Monday, November 23, 2015

This week of Thanksgiving

Maybe it's just because it's rained so much lately, but these brisk, frosty, sunshiney days lately have been just awesome!!!  The cold has helped firm up the mud (not gone), but so much better.  The horse's coats are all thick and puffed up and not quite so muddy, and stall cleaning even seems quicker.  Likely cause they drip so much water off their bods in all that deluge...hmmm, bet that's it. Anyways...I've been loving the weather!!!  I have so much more energy and desire to accomplish things when it's cool and bright.

We've been enjoying our cozy little wood stove again.  Have I mentioned lately how very much I love that little stove?  Well.  I.  Do!  :)
Wood heat just sinks into the bones.  Last night we had our second heavy frost, dipped down to 28. Pretty impressive huh?

Our weekend was nice.  We got stuff accomplished, that trip to Goodwill made (!!!), upstairs guest room's all clean and put back together, new curtains hung in our bedroom, pictures back up on the walls, new comforter's on our bed :) and everything that shouldn't be in the living room?, is not in the living room!!!  Oh my gosh, that feels great!!

Told you brisk weather energizes me.  We had a very nice and relaxing Sabbath day too.  The message in church was really good and we even stayed for potluck afterwards.  Again, a perfectly gorgeous day.  Just felt great to be outside in the fresh air too.  My only regret is that I'd hoped, and meant to take the dogs for a walk, and we didn't.  My poor poochies have suffered so lately...Charlotte especially!  Wow, that little dog needs her run time.  Maybe I really mean - we need her run time.  :)

This week I'm hoping for an opportunity to go through some of my (many) favorite pictures over the last several years, and decide on six.  *sigh* Yeah, just six...for someone who has difficulties making decisions sometimes, this is daunting.  I have this cool, old frame that an old friend gave me years ago, that I want to transform into a large picture frame for our bedroom wall.  It's a little idea I've had rolling around in my head for quite some time.  I'd like to wake up, or drop into bed, looking at the things (beings) in my life that mean the most to me.  My reasons to smile...

Well, we're going to spend Thanksgiving Day with family.  My side of the family.  What I was thinking was this.  I'm going to decide to love them for who they are, rather than waste time on wishing who they were.  Funny thing is; I bet they think the same thing about me!  :)  It'll be's Thanksgiving.

What I decide in my heart to do, and think, and who I am.  Ultimately.

Aahhh, I do love Thanksgiving - don't you!?  The very heart of the holiday is conjuring up everything that you have to be thankful for.  And we all have lots and lots of blessings in our lives.  I know I do.

My wish for you all, is that you spend time with the ones who you love, and ponder your many blessings.  We're getting so close to the ending of yet another year, and the way things are going - I just pray that everyone gets it all straight within your own hearts; whatever it is for you.

Something right up their at the top of my list this year, is that Ladde is doing alright.  No huge steps, but we continue to see baby ones.  Any improvement is a reason to rejoice, and there have been no more seizures.  :)  *sigh*  And as always, my hard-working, loving, (and not totally) annoying, husband.  He does put up with me everyday, and that ain't easy!
And any list of mine would always include our critters.  Life just wouldn't be nearly as sweet without all of them.

Happy Thanksgiving,

from all of us at C-ingspots

(I had hoped to have some new pics to add, but after putting all my pics from the old work computer onto a stick for transferring to my laptop, they number 5308!!!  It's taking some time to transfer and I'm not that patient) Now you understand just how difficult it's gonna be to pick 6 - yiyiyi!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Keepin' on, keepin' on

We have been wet here.  We've been making up for our dry spring and summer in spades.  We have mud upon mud upon mud.  The pasture has that familiar river running through it - you know, the one that ends at the water trough?  Oh, and the other river that runs alongside our driveway as it makes its' way to the ditch.  They're all full, and showing no signs of slowing.  Right now, we're getting a break.  The sun is peaking through wispy clouds and it gives me hope.  Couldn't find my sunglasses on the drive to work this morning, and I felt like a mole.  Haven't seen that bright orb in the sky for a while...but we'll take the break and be thankful.

