Still here, chugging along with broken back recovery 2018. It’s about as fun as it seems.
X-ray as of 5/15
The good news is the fracture has stabilized, meaning no more brace and all things holding steady, I should be cleared to ride and assume my regular life at my next appointment in June.
Halle-freaking-lujah, cause I’m officially going stir crazy. I moved into my new place last weekend, officially cutting my barn commute from an hour to 20 minutes (do you hear angels singing those are angels singing).
I think I’m officially changing “step on a crack, break your mother’s back” to “pick shitty distances and break your back idiot.” Catchy, right?
I leave you with “trying to drink a beer and pose with a JRT/Corgi” because it accurately sums up my life right now.
I’m alive over here. Still broken. Slightly less depressed over it.
Mostly bored out of my freaking mind.
Still on the human version of stall rest, although I’ve upgraded to light tack walks. (Aka I’m allowed to walk the dog and lift things less than 5lbs) My pain is 90% gone, although if I do too much during the day, I pay for it later.
I officially withdrew from Event Camp today, which sucks. In all though – the absolute earliest I could be cleared to even sit on a horse is the end of June. Now go jump around and ride competently two weeks later? It just didn’t seem to be the wisest choice. In true equestrian fashion, I thought about just ignoring medical advice and riding anyways… but came to my senses relatively quickly. I have one spine and I’m gonna need it to last like, another 70 years here. Permanent damage at 25 because I wanted to ride my horse a month early? Not really worth it.
So, that’s where we’re at. Hanging out in Indiana, waiting for spring to appear (…Bueller?) and trying not to die from boredom.
Update on my annual and Q1 goals? Here we are. Things are a little on pause due to that whole minor broken-back thing, but you know. I just now have a lot of free time… right?
Prioritize experiences over things
Money spent on lessons, clinics, learning and the occasional non-horse related things as opposed to money spent on another pair of breeches, a cute pair of shoes, etc.
Status: mostly good? Signed up for event camp, taking lessons, spending money on x-rays and MRIs… those are experiences, right?
Fewer, better things
Yeah, I stole Cuyana‘s tagline, whatevs. Obviously I can’t live with one pair of socks, but do I really need (another) candle? How many jackets does the dog really need? This goes hand in hand with the next goal…
Status: I’m a B student? Definitely haven’t been shopping as much, but to say I haven’t had a few weak moments would be a lie.
More than likely, move 9 in 9 years is coming in the spring (locally, thank God). Despite this ridiculous number of moves, I still have a little bit of moving PTSD and too much stuff. I want to declutter all the stuff before I move it all… again. Notice all three of these are related.
Status: Doing well! I’ve been through about half of my life/house and the last half should be getting knocked out here before I move.
Prioritize finances where they matter
Um, also relates to number 1. A lot. But more than that, I want to add more to my 401k this year, I want to pay more on my car, more on my student loans and add to my savings accounts. When it comes down to it, I need very few things at this point – food, gas, the regular living expenses. And yeah, it’s less fun to put money in a 401k than it is to see the UPS man deliver a package, but it’s also more responsible and now is the time to do it.
Status: Doing better. B+ student?
Quarter 1 Goals:
Ride even when it’s cold, don’t be a weenie amateur
I am a cold weather wimp. And while there are certainly times where it’s too cold to leave the house (ahem, -3), I also need to man up and utilize all the layers I own and the indoor arena. Even if it’s 20 minutes at the walk and trot without stirrups, or a bareback ride, it’s all going to help come spring.
Totally did this. Go me.
Do not buy any apparel, riding or otherwise, in the month of January.
Status: One slip up and it was for work pants because I lost weight and none of mine fit? But then I gained it back and now they don’t fit, so idk what to say about this. So 90% accomplished?
Keep working without stirrups at least one ride a week
Status: Did this! Until you know… I stopped riding.
Eat real meals
Look, I’m not sure why I’m not allowed to subsist on quesadillas and popcorn, but apparently I’m not.
Even if it’s just going up and down the stairs at work 7 times, I know this helps with the winter blues
Status: Minus some lazy Sundays and post-injury hurting, did this!
Read 20 books
13 weeks, 20 books. Should be do-able if I prioritize books over bad television.
Status: Sucked at this. Read 5 books. Don’t worry, I now have LOTS of time to read.
Get a haircut
Status: Completed. Hallelujah.
