At this point in time, Jessica had not yet moved onto our farm. That day was getting closer but for now it was still nothing more than a conversation. What is important about that is the fact she was still working to convince me there was an advantage to her being available.
Because of this she was being very supportive about this thing with Animal Control and my horses. Not that she pitched in to fix anything that might leave a better impression or take some pressure off of me, nothing like that happened. My farm and my horses were the same on the day AC actually arrived as they had been the two days before when that tag was posted on my gate. The horses were fed, watered turned out and their stalls were cleaned daily, business as usual except for the fretting woman trying to survive the chaos created by life, cancer and evil.
Jessica did make it a point to portray concern by saying she intended to be at my farm when AC arrived. As it was she arrived late but came soon enough to make her presence known to the AC officers. In hindsight I believe this was more about making herself look important than really being any help but at the time I saw it as caring.
The AC officers arrived a little bit early but that was no problem for Dave. Brimming with confidence, he was looking forward to showing off the horses and discovering who had done this thing to me. He was out the door at the first click of the chain on our farm gates. As he exited the house I heard him welcome the AC officials with a warm, friendly greeting usually heard when he encounters old friends.
The moment the door closed it felt like all the air was sucked out of the room. My body was already racked with pain but the added stress of AC actually being on my property ramped it up to an alarming oppression. I literally felt a jolt of pain course through my body and the veins in my head bulged and throbbed in piercing pain the instant I realized they were here. My body tightened up so abruptly and severely I could not breathe. For a few brief seconds it felt like the beginnings of the pulmonary embolism I had experienced in my first hospitalization. Only after applying breathing exercises was I able to actually catch my breath. It was a scary reaction to an already frightening situation. I felt more vulnerable than ever. Vultures tearing at my flesh would not have been more painful. It is a memory that is forever etched in my mind.
As much as I wanted to be a part of this barn tour it just was not possible. I was so frail I was having trouble just getting myself around in the house and that was before this shockwave of pain crippled me. I had to be content to wait for Dave's return to know what AC had to say about my horses.
The time drug on and I heard nothing from Dave. Jessica finally arrived and went out to the barn and I heard nothing from Jessica. Time crawled and I could think of nothing else than what AC was still doing in my barn.
When I could take it no longer I forced my way to my bedroom and pulled on some clothes over my pajamas. Even with the extra layer my jeans would not stay up. I had to find a belt or take them off and search for something smaller.
I opted for the belt and pulled one out of my show bag. On the smallest hole my jeans would still not stay up. By the time I got the jeans actually off I was shaking with exhaustion but by now I was determined to go outside and see what was happening.
It took two pairs of my smallest sweat pants with the cords pulled tight over the top of my PJs and three layers of sweaters and a heavy coat before I could get myself outside. My pain is accentuated by cold so I'd added my winter boots, a heavy scarf, hat and gloves before making my way down the back stairs.
If I had been my normal weight I would have waddled under all these layers but at this weight just moving was causing the cords of my sweats to loosen and my pants to fall so I was holding up my pants with my hands inside my big coat pockets. I must have been quite a sight as I came into view from the backside of my mobile home.
I had been searching for sight of Dave and AC from the minute I hit the back porch. When I didn't see them but hit the end of my house I glanced towards the gates to see if they were there.
Still inside my farm gates stood all five people, Dave, Lindsay, Jessica and two animal control officers. They were laughing and talking like neighbors catching up.......and I wanted to strangle Dave. Here I'd been in the house dying from pain and stress and he was visiting and having a good time.
At least I now knew that I didn't need to worry. AC wouldn't be this comfortable if they were seizing my herd. I wouldn't be appearing on the 5 o'clock news anytime soon like Crystal Baker had projected. It was good to know everything she had said was invalid too.
I made it about halfway to the group when the female officer spotted me, nodding her head in recognition despite how my appearance had changed since our last meeting. Dave noticed her response to my approach and turned to face me along with the rest of the group. A brief wave of concern was quickly shrouded by the face of professionalism as both officers quickly accesses the condition of this ill woman walking towards them. It was an observation not lost on me since I was looking to them for anything to tell me what they were really thinking.
My husband quickly admonished me for coming outside. I told them all I couldn't wait any longer, I had to know. When Dave realized I wasn't leaving without answers he came to my side and took a hold of me so I could lean on him.
The female officer immediately spoke up telling me she expected there would be no problems found here. She knew from our last visit I was not the kind of person who would let harm befall my horses no matter how sick I was. Seeing the horses and their living conditions was just a formality.
The wave of relief nearly knocked me off my feet as her words sunk in. I don't really understand why my reaction was so physical but I actually fell into Dave. If he had not had a hold of me I think I would have fallen to the ground. I had to reset the position of my feet to regain my balance so I could speak to these two officers. There was more I needed to know.
To be continued.....
Vindication from Animal Control....