Monday, February 21, 2011

Fighting the Blues

So much for optimism. I figured we'd return to sunshine once we got through the last load of storms, but now we are inundated with ice and have another string of storms on the way. I spent two days digging what little hay I have left out from under two-feet of snow.

All that snow shoveling along with a ton of manure shoveling... (The horses have been crapping three times more than usual. Thanks a lot guys and gals.) ...and ice breaking has led to me losing the use of my arms again. For some reason, the nerve that runs up my arms gets pinched at the elbow when I use my arms too much, and then it hurts just to lift a glass of water, turn a doorknob, or open a jar. Years ago I was in physical therapy to regain the use of one arm after the pain got so intense that I couldn't do anything but dangle it at my side.

My neurologist found chronic nerve damage in my neck, but that turned out to not be related to the arm pain. The arm pain is more like tennis elbow, which sounds minor, but is actually quite debilitating. I wish I had a job so that I could pay someone else to shovel for a while, because my family members have health problems of their own and can't help.

Even though he shouldn't have, my husband got outside with a sledge hammer and broke up a bunch of stalactites and stalagmites that were growing on our patio. The ice broke a bunch of branches on those two potted trees I bought last fall to allow me some privacy and coverage over my bathroom window, because I was having a problem with a Peeping Tom each morning when I got in and out of the shower. I hope the trees survive, because I don't want to have to put up with another three seasons of peeping. This man moves in next door only for the warm seasons, and then as soon as it starts snowing, he moves out.

Everyone told me to just close the window or pull the blinds closed, but like I explained and predicted, black mold started building up on the window, blinds, ceiling and walls from no ventilation, and I ended up having respiratory problems. I spent days killing the mold with bleach a couple of weeks ago. I have to keep that window open rain or shine or Peeping Tom. The consequences of closed off ventilation just aren't worth the risks in this house.

Last week before the storms started, I found two farms that advertised that they still had hay. One was $8 a bale and one was $10 a bale. I had planned to go pick up whatever they had once the snow melted, but now the snow isn't melting and the farmers have taken down their signs, which means they are out of hay. I can't believe how unlucky I am. Now I have to order from the guy who charges $16 a bale. With my arms not working, I'll have to order delivery of an entire block, assuming he has some left. If not, I'll have to pay $18 a bale at the feed store.

Right now spring feels so far away that I think it is just an illusion.


Stephanie said...

I know it sounds cliche, but.. keep your chin up, things have to get better.

I'm thinking of you and sending good thoughts.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks, Stephanie. I just called for a hay delivery and was told that the farmer can't get his truck to his hay barn to pick up a block, because there's too much snow. Normally, I order or pick up hay plenty of time in advance, but nothing has been working in my favor this winter.

Reddunappy said...

That tennis elbow really hurts. There is an arm band you can wear that helps tremendously!! I have used them in the past and it supports the muscle in your arm below the elbow.... anyway it really worked for me. You can get them at Walgreens.
Hope it gets better soon. We are suposed to get snow wed thurs, I cant wait for Sring!!!

lytha said...

i wanted to say how much i loved your snow videos, thank you - they made my day! esp. bombay, prancing like that.

i think i have arthritis in my left hand (the knuckles?). i cannot open water bottles anymore and i cannot groom a horse properly or pull weeds with that hand. scary, getting old.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Hope you can rest your arm for a while and it heals. That sounds miserable.

Good luck with getting your hay. It sounds like an awful lot of money per bale. We don't pay near that amount here in the east. Guess it's more expensive because it needs to be shipped further for you.

Hope your trees make it too. If not try calling the cops on this weirdo.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Reddunappy - I probably have a bigger collection of tennis elbow arm bands than the drug store does. The one that works best had a plastic bubble that puts pressure on the nerve, but it doesn't work well over clothing, and it's too cold for me to wear short sleeves. I can only wear it with really wide, loose sleeves in the winter.

Lytha - That sucks. We need our hands for so many things.

Grey Horse Matters - I never called the police on this particular guy, because he's always on his own property when I catch him looking in at me. He pretends like he's loading or unloading stuff from the back of his truck, but he's looking in my bathroom window. If he does it again this year, I'm taking pictures so that it won't just be my word against his. But, ultimately, the police would probably just tell me to close my window like everyone else does. I try to get into the habit of closing the window when I get undressed, opening it while I shower to let the steam out, then closing it before I get out of the shower, but I forget sometimes. Having the tree in front of it and leaving it open a crack fixed the problem. But the trees have to survive this winter so I can use them next year too.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I hear you in the looking-for-hay woes. There is always a lot of available hay around here, but since I switched my ponies to mountain meadow grass...that has caused me some headaches. Luckily, through all of the searching, I have found 2 producers that I can buy semi-loads from during haying season and have been offered a much reduced rate to do so. In the meantime, every week I am searching the hay-for-sale ads trying to keep ahead of running out until haying season rolls around again.

