Monday, December 8, 2014

Just Pictures

I don't have any horse stories to tell, so I'll post a few pictures...





I had a routine, but invasive medical screening procedure last week and managed to get some kind of infection out of it, so I've been waiting for my fever to come down before getting active again.  We may have made a lot of progress in the field of medicine, but in some ways we've shot the human race in the foot by turning medical procedures into cattle calls, sacrificing privacy and cleanliness while risking infection.  I'm at a point where I'm thinking that unless I need to do something to save my life, I'm going to avoid "routine" tests as much as possible.  You simply cannot go in healthy without coming out sick.

My mother-in-law recently went in for some back surgery.  They opened her up, discovered there wasn't much they could do for her, closed her up, and sent her home.  Over the next week she complained about increasing pain, and they ignored her.  She wound up in the hospital having emergency surgery because of a blood clot triggered by the back surgery.  They also discovered some nerve damage.  Sometimes, even if it is broke, it's not worth the risks to try to fix, especially if the fix is not guaranteed.

What I am astounded by is how much time and energy doctors put into covering their butts.  If they put that much energy into taking care of patients, we'd all be better off for it.  When I looked at my surgery report, the entire thing was about me having the risks explained to me and me signing a paper that I knew the risks.  I probably talked to 5 nurses and 2 doctors during the process, and not one of them explained the risks to me.  However, the front office, shoved a bunch papers in my face and said, "Sign here."

I informed them that I didn't have my reading glasses and they said, "Oh, don't worry about it.  This is just standard stuff."  How does that constitute "explaining the risks to the patient"?

But enough of that.  I could go on forever about my disdain over medical care.

Most of my interactions with the horses lately have been at feeding time.  I realized that Rock has come a long way in his manners.  I no longer have to coerce him into getting into HIS stall and staying out of other horses' stalls at feeding time.  I no longer have to shove him at the hip to get him to move so I can close the gate.  I no longer have to smack him on the nose for trying to rip food out of my hands.  I no longer have to even ask him to move when I'm cleaning up manure in his stall.  He used to stand over the manure, and I'd have to harass him to get him to take a few steps forward so I could clean it up, but now if we share a stall, our motions are like a choreographed dance and he can anticipate where I need to clean next, so he takes the initiative to move out of the way.  That's pretty amazing.

When I see how well behaved Rock is, it makes me realize what is possible with my other horses.  I'm tough on Rock because Rock is tough... and easygoing.  I tend to baby Lostine, because she's so old, and I'm wary of doing something to spook Bombay and Gabbrielle that could result in me getting hurt, so my training efforts are different from one horse to another on a very subtle level.  But I think if I use the same actions and pressure I have put on Rock over the past year and a half to behave, the other three will be better horses for it.

14 comments:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I feel a predictable comment coming on that I should head off at the pass. Before anyone pulls a GEICO commercial on me and says, "Everybody knows that... invasive surgical procedures carry a risk of infection", you're missing the point. Doctors lie in patient records. This is literally the third time I've found comments in my medical records that were not true, and only recorded for the sole purpose of preventing a lawsuit. If you haven't read you own medical records lately, request them. What you see may astound you.

Shanna Border said...

I have a distinct hatred for the medical practice. After the doctor almost killing me, they tried to make it my fault. I'd love to get my records but I'm sure they altered them to cover the stupid doctor's big fat butt. I totally agree with you, unless it's a life or death situation, I don't want to see a doctor. I'd rather be treated by my vet rather than by my doctor!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Shanna - Your vet comment made me laugh. My equine vets have always been the most competent doctors I've dealt with. But I am sorry your doctor almost killed you. Geez Louise!

Brenda said...

I hope your infection clears up soon and your Mother in Law gets better soon. My mom started having problems walking a few years ago and pain in her knee. She saw countless doctors and they all said it was something different. Two of them recommended back surgery, but at 75, we (mostly she and my dad) decided the surgery wasn't worth the potential risk, especially since there was no guarantee surgery would fix the problem.

When I was in college I fell backwards off my horse and landed with it under me. I broke my wrist so they put it in a cast for 6 weeks then took it off amd sent me on my way. Years later I discovered it hadn't healed correctly. Surgery was an option, but the odds of losing full use of my entire arm was greater than the surgery being successful so I didn't do it.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Brenda - Yikes! When I broke my arm coming off a horse, I had to have surgery, but I left the metal plates and pins in because I didn't want to risk a second surgery to remove them.

achieve1dream said...

