Sunday, January 15, 2012

Responding to the Alpha - and life update

You know he's kind of a brat when you're not around.

Stephanie was over for dinner with Ryan, and we were talking about horses, as we love to do.

She was talking about Smokey. Smokey is that horse in the barn that is endearing, like an adorable child and can act like one that gets away with everything when at Grandma's house. With me he's not allowed to barge past to eat. Not allowed to do head tossing and twisting as I'm coming down to feed. In fact every horse is to enter quietly, I don't care how hungry they are or how late I am. If not they are last to eat.

No horses chase one another when I come to feed. It made me think about Smokey and how far we've come. I'm a bit down because there simply isn't time right now, not with everything going on, to do what I need to do with my horses. They need to travel, they need to go on trails, they need to be worked more than on Saturday.

Not gonna happen, not for a while.

But knowing my horse behaves well around me somehow made me feel like I'm doing something right in this one little corner of my crazy life.

And it's been crazy. Sierra's vertigo is back. She can't walk unless she closes her eyes, and is restricted to a wheel chair at home. She's missed the first two weeks of school with no end in sight. I finally have an appointment with a specialist on Wednesday (I was going to have to wait two more weeks).

Everything we've tried has failed. Physical therapy. Doctor won't give her any more steroids since it was only a temporary fix.

They want to do an MRI. And the MRI folks would like $$$, even with great insurance.

And don't forget we have her heart test coming up, now scheduled for the 31st.

And then there is the school. I've been keeping them informed and once I realized this new bout of vertigo wasn't going to go away I asked them for options. They needed a note from the doctor to invoke "section 504."

Doctor said "I don't have a diagnosis, you'll have to talk to the specialist."

At that point I couldn't get in with a specialist until the 30th (I have since called a different specialist).

Which means Sierra would fall so behind she might be forced to repeat the year.

Presuming she'll be walking again at some point.

I made an appointment with the doctor (having had all the communication funneled through his assistant). I hoped in person I could plead our case, he could write a note, I could get some help for Sierra for school at least.

He saw how bad she is, which is:
  • She can't walk.
  • She can't be exposed to loud sounds. Even your normal talking voice seems loud.
  • She can't stand.
  • She can't be in a place where there is a great deal of movement.

He gave me the note. I dropped her at Grammy's and took the note to the school. They said it was the wrong kind of note.

I lost it.


They've since got what they need, I go in on Tuesday to sign paperwork so she can do online learning.

My only horse time is feeding the horses. These pictures were from Christmas, when Sierra was walking. Before the symptoms came creeping back.

But if all I can do is feed, I'll be damned if horses are going to try to run around me like maniacs. There I have some control. There the world doesn't spin and dive, the ground doesn't shift. There the world runs without red tape, without weeks between appointments, with the simple logic of motion, feed, and the soft nuzzle of a horse looking for a cookie.

And on Friday our car broke down.

I'm really, really tired.


Reddunappy said...

I am so sorry she is not feeling well. I would definately have an MRI. It sounds so much like the epenymoma tumor of the brain.
Sorry to say something like that, coming from a stranger. It is most common in children.
I had surgery for an ependymoma in 2008, a lot of the same symptoms.
I hope and pray it is not!!!

Laura Crum said...

I am so sorry to hear this. There is nothing as difficult as the anxiety we feel when our child is seriously sick. Sending you thoughts for healing and health, and a break from the red tape run around of schools and health care--which can make anyone go "postal". I hope things get a whole lot better very soon. My son was seriously ill with food poisoning last summer and I know how very overwhelming life becomes. But better days came along for me and I believe they will for you, too.

Allenspark Lodge said...

Hey Smokey,

Give all of your people a big hug for me, okay?


Fetlock said...

I'm so sorry that things are not going well, and I so understand what you mean about having one tiny "respite corner" of your life to hang on to. The old reporter in me is quick to anger when I read about families in crisis forced to trot around getting the "right kind of note..." I know it's necessary baloney, but it's still baloney.

I will be sending good thoughts and wishes your way--hang in there, Mom. You're doing a great job.

Shirley said...

