Thursday, December 16, 2021

 It took a long moment before I could even ask the question. I leaned against Truby and ran my hand along her neck, underneath her mane. "At what point.." I paused again, unable to continue. I rubbed Truby's forehead and tried again. "At what we need to talk about euthanasia?" I stared at the barn aisle and stroked Truby's neck again. 

After another long moment, Dr E responded. I don't really remember what she said, but it was kind and it was direct, as Dr E always spoke. 

Apparently, that point was today. Right now, in fact. Tuesday afternoon, December 14, 2021, was the point at which I would make the decision to put Truby, my unicorn, my Prettiest Princess, my best friend, to her final rest. 

If you're in shock and wondering how the fuck did you just read that, I assure you, I too am also in shock and wondering how the fuck I just typed that. There's not a good answer to that, so let's back up a bit. 

My last post ended with Truby, bright eyed and begging for cookies, having recovered from her fever, but possibly having a bowed tendon. I remember thinking that if she had bowed a tendon, I would lose my freakin' mind. But I put her ice boot inserts in the freezer, and took her to the wash rack to cold hose her leg. 

And for the next week, Truby got twice a day icing, along with standing bandages, bute, lots of cookies, and the rest of her antibiotics. She was pretty happy, and not terribly sore on that leg. Maybe it wasn't a bow, maybe she whacked it on the stall fencing? Who knows? Our farrier had come right to check for an abscess, but nothing but a bruise on her frog, oddly enough. Maybe she had whacked it. It would all be treated the same.

The following week, I dropped down to once a day care. I was exhausted and needed a little bit of a break. Her leg wasn't worse. We weren't training or competing, or anything like that. Healing could be slow. 

I enjoyed the time spent icing her leg. Mostly we just hung out in her stall. Sometimes I would talk to barn friends, sometimes idly scroll facebook. I would give Truby the delicious Equine Senior grain, and sit in her stall and just be with her.

But soon afterwards, the swelling seemed to increase. And change shape? And when it changed to that classic 'stovepipe' shape of cellulitis I called the vet. The day before the vet was to visit, our farrier was out. She said it was 'weird AF', and it was. The worst was there was swelling on the front of the pastern, and it formed a ridge along the cornet band. It kinda looked like a modular plastic toy, and you could just pop the hoof off. The farrier swore I wouldn't be able to pop her hoof wall off. Tru wasn't even really painful on that leg, and was able to have her feet trimmed easily. We shrugged at each other and I told her I'd text her after the vet left. 

The following day, Truby was bright eyed and cheerful as usual. Dr E came out, and frowned at her leg a lot, agreeing it was "weird AF". It wasn't a bowed tendon. It wasn't cellulitis. It wasn't really anything? She had started her physical examination quite gently, but eventually increased pressure on the leg. She asked if there had been any blood or discharge? I told her no, and she responded, well, there is now!

Sure enough, a small area of skin broke open, and thick, very dark blood oozed out. Clipping the area and a careful wash revealed a small abraded area. But that was it. Still unhappy, we decided to take a few x-rays, looking for more information. They were clean. Truby thought the fuss was boring. I enjoyed wearing a lead apron, because I always do. 

Normally I'd be a bit embarrassed that my horse was fidgety during a vet exam, but that day I didn't mind. I loved seeing her active, and proud when she walked and trotted with the tech, like the perfect princess she is. She was mildly lame, but not bad. 

Exasperated, Dr E thought it could have been a small injury, like a bug bite or cactus spine, the original wound gone, but leaving an infection behind. It happens a lot out here. She didn't think it was a good reason, and maybe not the correct one, but the best she could figure. Truby would get a 48 hour sweat wrap, bute twice a day, and some slow release antibiotics. She would need her second dose in 4 days, and that would be good timing to recheck the injury. 

The vet warned me that when I took the sweat off, I might find pus, blood, or that the skin had opened up in more places. I should call them and let them know, but not to be worried, that's what we wanted. Made sense to me. With Truby wrapped and medicated, I put her away for the night, relieved to get a little break from icing and wrapping. 

The next few days I visited Truby twice a day. She felt great! She was happy, she was bouncy. She whinnied at anyone and everyone she saw. We were able to go for walks, and she happily went with me around Cloudbase. 

