It has been a long time...& I have been quiet of late. Way too long.
I wanted to get you up to date on what I am calling my long road home. As many of you know, Island Cowgirl has always been a haven for peace, good vibes, words of inspiration & all around positivity.
Well, a few years ago that changed for me abruptly. I awoke on Thanksgiving day with my left leg paralyzed & unimaginable pain followed close behind. The kind of pain that makes you black out when you move. Or throw up. Or both.
A disc in my back had blown and was tangled up in my sciatic nerve, completely crushing it. I had to undergo emergency back surgery to try to pick the fragments of my disc out of my nerve bundle and salvage some use of my leg, which had already suffered a lot of irreparable nerve damage.
What followed was a long road. Longer than I imagined and required more fortitude than at times I was not sure I was capable of. I am not sure if any of you are familiar with chronic pain. But it takes things from you you didn't even know you liked. Like brushing your teeth. Putting on your socks. Eating sitting down. Sleeping. ( ok...I always liked sleeping).
During this time my source of light was my rock star of a husband who continued to run the farm, manage our Island Cowgirl store and take care of me, two dogs & two horses. I have no idea how he did it all, but he did it all for me and never complained. He was an unwavering rock of strength.
My horse, Sundance, became my legs. I would manage to somehow crawl up on top of him each day and we would walk the whole farm. I would talk with him the whole way, telling him how special and important he was to me and thanking him for giving me legs to walk with again. He would babysit me like a champ. Always stopping if he felt I was losing my balance and standing like a rock while I climbed around on top of him. He knew I wasn't ok. He knew I needed his help. Just like horses always know...they see everything with their heart.
His patience with me was infinite. His kindness was immeasurable. He would stand with me for hours, hugging me while I cried into his mane, wanting this pain to go away and to have my life back again.
It took me more two years to learn how to walk again. Constant physical therapy helped but the pain & an extreme limp were still present. I finally stopped going to PT because I felt I had plateaued and it wasn't really helping me progress. I feared this was as good as it was going to get.
I finally threw away all "conventional" therapies. Mostly because they were not giving me answers and had stopped working.
I bought a Pilates reformer. I began teaching myself as my body was so broken and twisted that I didn't trust anyone would know quite how to deal with it.
And then a miracle happened. Within 2 weeks I began walking better. Within a month my pain began to slowly subside. Something was changing and shifting. The progress was long and slow...but there was progress and I grabbed onto that and clung to it.
I am now almost pain free. Most days. I will take that with a heart full of gratitude and thankfulness. I will never be 100% or "normal" again, but with constant physical therapy, the love of my two boys who held me up when I could not...I finally think I am going to be ok.
Island Cowgirl going forward will be looking a little bit different. I need to go back to my roots and get back to the heart and soul of my why. Find my magic again.
The days of having a large production studio, a store and lots of employees are behind me. I cannot physically manage that any longer. Even on my best days.
Going forward it will be just me. A studio surrounded by a field of wildflowers & my horses. Some precious metals, beautiful words & some meaningful stones thrown in for extra heart.
I will be creating small batch limited edition and one of a kind collections...and I hope you will love collecting them all.
So here's to the New Year & New Beginnings...hello again home.