Wednesday, November 4, 2015

the scratches battle rages on

You might recall that I wrote about Isabel's scratches outbreak at the end of last August. And then wrote a couple weeks later that things were starting to look much better.

mare doesn't want to be seen in this compromised condition!
Well, the sad truth is that as soon as one patch starts looking good, the leg blows back up again and a fresh set of scabs breaks out in a new location.

trying to get pictures while on crutches is shockingly (or maybe not) difficult
My frustration has only intensified now that I can't doctor her myself. And actually - I'm pretty much a constant tangle of frayed nerves at present anyway, lacking any real ability to work off my tension and stress... So I'm finding myself torn between wanting to micromanage every little thing that happens to her (regardless of the good intentions or reliability of whoever is caring for her), and just wanting to throw my hands up and say, 'Fuck it, call her owner. Not my problem.'

Brita and one of Isabel's fave barn rats hard at work on that leg, under Tillie's careful supervision
Luckily, despite my volatility and heightened level of cray cray, Isabel is actually in very good hands. Kaitlyn has checked in on her a few times, and Brita and our barn manager have concocted a fresh tincture (officially the FOURTH remedy we're using to combat this pesky persistent pestilence ugh) and a schedule of care such that Isabel's getting some very much needed attention twice daily.

isabel is officially introduced to the (very padded up) crutches
So it's entirely possible at this rate that she might be totally cured by the time I'm actually able to resume managing her care. We can hope right??

and obviously is unimpressed. ugh, me too girl, me too.
But for now I'm mostly limited to just getting updates. I've been to the barn a handful of times since the injury - but honestly am so incapacitated that I never stick around very long. Isabel is easy enough to handle, but even so I still can barely groom or fuss over her. Who woulda thunk that we actually use an incredible amount of balance and motion just to curry the damn horses?

pretty mare would rather be left alone tho, thankyouverymuch
It's been incredibly frustrating. But I'm beyond grateful to know that my friends have their eye on Izzy and are making sure she gets what she needs. And I'm also happy to report that my doctor says I'm healing ahead of schedule and will be able to start bearing weight on the leg in two weeks, building up to about 50% capacity by Thanksgiving. Hallelujah!

In the meantime tho, just gotta keep on keepin' on. Have you had to deal with being an involuntary absentee owner/leaser/whatever before? How did you stay sane? 

43 comments:

  1. I do not have words of wisdom because I get a little obsessive/crazy. And by a little I mean I run screaming off the cliff. Are there any PT exercises that you can do? Having some sort of physical activity helps me lower the crazy a couple of notches.

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    1. well the crutches certainly count as physical activity in my book, and are at least exhausting in that sense. they don't do much in the ways of relieving stress tho haha. haven't wanted to start any PT until explicitly told to do so by my docs, given the acute nature of the injury. we'll see tho - those days might be coming soon!

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    2. I should've qualified the physical activity statement. I was thinking of something that made you feel like you accomplished something rather than frustrated. My experience on crutches basically made me want to chuck them out a window then light them on fire...so yes while physically exhausting they don't help with sanity. The craft idea is good. I am the opposite of crafty but coloring helps with my mental sanity.

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    3. lol i've actually thought of coloring a few times - i know Lauren from She Moved to Texas was selling equestrian themed coloring books... but yea, lighting the crutches on fire sounds like a physical activity that would leave me feeling *incredibly* accomplished right about now!! haha

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  2. Ugh, frustrating! Glad to hear the healing is going well so far though, not that it makes it any less frustrating!

    No suggestions from a horse care standpoint unfortunately, but as for staying sane: try knitting? It's a really weird suggestion, but sometimes it's just enough to keep me busy and productive enough and keeps my brain from blowing up when I can't get outside to do anything.

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    1. not a weird suggestion at all! knitting hasn't really been my craft of choice, but i *do* enjoy a variety of crafts all the same and haven't really considered working on any lately. maybe i should... hm...

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  3. I think Willow's owner D would say she stayed sane because I sent her lots of pictures and updates when she couldn't come out so she still felt involved. As soon as she could she started coming out just to watch me ride her too. I do know she still felt stir crazy at home though.

    Let me know if you need more scratches treatment ideas, I've only tried about 90% of them, lol.

