Friday, May 20, 2011

Quarantine in New Jersey

Equine Herpes is Here Too

Two farms in New Jersey are under quarantine for the Herpes virus, so it has spread throughout the country. As I recall, we had a similar outbreak last year around this time. My boys are not going anywhere, and I will make sure both my vet and farrier have not been anywhere near those farms before they touch my horses. It is ever a worry, of course. Hopefully, our general isolation will keep my little herd safe.

Meanwhile, amidst the repeating rainstorms, I drove down to the orthopedic surgeon who works out of Philadelphia. More X-rays confirmed what I already know and he agreed I need knee replacements. This surgeon will replace both my knees at the same time and he does recommend it in some cases--my specific situation is an example. He agreed with me that doing one at a time could pose some problems as the untreated knee would be hard pressed to do its job while the replaced knee was undergoing healing and physical therapy.

I have tentatively scheduled surgery for early September, since they apparently get pretty busy around that time of year and making plans now was a good idea.

There will be a short hospital stay and then a period of time in a rehab facility, but once I am home, I will be able to walk about...with a walker at first and then a cane. When I asked about going out to feed the horses, he said that would be fine--I'd just have to make sure I kept the incisions clean--and that kind of activity was actually good as physical activity was a plus to recovery. I figure too that being motivated to get out there three times a day to feed the Boys would be pretty powerful motivation for me to use my legs.

I will need someone to do the heavy chores, of course, and I've contacted a "horsesitter," for that. Once I am home, if she can come perhaps once a day to do stalls and make sure there is hay in the barn for me so I don't have to carry it--or even every other day--that should work out just fine. If some of my friends want to take on some of the tasks, that's fine too, but so far, bases are covered.

Since my knees have really been bothering me lately, I am actually looking forward to the prospect of new ones.  My doctor did ask me if I knew anyone who had had two replacements who rode.  Guess I need to do some research. He suspected it would take a bit of time before I was able to ride as well as I had before after the replacements. On the plus side again, since I have been riding for nearly 50 years, the process is well programmed into my body. Hopefully, I will be able to use a lot of physical recall when the time comes.

Plan is in action. Swimming in the summer--if it ever gets warm enough--will help me be as fit as possible before the surgery, so that is step one.  We'll see how it goes from there.


  1. My grandmother continued to ride for over a decade after double hip replacement surgery. I'm not sure how that compares to knee replacements, but I would think it's similar. I'm seeing a sports medicine doc next month about artificial discs, myself. It's amazing what they can do these days.

    I was planning on getting back into showing this year, trying for my USDF bronze medal, but between my back going out and the EHV scare I'm not sure if it's going to happen. Oh well, there's always next year...

  2. Anonymous7:31 PM

    Maybe the PT can be customized to a rider - I'll bet there have to be people out there who've had knee replacement and ride. Sounds like a good plan to have both done at once.

  3. This sounds really positive. I am so glad you have a plan. I know there will be lots of difficulties but it will be worth it to have pain free knees. I feel quite confident that you will be able to ride again. Mounting may be an obstacle but perhaps you can fashion a tall mounting block.

    EHV-1 in NJ too! It travels I guess. With it being classified as an emerging disease perhaps development of a vaccine will be fast forwarded.

  4. I'm like you, hoping that our little herd is isolated and can't be infected.

    Glad you have a plan of action for the knees. I know someone who had both done at once and it was difficult for a while but she's fine now. She's not a rider though.

    Had mine done in the middle of September a few yeas ago, but only one knee. It did take me a few months before I was able to get back on a horse. The only thing I found that was difficult was there was a little stiffness in the knee, but that works out over time. Pain free is the way to go.It doesn't give me any trouble now.Wish I was closer so I could lend a hand.

  5. Lucky you to have rain, we are going for a severe drought over here.

    I am sure your horses will be fine. It is quite a setback for all shows this kind of outbreak O_o

    It sounds that your Dr is more competent than the other one ^-^ Getting fit and perhpas loosing as much weight as you can might also be benificial!

    My body has finally decided to loose weight. It makes a big difference for my spine ^-^

    I wish you good luck !

  6. glad to hear you've made that decision, jean, i reckon you'll find it will help your back as well.