Feeling discouraged! (Mystery injury that won't heal)
Hi! Sooo, please bear with me, because this post is pointless except as a venting tool for me. And, boy, do I need it!
I tripped seven weeks ago and fell on my knee on concrete. Nothing at all to do with horses, just, gravity won that round of our perpetual competition.
I've been wearing a thigh-to-calf knee immobilizing brace for seven weeks. I've had knee surgery and physical therapy. All of this was okay in my head, because it was temporary. Yeah, it stinks not to ride a horse for seven weeks -- ESPECIALLY because I had JUST, FINALLY been offered full-time employment on a dreamy, dreamy horse farm before I got hurt.
I'm still teaching beginner lessons from the ground (walk only - nothing complicated) and I can feed horses and fill buckets and that's about it. I can't climb aboard. I can't turn out. I can't clean stalls. I can't sidewalk in leadline lessons. I can't even lunge because turning in a circle like that makes me lose my balance with this stupid brace.
But again, all of that was okay. It was temporary.
Well, hopefully it still is, but after surgery and recovery and physical therapy, I still can't perform any motion that requires my quad. I can't lie on my back and lift my leg into the air. I can't straighten my bent leg. I can't lift the leg very high off the ground at all. My right leg has lost muscle and is noticeably skinnier than my left. I've been scheduled for another MRI and an EMG and nerve conduction study to find out whether I have nerve damage.
This may not be permanent, but it sure is dragging on. I'm getting very tempted to get on a horse. Not my own, he's rotten (God love him), but one of our two therapy-horses-in-training. I would only ride at a walk, on the lunge (and I grudgingly admit that I should clear it with my doctor first, as the last thing I want is to prolong this injury), but I'm just going CRAZY with not riding!!
As my leg heals from surgery and I get range of motion back from the stiffness of being immobile for so long, I think I could ride okay. I have lateral movement of the leg, so it would be weak, but I can squeeze with my legs. I would need someone to lift my leg over my horse and put it in the stirrup, as I can't lift it or move it forward like that. And I would probably lose my stirrup a lot, like I do on the bike at therapy. But, I mean, I didn't own a saddle for the first two years I owned a horse. I can ride without stirrups.
I'm just so discouraged. I was about to start school for my big career change, pursuing certification in therapeutic riding while working full-time on my friend's horse farm. Now I live in her guest room (because my own apartment was third-floor) and I watch people ride and I am SO glad I can get around well enough now to spend time in the barn, but I'm still so frustrated and impatient!!
I'm sorry -- nobody except my friend who owns the farm understands how I feel about this. I just needed to vent!
Knee injuries are a big deal-please be patient & do that PT!
It's just scary to not know what's wrong or how long it will be wrong!
Thanks for letting me vent! I know healing is more important than riding. I'll hang in and wait for the new round of tests and hope for good news!
I agree! My boyfriend tore his ACL and had knee surgery. Physical therapy is VERY important, as is being patient.
Don't get on a horse until you are strong enough to handle it.
I promise it'll be worth it in the end :)
I don't know this for a fact, but I've had this experience enough to think it is often true;
you think you will never get better. It feels like it's the New Normal. But, it will heal, and you 'll have a different New Normal. It might not return to exactly the preinjury state, but it likely won't be as bad as it is now. It's just hard, sometimes, to trust that what seems like it will never go away, will.
Thanks, guys! I feel much, much, much better about things today. Yesterday was a good day. I taught a lesson on my own horse, which was almost as good as riding him since I got to be out there close to him, directing his mental and physical workout just as if I were on his back. I love that, while I'm not able to ride for a while, he's teaching other people how, and those people will always look back on him fondly as their first lesson horse. Then, physical therapy went well, I got some bend I wasn't able to before, and I didn't even need a nap afterward like usual, haha!
Aaaaaaand ... it's possible I engaged in a little Ebay retail therapy. When I DO get to ride again, me and my horse will both have something new to wear, lol!
Have you thought about visiting a chiropractor in addition to your physical therapy?
OOOH! Ebay retail therapy! that sounds like fun. You've got me thinking . . . what sorts of the horse thing do I need?
Ebay retail therapy is the BEST! I bought my first-ever actually-not-a-piece-of-junk saddle. It wasn't an impulse buy, I swear, I've been in the market for a while. But the paisley-print saddle pad to go with it? THAT was an impulse-buy!
As for the chiropractor, no, I hadn't thought about that. I will look into it. My insurance situation is complicated, though, so I doubt it's a possibility at this time.
I guess I really am going to have to put off riding for a while. I plopped my (shiny-gorgeous-beloved) new saddle on the saddle stand and climbed (slowly, clumsily) aboard and my leg just does NOT bend like that! And the saddle stand is a LOT narrower than one of our pleasantly plump lesson ponies!
This saddle is going to be cleaned SO MANY TIMES between now and when I can ride!
If you do go to a chiropractor, make sure you inform him of the injury in it's entirety.
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