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    1. ugh i both love and hate the pic updates - i'm always happy to see the mare happy, but kinda mopey about it too lol. but yea, feel free to keep the scratches treatment ideas coming. we've got a couple tricks left up our sleeves but i'm always open to more ideas! you can post here or email at fraidycat.eventing at gmail.com

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  4. That has to be so frustrating. The only two times I've been seriously injured while owning horses has been a blown out knee that coincided with Red tearing his suspensory and a broken foot that I rehabbed while transitioning Bobby to barefoot. Maybe Isabel's just trying to commiserate with you?

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    1. well at least it was convenient that you were both out at the same time! i've got a couple people who are willing and able to keep izzy in work right now.... but haven't actually pulled the trigger. somehow the idea of giving her some time off after her intense competitive season seems nice to me, and then we can both slowly get back into shape together over winter? maybe? haha idk...

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  5. Ughhh. Whenever I have been injured I generally try to ride anyway. It never really works out for me. But you are healing quicker than expected, so that's great!

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    1. yea i would probably kill myself if i tried to ride and managed to fall or do anything that destabilized my broken bone enough to change the prognosis from "stay off it for 3 more weeks" to "haha and now you need surgery". that would be... ugh. no.

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  6. Broken bones are the pits. No way around it. I like your positive thinking though, maybe healed scratches by the time you are mobile!

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    1. that's what i'm hoping!! when it was just me treating it she was only getting treated once a day, if that (bc let's face it, try as i might, i didn't get out there every day). but now that people are taking pity on my she's getting the twice daily treatment which could very well be what makes the difference

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  7. I feel for ya! Anything that gets between me and the backyard horses usually results in a whole lot of crazy on my part. But I am one of those particularly crazy people where if I cannot do something, it makes me want to do it even more.

    Distraction is the name of the game. Perhaps this is a great time to dive into some books regarding three-day eventing or dressage. Are there any clinics happening in your area that you can audit? Your body may not be able, but you can keep learning! :)

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    1. i do actually have some very nice books right now (on loan from austen)... and have been thinking about clinics. haven't pulled the trigger on any clinics just bc in my experience most facilities aren't really super accessible... will keep looking tho!

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  8. I still can't believe you broke your leg. Wtf life? But you're making lemontinis .

    Oh, can I make a request? Perhaps mini Izzy could go on an adventure? I love her. Well I love all of you. But she should make an appearance. (Yeah I'm kinda strange...)

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  9. I still can't believe you broke your leg. Wtf life? But you're making lemontinis .

    Oh, can I make a request? Perhaps mini Izzy could go on an adventure? I love her. Well I love all of you. But she should make an appearance. (Yeah I'm kinda strange...)

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    1. lol not strange at all - i was actually recently just thinking about how it had been a while since she had a cameo on the blog lol... and yea i really can't believe i broke my leg either. stupid stupid stupid. but c'est la vie, right?

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  10. Scratches suck. And I'll be sitting on the sidelines with you soon. Too bad we aren't closer!

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    1. ugh the sidelines are definitely no fun, but better with company. good luck to you too!

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  11. I was the worst involuntarily absent owner ever. You can, in fact, drive on heavy duty pain killers, though I would NOT recommend it. Those warning labels are for a reason.

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    1. haha i definitely considered it (esp the day after when i drove the trailer to a horse show ugh). luckily i'm actually totally off the pain meds now so i'm free to drive around like a bat out of hell per usual, just the way i like :)

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  12. Aww, that's so sad! I hope it does clear up soon! And I hope you heal up fast!
    Maybe plan out next year's season? Plan an adventure for when you know you'll be better (you must be fairly close to the beach!)? Use your dilemma as inspiration to write a script for a terribly awesome horse movie? Learn how to be an animal communicator to connect with her in your mind?!
    What I usually do is online shop, which is both fun, and then depressing when I realize how much money I spent.

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    1. lolz i'll only write the script for the terribly awesome horse movie if you promise you'll review it ;) haha, seriously tho i'd love to go shopping but am trying to hard to resist. maybe some early xmas shopping will fill the void?

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    2. I am willing to agree to those terms

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  13. Ugh really.... I swear I love horses but I secretly hate them when they have ouchies and boo-boo's. I would say they are always looking for a way to kill themselves but apparently that was you as of late ;P.

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    1. haha seriously! isabel is usually pretty good about not getting overly banged up - sure she has the occasional ding, but that's about it. this scratches nonsense tho... ugh! but you're right - doesn't really compare to an actual broken limb (thank god!)

