Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘mental stress

No Control

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Life feels a little more out of control lately than the illusions of control we felt satisfied with while plodding along on our merry ways over the years prior. It’s noteworthy how the easily understood signs of mental strain gradually arrive and intensify as the duration of an invisible health threat drags on, expanding economic turmoil in its wake.

It is difficult to tell whether anything happening to us or around us is merely incidental or somehow related to the main news topic of the day in the midst of a pandemic viral event.

We have no control over how cold it is going to be outside this morning and are watching the budding leaves on our young trees with an anxious concern they won’t freeze just as they are beginning to unfold.

Last night, Cyndie and I had a good hard laugh over one comical “outburst” I experienced at the end of my day-job work week. Exhausted by a seemingly endless barrage of customer orders that are swamping our capacity (a good problem to have, no?) that daily threaten to overwhelm my attempts to control, I found myself mentally numb and entirely listless.

For almost the entire time the world has been shutting itself down to control the spread of the coronavirus, we have been seeing orders grow almost exponentially. It’s crazy-making.

When the day finally passed into the darkness of night, I rallied the energy to get my butt up off the bed to ready myself for a good night’s sleep. Dragging the shirt off my shoulders, I considered just throwing it at the closet in demonstration of my contempt for… well, just everything. But my routine prevailed.

It would merely cause me more effort later to pick up, so I grabbed the hanger as usual.

Still seeking to protest the facade of anything being usual, the thought occurred that I might not button the collar as is my habit before rehanging a shirt. I could just shove it onto the closet to hang on the rod with utter disdain.

Except, I couldn’t. That fastidious habit has become too ingrained.

I went in to brush my teeth, because skipping that grooming habit was one I tried last weekend and was quickly reminded that it definitely wasn’t worth it by morning, and described my ridiculous moment of ‘almost’ rebellion to Cyndie. We laughed heartily over the embarrassingly infantile attempt to lash out.

The sad truth of it all is how far from suffering our life is at this point. I’m feeling all angsty over a level of stress that is of no comparison to the hardships so many others are living right now. I can’t imagine their version of not having control. It’s heartbreaking.

Somehow, I hope we all muster the gumption to soldier on and take care of ourselves and others.

It really is the better option compared to giving up and throwing our shirts on the floor of the closet.

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Written by johnwhays

May 8, 2020 at 7:16 am

Trepidation Visits

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We don’t really know. Evidence is still rather vague about eliminating either of the two prevailing possibilities about what is ailing Dezirea. We’ve now had three vet visits in two days, and this morning it seems as though the only progress we are seeing is that she isn’t getting dramatically worse.

Is it colic, or anaplasmosis?

There is a second pile of manure this morning, which is generally a good thing, except it doesn’t look normal enough to inspire full optimism. She could still have some obstruction deep within the long tract of her digestive system.

Cyndie spent extended time with Dezi yesterday and came away with a sense that our senior mare is at peace. I’m afraid that has only contributed to our trepidation about where this could be headed.

Meanwhile, the other horses are growing frustrated with the forced separation and lack of access to the lush grass growing everywhere around their confines. It is hard to read their take on Dezirea’s predicament while they are simultaneously frustrated with their own situation.

We have spotted moments when they gather at the barrier fence to stand in close proximity, but not much more than that.

It is noteworthy how much the mental unease over the seriousness of Dezirea’s affliction looms over everything else for us. Finding a healthy and loving attitude and projecting that to our immediate world, and beyond, becomes increasingly difficult. Losing patience with otherwise trivial situations becomes easy.

Even though nature is forging ahead with explosive spring growth and our list of chores we would like to accomplish is longer than can be achieved, we find ourselves spinning in place this weekend.

Maybe our lesson has something to do with facing and dealing with trepidation. Once again, it seems prudent to be most fully focused on the present moment, despite the multitude of distractions lulling us away.

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Written by johnwhays

April 30, 2017 at 10:20 am

Dashed Plans

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Our day’s plan went out the door at the crack of dawn yesterday.

Does this look like the face of a mare who doesn’t want her picture taken?

Yes, it does.

Poor Dezirea is fighting a bug, we think. We didn’t notice anything amiss until serving up the pans of morning feed. Dezi had no interest. It was at that point that plans for the day were scrapped and caring for our senior mare became the focus of our energies.

She was not a happy horse, but at least she didn’t appear to be in extreme pain. After running through our basic knowledge of diagnostic steps, Cyndie wanted to consult with the veterinarian. He felt it warranted a visit so he could do an in-person assessment.

I kept Dezirea walking, which she did so amicably enough for someone not really interested in doing anything.

Her temperature wasn’t alarmingly high, but her pulse was definitely elevated. We had immediately quarantined her to the small side of our paddocks and emptied that box of hay. As the day wore on, I noticed the other three horses had deposited two piles of poo each, but Dezirea had none.

Was it a digestive issue or some other affliction? Hard to tell.

The vet took a blood sample. He believed the problem might be a tick-born infection, anaplasmosis. We are treating it as if, and they administered an intravenous antimicrobial.

This morning, she is at the very least, no worse in appearance. She is rather lethargic, though much less depressed. She seems to be gaining interest in eating, although we are hesitant to provide full rations until we see proof her system is functioning more normally.

We found evidence she was able to expel a small amount of poop overnight, so that provides some reassurance that she doesn’t have a catastrophic twist or obstruction shutting down all function in the digestive system. That also matches with her lack of acute pain symptoms.

So, looking after Dezirea consumed most of our mental energies yesterday. I turned piles of manure while spending extended time with the horses. The other horses tolerated the altered accommodations with only minor complaint. The hours and minutes passed in a blink and accomplishments dropped to bare essentials.

The big milestone that became overshadowed by Dezirea’s illness was the delivery of much-needed hay to rescue us from a predicament. Jack and Joanie were gracious enough to make a long trip from Minnesota to bring us hay because our sources here had nothing left to offer. Their precious energy lifted our spirits and provided liveliness that was particularly helpful in the moment, and their hay will help us greatly for the weeks ahead.

Hunter thinks he has an easy solution to the hay shortage. He desperately wants us to open the gates and let him have at the sweet green grass growing everywhere in sight. It’s like, water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

If he only recognized the risks.

We could use a break from horse health issues. For now, I’m making no plan for the rest of today. Whatever comes up will get my attention. Hopefully, it won’t interfere with the guests and dinner Cyndie has planned for this evening.

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Written by johnwhays

April 29, 2017 at 10:21 am