Over the course of my long, complex re-hab I have had periods of not sharing the written word with you all. Some people closest to me may understand best, how this year's melt-downs and personal pity-parties aren't propper fodder for the fire of good prose. I also suffer guilt from the stress I had inflicted on my husband and children as they assumed all my duties in life plus the added duties of taking care of me post accident. Silence isn't a desire to hide anything. It is a desire to spare you the radical flucuations of my mentality.
After the great news from the doctor a few weeks ago that my collar bone was good to go, I went to the gym to recover from the atrophy of muscles in the right side of my upper body. And I started riding. At first I rode Welle every-other-day, plus hitting the gym about twice per week. I quickly added Wonder to the program as things were going well. Sometimes I would ride them two days in a row. I added Winnie, the baby, cautiously. There were some nerves mis-firing pain memos in the region of my collar bone and shoulder. Once in a while my arm and fingers would tingle and go numb. But, eager to progress the horses into a routine, I decided to attempt three days of riding three horses in a row. On the fourth day, I rested. I was in pain. Then, I decided I needed another day or two of rest. I didn't go to my Friday yoga class(a new re-hab venture and I highly recommend it for everyone.) Several painful days went by before I decided to call the doc. Then, I couldn't get an appointment for over a week. I could no longer wear a bra because the pain had become too great... so I couldn't ride at all. After so many appointments early this year (pre-surgery) when the doc told me the bone was not healing well, It was easy to develop a nagging fear that I had suddenly done something to the bone, the pin, or the shoulder... or maybe a stress fracture occured? Rest didn't relieve the pain. The doctor appointment finally came and the xray showed a perfectly placed pin and a nicely healing bone. But I have bursitis, a painful inflamation of the bursa sacks that cushion the tendons et al. from contact with skeleton. Plus I have a complete structure of nerves from my neck through my shoulder misfiring pain signals while trying to rebuild and re-attach themselves. He gave me a cream with the same active ingredient as horses' Surpass medication and a fancy medicated pad to go under the bra strap. And they are working great. Although I haven't tried to take on three horses per day, three days in a row yet, I am optimistic that will happen soon. I plan to do the yoga class this Friday.
While I was in the throws of the battle against pain and insecurity, three of my students were enjoying a contest in the sandbox of the NC championships in beautiful Williamston. They all came away from the weekend with huge victories: personal and public. The geldings of the group (Paxton/Watson) joined a pro-am team challenge led by professional, Bailey Cook, riding the German Pony Stallion, Stibby Me. They called the team The Pony Club. Susan told me about the club via phone on the first day of competition. "I am injured, not dead," I thought silently to myself as she spoke. I fought off the surge of jealousy and possessiveness, as I saw The Sandbox Club and I had been easily, conveniently replaced... or so I felt. By Sunday, they won the challenge together. Excellent victory.... especially at the championships.
Like I said, re-hab is long and complex process. It is physical and it is mental. Sanibelle isn't back at school yet. I had hoped that she would be back here by now. Setbacks are not mountains. One of my favorite sayings of life is, "Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill." It means: don't make a big deal of anything that trys to stop you from your desires/ successes/purpose. There is a purpose to life. And there is an attitude of gratitude that we must maintain under all circumstances. This attitude is the fuel that turns big mountains back into molehills. Use it to conquer. I know much is required of me. I don't always know what it is. Certainly, I fail from time to time. My young student, Ines, said to me the other day, "My friends at school don't understand when I tell them I learn more from horses than I do from school or anything else. They say, "What can you learn from a horse?"" I hear her deep insight. As a teacher, I am only a catalyst for learning. I use the gift of the equine species. I take my responsibliltiy seriously. I never know what I and the real teachers, the horses, may inadvertantly inspire someone to learn. I have students whos influence span a great range. One is a special ed teacher, another a cop, another a mother, another student, a nurse, and a church secretary, a VP of finance, a dental hygenist, retired military, an artist with a universal agenda, and a professor. Those individuals are influencing other people in their everyday tasks beyond my imagination. The horses in their lives are a gift to them, and in return the world expects a more enlightened and responsible person.