8.16.2022

Rose & an EPM Diagnosis

 EPM

Those three dreadful letters…. 

Horse owners know what it is, but otherwise, you’ve likely never heard of it. 

When I first brought Rose here I studied up on all I could find about horse health and how to take the best care of my Dad’s girl. 


Let me backtrack a little here in case you might not know the history….I grew up scared of horses - literally my whole life never wanted to get close to one due to childhood memories of my great-grandmother being blind and knowing she’d gotten kicked in the head by a horse. I might have one or two pictures of me posing with their horse, but I’m safely on one side of the fence, while the horse is on the other….

Anyway, in 2015 when my dad suddenly died, I moved into his home to help take care of my much younger [15 year old] sister and get her through the rest of the school year, and during this time I wanted to take care of his Rosey girl. I was still very scared, but she was a living breathing beauty that my dad poured so much love into, so in a way, it was a way to still connect with him, and I was going to get over this fear to be able to take advantage of this connection…

Fast forward 6 months and I found someone willing to trailer her and bring her two hours north to our little slice. I ended up taking in his old golden retriever as well. 

For 7 years I’d had no issues with EPM, and regularly see opossums out here all the time. Since Rose arrived, I even got Rose a friend, then another when her bestie was terminally ill, and very old - still never an issue with any horse and EPM, so I thought it was pretty rare, and didn’t ever really worry about until last Friday evening. 

In hindsight there were signs, but I’d almost completely forgotten about EPM even being a possibility. Last Wednesday night at dark, I noticed what appeared to be a slight limp in my girl. It wasn’t uncommon for her to overdo some play and get a little too rowdy, and be sore a day or two. She is never asked to do anything, never ridden, and never worked - she’s just a pasture ornament, so sometimes her biggest fun is to get a little rowdy in the field with her buddy. Thursday I put eyes on her in the field grazing and all seemed well. I went to the lake and upon returning, I noticed she was drenched in sweat, despite it being a rather mild day, only hitting the low 80s. So I hosed her down and put her in the shade. My thoughts were maybe she had been grazing in the direct sun a bit too long. Her limp didn’t seem any worse, and the plan was to call the vet the next day if it progressed.

Friday she had her head down most of the day and seemed content, but that evening as the sun was setting, I decided to sit in the pasture and just watch. That’s when I noticed sure signs of a neurological issue. When her head was down, she seemed practically fine, but when she lifted her head to walk, she was noticeably wobbly and unsure of her footing. It was now after hours and I was starting to panic. My plan was to drive to the vet first thing the next morning. 

The next morning I took video and showed it to my vet. They were booked all morning but came out right after they closed and performed several movement tests and confirmed it was indeed a neuro issue. 

Rose wouldn’t leave the area the run-in was, and she could not walk in a circle, and slight pressure being pushed on her body determined she was a fall risk. The initial observations all pointed to EPM. I was devastated. I’d only heard the bad stories. I’d only heard of the stories involving work horses. Treatment is expensive and very time consuming, and even then all that money and all that time doesn’t guarantee a full recovery. The chances are actually pretty high that a horse may not ever be steady enough on its feet for riding, and euthanasia is often the most financially conservative approach.

Lucky for Rose and me, these are not issues that would cross my mind in whether or not to treat her or not. Sure the expense and being told treatment would cost ‘thousands of dollars’ made me panic, but I’d find a way. I’d have to. The good thing is, my daily monitoring of all my animals allowed me to take notice pretty early and seek treatment before it was terribly bad.

Saturday, the vet gave a sort-of jump-start on treatment and said if we saw some improvement by Monday, she’d be a candidate for the more aggressive treatment. I also have a great friend and resource in Colorado that is very knowledgeable about horse healing acupressure and something called acupressure meridian work, and she made me videos of specific things I could do to Rose that would promote healing, circulation, and overall health. 


So between these exercises, shots, and pills, Rose improved at an unbelievable rate the next two days. She went from being unable to walk, to walking with intention (although wobbly), and then yesterday doing some slow lunge movements with the vet. I was shocked, but not as shocked as the vet that saw her lack of mobility just two days prior. The vet drew some blood to send for lab work to rule out any other condition this might be because her turnaround was truly a bit puzzling. I cried like I always do when the vet comes out because other than yearly vaccines, they come out because something is seriously wrong, and the last year and a half I have had rollercoaster highs and lows with my animals. This last week with Rose was on a low, now a high, and my emotions are so confused. I wasn’t really sure if I was crying because I was worried, or relieved and overjoyed at what I just witnessed. My poor vets… they do at least know how important Rose is to me. She’s not just a beloved companion animal/ pet, but she’s much more. She’s a very tangible connection to my dad. 

Then last night, as I walked out with meds in a bucket mixed with senior feed and drenched in molasses - what Rose considers the best treat of all time - she started excitedly pawing at the ground! Something she’d not done since last Tuesday. She was steady enough on her feet to be stable on three legs and paw at the dirt in anticipation of her snack! 