Ladde is ever so slowly making progress.  It's a painfully slow recovery, but I'll take it.  He had a bit of a backslide after his recent trim.  Troy trimmed his heels more than normal and I think he's feeling the pull of those tendons in the back.  You see, foundered horses grow more heel than toe and it can take a full year or more to become "normal" again.  His abscesses are pretty much finished draining now, so we aren't soaking and poulticing now.  He's been completely barefooted the last few days trying to dry out and harden up those hooves again.  And today, MH turned Ladde out in the big pasture with everybody else.  He's wearing his boots while out, but we'll pull them this evening when he's stalled overnight.  He's on 2 mg Prescend daily, and down to a 500 lb. dose of banamine twice daily.  Sure hoping we can get him off the pain meds entirely really soon.  *fingers crossed*  Last Saturday marked the 2 month mark since the onset of his laminitis.  Wow, it's taken a toll!  But we will keep on doing what we need to do to (hopefully) ensure no more episodes for the poor guy.  And the biggest blessing in all this is, (to our knowledge) no more seizures!  We are so thankful for that!  We don't know why they occurred, but as long as they stay gone, we're happy.

All the other horses seem to be doing well.  Harley has a serious case of bad breath, so I'm thinking he may have a bad tooth, or is packing feed somewhere.  We'll likely have to have dentals on everybody really soon.  For some reason, it feels like our list of "need to do's" just keeps going on and on.  Maybe once we accomplish this latest thing, it might be smooth sailing for a while.

My in-house project of re-organizing and cleaning out and hauling off, continues.  With the time change, and darkness settling in before I leave the clinic, I'm finding it more difficult to get anything accomplished in the evenings.  So that leaves the weekends to try and squeeze my projects in, and try to keep up with the daily stuff.  Slowly, but surely it's happening though.  Patience has never been a virtue I was blessed with.  Nope!  I like to get things done and move on.  MH cleaned out our camper and got it winterized last Sunday.  He also re-built the big gate that Missy broke while scratching her butt a while back.  Next on his list is re-organizing our wood shed and cleaning out our stove pipe.  We haven't had any fires in the wood stove yet this season, but the temperatures continue to drop and we'll be wanting a cozy fire before long.  Our little pellet stove in the LR helps a lot, but when it gets really cold, we need the addition of the wood stove to keep comfortable.

I got my curtains ordered for our bedroom, and a new down comforter for our bed.  I'll be looking for a tiny end table and a lamp before long, and that's it.  The bedroom will be finished!  It's really nice sleeping in our bedroom again, and freeing up all that space in the LR.  Last Sunday I spent the majority of my day in the upstairs bedroom - not the guest room - but the one we use as a closet and dressing room.  I deep cleaned everything and moved some furniture to make the room more user-friendly.  I even organized all the dresser drawers and closets.  Next up is the guest room.  I've already  removed the bedding and laundered everything, so making up the bed and vacuuming and dusting after the summer of leaving windows open 24/7 is all that's left to the upstairs.  One of these days we'll re-paint and replace the carpeting...but I'm not even going there for now.

I've still got several loads of stuff that's destined for Goodwill, but it's been so rainy lately that I've put that little chore on the back burner.  The weather forecast for the weekend looks promising, so with any luck, I can do it then.  It feels so very good to be cleaning out so much stuff that we don't need!  I'm loving it, and definitely on a roll!!  Next up...that piano.  I don't play it anymore and would like to see someone who will put it to good use, have it.

Charlotte turned 5 months old yesterday.  She's almost as tall as Ruby is already, and is turning into a lovely young lady.  :)  She's a fun pup and I'm happy we have her.  Most of the time anyways...

We've still not finalized our plans for Thanksgiving.  We'd thought to go to the church potluck, but my sis called and invited us to the family get-together, and now I'm torn.  I don't see my family very often, and usually find myself feeling upset when I do hear about everything that's been going on with them, when I do.  But none of us are getting any younger.  My sister is in her early 70's and has some occasional health issues.  *crap*  What to do?