Have Fin deshedded once monthly
Status: He hasn’t needed it monthly, but I’ve had it done. He’s about due again, but he also just cost me $500 with his little ICU stunt last week, so he’s gonna have to wait.
I’m re-evaluating my pain tolerance levels after today’s ortho appointment went something like…
Doctor: “When did this happen?”
Me: Uh, the 17th… Doctor: “And you went to the ER?”
Me: No, I just drove home. Doctor: “And since then what have you been doing?”
Me: …Going to work? Doctor: “You realize most people with this injury are laid up in bed in pain, right? And you drove home and went about your life?”
So, uh, oops? I always thought I had a low pain tolerance, but I guess that might not be so accurate? But kudos, Dr Ortho, for making me feel like a badass.
That’s the positive part.
I’m officially grounded for minimum 3 months.
That’s the not-so-positive part.
Best laid plans and all.
No riding, no lifting anything heavier than a milk jug, no running. Also, apparently no hiking, skiing, rock climbing, skateboarding or gymnastics. No worries there doc.
For three months.
Also add a suuuuppperrr fashionable back brace for those three months, a veritable pharmacy in my bathroom, an MRI and re-check x-rays every 4 weeks, hoping to avoid surgery.
It’s a bucket of fun over here, lemme tell ya.
And of course he felt the need to remind me three months is just for it to heal – to be back at 100% will probably take longer. Just to dig that knife a little deeper.
OH! I’m also supposed to move into a new place May 10th. Hahahaha, c’mon, laugh with me now. Yeah, that’s going to be great since I can’t pack anything.
To add some perspective, I’m really really glad this wasn’t worse, I know I was lucky, I have health insurance, I have a job I can continue to do… I am grateful. But I’m also throwing a pity party because UGH I WANT TO.
In the meantime… I guess I now have three months to occupy myself with low impact activities.
(And how does one recruit a grocery shopping helper when she needs more La Croix? Look pitiful?)
Well, all those pros/cons of falling off missed a major con.
Um, like breaking your back.
Yeah, after walking around with an extremely sore back for 10 days, I finally figured I’d go to the doctor, who promptly ordered rads (and wondered why I didn’t do so a week ago…), only to discover I have compression fractures of L1 and T12.
I would show you my x-rays, but I honestly have no idea what I’m looking at. I made one of our vets look at them for me, because #mammals right? but really I’m just waiting to see ortho tomorrow AM.
Needless to say… I am not back on the horse. I can’t even tie my own shoes. Apparently these can take 3 months to heal 100% which would… exponentially suck. I’m basically hoping and praying this doesn’t screw with event camp.
The plus side is people think you’re really tough when they find out you’ve been walking around with a broken back for 10 days. (They also might think you’re a moron, but…)
And because when it rains, it pours, yesterday Fin the Dog woke up weirdly out of it and acting bizarre, so he came to work to be checked out (benefits of working for veterinarians) and ended up in our ICU on fluids all day. All blood work and rads came back totally fine and by 4pm he was back to normal, so all’s well that ends well, but really dude? You just had to be a drama queen about it.
Moral of the story: learn to find your distances.
Also, this totally makes me a real eventer now, right?
We actually got to have a lesson outside last weekend! And jump! Miracles, I tell you.
Of course, it’s snowing again now. Staahhhhpppp Indy-anna.
Saddle adjustment seems to have fixed our go button issues, thank goodness, and the weekend before we had a great dressage lesson. Wherein I got to ride my first half-pass (at a walk, but STILL). Of course, I also leaned so far over in my canter circle I almost fell off, but hey, I never claimed to be good at this stuff.
The fun thing is that my dressage lesson translated over into my jumping lesson really well (like, imagine that?!). A better canter making things easier? Who would have thought…
This lesson marked the first time we’ve really jumped since we got kicked into the indoor, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that 2’6″ didn’t feel big at all. My steering is undoubtedly rusty (um, we took out an entire crossrail and my foot nearly took out a standard), but the actual jumping felt great. (Minus one bad-ASS inside turn I pulled off like NBD) I still need to work on not leaning at my jumps, because what do you mean, lean at jump and land in a heap isn’t a reliable strategy? Idk.
My eye got better throughout the lesson, but will just need more repetitions (gonna be playing a lot of the ‘counting’ game) all spring. And you know, remembering that my horse has a lead change and on the occasion he isn’t automatic, like… asking for it? Not ‘panic, panic, where do I do, what is happening, why is the sky blue’. You know, what happened immediately after the video above stops.
