The NHL Player and Me!

“I recently did an appendectomy on an NHL player.” my surgeon said. “He went back to play after three weeks. It does take six weeks for the incisions to completely heal. If he does pop a hernia then we will fix that during the off season.”

I had gone to my post operative meeting with the surgeon, who had removed my gall bladder,  fully intending to plead with him about being able to just get on my horse Biasini and walk him for 10 minutes before my coach Belinda Trussell did the real riding. He asked me about how I had been doing, did  I have any problems with any foods I was eating, any discomfort etc. He inspected the incisions and said they all looked good.  Then he said:

“When are you going to get back on the horse?”

I was gobsmacked. I thought I was going to have to bring up that subject and beseech him to let me get back on before the usual six weeks had expired.  And here he was asking me when I was going to get back on.

“Well,”  I spluttered. “I was wondering if I could start to walk him before my coach gets on to do the riding. Just walking.”

“I imagine that just walking would be less strenuous than the dressage work you usually do.  The danger is you could pop a hernia at the incision just above your navel. It does take six weeks for the incision to completely heal.”

Then he told me about the NHL (National Hockey League)  player.  Hockey , especially at that level is a seriously contact sport. Probably this guy is important to his team , is being paid a lot of money to be  out on the ice and is likely to be about 40 years younger than me.  But I would just be walking my horse, not getting slammed into the boards on an ice hockey rink.

“I can’t tell you what to do. You have to decide that.  I should also mention that even after the six weeks you could pop a hernia.”  The surgeon had put the ball firmly in my court. “If you do pop a hernia we could always fix it in your off season.”  He smiled when he said this.  A kind smile not a superficial one.

We shook hands and I left.  So…..what to do?  Here are the pluses and the minuses.

Minus.

  1. If I do “pop” a hernia would it ruin my season during the winter in Florida?
  2. I would not have any medical coverage as it is a pre-existing condition on my travel medical insurance and  Canadian health care does not cover me while in the USA.

Plus

  1. I have lived with the danger of a hernia for the past 18 years. Following surgery for colorectal cancer I have a permanent colostomy. There is always the danger of hernia with an ostomy.
  2. When I wake up at 4am and I am not riding I start to feel old. I start to wonder if I can get back to where I was before this surgery. That’s the dark tunnel  my mind goes into at 4am.
  3. I love to go to the barn to watch Belinda ride. Biasini is getting some very good training and I also enjoy watching Lynsey take him over some poles or a small jump. But….there comes a time when I want to get on and be riding myself.
  4. Being on Biasini’s back makes me feel like I am well, and healthy and whole. I may be old in years but I am young in spirit when I am riding.

As you can see the pluses outweigh the minuses. So I have started to get and walk Biasini before Belinda rides him.

It is great to be alive;  to have a horse, to be able to ride.

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45 Comments Add yours

  1. Tara says:

    Wow 4am! Definitely get back on, walking is not strenuous and will help keep you sane 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m on and now back to full work! Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  2. doar nicole says:

    We always have to do as we feel, yes, our feel of things can be the best guide of all, besides weighing the pros and cons, surely, but also going beyond them somehow, things seem to have a way to work out nicely if we trust our inner voice and drive. 🙂 Better yet, Biasini may have a feel too, and let you know in his own way, if something could be… not too good at some point. Wishing you well, no matter what your decisions may be!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this very thoughtful comment. My “gut” feeling was to get back on and just go slowly. It has gone well and Biasini has looked after me!

      Like

  3. You will know if something isn’t right and Biasini will look after you! I hope everything is still going well a week later!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much for your support. I am getting on now and yesterday did some posting trot for a few minutes and so far all good.

      Like

  4. dprastka says:

    It is great to be alive and sitting and walking on the back of a horse and its the most healing thing you can do. So happy to hear you are on the mend! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much! Yes it is great to be alive and able to ride. it makes all the difference!

      Like

  5. Run the gauntlet mate
    You know your body better than anyone and you are a survivor and pretty damn strong I reckon.
    You are smart enough to know when to have a break, but also not a wimp and will get back to it the second you can!

    What did u decide?
    Mel x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I got back on and for two days just did 10 minutes walking as a warm up before Belinda rode. Yesterday her assistant Lynsey rode and I got on at the end did two circles of posting trot and then walked him for 10 minutes. So taking it in turtle steps but it feels great to be in the saddle. Biasini goes to Florida next week and we go down right after christmas so I’ll have another break. Thanks for your comment. I always enjoy hearing from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. loshame says:

    I like your post 😊.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I appreciate your commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Emma Cownie says:

    You know just watching someone else ride activates “mirror neurons” in your brain and does you good. Take it easy Anne.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. fluentl says:

    Wow, you look great! Both ofc. 🙈 keep strong! 💪🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  9. eventerinprogress says:

    You both look great!!