Anyway, that's an update of what's been going on with us lately.  Hope you all enjoy the upcoming holiday and make the most of the long weekend.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Laying low

After last weeks' tumultuous happenings and raw emotions, lack of sleep and just trying to keep up with everything - we were both just exhausted.  Physically, but even more so emotionally.  We stayed home all weekend and just laid low.  We made a very short trip to the grocery store, ducked in and right back home we went.  We took care of the horses, gave Charlotte a (much-needed) bath, did some house cleaning and cooking, but did absolutely nothing else. It felt good to keep busy with mundane tasks and cozy up at home.  It rained pretty much most of the weekend.  It rained a lot.  So hard to imagine less than a month ago, we were aching for careful what you ask for.

Ladde is improving some.  I'm so hopeful that his seizures were just a blip on the radar.  To our knowledge, he hasn't had any since last Wednesday.  The pain in his feet continues to lessen.  He's down to a 500# dose of banamine twice daily, and this week we're hoping that drops to once a day.  I'm waiting for Troy to come out and trim his feet, and hopefully confirm the abscesses are finally all cleared up.  We're fairly confident that he's steady and sound enough to bear his weight for trimming. I think we're getting the inflammation from the founder under control as well.  He walks right out with no pads on his feet, but is still a bit careful and slow about making tight turns.  I've reduced his pergolide to 1 mg daily, which is a 50% reduction.  I've learned that too much pergolide causes incoordination, which we've definitely been seeing, so made that decision and so far, so good. There's so much trial and error in this rehabilitation phase that, that in itself is nerve-wracking.  Ahh, the "practice" of medicine...

We even allowed him out in the big pasture with the whole herd for a couple hours yesterday.  Wow, did that ever make our boy happy!!  That single thing improved his outlook on life by a 100%.  And that makes us happy.  The grass is growing quickly right now, so a couple hours was all we could risk.  For this coming week, it's back to stalled at night and daytime turn-out in the corral with a single buddy.  We've decided to hold off on starting him on phenobarbital.  It may just be wishful thinking that the seizures won't return, but I'm willing to push this just a bit on faith alone.  A single loading dose would be 75 tablets given orally, however we could achieve that.  The injectable proved to be cost prohibitive at about $2500.00 for a single dose.  Yes, you read that correctly - $25 hundred dollars!!  And that's at cost...ridiculous!!

Here's a stock tip for ya'all...invest in pharmaceuticals.  Just sayin'.

So for now, we'll just keep taking everything as it day at a time.  Wishing and hoping and praying that our boy continues on this path to improvement.

I appreciate all the kind words of encouragement, and especially the prayers.  Thanks so much!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Searching for clues...answers

The way my brain works is complicated, exhausting even.  I'm an analytical thinker, but can easily become emotionally overwhelmed when I find no answers to my queries.  When that happens, I search and search for any little clue that could possibly help make sense in what I consider a very complex puzzle.  The Ladde puzzle.

Even my boss/vet seems to be floundering for a cause for Ladde's seizures.  Yes, I said seizures plural.  The first one occurred Saturday morning, October 31st.  The second seizure (that we're aware of) happened yesterday very early morning or sometime overnight November 4th.  Oh my word, if you've never experienced a horse having a seizure, I can only say that it's terrifying and the thought of a very large horse just crashing is sickening.  Not knowing why or when is unnerving at best, and leaves me feeling totally frustrated because we don't know what to do.  We can't seem to prevent them, can't help if they do occur and can only try to make Ladde's environment as safe as possible.  I'm contemplating getting a head protector, but my vet says the strong, nylon straps have a potential to get caught on things, which could be a whole different set of problems.  From his experience horses generally don't like wearing them either.  They must be uncomfortable around the ears and undoubtedly hinder eyesight somewhat, which would be unnerving for the animal.  *sigh*  What to do!?  I really need to find a way to protect his eyes and head if, and when he goes down again.  I'm thinking maybe I could replace the nylon straps with something that would break if necessary.  Both times he's crashed, he's hit his eyes when going down.  The thought of this makes me physically sick.  On top of everything else, I don't want him to lose sight because of trauma.  I can only pray that whatever the cause is something temporary.  I'm hopeful; my vet is skeptical.  But we have no answers.  We're going to do some checking at OSU Vet Hospital and see how expensive a CT scan of his head would be.  If there's bleeding in his head somewhere, that could be a cause.  If that's the reason, there is absolutely nothing to be done, but at least we'd know.  I'm just heartsick that all of these horrendous things are happening to my Ladde.

