Some news…

So for a couple of years now, I’ve had a ‘hitch in my giddyup’, so to speak.  And, I’ve had a slight limp (off and on) since my Lyme diagnosis in 2010.

It all came on rapidly in 2010, but after my initial bout, I have managed the Lyme fairly well… My hips would hurt or my knee would hurt or I would have difficulty getting in and out of a car… but I’d get better – so I didn’t think much of it.

However, over time, (…it is amazing what you get used to if it comes on slowly.  Kinda like gaining weight slowly.  Gaining weight over 4 years doesn’t seem as noticeable as when you gain it in 4 months…) it got worse and I didn’t notice.

That’s what happened to me.  It all happened slowly over 9 years… so I just went with it.


As I was meeting Dalton at Sweetbeau Horses and riding him over there in the last several months, I noticed that it really hurt to ride.  Hmmmm.  I figured I was having a Lyme flare.  So I had my physical therapist work me over.  And, that helped.  But the next day, I was sore again.

Then… we went to Wyoming and I could hardly ride.  Mounting was pain, sitting on a horse was pain, and trotting… well, NO WAY.

At that time, our friend, who is a spine surgeon, arranged for a cortisone shot so that I could enjoy my time in Wyoming.

But, it didn’t stop all the pain, like I was told it would.  Hmmmm.  Only the pain on the OUTSIDE was reduced.  The pain on the INSIDE (groin) was still there.

So… when I got home, I called my DR to ask for a referral to an orthopedist.  She highly recommended a DR (whose wife is a horse person!) and I made an appointment for last week.

I went on Friday.

The DR was kind and took an Xray, which they have to do for insurance purposes before they do an MRI to look at soft tissue injuries like I thought I had (IT Band Syndrome and Labrum tear).

Well… after reading the Xray, the DR walked in and told me that I didn’t need an MRI because he could see the issue on my Xray.

??  (He didn’t look excited or happy for me…)

He continued that when he ‘can see it on an Xray,  it is very clear and indisputable’.

??   What is clear and indisputable?

He said that I had the hips of a geriatric woman.  The constant inflammation (Lyme) had degraded my soft tissue and bone.  At this point, I have bone on bone and most of my hip socket is gone.  He told me that I’m like a big dog with hip dysplasia – and that I needed to be careful not to dislocate my hips.

He said I needed double hip replacement.  Soon.

Even though I’m not old enough to receive a double replacement (because they don’t want you to outlive your new hips…), he said he thinks we need to do this asap to get my quality of life back.  He told me that ‘nowadays’ it is much easier and I’d be back to work in 2 weeks.

He told me that I must have a high threshold for pain to tolerate the disintegration in my hips.

It is amazing what you get used to…


So.  Well then.  I decided to show the xray to another DR who agreed.  Crap.  But, on the other hand, at least I know what is wrong with me and that it can be fixed – which is awesome.

Like my friend said, “Now you will be BIONIC and you’ll feel like a million bucks!”

I have to do 2 months of physical therapy (for the insurance to be approved for surgery) and then I’ll probably have the procedure around Christmas, when the AirBnB is slow – but before the end of the year so our insurance deductible won’t be so bad.

My inner voice has been playing tricks with me about it all… Like, will my shoulders be next?  Will the Lyme eat away at all of my joints?

I put those thought away and thought about all the times I’ve been off balance lately.  How I tend to not want to do much with my horses on ground that isn’t level.  I’m not as coordinated because I am guarded – guarding where it hurts.  And, I’m always tired.

Constant pain makes you tired.

It all makes sense – now.


And so… this is why you haven’t been seeing me ride for a while.

I never, ever, ever thought this was what was wrong with me.  I’m shocked – in shock – but coming to terms.

I’m so glad I didn’t know this before I agreed to adopt Dalton, or I would have been inclined to not adopt until I was better, and I would have missed out on an incredible horse.

I’m excited to be me again.

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11 comments have been posted...