Removing the sweat was anti climatic. There was some more blood, but no pus. No discharge, maybe a a new tiny opening bleeding gently. I didn't even bother calling the vet. It was boring!

Monday Truby was as happy as I've ever seen her. After some cuddles and cookies, I took her out for a walk. She came out eagerly, really swinging out there. Actually...a little alarming. She was swinging her front legs so they formed a single track. That was weird. I put it down to her enthusiasm, and that she hadn't been quite so perky for awhile. She settled into a normal walk, but did seem to want to drift off to the right. Whatever, she was happy, not lame, and probably just too busy looking at stuff to walk straight.

Tuesday was chilly and dark. Tucson had some rain overnight and everything felt damp. I made it through my work day, hoping the threatening storm would hold off until after the vet appointment. I was happy and light hearted heading to Cloudbase. It was dark and exciting, but dry. Truby was clearly on the mend, and I might even get to ride her a little bit soon! 

She whinnied at me when I got out of my car. I hadn't been out that morning, since she didn't get bute that morning, and maybe she was a touch less bouncy than the day before. Her infected leg wrap had more blood, but that was okay. Letting the infection out and all that. Her other wrap was bloody though, and I saw that the little hock sore she sometimes gets because Tucson sand is rough, had bled. Quite a bit, yuck. 

I decided to unwrap her, go for a little walk, and then wash her legs before the vet arrived. I wasn't thrilled that her leg had opened up even more along the hoof, but that was where the swelling had put so much pressure on, I guess that was to be expected. 

Truby wasn't as game for a stroll, and stopped a couple times. I decided not to push her, and went to the wash rack to get her cleaned up and wait for the vet. I started with the hock. The blood was thick and hard. It didn't want to wash off. It was like thick paint. After applying shampoo, rubbing, rinsing, more shampoo, more rubbing, more rinsing, and then some more, it finally washed off. I'd never seen blood like that before. 

I was deciding if I wanted to wash the infected leg, or leave it for the vet, when I caught her cock her foot out of the corner of my eye. It looked like her freakin' hoof wall was pulling off. My stomach absolutely heaved, and I freaked out, texting our farrier that omg, Truby's foot is coming off!!! 

After looking at it longer, I decided it was an optical illusion, the swelling, the opened skin, etc. Farrier said to keep her updated, and she was close by if I needed her. 

Not long afterward, Dr E arrived, and I told her about my freak out, but that I thought I was wrong. She laughed and started her exam. I feed Truby cookies and told her about the last few days. Dr E was glad to hear that Truby was doing well, but didn't like the lack of pus. And as she started poking at her foot, we discovered that there was actually some separation going on. 

Truby didn't care at all while she was poked and prodded. She didn't mind the betadine wash...or when Dr E got a probe out. At her lateral quarter, the hoof wall began to separate, but it was fairly shallow. But as she followed it toward the heel, it deepened, and at the heel it was completely separated, to the point she could put the entire length of the probe all the way in.   

It was super gross and fascinating. Truby didn't mind at all. Dr E was flummoxed. There was no pus, no discharge, no nothing to explain what the fuck had happened. No clues, no reason her foot should have started to detach. She checked the x-rays again. Nothing. 

She told me that while she didn't know why, she had treated horses with similar separations (caused by abscesses) and they had healed. If the separation continued, and her entire hoof detached, there was nothing that could be done, horses can't come back from their entire hoof falling off. But we could treat this and hopefully it would stop being weird AF and heal. She took out the hoof testers and squeezed her six ways from Sunday, but Truby didn't care the least little bit. 

Then Dr E realized she hadn't even seen her move yet, so let's walk her down and back. I mentioned that she had been happy and prance-y the day before, but today she wasn't really into it. Truby walked off though, and we walked down the breezeway. We got to the end, and as we started to turn and walk back, I glanced down and saw Truby's hoof wall peel away to the fucking middle of her foot. I saw laminae. I thought I would puke. We stopped, and I called shakily, "did you see that?!"

Dr E had been watching her, and noticing some disconnected movement. Like she didn't quite know where her feet where. I told her what I had seen, and she walked right up and told me to continue the turn. And we got an up close view of the hoof wall pull away from the foot all the way to the midline of her hoof. 

It was horrifying. It was obscene and disturbing in a way I cannot describe. I had seen something I should never, ever, ever see in a living horse. Ever. 

