Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Quick Update

I saw my first Red Racer the other day.  My husband and I were out exploring the neighborhood in my truck.  I've been seeing new housing rising on the horizon and was curious as to how close it was to us.  Pretty close.  I feel bad for the people who have to tolerate the construction noises and who have lost their views of the mountains because of this new housing development.  Most of the houses in my neighborhood are at least an acre apart, but people are starting to cram as many houses in as they possibly can.  I can feel my quality of life plummeting as I write.

But back to the snake.  I would have run over it with my truck had my husband not said something.  It was wiggling fast across the street in front of us and then disappeared into a bush.  I have never seen a red snake before, nor a snake that could move that fast.  I'm used to coming upon Western Diamondbacks sunning themselves in the middle of a road or trail, not wanting to move.

Last fall I saw my usual NP/PA and she ordered various lab tests for me, but I was unable to get in while the snowbirds were here.  Each time I arrived at the lab, there wasn't even any standing room.  I would have had to wait outside for several hours just to get my blood drawn.  So, I finally got that lab work taken care of late this spring after the mass exodus before the heat of summer set in, and much to my surprise, I was called in to the doctor's office to discuss the results.  That's never happened before.  I thought, Dear God!  Now what?

Of course, my usual NP/PA had left the practice.  This makes the second decent health care provider I've lost in the past year.  At first, it was hard to find an MD/PhD that I liked.  Then it was difficult to find any MD/PhD at all.  Most doctor's offices around here have one MD/PhD sitting behind a desk, and the people who see the patients are all Physician's Assistants and Nurse Practitioners.  When they asked me who I wanted to see this time, I said it didn't matter, because he or she would just be gone the next time I came in.  They assigned a male nurse to me and I had zero expectations that he would work out for me.

When I met with him, he told me that he wouldn't have bothered dragging me into the office for my test results, but could have covered the information with a phone call.  He criticized the nurse who called me in for wasting my time.  That made him rise up several notches on my respect meter.  This guy understood that the patient's time is just as valuable as his.  My main issue was that I had a Vitamin D deficiency, so he just told me to start taking supplements.  I talked with him about the correlation between that and another health problem I've had for a few years now.  He asked if anyone had treated me for it.

Treated?  Treated?  It seems I've talked with at least five different doctors and nurses about it and for some reason, not a single one of them did anything beyond giving me a list of foods to eat.  This new male nurse said, "My wife has that problem.  I'm prescribing to you what has worked for her."

Prescribing?  Really?  You're actually going to help me?  Wow.  What a concept!  Amazingly, this one little prescription has helped me live my life again.  I'm not a drug lover.  It would be nice if my body could just balance out everything on its own, but when I have symptoms that just will not go away and that prevent me from living my life, having to pick up a prescription every few months at the pharmacy and deal with side effects are minor hassles compared to the rest of it.

In other news, my old riding buddy came by for a trail ride.  She rode Rock and I rode Gabbrielle.  I followed behind her and rode next to her when I could, because I could hear her better from those angles, but I had to keep interrupting her because Gabbrielle stopped to poop 4 times and pee once during the ride, and I didn't want my friend to get out of earshot as she rode off over the horizon telling her stories to the wind.  She had some wild, and scary stories to tell about cholla balls and rattlesnakes.  Happily, she came away unscathed in her adventures.

Gabbrielle was good, but she seemed to forget her stop.  A few times she got pissy with Rock for walking too slow and she tried to blow past him and right through my reins as I asked her to hang back.  The one thing I like about Gabbrielle, though, is that she responds really well to shame.  All I've got to do is say her name in a scolding tone, and she says, "Yes, Ma'am."

We came upon a couple on horses heading toward us on one trail.  Their horses stopped and threw their heads up in the air to gawk at our horses.  The riders looked like deer caught in headlights, their eyes wide and mouths agape.  I figured they must be riding excitable horses and were out on a Monday in hopes of having the trails to themselves.  Rock was in front, so when he spotted the other horses, he slowed down.  Gabbrielle kept dodging left and then right, trying to get around his big butt.  She finally picked her head up, saw the strange horses and slammed on her brakes.  I was trying to keep her going and focused on the trail.  P.S. had to call out to her to bring her out of her hypnotic state.  Gabbrielle unlocked her legs and started following Rock again, but with a little prance in her step, while huffing and puffing nervously.

