Here is a sentence I never thought I would say out loud: ‘The sarcoid is in the fridge.’
The sarcoid, a revolting growth that suddenly put on a spurt and expanded to the size of my clenched fist, was hanging off my sweet little brown mare like a life-sapping vampire bat. An operation had been scheduled, and in the meantime, she was confined to close quarters with a ligature on. Then, suddenly, the thing wrenched itself off. I had been terrified that if this happened she would bleed to death. I kept telling myself not to worry, because worry does her no good and me no good and does not achieve anything, but for all that, I’ve been living on my nerves.
The thing came off and she did not bleed to death. She has a small wound which is healing. The brilliant surgeon will still come and she will still have to have a procedure but it will be nothing like as dramatic as the operation which was planned. The clever little mare just did it herself. She is a bit stiff and sore, but she is as dear and friendly and calm and faintly comical as ever. She is a trooper.
When animals are ill, not themselves, in discomfort or pain, I find it lacerating. I can’t explain to them what is going on. I can’t tell them that I am doing this to make them feel better, or doing that to keep them from harm. I can’t tell them about the devotion of the vets or the brilliance of the surgeons or the hope in my heart.
In the meantime, the car has to go into the garage for the third time in a month and we have to make heart-breaking decisions about my mother’s things, and I am desperately trying to keep up with my work, and my To Do list sprouts tentacles like some alien being, and I feel stretched to my very limit.
And then, just as I beadily eye my remaining emotional and physical resources, the red mare goes lame. There is heat and swelling in her leg. The drama behind this is too long and mad to go into now, although I might write that story later.
The kind vets come again. I feed the mare her special concoction of antibiotics and painkillers. I try to push the terrifying fear of infection from my mind. She is doleful and needy and wants me with her. I stand in the field and stroke her head gently and beam love and strength into her. She is no longer a proud duchess, but a creature who is a little bit broken.
I feel a little bit broken.
Well, I say to myself, that is not surprising. It’s one damn thing after another. Your adrenals are fucked.
I make chicken soup and more chicken soup. I need the protein. I need the comfort.
We are all a little bit broken. But we shall get mended. The car got mended. So shall we.
Oh, and PS. Just in case you are wondering why precisely the sarcoid is in the fridge, it is because I want to preserve it for surgical analysis. Also, it's so freaky that I have to keep staring at it in wigged-out wonder. (No wonder my adrenals are buggered.) It's got an internal structure that looks like some kind of hitherto unknown sea creature. My poor sweet mare. I can't quite believe that someone so beautiful could have something so ugly on her glorious body.
And PPS. I'm so exhausted that my eyes are crossing, so there is a very real possibility that this blog makes no sense and is riddled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Forgive me. I'm going to sit very quietly in a darkened room and regroup and shall be back to fighting strength soon.