And that brings us to the start of this post. I knew in my heart that this was it. But in vain I hoped there was something, anything, else. 

Dr E told me the concerning movement she saw, and I admitted to the oddness of the day before. And while today's movement could have been due to the fact that Truby was literally walking out of her foot, Dr E wondered if maybe she had had another seizure overnight. 

And in her kind but forthright manner, she told me that she didn't know why this had happened, and she wished she could. She was so frustrated she couldn't. But she didn't think it would improve. She feared the hoof would continue to detach. She didn't know why Truby didn't have any pain or discomfort, it made no sense. 

I wasn't ready, just couldn't wrap my head around euthanizing Truby right then and there. But I knew, I knew, that was our only option. Was there any way to buy more time? There was. Because Truby wasn't in pain, or wild, she could have her foot and leg wrapped very securely. It would give us until the morning. I was in shock. Devastated. I didn't know how to send the texts to my husband, to the barn owner. What words were there? This was too shocking, too sudden. Totally unexpected. No one thought this was going to happen. Not the vet, not the tech, not the farrier, not me, not EB, not one person thought this was anywhere near happening. Especially not that day. 

I still can't wrap my head around it. 

Dr E wrapped Truby up tight. I feed her cookies. We all hugged her, and then each other. Dr E set up arrangements for the following day. I took Truby back to her stall. I gave her more cookies. We talked about what a great horse Truby was. Always happy, so agreeable to work with. Everyone at the vet clinic loved her. I signed some papers. I wrote a check far too small to cover the enormity of what it would pay for. My husband arrived. There was crying and more cookies and more hugs. And through it all, a slightly confused Truby. She didn't know what was going on, but she liked hanging out, as she had always liked hanging out. She had no indications of pain or fear, or even any discomfort. The only blessing there was. 

Soon I will post about Truby's last day (it was great!) and a tribute to Truby (she was great!) But this post was hard and I'm exhausted. Know that I would have put Truby to sleep on the spot if she had any pain. Either she had nerve damage or something shut down in her brain, because she never once showed any reaction to what was happening to her hoof. Dr E believed she had a "sinister process" happening inside her. She didn't know what, we will never know, but she believed something had started to go very, very wrong inside Truby. That weird injuries and illnesses would continue, until we weren't lucky and she had something go wrong in the middle of the night, and suffer until found. Maybe melanoma tumors in her brain and/or other organs. Maybe something else. But she did believe, as I do, that something irreversible was taking place. It wasn't right or fair that this should happen to such a great horse. But it did, and we were all powerless to stop it happening, but we could end it before it made her suffer. And my promise to Truby is that she would never suffer. And it was time to live up to my promise. 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Is It Mercury Retrograde Again? Part 2

 I may have gone home, but I didn't sleep very well. I was back at the barn just before 4 am. Even though I left Truby in decent condition, I was worried about what I would find. Sure enough, I didn't see her at all when I walked up in the pre-dawn darkness. My heart dropped when I saw her laying flat out. I quietly said her name and opened her stall door and she rolled sternal and gave me a little nicker. Whew! Just sleeping. 

This pic horrifies me
This horse is on unlimited hay plus grain plus muscle up and fat supplements

I checked her over and noted her fever was gone. She stood up, and then laid back down after a few minutes. She got back up for the other half flake of alfalfa, and then back down. I snuggled into the corner and waited. Eventually the sky lightened just a bit, and EB was up and starting breakfast. I watched the sun come up. Truby gave EB a little whinny when he came by with her morning hay. 

I offered her some soaked hay pellets, which she continued to ignore. She also ignored the low starch pellets and balancer I offered. She did finish her alfalfa, and nibbled on the bermuda hay. She also spent a lot of time laying down, getting back up, laying down...etc. I left a note on her stall door, so that anyone visiting their horse didn't see and panic. For now, this up and down routine was "normal". 

I did go home midday for a bit. But of course I was back out late afternoon. The wind had really picked up, and even though it was in the low 50s, it felt much, much colder! Especially when the sun set. Brrrr! I wrapped Truby up in her blanket and popped her Back on Track leg wraps on. She seemed quite happy to be bundled up. She already seemed much perkier and happier. Still with the up and down, but I could tell she was getting better. 


