Saturday, August 5, 2017

What a horrible, horrible, god-awful day.

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.

That was what I was supposed to be doing all day today: sorting tile, weeding out the cracked and broken ones for return and boxing the rest by color so the guys can sort them easily for install.

Did I? Of course not.

A slight digression here, because I really, REALLY need to get this out of my system. My day began in one of the circles of hell, because of everything my autoimmune-disease-riddled body is forced to go through living in this fucking tin can. Do you have any idea of what it takes for me just to get into and out of bed in this thing? I'm not talking here about my body, although that's a hugely complicating factor; I'm talking about layout and logistics and how impossible it is in literal terms.

I smashed my left foot a week ago. I've been overcompensating with my right ever since. I woke up this morning with the right ankle subluxed and with a stress injury as a result, meaning, essentially, that I could barely walk. And speaking of "waking up," that's relative, because I mostly don't sleep anymore. I can't. The pain is too great, and essential discomfort of this place aggravates it so badly that I exist in a summering cauldron of pain every second. This latest migraine has been my companion for lo, these last four weeks, and after this day, it's exploded to whole new levels. I have probably walked the equivalent of more than three hours and at least as many miles today, on these feet, and I just got in at twenty after nine, the air outside so cold that I could see my breath. There is not a single nerve ending or muscle or joint that is not screaming at me, and I can barely hobble.


Because we very nearly lost this guy today.

Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.
I'm going to issue a prophylactic warning here, because I am literally at the very end of my tether: No one come in here and try to give me the 101 on any of this. We both know it, inside and out; if we didn't, he wouldn't have survived to be with us these nearly four years. We don't need advice; we know what to do. He needs good vibes.

Those of you who know us well know that he was a starved, abused, and abandoned rescue, one who turned out to have had a case of sand colic developed over years of starvation prior to finding us. You also know that the vet gave him essentially no chance of survival, but she worked with us, and we worked with him, and we brought him out of it, as much as possible. It's been more than three years, and he still flares up occasionally (the impaction was so huge that he will likely erode it a bit at a time over the course of the rest of his life), but he's been essentially fine. He and Miskwaki were playing last night in the cool air, running and jumping and bucking and pitching just for the sheer joy of it.

He went down this morning.

It's a very, very bad case of colic, but of about three varieties layered atop one another, and at least two other issues besides. The sand colic (and the resulting compromised gut) made him vulnerable, and the climate change-induced weather weirdness added to that. I have another environmental factor that I'm convinced is part of it, but I'll keep my mouth shut for the moment, because I'm not sure how I'd prove it. At any rate, thanks to the sand colic issue, and the regular weather-induced colic tendencies that horses all over the county are fighting right now, it seems that for a few weeks, this problem has been brewing deep in his gut, slowly compacting what's in there a little at a time. This is not sand; it's hay and feed. And no, he's not dehydrated or getting the wrong stuff. Everything just went very wrong at the sam time, and even with a minimal case of colic in a healthy horse, it can be brewing for weeks on end and nothing at all shows up until the day the horse goes down.

But. He's also jaundiced, which means that his liver is implicated. Whether it's cause or effect of the colic complex is impossible to tell at this juncture. It may be related to something else entirely. Because we also learned that he has cancer: squamous-cell sarcoma, in a very unfortunate place (which is why we didn't notice it), and while it's usually localized and not especially metastatic throughout the body, it's also very aggressive and fast-moving, and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it before fly season ends in October or November. That will be either cryo or chemo, and we hope for the best, but it means that I am going to lose my Warrior Boy long before I should, even though that date is, per the vet, way down the road yet.

So I walked him for about two hours this morning, while we tried to reach the horse vet; she's the only one in the county, and cell signals here are trash anyway. I am sunburned, hobbling, bitten everywhere by mosquitoes and flies, and absolutely miserable. It's nothing compared to what Ice is feeling. 

When she got here, early- to mid-afternoon, he had no gut sounds whatsoever, which is a bad sign. We sedated and tubed him (water and mineral oil) to try to loosen things up a bit and let him rest, with instructions to call her if he was in more discomfort later, so she could come back out and tube him again. I took him out briefly, tried to get him to graze (stimulates peristalsis — essentially, gut movement), and he wanted to eat but couldn't bring himself to do it. No water, either. We let him back in with the others, and he spent most of his time lying down, fairly quietly. And the bloating got worse, until he looked like a pregnant mare near-term. I walked him, he passed eight small rock-hard nodules, then Wings took over and he passed a little more, but he was still hugely uncomfortable. We Banamined him again and called the vet. She got here just before dark, and we spent over an hour resedating and retubing him, and then setting up two bags of lactated ringers hanging from the stall ceiling, IV'ing him, and hooking him up. He went through this three-plus years ago, and it saved his life. We hope it'll do the same this time.

I have to go back at midnight to check the ringers; then again around two. No sleep for me again tonight. And I have no idea what all this is going to set us back; the last time we did this, it wound up running more than 2 grand.

Which brings me to the link shares, because now we REALLY have to make some more sales. We have to pay the horse vet, but beyond the immediate issue, we HAVE to get out of this godforsaken place. It is literally killing us. So please, PLEASE share these links:
  • Wings's site, for sales;
  • Lowe's cards (the physical version) via our Amazon wishlist;
  • Lowe's e-cards (delivered via e-mail) here; and
  • Home Depot cards via the company site. The e-version using my e-mail address is great; I take the tablet to the store with me, and they scan it off the screen.
I have an hour in which to try to figure out a way to unwind my body and be able to walk again, enough to go out there and take care of whatever needs doing with the IV. then two more hours before I have to do it again, and probably another two after that. I am beat, and I have nothing left for anything except to plead for good vibes for our tough guy. 

All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.


  1. Holding you guys in the deepest part of my heart.

  2. I am so sorry for everything you guys are going through. You are all in my heart and I’m sending lots of gentle hugs and lots of good vibes your way. I will help as much as i can financially as well. It will have to be a small amount every week that I’m able rather than one big amount at once. I know what that bond means and there is no human in the world who can replace it. Healing hugs are on their way.

    Love and hugs,
    I am the daughter of racheltracks