Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Stocking Up Before Winter

I recently went to the pharmacy and told the pharmacist that I wanted to stock up on my dog's diabetic supplies before the winter visitors get here.  My old pharmacies would have told me that I'm not allowed to do that.  They would only give me one bottle of insulin and one box of syringes at a time, and they'd actually keep track of that last time I bought them.  If enough time had not passed, they would not sell me more.  This new to me pharmacy is awesome, because the lady's response was, "You're smart.  Just tell me what you need and I'll get it for you."

I asked for two bottles of insulin and four boxes of syringes, and she didn't blink an eye.  I probably could have asked for more.  She asked how long that would last me, and I estimated about six months.  We both hesitated and wondered if that would be enough to help me avoid the long lines.  This past spring, the population really didn't recede until June.  Oh well.

I asked if it has already been getting busy, and she said it has.  During the summer she had a lot of downtime waiting for customers, and now there is a steady stream, but the lines aren't too long.  I can tell they are trickling in by the packs of traffic on the road.  The drivers all hang together in a herd, and then there are gaps between the masses.  Where I used to be able to just turn onto the highway or merge onto the freeway without waiting, now I must wait for a break.  Soon there will be no breaks, and I'll have to take streets with traffic lights.

I don't realize just how important it is for my days to go like clockwork until another person comes into the mix and messes it all up.  The hay delivery man called at 7:30 AM this morning and asked if he could come deliver right then.  I said yes, not really thinking about the logistics.  I had just fed the horses their breakfast at 6:00 AM.  I wouldn't be able to leave them in their stalls with a huge truck unloading a block of hay right beside them without the horses injuring themselves.  Sometimes the horses are good about ignoring the trucks, but sometimes they completely flip out and run in circles crashing into the railings of their stalls.  Since they've had a long, quiet summer, I'm sure they will be spooky this time around.  I'm just not up to tending to any more leg injuries.

So, I had to run outside and let all the horses out of their stalls, knowing that Gabbrielle would probably attack the geldings over the hay.  I didn't know which was worse.  Having the hay barn right next to the horse barn is convenient for me when I need to feed, but it's not convenient when I need an early morning delivery.  If I had truly been thinking ahead, I could have fed Gabbrielle in the round pen to keep her separated from the other horses, but my head has been elsewhere.

I'm still recovering from a doctor's appointment in which I was told that I need surgery, but the doctor doesn't want to do surgery because she doesn't think I am healthy enough to survive it.  A few years ago, she had offered to do this surgery, but I postponed it because I wanted to give my body time to resolve the problem itself.  That never happened.  Had I known the I would age so quickly in just a few years to the point of not being healthy enough to undergo surgery, I would have elected to do it back then.

I was rather shocked by her assessment of me not being healthy enough for surgery, because people who are much older and much heavier than I am have surgery all the time.  I think she was referring to just the general conglomeration of health issues I've had lately.  We compromised at the expense of my horseback riding season.  She's going to do outpatient surgery to take tissue samples for a biopsy in December.  I have less than two months to lose weight and get my blood pressure down.

What my doctors don't understand is that all of my relatives were super skinny and still had high blood pressure and hypertension most of their adult lives, so genetically speaking, I doubt my blood pressure will go down when I lose weight.  My daughter is a feather and only 26 years old, and she has high blood pressure.  I'm going to continue working on losing weight, despite all the discouragements of not getting any results yet while working out each day and limiting my food intake, because I know I'll recover faster if I'm lighter and stronger.  I just wish the temperatures would actually drop down into the 80s like they've been predicting for several weeks now, because then I'm not limited to just working out indoors.  Once I can start hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding regularly, that will make a huge difference.

I think she's doing the biopsy as a test run before actually removing the organ, because previously she was just going to remove the organ and then examine it.  This means a lot more appointments and expenses for me.  It's quite frustrating.  In the next few weeks I will have to have 2 to 3 imagining appointments and 2 to 3 doctor appointments.  I really did not want to be sucked into medical care hell during horseback riding season after waiting five months for the temperatures to cool down enough for me to ride.  I should have known better.  I just went in for an annual physical (to beat the winter visitors), and asked if I could have surgery next summer, and this was the result.  I told her I felt like I was giving up my life, because now I'm going to be sitting in medical offices the majority of the time, and she said, "It's not that bad."