The part not shown on video (not because I don’t want to, but because all the technology rebelled) is when we turn left after that jump, come around the end of the arena to jump two flower boxes + barrels set without standards. And miss them. Because riding all the way through the corner and keeping your inside leg on is too difficult for me to comprehend or something. While Doc may be a saintly creature who carts my butt around, it was a good reminder that I still have to sit up, ride and steer. That when jumps look like uh, not jumps, he still needs me to do my job and set him up right. Straightness, corners, not-leaning-around-turns-like-I-am-a-racecar.
Our dressage lesson also pointed out my extreme weakness when it comes to my inside rein. I just cannot let go of it. Trainer C actually had me pushing my arm/hand forward to an extreme – like 6″ forward for 2-3 strides at a time just to get a feel for it. My brain just can’t comprehend how I can be on a circle/have contact/have even reins/insert something here and not be on my inside rein. UGH. I keep practicing physically pushing that hand forward, trying to overcome my muscle memory, but it’s like my brain overtakes and yells at me “NO DON’T DO THAT.” Seriously, I’m at my wits end with myself over this issue – if anyone has ideas on this, please toss them out. It’s 100% a mental block at this point. I need to work on it though, because it’s only going to be a bigger issue as we progress. Halp.
It’s winter and if you’re anything like me, your skin is not really feeling the endless weather cycles, heaters blowing and wind chapping going on. I won’t do an entire deep dive on skincare all at once – I could talk for days and nobody wants to listen that long. However, after offering suggestions and advice to a few people, I figured doing a fun little beauty series might be well-received. And if not… well it’s fun for me and it’s my blog.
The nine products below are my basic routine right now, more or less. I’ll sub in a different product I have if my skin calls for it that day, or I may supplement with something else if I’m not loving a specific ingredient, but this is the basic foundation.
I try to keep my morning routine as short and sweet as possible because I like to sleep in until the last possible second.
Drunk Elephant Vitamin C Serum: Vitamin C helps protect against sun damage and other environmental factors, helps improve healing, reduces discoloration and overall brightens. It can be used at any age and comes in a few different forms, L ascorbic acid being considered the best. The important thing to remember about Vit C is that light and air will cause it to lose efficacy so make sure whatever you buy comes in a dark bottle and is stored in a dark place! Personally, I like Drunk Elephant’s serum, but when I run out, I want to try one of the other brands out there.
I have dry skin and if I don’t put some type of moisturizer on drier spots, I will look like the face of Mars all day. Not cute. The Belif Aqua Bomb is lightweight, sinks in easily and works under makeup or alone. My skin is super sensitive to ingredients, but this one plays nicely!
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. If you take anything here – wear. sunscreen. It’s the single most effective, proven way to slow aging, prevent wrinkles and uh, you know, prevent skin cancer. That detail. I have an entire thing of sunscreens, but right now I like this tinted one from MDSolarScience.
My nighttime routine is a little more in depth – I figure it’s more important since I’ve been outside all day, have who knows what on my face and I don’t particularly want to go smother my face around in it on my pillow all night. Great visual, right?
Finding a cleanser I liked has been one of the hardest things, but I’m on my third jar of Clinique’s Take the Day Off balm. It’s unscented, doesn’t dry out your skin, but still leaves it feeling clean. It doesn’t irritate my eyes and it doesn’t leave any oily residue. I will buy this forever and ever (and it lasts close to a year!).
The Drunk Elephant product I will repurchase is their AHA/BHA Night Serum. I use this one every other night and I love this serum – the combo of an AHA and BHA together really work well with my skin as a chemical exfoliant. A gentle chemical exfoliant is one of the great things you can use on your skin – it helps clean up all the dead, dry cells and reveal smoother, firmer skin underneath. It can diminish the look of lines and wrinkles and help even skin tones. There are a ton of AHAs and BHAs available out there at all price points.
On nights I don’t use the Drunk Elephant serum, I use a prescription strength tretinoin cream. Tretinoin is a retinol, which is one of the only things that has been scientifically proven to help with anti-aging. You can buy it OTC, but don’t get sucked into expensive creams and serums – either get a prescription (mine is 0.025% and the tube costs me $5 and will last years), or go for Differin, which became available OTC in the last few years.
