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Thursday, May 6, 2010

My life in 4 Acts

I have wonderful draft posts stacking up on my desktop. Posts about crew bags, and whether to boot or glue at wild west, and how American River has altered my outlook on endurance.

And yet, not one of them is ready to publish because every time I sit down to write, what I want to do is whine about my present state in life.

Which I have held off doing. After all, in the grand scheme of things I KNOW my present trials are chicken scratch. After all, some people (like endurance granny and Mr. Mom) have REAL problems.

I have a lot to be grateful for – my horse is sound, my rent is paid for, and last I checked I was still employed.

But darn it! I’m having a hard time here! And since I sincerely doubt I will write ANY THING of value until I get it out, I have decided this is MY blog and I will whine if I want to. So there.

Act I
Fortunately, my doctor DID take me seriously. Fortunately, I now have a nifty protocol that hopefully keeps me from ever getting poison oak again. Because…..unfortunately I have decided that it is highly unprobable that I will EVER be able to give myself an epi-pen injection.

I was fine with it until I read that it can be used through your clothing. Like jeans. As someone that is quite familiar with injections I know for the needle not to break, that needle is quite large. Uh…..people have suggested that I will be in too much pain and too close to dying to even care and I will just do it. Except – I usually have 24 hours between when I first know I have poison oak and when the real reaction occurs…..I’m suppose to give myself the injection when I first know I have it. Which means, I will feel fine. I’m suppose to stick myself with this thing while still in a rational state of mind.

I think I should give up and have the instructions tattooed on my body. That way when people find me unconscious and insensible, they can do it for me.

BTW – I still have poison oak. New patches every day. Swelling on the face still not totally gone. Not to mention in a bad mood because I’ve now spent $200 on preventatives, medication, doctor visits.

Mom said “if, while you were at your worst, someone offered to touch your body with a magic wand for $100 and make it dissapear, would you?”. My response – “no – I could spend that on an endurance ride”.

Act 2
I can’t run. Or walk. Or exercise. After behaving itself fabulously throughout physical therapy, my knee decided to act up and become inflamed. It hasn’t felt this bad since I actually injuried it. At PT today they said I should rest it. Ice it. No running, so I inquired about walking….Nope. I didn’t ask about riding. As you can imagine, I’m going crazy and self-medicating with icecream (have I mentioned I LOVE icecream?)

Act 3
After behaving atrociously at last Friday’s lesson (Farley, not me...), I did my homework with Farley and brought a reasonably behaved pony to today’s lesson. Unfortunately not well enough behaved or trained to show training level this weekend.

I won’t lie. I was devastated. I gave myself a stern talking to during the lesson “Melinda, you are a quarter of a century old. Practically an adult. Get a hold of yourself. You can bawl in the truck later.”

Which is exactly what I did. I gave myself exactly 5 minutes to wallow in self pity and cry my eyes out.

I worked so hard to get my canter showable. It was there. I had it. And then I went to Alabama (not my choice by the way) and lost a week. Which translated to setting us back about 2 weeks for some reason. Like my trainer said – if we had one more week…..

So I’m showing 2 intro classes. I’ve already spent the money on the show. I didn’t want to spend the $ at a recognized show to show intro, but it looks like I don’t have a choice. Disappointment is a hard pill to swallow, but I’m sure there’s a valuable lesson in here applicable to endurance somehow, but I don’t feel like looking for it right now.

Act 4
….is a bunch of little stuff that isn’t making any of the big stuff easier to swallow.

Farley’s back has white hairs. A lot of white hairs. She’s not sore so I can’t figure out if it was this saddle or the last that gave them to her. Was it this saddle combined with my atrocious riding since all the hairs on on the left side of her spine (near the middle ofher back?) So I have an e-mail out to a saddle fitter trying to get an appointment. This is probably $$.

My trailer running lights and tail lights don’t work. Need to schedule a shop visit. More $$

I have NO idea what my PT is going to cost me….I haven’t seen a bill yet. YIKES! They’ve totally fixed my Achilles and right knee so that’s priceless right? Especially at 25?

I’m sick of going to see doctors and I have 2 MORE appointments in the next week.

I’m trying to decide whether to use strap on boots or glue for wild west.

I lost all my checks. Somewhere in my apartments. They are so lost I’ve had to order new ones and use money orders to do things like pay for wild west.

I’ve been plagued by migraine-like headaches every night.

I haven’t had a REALLY good ride on Farley (where both of us just clicked) since the Friday before American River.

I have blisters on the bottoms of my feet and toes. Since last Thursday. These were born out of a decision to run on the hotel treadmill barefoot after I realized I forgot socks. I tried walking in my shoes without socks and gave myself blisters on the back of my heels. So took off my shoes....

I think that’s actually it! So now that I’ve gotten it all out, maybe we can return to regularly scheduled programming?


  1. Even though you are "just showing intro" you are still going to a recognized show! And you are lucky because in my neck of the woods they wont let you change you classes after the closing date (usually a month before the show). As for the epi pen...lets just hope you dont have to use it so it wont be an issue. I am sorry that so much is going wrong at the moment. That means that a lot of right has to happen at some point as well!

  2. The sad truth is, if all of those problems went away, a new set would take their place. That is the way we are. All of those issues comprise your life situation--but they are NOT your life! Your life is this moment, and this very, very, moment is (probably) just fine?

  3. It'll get better, Mel! Hang in there and good luck at your shows!!

  4. Okay Mel, I'm going into "Granny" mode (even though I'm only old enough to go into "mom" mode).

    Get the epi pen. As badly as you are reacting to the poison oak it is entirely possible that at some point you could have a LIFE THREATENING emergency. You are likely to be in a remote setting when this occurs, and help would not be able to get to you in time. It starts as a little tightness in the throat, wheezing, and suddenly CANNOT BREATH. Does that sound frightening? I won't apologize because you need to think about the reality that this could happen. I for one would be sad that I couldn't visit you each day to see what Mel and Farley have been doing. An epi pen is not difficult to use and it does the dirty work for you. You should carry it on your person in a fanny pack or something, an eye glass case would probably hold it fine and keep it safe.

    The rest of the stuff kind of sucks, but that too shall pass, and you will be riding Tevis again :)

    Okay, now that I've chewed you out (cause I like you) I have to say that Farley looks awesome! Trim, muscled, beautifully fit looking horse.

    Now get that Epi-pen.


  5. What E Granny said, I say DITTO! I hope you are already carrying benedryl?

    Fiddle has a big patch of white hair too, now that her summer coat has grown in, ARGH. Her saddle fits fine. It's on the right side only, near her withers. I know what that means:

    She got it from me hoisting my big butt into the saddle! Wahhhhhhh!

    I'm determined to lose 5 pounds, and then I'll consider losing another 5. And so on.

  6. mely!! I can see that you really DO need that letter...

    You had better get that epi-pen...


  7. I think you should get epi pens for all of US. We could carry them around whenever we are with you and if we think you need a shot we could just do it. That way you wouldn't have to suffer through the worst part, the anticipation.

  8. I have had to use the sting kit a couple of times and knew about the mental preparation it took to give myself two shots of epinephren. I was therefore not pleased to switch to an epi-pen; too much loss of control.

    I had exactly the same response as you. That needle had to be both big (thick) and long. I had visions of hitting a bone and driving material into the wound. So....once one of my pens expired I took it and activated it on a piece of cardboard. I can put one of your fears to rest. The needle is not that big.

    I still am not wild about using it, but with some care and selection about where I hit it should be alright.



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