About ten days ago I started feeling rather sick. I thought I had just strained my stomach muscles from riding or something, and started popping the antiacids. When that didn't clear it up I went to a bland diet for a few days. Then on Wednesday night I was woken every two hours with stabbing pain in my stomach.
A visit to the doctor on Thursday confirmed my suspicions - that I have a peptic ulcer. They put me on a proton pump inhibitor (which slows down the production of stomach acid) which made me feel better. I'll have to be on that for two months at least to clear this up. They also tested me for the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which is the bacterium that is associated with peptic ulcers. If the test comes back positive then I get to go on two different antibiotics plus the proton pump inhibitor for 14 days. The antibiotics will get rid of the ulcer, but will also make me feel crappy because of the side effects. I'll take probiotics to help minimize the side effects, but in the past I still end up feeling pretty awful by the end of the prescription.
I decided that I wanted to just go on the antibiotic right away and stop it if the test came back negative. I need to get this taken care of sooner rather than later. So the doc called the prescription down to the pharmacy in the building. I stopped by there and they said that they didn't have any but they could order it. Oh, and that with my insurance coverage it would be $165. Without my coverage it would be almost $600!!
That's crazy! But I really wanted to start the meds ASAP, so I asked the doc to call in the prescription to another pharmacy (hoping they would have it in stock). The second pharmacy could not fill the prescription because the first pharmacy already did, even though I never got the meds. The first pharmacy is not open on the weekend, so I have to wait until Monday to get it filled.
Even if I want the meds on Monday I probably won't be able to get them. First, they still have to order them. Second, I will probably need pre-authorization from my insurance company, which means at least a week of the doctor's office and the insurance company sending paperwork back and forth.
Also, my test is not back yet, and is not expected to be back until Tuesday at the earliest. Since the meds are so expensive I will probably just wait until the test comes back and then start dealing with the pharmacy and insurance company.
They think that stress has played a part in giving me this ulcer - as if just getting the medication to treat it isn't stressful enough! My job is very stressful, and I'm stressed about Nationals, so I guess I'm dealing with a pretty full plate right now. However that doesn't mean that I'm quitting my job or not training for Nationals. That would just be silly! But I am going to try and relax a little bit and not lets things get me all stressed out. However, that's just not me so it's going to be difficult.
When I told Marge about it she said "Well, I'm not surprised!" Later she teased me and called me a "rotting person." I said "Hey, at least I'm considerate and am just rotting from the inside. That way nobody needs to look at it!"
In regards to the horses, it's still business as usual despite the ulcer. I had two lessons on Thursday - one on Skyy and one on Kaswyn. Skyy's lesson was really good. My trainer reminded me again about my right shoulder, and we worked on me letting go of the reins. I'm much more secure if I can have a nice hold on Skyy's reins, but that shortens his neck and restricts his stride. It's really a bit scary to just let go and send him forward, both at the trot and canter. But it really improves his movement so I just have to get brave and do it.
After an hour on Skyy I had a short 20 minute lesson on Kaswyn. He still felt weak but my trainer thinks he looks sound. She also wants me to let his neck out a little while keeping him round at the same time. He needs to slowly build muscles up in his neck and back, and if I can do this right then he might end up being more even in the long run. It's kind of like a clean slate in some ways. I just need to ride him properly.
So I'll have another lesson on Skyy Tuesday of next week, but he will be my only lesson that week. My trainer will be riding a horse at The Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Championships so she will be out of town Thursday. I'm sure I can use the day off (from lessons, not riding - I'll still ride all three that day!). And I'm sure my trainer will do well. She usually does.
I hope to be ulcer free before we get to Lexington!