This is how I spent Thanksgiving

Friday was much the same, expect I had to fit my visits in around work. Whose bright idea was it to work an extra day on Black Friday? Oh, yeah...mine. Luckily I had a full, but easy day. Barn buddy A checked her at midday, and said she thought Truby looked good, but EB said she looked triste again. Sad. A said she didn't agree, but whatever. When I headed over, I had to agree. She definitely seemed a lot better, but she did seem kinda bummed. Maybe she was just tired of being sick? Tired of getting up and down and down and up? I couldn't put my finger on it, but I had to admit...a little triste.

She got her blanket on again, and I decided to wrap her legs again. She could use the extra support and comfort, poor girl was getting a workout! The left hind was the last leg to wrap, and she was kinda shirty. She pulled her leg away, and then refused to set it down. I didn't see anything wrong and was tired. I swatted her, annoyed. Like, I'm trying to help you feel better! Just stay still! Of course, I immediately felt like a huge ass. I apologized, and gave her an extra cookie. 

When I arrived Saturday morning Truby was up, whinnying at everyone. She was bright eyed, begging for cookies and scratches. And just generally bursting with happiness. She clearly had forgotten my bad temper of the day before, and rubbed her head against me, resting her cheek against mine before head butting me and checking my hands for treats. I offered her some senior feed, which she gobbled up. (Truby is technically allergic to molasses, but I have never seen a reaction from it. And I thought it better to follow the vet's advice of OMG MAKE HER EAT than worry about it.) She was loving the super tasty food she was getting. I couldn't help laughing, she was just so dang cute and cheerful! I took of her blanket and unwrapped her legs. By chance, the left hind was the last leg to unwrap, and have I mentioned fuuuuuuckkkkk?

Lazar locked on the Cookie Shed

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Is It Mercury Retrograde Already? Part 1

Last week started out great! It was the day before Thanksgiving, and I was rockin' through my work day. I was finishing my fourth of 6 appointments, and everyone on my table was someone I really liked! While finishing up Ol' Missy, I noticed a voicemail from an unknown Tucson number. I checked it, thinking it was probably just the GOOD NEWS that I was qualified for an upgrade to cable tv!!!

Missy might be older than time itself,
but she's the best girl was another boarder. He said Truby was laying down and hadn't eaten any hay maybe. He didn't want to be an alarmist, but it didn't feel right. Luckily, I was ahead of schedule, and the barn is only about 10 minutes from my work. I told my manager I was going to run over and check on Truby - I was sure it was a false alarm, but I wanted to check. She told me to GO - everyone at work knows all about Truby - and let her know if there was a problem. No way, I assured her, it was a false alarm!

So I bopped off to the barn, still light hearted and looking forward to having the next day off. The sun was shining and it was a glorious Tucson day. I got to the barn, and sure enough, Truby hadn't touched her hay. Well, not too unusual. She must be getting ulcer-y and that always puts her off her hay. But she was laying down...and stayed down instead of bouncing up to say hi. 

She seemed happy enough, and I checked her belly noises and gums, and that looked okay. She got up and walked over to pin her ears at her mare neighbor. So...that's not too bad. But then, she stretched out in her Truby Pain Position. Fuuuuuckkkkkkk....

It didn't seem like a colic though. I did something I don't normally do, and give her a couple grams of Bute paste. Maybe I could head off whatever was making her feel bad? She didn't have the normal colic symptoms she's had before. Maybe just a little ouchy? I wasn't sure, but after 30 minutes, when I'd expect to see the Bute kicking in, she started getting worse. I gave in and called the vet, and my manager. Cancel my last two appointments - Truby needs me!

Please call doctor, Truby dying

My vet was at least half an hour away, but we've done colic A LOT this summer, so I settled in and waited. After a bit, Truby got up and looked like maybe she wanted to go move around. I put on her halter and let her putter around the ranch. She seemed to enjoy walking and looking around, but then would also stop and park out. After a slow loop around, she headed back to her stall. I was hoping maybe she wanted a drink - but nope. She hurried in and immediately laid down. I know she wasn't feeling good, but it was really cute. 

When you don't feel good and just need your bed

Not long after, Dr E arrived. It's been awhile since she's been out, and her first comment was on how skinny Truby still is. We took a quick detour to talk about how much I'm feeding this horse (and what!) and how could she still be barely holding her weight/loosing weight. (Oh yes, there will be a post about that issue later.)

