Sunday, November 16, 2014


The weather is much better today.  We are in the high 20s and the sun is shining brightly.  But after a day of stall confinement, the horses are acting just like bad little boys.

Here's a conversation I overheard between them -

"Paj, quit picking on me!"
"You're getting on my last nerve!"

 "I mean it!"

  "Reggie, go stick your tongue on the gate.
Maybe it will freeze there."



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Brr. Just Brr.

First a quick note on the eye stuff, and then we'll move on.  I'm doing well.  I'm on a lifting restriction of 20 pounds, so David is doing the heavy work.  Other than that, and wearing eye protection in the barn, it's business as usual.  The cold weather sure isn't business as usual.

Boy, is it cold.  It was -4F(-20C) when we got up to feed this morning.  It's still -4.  We're looking at -5 tonight, and a warmup to 15 tomorrow.  I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for worrying about the horses.

Reggie is a tough old guy who's never been sick a day in his life.  But Paj is delicate.  He's had ulcers and colic in the past, and big temperature changes are especially hard on him.  So we do all we can to protect the boys.  Reggie is comfortable in his blanket, and Paj is comfortable in a sheet, blanket and neck cover.  They are stall bound today due to the cold and snow, so we are hand-walking a few times a day.  Paj is getting an ulcer preventative, and I am making "hydro hay" by soaking the hay at extra feedings to make sure they stay hydrated.  They are also getting salts to keep them drinking.  That's about all we can do.  So far, so good.

 Hand walking
 Why, yes I am wearing 2 hats!
And 2 pairs of pants.
And 2 pairs of glasses.
photos by Dave

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Bionic Eye

On Tuesday I had cataract surgery on my right eye.  Yep, I'm old, and I've spent a lot of my life in the sun.  Anyway, they removed my old dingy yellow lens which I could barely see through, and replaced it with a bright and shiny intraocular lens.  Sound scary?  Well, I was a bundle of nerves leading up to the surgery.  But the surgery was a smashing success.  And once I got over myself, it was really interesting.  

Skip this next part if you, like me, are scared of all things even remotely medical.  Jim, this means you!!!

Did you know that you are conscious for the surgery?  They give you anesthesia in the pre-op room while they prep your eye for surgery.  After a short "nap", they take you into the operating room.  That was the interesting part.  My doctor had quite loud classical music playing, which I thought was really cool.  They completely covered my face, and then cut out the eye portion of the covering.  My doctor talked to me throughout the "procedure".  I couldn't see the instruments, but I could see his surgical loupes in a dreamy fuzzy way, and the bright overhead light.  Between my doctor's great bedside manner (he said I was a trooper.  Me, Miss Scaredy Pants!), the great music and good drugs, I felt calm.

Okay resume reading.  Jim, it's safe to come back now!

 It was over and done with and we were home in a flash.  Yesterday David drove me in for my first check up.  20/30 in the bionic eye, 24 hours after surgery, with the pupil still somewhat dilated!  This was a better-than expected result for the first 24 hours!  Yippee!  And the colors!  Everything is so much brighter and lighter!  I knew I wasn't seeing well out of that eye, but I had no idea how dingy colors had become.  I am delighted.

Now for the temporary downside.  My eyes are not talking to each other very well just yet.  Yesterday I felt miserably car sick on the way to the appointment.  I couldn't see out of the bionic eye with my glasses on, and I couldn't see out of the other eye with my glasses off!  My doctor suggested popping the lens out on the bionic side.  Duh, me!  That worked like a charm!  It took about 24 hours to adjust, but now my distance vision is as sharp as can be.  Intermediate and close up, still a problem.  I poured my tea onto the counter this morning instead of into my cup!  Oops!  And I can only see to type this by closing the bionic eye.  Believe me, that gets tiresome in a hurry!  Which is why I will be a very haphazard blogger over the next 3 weeks.  Yes, 3 weeks!  That's the full recovery time!  Drat!

But the biggest downside?  I'm on barn restriction due to the dust.  Little does my doctor know that my barn is actually cleaner than my house!  But I will be good.  Oh how I miss this -

photo by Susan Quirk

I will be getting my horsey fix by watching the US Dressage Finals live online from Lexington Ky.  With one eye.  Friend Jan's horse Lakota competes Friday morning with Shannon riding.  Kathy Priest, whom I bought Paj from at 22 months of age, shows Friday night in the Grand Prix Open.  To watch along, click here.  Coverage starts live, tomorrow morning.  Jan has been sending me phone photos from Lexington, which has gone a long way toward making me feel included.  

enter at A

photos by Jan Wingate

Best of luck to Lakota, Shannon and Jan
I've typed this in fits and starts, and now I deserve a nap.  Goodnight all.