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Friday, May 25, 2012

A Week Without Horses

I photographed these buttercups by the water trough last week.

One of the most tiresome things about having a disabling medical condition is that it always has to come first. I've gotten used to this and am accustomed to adjusting my to-do list day-by-day and even hour-by-hour to match my current capabilities. I have to admit I feel a little bit discouraged today, though, because this week my disability has come between me and the horses.

Drifter in a fly sheet (he's allergic to fly bites) after last week's grooming session.

I didn't report on last week's wonderful visit to the stable because it was while I was grooming Drifter that I was able to process my grief over Birdy's death, develop my thoughts into the blogpost I wrote down the next day, and then move into that quiet, in-the-moment state of joy and relaxation that makes working with horses so rewarding for me. I was very much looking forward to finding that quiet space again this week and blogging about both visits together, rather than posting last week's photos while feeling sorry for myself!

Bear grazes in the pasture.

I suppose I was lucky to manage to visit the horses four weeks in a row without any trouble, since there were certainly other days during those weeks when I wasn't well enough to drive or didn't have enough energy for the physical demands of grooming a large horse or simply had a rotten migraine. I just wish, since I've had to cancel first on Thursday and now on Friday, that I had a better idea why my system is all out of whack.

The charming cat the keeps the stable free of rodents.

Since I'm struggling with more than just migraines and fatigue, signs point to some problem with my medication: my temperature is fluctuating, mostly causing hot flashes that make it very hard to sleep, but I'm getting chills, sometimes, too, and my blood sugar keeps crashing even though I haven't done too bad of a job of getting enough food in despite a general lack of appetite. Yesterday, I was thinking it was perhaps the result of the combination things from the day before: a little too much physical activity (I thought I was well enough to walk the dog around the block, but the exercise gave me a migraine), not quite enough water, and then some stormy weather (I am very susceptible to changes in atmospheric pressure). Dehydration and changes in my level of activity can both affect the way I metabolize my medication, resulting in side effects similar to those I've been experiencing, but it usually involves several days of not drinking enough fluids or very strenuous activity, so I'm not entirely sure. Whenever things like this happen, I always look at what changed, and so far, if it isn't those stresses on my system on Wednesday, I'm stumped. I haven't missed any medications. I haven't changed any medications. I haven't made any radical changes to my diet. I haven't made any radical changes to my routine. The weather has now cleared up and is sunny and warm, which is typically when I thrive. I'm a little better today than I was yesterday (I spent most of yesterday afternoon sitting in the shower in the dark, watching my blue migraine aura lights twinkle), but I didn't sleep off the symptoms, as I'd hoped.

Drifter grazing as I led him by his halter rope after last week's grooming session.

So I'm not vacuuming out the dog-hair-mobile that is my car today, which I had ambitiously included on the agenda at the beginning of the week in case I was up to it; nor am I writing either of the two longer, more complicated, and more thoughtful blogposts I've started; nor am I dealing with the giant pile of mail that has been growing on the counter for months and that I had also tentatively put on this week's agenda; nor am I writing listings for my shop or out taking more photos in the sunshine; and I'm most certainly not quieting and emptying my mind as I groom away the remains of Drifter's winter coat on this beautiful May afternoon.

Syd glimpsed between pasture trees.

It can be frustrating, but I can handle having to proceed at a snail's pace when it comes to expanding my photography business. I've accepted that there're many days when my brain is not up to the task of writing or working on projects. I have no expectations that I should be able to drive or walk the dog or even do much reading on a regular basis. And I'm so used to not being able to work or travel or cook or hang out with friends that I hardly ever think about it. I really make an effort to work with my limitations, not against them. But missing out on my time with the horses because my medication isn't metabolizing correctly for reasons I have yet to pinpoint is turning out to be a loss that is not so easy to swallow.


It turns out I didn't feel well because I was sick! I've become so accustomed to having hot flashes and fatigue and weird appetite issues that I didn't notice the difference between that and having the flu! I've been getting lots of rest and my temperature has stopped fluctuating wildly and I'm starting to feel more like my regular self, abnormal as that may be.

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