Well, when you only have a few days now and then when the weather is right for riding, and you feel well enough to ride, it does seem that bad.  Then I read in the pre-operative packet that I'm not allowed to take anti-inflammatories in the week before the surgery, and I nearly flipped out.  That means I won't be able to walk in the week before the surgery, and thus won't be able to ride my horses.  And, of course, I probably won't be able to ride in the week after the surgery either... or maybe several weeks.  She says this biopsy surgery is necessary because she has to rule out cancer, but I've had these symptoms my entire adult life.  They've just gotten progressively worse.  Common sense would say that if I had cancer, I'd have passed away a long time ago.  I'm pretty sure that this is going to just be another huge waste of time and money with no diagnosis and no cure.

When the hay delivery man arrived, the horses raced to the far end of the arena, so I knew I did right by letting them out of their stalls.  This was a new driver, and he was hesitant about dropping his load in my barn.  I informed him that they've done it in the past, and if this is the same truck, it should fit.  I missed my old driver, because he was so confident.  Anyway, this guy ended up doing an awesome job.  He checked his work as he went to make sure he didn't hit the top or sides.  He set it down right on the very back of the pallets as far back as it could go in the barn, which I liked because it protects it from the rain better.

It's going to make it difficult to squeeze back there to tie down the tarp, but we'll make due.  We can just tie down at the corners, but hopefully we won't need the tarp since he set it back so far.

It's always a relief to have a fresh block before winter.  Hopefully, this will last six months like the insulin and syringes.

I moved an old water trough out of the way for the truck, and the rusted bottom fell right off...

I've been using it to throw away twine, so I guess I didn't need the bottom anyway.

Our blue feed barrels are cracking from the heat, and every time I inquire about them at the feed store, they say they don't have any and don't know if they will be getting any in the future, so I may have to come up with a new feed trough solution.  I used to use the small sheep troughs on the ground, but the horses kicked them around.  I weighted them down with rocks, and the horses threw the rocks around, making a racket and bothering the neighbor.  So, we used the blue barrels, but the horses learned how to bang them too.  So, my husband anchored them down better, but now the anchors are breaking.  I've also used hay bags, but the metal parts make a non-stop, annoying clinking noise on the metal railings, so I had to wrap the metal parts in duct tape, but then the heat melted the duct tape off.  The heat pretty much ruins everything.

While most people stock up for winter because the roads are often blocked by snow or made treacherous by ice, I stock up for winter because the roads are blocked and made treacherous by those wishing to escape the snow.  It's kind of ironic, but I understand.


lytha said...

trying to help, i have only hay bags without hardware. they are not easy to fill. they make me wonder about my life each morning. "how do i get the hay in?"

TeresaA said...

I'm sorry about your health issues and i hope that the biopsy goes well.

It's good to get things prepared for the invasion of the snow birds!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lytha - Hay bags are a struggle to load. I've been interested in these wall hangings with bars and plastic bin on the bottom, where the horses pulls hay through the bars and then eats whatever falls out into the dish. It kind of slows down the eating process like a slow feeder, but not as slow, and you don't have to lift the bars to put the hay under it. But it's one more thing to anchor down so that the horses can't bang it around.

Teresa - Thank you.

Linda said...

I hate to read about your heath issues. I sure hope it's nothing too serious and that you will be ready for whatever comes next soon. Fresh hay is wonderful!

KateRose said...

Sorry to hear about your health issues. :( Sending hugs!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Linda and KateRose - Thanks. I hate having to write about my health issues, but it helps me to remember why I didn't ride. I was also just thinking yesterday, "Isn't it way too hot for October?" Then the news reported that we are 10 degrees above average. That's why it still feels like summer. They are claiming that "next week" it will cool down, but it might rain too, which doesn't help me in the riding department.

Cheryl Ann said...

Our tourist season is starting here, too. I've already noticed an increase in traffic. By the peak of the season, our streets are so clogged that I don't go anywhere on the weekends! Ugh!