We convinced Truby to stand up, and did the usual colic things. I hadn't taken her temperature, having gotten lazy with so many colics this year, but she did have a little bit of a fever. Dr E said the rectal exam was unremarkable, but that her poop did have some mucus, as did her earlier poo. That meant it was taking too long to move through her body, but she wasn't sure why. But, hey, pooping is always good! 

Truby had actually drunk well that morning, but she still got her belly pumped with water and medicine, which always makes her feel better. Afterwards, we talked about her post exam care. Depending on what the bloodwork said, we might do a round of antibiotics, but with no other symptoms, it was hard to say what was causing the fever. 

We also discussed feeding, further testing, and wtf is going on with Truby. Because obviously, something is up. 

Dr E headed off to run the blood, and thank goodness she stopped to put up a flyer on the bulletin board, because instead of being bright eyed, begging for cookies and yelling for her dinner, which is Truby's usual routine after having the vet out to fix her ouchie tummy, she just...laid back down. 

Did I mention Fuuuuuckkkkkkk....?

Luckily I was able to grab Dr E before they left, and told her that Truby was back down. And back up. And back down again. She's never like this afterward. She came back over and sure enough, Truby was down again, looking miserable. We kinda just stared at her for a minute, like what the heck is going on? We decided to sedate her, with half a dose each IM and IV. Something that would work fast and then keep going. I settled in to keep her company, and Dr E went back to run the blood and hope for some answers. 

Dr E nudged Truby's bum to get her to stand up, but she wasn't having it
We got the stress-giggles and Truby thought we were weird
She's probably right

She ended up testing positive for a bacterial infection, so as soon as she was awake enough, I was to start her on the antibiotics that were left with me. Again, with the lack of secondary symptoms, we didn't really know what was causing it. 

My husband stopped by with dinner, a sweatshirt, and a book to read while I waited. It was kinda nice. Just sitting in Truby's stall, reading a book, listening to the other horses eating. A little chilly, but not bad with a sweatshirt and a picnic blanket. It was around 10 pm before Truby started to wake up, and she was pretty miserable. Another hour of getting up, laying down, getting up....laying back down again. She was just so uncomfortable. I felt so bad, there was nothing I could do to help her feel better. I could only stay with her and talk soothingly. 

Super Sleepies

Finally, she was awake and staying up. I offered her what is usually a tasty snack, her soaked hay pellets. She didn't even look at it. I tried her low starch pellets. Nope. Ration balancer? Fat supplement? Cookies? Nope, nope nope. And of course, no interest in her bermuda hay.

It was time to check in with the vet, and I ended up talking to Dr H, who was on call. She had gotten the scoop from Dr E, and we chatted about what they had talked about, and what Dr H remembered from her own visits this year. One of the things I love about the practice we use is that all the vets are excellent, and they all talk and discuss cases with each other. It's especially great with weird stuff, like Truby. Dr H agreed with E, in that I needed to feed Truby WHATEVER she would eat. Anything. Time to stop worrying about possible metabolic issues or laminitis. At this point, they weren't going to be concerns, just get some meat on her bones!

Dr H wasn't thrilled Truby wasn't eating, and suggested mixing the antibiotic powder with water and syringing it into her mouth. That was a great idea, and while Truby wasn't a fan, she let me squirt it in her mouth. Afterwards, I offered her half a flake of forbidden alfalfa. Her eyes just lit up and she dug in! YAAASSSSS, girl, eat!

She got halfway through, but then had to lay back down. After a few minutes, I brought the hay over and she happily ate more of it while laying down. She was still getting up, and laying back down a few minutes later. Then she'd get up again. She clearly was uncomfortable, but it was less intense than before. 

I had a couple instances of kidney stones this year, and this was exactly how I felt. Couldn't lay down. Couldn't sit. Got tired of standing. Lay back down. Nope, let's try walking around. Gosh, I'm tired. I'm going to sit down. Nope, that hurts. Back up. Etc.

So I recognized the discomfort pattern she was in. I knew how terrible it felt, and how exhausting. Truby seemed to be moving into a less painful phase. Still couldn't get comfortable, but the edge was off the pain. She was almost annoyed, but past the point of being panicky or frantic. Just kinda "oh god, not this again. Guess I'll stand up. Or lay down. Whatever". 

