First of all, THANK YOU for sending such lovely and heartfelt encouragements yesterday.
As I sat outside the surgery room, I read every one of those emails, FB posts and comments. I felt supported and I knew MT was surrounded by your thoughts. Thank you for caring. Lovely.
SHE MADE IT!
Mama Tess held strong. She did it!
I was so worried because she was so worried… bringing her back to the hospital was very stressful for our girl. She was concerned. I could see it in her eyes…
MT: “Why am I here again? Am I that sick? I didn’t think I was that sick… will I have to stay here for another month? I cannot bear it…!”
Me: “No. I promise. This is an entirely different thing. Dr. Errico is going to carve out the bad spot on your foot and make it sparkly again. It will stop hurting.”
MT: “OK. If you say so… but I am nervous.”
Me: “You’re alright, my girl. Trust me.”
She did trust me, eventually… And tonight, she is infection free!
THE JOURNEY TODAY…
I rose early and prepped myself. Then, in the morning darkness, I walked to the barn and called to her.
“It’s your big day!”
I had been telling her all about what was going to happen… and I had tried to send her mental imagery of the day… But, I don’t think I did a very good job because as soon as she saw the trailer, her feet became concrete.
MT: “I am not going into that thing because I am afraid that you will take me THERE again.”
Me: “I am taking you there again. But this is good. You will be OK. This is going to help, not hurt.”
MT: “Yeah, well… Make me.”
Luckily, I had my friend, Leslie, come over just for this reason. Leslie stood behind MT and tapped her side until she moved forward. It took about 10 minutes to convince her to walk towards and get into the trailer. But, once she resigned herself, she hopped in.
I had shavings knee deep. I wanted the hour drive (on windy roads) to be as comfortable for her as possible.
We arrived at the hospital before anyone else. I had prepared to drive slowly, and I did… but I still made very good time – even after pulling over 6 times to let the cars piled up behind me go around.
When I peered through the trailer window, I could see that MT was very alert and upset that she was HERE again. The trailer was rocking because she kept circling inside.
So, one of the technicians ran around getting Tess’ stall ready so I could settle her.
But, there was no settling her. She was drenched in sweat and filled with anticipation.
In a very telling move, Tess walked straight into her old stall that she had occupied for a month in August. We had to re-direct her to the new stall.
(I wanted her in a different location so that she would not have as much association. And the new stall gave her a view of the offices and more of the hustle-bustle, which I thought would be more interesting for her.)
She was very well mannered, but apprehensive.
The anesthesiologist came into her stall to start the catheter. He mildly sedated her to take off the edge.
We walked into the Xray room and she stood for a few different shots.
When we left the Xray room Tess practically ran outta there. She thought that was it…
But, then we headed into the surgery.
This was where her eyes got really big and she tried to remove herself.
The Anesthesiologist had to give her quite a bit to get past her adrenalin.
But, we did.
I had never watched a horse go under and then be hoisted onto a surgery table.
My advice: If it is your horse, don’t watch.
I watched this part and it was too unsettling for me to continue. I left and paced outside for the next 5 hours.
You see, what they do is push in the drugs that knock the horse out. Then they all lean on her so she falls the right way. While on the ground, they tie her head and tail with moveable constraints so that they can direct her when she wakes up.
Then, and this is the hard part, they put soft ties on the legs and hoist her up as if she was on a rendering truck (very tough to watch).
Yes, they support her head and she was intubated, etc…, but watching her go up in the chains was all I could take.
I sat outside and tried to busy myself. I read. I walked around and visited the other patients… I worked some…
Luckily, Dr. Cindy (The Founder Warrior) was inside the surgery and she would text me every so often to let me know what was going on.
It was like a lifeline.
Once Dr. Errico was done, Tess had to recover – very carefully.
They had a huge wedge pillow against her and as she awakened, they moved the walls in so that she could only get up one way – underneath herself.
As the Founder Warrior said, “True to her form, she tried to get up before she was ready…” so they had a very wobbly but upright Tess inside the recovery room for another 2 hours.
I was very pleased that all the Doctors stood with her in there the entire time. Dr. Errico and Cindy never left her side. The entire time. They were in there for 5 hours. From start to recovery.
BACK IN HER STALL
Tess trotted a slow motion, druggy Morgan trot back to her stall. She was out of it, for sure, and feeling dopey.
Since I knew she was up and OK, I quickly left to get home because I had failed to bring her hay and special feeds with me.
By the time I got back, she was recovered but bleary.
I don’t know about Tess’ pain, but I had a bunion removed once and that was the worst pain I had ever felt.
A bunion removal is carving bone. Today, we carved Tess’ coffin bone. So, I am guessing that this really hurts.
The good part is once this surgery pain goes away, she will hopefully not have chronic infection pain…
However, right now, she blames me.
When I arrived back with her special foods, she wouldn’t take any of it from me.
After a few moments of me saying, “Really? You are not going to eat THIS??!!” – she finally took a mouthful.
I think it surprised her how food made her feel better… after the first swallow, she brightened and looked at me with surprise.
“Hey, that really did make me feel better! I’ll take more, please!”
And with that, she was back!
I left knowing she was up, eating and back to herself.
Well, her prognosis after surgery is far better than if she hadn’t had surgery to remove the coffin bone infection.
The good news was that there was far less infection that they thought. Much of what we saw on the Xray was actually scar tissue that had pushed against the bone to create the void. This is also painful. So, the surgery was a good thing for several reasons.
I am going to leave her at the hospital until her foot is stable. Once she has her hospital plate on (a removable plate on her hoof that protects the sole), I will bring her home and follow all the Doctor directions to a “T”.
If she recuperates well with no complications, and has healthy attachment… as long as I keep her on her meds and feed her only what is on her strict diet, she should recover.
And tonight, she has no infection in her hoof.
YAHOO! Happy Dance! Praise HorseGods and St. Francy. (I’ll tell you about St. Francy at a later date…)