Victoria Bax's blog: 9 weeks after her rotational fall

Our sponsored rider, Victoria Bax, fills us in on her recovery after a rotational fall 9 weeks ago. Read on to find out what the surgeon said and how Victoria is getting on now she is back in the saddle...

"I am now 9 weeks post accident and have made remarkable progress according to my surgeon who I had to go back and see at The Royal London Hospital a couple of weeks ago. I travelled up to London with my dad on the train and met my husband at the Hospital. I was called into a room by a very nice man who said, "Hello, it's nice to see you again!" To which I replied, "again, have we met before?" He replied," yes but you were rather unwell last time!" It was then that I realised that this guy standing in front of me was the surgeon who had saved my life all those weeks ago by operating on me in the early hours of the morning!"

"Obviously I thanked him very much for what he had done that night. Mr Griffiths went on to explain the technical in's and out's of my injury and the operation to really nail it home to me just how serious this injury was. In his words, " I am amazed, you have made a remarkable recovery so far, most people with your injury are either still in hospital or dead!"

"Mr Griffiths went on on tell me that I needed a gap of atleast 12 weeks before I could afford any further trauma to my abdomen area as my body was still working hard to repair everything. He looked at the wound which by that time had all bar one tiny pin prick healed up well although not particularly pretty in its appearance. I mean I certainly think my bikini days are well and truly over!"

"My husband went on to show Mr Griffiths a photo from the Internet of a similar rotational fall, his reply to that was, "wow, no wonder you had this injury!" It was clear to see from his face that he hadn't actually understood the intensity of the accident. To be fair to him, I don't actually think any of the hospital staff really understood what we had tried to describe of the accident. When you tell them that you have had a fall from a horse, they just think it was the run of the mill fall where you lose your balance and slip off the side, not the fact the both horse and rider actually performed a complete sommersault in the air before the rider landing flat on her back and then the horse falling from a great height, at great sped and landing directly on your abdomen!" 

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"Jason, my husband then went on to show Mr Griffiths a successful photo of Crysto and I successfully competing at South of England Horse Trials.  Mr Griffiths was amazed and actually asked if we would send him both of the photos so that he could educate others regarding a rotational horse fall plus he could show others what it is one of his patients actually does when not being operated on in the early hours of the morning!"

"Further to this I am very pleased indeed to say that Mr Griffiths has agreed and signed my BE medical suspension form agreeing that I am fit to compete again as of 29th June 2013. This was music to my ears and we have already entered our first event actually on that date, so fingers crossed for a successful return!"

"Since my last blog, I have been back on board all of my horses now not all on the same day I hasten to add! I have been taking things fairly slowly, well for the first week anyway! I am happy to say that I am now pretty much back to normal and although my surgeon would most probably not approve I have now jumped at home under the guidance of my fantastic trainer Lucy Thompson who has been there every step of the way for me. I have also sneaked off to do a light bit of cross country schooling too with Crysto to try to start building up both our confidences again, but shhhhhhh, please don't tell my Dad as he won't be very happy!"

"The jumping at home felt great and Crysto felt just like his usual self, he was shying at the very first tiny cross pole and then later pulling me into the fences, in fact doing all the normal things he does when he jumps,so I was extremely pleased with that."

"On the cross country course however, it was a very different story. Although I only went out there to jump some small fences and rebuild our confidence, I could certainly feel that both he nor I were feeling great to start with. However, the more we did the more our confidence began to improve again, but I know we still have a fair way to go before we return to our previously confident partnership. I have to keep believing that we can do this as before the accident we really were a very strong and confident partnership out on those courses and I just hope we can return to that stage given time."

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"I have also had my first dressage lesson in a couple of months with my other trainer Tina Atkins. That went down very well indeed considering the period of time we have both had off. I was amazed at how well I coped with a gruelling session from Tina. I think she was actually more worried than me as to how much to push me as she didn't want to hear from Facebook that later that evening I was in doubled up in pain! All was good and Crysto performed very well, well enough indeed to attend his first dressage competition since the accident." 

"However sadly on the day of the dressage he didn't actually feel 100% himself and was a little stiff again. I am actually hoping that as I have upped his work in the last week he is just a bit sore from that and given a bit of quiet time again he will improve no end. I did end up riding both the dressage tests but I seriously had to nurse him round but the scores were way below what he is capable of getting. Following that I was straight on the phone to my physio who thankfully is coming out ASAP to treat Crysto and put him back on track again."

"I will be keeping my fingers tightly crossed that it is just a little blip as we were both really starting to make progress. Until next time, where hopefully I can report back that we have completed our first event back together successfully."