I hate going to the doctor! I avoid it unless absolutely necessary because I can't afford it and there are germs everywhere in there. Ugh. Unfortunately I have to get rechecked every year for my thyroid meds because it's a controlled drug I guess, so that sucks. I try to make sure I don't go during flu season though. I hope you feel better soon. I love all of the pictures. You're so talented!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Awwww, shucks! Thanks.

lytha said...

Not related, but I have some cousins in AZ and took a google street view tour yesterday, because I have no idea what The Wall looks like and one of my cousins lives in Sierra Vista by Tucson which is not far from it. I have to say I was surprised by what the wall looks like. And the whole area was what I picture a settlement on Mars would look like. All the houses nearby have bars on their windows and doors, and fenced yards, and a stop sign said Alto. Sierra Vista itself was nicer, but it was amazing to me how green the trees are, and how no one has lawns, they have gravel (I think). I especially like those really tall pointy trees. Why are all the houses one-story only? Anyway I heard that my cousin was pulled over on suspicion of being a coyote and I had to look it up what that means. I was thinking you would know: )

Cheryl Ann said...

Nuzz, I AVOID going to my doctor. I do have to go once a year, however. Now I have to return to my dermatologist for a 6 month "head to toe" exam and I already have a bump on my right arm (probably skin cancer...sigh). I fell off a horse about 5 years ago and now have permanent nerve damage, but I refuse to go in for back surgery. I'm 62...I can live with the numbness. I did go see a nerve specialist and he told me what I already knew...waste of time & money! :-(

Cheryl Ann

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

lytha - A coyote is someone who smuggles illegal aliens across the border. A lot of times they are also drug smugglers. Hence the bars on all the windows. You want to keep the guys with guns out. Also, sometimes "safe houses" where the coyotes hide the immigrants have bars on the windows to keep them prisoners. They hold these people hostage and turn them into drug runners, telling them they have to break the law if they ever want to see their families again.

Not many people in central or southern Arizona have lawns to conserve water. What grows here naturally doesn't need much water. We lay down plastic and cover it in gravel to try to keep the weeds at bay. All it takes is one rainstorm for the weeds to explode overnight. I'm guessing the one story houses are to cut back on the costs of air conditioning. Sometimes it's just whatever architect or builder influenced housing in the area. Maybe somebody who has lived here longer has something to add?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Cheryl Ann - If your doctor told you it was a waste of time and money -- keep him. I used to have a dog vet who was like that. He'd weigh the risks for me and offer his opinion on whether he'd go through with a procedure or not. I loved his honesty.

I talked with a nurse yesterday and she said that my fever isn't high enough for an infection, so I must have the flu. I said I don't have any other symptoms besides light-headedness. No cough, no headache, no sore throat... She said, "Just drink lots of fluids, climb into bed, get some rest and let it go."

Instead of climbing into bed, I immediately went down to the barn and started training horses.

lytha said...

NM, thanks for the explanation. I swear, looking at those towns near the border made me think that there are places in America more foreign than where I live now in a foreign country. I would love to live life without needing to mow my lawn. But I would hate to be forced to feed hay all year. I would love to have no mud problems most of the year, your horses always look sparkling clean and comfortable on their sand. I did see some houses on streetview that had weeds instead of gravel, they looked pretty bad, not like grass, really. I sure appreciate streetview - I feel like I have a small sense for what it's like there. You can't get that sense by visiting the Grand Canyon, which is all I've actually seen. Talking to my cousin this week, he said he plans to move to AZ near his sister, because he loves the climate, the lower cost of living, and the fact that his cars won't rust. That would make 3 cousins of mine, from both family sides, in AZ.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I just found out that my mother-in-law had to go in for a third surgery. The first was to fix her back, which they weren't able to do. The second was to remove a blot clot and repair nerve damage caused by the first surgery. The third was to deal with an infection caused by the second surgery. She's in her 70's, and I don't know how much strength she's got left to deal with all this pain from all these surgeries.

achieve1dream said...

Yikes!! I'll keep her in my thoughts. I hope it goes well!