. You actually have to look at and consider each book. Do we need it? What is it's condition? How many copies do we have/need? Can it be replaced (is it still in print?) Lots and lots of hands-on decisions.

Part of this is clerical...running reports, removing them from the catalog, etc. Part of it is very, very, physical: pulling them from the shelf, packing them into boxes... When I go to a library to weed, I often pull off the shelf, pack and move 30-40 boxes of books in one day. They're heavy. I won't be doing that anymore.

We're also cutting back on our non-fiction because it's not used as much now that so many people have home computers. We're adding e-titles all the time because of the demand for them...and adding computers for the public. So one of the things I also do is re-arrange the interior of libraries.

I need to make sure that these functions go on... and I need to plan for continuity after I retire in Feb. I've got people to train, decisions to make.
The actual work (much of which I used to do because of staff shortages) will have to be done by others. There's no way I could be lifting and moving books like I used to (even if my Dr. would let me.)

SO, I'm going to try to go back. It may very well be just part days at first, but I think I'll get better faster if I push it (very carefully) than if I just hang around the house.

(Sorry, I didn't mean to write a book! LOL)

I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.
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post #29 of 37 Old 08-08-2012, 01:23 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southeast Texas
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Wow HagsOnNags....I just went back and read what all happened. I had seen your post about getting another trail horse in the trails section and had posted to that.

I told you on that post that I had hurt my leg coming off a horse. That is an understatement. Like your deep tissue bruising - that is what I had. I still have discoloration on my leg and it was almost 4 years ago. It was deep purple from the top of my leg to the foot and had nerve damage. I had cellulitis which was extremely painful and the doctor threatened me with hospitalization if I didn't stay off of it and totally elevated. He said he had never seen a leg that bad that wasn't broke in several places with a shattered kneecap. My cousin is the director of an ER - she is my riding buddy now - she looked at the pictures recently and she said "do you have any idea of how much blood you lost?"

So when I read all of the stuff you are going through I so felt for you and my injury wasn't near as severe as yours.

Mr. Big is a gorgeous little fellow but not worth the risk. The worst that happened to me is it robbed me of my confidence. I still have trouble with it. I am working on it.

I hope you continue to improve every single day. I will be praying for you and your search for a new trail buddy.

Enjoying my Garmin and mapping trails
Visit my trail riding blog at
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post #30 of 37 Old 08-10-2012, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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I'm glad things are going better for you, HagonNag! Keep us updated! I hope you can move around better soon.
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