I can't believe it is toward the end of September and my area is still bouncing back and forth between monsoon storms and triple-digit temperatures. We had a storm come through for most of yesterday. I walked the dogs outside in the rain just before dark and the air conditioners cut out, then back in, and then there was this huge flash of light in the sky, and they cut out again. The whole neighborhood went black. Apparently, the flash of light was a transformer exploding. We were sitting in the dark with candles for a couple of hours. One of the perks of living near a metropolis instead of a rural farming community is that the power failures get repaired a lot faster.
I've been thinking about why it is that I tend to start riding my horses regularly around December every year. Summer can't last that long, can it? Then I remembered that I always end up attending a slew of doctor, lab, and imaging appointments every fall. I start feeling cruddy in August, and by September I think I'm dying, so I get some medical "help", and year after year I come out of all these appointments knowing even less than I did going in.
Well, now that my husband figured out that I've got widespread arthritis that is complicated by high heat and humidity, and the doctor agrees, I know there is no need for me to spend an entire horseback riding season in waiting rooms. I just need to keep popping Ibuprofen and push through it by staying active until monsoon season gives up its reign.
I knew I was getting arthritis in my hips and knees because my horseback rides have been getting shorter and shorter due to pain. I also knew I was getting it in my shoulders, because even with a brand new mattress and a soft mattress topper, I can no longer lie on my side because the pain in my shoulder and hip will wake me up. But, apparently, all of my joints are losing their youth now.
Thinking back on some of the symptoms I saw doctors about in the past, they could all easily be related to arthritis. I had foot pain that the doctor mistook as a blood circulation problem. I've had a lot of pain each time I got my period, so it's possible that all the bloating and swelling was putting pressure on my hips and spine. Each time I jam a finger or stub a toe, the pain lasts for days instead of minutes, and I keep thinking I broke something. The fatigue can be caused by dehydration brought about by the high humidity. It all makes sense now.
This morning I woke up to find Scrappy asleep inside of the dog kennel. He usually sleeps either on a storage chest at the foot of the bed or next to me on the couch. However, over these past few months, he has been either too weak or in too much pain to jump up onto the furniture, so he finds pillows and doggy beds on the floor to sleep on. He probably has arthritis too at his age.
Then I started thinking about my 27 year old mare Lostine. She has had arthritis in her knees and hocks for several years now, so she must be feeling the pain caused by all this high heat and humidity too. That would explain why she stopped keeping Gabbrielle in line, and why Gabbrielle was able to get away with attacking the geldings on several occasions. My little police officer who keeps the peace was on sick leave.
So, while it seemed that I was just going through another phase of back luck at first, I'm realizing that all the lousy things that keep happening to me around August and September every year are somehow always related to the high heat and humidity. I can't control the weather, but I can control my location, so hopefully next year I can look into purchasing a small hut at a higher elevation where I can take my dogs and horses to offer us some relief.
So far, I haven't received any inquiries regarding the sale of Gabbrielle and Bombay. I've been keeping my asking prices high, because I don't want someone to buy them who is just going to decide to get rid of them once he or she decides that horses are too expensive to keep. People tend to value expensive things more since they had to work hard for the money to buy them. I'm perfectly okay with keeping both horses until I find the right buyer.
I figured that once the heat bids its final farewell for 2015, I'll feel better and not have to struggle so hard to clean up the manure of four horses. Lostine is already feeling better and has been putting Gabbrielle through school, teaching her how to be a better herd mate, which has been offering the geldings and me some relief. I have been allowing Gabbrielle to co-mingle with the other horses as long as there isn't food around. I still have to yell at her for bullying the boys for no reason, but at least she stops it when I say her name. A few weeks ago she just kept pounding on them despite my objections, and that's what got her locked up in solitary. As long as she keeps showing me and Lostine respect, she can keep her freedom.