It was just after midnight, twelve hours after I first stopped by to check on my hopeful 'false alarm'. Truby had gotten her first dose of antibiotics, eaten some hay, and was looking okay enough. I knew there was nothing more I could do for her, and that she was well enough to leave. I planned to be back out before dawn, but a hot shower and a couple hours of sleep sounded good to me. . 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Mini Vacation

 Recently we went on a mini vacation. It was amazing and desperately needed! Bisbee is a cute little artsy/touristy town less than 2 hours from Tucson. Originally a mining town, it has some nice historical things to check out, as well as fabulous food, window shopping, a generally quirkiness to enjoy. 

This was our first visit, and we had no real plans other than relaxing and drinking Mexican Mochas. Highly successful with both! I'd been apprehensive about leaving Truby, she's had a hell of a year health-wise, but I'm glad I did. I know she's in good hands and constantly monitored, plus I asked our barn buddy A to give her some soaked hay pellets and cookies every day. A is an amazing horsewoman, and nothing gets past her eagle eyes!

Copper Mine - Lavender Pit

One evening we were eating passion fruit cheesecake and watching Men In Black 4, when I got a text from the barn owner. It simply said "Angel isn't doing well, call me". Now, Angel isn't my horse, but she lives next to Truby. I thought I'd better call just in case she mixed up the names by accident. When I called her, she launched straight into "well, Angel isn't doing great, EB said..." I waited for her to finish, and then asked "But, Angel,  not TRUBY, right?" There was a long pause, and then she said "I'm gonna call you back!"

Literally me, and I don't even have wine

A few minutes later, she called back, totally embarrassed. She had the right horse, but her brain immediately connected "sick grey horse" to "Beth". I laugh about it, but I'm also crying. She apologized several times, but I just laughed and told her no worries, I'd recently heard from A before the text/calls and knew Truby was okay. I thanked her for the laugh and wished Angel well. 

I'm grateful for the timing - had I not heard from A first I might have freaked out a little. (HA, I would have definitely freaked out a lot!) As it happened, I got a good laugh and got to finish my cheesecake in peace. Truby was great while we were gone, and sulked for two days when I got back. Mares are so dramatic! Oh, and Angel is fine too. Apparently she was super mad about a change in hay, speaking of dramatic. 

Just living her best life

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Trying Something New


Birthday Smooches
with our BFF massage lady

Our BFF massage therapist has been out for awhile with some health issues, so it's been a few months since Truby's last massage. With just time, and then everything she's been through recently, I noticed her looking a little stiff and sore. A couple times I've looked around for a new bodyworker, but ugh, It's so hard! My stress level has been turned up to 11, which didn't really help my motivation. 

Luckily, after a late afternoon walk on the Loop, I saw one of the other horses wearing a BEMER blanket. Since I'm clever, I asked the person in the stall in she was a bodyworker, and when she agreed she was, I told her I'd put Truby away and then come back to ask her some questions if she didn't mind.

She didn't, and after chatting a bit, we set up an appointment. I warned her Truby can be restless and impatient, but is never mean. She was unconcerned and said she could definitely work around that. 

Super cute in her therapy blankie

She started by just hanging out with Truby and making friends while I gave her Truby's history, which has been exciting recently (facepalm). She carefully eased the blanket on and let her cook. Truby didn't mind it at all, and happily munched her hay. Afterwards, she gave Tru a thorough massage, checking all over. Truby mostly just kept eating, but occasionally needed to walk off a bit and process. She was less fidgety than I thought she'd be. 

The report was good: some soreness in the major muscle groups, but not anything unusual or concerning, she just needed a little massage to loosen it back up. She was impressed with her range of motion, and thought it was excellent for an older horse. There wasn't a dramatic before and after, in my opinion, but there isn't always. Truby was happy, and moving nicely afterward. New bodyworker was fun to be around, and she was great with Truby, the most important thing! She was much more expensive than I'd hoped, but it was okay to try out the BEMER technology and try someone new. She was totally understanding with us having a regular person I hoped to stay with, and didn't seem bothered that we might not stay with her or be frequent with appointments. I definitely appreciated that! 

I hope our BFF massager is able to continue taking care of Truby, but it's good to know there's someone we can rely on! There's another person I have bookmarked to try maybe in a couple of months. So I'll revisit that later, depending on how Truby is feeling and how BFF massager is doing. 

Flippity floppity ears

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Truby Comes Home


Hi! I'm Truby. Do you have *cookies*??

