I don’t think anyone will really understand how much my horse means to me. To some it’s just a waste of money and resources. I’m tired of explaining to people how Jive has helped me recover. I would have been bound to a wheelchair til this day if it wasn’t for Tita Marivic and Jive. After years of competing and attending Riding for the Disabled conferences abroad, why would anyone think that it was a waste of time? Yes, it’s all personal to me, it is me.

Just like you and I, we get sick. We get ill. Imagine, after 16 years, this is the first time, Jive gets an infection. This is all new to me. But because of TLC she’s better. She’s ALIVE and KICKING (literally). Even the VET is amazed of how fast Jive recovered. Thank you Dra. Anna Chavez. Good job! The groom sent me a message saying the Jive was ridden by Frances last weekend and she was fine. Thanks for the heads up and thank you for riding her Frances. I have less to worry about this afternoon. I am both scared and excited to get on. Wish me luck!!

Being Picky

The walk back to the stables. That’s Jive and the groom. Jive didn’t want to leave yet. She must have wanted more human interaction and carrots. Such a sweetie. Love of my life next to my son I tell you. Hehehe.



Back on the Saddle! Yipee!!

I was excited when I woke up this morning because I knew I would be able to do something I love. After my breakfast (cereal w/ vanilla milk & coffee) someone decided to crawl into my bed and didn’t budge until I kicked him out. Yes, it was almost noon and we soon had to get ready for the days activities. He cannot sleep without his baby blanket which I actually bought before he was born.

It’s been exactly 4 months since my ankle surgery. 3 months of recuperating from a full leg cast (50 days), below the knee (2.5 weeks), strengthening my knee and muscles to be able to walk again and 12 sessions of Physical Therapy. My last session was yesterday. Not being able to wait any longer, I rode today. It’s been a while that even my yaya had forgotten our routine, what to prepare, etc.

Because I am half paralyzed or hemiplegic, I do not have full use of my right hand. I cannot drum my fingers but I can close and open them. Meaning I can grip. Therefore, when I ride, I need to bandage my fingers with Mueller tape as not to get blisters from the friction of the reins and my fingers even if I have gloves. I need my yaya Helen to put them for me and put my right hand gloves as well. Boots have been easier to put on since my brace is slimmer and thinner.

I try to schedule my riding days at the same time as Xavier’s football or tennis (then) trainings. For one, they are all in one place and more or less at the same time. We save on gasoline too. Someone’s feet haven’t stopped growing and I doubt they will in the near future.

My groom (the man who takes care of my horse) has been ill (so sad) and has been recuperating in the province until he is well enough to come back to work. In the meantime, it is his son who tends for Jive. To my surprise, it was another groom who helped me get on Jive today. For obvious reasons, he was not used to my “gear”. I use Devonshire Boots which a lot of RDA groups use to stop riders feet slipping through the stirrup, which is very dangerous, couldn’t be found. My dressage whip as well, and having to make a knot on my reins that help keep the contact on the horse’s mouth. Minor setbacks which were immediately rectified. This is how I get on a horse. (the pic taken from my other blog)

After all the preparations, off I went. Jive seemed happy. She knows she has to be a good girl for me to give her her treats of carrots and apples. She was and lo and behold. NOT once was I in pain during my ride. I guess this time I can say that the “goods” (ankle surgery) has been tested. Good job!!

You guessed it right, I was famished when I got home. This is what was waiting at the dinner table. Good ole Putanesca and Fried Chicken.

Two Rounds & More

When I woke up this morning I was excited. I was going to PT in the afternoon. Maybe adding an extra round without a brace again. Since I was “bad” last night, I had Oatmeal & Peanut Butter & Coffee for breakfast to wash away my sins. Hahaha. A bit bummed by something, but things that I cannot control shouldn’t control me either. I had PT to look forward to at the least. A little Twitter exchange with whoever was on line. My son reminding me that he’s having friends over tonight. Making sure that there were would be food for the kids since the cook went on day-off. Then to get ready. Yes, I still have my bath in  bed.  My yaya is a expert now. The water only trickles down from the shower and faucet in the guest bathroom and I think my mom is exasperated already and wants me out of the den.

I don’t bring a wheelchair around anymore to force me to walk and get my muscles going. It’s only a few steps from the car, to the lobby, up the elevator, and into the PT Department. C’mon Bettina, don’t be Ms. Lazybones. Hahaha. As always, Chris greeted me with a smile and I guess a standard thing to ask how I was feeling. Nothing much changed with the bed exercises except this time my ankle had weights. Ah-ha! My problem is I can’t lift my legs when I’m on my tummy. I have to look at the mirror to see what I’m doing. Chris & I presumed that it was the rewiring of my brain. Hahaha. I just laughed it off as I usually do. 

I promised a video but the first video my yaya took was a huge file that I couldn’t open. I could open some but the camera was all over the place. Still need to give credit to my yaya Helen. I’ll figure it how somehow of how I can post a video. In the meantime, all I have are pictures.

I still need my baston (Lofstrand Forearm Crutch)for balance and as you can see, making Chris still hold me. He says I can do without him holding. In time Chris. In time. I did two rounds around the department and other leg exercises in the parallel bars.

The corner turns are a bit tricky. I kinda lose my balance. Something I still have to learn in time. For more than 12 years, I was entirely dependent on a wheelchair and then a crutch and of course my AFO (leg brace) to get me walking or moving.  Who would have thought that it would be possible for me to “walk” again?  The activities of daily living (ADL), is one thing that people take for granted. Going up and down stairs, hopping on and off an escalator or elevator, brushing your teeth, taking a bath, combing your hair, going to the bathroom… I can go on and on. In all of this, it makes one realize how much we take things and people for granted. The simplest things in life that we just brush aside because we’re used to them being “there”. Well, DON’T. Because one day, pray that it doesn’t, people and things just vanish or lose interest and move on to hopefully better things. Then what?

The Weekend that Flew By

Each day I add a round or two to my walking. I keep saying that I will count my steps but I never do. Hehe. What’s important is that I get my limbs moving. My knee still hurts when I walk, I know i know. You need to lose more weight Bettina. Losing those 40 lbs in the span of 2 years is good enough for me. Just let me do it gradually. My jeans are loose, I need to add an extra whole on my belt to make it tighter. Lastly, I am NOT going to deprive myself of good food. Yes, I’m hard headed that way. Haha. Back to morning leg lifts. Today, I see my surgeon for my Physical Therapy program. I do have a Rehabilitation doctor who has been my doctor for 12 years but since he doesn’t know the intricacies of the surgery. However, Surgeon & Rehab Doc are not in the same page I believe. I guess it’s the egotistical hierarchy of these doctors. I may be wrong but why is it so hard to obtain medical records from one and another? Hay caramba. Haha. All I want is a viable physical rehab program that will get me walking properly again. Once I’ve got my program to a T, I go back to my home PT. Sounds good ya?