    But, more importantly, how are you feeling?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Very well !This is the easiest surgery I have had of the several I’ve had in my life. Thank you for asking!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great to see you and read this inspiring words ma’am

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comment.

      Like

  11. Alli Farkas says:

    Totally agree with your solution. I’m dealing with a version of that myself, so I really do understand. My shoulder surgery was supposed to keep me off a horse for three months. I’m seven weeks into recovery now, and at five weeks my surgeon looked me straight in the face and said he was so happy with my progress that I could now get on a “calm, controllable” horse. I decided to wait until I was strong enough to haul myself up on my horse with no assistance, and am thinking that in the coming week I will be doing the same as you, walking around, (but after someone has ridden her, not before). I was getting grumpy and depressed just like you, and was not at all accepting of feeling that way. As soon as I knew I could ride again at my own discretion, a big cloud lifted…I didn’t even have to ride immediately–just knowing I could was a big help.So, you go, girl!! I will be right there with you soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Glad to hear you are on the mend enough to get back on. It really does make me feel like I am back in the land of the living and not in what Susan Sontag described as “the other kingdom”. I have come back to riding after five major surgeries that were substantially worse than this recent one. And for each and every one of them I felt like I was going to be able to live after all once I got back on whatever horse I had at the time. So all the best to you and Ride On!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The horses, they make us feel complete, and alive. So glad you’re back, won’t be long until you’re all healed up and back to sitting the trot like a rock star!
    And just for reference, I popped a small hernia after having major abdominal surgery. Tiny, not harmful, but there. I call him Ernie, short for Hernie. He doesn’t cause much trouble 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for letting me know about Ernie.it is reassuring to know he is small and not problematic! I appreciate your very supportive comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fingers crossed for you (although I’m Swedish, and over there you’re supposed to “hold your thumbs” – just so hard to ride like that…) that you’ll have absolutely NO further complications for a long while!
        Biasini is such a huge mover, perhaps you can get to trot and canter on a “smoother” horse for the first ride when that time comes… I know a particular gray mare with not much bounce that would just love to putter around for a few rides 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        I would love to ride that grey mare! Actually Biasini has a wonderful trot. It is big but he sort of takes me with him. Today I just did walk and two circles of posting trot and it felt fine. But ii will continue to be cautious. thanks so much for your support!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I can really relate to what you wrote regarding recovery as well as truly feeling so alive and having purpose when on a horse! Glad you are well and back, I’m sure your horse is happy too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this sympathetic comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth says:

    So glad to hear you’re up to being able to ride Biasini at a walk again!! I bet it’s great to be back in the saddle…I’m praying for you!!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Elizabeth i appreciate your good wishes and especially your prayers.

      Like

  15. Tina Schell says:

    I suppose the old phrase “getting back on the horse” is an appropriate one this time Anne :-). Sometimes we need our spirits to heal more than our bodies and Biasini is the best medicine in the world for that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      He is! Thank you.

      Like

  16. Robyn says:

    Wow, that is a tough choice – and I agree – the plusses definitely outweigh the minuses. I would have chosen the same thing. Glad you are healing well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much Robyn.

      Like

  17. Joan Flemming says:

    Glad to hear your recovery is proceeding well and congratulations on your decision to get back in the saddle! Life is filled with these kinds of decisions and we must make them for ourselves. 🐴💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree with you Joan. Thank you for your comment.

      Like

  18. Good for you! The benefits of being one with Biasini even for a short ride far outweigh any cons ☺💖 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! That is the perspective I like!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow! Tough decision, but I admire the way you approached it. I believe our bodies tell us when something is wrong, so you’ll find the right speed. Of course, things happen and you can’t control them, but you’re a very smart woman, so I’m confident you’ll handle it well and do the right thing. Plus Biasini will watch out for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Biasini will watch out for me. Horses know if their rider needs a cautious approach. That is why i have so much appreciation for the horses who carry paraequestrians and disabled riders. Thank you for your kind and supportive comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. You go girl! I’m glad to see you back on him. Prayers for quick and complete healing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      thank you! I appreciate your comment very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. The plus’s definitely outweigh the cons. I am glad you are able to ride again. 🙂 And I agree, definitely not as dangerous sounding as playing hockey! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m glad you agree and yes professional ice hockey can be brutal. Thanks for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

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