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When can I ride again?

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  • When can I ride again?

    I recently had surgery to remove a tennis ball sized fibroid. It was basically a c-section um... except I had a tumor instead of a baby. I haven't been able to ride since March because this thing was wrapped around my sciatic nerve and the pain was crippling. So I guess this is a question for people who have had a c-section or similar surgery. How long was it before you could ride again? It's been 2 weeks for me and I feel really good - not perfect, but way better than I've been in months. I also have a Paso so no bouncy bouncy.
    I'm going to the doctor next week, and he will no doubt tell me to wait another 2 weeks. He's not a horse guy though so what does he know?
    You are what you dare.

  • #2
    Ok.. Ask a bunch of horse crazy people.. or ask the doctor.. hmmm. If you want to not have problems, I'd go with the guy that went to school for like 8+ years to learn about it. Even if you feel fine, they usually have good reasons for the limitation. Like when I had my breast reduction, they told me for 2 weeks, don't lift your arms over your head. I did. I pulled open the incision (they use a weird tape, not stiches) and literally had my boobs like fall out of my chest (and that is a strange feeling btw).. i dont know, it's not like they were inside out, but anyway, hard to describe.. but yeah. What ya know.. there was a reason to not lift your arms up, you'll pull the incisions opne. So yeah.. lesson learned. Sometimes (usually) they have a good reason for giving those. (it's more helpful if they'd tell ya why though, and not just.. don't do this). lol.


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by DandyMatiz View Post
      ...my boobs like fall out of my chest
      You have completely terrified me.
      You are what you dare.


      • #4
        Ask your doctor. Really. If it's not soon enough for you ask why. There will be a reason and it's so much easier to follow when you know the reason and the ramifications. When I got my nose renovated (god, I love breathing) they said that in theory I could ride after two weeks but... it wouldn't be done healing for 4 weeks and if I whacked it at all falling off or just random horse head incident I would be in a world of hurt. So, I didn't work with my horse for four weeks and didn't ride till week six.
        Pam's Pony Place

        Pam's Pony Ponderings


        • Original Poster

          Your story is convincing, but not as scary as "boobs fell out".
          However, since this is the second anti-riding post - you crazy horse people aren't as enabling as I was hoping - I will concede and wait a couple more weeks.
          You are what you dare.


          • #6
            I am usually an enabler. But. I was diagnosed with lyme disease the first week in July, probably had it for a few months (I am very slow about some things). The doctor said I could do what I felt up to. So I figured, well, I was riding and doing Pilates and yoga before I found out, so why not continue?

            Except I was doing those things badly. And not helping myself in the meantime. This past week or so I have started back with yoga (once a week class) and working with my horse (but every other day). I can't yet do what I did, and I can do one thing and then I am shot.

            However. That is more than I did before. And apparently, these things take time. So I am trying to focus on the positive, thanks to Leena - I may not yet have the strength, or the flexibility, but I can be more aware of my issues, and I can strive for lightness. The good thing about achy joints is that you remember they're there, and when they are locked or tight you really notice them.

            So I would say - be creative. Use this sort of down time to focus on the things you usually ignore.

            And hope you continue to heal fast!
            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


            • #7
              Originally posted by GotGait View Post
              You have completely terrified me.
              LOL, I had mine reduced and Mr P insisted I follow the surgeon's instructions to the letter.

              I LOVE my little girls, one of the best things I ever did for myself.

              And they're not all that little, either
              I wasn't always a Smurf
              Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
              "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
              The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


              • #8
                Take as good care of yourself as you would your horse

                I've had a bunch of abdominal surgeries, and back injuries, so I am chiming in. Don't mess with this one!

                I'm more concerned with the location of the tennis ball. The sciatic nerve gets VERY fussy if scar tissue/adhesions take up the space that belongs to the nerve. You don't want to deal with THAT long term, do you???

                You will want to look into P.T. to pop the adhesions around the abdomen and pelvis. I have had the different layers of tissue stick together, and it does make quite a tough time to ride properly. One's body gets twisted as a result.

                Whine to us instead of getting on too soon. We will be VERY sympathetic!
                Intermediate Riding Skills


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by whicker View Post
                  I'm more concerned with the location of the tennis ball. The sciatic nerve gets VERY fussy if scar tissue/adhesions take up the space that belongs to the nerve.

                  Whine to us instead of getting on too soon. We will be VERY sympathetic!
                  They used some new anti-adhesive barrier on me. I can't remember what it's called now.
                  Oh, it's this I think: Sodium Hyaluronan Carboxymethylcellulose Membrane
                  Say that 3 times fast.

                  Anyway, I'm going to go watch a pro ride my horse today - as in watch someone else have a good time on my mare. WHINE WHINE
                  You are what you dare.


                  • Original Poster

                    Just got back. The pro and my horse had lots o' fun. I stood in the hot sun and took pictures.
                    You are what you dare.


                    • #11
                      Please take the time it takes to recover. Having major abdominal surgery is no laughing matter. It is serious and requires complete and thorough recovery. Do for yourself what you would do for your horse.

                      Seprafilm is a wonderful adjuct to surgery. It prevents scar tissue formation. It is amazing to see an abdomen that has had seprafilm vs one that has not had it!

