Don’t take things for granted

Never take anything for granted! No minute of the day is ever promised. So when you are struggling, remember someone else is wishing they could be in your position.

For those who go to a race and don’t clock to get a check, tip over barrels, still stuck in the 5D, be grateful. There is someone out there that would love the opportunity to be doing what you are doing. They would love to be able to go down that alley or even just ride a horse.

Sometimes our life changes, and so must our plans. Just because you are blessed to do something one day, doesn’t mean you can tomorrow. It doesn’t mean give up, you just have to adjust to your new normal.

This picture means so much to me and reminds me of how blessed I am.

The guy in the back, his name is Pastor Tim Wallace. He served the Lord and meant a lot to many. He is no longer with us. He didn’t lose his battle to cancer, he won. His faith stayed true during his trials and now he’s being rewarded greatly, with no pain!

This horse, Pacer, was another blessing. She was all heart and no matter what I asked, she gave it her all. I didn’t get to ride her but a few years because of an injury from her race track years.

Then there is myself, who loves barrel racing. I was truly blessed as there was a barrel race every night of the week where I live. I had dreams and goals of my own. But it wasn’t what God had planned at that time.

I got in a wreck and almost 2 years later, I am just able to ride a very broke horse. Only God knows if I will ever compete again.

I know that everything works out in Gods timing, but I would love to be able to run down that alley again. I remember those days that I was frustrated when we tipped a barrel or wasn’t clocking. But now, I would love to be able to do that again.

Life changes, faster than what we would like. Our great horses, family, & friends, leave us sometimes without even a warning.

So don’t take anything for granted and enjoy your time on earth! If you love it find a way. If you don’t move on. Life is too short to be worrying and living in the what if’s! Live in the right now! If you can’t do something you love anymore, find the positive in every situation!

I needed to sell my Barrel Horse

So when I was told after my injection to slowly start riding again, I jumped at the chance. Although I knew in the back of my head this was not the right time.

At first I told myself it was because he was a push style and with my hip injury, I really needed a free runner. I also wanted a 1D horse so I can move up a division. So I kept thinking to sell him and slowly look for another one and by that time I would be ready.

It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I’ve had other horses but I had a connection with him. I got the horse when he only had 30 days of riding. I would ride him in an arena and he would run to the gate. He didn’t know how to neck rein, he was pretty flexible though and willing. He never loped before so he would do a crow hop at first til he learned where to place his feet with someone on him. It was by no means an “I don’t want you on me” buck.

I originally bought him for my daughter but they never really clicked. She could ride him but you could tell they just were not meant for each other. So I just kept riding him.

I trained him to where I could shoot a bow off of him, neck rein, move off your leg, carry flags, he won money in the 3D and 4D barrel races. He ran 22-23 in poles when I actually only played around in poles and ran him a couple times. He was easy to catch and just an overall fun horse to ride. He always took care of me! He was one of those horses that were just a joy to ride.

I had other horses I have bought and sold over the years and had no problem. There were some really good ones too. But this one was special!

I was so torn but God gave me strength to do it. I prayed about it for awhile and finally I decided to let go and trust God. This was a decision I made over more than a couple months.

The lady that I sold him to, has an unbelievable story and she is an inspiration. Looking back I know God placed her in my life for a reason and truly grateful I turned down a couple other people. I think she was the right fit.

It made my heart happy that he brought her joy. But I was still lost! I thought I was meant to go buy a free runner so when I was ready to ride I would just be ready. I would find a couple horses but nothing panned out.

I even had told a lady I would take a horse, but wanted to wait til she cleared from the vet. They made her an appointment that week and then when I called the vet, the vet said they cancelled the appointment. I called that lady and she had sold her to someone else. I know God was saving me on that one.

So then I started thinking, that is when I realized why I needed to sell my barrel horse. I didn’t have to sell him. He would have been perfect sitting in the pasture til I was ready.

It wasn’t because I needed a faster horse, it was because God had a plan for me and for that horse. But I know God’s plan is so much greater than mine!

