Good news! Knight’s trifecta of ulcers, gas distension, and “leathery” intestines (i.e., inflamed) which I knew nothing about when he was rushed off to the equine ER on Monday seem to be diminishing.
As of yesterday (Wednesday), when I visited my sweet boy after work, the vet was cautiously optimistic. He said that based on the treatments given, he had hoped for a little better/quicker response. I was able to observe Knight being ultra sounded and I joked, “So he’s not pregnant, right?” and the intern said he had just discovered another patient (obviously a mare) was pregnant. He showed me where a foal would be in Knight’s belly if he were in the family way.
Instead of a baby horse, I got to see a cross section of intestines that were more noticeable than they were supposed to have been.
I also got to see a picture of the vivid red spots on his otherwise white stomach–ulcers. During the initial scoping there had been some food in Knight’s stomach and so the ulcers didn’t show up quite as much. A subsequent scoping after food had been withheld showed the ulcers were worse than previously thought.
Around 9:30 a.m today I got the call and when the vet used the word “happy” to tell me how he felt about Knight’s condition, I breathed a sigh of relief. He said that the intestines were much better than when ultrasounded when I was there and the gas was gone. He’s been treated for the ulcers (I forgot to ask with what meds) and now they plan to keep him and Friday give him his full daily amount of food (hay only) and see how he does.
I got a little choked up realizing that my greatest fear about Knight having to endure surgery seemed like a much more remote option. And my faith in prayer was bolstered. I know that some people might think prayer is talking to air or just plain stupid, but I know it does something. Even when the answers aren’t the ones I hope for.
And today after work while I was again visiting my patient and letting him graze, my confidence in what is right with the world was boosted a notch.
A sweet 10-year old girl whose pony had also colicked and I became friends on Tuesday. We were both hand grazing our horses and I asked her about her pony and what kind of riding she did. She’s a pint-sized eventer. I told her she was a brave rider and I am in awe of eventers and attended Rolex last April. Her eyes widened.
She asked me about Knight and when I said he was a retired racehorse we were training her eyes widened again and her mouth made an O. I found out her pony lives in her backyard and I said that was so great and I wish I could have Knight in my yard, but instead I board him. We carried on a lovely conversation and I was convinced she was at least 12 because of her maturity.
When I saw my new friend today she happily shared that her pony was going home.
“That’s so exciting! I’m sure your pony is as happy as you!’
She said some nice things like, “I hope your horse gets better soon.” I thanked her and she walked the pony away.
About ten minutes later as I was still hand grazing Knight, looking at the pink mountains as the sun was setting, thinking about the San Bernardino shootings that were only about 30 miles away from where I was standing, and how my greatest problem in life (a horse with ulcers) seems pretty small compared to the ravages experienced down the freeway, my friend came back.
“Well, I just wanted to say goodbye before I leave,” my sweet new friend reached her arms out and gave me a hug. I leaned down and patted the back of her blue jacket.
I’m really not that huggy of a person, especially with someone I don’t really know. I asked what her pony’s show name was and what her last name was so that I could keep an eye out for her next time I head out to Galway Downs to spectate at an event.
It struck me there is still so much good all around. Good is just harder to notice because good is quiet and usually not dramatic and rarely the headliner on the evening news.
If you too are worried and weary from the darkness, may I suggest making a new friend around 10 who also loves horses?
You might feel a little more hopeful.
Your Turn: Do you have any young horse friends? How have they impacted you?
Thank you for reading. 🙂