Sunday, February 9, 2014

Technology Glitches and Passing Time

Not much has changed with me since I last posted other than some changes in technology here. My cell phone was rapidly giving up the ghost and Dave was monitoring the penny sales to get me a suitable replacement. He was hoping to get one that would give me more functions to help me stay connected and allow me to have internet use and such.

The most obvious problem. was the learning curve.  Pain makes that difficult for me. I don't have a lot of patience with transitioning into new technology in anyway, let alone when I hurt so badly I can barely think so the transition has not been smooth. I am still limping along trying to figure out how things work.

Another issue was my emails. On the old phone I was writing my blog posts in email format and I had the series I was posting when then phone change came about, nearly completed on the old phone. I also had several other things well started. Dave was told that those drafts would transfer over to the new phone but that was not the case. Each time he was off he was running to the phone store trying to get the kinks worked out and my volumes off writing retreived.. I can't even tell you how many dumb solutions they claimed would work but nothing did and they refused to turn off the new phone so I could send my documents and then turn the new phone back on. instead I dangled thinking a solution was coming any day and being totally overwhelmed by the thought of having to rewrite all of that story. The days turned into weeks and the weeks months.

I could not bring myself to post an update when nothing had really changed. My issues with pain are still not resolved, nor does it look like they will be and I am tired of posting about it. I am so ready for something new, just haven't found it yet.  I am sorrry that my silence concerned people. I will try to do better.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Touching Base

I apologize for just up and disappearing like I did last week. Just when I  think I am doing well enough to keep up with regular posting, something always seems to happen.  I get through a rough patch and think things can only get better but instead the bottom falls out and the roller coaster ride continues. I'm pretty sure I have written these words before since the up and downs haven't ceased.

Truth is I have been struggling since I lost my primary care physician last year. I will explain what that journey has been once I finish writing about the visitors from Florida. For now I just wanted to check in and explain why I haven't been posting recently.

Two months ago they started me on a new pain medication, that set me on my ear. I keep trying to write but some days it is just too much so it doesn't happen despite my intentions.

Once I began the new prescription, I immediately had trouble. The symptoms I was experiencing were considered normal and I was told they would subside once my body acclimated. I felt really lousy but I really can't explain how, other than I felt more lethargic than even the worst case of flu or when I first got out of the hospital. It has been weird to feel that beaten down over nothing more than a change in pain medication.

In addition this medication didn't seem to relieve my pain, or if it did, it was difficult to tell. Being long acting, I thought it might take longer to kick in but I can't really say I noticed that happening. The amount of pain I endure is so great, I wonder if that effects this whole thing.  The relief may be inconsequential against the  pain I experience. Nothing has really made it manageable. It's been more like degrees of terrible all along so any new drug they have tried hasn't done a thing.

Despite this the dose of this drug was increased the second month and I continued to feel poorly but there was nothing to say the way I was feeling was an abnormal side effect. Even with the higher dose, I couldn't distinguish any relief from pain so at the end of the second month they decided to take me off this medication.

Unfortunately it is the type of drug the only safe way to discontinue it's use is to gradually decrease the dose. We only began the process the middle of last week. However, Friday night I missed my scheduled time to take it. By the time I realized I had missed taking my medication, it was hours after the fact so I decided to skip that dose. Only when I felt better in the morning did I began to think I might be experiencing some abnormal side effects from this drug.

I am stuck slowly decreasing the dosage so I can get safely off of it but thinking that cannot happen fast enough. Because I had no negative results from eliminating the one dose on Friday, I have skipped that dose every day since.

Then yesterday morning I was awakened by intense pain. I have gotten so acclimatized to my pain levels that I usually can sleep through it so I was surprised to have pain be my alarm clock. That got me questioning my perception of whether this medication had worked or not. I am torn between thinking this drug is causing increased abdominal pain or that maybe decreasing the dose is the reason for the increased pain. To be honest I have no idea which it is and I'm unsure how I'm going to get it figured out.

The only thing I know for sure is this drug can cause abdominal pain and it has knocked me for a loop. I also know I am running out of choices. If the side effects I am having are really only because my body isn't used to it, I need to tough it out until I know for sure. In the meantime I still feel poorly and I continue to hurt so much I can barely concentrate and I have no idea when there will be any relief for me.

For those wondering about the tests I had last month,  everything came back normal. There are still more tests that can be done but at this point the GI doctor is on the fence. I haven't decided how much more poking and prodding I can take so unless something happens that changes his mind, I think I'm going to forego more testing for now even though he believes more testing is reasonable.

In the meantime I will post when I can. Please keep me and my family in your thoughts amd prayers.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mr Attitude

It doesn't really matter how well trained a horse is, if he/she gets excited enough something is bound to happen. With as many horses as I have, examples of this seem to happen pretty regularly.  Since I had a difficult day and have not completed the post I intended, I thought I would share an example that happened earlier today.

Pretty much all of my morning was taken up because of a doctor appointment and Dave and Lindsay had errands to run that were going to take the afternoon. Lindsay had the stalls all done when Dave and I got home but hadn't gotten to turnouts. I was too miserable after riding in the truck to take care of turning stallions out so I asked Dave if he would do it for me before he and Lindsay left.