Then, afterwards….. she walked around LIKE NORMAL (vid posted on my Facebook & Instagram) Head up and steady! I cried. Again. 

So I’ll be sure to keep updating here as well as FB & IG for folks who don’t do social media, and I welcome all the prayers and positive vibes, and well wishes you all have sent us and continue to send! 








xo

-s

8.12.2022

46.


This day last year I had just clocked in TWENTY YEARS at my office job just four days prior. It is shocking how quickly time can slip away… 20 years! 

A few months later, the small family owned company I worked for, let me know that my loyalty meant nothing when they were “eliminating my position due to a change in the current business model”.

No ‘heads up’.

No severance.

And right before the Holidays.


Rewind 20 years before I started that job, I bartended, was doing fashion shows, commissioned one of a kind clothing, sometimes working as a production assistant for film, and a cashier at a little downtown drug store. I always had little jobs that secured the essentials while allowing me the headspace and time to pursue my artistic endeavors. 


Anyhoo, the moral of the story is….

It’s never too late to start living with intention. 

To conduct life in a way that matters and feeds your soul. 

Sometimes the universe doles out what you need, and sometimes it seems abrasive and abrupt, but eventually you’ll see the reasons. 

As much as I was horrified at how I was tossed out like trash, when I drove out of the parking lot of my former job, I actually caught butterflies in my stomach and had this feeling that was vaguely familiar. A feeling similar to when I graduated high school. The fact that Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” just happened to be playing on the radio when I turned the key, made it hilarious and almost seem surreal - like I was living some scene from a movie.  


I was excited - but scared. I was optimistic - but panicked. 

All in all though, I felt FREE.


I wasn’t *their* fault that I had been reduced down to just a piece of their business model. It was my own - after all, I allowed it, and never even realized it until they let me go so effortlessly in a four minute meeting.


Since then, I’ve called the shots. 

I’ve chosen when I want to work, what I want to do, and where I want to be. I’ve jumped back in to the things I loved and pursued before that job - sewing and thrifting and finding a place for vintage gems. Photography and spray paint and manipulating prints. The times have changed since 2001 for the better though, and the opportunities with online seekers of things are endless. It’s a hustle, but a fun one. One that feeds my soul. One that reconnects me to the 24-year-old that took the office job despite her dreams of wanting to be involved in fashion in some way.


Never again will I have an office job - it’s not for me and it never was, but I settled for the ‘benefits’ package. When you are 24, and feeling like an adult, procuring a job with insurance and paid ‘days off’ seems like the grown-up thing to do. 


Sure, I’ve had some panicked moments full of uncertainty since then because I’d become dependent on that ‘anchor’ job, but my heart is full and my days are spent living them now. 


As I’ve said before, time comes for us all, but we never know when. I know for sure that when my time comes, I won’t have regrets about where I’m at, what I’m doing, or what I didn’t get to do. I’m doing it all, now. 


Hellooooooooo, 46!  

Happy New Year to me! Now that I’m getting in the swing of this new way of life and actually paying attention to my own needs & and emotional fitness, I’m gonna start adding more focus on my physical fitness. I deserve it and I have no excuse - I create my own schedule now!


xoxo

-s


7.02.2022

the last three days.....

it has been a bit, but here is a recap on the last three days - photos are in no specific order because it is late and my brain just isn't in a place to shuffle pics.....

Poptart and I adventured at the lake, then found ourselves at Watsons Mill...
I've been working on this marketing gig for a soap company...
...and then Friday night I watched 'Fried Green Tomatoes" for the first time and then today me and two of my close girlfriends road-tripped down to Juliette, GA where it was filmed and ate at the famous 'Whistle Stop Cafe'. 

So good. The food, the company, and all the sights.....





































 I will be back soon with a bit more to say, but for now I am off to dreamland....

xoxo
-s

6.10.2022

friday!

oh, jeez. I had planned on blogging about the productive week I had, but have found myself sucked into this series on Netflix called 'Keep Sweet, Pray and Obey'.... omg. 
I am about 4 episodes deep, and just wow...

..... here is the cliffsnotes version of my week that I am super proud of...

We had the farrier out, and she caught a small issue that I will need to tend to for the next week. 
I worked on a few plants in the yard that have been struggling to grow, and I want to badly for these plants to thrive! They have been barely hanging on for the last few years...
I cleaned out the barn - I am a real slob when it comes to evening feedings and don't really clean up as I go.
I talked for hours to an old friend on the phone <3.
I made plans to have another friend come visit very soon!!
I deep cleaned and organized the loft.
I knocked down a zillion Joro spider webs and cut grass.
Poptart and I had our lake time..
I walked a friend's dog while they were out of town.
I spent time today with my shelter project dog, Titus. 
....and tomorrow I am leaving early in the morning after walking the dogs, to pick up a friend and go on a little adventure! 
Here are some pics from the last week:

















I have a pot of water on the stove for some coffee so I can pull myself off this couch and finish cutting grass....
adios!
xo
-s