Sunday, July 7, 2013

More Blood and Broken Stuff

There are times when the horses wear me out to the point where I try to choose my own health over them.  "Try" being the operative word.

The fly mask ripping got so out of control that they destroyed 3 fly masks in one 24 hour period and slashed up their faces pretty good in the process.  Bombay actually has proud flesh on his cheek and probably needs surgery to remove it.  He's had so many skin surgeries in his life that I'm considering learning how to do it myself to save time and money.  Just kidding.  So I told the horses they could go without fly masks and get all the eye infections from flies that they want for a while.  I'm hoping that going a few days with flies in their eyes might make them change their minds about wearing the fly masks.

In the meantime things are still breaking left and right around here.  Everything I touch instantly explodes or implodes.  I made the mistake of deciding to wear one of my favorite necklaces yesterday.  God forbid I wear it and don't leave it hanging in my armoire where it is safe.  My daughter bought it for me in China.  I immediately dropped it onto the hard tile floor, picked it up, didn't see any damage, and put it on.  As soon as it fell off and slid into my bra, I knew the clasp had been broken.  Yup.  The clasp was broken.  I took the necklace into the bathroom to try to find the missing part and to repair it, and it immediately slipped through my fingers onto the tile floor again, this time shattering the glass pendant.  Into the trash it went.

Then I noticed that the cabinet holding our double ovens into wall had cracked at the bottom and was collapsing.  Apparently, it got water damage during our pipe leak and the clean up company didn't catch it.  They are supposed to start installing my new kitchen tomorrow, but it hit me that this may set things back a while because nothing could be done until the oven cabinetry was fixed.  This meant having to wait another three weeks while a new insurance claim is processed and the cabinetry company creates a replacement for the oven cabinets.  Obviously, I would have a nervous breakdown if I had to go without a kitchen for six weeks.  So, my husband decided to fix it himself by shoring up the wood with more wood.  The last thing we need is for the ovens to get ripped out of the wall and cause a gas leak.

I developed another one of my lovely, painful, repetitive, incurable health problems today that will put me out of commission for the next week.  It hurts to do anything.  When putting the horses in their stalls for breakfast, I noticed a telltale look of concern on Gabbrielle and Bombay's faces when they focused their attention on Lostine, but before I could check Lostine out, something happened to distract me and I forgot to examine her.  I went out later when I had my hands full, and noticed dried blood all over her front leg.  I had to drop everything to examine her.

There was so much blood that I couldn't tell what or where the injury was other than the fact that flies were burrowing into her knee.  I made my usual dozen trips between the horse trailer and the barn gathering all the medical supplies, sponges, and a bucket of water.  It's hard to get dried blood out of fur.  I was about ready to break out the clippers and just shave all the hair off her legs.  It turned out that she had skinned both knees.  I suspect Rock was chasing her, she took off running and fell to her knees.  An accident like that has got to feel like hell with her arthritis.

I cleaned the wound, treated it, and knew Vet Wrap wouldn't stay on around a joint as big as a knee, so I sprayed AluSpray over each knee.  I cleaned up all the medical supplies, my husband rinsed out the bucket and sponges, and just when I was about to stagger back to the house for some water, shade, and a chair, I looked over to see Lostine rubbing her eye on her knee.  She lifted her head up, and sure enough, that silver AluSpray was all over in her eye.

There's no rest for the weary.  Onto the next emergency.  I fumbled around to fill up the bucket with water again, grabbed the softest sponge and began flushing out her eye.  Each time I dipped the sponge in the water, my pinky fingernail, which was way too long, bent all the way backwards and I screamed in pain.  Poor Lostine thought I was screaming at her, and she was spinning in circles to try to get away from me.  I didn't have the time or mobility to locate a halter, so I grabbed her forelock and worked on her eye.  The silver stuff was embedded under her eyelid.  What a nightmare.  The one painful health problem I had made it impossible for me to walk back to the house to trim my nail with a manicure kit, and then walk all the way back to the barn to finish tending to Lostine, so I had to just keep screaming while every movement of my fingers resulted in that nail bending backwards.  I did the best I could in cleaning the eye under the circumstances and then put a fly mask on her face to prevent it from happening again.

Every problem leads to a bigger problem.  Injuries due to ripping off fly masks equals no more fly masks equals medicine in the eye after being treated for yet another injury -- something that wouldn't have happened had she had a fly mask on.  That's my life story.  On and on it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.

This time I just left the bucket of water and sponge next to her stall, figuring it would only be a matter of minutes before someone would do something stupid and need another clean up.  Instead of yelling out, "Clean up on aisle nine," I should be yelling, "Clean up in stall one!"  I found a pair of big utility scissors that I use to cut open bales of hay and chopped off that fingernail.  I was in so much pain I considered chopping off my finger right along with it.