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    2. I would have to agree with Dotstream on the secret dislike of injured horses...it would be one thing if they were super resilient and broke but they're just so damn fragile

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    3. ugh yea.... i wish they could toughen up a little sometimes :(

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  14. The worst! I can totally understand your frustration. I hate it when I have to trust Tuckers care to someone else. Like the day after I full body clipped him and his blanket got removed by the farrier and not put back on for a day and a half during a cold snap. Sounds like you have some good caregivers helping you out though.

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    1. oh man i would be super irritated about that blanketing situation! our barn really does have great care tho, so i shouldn't get so upset all the time... just frustrating to be unable to do anything myself!

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  15. OK. I had this bump on Whisper's back... And it wouldn't get better and it wouldn't get worse. I had the vet look at it, because I was worried it was related to some rain rot that I had treated. Vet suspected that the bump was, in fact, leftover rain rot that the body had encapsulated and forgotten about. So, she gave me this ointment with a steroid in it. The steroid alerts her immune system that whatever it is needs to be cleared up. With the help of the anti0fungal and anti-microbial properties of the ointment, it *finally* cleared up. No more bump!
    It took a while, but that was the only thing that had any impact!

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    1. hm interesting!! so far i think izzy's immune system is very aware of what's going on (thus the repeated blow ups... ugh) but it's an interesting approach. we haven't quite reached the 'call the vet' stage (esp since she's not my horse and i don't have that authority without owner permission) but that's still very much on the table!

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  16. Ughh no fun! Especially not being able to groom/take care of her yourself. I'm the world's worst patient. I'm not supposed to bend my right wrist back but to hell if I'm not brushing my horse effectively. So now it's even worse, but at least I don't have to walk on it!

    Yay for being ahead of schedule in terms of healing!

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    1. i think if not following doctors' orders (like walking on my leg) were actually physically possible, i'd probably do it. lucky for me that isn't an option and my body quite clearly says "no weight bearing, thankyouverymuch!" but i guess that's serving me well in recovery?

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  17. Scratches are possibly the most annoying this ever after having to be and absentee owner so I am very sorry that are are having to deal with both at once! So one time I had foot surgery and wasn't supposed to ride for 12 weeks ... lasted 8. And another time I broke my elbow and wasn't supposed to ride for 4 weeks ... lasted 2. Did not stay sane. Not super helpful, but you are not alone!

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    1. yea that's one thing i'm figuring out is that just the sight of someone on crutches brings back all the memories for those who have been here before... and actually my own little tale of woe is not NEARLY as bad or traumatic as some of the stories i've heard now.... so in a way i am very grateful for that.

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    2. I've never been a lesee but have leased horses before and completely understand your frustration. I'm actually in a similar place right now where my new horse may need more attention than I can give so am experiencing similar feelings. I'm glad you have help with Isabel. Take care of yourself too!

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  18. I hate it when people ask me if I've tried this or that like I am sitting around not googling every known remedy on the planet. So take this suggestion with a grain of salt. I only share it because endurance horses are PLAGUED by scratches. And not the little bumps that you can scrape off with your fingernail. I mean the kind where the whole leg blows up to the butt or the shoulder, depending where the horse has it which in Montoya's case (RIP) was all four legs all the time. Anyway, this treatment was endorsed by my vet and it worked better than anything else did, especially when she had a particularly bad case.

    1. Wrap the leg with plastic wrap, tightly at the bottom, funnel it open near the top. Montoya's scratches were always from the pastern up, so I wrapped from the pastern to just below the knee.
    2. Pack the leg with sauerkraut (I bought the kind in a jar). Try to seal the wrap so that the juicy part stays in. Sauerkraut is very acidic which helps restore the skin's PH level.
    3. Wrap it again with more plastic wrap if it feels too loose.
    4. Wrap the whole thing with vet wrap or other stretchy bandage to hold it all in snugly.
    5. Let it sit for three days. When you remove the bandage, it will stink, but you will usually see fresh pink skin that is scab free and no longer cracked and oozing. Repeat as often as necessary to get the scratches under control.

    I also doused Montoya's leg with medicated baby powder, especially if she wore boots of any kind. Desitin didn't work for me, but some people like it. Frequent Betadine scrubs with medicated powder afterwards would usually keep things under control, but when it all went haywire, I dragged out the sauerkraut.

    Good luck and heal quickly!! :0)

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    1. huh that is fascinating! i would have literally never ever EVER thought of treating my horse with sauerkraut haha, but i guess it makes sense (even if it sounds really smelly and messy lol)

      so far the extra attention from my barn mgr seems to be making a difference, but if it blows up again i will forward this info to her! thanks!

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