Remember that saying “When it rains, it pours”? For months, my mother and sister have been planning a three week trip to Italy as my sister is interested in living abroad to pursue her ministry. While they’re away, Alex and I will be holding down the fort at the ranch while watching their dogs as well. The four of us planned to make the three and a half hour trip to the LAX airport this morning at six am, even making time to do public access training with Nihmh at the airport. Alex’s filly, Honor, on the other hand, had other ideas brewing on Monday afternoon. We found her laying down in the pasture and was not interested in getting up when we approached the fence. Soon, we realized she was in the beginning stages of colic as she was having intestinal discomfort and wanting to roll. Colic in horses can quickly turn deadly if a horse is allowed to roll and twists their gut.
We spent the entire afternoon making sure we kept Honor on her feet, allowing her to lay down when she needed a break, but being diligent in not letting her roll. As dusk grew into darkness, we knew we had a long, cold night ahead of us. We started a fire and pulled a couple of hay bales over, making a make shift bed so we could easily take shifts with Honor. The wood we had was by no means slow burning and it took a lot of effort and trips into the dark for more fuel to keep the fire going. It was a long, exhausting night and Honor continued to go downhill with her pain and discomfort. It became impossible to keep her on her feet and we fought with all of our remaining strength to keep her from rolling.
It became clear that only one of us would be able to take my family to the airport… Since it would be such a long trip and driving can prove to be dangerous with my health, we had decided Alex would take the trip while I stayed with Honor. But as Honor’s condition grew more serious and more physically demanding, it would have been nearly impossible for me to keep her safe with my health issues that had already been compromised by the prior day and night. We were also preparing for the possibility that we may need to say goodbye to Honor and I couldn’t imagine Alex not being there with and for her. Just as the three of us girls (plus Nihmh and Norah) were heading out to Los Angeles, the veterinarian arrived to tend to Honor.
She flushed her with mineral oil and administered pain medication to help Honor keep from rolling and twisting her gut. After talking with Alex over the phone, it seemed the medication was doing its job and helped Honor to relax. While we’re trying not to get our hopes up, it seems Honor’s condition may be stabilizing. Even so, she’s not yet out of the woods and it’s going to be a long road to recovery with at least thirty days of treatment. Tonight, we’re simply praying that she makes it through the night comfortably.
As for the other half of our day, Nihmh got car sick which made for an unpleasant ride… not to mention she was especially gassy. Once we arrived at the airport and my family began unloading their bags, that’s when all chaos broke loose. Poor Nihmh–I think most of us have been there. That moment of panic when your intestines grip your soul and yell “Abort!” And boy, did they… all over the back seat of the car and all over my favorite duvet I had brought on the trip down to catch some Zzz’s. I thought the trip there was unpleasant. I’m learning to not complain about the things that go wrong in life because it can so very quickly go downhill and have you wishing for what you were previously complaining about.
Thankfully Nihmh made it home without another bowel explosion, for which I’m sure we’re both grateful. While today’s post is less than conventional, it’s part of our life here on the ranch and fighting chronic illness–two worlds in which not everyone has experienced or understands. We’re genuinely thankful for the outpouring of love and concern many of you have shown us since we realized Honor’s volatile state. It truly means the world to us to know there are so many individuals who care about our family and have added their own prayers of supplication for our family’s sake.