Hey all, phew!! its been quite a while since I have posted hasn’t it?! Well, thankfully I haven’t posted lately because I have been busy at the ranch working like a healthy person!! That is what I want to talk about in this post, how I can work at the ranch, sometimes 10 hours a day, in the sun without having any issues from my Crohn’s! I want to share the steps I take everyday in order to stay healthy and ready to go to work the next day.
Thankfully, my health has been great lately, aside from “ I ate something, or too much of something I know I shouldn’t have”. But I have been working hard to keep it that way!
On a day that I have to work, I will usually have an herbilife shake with my breakfast. I find it just helps me have more energy out at the ranch all day, and that way I know I’m getting a bunch of protein to keep me full and a bunch of easily digestible vitamins I know I need. You could totally use any kind of protein you like, though I have found that a lot of other powders don’t agree with me as much as herbilife. Not having a large intestine shortens the transit time of anything I eat by quite a bit, so I have to make sure I’m actually absorbing the shake!
I also keep my water bottle near me AT ALL TIMES! Even when I’m riding, I loop it on the saddle horn. And I also load it with electrolyte powder in the morning (also herbilife). I use this instead of Gatorade and I skip all the unnecessary sugar on a daily basis. It works great too, I can tell when I don’t have it in my water because I feel more thirsty. I refill said water bottle SEVERAL times a day!
One of the more annoying limitations I have at the moment is not being able to saddle or unsaddle the work horses for trail rides, due to the older saddles being extremely heavy. I need to build up my strength before I can lift them. I need to be extra careful this time, since I was cut open down the middle of my belly the last 2 surgeries instead of laparoscopically. I don’t want to risk a hernia or anything like that. But it can definitely be frustrating sometimes, especially if its just me and one of the other wranglers and we have a ton of horses up and she has to lift all the saddles. I feel awful and sometimes useless.
But I have also found what I think is the best solution available at the moment. Now, I usually will go to each horse and un-cinch their saddles and just get them all ready to be taken off the horse, and then my partner will come in behind me and take the saddles and put them away. And vice versa, they will lift the saddle onto the horse and then I will tighten the cinch. This system seems to work quite well, and everyone seems pretty content with the compromise for me.
And last but not least, I told my boss and a few of the wranglers that I have Crohn’s disease. I want them to know, not to feel sorry for me, but for understanding. I want them to know just in case I have to jump off a horse and run to the bathroom (this actually did happen during kids camp a couple weeks ago). I don’t want them to not know whats going on. It is obviously a sensitive/private issue if something like this does happen, and its so nice that I don’t have to worry AND I don’t need to explain myself. There is so much understanding and compassion at this ranch and I love it.
The biggest thing I can say is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! This is the single most important piece of information I can give, aside from DRINK WATER! Lol but anyway, I don’t always feel great, and sometimes I put on a front and pretend I’m fine when I should be asking for help, but I try not to. Trust the people in your circle, it will make your life easier to have people who understand when you have to call out of work or call off a night out.
Do you have a chronic illness?! (I know many of you do 😉 ) what do you do to maintain your health on a daily basis??
here are some pictures from the last few weeks 🙂 enjoy!