A long time coming

Firstly I should apologise for the lack of posts in the last few months. I’m not going to lie I haven’t felt like sharing as I have been rather fed up with not doing my usual and have just been so quiet.

As I mentioned in my last post I had an investigation for my abdominal pain which I have been getting. In the scan it shows that where the seat belt tore my abdominal wall (which during my emergency surgery they did stitch back together) it has basically not really got the muscle wall there. This has allowed my liver to prolapse and loops of my small intestine have herniated. It is actually quite disgusting because my surgeon can feel my intestine immediately under the skin.

Sorry if that has grossed people out!

I am very lucky that I have the same surgeon operating on me that saved my life and did all my abdominal work, so he knows what has happened and how he fixed me. He is kindly going to remove an awful scar the seatbelt left me at the same time so i’m excited for that as well as hopefully being pain free.

Due to this issue it has meant that all my fitness work has had to be stopped for now except the Ekso skeleton as this has a support around my waist. Once the operation has been done I need to take it easy for at least 6 weeks to allow the mesh to work. I will need to still be careful so when I work out and especially ride I will wear a support round my waist as this could happen again and I really don’t want anymore time off.

Over the last few weeks Jodie and I have been to London and Southampton to demo the Ekso. We had to go to the Chambers in London to an equine lawyers conference which I’m not going to lie I was getting very lost in the ‘lawyer chat’. It was a very interesting conference about negligence and what goes wrong with vettings etc and it gave a really interesting view to a I side I never see. I met some brilliant people and have been given  a contact to someone who does parelli with the horse’s from a wheelchair. This could be really interesting for me to work with some of my horses in this way, just for the basics but who knows I may love it! Why not try something new?

I absolutely loved today in Southampton and I must thank the students for being so positive and asking such brilliant questions. I think it gave me a little reminder of how far I have come in such a short time and made me realise although I have this little set back I can get back to doing what I love the most in a few weeks. Today was the first time at a demo that I shed a little tear.

(as well as walking we have been working on squats which has been incredible!!)

When I am doing a demo with Louis we not only have a presentation about Hobbs rehabilitation and the fantastic work that they do, we also encourage as many questions about either the Ekso skeleton or about my injury and journey. I am always very open and am happy to answer any questions that come my way but today was the first time I was asked about my mental health. I have been thinking about this a lot since I came home. I was asked if I was part of support groups for spinal cord injured people and what help I have had mentally. For me I don’t feel a support group would be helpful, I have such amazing friends and family that if i’m down I can talk to them which is what I would have done before my injury and I don’t see why that would change. Yes, okay they may not understand everything and they might not know what to say to help but even just a hug and talking helps. I have a phycologist which I see every few weeks but we have only talked about the accident and losing a friend a couple of times….Is this denial? Am I avoiding talking about it? Some people may have their own views and opinions but for me the hardest thing has been letting go of control of my horses and the difficulties with a legal claim and relying on so many people. Yes I am sure we will get onto this subject when the time is right but you cannot force things if your brain is not ready to take it on.  Lately I have so much mentally going on that I am stumbling with words, not making sense when I speak and literally have to write everything down otherwise I don’t remember. It is literally like my head is too full. Obviously I have spoken to my phycologist about this and she get its and reassures me why this is happening.

I have been criticised for the strength and conditioning work and the fitness that I do, I have been told that this could be denial and a distraction. I was very upset about this as they didn’t know me before. I worked a very physical job with horses, rode many horses a day and went to the gym at 8 in the evening so why should I not strive to be active and fit now just because I am in a wheelchair. My goal was to get back to competition riding so should I expect just to get on a horse and manage to ride…No…. I need to work my ass off even harder than before just to be able to ride around the bloody arena!

So I must thank the students today as you were all so supportive and positive and really made me think.

Talking of my horses things are finally picking up. Diamanti is going so well away and should be out going to a party soon so I hope to be back on board when I am fit and ready. Yasmin is doing a fantastic job at home looking after them and keeping everything going. I have never seen the horses so relaxed, I keep being sent photos of them all flat out snoring.

I finally got my friend Lucie to be my rider!! YAY!!!! I have known Lucie since college and is one of my best friends. At the moment she is only able to do a few days and is competing Echo and breaking in Bella. I am needing to do a lot of persuasion for Lucie to compete dressage as all she wants to do is British Showjumping but I have won that battle. Lucie is really getting on with Echo and keeps threatening to steal her….I constantly have to check Echo is still in her stable! So excited to see their future together.

So I will finish with my rambling tonight with a little picture of the newest team member…. Cameron and I have bought Blossom a little sister. Bluebell is another toy poodle and they get on so well, we absolutely love watching them play and absolutely love her!!!!

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