He knew any horse I had, it would have to sit in the pasture for awhile. At the time I still wasn’t thinking I was going to have surgery. I thought I was on the downhill part of that journey. God knew different!

See in our lives God watches over each one of us. He knows what we are going to go through before we do. He knew I would be tempted to ride before I was physically and mentally ready so he took away all of the horses that I could ride.

I sold my barrel horse because I needed time. I needed to learn patience and how to grow both physically and mentally. I had to grow stronger in not only my faith but my body. I needed to help my daughters and enjoy time with them. I needed to focus on the little things in life as a whole picture.

God has put me on a wonderful journey and I know now I didn’t have to sell my horse, but I needed to. I’m trusting Gods plan! When I am ready to ride again, God will put a horse that’s ready in my life.

So for now I am enjoying my colts, family, work, and life! Each struggle we go through ends up a blessing in disguise, if we just open our hearts!

Third week post op labral tear surgery

Monday I was not cleared to go back to work so just went to therapy and worked from home. I didn’t feel too bad, just sore and muscles tight.

Tuesday my husband drove me up the doctor, and I had a couple xrays. Everything looked good, and he said I could take off my brace and crutches next week. He also cleared me to drive as long as I felt okay. I was happy, and decided since I had my husband with me, I would try to drive, and if it didn’t work out then he could take over. Well when I was at the truck I was up on the curb, and I had my front door open. When I tried to get off the curb I lost my balance. I started to put pressure on my left leg, so I leaned forward and didn’t

catch myself. I ended up faceplanting into the truck. I caught my face on the steering wheel, but I didn’t hurt my hip thankfully. I went home and iced it.

Wednesday I went back to work, which that was a long day and definitely was sore that night. I was still on crutches and my brace so my muscles were pretty tight.

Thursday went to therapy and didn’t do too much as I was pretty sore from the day before. I started walking with my crutches as the doctor gave me 50% weight bearing status. I was slow and used the crutches but it made me feel like there was hope. When I got home I iced it. I still had a low grade fever and wasn’t able to multi-task.

First week post op labral tear surgery

The first 3 days was rather a blur. Had surgery on Monday, Tuesday I pretty much slept all day. Wednesday and Thursday I slept a lot as well and don’t remember much.

I couldn’t lift my leg, as the muscles didn’t want to work. I had to have help putting my leg up on the couch. I also had to have my husband help me off the couch and lift me up. As I had no strength in my leg and was just weak overall.

On the night of surgery I ate soup so it was easy on my stomach. The next few nights were a blur. I really only took 2 hydro-acet. Next day after surgery, one tablet a day for the following few days.

I went the day after surgery to physical therapy, which I was still out of it. My husband actually had to answer most all the questions. They really didn’t do too much. I was told due I was to be 25% weight bearing. They gave me some excercises to help keep muscles from declining worse.

I also had problems with my vision, afterwards for a 3-4 days. I had to take off my glasses to read close up, or it would be blurry. I could see far away, just not close up. I had to go without glasses and that was annoying. It slowly got better, although still had relapses after those dew days.

That Thursday I also went to therapy and I was a little more awake but I was pretty sore after. I wasnt able to do much due to tje weight bearing status.

Friday I was finally awake some, and with the little excercises, from therapy, I was able to get up off my couch with the help of my crutches. Now I still could not fully dress myself, but at least I wasn’t stuck on the couch. I still couldn’t get on my bed but, I knew in time things would get better.

Labral Tear Surgery

Hopefully this will help someone prepare for their journey. It is not an easy one.

Since I already had the crutches, we put them in the truck for afterwards. I was not able to eat or drink, so got up and took off my wedding rings and put them in a safe spot at the house. I figured it would be safer than the hospital, so only took what I wore that day.

I wore baggy clothes that I actually went out and bought before so it was easy to slip on after surgery. I made sure I took my glasses instead of wearing contacts. I forgot to pack pillows and blankets but I had a coat.

We had to be there at 8:30 in the morning and was took back to a room that was Private, which was nice. My husband was able to stay in that room and not have to wait in the waiting area.