At night, I need a heavier moisturizer and IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream is one of my all-time favorites. It’s just heavy enough, but not overwhelming and doesn’t have any scent that is bothersome (it also lasts forever!). I also love Avene products and Cetaphil.
I love ending my routine with an oil – it feels luxurious and relaxing and it makes me happy. This Origins oil came highly recommended, but I’ll be honest… it’s nothing special. I’ll be swapping this out for rose hip oil when I run out.
These are my top six ‘as needed’ products.
Bioderma Micellar Water is my ‘need to rinse with more than water, but not washing my entire face’ solution. It’s also perfect for touch ups, wiping off makeup mistakes, you name it. I actually keep a small bottle in my riding backpack for post-barn.
Cosrx Acne Patches are tiny clear miracle stickers. If you put this on a pimple that has come to a head, it will literally suck all the gunk out of it overnight. It’s the human version of wrapping your hoof abscess in a diaper and duct tape and vet wrap, but easier.
Sometimes when I feel truly disgusting, nothing else will cut it. Spent 12 hours at the barn and now covered in gross from head to toe? One Love Organics Brand New Day is this super fine powder that you mix with a little bit of water and it turns into this amazing microdermabrasion paste that will seriously make you feel like you got brand new skin.
Sunday nights are ‘me’ nights. Hair mask, face mask, bad television, puppy snuggles, don’t interrupt. I, like any good beauty junkie, have a bunch of different masks, but this one is one of my favorites. After a week of stress + barn + life, Herbivore’s Blue Tansy mask provides just enough to send me into the week feeling new. It doesn’t irritate my overly-sensitive skin, yet has AHAs and BHAs, along with Aloe Vera. It has a slight cooling effect that feels amazing post-horse show or long barn day too.
I turned 25 and suddenly my skin went on a full revolt. Like Boston Tea Party style. Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion is my savior. Dab some a blemish overnight and things are drastically better in the morning. Not great for daytime use because it’s definitely pink, but worth looking like a chicken-pox-kid overnight.
Finally, my holy grail, all time favorite, best product EVER. Aquaphor. This stuff saves my life on the reg. My #1 lip product, clears up dry patches like no other and calms irritated skin. I have the mini tubes stashed quite literally, everywhere. Pro tip: don’t buy the special ‘lip’ ones – just buy the mini tubes. Same thing.
This sounds like a lot, and it definitely is, make no mistake. Do you need every step here? Nope. Can you use every step here? Totally.
Was this interesting at all and would anyone be interested in more beauty/skin type posts? It’s basically my favorite topic outside of horses, but I don’t want to bore anyone to death!
I have a bizarre love of shopping some of the random Chinese online stores – like Chinese Amazon, but not? Every once in a while I find real gems at super cheap prices which makes it all worth it. The other reason it’s all worth it are the hilarious things I come across.
I searched ‘horse’ this afternoon in a fit of boredom and the results were glorious.
Oh look, it’s Lucy in retirement…
How about a new front entry piece for someone?
This is a dog apparently?
Kind of want to buy these just to torment my Jack Russell
This feels like the appropriate way to store post-barn wine bottles
The translation in this is just… a lot.
100% would buy these if they came in adult sizes
I have so many questions and I don’t think I want any of them answered
Actually need this to get me to work every day. Guys, it’s only like $1000!
I think these have been so much to fun that I couldn’t hold back on joining in, despite being pretty sure I am not a very interesting (just weird) person.
My degrees are in Business/Industrial/Org Psychology and Healthcare Administration (masters). I loved school so much and would go back and stay in school collecting degrees forever if I had the funds to do so. 100% serious.
To go off the first one, I’m a complete health policy nerd. I love reading about it, learning about it, all of it, even though it also makes me want to cry/jump off a building/slam my head into a wall in this country.
I’ve broken my left foot twice, both in dumb ways, neither involving horses. Different bones though.
My brain thinks in Excel spreadsheets. I love Excel spreadsheets. I want everything to be in Excel spreadsheets, color coordinated and in a pivot chart.
I was in an awful riding accident at age 9 when a horse ran me through a fence. It destroyed my confidence for years in many, many ways.
My side hustle is making ugly PowerPoints beautiful.
I’ve lived in New Mexico, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Indiana. Places I’d love to live include Phoenix, Ft Worth, Raleigh, and Greenville (SC), among others.
