MAMA TESS DID IT! SHE MADE IT… one hurdle gone. Onward – and thank you, thank you.


Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 | Filed under Mama Tess




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!

At breakfast this morning, she DID NOT want to get onto the trailer.  She knew she was going back THERE.

At breakfast this morning, she DID NOT want to get onto the trailer. She knew she was going back THERE.

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 to the hospital and she was drenched.  I had a difficult time keeping my emotions in check.  I was upset that she was so upset.

We arrived to the hospital and she was drenched. I had a difficult time keeping my emotions in check. I was upset that she was so upset.

ARRIVAL

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.

Dr. Cindy Nielsen (The Founder Warrior) and Dr. Jason Errico look over her Xrays as they prepare the strategy for the day.

Dr. Cindy Nielsen (The Founder Warrior) and Dr. Jason Errico look over her Xrays as they prepare the strategy for the day.

PREP

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.

Getting prepped by the anesthesiologist.

Getting prepped by the anesthesiologist.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.37.10 PM

She had rolled to remove the perspiration. Here you can see that she was apprehensive but polite and mannered.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.37.45 PM

The final Xrays before surgery.

THE CHAINS

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.

They have her against the padded wall... right after this, the meds were pushed and all the attendants leaned against her so she would fall appropriately.

They have her against the padded wall… right after this, the meds were pushed and all the attendants leaned against her so she would fall appropriately.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.38.10 PM

She is down and out here… the next phase I couldn’t handle. They took those green straps and placed them around her feet – and then hoisted her up, legs first, supporting her head and intubation. It was too much for me … I went outside.

SITTING OUTSIDE

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.

This was where I sat for the next 5 hours.  The surgery was in the rooms on the right.  I walked around but mostly sat on the bench with the most sun.

This was where I sat for the next 5 hours. The surgery was in the rooms on the right. I walked around and sat on the bench with the most sun.

RECOVERY

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.

Dr. Cindy Nielsen (The Founder Warrior) was texting me from inside the surgery room.  Thank Horsegods.  She was my lifeline.

Dr. Cindy Nielsen (The Founder Warrior) was texting me from inside the surgery room. Thank Horsegods. She was my lifeline.  (My joke about the ‘surgical duct tape’ was because I saw Dr. Jason Errico rush out of the surgery room and then back in with a big roll of duct tape.)

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.

Yikes!

By the time I got back, she was recovered but bleary.

She was up and back in her stall, but still sweaty from all the meds coming out of her system.  When she saw me, she showed me her butt.  Clearly she was sending me a message...

She was up and back in her stall, but still sweaty from all the meds coming out of her system. When she saw me, she showed me her butt. Clearly she was sending me a message…

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.39.17 PM

She was listening to me, but mad at me.

BONE PAIN

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.

OK, I guess I do want this food I spit out after all...

OK, I guess I do want this food I spit out after all…  Note the catcher’s mitt on her foot.

PROGNOSIS

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…)

I hated to leave her... but she had her food and the hospital was very busy... so I left.  I know they will take excellent care of her until I arrive in the morning.

I hated to leave her… but she had her food and the hospital was very busy… so I left. I know they will take excellent care of her until I arrive in the morning.


buckethorsegd


Riding Warehouse
Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!


Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.



HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!



16 comments have been posted...

  1. Janet Schultz

    You write so well and your photos bring us right to your side. I have to tell you, I feel your pain for her looking into those trusting eyes. I love how you talk to her. Thank you so much for keeping the faith with her through this. Inspiring to so many.

  2. Sarah

    I am surprised they did this, the way you described they did. My (now long retired) former vet in Washington had a full service hospital/surgery with a hydraulics operating table. What they did was tranq the horse then with many fleece covered heavy duty leather strappingss, strap the standing horse to the table as it was tilted up – vertically upright. So the standing horse was right next to the operating table. So, once the sedation took effect then they strapped the standing horse and then followed very slowly with the hydraulics rotated the whole shebang to a horizontal position. It wasn’t even noisy, I recall a soft sort of whoosh as the hydraulics did their thing. I watched this a couple times, us Pony Clubbers had to watch a leg surgery and a colic surgery as part of our US Pony Club horse health education, some of us including me couldn’t hold our breakfast down during the actual surgery but at least the sedation/operating table part wasn’t traumatic for either the horse or for us!

  3. Mercy Turano

    A friend sends us your blog (which I thoroughly enjoy) – so many of us pray and keep up with Mama Tess – so very grateful for the good news!! Thank you for sharing your life with us with its many ups and downs – your perspective and outlook is one that will benefit many – you are a great example!! Continued prayers for her full recovery!

  4. dunie oneil

    Go, MAMA! You deserve a great life from here out! Best to you and the most caring owner ever.
    <3

  5. Amy M

    I’m so happy that Mama Tess made it through surgery without issue. I’ve been following her journey very closely, and rooting for her complete recovery. I think the amount of time and dedication you’ve given her is admirable – you’re a wonderful horse mom. Thanks for sharing this journey with us – it’s very educational as well as inspiring. In fact, I was reading an article in an issue of Practical Horseman just recently and they were talking about medical maggots to clear out good infections, and I already knew all about them thanks to you and Mama. Sending good thoughts your way from TX.

  6. Melissa

    thank goodness she’s doing good! I have been refreshing the page since yesterdays post waiting for the good news. So glad the surgery was a success. Thoughts and prayers for a good recovery!

  7. Rachel G.

    Dr. Cindy is a warrior; if I ever meet her I’m sure I’ll burst into tears, as I am right now.

  8. Kelly

    So very happy for the great outcome!! St. Francis was certainly listening to your prayers!! Here’s hoping for her speedy & complete recovery. Know that there are lots of fellow horse lovers out there praying for you & Mama Tess!!

  9. Jan

    MT, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for inviting all of us in to be a part of your lives. By doing that we have all become one big family and care very much. Please give MT and yourself a big hug. You have all been through a lot. I admire and respect you for all that you have done for MT. I wish others would follow by your example. Stay Safe.

  10. Mary

    So glad, happy, ecstatic to see Tess made it through the surgery with flying colors! I hope this is the final turn and she’s on her way to full recuperation.

  11. MET

    So happy for Tess here, Dawn. This has been such a journey – lasting what, eight or nine months so far? Tess is very lucky she has such a devoted mom. Curious if you ever hear from the first nice vet who cared for her when she was hospitalized before. If he knows what’s been happening, he must be very pleased…..

  12. Arliss

    Hooray!! Hallelujah! So glad that she made it through OK and all went well. Continuing thoughts and prayers for a strong recovery and a healed foot!

  13. Pris Gormley

    You are amazing! It must be heart-breaking to see Mama Tess afraid and sweating, and sick, but you just keep on, never giving up. I admire you so much, and pray for your dear girl to be well at last!

  14. Christine

    Dawn, Great News. Well done to all concerned especially MT for being such a good girl. Lots of love winging their way from England to you both. Christine xx

  15. Rose

    I’m so glad she did well. I was thinking about both of you. I’m wondering if you could just take a chair and a laptop and sit in that stall all day. I’ll bet Tess would think you had lost your mind! lol

Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *