Bump in the Road……

It’s crazy how life works…you wake up one morning with so much zest, then whack! Life leads you down a much different path.  Six months ago, “whack” happened to me.

I was excited to get a great 25 mile conditioning ride in on my horse, MP.  Guy and the boys chauffeured me to my friends, dropping me off, because we all know I am not the best trailer backer upper!! I was so pumped to be getting out and prepping for an upcoming 50 miler.  We chatted and tacked up our horses and walked out of the barn area. We led the horses through the gate, I was second in line. The last thing I remember was glancing to my left, seeing my friends horse backing up and hoofs connecting with my right elbow. It was in a blink of an eye, my life would change.  I was in shock. I remember thinking, “you’re fine”… “stop being a baby.” The initial pain was minimal, thank goodness the body takes over.  I still don’t remember the impact of the hoof on my elbow. But, the PAIN quickly came, I cradled my arm next to my belly, I could feel and hear every fractured bone moving…yet, I kept telling myself, “you’re ok, relax”., but I was outwardly moaning in pain. We decided to have me crawl into her car and drive me to the nearest hospital, STAT…I prayed and prayed for my next door neighbor/saint to be working in the ER that day, she is the best nurse in the universe!  Viola!!!  There she was as I stepped into the ER….little miracles do happen.  I burst into tears and finally let it all out…………

My badly fractured elbow

My badly fractured elbow

I was heavily medicated to keep the pain at bay, which was beyond excruciating. I have never in my 39 years of life been in that much PAIN, intense, gut wrenching pain. I kept saying, “this is way worse than child-birth!!!” The ER doc was worried about possible nerve damage, which sent me into a swarm of tears again.  I could wiggle all my fingers and feel the nurses and docs touch, so I was holding onto hope. We were done with X-rays and getting me comfortable, when they came in and said you will be having surgery! I’m so naive when it comes to the medical world, broken bones equal a cast, right!?? Surgery!!!!! Like being on a table, asleep?! What?!?!?!  I can’t do this!!!! I have plans, big plans!!!!!

Well, the big day came, March 10th was surgery day. I was relieved to have the very best surgeon at DHMC working on my elbow. Looking back now, I had no idea how much work was involved with getting my ROM (range of motion) back. Surgery went off without a hitch, except I now had 16 screws and 2 plates holding my elbow together. I was so happy to see my hubby shortly after waking up. They did a nerve block on my entire right arm, so the pain was manageable. Spring and Summer were OT/PT appointments galore. Little by little I gained motion…slow and steady, this is hard for someone who has little patience and wants things NOW…I kept saying and still do, it could have always been worse. She could have struck my face, chest and I could very easily not be writing this today. Life leads us down great paths and bumpy paths, we just have to have know how to navigate both.

My reason for writing this, and telling my story is, life is not always easy, pretty, or perfect. I have a long road ahead still, possibly another surgery to gain more ROM, but I’ve learned to truly listen to my body and mind. I attempted a big endurance race last month with my horse, and couldn’t start the race..first time ever walking away with a healthy, strong horse. I needed to listen to the voice in my head saying “don’t!” I’m working on my whole well being through PT, therapy, and truly finding what makes me happy. I’m stepping away for now, from competitive endurance racing, I really need to mend the whole me before jumping in full throttle. Running has been a huge help for me in this journey, as soon as my surgeon cleared me to run, I ate up the miles.  If anyone out there has had bumps in the road, don’t give up. Listen to your body, people will help you and guide you, but only you know best.

I think about things/adventures I may have missed out on, but I am so looking forward to the ones that await!!! Thank you to my three boys who have been there every step of the way in my healing journey…..xo

Running a 25k...post 8 weeks post surgery

Running a 25k…8 weeks post surgery

Back from the Desert….

It’s been quite awhile since my last post, crazy how life passes by with a blink of an eye! I know people say that all the time, it’s true..especially when you are active and never sit still!! Yet, I wouldn’t change anything in my life, I love living full throttle, as does my entire family…..

My mom, Melody Blittersdorf was invited to ride in the prestigious HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup in Dubai, UAE on her lovely horse, Frankie Thunderheart.  She was invited with two other Americans, Heather Reynolds and Willemina De Boer and 23 other foreigners, with a total of 172 starters. The race is a 100 mile race (160km), similar to Ultra 100 mile foot races, except the horses do go through very thorough vet examination holds throughout the race. I was lucky enough to be invited with my Dad and sister to crew for her and Frankie. Madly packing Tuesday am, I got a message from my friend, MK asking me if I’d like to ride Sheikha Madiya Al-Maktoum’s horse, Hot Lion in a 90K Ladies race in Abu Dhabi on Friday (the day before Mom’s big day). In my mind, I’m like “YES, OF COURSE I DO!!!!!!” MK would also be riding Thursday in a qualifying race with a youngster and Friday in the Ladies race, as well as riding in the 160k on Saturday….WOW! I’m sore and tired just thinking of doing all that 😉  I ran it by mom to make absolutely sure she would be covered since I’d be missing the first day and a half of my mad crewing duties.  My dad and sister, Karrie pitched in double (THANK YOU!!) and got Frankie bathed and booted and the other million things to get done for the big day.

Handing off cooling water bottles to my Mom, Melody Blittersdorf and Frankie Photo credit: Karrie Blittersdorf 2015

Handing off cooling water bottles to my Mom, Melody Blittersdorf and Frankie
Photo credit: Karrie Blittersdorf 2015

I just want to give a shout out to Madiya, MK, Anne, Ali, and all who helped me at the Ladies race.  Everyone was so helpful and treated me with respect and kindness. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to be introduced into the culture and horse world of Dubai.  The one moment I wished I’d had my phone on me was when I passed a herd of camels on my right as I was zooming through the desert on my trusty steed at 22kph!! I can honestly say in all the years I have been riding and running, I have never been so sore! I was chafed in places that are not pleasant to talk about and my back felt like I was run over by a train, but I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything in the world!!!  When you are a little girl who is horse crazy, you wish about a day like this. It was almost like living my dream of being Alec Ramsay in “The Black Stallion”, racing through the sand dunes on a beautiful horse, with nothing but the sand and sun…..a memory I will cherish forever……..thank you!!!

If you ever get the chance to visit UAE, go!! It’s a beautiful land with amazing people!

Hot Lion and Me at a 90k Ladies race in Abu Dhabi 2015

Hot Lion and Me at a 90k Ladies race in Abu Dhabi