There are several other possible causes.  I've been researching them all.  Most are fairly unlikely causes, but there are a couple of possibilities.  The most likely, in my uneducated opinion is a metabolic reaction - "characterized by convulsions, which are of a short duration".  With all the meds causing metabolic changes and stress due to pain going on, this seems plausible.  We did a comprehensive blood panel and it's overall quite normal; slightly low in total protein, HCT and red blood cells, but everything else within normal limits.  That's good news.  His glucose and insulin are both now normal, ACTH has improved tons...was >1274 and is now 174.  Normal reference range is 9-35 for ACTH, so you see how drastic that has improved.  All good news, means the pergolide is working, but what kind of havoc does that cause within the body?  We've been giving him 2 mg as a starting dose, and when we finally get him within normal, I'm hoping to drop him to 1 mg daily, but we have to wait until they're normal or we could cause another onset of laminitis.  Don't want that!

With all these numbers looking so much better, why then is Ladde still looking so poorly?  I blame those seizures.  Last Friday, before that first seizure his overall countenance was 100% better.  Now, after 2 seizures he's looking very weak, lethargic, uncoordinated and just old.  It just kills me to see him like this.  His appetite remains good, he's drinking plenty of water and we have progress with the pain management in his front feet.  I'm hopeful that the residual discomfort is from the abscesses not being completely healed and not from inflammation in the lamina of the hooves.  At least that's what I pray for...

With everything that's going on, we're feeling exhausted, not getting much rest and the stress is running pretty high.  I'm asking for prayers from anyone who is willing, on Ladde's behalf.  He's a good horse and we can use all the help we can get.  We just don't know what else to do.

Also, if anybody has any experience or just thoughts regarding any of this, I'd appreciate the input.  Thanks so much...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Loss of control

I just can't believe that it's November.  October is one of my most favorite months of the year.  Not because of Halloween, but the beauty of that month, and the cooling of the hot, summer temps.  I love that briskness in the air, the color everywhere you look and the gradual slowing of life in general.  So, what's my point?  Even I'm not sure, but even though I took a week off from work in October, I feel like so many areas of my life are outside of my control.  Maybe I'm deluding myself that I ever had a certain measure of control, but there it is.  My favorite month came and went, and I feel like I never got to really experience it, or enjoy the beauty that is October.  *sigh*  I did get to spend a couple of days and nights at my favorite beach though.  My sweet hubby accepted all responsibility at home so the dogs and I could get away and have some quiet time.  I needed it, but sure wish he could have been with us.

We have been overwhelmed with so many "have to do's" lately.  I don't even know where to begin.  But above everything else in importance are the medical issues that we've been dealing with where Ladde is concerned.  He's 19 years old and lately it seems like so many aspects of his health have gone to hell.  Totally unexpected and beyond our control.  I hate it.  It scares me to think that regardless of how hard we try to take good care of them, provide them with everything they need, physically and mentally, things can go south so quickly.  Overnight in fact.  Which is exactly what happened.

We were taking a quick glance at the horses before heading off to church.  Ladde was just leaving the water trough and heading back out to the pasture.  I noticed he was walking unusually, and recognized founder immediately.  Oh no...years ago we lost his grand dam to this dreaded disease and I sure didn't want to face it again.  But there it was.  The evening before he'd seemed perfectly fine, but we'd already reduced his hay rations because he'd put on some extra weight and his neck was getting just slightly cresty.  Long story short, we've been soaking, poulticing and bandaging for about 6 weeks now.  We took x-rays which showed very little, if any movement of the coffin bone.  Good news! Then he got even more lame, abscesses in both fore feet, multiple abscesses.  Oh boy, poor guy!  On top of that, he banged one eye, it got better, then he hurt the other eye, and he got a yeast infection in his sheath.  Until this past weekend, we weren't seeing much improvement.  Keeping him stalled in deep bedding was tedious, but important.  Thank goodness we'd purchased an extra ton of bedding and had it stored at the ready!  On Friday, the 30th I finally saw some progress.  Finally!  He's even lost a few pounds and other than being excessively hairy, was looking pretty good.  Saturday morning dawns, MH gave him his dose of Banamine and within seconds he was seizuring.  Teeth clenched, body and head tremors and down he went like a sack of potatoes!  His entire body was convulsing and his legs were paddling and kicking out...terrifying!  It only lasted for a minute or two, but afterwards he was exhausted.  He could barely walk.  Poor horse!  It is terrible enough that he had a seizure, but not knowing what caused it is really scary.  He banged his eye when he went down and got some sawdust in it, so we've been flushing it and keeping ointment in it as well.  Since that day, he's continued to slowly improve, with no new catastrophes.  Thank God...

