Amy B. Eilertsen
“A year ago during a dressage lesson I was unexpectedly thrown from a horse and hit the dirt squarely on my left hip. Activity is such an important part of maintaining my physical and mental health that, despite a lot of pain and limited ability to bear weight, I picked myself up and got back on the horse. I refused to accept that I was injured. I was in complete denial that there was a problem. Not surprisingly, I didn’t sleep off the pain as planned, and sought care in the ED 24 hours later where I was diagnosed with an acetabular fracture. This was my second pelvic fracture from falling from a horse, which led me to the decision to stop riding altogether. It was very, very difficult for me to give up my life dream, and frankly, I didn’t know what to do next.
I continued to be in pain after the fracture had healed and was diagnosed with post-traumatic arthritis, and a torn hip labrum and cartilage. I had always had athletic hobbies and couldn’t see a way forward. My hip bothered me even walking at work and I was no longer active. I gained weight and lost contact with my horse barn friends. Things felt quite bleak.
In late June I went on vacation to Wales with my siblings. We rented a canal boat for a week and my sister and I decided to walk the tow paths next to the boat as we motored from place to place. The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny, the scenery was gorgeous, and although I was uncomfortable, I started to feel better.
After returning home from vacation, I made time during lunch to walk the lovely wooded Schweitzer Trails at work. Although the trails are on a large hospital campus, they are peaceful, quiet and restorative. As my fitness increased, I lost weight and felt so much better! I started exploring local trails on the weekends, and slowly increased my mileage.
This November, I took the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Grand Challenge and was delighted to find a supportive and fun nursing community! I signed up for the HNHN Turkey Trot Challenge and committed myself to hiking, something that I had enjoyed for years, but had set aside to study dressage. I hiked a local “big little mountain,” a seven mile round trip with a 1.2K foot elevation gain. It was a gorgeous trip and, though I have hip discomfort, I had a blast. The Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Grand Challenge community is a wonderful, supportive resource for nurses wishing to attain and maintain their health. Thank you, ANA!”
Amy B. Eilertsen, MN, RN
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