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Weekend adventures

I headed down to NW Florida to ride safety for the Spanish Trail CTR this
past weekend and gained first hand experience that not every trip goes
according to plan.  Tom and I lived in the area for twenty years before
moving to TN in late 1997 so I always look forward to this trip and catching
up with the old gang.

We arrived Thursday afternoon at my friend's house where Tom dropped me, the
trailer, Chili (Paso mare) and all of my gear before he and our sons headed
off to stay on the beach visiting his mother.  My friend, Nita had arranged
for a group of us to meet for dinner at a local seafood restaurant so after
settling Chili, off we went.  I haven't laughed so much in quite a long time
and just had a great evening.

Next morning, Nita and I loaded up our Paso mares and headed over to
Blackwater Forest to check with Ride Management as I had signed up to ride
Safety and help with check-in.  We then elected to take a short ride before
getting down to work, during which I remarked several times that I must have
laughed too much as my stomach was actually sore.

By the time we headed back into camp from our short jaunt into the woods, I
was feeling quite ill.  Must be the humidity and spicy food, I thought, but
by early evening I tossed in the towel (after tossing my cookies several
times throughout the afternoon) and headed for the Emergency Room at a local

After numerous test, x-rays and CT scans, I was surprised to find myself
being wheeled off to emergency surgery for acute appendicitis.  Well,
actually I can't say I was surprised.  One of the Pre-Op nurses had told me
if I was nervous the anesthesiologist could give me something for that if I
let him know.  As I recall, I shook his hand, said, "My name is Sue and I'm

Next thing I knew I woke myself up by the sound of my own snoring back in my
old room.  Which was a mite bit embarrassing and has effectively ended years
of arguing with Tom that I do NOT snore!

Since I was also severely dehydrated, they kept pumping me full of saline
solution as well as a broad base antibiotic throughout my stay.  So much so
that after weeks of careful dieting, I left the hospital 10 pounds heavier
than when I checked in! <grin>

The surgery was on Saturday, I was released on Sunday and had the surgeon's
approval to drive home to Tennessee on Tuesday.  Whew!  As much as I miss my
old friends, home never looked better than when we pulled into the driveway
yesterday evening.

And the worst part of all?  No riding for three weeks!  Aaaargh!

Glad to be back even if in a slightly fuzzy, drug-induced haze.
- Sue
Tom & Sue Fritsche
in Middle Tennessee

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