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-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Campbell <>
To: John B. Ayers <>
Date: Tuesday, October 09, 2001 11:37 AM
Subject: Where is John??

Bruce Campbell wrote:

> Hello John . I have been wondering where you have been and how you and your
>wife are doing over the summer . I hope everyone is well and you're getting
>back to driving your Arab now that the heat has let up.

> Please join in on the CD-List now and then and let us know that you and
>your wife are well and how that Arab is progressing . Snow will be flying
>all too soon , but it will be time to go sleighing soon, better get him ready.
Hi Bruce et al!  I have been lurking and answering a few posts privately.

This has not been a good year for Betty OR me.  I had a ladder accident
in March that injured my back. I'm still being treated for and have pain from
that.  On June 24th I was hospitalized for a day due to a severe stomach
virus.  On June 29th they put me back in the hospital on the suspicion that
dehydration had caused a mild heart attack (fortunately a false alarm).

I tried unsuccessfully to get a navigator, but did get to GMHA in July
as a spectator to see part of the CDE.  I sent an entry to Winchester
for the August CDE and one of the Pan Am volunteers (an email pal
and distance rider from Egypt) agreed to navigate for me.  Unfortunately,
for the past year I've suffered a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder that
has gotten progressively worse, and as a result withdrew my entry.

I had surgery on Sept. 21st with a predicted 10 - 12 week recovery
(more on this later) so my equestrian season is about over.  I have
been enjoying some gorgeous Fall weather walking my ski/sleigh
trails with my dogs, getting ready for Winter.  We had two inches of
snow on Columbus day (five inches in the higher elevations of our
town) so that season is getting nearer.

Betty's recovery from the sleigh rally accident has taken longer than
anyone expected.  She still has a lot of chest, back and shoulder
pain and tires quickly.  On August 1st they removed her gall bladder
to eliminate that as a source of her pain but it didn't seem to help.
Hopefully she is up to caring for Meshack and me for the next few
months.  We appreciate everyone's help in squelching the hateful
rumors that caused us a great deal of unnecessary stress.

It was well into August before I could ride the winter fat off Meshack.
On Labor Day I put him in the trailer for the first time since January
and we rode in a parade.  On Sept. 8th we rode with a friend and
CTR buddy.  That is the extent of our "Equine Season".   Next year
we hope to be back stronger and better than ever, albeit even more

When I suspected that rotator cuff surgery might be required, I posted
to the list to find what others had experienced.  I got a lot of good info
but there were a number of things nobody told me.  The surgery was a
"non-event" seemed like one minute I was sitting in an easy chair in
the pre-surgery lounge.  The next minute I was in a hospital bed with
what looked like the arm of that easy chair strapped to my arm and side.
It was actually a special cushion to immobilize the right arm and shoulder.

My surgeon says his patients must be able pass a "WAFF" test (Wipe
A$$, Feed Face).  For someone who is dominantly right-handed this is
easier said than done. The American Disabilities Act did not provide
for left handed forks and spoons!  There is no such thing as left-handed
toilet paper!!  I let my beard grow for two weeks...I not only LOOKED
like a Seedy Old Geezer, I felt like one.  I had to use the horse clippers
to get it short enough that a Gillette Sensor razor would handle it!

I was in the hospital for three days and stared physical therapy the day
I got out.  They had to cut through the shoulder muscle lengthwise to
get at the rotator cuff tendon which is now fastened to my arm bone
with four screws and sutures.  Two weeks after surgery they removed
twenty staples used to close the incision (looked more like a zipper).
After two and a half weeks I was able to get rid of that &#@$%# cushion.

Hopefully we'll be back next year better and stronger than ever, abeit
even more ancient <g>.  I tried to get my wife to saddle Mesahck
and help me to mount.  She's seen his "spook and spin" routine and
wants no part of it.   If anyone in NVT wants to drive Meshack I'll be
happy to ride with you.  I do need a groom/navigator for next season
starting with sleigh rallies.

Regard to All,

John and Meshack
Wheelock, VT

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