So, Lostine is in quarantine for the day.  I don't want her rolling and getting dirt all over on her clean knees.  She doesn't heal as quickly as she once did.  She still has a scar from where she kicked her own leg last winter, and scars on her back from where Rock scraped her last month.  At some point these horses have to settle down, stop getting hurt, and give me a break.  I need to heal from my own injuries and health conditions.

I jinxed myself because I was just thinking the other day how fortunate I have been to not have this particular health problem in over a month.  I thought maybe the new medications I am on were helping.  No sooner did I have that thought and now I'm down for the count.  I'm keeping an eye on the horses through the window from my bed.  They spent most of the day just milling around Lostine's stall.  The good thing about one horse getting hurt enough to be on stall rest is that it causes all the other horses to go into mourning, so to speak.  They calm down and just hang their heads low until the injured horse heals and is allowed to re-join the herd.  Then the rough-housing starts all over again and out come the medical supplies.

I've been getting increasingly abrupt with people over the past couple of years, and a lot of it is because I know how precious time is.  When you consider how few pain-free days I get out of each month, I've got to use my time wisely.  I've got to do as much as possible before the next health problem hits and takes away my mobility or motor skills.

I went to the bank yesterday and the lady helping me said, "I think we've met."

I said I didn't think so.  She looked like a particular movie star, and I would have remembered that.

She said, "Over the phone.  I called you about your business."

She was giving me a funny look.  Then I remembered.  A woman who said she was from my bank had called me when I was in the middle of handling one of my usual crazy moments, probably trying to fix something that was broken or tend to a sick or injured animal, and she was chatting like she was bored and had all the time in the world to get to know me.  Her phone call startled me since I've been the victim of identity theft twice recently.  I figured she had more bad news for me.

She didn't explain why she was calling.  She didn't ask if it was a good time to talk.  She just kept asking me how I was doing over and over.  Then she started asking personal questions about my business and finances that made me feel uncomfortable.  I didn't know if she was actually from my bank or not.  All I could think about was whatever problem I was handling at the moment, and this phone call was like having a fly buzzing in my face.

Both my husband and I get impatient with people who blurt out their names and the company they work for so fast that we can't hear it, and then they proceed to ask us how we are doing.  We usually don't respond to that question and say, "Who are you and what do you want?"

We just want people to get to the point.  "How are you?" is a question you ask of a relative or friend you care about in a social situation.  I really feel like the question has no place in the business world, especially since I can't answer with the word "Fine," and have it be an honest answer.  Just get down to business so that we can all get back to what we were doing before the interruption, which in my case usually involves dealing with some health problem.

So, you can imagine that I was pretty abrupt with this lady from the bank when she started wasting my time.  When I asked her why she was calling, she didn't really know.  So, I said I was busy and hung up before she could try to sell me something or pry personal information out of me.  Since I have started my business, I've had way more people call me to try to sell me something than I've had people call me to buy my services.  I've pretty much let the business fall on the wayside since my life got out of control.  I'm so busy dealing with hassles and medical emergencies that I literally don't have time to work for money.  I didn't expect to actually meet with the lady who called me just a few weeks later.  I was shocked that she remembered me by my voice over the phone and the name of my company.

Anyway, that incident made me realize that I'm probably leaving a lasting negative impression on people when I'm short with them.  In fact, my property manager used to call me just about every other week to tell me about problems that the renters reported with my house, and the last time she called was when I was wrapping Bombay's leg injury down at the barn.  I bit off her head and told her I was in the middle of a medical procedure and to handle the property problems herself.  That's why I hired her.  I'm too busy to be sweating the details.  She hasn't called me since.  I'm sure I must be known by a certain "B" name in some parts.

I don't mean to upset people.  I just want them to respect my time, especially since I spend most of it dealing with blood and broken stuff.  I feel like I've been trapped in this cycle of fix and repair, whether it be material goods or body parts, that the rest of the world seems so absurd to me.  When people talk about going out and doing fun things, or they ask me how my holiday was, expecting me to have gone out and done something fun, I feel alienated.  It's not that I want to go out and do anything in particular.  It's more that I just don't understand why other people aren't as crazy busy as I am doing all kinds of things that weren't on their agenda, and I don't understand why other people don't seem to have health problems that stop them in their tracks on a regular basis like I do.

I feel especially uncomfortable in the bank, because management has trained its employees to ask each customer what they have planned to do for the rest of the day.  I've noticed that since my neighborhood is essentially a retirement community, people act as if everyone has all the time in the world, and the world is just one big, happy playground with a free choice policy in place.  You want to go on the merry-go-round?  Okay, here you go.  Instant gratification.