A few days after her seizures, I started seeing little flashes of Truby. A glance at where her treat ball used to hang. The press of her muzzle against my hand. Finally, a whinny when I walked over to her stall! My family member suggested that familiar things would help draw her out, so I made a point to give her all her favorite cookies (do I stock at last 4 different types and flavors of treats at all times? Totally.) I rehung her treat ball and put carrots in it every day. I brushed and loved on her. We went for slow walks around the ranch, and looked at roadrunners, cactus, and the distant horizons. 

Who doesn't like to nap in the sun next to a giant metal chicken?

And slowly, but surely, Truby came back. It's now a full month later, and I can assure you, Truby is 110% herself again! She's sweet, she's a little silly. She's my magical unicorn, and my Prettiest Princess. She whinnies every time I arrive at the ranch. She begs (politely) for cookies. She can walk in a straight line, and knows where her feet are. 

This would be her Tinder profile pic

But while Truby came back in leaps and bounds, I remained stuck. I was so worried about Truby, that I couldn't get out of my own trauma response and was shut down and numb. Work, oddly, was the hardest. I couldn't do my usual light hearted banter with the clients. Grooming was fine, but I just couldn't find my usual chatter, and felt lost professionally. Who was I if I couldn't be the friendly person people liked to talk to? If I couldn't joke and talk with (or without, to be honest) my customers? I didn't mind at home so much, but losing my professional personality was hard. 

My therapist suggested I do for myself what I did for Truby. Love and time. And it worked. I too came out of hiding. I'm not as adorable as Truby, but I returned to myself as well. And every time I'm at the barn, I'm grateful. I realize how lucky I am to have Truby in my life. 

Other than a brain tumor, we have no idea what caused the seizures. They haven't returned. Everything is fine. I don't like to think that Truby has tumors in her brain, so I decided the whole episode was caused by Mercury being in retrograde. I'm not hardcore into astrology, but it's fun as a distraction. And I'd much rather think that a stupid planet was ruining my day rather than a brain tumor. And for now, I'm trying to not think of it at all, and just enjoy my cute little grey horse, Truby!

My best girl 

Mercury in Retrograde: Part 4


7 years ago in PA

Friday morning I was greeted by a nice grey horse. She was eating methodically, and otherwise seemed ok. She stood quietly while I did medical stuff, flushing her line, rinsing the cut on her lip, checking her vitals. She quickly ate her grain and bute, then back to her hay. All good things, but completely devoid of personality or a spark. 

Less than 24 hours since her last seizure, maybe I should chill out. The bedding in her stall looked extra rumpled, but like she had struggled to get up, rather than something more sinister. Later that day, when Dr I came out for a check, she agreed. She was still very sore, and possibly had difficulty because of the catheter in her neck. Fair enough. I forgot to mention in my last post, but the day of the seizures, she listed hard to the right when walked. She had been unable to walk straight at all, instead pulling hard to the side. Today, she was able to walk straight. She was still hesitant to put her hind feet down when moving, but not as bad, and Dr I felt that was due to soreness, more than a neurological issue. 

She passed all her facial checks, and generally was a-OK physically. We did some bloodwork, which came back unremarkable. There was no hint as to a cause, but also she hadn't damaged anything in the process. 

Dr I was pleased with her progress, but I fretted over her missing personality. She reminded me it had only been a day...give it some time. I mulled over what my therapist had asked me the day before: what would it mean if Truby didn't come back? What would it look like?

And I guess not much would change. I certainly wouldn't get rid of her. I would keep and care for her like always. I would still love her. But I would mourn her. It wouldn't be the same, and my life would be a little duller, a little less. But I would still remember my friend, and hope she might return. I had thoughts about changing her name. had just been a day, I could try being patient and wait for her. 

She was cleared for normal horse life. I would just keep on eye on her and hope for the best. I decided to use the word "hiding". Truby wasn't gone, she was hiding. It was hard to think that she might be lost inside her mind, or that what had happened was so traumatizing she needed to hide away. But that word was easier for me. Hiding was easier than 'lost' or 'gone' or 'vacant'. Hiding meant she could come back when she was ready. 

Pink Swat: universal sign for 'I know my horse has an injury'

 It took a long moment before I could even ask the question. I leaned against Truby and ran my hand along her neck, underneath her mane. &qu...