Monday, July 30, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses Part 17

Part 1

Again I want to repeat for those people who are new to this blog, this story is about something that happened years ago, 17 years ago. This was back in the day when I was first getting into horses, Arabian horses to be exact. I had always dreamed of breeding but life happened and put a hold on my dreams. However, this event didn't just slow things down, it still affects decisions I make today. That's why I believed it was relevant to post in the history that has gotten me where I am today in the pursuit of my dream.

This picture is Lindsay with her POA pony, Poa Moa Punch. This picture probably saved Lindsay's life. I was so disturbed by her loss of balance here I had to find the cause. That lead to a diagnosis the doctor's believed to be about eleven months earlier than the usual discovery of her particular type of brain cancer. Rarely is this cancer caught before the tumor attaches to the brain stem, but for LJ we did just that! so back to the story.

Within just a few days, Lindsay was discharged from the hospital and re-admitted to the rehabilitation portion of the facility, a confusing process but necessary for the darn insurance company. In rehab they would begin the long process of recovering whatever of Lindsay's skills could be restored.

Lindsay received speech, occupational and physical therapy five days a week in conjunction with her radiation. She also had extensive testing done to determine the exact extent of the damage to her brain and a course of treatment.

While Lindsay was in rehab, I stayed at the Ronald McDonald house facility. I spent every waking hour at the hospital with Lindsay except for my time to and from the house (which was across the street from the hospital) and my time there to do my daily assigned chore. (That's right, they don't charge you to stay there if you can't afford it, but everyone has an assigned chore. So remember when you're going to Mickey D's to throw your change into the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities collection box to help families like mine dealing with childhood cancer!)

The only time I would leave the hospital was on Dave's days off. He worked all the overtime he could get so days off were rare but he would come to the hospital for one maybe two days maximum every couple of weeks. I would go home to touch base with Nick and have a little time with the horses (and to try and keep my poor show horse in shape). The only other time I left Lindsay's side was to go to horse shows.

That might seem funny but those up and coming horse shows are what kept both Lindsay and I going. We talked about them all the time. We planned what I would do at them so she could share in them. I begged many friends and even some strangers to video tape my classes so I could take them back to the hospital for Lindsay to share. One time I actually snagged a stranger walking down a barn aisle with a camera bag begging him to take pictures.

Not soon after this whole ordeal started the doctors began pushing me to go into therapy. (For those of you who have found my new blog, My Clouds and My Storms, you know I've had all the therapy I ever care to have!) Also they wanted me to spend less time at the hospital and more time away taking care of myself. I insisted over and over that I did NOT need therapy, I just needed time with my horses. Finally the doctors set up an ambush meeting with a social worker. And I do mean ambush, I had no clue the meeting was about me or I wouldn't have gone.

After my "visit" with the social worker, she told the docs to get off my case. She said she found me to be well adjusted (now if you've read the other blog, please don't laugh here, it's not kind!) She told them I had my priorities in great order and was doing a good job of taking care of myself and Lindsay. Her instructions to the professionals (docs, nurses and speech, occupational and physical therapists) were to back off! If they wanted to help, they might see what they could do to help me get to a few more horse shows.

After that meeting I could always tell if the docs thought I was getting a little stressed because they would begin to ask me when my next horse show was going to be!

To be continued...........

Part 18


  1. OM Gosh MiKael, your ordeals make mine look like child's play. It is a good thing you are so strong, even if you have wavered a bit along the way you have come out on top!!! Lindsay sounds like a real fighter too, I am so glad.

    I have caught up on everything now and look forward to your next instalment. (((Hugs))))


  2. Wow! Amazing! I'm so happy for you all that you were able to have horses in your life during such a tough time! They are my therapy as well and I don't know what I'd do without them!! ((HUGS!!))

  3. I meant to add that people say that a picture is worth a thousand words, this is proof positive of that, and thank heavens you interpreted it correctly, most people would probably have just thought it was a bad riding moment, your instincts told you otherwise.

  4. Thanks Ronald McDonald house! I have always felt being around horses is therapy. I don't think I would have made it through my teen years without my horse to ground me.

  5. You have a new blog?!? I shall have to get over there soon...

  6. Oh, man...did you hear my head slamming against the wall as I read about the ambush??? I'll bet you were SO thankful that the social worker realized your head was on straight and accepted horses as a form of therapy (they're the best, aren't they?)

  7. How perceptive you are and courageous. That is just a dreadful ordeal you and Lindsay have endured.

    It is wonderful how horses can help us through a crisis. Somehow ... they know.