My goal was to get our horses past their horses and teach all four horses that strange horses can pass each other on a trail and it doesn't have to be a big deal.  The man in front decided to change paths and take a different trail to head away from us.  Oh well.  Once the other two horses were out of sight, Gabbrielle practically fell asleep.  She can go from acting like she's taken sleeping pills to being a bundle of nerves to sleeping again in a matter of seconds.  I had briefed P.S. on my efforts to keep Rock focused on the trail, and he only had a few minor gawking episodes.  Normally, he would have craned his neck and turned his entire body to face that strange horses as they passed, but this time he kept on trucking.

The man did an interesting thing.  He slumped down in the saddle, pulled his hat down over his eyes, and stared straight ahead at the trail.  We tried to wave to him, but he wouldn't acknowledge us.  He got his horse moving despite the distraction of our horses.  The woman in back, on the other hand, could not get her horse moving for a while, and I noticed that she was gawking at us.  Her horse clearly knew that she was focused on us, so the horse focused on us.   It was like both the horse and rider were waiting for something bad to happen.  When Gabbrielle froze up, I knew I had to keep my focus on Rock's rump if I was going to keep her following him, so I lost track of the woman rider.  I don't know what she did to finally get her horse moving.

Gabbrielle did a lot better than the last time I rode her when we came upon a hiker with dogs on leashes on the trail.  That time she froze up and Rock nearly disappeared around a bend.  I had to call out to my husband to wait, because I was worried that with her being scared and her buddy horse being out of sight, she might react by running back to the barn.

When we did return to the barn, P.S. rode Gabbrielle in the arena, and everything came back to both of them.  Gabbrielle remembered all the moves that P.S. taught her long ago, and P.S. remembered how Gabbrielle needs to be ridden.  It is clear that they are comfortable with each other.  Though I like Gabbrielle's personality and good looks, I still haven't developed a sense of familiarity with riding her.  Some day, if I don't acquire that sense of comfort on my own through practice, I'll probably take equitation lessons on her.

I don't know what the heck happened last night, but Rock somehow managed to skewer his nostril on the metal "S" of a tarp tie, so it looks like I'm going back into veterinary mode.  Bombay is a mess of scratches, cuts, kick marks and bite marks.  He plays too rough, doesn't know when to quit, and is willing to cut off his own limbs to keep the flies off of them.  Also, both Bombay and Rock have half-moon shaped scars on their hips now from banging up against the metal stall door frames while trying to escape dust devils.  The winds have been crazy.  Yesterday, a big wind hit the house and I looked out the window to see a dust devil the size of my 100 x 120-feet horse paddock blow right through it.  It sucked up a bunch of the sand and the horses were galloping around in it, having nowhere to go to escape being pelted by the debris.  I don't think that Bombay likes the sand, stickers, heat and flies of the desert.  I think he was happier with the snow and ice up north.

At least now I know why the sand is only half an inch deep by the barn and several inches deeper by the arroyo.  These whirlwinds keep picking up and dropping it by the arroyo.  They always blow from west to east, which means more work for me as I shovel sand into the wagon a drag it back to dump by the barn.


fernvalley01 said...

Seems like Gabrielle is doing well, and you guys had a good ride, maybe the fellow thought it best to keep his horse on task and just ignore distractions?

fernvalley01 said...

Glad you got some decent help with your health

achieve1dream said...

I'm so excited about your new doctor. I hope he keeps working out for you. I'm glad you got some help. I know what is like to have your whole life be dictated by bad health. Not fun.

I'm glad you had a good ride with P.S. :-D

I feel for Bombay. Chrome is miserable. I think we are both getting to where we prefer cold weather over hot weather.