After getting into the special gown I had to do that normal pee in a cup. They also put the IV in with one stick which was amazing in itself. They drew blood as well and went over medications and other things what to expect. The surgeon came in and marked my hip and told us a few exercises to do everyday and headed to get ready.

After that the nurse was rushing and everybody was getting me ready as the surgeon was ready to go.

After they got everything ready for me to go I gave my husband a kiss and then we headed out. The anesthesiologist was in the room and he gave me versed which his exact words were, “the I don’t care medicine”. Which I am familiar with and I did not make it even out of the room before I either went out or I just forgot.

Next thing I remember is being groggy and cold but they had a blower underneath the blankets to keep me warm and the nurse was right beside me. It was a post-op recovery room, which reminded me of an ER set up.

At one point my Dr came in to see me in the recovery room as I was having some problems with my blood pressure and oxygen. My oxygen level was low so I was put on 2 liters. I remember them bumping me up afterwards to 3 when the doctor was there to get my oxygen back up. My blood pressure was very low as well and they said it got up to 88 over 40 something when my doctor was there. I do remember at one point the nurse told me I could go back to the room when they get my vitals a little bit better.

The next thing I remember is waking up again and my husband was in the room as they had transferred me into the private room where he had been waiting.

Surgery lasted about 3 hours and recovery took a little bit longer than expected. The surgeon said he normally has to tap the anchors in place but he easily pushed mine in. He said I had some cartlidge damage, and was concerned regarding the softness of my bones. So instead of being 50% I was 25% weight bearing.

We stayed there for a little bit longer and everything was a little fuzzy so I’m not sure really what went on after that.

I do know that two of the nurses helped get me dressed while my husband went and got my truck. They first helped me to the bathroom and I do remember them saying that I actually was doing better than what they expected me to do as I walked with assistance to the bathroom. I used them as crutches.

When I got dressed they just slipped my sweatpants over my brace so if I needed to go to the bathroom I wouldn’t have to take off the brace for that day. They took me out in a wheelchair and it was a struggle to get my leg up as I couldn’t lift it.

I don’t remember any conversations on the way home. But it usually takes about an hour and a half to get home. When I got home I used the crutches and got in the house and laid on the couch.

My husband had to help me get on and off the couch because I could not lift that leg at all and I couldn’t get up without him picking me up. I had a pillow for my head and two pillows for my legs, an ice pack, and of course a blanket. I took the hydro-acet like instructed that night but didn’t take the Valium.

Hip injection and Summer Time

I had my hip injected to see how long that would last as I was completing physical therapy and only other option was surgery. Which surgeon wanted to get me stronger and I was against surgery.

The injection hurt when they did it, and they used an ultrasound machine to guide the needle. They used a long needle and the pain was burning as the needle went through my muscles into my hip. Granted they also used lidocaine but it didn’t help deep down. Honestly that was the most painful experience I had with any needle, ever!

Afterwards it gave me instant relief, and for the first time the drive home was painfree! Normally I could not drive about 20-30 minutes before it hurt.

I was also cleared to do whatever as tolerated to see if I could handle it. So the first thing I thought of was riding horses.

I could not ride the first 2 days as it was raining and I needed to work my horse some. I was going to send him out but I couldn’t wait that long. I got on him in the round pen after lunging him a few minutes. To those who don’t ride are probably thinking, BAD idea!

He took care of me and did everything I asked. I buried my head onto his neck. I will be honest, I cried.

I cried because on the back of a horse, I feel close to God, and free. All my problems go away and my day becomes brighter! I cried because I finally seen light at the end of the tunnel and it gave me a newfound hope!

I knew I couldn’t barrel race but still rode him at a walk and sometimes for a brief trot. I did try a lope a couple times but that increased the pain I had.

I took him to a local playdays to ride in the arena around other people, and planned on just taking it slow around the patterns. But I ended up loading him in the trailer and going home. My discomfort level and fear of hurting myself worse took over. So I only rode my horse a handful of times.