                      I have seen some VERY LARGE fibroids. I don't know how people have lived with them for so long. I bet it was pressing on the nerves and tissue in your body causing you lots of pain. You say yours was the size of a tennis ball. That is impressive. Glad you got it taken care of!

                      Frequently, incisions are closed at many different layers. The Sub-Q layer is closed with absorbable suture. The very top of the skin is closed with Steri-strips. Yes, this can come undone and tissue underneath come through. Very unfortunate. I have had my incision come completely open....nasty.

                      Take care of yourself! Take the time it takes.

                      Good Luck!
                      Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                      Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


                      • #12
                        Here's the thing.

                        When you have surgery, they CUT YOU OPEN. It may be a small incision, like for a laporoscope, but if it may cut through some major vessels carrying a lot of blood pressure which your surgeon has then tied back together with tiny stitches and hopes they will hold under normal stresses. Your body then took over and made some clotting proteins and knit a gelatinous scab over those vessels and tissues, and its holding until the fibrous tissue, which is strong, can take over in a few weeks and months, and finish in about a year. The larger the incision, and the particular location, may really affect and increase the risk dramatically.

                        Now think of a ping pong ball. Minimal effort sends that thing flying because the momentum of the large paddle is transferred to the small light ball. Your horse is the paddle. You are the ball. Every shake, vibration, jar, step, etc. that your horse makes, transfers energy of momentum to your body in a magnified way and to your tiny vessels that are, at this point, literally hanging on a thread.

                        Even though you feel fine, which is an excellent sign, please take your doctor's advice and relax until things are well along in their healing.
                        "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                        • Original Poster

                          Heh, you all are terrible enablers, but I get it. I'm not going to do anything for a couple more weeks. I was good and didn't even carry my saddle today. I even suckered someone else into picking feet for me.
                          This fibroid has been causing me pain since March, but we didn't know what the cause was until July. It flopped around and would cause pain in one area and then somewhere else later. I had a laparoscopy, and they only saw a piece of it (it was hiding), and it wasn't near the area I had pain so it was ruled out at first.
                          Finally, it wedged itself under my pelvis and wrapped itself around my sciatic nerve. That was that and I could barely walk. I couldn't sit in a chair without Percocet.
                          I finally got an MRI.
                          I weigh about 110 and yep, it was the size of a tennis ball - so it was taking up a bunch of room. What's weird, is that I can tell I'm "missing something" in there now - like phantom limb. I'm glad it's gone. It's been a terrible spring/summer, but I guess I can wait a couple more weeks to ride.
                          You are what you dare.


                          • #14
                            GotGait--I've been waiting 7 months and counting to ride again, following a bad shoulder injury/break. I have had to watch both my trainer and a young girl I found who needed a horse to learn to jump on, ride and show my boy. It is hard!

                            I'm down to just 4 weeks of wait time, if all goes well following surgery number 3 since February. This time off will pass quickly for you, I promise. Take your time, you definitely don't want to come back too soon and cause more time off.
                            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                            • #15
                              We are not terrible enablers. You just didn't want to buy another horse!
                              a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho" View Post
                                We are not terrible enablers. You just didn't want to buy another horse!
                                Oh, if only I didn't have to board...

                                Thanks for letting me vent. I hope everyone gets back in the saddle soon.
                                You are what you dare.


                                • #17
                                  I also had serious abdominal surgery in April, where they reorganized my innards and stitched them back in place.
                                  I tried to ride a little bit at 3 1/2 months, two weeks ago, for 45 minutes of mostly walk with a little trot.
                                  I was on a colt and maybe was a little bit tense at times, when he was having a colt moment.
                                  All seemed fine, but that evening was cramping very bad.
                                  Next day, thinking the cramping was maybe from other than riding, I rode for maybe 20 minutes at mostly walk and a few hours later, again some tough cramping.
                                  So, I am laying off riding again, until the 5 or 6 months the Dr said it would take to start feeling like new again.

                                  A few days ago, I needed to use a 80 lb concrete mix sack to fill in one spot and I thought I was being good, just rolling it around into the tractor bucket, but a couple of hours later again some big cramping.

                                  We shipped some cattle this morning.
                                  Beautiful morning, everyone had a grin on their faces, horses were frisky.
                                  I rode --- the pickup.
                                  Even then, that bouncing around the pastures and yep, again, sore and crampy now.

                                  Those kinds of surgery, as someone explained, are going to just have to take their good old time to heal completely and we can't to anything to hurry that up.

                                  I like the idea of the pingpong ball and paddle, as I have been feeling bounced around too much.

                                  What is worst, I am due for shoulder surgery this fall, that was postponed from last spring, when this other surgery came up abruptly and had to be done right then.

                                  I tell you what, don't let Drs get their hands on you, because they just won't turn you loose until they get tru fixing you up, their way.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    I know what you mean about trying to be good. I didn't ride, but I did pick up my saddle on Saturday and carry it upstairs to clean. I did not feel good after that. It's not like it's a heavy saddle either.
                                    Everything pulls and feel itchy. Yuck.
                                    You are what you dare.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Well, just a quick update. I had my 3 week check up and was assured that nothing would "fall out" at this point.
                                      I'm still going to wait to ride until I feel completely up to it. Thanks for the "dis-enabling". I think I needed a knock on the head with a clue-stick.
                                      You are what you dare.


                                      • #20
                                        I'm happy to hear you're going to wait to ride. Why push it and have to start from square one?