An Unfortunate Series of Events...

Monday, November 19, 2012

...Can most definitely dement!
And how best to start this post? Aside from reminding you to grab a doughnut, that is. *grin* Probably with a couple of ginormous apologies all the way around. First and foremost, to my friends and followers in the blogosphere (which are largely one in the same) who have been ever so patiently waiting for me to clue them in. Unless, of course, you all grew disgusted at my extended absence and left vowing never to return (not that I'd blame you). If our screens were reversed, my first thought would be somewhere along the lines of:
"Joo gots some 'splainin' to do Lucy."
The second sorry? Welllll, that should go to Epic Farms itself, as I didn't think to turn our crises (plural) into a capitalistic Facebook fundraiser and generate a gazillion dollars in donations for the non-profit. My bad. My brain just doesn't seem to work that way. Ever. *sigh* I'd say maybe next time, but I'm pretty sure it won't happen then either. I don't know about you, but when disaster strikes the last thing I think about is jumping online and hitting up other people for money (too doggone busy trying to solve the problem, don'tcha know ;o)
Okay, soooo... What in the heck happened? Well, it started with Sara having a relapse of her COPD (a.k.a Heaves) last month. We had to get another steroid shot from the vet. I may have mentioned this before, but horses in "distress" (and breathing difficulties can definitely be quite stressful) tend to drop weight very quickly - up to 50lbs overnight. Added to that, Sara will only pick at her feed when she's having trouble breathing which makes her weight drop even faster. Since it can be several days to a week before the shot takes full effect, you can imagine how much of her weight dissipated in the interim. Because she wasn't that large to begin with, by the end of the week she was looking pretty sorry. I began to stress when another week went by and she was still having trouble breathing and barely touching her feed. She would eat some if I stood there and hand-fed her, so I did (which gave me some added stress of my own, as I was then running late for work every morning in addition to worrying about Sara the scarecrow). Unfortunately, the shots can only be administered every 30 days so if this one didn't work we just had to wait it out. Translation: PRAY.
Trying to stimulate her appetite as the days dragged by, I bought some Calf Manna which she seemed to like (pricey, but what are you gonna do, right? I had to get her to eat something). Then I found some easy to chew complete senior feed that also cost a small fortune (joy) and added that to her diet. Thankfully she would eat it, although not nearly as much as I wanted (which meant her weight loss had slowed, but not stopped). I also made an appointment with our dentist in case she was having teeth issues on top of the COPD (yet more money - eek). Although it was time for a floating (which he did) her teeth were pretty much okay. After 30 days had passed, it was back to the vet for a second shot. A little over a week later, Sara's breathing had improved enough to perk up her appetite (and thank the Lord!) I was SO relieved to have finally turned that corner; lemme tell ya. I found a supplement at Jeffers called Focus weight gain to try and help our scrawny little Sarabear put some weight back on safely and SOON.
Somewhere in the middle of all that was our church yard sale which, having run myself ragged over Sara, I no longer felt like doing. Of course by that point I was also pretty doggone desperate for dinero ($), which meant I had to do it. Ugh. I do not do too well when I run out of steam, and actually managed to hit myself with my own car (and yes, you read that correctly). What can I say? It's a gift. *rolls eyes* The short[ish] version is, on the Friday night before the sale DD and I went in separate vehicles to help a friend move her things to the sale location. My car window does not work properly, so I opened my car door when we got to the road in front of my friend's house. I was signing to DD who was right behind me to go ahead and turn into the driveway on the left. Although she was signing back from the truck, she forgot about the headlights and the fact that Mom can't SEE when they are shining in her eyeballs (*snarl*). Exhausted and annoyed, I slapped the car in park and jumped out to march over there and tell her. Note to self: Make absolutely sure that the car is all the way in park BEFORE you get out. See Jen's car roll backwards. Now see Jen do her impersonation of a Hollywood stunt woman by sprinting back and diving into the driver's seat to stop the car (though not before it crunched into DD's truck - of course all I could think of was that I could not afford to pay for one more thing). Throw in a nice solid body slam by her open door somewhere in mid leap. Oh yeah; that's perfect. Got myself a nice big, beautiful urplepurple hematoma as a souvenir for that little bit of self-inflicted stupidity and wound up making a whopping $20 from the sale. Mmmmph.
