I have nerve damage. Update: Let me tell you me tale of woe #230
I'm facing a major surgery this Tuesday to fix nerve damage caused by 5 other surgeries I had due to other pain.
3 nerves in my abdominal wall are a lost cause and they are just going to cut them. The 4th is my Obturator nerve and I've lost nearly all function in my left leg. One doc starts at one end of it and the other starts at the other. They meet in the middle and hopefully discover what is crushing it.
This is a very rare surgery and I have 2 top neurosurgeons. They tell me that it could take a year and maybe never for me to ride again. I may also still have pain.
I'm devastated by this. I have not been able to ride since August 2011 and I made it 2 days before I relapsed. Before that, I had not ridden since Sept. 2010. I have a young horse who is bored and spending her prime years standing in a field. Since, she's a Paso Fino, I can't even find anyone who I can pay to ride her right. So she sits like a dream that is just out of reach.
There's no question that I must have this surgery because I can't drive, work, or even pick my horse's feet due to pain. I try to be optimistic, but when I picture my life with no riding, it just seems so depressing.
I don't know anyone who's had nerve damage so I have no one to talk with. I'm just here venting and giving myself a pity party.
I'm sending prayers for a successful outcome, GotGait. I have a student with RSD who also has pain issues and mobility issues. She is one of the most positive and optimistic people I have ever met. She rides and rides well. I wish I had a million students with her drive and desire. I do not know how your situation affects your riding, mobility, ability, so I hope I'm not being too much of a Pollyanna.
There are more opportunities for Para-riders than ever before. Therapy programs, competitions for Paras, adaptive equipment to help keep you (literally and figuratively) in the saddle.
A positive mindset is your best ally. You have excellent doctors; ask them about rehabilitation and physical therapy after the surgery. You probably already have done so.
Perhaps you will drive instead of ride or your methods and equipment might change, but you don't have to exclude horses from your life.
Please let us know how you are doing.
"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
Hi GotGait. I deal with the "inconveniences" of nerve damage and RSD in my left leg everyday and I have since 2008. It's true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and that adversity builds character, so between the two I'm one tough b!tch now!
I ride when I can and schoolwork limits me now more than physical disability. EVERYONE I know (except my husband and my parents) tells me I shouldn't ride, let alone even mess with horses. It makes me see red every time someone presumes to tell me what they think is best for me. Are horses dangerous? Hell yeah! Do I KNOW that FULL WELL? Um, yeah. And I'm also an adult, thank you very much.
Once you recover from surgery you'll need to take inventory and assess where you are physically. Then decide what will make you happy and do it. I shouldn't be able to walk, but I do. I shouldn't be able to catch a horse, let alone ride one, but I do. You will find a way to do what makes you happy.
I'm writing from Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and actually have unexpected good news.
After a 3 hour surgery, they removed 2 completely "mangled" nerves, and found that my Obturator nerve was fine - fine except that the vein that runs along it was enlarged and wrapped around it in places. They also both go through the same tiny hole in the pelvis, so this vein was crushing the nerve. I can't remember the name of the procedure they used to fix it, but it won't be bothering me again.
Since my nerve was in good shape, they think I may fully recover the use of my leg. I'm so happy, I just don't know what to say.
I've already been up and down the hall, and it feels so weird that it actually works and I can walk without shuffling. It kinda helps that I have this weird little shunt-thing pumping anesthetic directly onto the Obturator, and lots o painkillers, but I feel better than I have in years.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Your support has been wonderful, and I am very grateful to have a place just to talk about all of this.
I still have a long road ahead, but I feel like today may be the reboot of my life.
Last edited by GotGait; Jan. 31, 2012 at 08:33 PM.