Linda said...

This may not sound very supportive, but I'd feel like crap if I were you, too. It's hard enough to clean stalls when you're healthy, and that is whole heck of a lot of money for hay. :/ I wish you lived closer because hay around here is cheap this year. You've got more than your fair share of snow, too. All I can say is I did have a similar year to yours about three years ago and I survived. It was the first snowiest season ever here--EVER. We broke all the records. Hay prices were crazy high, and my husband and I had just moved to a new house which was basically the MONEY PIT. I drowned my sorrows in caffeine that year. Things do get better--here's hoping for an early spring!!

photogchic said...

Sounds like you need some acupuncture. Sorry you dealing with so is a tough time of year to have the blues. Hope some sunshine and happiness comes your way soon.

Dreaming said...

My hubby has the same problem with his arms and it is very, very painful. You certainly have a ton of sympathy from me!
This time of year almost always gets me down. I am sure that I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It comes to a peak right around Feb. My solution has always been to try to get outside in the light more. Even if it is just for a walk from the car to the grocery store (I park further away - good exercise too). Maybe extra light will help erase the blues for you, too.
Good luck! Ugh - it seems that everything bad happens at once.

Crystal said...

So hope spring comes soon too! I am glad to hear I am not the only one who thinks winter has lasted way too long this year!
It will end and hope you find some cheaper hay.

Rising Rainbow said...

Nerve damage is quite debilitating. I wish I could recommend an easy fix but I know you already know that's not possible. Still I hate to see you struggling with that.

The bathroom issue, can you close the window just to shower and then open it back up and use a fan to move the moisture out. It might be a bit of a pain but still give you some privacy. Or maybe you need to set up a cam and catch the pervert so the police can arrest him. It is against the law in most places I know of and guys who peep are usually just getting warmed up for other things. It would be good for the police to have him on their radar.

We have snow moving in here too and they're predicting the coldest week of our winter this week. I'm thinking that spring is nothing but an illusion myself.

Maia said...

I used to get a pinched nerve from carrying around my tripod and I know that hurts like hell. Keep your chin up, we're one month away from spring.

As far as your peeping Tom goes, that's against the law and I think some police officer should explain that to him.

Linda said...

I've been checking back to see how you're doing--but no updates. Hope you're having a wonderful day today!!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like you're on the downhill swoop on the roller coaster of life. Soon you'll beback on the upswing. Just hang in there.

I've been in sort of a funk myself, too, but not due to weather or any major pain. I've just not been spending any time online because sitting still staring at a computer screen makes me crabby. :P


achieve1dream said...

I've been fighting the blues today too, but mine is due to rain and annoying coworkers so now I feel dumb for getting down about such minor things when you're having a whole lot worse weather and problems.

On the peeping tom I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. Is there room for you to put up a folding screen in front of it? Something like these? It would still provide ventilation through it and around it, but would block the view. Regardless I hope your trees survive.

I feel for you on the hay thing. It's such a constant struggle trying to find the right hay for the right price at the right time and to actually have the money at the right time to buy enough of it. I think it has to be one of the most frustrating things about horse ownership. It sometimes makes me wish I did board my horse lol.

I really hope your elbow feels better soon and that winter goes away and that your blues go away.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

achieve1dream - I'll play with that idea. The shower and toilet are right up against the wall with the window, so there's no room indoors for a screen like that, but I might be able to build one for the outside and attach it to the side of the house so that the wind doesn't blow it away. It'll have to be able to fold up so that people can get in and out the door that is right next to the window.

achieve1dream said...

Chrome is a very brave horse I've noticed. He's braver than any I've ever worked with. I don't know if it's because he's intact or if it's just his personality. I think your guys will figure out the plastic bag with clicker training. Once you teach them to target a few things they aren't afraid of like your target stick and maybe a cone or bucket then try having them target the plastic bag. It shouldn't take long for them to figure it out. :)

achieve1dream said...

Sweet, I hope the screen works out for you and I hope you're feeling better too.