As a biochemist I have a very active interest in how the body functions. Biologically. Chemically….Biochemically.
This past week I was mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.
Last Tuesday I woke up at 2pm in order to take care of chores, bake, and get ready for work. It was my Friday so for the last couple of days I had slept only 5-6 hours per day. I worked from 6pm-6am, met some friends for basketball, and met another friend to catch up over barn chores.
I came home around 9:30 to Blade in the beginning stages of colic. The vet didn’t leave until 11am. I laid on the couch for 90 minutes and went back out to hand-walk Blade. It was useless trying to sleep between walks; I was too stressed and concerned for my boy.
If you missed it check back at Putting the Vitals to Use.
In addition to the stress of Blade’s colic he had jumped on me around 5pm. I wasn’t hurt badly, just an ugly hematoma; it could have been much worse.
The accident, however, brought me back to a few years ago when a Saddlebred at my barn (still love him) saw a ghost and jumped on me to save him. A very similar accident but I ended up with a hoof mark behind my knee, sprained ankle, and broken big-toe. Wednesday afternoon when I saw Blade standing over the top of me I was immediately transported back to the original incident. Lucky to have been spared worse but afraid all the same.
By midnight I still hadn’t slept. Zac and I were preparing for bed. I did my last check on Blade around 11pm, hobbled my tired beaten self upstairs, wrote a blog post, and finally crashed. At this point I had been 34 hours with less than 90 minutes of sleep (and only 5 hours/day the three days prior).
I woke up rather early as I always do. Bardi wanted to go outside and I was anxious to go check on the horses.
I found myself utterly useless the entire day Thursday. I was tired, moody, and mostly just depressed. I didn’t want to go outside. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to deal. I even ignored my mom’s phone calls.
Thursday evenings are also my horseback riding lessons. With the bruising on the leg I wasn’t sure how I’d feel, but I forced myself to go anyway. To my surprise riding didn’t bother my leg at all. Despite riding and jumping well and having a great lesson I began crying on 3 separate occasion….for no reason. Nobody caught me but the fabulous mare I was riding could tell.
Why am I crying?!
Since the trauma and stress from the previous day had finally departed I was left with an empty shell of myself. Tired and depressed. Once I was able to put a finger on why I felt this way I could tell myself it will be OK tomorrow. I just need sleep.
I began Friday calm but much happier. I’ll tell you more about my recovery later, but I’ll give you a hint. Remember these lovable faces????
I find it amazing how our bodies work this way. I won’t go into the biochemistry of it. The higher our stress hormones (or any hormones) are, the more dramatic of a “low” we experience. As fellow horsemen I imagine you’ve experienced this high/low imbalance. I’d even be willing to bet some of you have experienced a more traumatic incident that’s probably taken much longer to recover from.
What’s your story?