Within 5 months the injection wore off. I was able to walk but I tried slowly to run. I finally made it a mile but then was so stoved up the next day it wasn’t worth it. We went to Branson on a family trip during the summer. Standing or walking around on concrete in Branson was awful but didn’t want to ruin it for the kids. It was their first trip to Branson.

Even with the increase of pain, I was still managing to walk a mile every day because it would make my back feel better if I did.

I came to the determination that I would just suck it up and live with the pain.

That was until hunting season came around again.

Life on crutches part one

The first part of the struggles with being on crutches was gaining strength. Trying to walk very far took a lot out of me. It was also a challenge getting up and down stairs, in and out of stores, and just doing regular tasks.

I was blessed having horses so my upper body strength wasn’t too bad, but some muscles you just don’t use.

In the beginning, I had someone carry everything for me, from food to laptop for work. It was December 1 when I was put on crutches so of course, I couldn’t help decorate for Christmas.

Having to sit around while other people took care of my animals, decorated for Christmas, and did things for me I was unable to do at the time, bothered me. I had a some pity parties, got frustrated, cried, and withdrew at times.

My hunting season was not great either as I didn’t get to hunt much. So not being able to help provide meat in the freezer was a downfall as well.

I wanted so much to just go about my life with no worries, but there I was limited. I started thinking of all the things I couldn’t do, and what I was missing out on. I just felt helpless.

I couldn’t jump on the trampoline, couldn’t walk my horse, couldn’t go to BBR

Finals although I qualified. I was upset because I had a chance to be top 10 in my horses division, but due to the wreck I had to stop riding horses until I was cleared. I started getting grumpy and withdrew.

Then of course my husband stepped in and he allowed me to have a breakdown, pity party, or whatever you want to call it. I cried and afterwards I felt so much better. I then turned to God for answers and realized that although my current situation was tough, it was not who I was, I am no quitter.

I am really good at talking with God when things are going good, but I have struggled with getting closer to him when I struggle.

I started thinking of all the positives, and found a way to carry my computer for work. I didn’t give up and got my horse to lead him with my crutches. I figured out solutions to a my problems that I could address.

I had my kids take turns going to the store with me so I could shop instead of my husband, unless it required heavy lifting.

I spent time with my horse just brushing him while on crutches. My barrel horse was in the barn, so I had to have someone catch him and turn him loose in the pasture for a little bit then put him back up. I tried leading him with the crutches but I would hit his leg and it wouldn’t work out. I never gave up though and kept trying! One day we both figured out how to manage with me on crutches. That was a “winning” situation, and I felt so independent and happy!

I wrote in a journal to release some frustrations and challenges.

I learned how to carry plates, and drinks with my crutches and managed to get in and out of the shower by myself.

Now it was hard when I got my letter for BBR finals and had to just throw it away. But I prayed about it and came to the conclusion there was a reason for me not going.

Well during the BBR they had a bad storm and they didn’t get to perform all days and some trailers were tipped over. So God protected me from that.

God has showed me different things along the way. I read the whole bible front to back then started picking it apart to really understand it. This helped me out and the books of Job and Esther stuck out to me.

Esther was born to do something great, although she was scared and didn’ know how.

Job had so much faith, even after loosing everything. He never gave up!

They both were rewarded for the love they shared for God and doing what was right, even when it was hard.

I missed out a lot with my girls, husband, and horses. But I did grow. I grew spiritually and physically.

Through physical therapy I gained strength and different excercises to keep my strength and get stronger than before.

Spiritually I grew closer to God, and opened my eyes. I learned patience, perseverance, hope, and faith the hard way. I learned that no matter what God is close to the broken hearted and he does provide. Although I already knew it, he reinforced it.

I made it through, and after months of being non weight bearing my fracture started to heal.

I was able to get off crutches and had an injection in my hip. The doctor wanted me to continue excercising and gaining strength so when or if I need surgery, I will be strong enough. He said recovery would be easier that way. It was kind of a relief I would be off crutches for summer.