Thirty Minutes of Heaven….

That’s all it was, 30 minutes but how good it felt.

After an enforced two and a half months out of the saddle today I finally got back on. And how wonderful it was! The weather was not playing the game however, wind is not Finn’s friend. He hates it with a passion. It makes him flighty and sharp, spooking at the slightest thing.

I have to admit I was feeling anxious about riding him again. Being anxious is quite an alien feeling for me. I’ve always happily sat on anything and having had Finlay for nearly four years I have never felt unsafe or scared. But this morning I was definitely nervous. I hastily tacked up… think my speed was to just get it done and get on a soon as I could so I would stop feeling anxious. Finlay has been lunged for the past two weeks plus on the walker to try a build up a little fitness but he had stood in yesterday as I was working all day. Being aware of this added to my nervousness. I had put on a martingale too which I don’t normally ride with.

Anyway I lead him out the door and popped on. And relax…….

Well sort of! With the wind up his tail we has some nonsense but nothing too serious. The school was busy with some practising for tomorrows competition so we just calmly walked around doing some stretching. With a little trotting and a walk down the drive we were finished. Thirty minutes was enough after such a long time off… for both of us.

Tomorrow we will try again and knowing the yard will be quiet with the others away competing I will have space to potter around without horses jumping and flying past. Maybe even do some proper schooling! The IC seems calmer but this can change hour by hour. Riding today hasn’t totally lifted my spirits, the feelings of isolation and loneliness are strong but its a start and maybe one day soon I will find me again. How noticeable the change in confidence levels. I have felt this in my day to day life over the last few months but I wasn’t expecting to feel so unsure of myself this morning tacking up Finn. Maybe this recent IC flare has had a deeper effect than I first thought. Or maybe its simply the lack of my daily therapy in the saddle……. x


Its Good To Talk

Its good to talk, so said a very old tv advert for a telecoms company. I agree, it is good to talk, especially during times of turmoil. So why do some men find it impossible to talk, ask for help or allow anyone in?

Is it that we are all a product of our upbringing, have we learned patterns of behaviour from our parents? Or is it based on gender?

I raised one son on my own and now 20 years later find myself in the same position. My eldest son who is approaching his 22nd birthday communicates well, he and I have always had a good relationship. From an early age I encouraged him to talk, talk about anything and everything and I now do the same with my five year old.

I think its vitally important that young children learn to talk, especially boys.

We are all a product of our upbringing to a certain extent but we can also learn! We can learn from our past mistakes. Isnt that the point of making mistakes? To learn from them?? I guess no one can be forced, one must be ready to talk and accept help but watching someone go through that process is heart breaking.

I went through a very tough couple of years after separating from my ex. I thought the stress and heart break would never end. But it did and I learned a few things about myself. I admitted to myself that I hadn’t treated others as well as I could have in the past. Id been very selfish and took many things and people for granted. That experience along with the chronic pain condition I have made me more humble, more appreciating of what really is important in life.

As I watch my friend suffer the demise of his marriage in a foreign country far from friends and family all I can do is offer a shoulder to lean on. I can see his turmoil. I can see alcohol controlling his emotions. I can see through his attempts at humour to ward off any sympathy or words of affection. His family reach out to him yet he rejects all offers of help. I talk about gaining some control again, I plead with him to stop drinking but then I think, is this what he has to go through to learn the lesson? To learn from past mistakes? To learn to talk?  

Its easy to shut oneself off from all emotion in the aftermath of a difficult relationship. I’m still wary of letting myself feel anything for a member of the opposite sex but it does get easier with time. As for my friend, I really don’t know if he will trust ever again. 

I hope he finds the strength be open and honest and more importantly talk. Exorcise those demons G x    


And The Penny Drops…..

A couple of days ago I was reading an interesting blog about Fibromyalgia. As the writer detailed her triggers of the condition, suddenly the light bulb went off.

In December of 2002 after 12 months of renting various properties I bought a house. I didn’t have much in the way of help with the move so did most of the furniture removal myself. It was a long and physically demanding weekend but by the sunday night it was done and myself and Ben who was 11 years old at the time, were happy to be in our own house again.