Food-wise, I’ll try anything once. I consider myself a relatively adventurous eater. I order all my steaks blue/extra rare – basically as rare as possible. My friends all think this is horrifying. My family has gotten used to it. Mostly.
I have a few soapboxes I will go off on. A few of them are vaccinating your kids (WHY ARE WE EVEN HAVING THIS DISCUSSION) and irresponsible antibiotic use/antibiotic resistance. Thrilling stuff, right? Yes, I probably should have been a pharmacist.
I was the first girl born in 48 years on one side of the family and the first grandchild on the other.
When I moved to Alabama at 18, I did not own an umbrella, a rain jacket or rain boots. New Mexico kid problems at their finest.
I have a serious love of designer shoes. When I wasn’t riding and was working in a corporate setting, I accumulated, um, a lot, of fancy heels. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them.
I also have a serious love of makeup and skincare and all the beauty products. See: blog name. I’m also perpetually running late in the morning and use nothing but mascara and SPF. But seriously, my collection would make you cry. Or run away, depending on who you are.
I’m not afraid of planes or boats or sharks or snakes… but I am afraid of escalators. I will ride them, but they seriously give me cold sweats. The long, steep ones in subway stations are the actual worst. Barf.
I’ve been to 37 states and 9 countries and while I love to travel, I also really love sleeping in my own bed.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliners are the only pens I will use at work and everyone knows if you steal mine, I will hunt you down. I actually keep a separate stash of pens just for people to borrow. Told you I was a special kind of crazy.
I am a very high maintenance sleeper. Pitch black, cold (like preferably 62-64 degrees), fan on, heavy blanket, silent. Also, never buy your child a queen size bed at age 8.
I hate going to the movies because I can’t sit still and do one thing that long. I would much rather watch it at home where I can also be on my phone/computer/playing with the dog. Such a millennial.
I’m fascinated with personality and what makes people ‘tick’ and how we’re different styles of learners and communicators and how perception impacts us. Like, way too into it probably.
I love to ski, but can only afford one expensive sport, and I’ve found I’ve gotten much more cautious the older I get. (Except on horses?)
I am a champion sleeper. Normal people are great on 8 hours, functional on 6. I am functional on 8, much prefer 10. Or 12. I keep waiting for the day I don’t need as much sleep as your average 2nd grader, but it hasn’t come yet. It’s 100% a real reason (not the only one, but one of them) that I didn’t go into medicine as a physician or nurse. Residency would actually kill me.
I have a perpetual reoccurring dream I have a physics test I haven’t studied for the next day and no matter how many times I have it, it never ceases to give me anxiety. Physics is also the least favorite class I’ve ever taken. In general I have really vivid dreams and and on more than one occasion I have woken up wondering/thinking these things actually happened.
I am a nervous anxious wreck about the most menial things possible thanks to being a little Type A perfectionist, but put me in a real emergency and I’m super calm and take charge. I loved being on incident response/planning when I worked in a hospital.
There are a limited number of foods I hate, but they are entirely random: cucumbers, jalapenos, olives, cherries, pickles. I had a coconut aversion for a long time, but it’s grown on me. I don’t like pulpy fruit, but it’s the pulp, not the actual fruit, so I can handle them on occasion.
My body is just downright terrible at regulating temperature. I am never the right temperature. My house is set at 64 degrees because I hate getting hot, but then I also wear sweatshirts and slippers everywhere. As I sit in my office right now, I have on a jacket, a blanket and a heater blowing on me.
My eyesight is terrible. Like approximately 20/800. It’s not ‘can’t read the eye chart’, but literally cannot see the eye chart exists. I’ve had glasses since I was 8 and contacts since I was 12.
My drink of choice is champagne. Beer is fine, wine is fine, cocktails are nice and good, but champagne is where my heart lies. My motto is quite literal when it says, “Champagne taste, tap water budget.”
“Gross” things don’t gross me out – draining abscesses, lacerations, hematomas, injuries… If anything I find them fascinating and want to watch. If you post a photo of your horse’s gory injury (cough Emma), I will probably demand you take more photos.
When I get really stressed out, my left eye twitches.
I absolutely love working in medicine – human, veterinary – all of it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Reading back through these, I feel like it can all be summed up as anxiety prone girly-girl who also loves gross medical things and sleeps a lot.