"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lily's Leg, A Novel: Chapter 5, One Month

On July 3, 2015, this shit happened:

Non-weight-bearing on left hind. At the time, I thought she had severed one of the important tendons at the back of the leg and we were going to have to put her down.
Going home.

Stall rest at home begins.

So, so many pills!

First bandage change at home. It looked so good!

The best it looked for a really long time...

And then she stopped eating.

So Gracie was brought in at night to keep her company.

Late night visit for antibiotic dosing.
Fat leg = .

Fat leg = bad.
This guy. <3
Hand grazing.

Patient mare waiting for the vet.

Distal limb perfusion.
Better. Stitches out.
We started a 10-day course of SMZ after the last DLP. Cleared for more movement!
First day in the run.
View of the run from the attached stall.

Hand walking. In this case, tailing.

Hand grazing in the hospital paddock.

Healing. This was an improvement!

Hand grazing by the drafty boys.

Hand grazing after her first half-bath (I wasn't yet allowed to wash her left hind)


Yup, definitely better.

Look! No more Elastikon at the bottom of the bandage! :D

More tailing.
Half bath with cold hosing. All legs except for the injured one had been fat prior. Heat indexes of 107 degrees + high humidity + a horse that stays in her stall (despite a giant run) to be in front of the fan will all do that...
Like so.
Looking at her buddies, Marmy and Simba, BO's ponies, whom she moved to the paddock next door so Lily would have company 24/7. Lily was tied to the fence while I picked out the stall.
Hand walks.
And weight gain!
...which you would hope would happen when the Mareface is getting grain three times a day, free choice hay (there was more inside the stall) and free choice alfalfa (also in the stall).
First day in the hospital paddock with Simba and Marmy to keep her company.
Simba is the little pony; he's BO's Shetland driving pony. Marmy is a sweet retired old lady in her 30's. They adored Lily and the feeling was mutual.
And then this wound under her hock (also from the incident) tried to get infected.
But at least this looked better...
...so much better!
But back on the SMZ she went for good measure.

Down to just a standing bandage!
And then this happened!
They all came out one by one to welcome her back.
We've practiced ground tying.
And treated a fungal infection that cropped up around the inside of the injured leg.
And today, August 3 of 2015, this happened.
I didn't realize the date until after I was done tacking up.

And this.

It was great to see the world again between these ears. And to ride with this guy.
She was sound, she was happy, she was forward,
and she didn't understand why she was only allowed to walk for this ride. :)
(Vets want a gradual increase to full work over the next week.)
And afterwards, the leg looked like this! :D

Many, many, many thanks to the awesome folks at UPenn's New Bolton equine hospital for doing their very best; to the vets and staff of Ridgeview Veterinary Practice for their care, not only of my horse but of myself, for the calls and e-mails and prompt responses and for going above and beyond; to the people at work for understanding and asking and expressing concern; to my BO for being so helpful, patient and accommodating; to my wonderful, incredible friends and readers who sent supplies (Beka and Amanda, I love you guys!) and texted and called and e-mailed and commented and snail-mailed gifts and hope and words of encouragement (I need to mention Sara here, especially), to Liz and Karen for setting up a fund (!!) and to Karen again for donating from her shop sales towards Lily's fund (!!!); to each and every one of all of you that have donated, to all of those that have ordered drawings from my shop to help us out. You have all made a difference, such a difference. It has only been one month, but it has felt like a year. It felt like it would never end.

But while there were days that I was so tired I didn't want to get out of bed, what kept me going was knowing that there were so many people out there who cared. 
I don't think we've ever felt so loved. 

I love you all!

But I especially love this guy, without whom this story, our story, wouldn't be possible. Without whom I wouldn't be here. And while sometimes life enjoys throwing curveballs at us to make our stories more interesting, it's the best thing ever to know you have a hero there to catch you.

I love you Charles!

(And no: neither horse is tied to the hitching post)


  1. This post makes my heart happy! One month in horse injury time does feel like a year,you're right! Happy trails gals!

  2. Being back to work after a great weekend away is always difficult, but starting my morning by seeing pictures of you back on Lily trail riding again has made it all better!!!! I have a huge smile on my face now :)

  3. *hugs for all!* So so happy for you and Lily and the family <3

  4. This makes me so happy! I'm so glad she's improving!

  5. Holy crap! Okay, I know it feels like a year to you, but to me it seems like she healed up over night! That's AWESOME! I'm so glad you got to get back on your girl and that she's recovered so quickly! I'm so happy for y'all. :)

    1. There are maybe 10 posts that I wrote in my head between the last update and this one...and I just never had the time to actually type them up! Every time I thought we were almost done with this, some other shit would happen...like the hock wound getting infected and then the fungal infection at the end. Every time I'd breathe a sigh of relief that I didn't have to stop by the barn after work (which in my case was in the dark around 1:00 am due to my schedule), we'd be starting up antibiotics again and I'd be back to stopping by the barn in the wee hours of the morning...which would rob me of an entire hour of sleep during the workweek, when I was only getting 5-6 hours as it was because of having to stop by the barn before work also...OMG. 12 hour shifts are the pits when you need to try to do other stuff during your waking hours, because it automatically means your sleep time suffers. Yup, it felt like forever! There was one week in particular where things were absolutely HORRIBLE at work and the one respite was that Lily was on injectable antibiotics once a day. It was the week right after the last post. I almost quit on the spot. Multiple times. I think it wouldn't have all been half as awful if I'd been working in a different field. I know you know what I mean.

      I had been expecting this to be as long as your ordeal with Archie was. I'm still surprised that it's done. Even when I was already *on* Lily, I was still in a weird sort of disbelief.

      Now I can sign up for as much overtime as I can take to help pay for all of these vet bills! Haha...

  6. <3 <3 Hurrah for riding again!

  7. So glad that she's doing a lot better and you're riding!

  8. This made my heart happy <3

  9. yeah, awesome to have the ear-view back!

  10. So happy for you. This has been quite a process.

    1. It really has! It's good to finally have it behind us!

  11. WHOOPEEE!! Such wonderful news all around! :D I agree, it seems like no time but I get the "feels like an eternity" part for you. It's emotionally, physically and financially draining to have a sick/hurt loved one, either animal or human. You've booth been troopers and Lily is very lucky to have you as her mom and dad!

    1. It is draining indeed! Thank you RiderWriter! :D

  12. Sorry if I missed it, but any idea what caused it?

    1. Yup: http://waitingforthejump.blogspot.com/2015/07/in-which-lily-has-emergency-surgery.html?m=1

      There's a photo of the cause in there. We just won't ever know what spooked her.

  13. yay!!! how exciting to be back in the saddle and have her healing mostly without issue!

    1. "Mostly without" is kind of an understatement...hahaha...but yes, in the grand scheme of things, this is was all just a blip!

  14. Awesome post!!! Great to see you guys back out there!!! And go Charles!!!!! Guys like that are a RARE find, I don't know how I got so lucky to find one too, but I'm thankful every day!

    1. Charles is amazing. I count my lucky stars every second that I am with him. I've loved him for 2/3 of my life and I'm so grateful that not only did we end up together, it has turned out to be everything I could have ever wished for and more.

      I'm so, so happy that you've found the same with your Other Half! <3

      Thank you Stacey!!

  15. I'm so glad that you're riding again! Go Lily! Not all horses could have handled all that stall rest and medication and bandaging and stayed sane:) And not all owners would have done all of that for their horses, so you guys are awesome!

  16. So glad that she has recovered so well!!!! :D

  17. Yaaaaay so happy for you!!! <3


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