Sometimes things just pile up until you feel that you can't bear any more. I don't blame you for losing it about the doctor's note; I would have too.
I will keep your family and Sierra in my prayers.
Sometimes just the little things we can accomplish with our horses are the things that give us the strength we need to face another day.

Allenspark Lodge said...

What precious pictures to have gotten over Christmas. Horses can seem like such a lot of work, but they give so much in return; they serve to ground us when everything else is in limbo. Know that we are all here hugging you and praying for the best.

Dan and Betty said...

Breathe, I don't know how you feel, but when things are tough in our lives that's when I'm glad we have our horses - even if all I do is feed them.

Prayers for Sierra on the way.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Oh my! I am so sorry!! Makes other problems seem so minor. I'm sending prayers for her diagnosis and full recovery.

Mikey said...

You're having a heck of a time lately. I will be praying for all of you.

Wolfie said...

Good grief, you've had a rough time. Poor Sierra. Someone who works with my husband suffered with vertigo and it was completely debilitating. I hope the specialist comes up with a plan for her swift recovery. Hugs from Canada.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I'm very sorry about Sierra's vertigo. Dealing with her school sounds very frustrating. And then car trouble on top of it all. That's an awful lot. I'm sorry. It's good you are making the best of your time with horses.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

So frustrating! I'm so sorry you're going through all the chaos. My van broke down last week and we can't afford to get it fixed right now. But with John working in Phoenix for 10-14 days at a time, he doesn't need a car since he's living in the airport, so at least I'm not without transportation. It could always be worse.
The worse part is Sierra's situation. As a Mom I sure do sympathize with what you're going through.
I was going to ask if you could either homeschool her or do online education. I'm glad the school at least offered an alternative choice for Sierra.
I hope things get better soon for you and your entire family.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I'm astounded by the general lack of support you have received from the medical community and school. Vertigo is such a disabling condition. Some people confuse it with feeling weak and faint, but I had it for two days straight once and literally could not move a muscle without everything spinning (FAST) and me vomiting. Closing your eyes tight and sleeping are pretty much the only things that help.

My husband was just commenting today about how less people are seeing doctors now, because they just can't afford it, and even with insurance, MRIs are out of reach. The cost of those has quadrupled over the past few years. It's so frustrating that even our human interest fields have seem to lost interest in taking care of human beings.

I hope Sierra can get a solid diagnosis and successful treatment soon. Stay strong. Take a deep breath. Or two.

kden said...

Oh man, you've been through so much aleady. Sometimes it's hard to take. Vertigo is the pits. I get it intermittently but not that bad. The meds make it worse. I usually just take Sudafed and an allergy med to clear up the fluid in my ears. Poor thing. Those top two photos are beautiful.

cheyenne jones said...

I cant believe what a terrible time your having. My thoughts are with you.
It must be really hard in America, with regard to health Insurance. Here, we get almost everything at the drop of hat.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I am so sorry to hear about Sierra. How incredibly frustrating for all of you that they cannot figure out what is causing her vertigo. Hugs to you girl and your family.

jill said...

I've just been catching up.
Don't have the right words to say, just **hugs** for you.

Maia said...

Ahh, sweet pea, hang in there. A freind of mine had horrible vertigo, they eventually found that it had to do with the small hairs in her inner ear. I can't remember what the hairs were or were not doing,but I do remember it wasn't a severe fix. And it was fixed. HUGS from the east coast.

allhorsestuff said...

You are a trooper! Loosing it was understandable...and sometimes, the only way some others remember the human experience we share!

Oh my heart breaks for you and your daughter. I'm glad you have the horses to offset some anxiety.

Sierra is Luke you ,made of the good stuff. I'm glad she can do online schooling.
Many prayers and wishes for some smoother avenues of getting to the roots of her health needs, and connections to true hearted folks~ that do what's best for you

Jan said...

Breathe, Oh, I'm so sorry about all you and Sierra are going through. How very, very hard it all is. Dealing with all the red tape on top of the anxiety and worry is horrible. I'm glad you have some stabilizing moments with the horses. I'm praying for you also. I hope you get some answers and treatment soon.

aurora said...

There is nothing harder then when your child is not well, sincere best wishes for a good outcome. Smokey is a sweetheart, glad he's doing what horses do best. Take some time to rest.

Funder said...