Tuesday, May 06, 2008

some really good news

This morning when I went out to the barn, Salina had blown an abscess in her left front hoof! She was standing squarely and though not completely out of pain yet, the relief is visible.

As it happened, our trimmer was scheduled to come today, so he confirmed my observations and was able to do a modified trim to keep her comfortable until this resolves. She stood and rested her nose on his shoulder as he worked, giving her a break whenever she needed one, and doing the right front in a very modified manner so she didn't have to put all her weight on the left, which is still sore.

I have gotten so many emails offering support and healing energy for Salina - I appreciate all of them SO MUCH and I wanted to let you all know the immediate results a collective healing effort had. Thank you all.

I'm keeping comments turned off and will stay on break for awhile longer, until things are fully back to normal here, but this was too good not to share!

Monday, May 05, 2008

taking a break

Unfortunately Salina is not better today, and my hope that she would make a quick return to soundness with the injections isn't happening. The geldings are being neglected riding-wise, and the amount of care each day has tripled around here with what Salina and Rafer need right now.

So I'm having to make some choices about time management. As much as I enjoy blogging and reading blogs and being part of such a rich online community, I need to give this up for now.

Thanks to everyone for reading, commenting, and being such wise and fun friends. I'll be back at some point when life settles down a bit.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

scenes from a saturday afternoon

Dickens E. Wickens and I sat and enjoyed the evening while Salina and Rafer grazed quietly in the barnyard.

Look at this! My helpful husband installed the new gate. No more escapes!

Muffine Eloise running from her wild brother.

An apt sign, but now he only crosses when we say okay!

Rafer Johnson decided to escape the back way, but he was foiled by woman with camera.

Cody relaxes in the back field. Keil Bay and Apache Moon are out there too, but out of range of my camera.

Everyone is hanging in there today. No excitement. I discovered that donkeys love antiobiotics mixed with applesauce. All the Netflix DVDs arrived in the mail. Chores are done, meds have been given, and for the moment, we're still tired and sore but pretty happy.

Friday, May 02, 2008

What A Day

I am relaxed because of the amazing hot stone massage I had earlier - in the barn aisle, starting in light and ending in the dark - but boy, what a day we have had.

The first half of the day was very calm and peaceful, and I suppose, in hindsight, that was the calm before the storm.

Rafer Johnson's gelding went fine and he is doing very well tonight.

Salina was nerve blocked from the fetlock down to help dx the problem. She was NOT happy with needle sticks today, and she was MOST unhappy with Rafer Johnson's gelding. She worked herself into a near-frenzy and when it was decided to do joint injections to help her knee, it took 3 doses of sedative to settle her down. Even then, she literally jumped OVER the top of me when the needle went in the joint, knocking me down, and leaving two huge lumps on my forehead, a lead line abrasion on one arm, and a big bruise on the other. She got a 4th dose of sedative and my husband held her up while the vet injected the joint. I was sitting in a chair with ice on my head and my daughter beside me holding Rafer Johnson.

We are hopeful the joint injections will address the issue and give her relief.

Our massage therapist saved the day with hot stone massage for both Salina and me. Salina got hers in the paddock with Rafer close by, and at one point her eye was soft and closed out of sheer relief to get those tight muscles relaxed.

I then got a long and amazing massage and am going to float off to bed very shortly.

Thanks to all for the good thoughts. I am happy to be dealing with "aftercare" now!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

mirrored pain

I woke up two days ago with fairly extreme muscle soreness in my right thigh and left calf/ankle. By the afternoon, my shoulders were sore as well. At some point in the day it occurred to me as I watched Salina moving with her lame left front leg and swollen knee, that the way she was having to move must surely be stressing her upper right leg, lower left, and both her shoulders, as she tried to keep weight and pressure of that knee.

I've experienced mirrored pain before with Keil Bay, and I've been familiar for years with the symptoms of trauma my clients bring to my office and "share" with me - sometimes quite literally. I'm good at using the drive from office to home to clear my mind and body of the residual effects of this shared trauma. Sharing it helps me be a better therapist, but holding on to it would burn me out.

So I noted the soreness and moved on with the day.

Yesterday morning it was less but still there. I was sitting in my garret, window open, writing, when I heard Salina whinny. Then Rafer Johnson brayed. A few minutes later she whinnied again. I wondered if she were in pain, or if the geldings were doing something they shouldn't. But mostly I fretted about Salina and her lameness this week. I decided to cut my writing time short so I could check on her. When I stood up, both my knees were severely stiff and sore. I have never felt anything like it. I hobbled to the door, realizing I had to get down the stairs, and made my way down, one step at a time.

It was as if my knees had suddenly aged 30 years. I realized when I began to move them about that the range of motion of my RIGHT knee was exactly the same as Salina's is with her LEFT knee right now. And my LEFT mirrored her RIGHT. I walked around the living room, testing various strides and ways of turning, and then simply stood still, to see what it felt like to not move the joints at all. I could feel a mild ache when standing still, but it was the movement of the joints themselves that really hurt.

I wondered about tick-borne disease, briefly. And called my husband to consult. Within about 10 minutes the pain completely disappeared. No stiffness, no ache. It was simply gone.

I've been reading since this episode about mirrored pain, synesthesia, sympathy pain, and shared pain. Thus far I'm not finding much online. Mostly I'm fascinated with what happened yesterday morning. It came and it went in a very short span of time, and wasn't precipitated by anything I had done physically. I am so keenly aware of Salina every moment this week - I've had the windows open so I can hear clearly if she needs us.

I made sure she had a quiet day yesterday. I kept Rafer Johnson close and didn't let them have access to any bigger spaces. So far as I know, she didn't get excited and she didn't do more than a slow walk. Hopefully the gelding for Rafer will not be too hard on him or Salina. My thought is that she will be in the barn aisle where she can watch and supervise things or walk out into the small barnyard if she prefers some distance. I will use Rescue Remedy for both of them before the vet arrives, and she'll have a vet check herself and a hot stone massage after all that is over. By the time we get through the afternoon, we should know more and have an updated plan for treatment.

For now, I'm imagining circles of pure white light surrounding her knees, warming the joints, cooling them, lubricating them, healing them.


It has been quite a morning here. The baby barn swallows had left the nest yesterday but this morning one had returned.

Two Canadian geese landed in the front field and Salina, Rafer Johnson, my daughter, and I all watched with a front-row seat while the pony, Cody, and Keil Bay followed them around and then down the hill.

Salina seemed not to want to move much this morning and when I went down the hill to dump the wheelbarrow, I got tearful thinking that she might be in decline. At the bottom of the hill when I started to dump, I noticed a large feather. I think it's from a redtail hawk but will need to check with my bird experts later in the day to be sure. I brought it back up and stuck it on the outside of Salina's stall. In a few minutes she perked up and went out to the barnyard to graze. It was so good to see her moving and grazing.

When I came inside to fix lunch and take a quick break before the big event at one, I glanced out the front window. As big as the sky there was a gigantic V.

All these little things are helping the day move more easily and keeping our spirits up. And interestingly enough, I woke up this morning with my body completely clear of tension, aches, etc. I hope Salina can soon have some of that.