  1. Jody

    Make sure you have the anterior approach done with your hip replacements. Yesterday was my five year anniversary on mine . Listen to your Physiotherapist and you will be back in the saddle 12 weeks post op. But no sooner! Let your body heal and you will feel so much better. It sucks but at least we can get new parts. I’m a PT and was a terrible patient so really do wait. And please one hip at a time… Jody Swimmer, PT

  2. Calvin48

    I have RA and both of my knees were replaced 11 and 10 years ago at U of IA hospital. It was not too awful and they are still functioning well. On 12/29/15 my left hip was replaced at the same hospital, but by a different surgeon. It was a disaster because for some reason my left leg was lengthened by five centimeters (about 1 3/4 inches). No one knows how it happened and most medical people have never heard of it. I tried to sue the surgeon, but due to all the damage the RA has wrecked on my body, my suit was dismissed. I looked into having a surgery to shorten the leg, but I could at most get 2 cm off the 5. It’s miserable having this huge discrepancy; I have to wear an enormous, heavy, inflexible shoe on my right foot that costs hundreds of dollars. It is exhausting and makes me clumsy. I fall down at least once per week and I am 71 and have osteoporosis. I am currently almost recovered from a pelvic fracture. I have a horse and a pony, but am rarely able to ride. It uses up all my energy just to look after them. I am not telling you this so that you will feel sorry for me. I hope that before you have your hip replacements, you will tell your surgeon to check that your legs are the same length, because they don’t always do that. I know three women, two considerably younger than I, who have had excellent results from their hip replacements (one was my mother). I now live in Colorado and I have seen a surgeon here about my “good” hip. I still have a little cartilage left, so it’s too soon to replace that joint, but he thinks that when he does replace it, he can make my right leg longer. So I do have some hope that in the future my legs will be more equal in length. Bon chance.

  3. Bev

    Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery from surgery. You’ll come back stronger than ever!

  4. dawndi Post author

    Well, I don’t want to give my Lyme too much power… but I do consider it daily. I eat right (nothing white) and have cleansed often enough to finally
    kill the bugs – did the antibiotics but didn’t totally kill off. BEST OF LUCK and just listen to your body. you will be fine.

  5. dawndi Post author

    It is scary shit… most tests don’t show it. If you feel you might have Lyme, the best thing I have done is not feed the bugs and do a cleanse (I can give you the name
    of the person who cleared me of the bugs.) To not feed the bugs before you cleanse, don’t eat white (turns to sugar) food. Bread, cake, pasta, ice cream, milk…cheese

  6. Michelle McKenzie

    WOW! You’ve inspired me to get to the doc for a lyme’s test. I got a bite a few years back, with the bullseye but I didn’t get sick and never thought about it again. Then a couple years back the pain in my left groin/hip was indescribable. Then last year, my right knee! The xray of the hip showed arthritis, so I figured that’s what I have in my knee too.

    Just read the Kris Kristofferson had lymes, and it was affecting his mental health…they thought he had Alzheimer’s, and once they started him on antibiotics he ‘came back.’ Scary shit!!

  7. Mary Lu Kennedy

    Dawn, I know this is a big shock and I want to share with you about TWO of my friends who ride nearly every day for years. Long rides. They are much older than you. One had a double hip replacement about seven years ago in Feb. and was riding comfortably by May. Last year another friend had to have one hip replaced and instead of going to the specialists in Tucson she opted to stay home, Show Low, and have the surgeon do it there. She, too did not miss a beat. She told the surgeon she had to be riding on her birthday in May and she is just doing great. They should be poster children (older) for hip replacement. Your new horse is awesome. Be sure to check out the Tevis, August 17. The Mustangs last year were just awesome. Happy riding.

  8. Hannah Yoder

    Ugh…sorry! I have Lyme (or some form of biotoxin overload, never tested positive for anything) affecting my joints as well. I never thought about where it might end up as I know it’s from my ailment rather than true arthritis. So thanks for the wakeup call! So sorry you had to find out the hard way!

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