It was right about here that things went from bad to worse. It seems someone in the vicinity decided to burn goodness knows what - pine needles probably - which brought a thick noxious smoke rolling straight across the pasture. Not much you can do to prevent such things in the country (it's not illegal to burn, and it's not like I can stuff her in the house to get her away from it - although the thought did cross my mind). Of course this set off Sara's COPD all over and made me just want to sit down and cry. She went off her feed again, and wouldn't even eat from my hand. In desperation, I separated her from her pasture pals (which I really didn't want to do) and put her in a smaller area by herself. About the time I was thinking we might actually have to consider having her put down, our prayers were answered in the form of a big temperature drop, which helped partially stabilize her breathing while we waited out the 30 days to the next shot. She finally started eating again, but our poor girl is so thin she looks like the wrong end of a horse rescue. She will not touch her feed if I put anything else in it (like the weight gain supplement or horse manna, even in small increments), nor will she eat her breathing medicine or the complete feed. We're feeding her our regular feed and some alfalfa cubes broken up into small pieces (in a wide shallow tub to avoid dust issues) three times a day. Unfortunately, it goes on a LOT more slowly than it comes off (and don't you wish we could do it that way? *grin*)
Okay here's where I start summing up, because I don't think you have enough time (or coffee and doughnuts) for the rest of it. Somewhere in the middle of that, was this: I was at work and had a terrible - and I mean BIG and BAD - pain in my right side. Thinking another doggone kidney stone, (and do we have to do this now, because I do NOT need another bill to pay), I listed to the left in my chair and sucked it up for a few hours before I admitted defeat and called the doctor. He gave me a painkiller shot (that did nothing) and sent me for a CT scan. Turns out I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured and was bleeding into my abdomen (and are you kidding me?)  This meant another doctor (Gyn this time), who said we'd watch it for one month because post menopause + cancer history + cyst = potential UhOh. Dandy. Fast forward the 30 days: cyst was still there, but now complex and part of it is a solid mass. This needed to be removed and biopsied immediately. Surgery? Oh goody. *head thuds on desk* Anyhoo, the surgery was last Monday, and I'll be returning to work today. Of course with all my medical misadventures, my dad was obligated to make a crack about the irony of me having surgery on "Veteran's" day (ha, ha there Pop ;o) Biopsy results are pending (and thankfully, the doctor told DH it didn't look to be cancerous).
Somewhere in the middle of THAT (you'd think I was making this up for a Hollyweird soap opera, wouldn't you?) a neighbor showed up waving a land survey to inform us that our fence was umpteen feet off the line onto his property and we were encroaching on his land. He was polite, but started talking about drawing up contracts and paying him rent in lieu of moving the fence. Hold on there, buddy. Give us some time to look into it, okay? Naturally, the area in question runs directly through the training area and the boy's stalls. Ah yes, where else could it be? We are fairly sure that we are not encroaching, but I don't want to say anything more until this has been completely sorted out.
I think that brings you all pretty much up to speed, and maybe it will help you see why I couldn't quite get here. I don't think there's any more but then again, the day's still young right?  Have a blessed week everyone - I've missed you!


