Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In sickness and in health...

I thought it was draining and difficult to be personally sick for nearly three weeks. From a mysterious infection in my cheek, to full-blown flu, to bronchitis, and then lastly, the nasty side effects of the antibiotics prescribed for the bronchitis, being healthy is something that has evaded me since mid-February, and is something that I yet to have a full grasp on.

In the meantime, I continued to go to work and did my best to perform up to expectations. I tried to make jewelry when I had the energy and...cleaning? While I am normally a neat freak, cleaning was far down my list of priorities. Sure, I still did it when I could, but not with the same level of detail and care. My husband had to play "nurse" and I really got to know the cushy contours of our couch.

Of course, running wasn't in the near future but riding? Yes! I had planned to give riding another try this past weekend. But then I had to cancel those plans because Limerick got her leg caught in a fence.

I suddenly had an education: as miserable as I was while sick, it really does not compare to the mental anguish of having a hurt horse. I've long known that when Limerick is happy and healthy, then my mind is at ease...and when she isn't right, then it weights upon me heavily like no other burden.

Since she is my baby, it's not a surprise that Limerick's health affects my mental state. But just how much is amazing. In this situation she had a wound on her leg, which in turn was swollen and hot. She had to be inside on stall rest, and I had to give her penicillin injections daily. It's not colic, or laminitis, or broken bones. But I was so anxious about the whole thing that it kept me awake at night, and I could think about nothing else. I visited with Lim as much as I could, and fed her an endless parade of treats. I told her she was a good girl and that I loved her. I iced her leg, changed her bandages, rubbed muscle rub cream into her shoulder and upper leg (yes, she loved it!). I made sure her fleece sheet was clean so she could have something super-comfortable to wear while on stall rest. I picked out her feet and made sure the rest of her was okay.

All the while, I was miserable. Sure, I no longer had a fever or a nasty wet cough. I no longer became lightheaded and nauseous when I stood up, and I no longer wanted to vomit at the very sight of food. But I was miserable...mentally. I was receiving an abrupt reminder that Limerick and I are connected, and my mental well-being is on par with her physical well-being.

She isn't out of the woods yet but rapidly approaching that point, and tonight I give the last penicillin shot. Can I breathe a sigh of relief? Not yet, but I can allow myself to smile.

Next time I'm sick, I'll think back to the time that I was ill for three weeks and had a healthy, happy horse, then abruptly the tables were turned, and the mental anguish that came with it was far worse than the physical toll of illness. I'll remember and be thankful that while my body is down, my mind is in a good place as my beloved mare stands outside in the sun with her friends, content and happy.

1 comment:

Rudy - The dog with a blog said...

I sure hope both you & your horse are feeling better, real soon!

Rudy's Raiser