The following day I woke up with a strange stiffness in my joints. Standing on my feet was quite painful. I thought it was just because I had lifted many heavy boxes and furniture that my body felt so stiff but as the day wore on it got worse. The next morning I had to drive 12 miles to the nearest supermarket. By the time I got there my hands were ceased up from holding the steering wheel. I couldn’t open my fingers.

I walked around the store trying to hold the shopping basket but everything I did was painful. That evening I began to suspect something was really wrong and the next day went to see my Doctor.

I was told it was viral but the Doctor took bloods to check for arthritis. A few days later my symptoms eased, the blood results were negative and I didn’t give it much more thought. That is until September 2004.

After a particularly horrible break-up with my boyfriend I had another attack of this ‘virus’ . I had to stay in bed for 3 days. It felt like my body had shut down, like I had reach my stress limit so my body said , no more, and just stopped working. I don’t know how else to explain it. Aching joints, pains, exhaustion, slight cold/flu symptoms. This time I put two and two together and realised this was a reaction to stress.

My Doctor insisted it was post viral syndrome.

Over the last 10 years I have had various attacks, never as physically debilitating as the first one but exhausting and painful none the less. And always after heightened levels of stress or trauma.

It never occurred to me until recently that this might be fibro but the more I read the more Im convinced. As an IC sufferer I realise that many who have this condition also have Fibromyalgia and all my symptoms fit what others have described. In some way it is actually easier to deal with now, knowing what it is, knowing that it will pass and doing my best to look after myself in the hope these attacks are as infrequent as possible.

I have noticed that these days it feels like a more underlining illness all the time, I never really feel well. My IC is worse now too so maybe the two are linked, if one gets worse so does the other. I have been under financial strain for over six months so my stress levels are constantly raised, this doesn’t help. But now knowing whats wrong will help me deal with it in the future.

IC : Catheter Chaos

After the failed procedure at the and of last year I find myself at the mercy of the catheter. At first this was a painful tricky business, locating the urethra is not as straightforward for women. In fact most women don’t know where it is! Once located, inserting the catheter is at first very uncomfortable and brought me to tears every time but after a couple of days it did get easier.

The catheters are individually wrapped in sterile foil by squeezing the foil you release a extra sterilising fluid. Once opened the catheter must be inserted promptly and cleanly into the urethra. By cleanly I mean the catheter must not come into contact with anything else as this contaminates it and is unusable.

Once inserted the urine should flow freely.. or so you’d think. Sometimes the catheter becomes stuck to the wall of the bladder and the flow will stop. This makes you think your bladder is empty then half an hour later the pain worsens and its back to the bathroom to go through the whole palaver again.

I felt I had mastered the art of catheterising until last week. One day I found it difficult to push the catheter in, it did go in but was uncomfortable. Later that day I used another one which went in ok so thought nothing more of the original problem. Two days later I wake up feeling really unwell, so much pain. Using the catheter was very sore, not inside the bladder but in the urethra. Was is it just irritation or infection? Who knew! A few hours later I could hardly walk, my bladder felt full and painful and using the C (catheter) was awful!

I had antibiotics in the bathroom so decided on a three day blast to see if that helped. Along with some tramadol and my usual Atarax  …. 5 days later and Im slightly better. The fact that I sat in the saddle today lifted my spirits although I couldn’t really sit on my pelvic bones but by leaning forward slightly I could sit on my horse. I have increased my water intake (this is the only fluid I can actually drink) but that brings its own problems, filling the bladder quickly and increasing that particular pain….. no one said it was simple!

With the onset of the monthly cycle its one pain after another….. Life is a pain but life goes on.


IC : Today Has Been…..


What’s the word… wretched might describe it. I feel as bad as I did for the month post op. There seems to end to the pain, no end to the use of catheters, no end to this hell.

Is it infection or just irritation? Do I wait another 12 hours or take Amoxicillin now? Should I take painkillers too?

I probably shouldn’t write when I feel so demoralised. There are so many others worse off than me but right now the tears fall. The helpless free fall into the dark pit of pain overcomes me. I fail to see the light…. is there a light? Not even my loyal four legged could lift the burden of pain.

Tomorrow will come, will there be a light  …………