Sometimes I write a comment in response to someone else’s comment and it has so much content that it really should be a post of its own. This is one such comment with….hmmm….a few modifications.

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Photo complements of The Body Consultants.

I know!

I KNOW!!

But being macho is not just a male trait, I’m female and am just as guilty.

I don’t want to be seen as a ‘WUSS’ or have the label ‘HYPOCHONDRIAC’, but that’s no excuse for dancing all night on a broken foot and boasting about it to the technician putting the cast on at 2:00 am.

The truth is that the nagging messages we get from our bodies are pleas for help.

backache (1)

Thanks to Lotus Love for this image.

Years of masking acid reflux with a bottle of Tums…a lifetime of drinking Coke even when it will melt a nail overnight…a nagging headache that just won’t go away…shortness of breath after climbing the stairs each night…

My body speaks to me constantly, begging for mercy, but I’m so busy I deliberately tune it out. I’ve become entrenched in the habit of ignoring the messages and it’s more comfortable to live in pain than to make an appointment with a doctor.

My suffering has grown to status symbol importance, like MacDonald’s golden arches, and I constantly remind all within hearing that “My Back is KILLING ME!” when, in truth, it is me killing my back.

abdominal pain

Complements of UCMP Helathbeat

And, all the while, my body has been building a backlog of stress from the pain and is reacting by dumping more acid into my stomach, increasing my heart rate, and keeping me awake at night so I can’t heal.

Then…when something breaks and can’t be fixed I proudly say such things as, “I haven’t been to the doctor in 30 years! Never been sick a day in my life! How could this happen to me???” It would be more truthful to say, “Why didn’t I pay attention to the signs and take care of this before it reached epic proportions? I guess I brought this all on myself.”

MamaCatThe funny thing is, although I feel that I can’t afford the time or expense for my own medical issues, I take my pets to the vet if they don’t eat right for a few days, or they mope around like they don’t feel well. But I never consider the owner of the pet. What will happen to them if I can’t get up at feed time or take them out?

I know maintenance is necessary for other things so I take my car to the shop if the engine sounds funny or the brakes don’t work, or the windshield wipers make noise. But what about the driver of the car. How difficult will repairs be when I have a stroke while driving? And what about that family in the  minivan next to me?

 Why do I always feel that I am invincible?

Well friends, it seems that this month has been a very slow blogging month for me so far, but I think this will make up for it.

Of Dogs, Knee Surgery, and Large Horses (Part 1)RIMG0110

If you’ve explored my blog site you’ll know that I have horses. I look after some of them myself and others are with a trainer. The horses I have on this farm are broodmares and occasionally a horse that is recovering from injuries and just needs light work or stall rest. I could write stories about them every day of the week, but this story is more about me than about them.

A few months ago I was working with a huge gray mare that had lameness issues but was finally trotting out sound, so I started bringing her into the stall in the daytime and putting her out at night. This was convenient because I could bring her in and feed her–some trickery here–so she loved coming in, then ride her a little later after her breakfast settled.

I tried cleaning her stall with her in it, but invariably I got hit across the face like a whiplash by her long gray tail. So, rather than taking a chance on losing an eye, the program was changed and in the late afternoon/early evening Olivia would get her pellets first then I would make the rounds of the outside horses, doling out feed along the way and checking them all for booboos, lameness and swellings. By the time I was finished with that chore, Olivia was waiting at the stall door for her walk to the paddock and it was time to clean her stall.

Vickie's Camera 015Rally, my totally deaf and mostly blind dog, would follow along, sniffing her way from here to there, and generally be underfoot until I was finished and ready to go in. She is the kindest, gentlest old soul you would ever find, and normally stays pretty close to me; sometimes so close that I trip over her when I turn around.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had horses or cleaned stalls, but the amount of manure produced is in direct proportion to the amount of feed the horses eat x their size. Since Olivia is 18 hands, which is almost a foot taller than the average horse, she produces a lot of manure.

One afternoon in the late spring there was a group of other boarders standing around talking when I pushed the overloaded and awkward one-wheel wheelbarrow out of Olivia’s stall so, being the incredibly social person and brilliant conversatonalist that I am, I parkd the wheelbarrow and stopped to chat with them. Meanwhile, Rally decided to take a nap in the shade.

A few minutes later I turned back to the wheelbarrow, rolled it about 6 inches and heard a yelp from Rally. Fearing that I had crushed my poor dog with 1000 pounds of horse manure, I attempted the impossible act of reversing the momentum of all that weight, got the whole thing overbalanced, and the wheelbarrow, as if possesed by a demon, tipped over with me between the handles hitting my left knee and flipping me to the ground….right into the pile of manure. This would have been one of those incredibly hilarious slap-stick moments if it wasn’t for the pain in my knee at the time. Even so, I have to smile now at the mental picture of me flipping into a pile of manure and shavings…..yuck!

Fortunately there were a few people still round so in short order, and amid the usual bathroom jokes, I was helped up, Rally was checked (just startled), the manure was shoveled back into the wheelbarrow, and since I was having a hard time standing up, one of the other boarders took the wheelbarrow to the manure pile for me.

I was almost finished for the night anyway so, rather than filling water buckets and putting out hay. I hobbled back into the apartment to nurse my dignity, feed Rally and myself, take a shower, and watch my knee swell.

To Be Continued…..

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