Friday, May 27, 2011

And then THAT happened . . .

Wednesday night, 10:00 p.m. I went to bed feeling a little out of sorts. By 11:00 I realized I hadn't fallen asleep yet, and I was having some pain from my stomach area all across my abdomen. I figured I was having some sort of digestive episode, so I got up and ate a yogurt and some crackers. The hours ticked by during the night, and the pain just kept getting worse and worse. I was especially tender in my lower right abdomen (dun dun DUN) and getting pretty nauseous. By the early morning hours, I had developed a low fever and realized I was actually whimpering from time to time. I had never fallen asleep. At around 8:30 I decided it was ER time.

I couldn't stand up straight, but I hunched my way over to my CRV and drove about 5 mph to my nearby small-town ER. In short order they had an IV in me with some anti-nausea medication. Sweet relief. Then they added some explosively effective pain meds, which made me study the beauty that was the ceiling tiles. I drank about a half-gallon of lemony liquid that helps to light you up for the CT scan. And lo and behold, the scan clearly showed an extremely fat and unhappy appendix. No time to wait; it had to come out immediately. This isn't what I had planned for the holiday weekend.

Two of my friends picked me up and transferred me to the larger medical center in Eugene. They popped me in a room, my friends left, and about twenty minutes later I was being wheeled to OR prep. A nurse talked to me, a tech talked to me, the anesthesiologist talked to me, and the surgeon talked to me. They all wondered if I was nervous, this being my first experience with general anesthesia. But I had had no time to even process what was happening, I was still flying on some leftover pain meds, and I had missed a night's sleep, so I was actually just kind of dozing off. I was perhaps the most relaxed surgery candidate of all time.

About two minutes after being wheeled into surgery, it was lights out, and the next thing I knew I woke up in recovery feeling awesome. They had told me I might feel anxious, but I was the opposite of anxious. I was so so so happy that that sick, toxic pain was gone. Plus, I was very floaty and peaceful. Those ceiling tiles again!

Back up to my room, a quick visit with a couple friends, a night of being poked and prodded once an hour every hour, and then I was discharged at noon today. Talk about a whirlwind. I just woke up from a nap and am feeling sore but good. I was supposed to be at the Bright Eyes show in Bend tonight, but oh, well. Apparently my appendix came pretty close to perforating, but didn't, so I am not going to complain.

No dressage for two weeks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Well, darn

Stupid EHV-1 outbreak.

Due to the ongoing outbreak, my little dressage show was postponed. It was the right decision, but it's still disappointing. Huey and I were ready! The videos below were taken during our Thursday lesson right before the Sunday show. They were the very first times Huey and I had run through the whole tests (first-two and first-three). We have to ride around jumps in our usual arena, so I can't really run through entire tests there.

Huey and I aren't exactly setting the world on fire, but I like how we look. We're solid and no-nonsense. Trot lengthenings are still pretty flat, and his head is as usual a bit waggly, but I think we would have scored just fine. I like that this year they're allowing riders to post the trot in first level. Huey and I would have been fine with sitting, but I've always thought that forcing people to sit kept a lot of capable riders stuck at training level. I also like that there are now just three tests at the levels where there used to be four. Especially training level! How many ways are there to throw together straight lines, diagonals, and twenty-meter circles?

The show has been rescheduled to July 3, and it's looking like we'll be able to go, so that's good. More time to practice! And maybe we'll even go crazy and throw in second-one or something!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Baby Huey jumps!

Camilla entered Huey in an "A" rated hunter/jumper show this weekend. I went out today and caught two videos of them jumping .9 m. They took sixth place in the first class with one rail down, and second place in the second class with a clean round. I don't know much of anything about jumping, but to me the horses that looked and did the best traveled in a dressage-y frame and didn't lean in going around turns. Huey, for example, looks so harmonious between fences. What a good boy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

We're gonna show!

Baby Huey and I are going to show first level at a local schooling show on May 22! I haven't looked at a first level test in, like, seven years. But just how different can they be from seven years ago? There aren't that many possible movements at first level. If Huey and I can get it together, he should be able to score decently on everything except, maybe, trot lengthening. Sometimes we can get it, but more often not so much. Wish us luck!

Here are some clips from this evening. What a pleasant ride. You'll see a little bit of trot lengthening, lots and lots of trot-canter-trot, some walk-canter-walk, and stretching down. I love how the transitions are looking. If you've got nice transitions, you're doing something right. The walk-canter-walk isn't second-level clean yet, but it's not bad. I'm pretty sure Camilla can do it cleaner, so I just need to work on my timing.

Remember when I talked about my fun upper-back muscle knot? And remember when I jolted my back a couple weeks ago? Well, my jolted lower back got about 80% better on its own and then hit a plateau at "not spasming, but moderately ouchy." Several people at work swear by a local chiropractor, so I decided to give him a try. He doesn't do the jerking thing; he uses the little tool that thumps you (I've seen it done on horses). I thought, hey, he can fix my lower back and also tell me why I have frustrated about six different massage therapists who can't get my upper-back-knot to let go. I had my appointment today. The thumping he did on my lower back already seems to have helped a lot. And when he found my knot he started laughing. "That's no knot," he said, "that's your second rib." The muscle that attaches to the rib has pulled it out of whack so it's poking out. He thought it was pretty funny that for a year, massage therapists have been pushing on it, trying to break it up. Pretty hard to break up bone. So he thumped around there, too, and whatever he did has stirred up a hornet's nest. I felt kind of sick all afternoon, and tonight I'm just icing and icing. He said this might happen, and it should subside in a day. And he said to tell the massage therapists to work on the posterior scalene muscle instead of pushing on my rib.