  1. Oh my dear - you've been have a right tough time of it haven't you? Here's hoping that all the bad stuff is gone and over and done and its nothing but sunshine and roses from now on.

  2. Well, you have made MY day! I have nothing.... absolutely nothing to complain about! My problems seem so minor compared to your's.
    I hope you will enjoy some smooth sailing from this point forward - you deserve it!
    You know, I will be thinking of you and shaking my head - the kind of 'tsk, tsk, tsk' head shake thing - all day!
    Bless you! Take care! Get better! Hugs, virtual carrots and pats to Sara.

  3. Well I've heard the saying "when it rains it pours" but it sounds more like you had a monsoon. Geeze. I've been wondering where you've been. Wishing you brighter days ahead and nothing but sunshine and blue skies. Want me to send some bubble wrap?

  4. Oh wow, what a horrid couple of months. Pats for Sara and hugs for you. I am impressed by your strength, you cope amazingly well.

    I hope you have smoother sailing for the next few years, you surely deserve it.

  5. Holy geeze!!!
    A cheap trick I used when my mare had an allergy attack and did similar (other than the weight loss wasn't significant) get about half a gallon of hot water (boiling kettle water with lots of steam) eucalyptus or similar thing you would put in an old child's vaporizer and put them both in an old bucket and put a rather large towel over the horses ears and head and put the bucket under their nose for 5-10 minutes. The steam will rise up under the towel and allow them to breathe easier. Stupid old racehorse trainer trick I learned that has worked like a charm on many incidences of waiting for stupid med's to work.

  6. Grace: Thank you. I have gotten to the point where I am hoping that my 50's will be a little easier than my 40's have been (since I started this particular decade with a cancer diagnosis and, as you can see, am still "going strong" in misadventure mode *laugh*).

  7. Dreaming: Glad I could help ;o) You know, though, that there is probably somebody else out there who has had an even worse month than mine, although I have recently begun to wonder about that *grin* (see addendum).

  8. Ann: Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. *giggle*

  9. Clancy: It's actually only been a little over one. Hard to believe how many misadventures can be crammed into such a short time frame, isn't it? I'm gifted (ha).
    Have to give God the credit for my coping skills though; lots and LOTS of prayer time :o)

  10. Sydney: That's a great idea, although I'm not sure I could coerce Sara into letting me put a towel over her head long enough for her to figure out I'm helping (major issues there).

    I do use a small swipe of Vicks in each nostril, which is another racing trick and seems to help her some (it contains camphor and eucalyptus). I've gotten very adept at distracting her with a treat so I can get that little dab in there. Gross, but effective. *laugh*

    I can understand why our neighbor would bring it to our attention, although I thought the paying rent thing was a bit much. What I don't understand is why he waited 3 years after buying the property to get a survey. That part seems odd to me.


    Believe it or not, I completely forgot to include the termite invasion in my saga (yep, really). Walked into the guest bathroom and found them all over the floor (though thankfully they were not yet in the walls, and we had no damage). Can you say $1,800 to treat the house? Ack.


    I'm officially a Ronco commercial: But wait! There's more! Yesterday afternoon - I published yesterday morning - DD sent me a text to say her truck wouldn't start. It's now in the shop, but we don't know what's wrong yet (eek).


    To my fellow "warriors" out there, methinks I could use a bit of extra prayer right about now (can you say under attack?) Yeesh.

  12. :) Praying as requested.

    Wasn't sure if your neighbour has been there 3 years or your have, but anyway, maybe he is now thinking of doing something that requires a survey - subdividing, putting up a new fence, etc, or maybe came across something that has made him wonder where the boundary is. I had a block I'd owned for about five years surveyed because I wanted to be sure where the boundary was before I fenced it.

    A month- wowzers. Definitely praying for calmer waters for you.

  13. Clancy: Thank you! Haven't heard from the shop yet, which is annoying (even if I am afraid of what they might tell us *laugh*).

    The neighbor has been there three years; we've been here 22 years, but bought the land behind us in 2004. I think for now I'll just say that we were "sure", and hopefully I can expand on that before long (right now we're waiting for the other shoe to drop ;o)

  14. I had come by to say thank you for stopping by my little part of the world. I am so sorry for all of the things that have been going on! Then something like termites-I think I would have been sent over the edge. Bless your heart-I have sent a little prayer. Things will be on the up and up soon! :)

  15. Katy: Thank you for the visit in return, and thank you even more for the prayer - those are always appreciated!
    Have a welcome hug ;o)

  16. Oh the memories you brought back..It has been at least 35 years since we had a barn full of horses. It is just an extension of ones family and things get really crazy.
    Loved reading of your adventures. Someday you will look back and the crazy side of your brain will miss it all..

Your comments really brighten my day!

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