I feel my gut churn every time they ask me that question.  I've learned that if I answer with the word, "Nothing," then they make comments about how nice it must be to have a whole day where you have nothing to do.  That just infuriates me, because I never have nothing to do.  So, I've gotten to the point where I just say, "I can't make plans.  I just have to handle the fiascoes as they come."

That's the shortest, most honest answer I can give.  Just don't ask me how I am.  It's too complicated, and trust me, you really don't want to know.  Lostine, on the other hand -- she has skinned knees.  That I can explain.  My kitchen?  It's broken.  Everywhere.  That I can sort of explain, but it takes more words.  At least by being bed ridden I was able to finish reading "Naked Liberty" by Carolyn Resnick.  I'll work on a review of that for my next post.

Awesome!  Before I could even post this, I rammed my knee into the corner of my laptop computer.  The last time I did that, I got water on my knee and it took six months for the pain to go away.  Will there ever be an end?  I keep thinking that at some point I'm going to fulfill all my karma, or whatever is going on here that is making me repeat dealing with the same problems over and over, and then I will be free to actually enjoy something without having it break or having someone get hurt.


Snipe said...

Have you tried roll-on fly repellent for your horses' eyes? It's formulated for use around the eyes. My family has used it for years, and it works pretty well, even in the summer.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Snipe - I did use some years ago and it didn't have any effect, but maybe things have changed. I'll try again. I find most fly sprays, wipes, roll ons, etc. to be pretty useless, but I still use sprays just so that I don't feel so helpless. Swat is the only fly repellent that has worked for me, but it's to use around wounds. You can't put it all over the face and body.

Cindy D. said...

Nuz, I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time. I won't say that I understand exactly how you feel, because I don't. But I did have a period of time, not too long ago where I felt awful all the time. Everyday I felt like I was coming down with the flu, and I ached everywhere. I was so exhausted all the time. It lasted like this for about 2 years, some days worse than others. It seems to have subsided for me, but I know it is always around the corner...and no one can tell me really what is wrong with me either.
My point here is not to compare myself to you, but to just lend some compassion and say I understand how frustrating being sick for long periods of time (especially with no help in sight) can be. It sucks and I feel for you.
Throw in all that other crap of things breaking and horses getting hurt, and I can imagine that you are ready to give up. I'd be pretty short with people too, if it were me.

On your fly issues, I have 2 suggestions and I do not know if they would work for you or not. I use Swat or Natures Edge just around their eyes, and under their bellies and on the sheaths where they really seem to get bit the most. If they have any other spots where they are really being bothered I will put it there too. It means I go through a lot but it seems to make a big difference. Especially the Natures Edge.

Option 2 is the fly masks that are really just fringes?
I don't know if your horses would still be able to rip them off or not. You may have already tried them. I'm just throwing out ideas here. Please take it for what it is worth.

I am planning on getting some for mine as I know that I may as well just throw money in the trash before I try a screened velcro fly mask. Sassy would have them in tiny pieces in minutes. For now, my horses get sprayed and gooped a where I can and then they just have to deal with it.

Hang in there, it has to get better eventually

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks, Cindy. I'll look at the Nature's Edge. The horses love to try to chew and rip the leather strings off other horse's saddles while trail riding, so we can't ride side-by-side anymore. I'm sure anything they can get their teeth into would be destroyed. Cut-N-Jump made more fly masks for me that have the double Velcro enclosure under the chin, which should make it harder for the horses to remove them. I just have to get them from her when I'm mobile again and not dealing with the kitchen install. I also use Fly Eliminators. My equine dentist swears by the Paranha aerosol, so I bought some of that but haven't tried it yet. I've learned that I'm going to have to store my Swat inside my house because the heat in the horse trailer melts it and it evaporates, then when I go to grab some, it's gone. They need to make a vat of that stuff instead of little jars.

Cindy D. said...

Thank you for reminding me about the swat and the heat! As I am packing I try to recall all the things that cannot just stay in the big truck or the storage of the trailer. Vet box is going to be one of those things.

The natures edge is like swat only all natural. The only thing with that you have to be careful of is that it has tea tree oil in it. so do a small test area first. There are a few horses that are allergic.

Do you like the fly eliminators? I have been trying to use them up here in WY, but not sure they are doing much.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I do think the Fly Eliminators make a difference. It's tricky because the only way you can know for sure is to stop using them. I got a double dose for the months of June and July, and that did seem to cut back the fly population quite a bit. My vet said she uses them. Her last shipment of bugs died, and she noticed a measurable increase in flies.

Snipe said...

Also, I don't blame you at all for being short with people who waste your time, especially when it's their job to take care of certain details to make your life easier. We're in the process of selling our house, and our realtor takes her sweet time letting us know what needs to be done, then lowers the boom and threatens us with escrow problems if we don't get things done yesterday. She also tries to get us to hire contractors that charge more than twice the going rate for services. It's ridiculous.