I warned Dave to be ready for Legs to be pretty full of himself because the temperatures have dropped and he's missed some time out. Either one would be enough for the horse to cop an attitude so I didn't want Dave to be caught off guard since Legs is normally so good for him. Usually if I let Legs know I am prepared for his games, he behaves because it's no fun if I am ready for his silliness.

The other stallion I wanted Dave to turn out was Tango. He is 3 now and, between the lawsuit and my illness, his manners can be a little rough around the edges. He wants to be good but he's still unsure what that means. Considering the small amount of work done with him, Tango's behavior had improved dramatically but he definitely still needs work.

I heard Tango scream with delight when he was turned loose in the front paddock. I didn't hear he and Dave approaching so I figured he must have been pretty good. if Dave has problems with a horse I usually can hear him in front of the house chastising the horse.

Dave grinned when sharing how hard Tango had tried to do what Dave asked. The horse was oozing excitement from every pore but watching Dave like a hawk  to assure he didn't get ahead of him. Tango was a star.

Legs on the other hand got the dunce cap. He came out of the stall bouncing around and standing on his hind legs. I imagine Dave didn't think my instructions on how to diffuse the horse's enthusiasm were necessary. He tends to learn better the hard way. Legs came out of the stall leaping and cavorting and flinging his head from side to side.  

Luckily for Dave, while Legs was tossing his head expressing his "I'm the coolest!" attitude, he flipped his head just right that he bonked himself squarely between the eyes with the lead. He'd flung his head with such force there was an audible thud as the rope clobbered him.

The stallion immediately looked at Dave  and dropped quickly, but quietly,  to all four feet, convinced the man had landed this well placed blow. Dave laughed and the horse sulked because he hates being caught doing something stupid, but he walked like a gentleman the rest of the way out. Legs had no idea he landed that blow himself so he'll think twice before he tests Dave again. Dave is still chuckling tonight because the rope couldn't have landed more  squarely between the horse's eyes and the expression on the stallion's face was priceless. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Are We Ready Yet?.............

 Part 1 of the Black Years
Before I continue on with this story there is some background  I want to share.  The rarest and most sought after of the bloodlines on my farm seem to be my Gamaar bred mares. Many of the younger breeders don't understand what those old lines represent but the old timers do. Many of the big name horses of today trace back to bloodlines I hold dear. I have made preserving them part of my mission which is interesting for me to admit since I have never considered myself a preservation breeder.

Regardless of what I call what I've been doing, I have been very pleased with the horses I have bred to this point. The only reason I was even considering parting with this mare was because my illness has interfered with my ability to breed her but my criteria for a home was very specifically based on my preservation mentality. I had no intentions of parting with her if these criteria were not satisfied and I thought these people might just be the ones to do that.

I had had several conversations with these folks before they decided to come to see Faye. They were interested in her specifically because of her grey color and the tail line of her pedigree which is Gamaar's dam. Although color was not the big motivator, her pedigree was. They had called me inquiring about my grey Melba-Sitt mare which is a pretty specific request that told me much about their knowledge and mindset.

Over  the years they had owned a similarly bred mare and she had a daughter for them.  They had lost them both, the daughter only recently, so they were looking for another, as much like what they had, as possible, a very talk order considering the tail/female lines that represents. With the mares I have seen from those lines, KG Phadra Rose, Faye, is a mirror of the beautiful mares expected to carry those rare genes. I had no question she would be what they sought.

These people from Florida were not, however, the only party interested in this mare and/or the bloodlines. I actually had four inquiries within a ten day period. The Floridians were the first to make the trip to my farm but they were not the only ones to appreciate the rarity of these bloodlines and what they represent.

As the phone call telling me they were just ten minutes away ended, the  composure, I had felt, because I thought I had two hours to be ready,   disappeared and panic replaced it.  A few horses, whose manes I had hoped to untangle, where still in their stalls so I quickly put them out and let go of my usual standard of having every single horse spit shined and show ready.

I didn't know how long these people would stay and I hadn't eaten yet. I needed to put on clean clothes too so I had to run to the house while I still could. I hoped these folks were farther away than they thought or that traffic was heavy so I would have some time to get these things done.  My ten minutes were already up when I'd walked into the house so I wolfed down a banana and a glass of milk while changing into clean light weight clothes with pockets.

I don't ever take meds early but it was not quite time for my next round of medication so I needed a way to carry my next dose with me so I could take them at the proper time.  No way I would be able to show all of these horses and answer questions if my pain got any worse. I got my water bottle lined up too so I was as ready as I could be for them to be here. My wish for them to run late was granted because I got the opportunity to do these things and to sit under my blankets with my feet up again for several more minutes until the visitors arrived.

When I heard their car in the drive, I painfully pushed myself to my feet. My legs quivered and I dug deep and gritted my teeth to get through this. Nothing about this day had gone as I'd expected and with the experiences I had had since my illness, I was really dreading this. Nothing about having people here seemed enjoyable to me. It looked like a necessary evil and nothing more.......until, of course, we got to the horses.