We've had him tested and he is positive for both Cushings and EMS, in fact his numbers for ACTH, insulin and glucose were through the roof.  So, we've put him on pergolide for the Cushings, started soaking his hay and continued with the reduced rations.  We'll follow up soon with re-testing to see how the numbers change.  Hopefully, once we get through this acute phase, we can keep him controlled and prevent further laminitis episodes.  Other than what we're already doing, all I can do is pray.

Thankfully all the other horses are doing well.  Kadie, at 31-1/2 years young is doing remarkably well.  She has bone spavin in her hocks, but who wouldn't be a little creaky at that age?

Ruby and Charlotte are becoming fast friends.  Some days Ruby wants to rip out Charlotte's throat.  I can see the look on her face, but overall things are good.  The increased activity and mental stimulation is good for our lounge lizard, Ruby.  :)  Overall, Charlotte is a very good puppy.  She seems to learn quickly and we've suffered no losses to chewing.  She hasn't had many accidents in the house either, none in several weeks that I can remember.  She is growing leaps and bounds and is going to be a good dog.  I'm so glad that we got her, although I must admit there are some days that I question my sanity in getting another puppy.  Like yesterday when she discovered a hole in the car blanket and I came back from a short errand to find mountains of white polyester fluff everywhere, including hanging from her chin like a billy goat beard.  *sigh*  If she didn't look so darned cute, I may have killed her myself, right there and then.  But instead I gave her a thorough scolding and cleaned up her mess...puppies can be exasperating.  Kinda like little kids, I believe that's why God made them so cute.

Weather-wise, we've had some rain lately.  Last weekend was particularly wet and windy.  I loved it!  Today the sun is shining and we're loving it.  The grass is growing again in the pasture and the horses are enjoying their occasional mud baths, and especially no more flies.  So glad those little buggars are gone!  Time is marching on and my head is spinning.  Nothing new there.

My ambitious hubby is just about finished with our bedroom.  We moved the bed back in and most of the furniture as well.  It looks beautiful, and I'm so pleased with the results.  The blue isn't exactly what I had in mind, but it's close enough to live with.

We've no plans yet for Thanksgiving, except I'm really looking forward to the long weekend off.  We may even join some fellow church members and spend the holiday with them at the church potluck.  I'd miss visiting with my family, but would certainly get the spirituality in the celebration that I'm always longing for.  That would be nice.  My honey is good with that idea too, but he bemoans the "no turkey" aspect and just groans when I mentioned that someone just might bring some Tofurkey!  Oh well, guess I could roast a turkey breast later in the weekend, satisfy that craving for him.  :)

We're hosting our riding club Christmas party in our home this year and are really hoping that we'll have our cozy little home all put back together and cleaned up after all the demolition and re-building by then.  It's been a long, drawn-out affair, but we have light at the end of the tunnel.  Overall, we're quite pleased with the results, and overjoyed with when we look at the "before" pictures.  How quickly we forget!!

Lately I've been going through drawers, closets, pantry and everything in between, and purging.  Big time!  I really want to eliminate so much stuff in our lives.  Like most people, we have stuff in so many places that we've forgotten just what we have.  What is the point of it?  My new motto is, if we don't use it or wear it regularly, then get rid of it.  It feels so good!!!  I highly recommend it.  My purging project is still in its' infancy, so time will tell on how much I really end up eliminating, but my hopes are high.

Hope life is treating everyone well and blessings are abundant.  Happy November!!!