When I turned Legs out in the round pen, I then put Faye in his stall so she would be up front and close to her buddies when the people came. Not knowing what their expectations were for how they wanted to experience her, I figured this would be the best way to start. She would be clean and accessible and when they were done all I would need to do was turn her loose right outside the door so she could join the rest of Legs' wives since I turned them out in that field right after I'd put her into his stall.

What I hadn't figured on was Faye screaming her lungs out because the other mares immediately ran off to the farthest reaches of that field.  She was so upset, I worried she'd be all lathered up before the people ever arrived but there wasn't much I could do short of turning her out. If I did that, my guess is she'd have gone straight to the manure pile to roll so I didn't dare do that. There was no doubt that sweat was better than poop.

Still I worried about how stressed out Faye was getting  as I waited for my visitors so I checked up on her as I scurried around tying up those loose ends. As I was going into the house I noticed that Heiress,  hearing Faye's distress, had come up to keep her company so I went on into the house knowing that Heiress staying with Faye was better than I could have hoped for. I didn't know if it would be enough to settle Faye totally down but she was no longer whinnying. Maybe she wouldn't be sweaty when the visitors came.

I greeted my guests and we chatted about all the travel mess while my pain levels sky rocketed from standing still. I realized I was squirming in place as I caught them casting concerned glances at each other. Before they could ask me if I was all right, I told them we would need to get moving so I could get them through this tour. We could sit down and chat at the end. They nodded in agreement and we moved on towards the barn and the horses.

To be continued....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

D-Day Begins........

 Part 1 of the Black Years
It is normal for me to awake in such intense pain that it is hard to think, let alone do anything, but the day the people from Florida came was unusually awful. With the way I had abused my body getting my farm and my Arabian horses ready, all the muscles in my body ached but my abdominal muscles were particularly sore and the nerve endings were screaming from irritation.

With the people not due until late afternoon, I took the time to perform my usual morning ritual for pain. There really was no way I could get right to work, even though that is what I would have preferred. Instead I had to take my morning medication and pile myself under a mound of blankets and wait for the drugs to kick in.

Because I had pushed myself well beyond my limits, I knew I could not hope for much relief but the added heat could only help my aching muscles. I gave myself the two hours that would normally get me to the point I could think about something other than how badly I hurt and hoped for the best. 

The mountain of throws and blankets I buried myself under did the best job they could under the circumstances. My pain was too intense to diminish but the blankets did restore warmth to my ravaged body. That in itself was enough of a relief that I was able to get to my feet so I could attack the day facing me.

Dave and Lindsay were doing the regular barn chores so everything would be presentable and I took care of the horses myself. My first line of business was to check the status of all my horses.

The usual culprits had stains to be addressed and I had a few with knots in their manes. With the people not due at the airport until noon, I figured I had at least until sometime after 2 before they could possibly get here factoring in the time it would take to pick up their luggage, rent a car and make the drive here.  That gave me some time to get things done right.

Since the weather was nice I decided I would turn out most of the horses. It would be easier for the people to get a good look at them outside than cooped up in their stalls. I couldn't put all of the stallions out but I could do a couple of them. The stallions are animated wherever they are so those in their stalls would still make an impression. With my electric fence now repaired I could put one stallion in the paddock in front of my house and geldings in the field next to him. Then I could put Legs in the round pen with his mares around him. Since he has grown up dealing with this, he is fine. The rest of the mares I split between the other two fields. All of this should give these folks a pretty good idea of what kinds of minds these horses have as well as their conformation and talent.

There were some muddy  spots in those fields or paddocks that always beckon the horses for a hearty roll. To counter against this I rinsed the horses that needed it and returned them to their stalls until they were dry. The warm morning quickly dried the horses except for the parts that collect water, under-belly, lower legs, and underneath their manes mostly but I thought those parts would dry quicker outside in the sun.

To keep the horses from rolling in the muddy areas,  I laid out piles of hay, spaced to not cause disputes, and turned the horses out. Because grass is sparse, the horses all think the hay is some kind of special treat and each is too worried he/ she will miss out if a claim is not immediately staked out over a favored pile. That pretty much saved me  from delighted ponies rolling and destroying all my hard work.

If any did roll it was hard to tell. Their coats were so slick and shiny and the day so warm, the mud must have dried immediately and the resulting dust quickly slid off. I didn't have to redo a single horse because of rolling outside although I did add more hay to assure they all stayed occupied munching hay until they were thoroughly dry.

Of course none of the grey mares had looked particularly clean when I checked them but Faye was the worst.  She just happened to be our queen for the day and she looked like she hadn't been cleaned up at all. I decided to deal with her thinking that would be my best shot at having her look good when our guests arrived.

Lots of the horses looked just fine so I had put those horses out while the other horses were drying. If I came across a horse with a tangled mane, I brushed it out before I turned that horse out. I checked my watch regularly gauging my progress against what I had left.

I thought I was making great progress until my cell phone rang. It was just after noon but my visitors weren't calling from the airport. They were just a few miles down the road. They wanted to know if it was ok if they arrived in about ten minutes.

To be continued.....

Are We Ready Yet?