Sunday, April 15, 2012


I didn’t notice my mouth was dry until I tried to swallow.  “I need to drink a glass of water as soon I get this done,” I thought to myself as I opened the large blue tote and rummaged through it quickly.  I found a huge 20 mm syringe and I was looking for the green color-coded needle.  I looked over several glass bottles with rubber topped closures and found the one named Flunazine.  I set my phone to the speaker setting so that Nikki could walk me though the set-up. We had gone through the whole routine last fall, but in the months that followed the knowledge had left my noggin.

I set everything gently on the table in front of me and examined each component as she told me again how they were going to fit together.  We had decided that I was going to give the medicine orally because if given IM (intramuscularly) it could, on a rare occasion, cause a deep infection.  Nikki wasn’t going to be home for three or four more days and I was not at all prepared to handle that scenario. 
“Do you feel at all comfortable trying to hit a vein? “ she asked me.

“Absolutely not” I chortled, “I would rather try and give her an enema. “  Might as well bring a bit of humor to the situation.

 “If you want to call Dr. Tim I am fine with that” she said again.

“No, No, I think that I can do this. I am right here, she needs it quickly. I want to give it a try.” I hoped I sounded more confident than I felt.

My patient was Ruthie, an 1800 pound white mule. She is to Nikki what Lakota is to me. I had to get this right.  “Listen, I am going to go now and put this all together. I’ll call you back when I ‘m done.”  All of the shots I had ever given before were pre-made, all you had to do was point and shoot so to speak.

I fit the needle onto the syringe and then inserted it into the rubber gasket on top of the bottle. Holding the bottle upside down with one hand I tried to pull out the plunger.  Geez, why does this have to be so difficult? I felt really clumsy and it was taking a lot more strength than I thought was necessary. But I kept at it gently so I wouldn’t make a mess of anything.  Humm, is the top of the plunger  10mm, or is it marked by the bottom of the grey piece. I decided more was better than less, we are talking about a big girl out there and she might spit some out. 
Okay, that was almost fun; now I have to take the needle out so that I can shoot this into her mouth. The needle looked scary - it was huge, built for a rhinoceros or something.  Does it pull out or twist out? I tried it with my fingers and nothing moved. I took it upstairs and pulled out two pair of pliers. I had a sterile needle here which I really wasn’t going to use but still I wrapped it in a paper towel before I grabbed it with the pliers. Nothing moved. Well, actually it did, the needle was now bent at approximately a 65 degree angle, which I promptly capped and discarded.
Humm, I surveyed the whole set-up again and decided that even if the needle had came out of the hard plastic it was embedded in, the aperture would be too small to squirt the liquid in as fast as I was planning to.

As I walked out to the pasture I prayed to Ruthie’s angels as well as mine. “Please be with us and let this go smoothly.”  I took a deep breath as Ruthie came into view.  She was still laying down which is what caught my eye in the first place. I didn’t want to spook her so I did not walk straight at her, but aimed for a few feet behind her tail. It would be much easier for me if I could give her the medicine while she lying down – did I mention that she was a big girl? Oh yeah.

She raised her head and looked at me, and thought for a second about standing up, but then she didn’t.   I reached out and rubbed her neck and told her I was going to give her some medicine as gently as I could. I kneeled beside her giant neck and moved slowly and deliberately, careful not to tip the syringe because I didn’t want her to get a taste of what was coming before I was ready. Her lips were clinched but I worked the tube in as far as I thought necessary and then I hit that plunger hard, probably faster than I needed to - but got the job done.  I stroked her neck and thanked her for being still.  She pulled back her front lip and curled her head in the air. 

“Hey,” I told her, “I had to take red root tincture myself yesterday, three times, and that stuff tastes wicked too. You can handle this.” 

I stood up and moved away from her. I suddenly realized I had forgotten to put on the halter that I carried out. Oh well, we hadn’t needed it after all. I reached for my phone to call Nikki and let her know that it had gone well. Whew. We discussed what I should do for the next twenty minutes and I could hear her relief.  We had both been worried that Ruthie would put up a fuss and it could have gone badly, but it didn’t. I suddenly realized that I still needed water. I walked back to the house feeling a lot better than when I walked out to the pasture.  Everything is going to be fine, I just know it!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I am both exquisitely happy and excruciatingly sad. Mad even. The difference between the two is driving me crazy. On one level I want everyone to find the joy and happiness that I desire for myself. I have a vision that includes a loving partner, a peaceful home, monetary stability, a deep love and connection with the universe and, last and maybe mostly, love of self.

My dear friend is in the throes of new lust. I want her to be happy and find the right fellow and settle down to a rich and meaningful life, filled with more joy than sorrow.  With all my heart I desire this for her.

At the same time my sanctuary has been violated. My friend and I share the same little farm house and now nothing feels as sweet to me as it did.  He has been here a month; if he paid rent would I be more accepting? When I said he could visit, I didn’t mean that he could move in. It feels like they are two against my one-ness. Her new love makes my life seem emptier than before, I feel dull and flat.  I don’t do well with dull and flat.  It isn’t where I normally reside and it is NO FUN !!!

In the beginning I made him out to be the villain. It was his fault that my life was turned into such chaos. It was so much easier to make him the “bad guy”.  My resentment was off the charts …. it lept tall buildings of the mind’s imagination and colored my life with drab colors of piss-offed-ness. My little world had been invaded and the enemy had no awareness of the depth of my despair. So I showed them. Passive aggressive behavior came back into my life, as easily as it had disappeared with the divorce decree of many years ago. However, the infinitesimal sparks of joy that came with a well thrust imaginary dagger were overwhelmed by excruciating sadness.

And I know. 

They are not the enemy. The battle is once again, always, within me. The situation is yet another way of showing me that I have more work to do. I have much at stake here. I could be on the brink of ruining a dear friendship and it is this thought that propels me to dive deep into the lesson. My house is my sanctuary. My friend is my friend. Sweet as it has been, I always knew that our sharing of this space was temporary. Communication could definitely be better between us but that probably won’t happen until I get to a more accepting place. Her new love is a gift that I wish for myself but not to the extent of their happiness. I desire to be the kind of friend that I want my friends to be to me. A prescription for valium would be appreciated right now, just to take the “sting” out of the situation. I need a stronger mantra …. mine is not sufficiently cutting through the crap of this moment. Once again I turn to my angels and ask for guidance, wisdom, peace of mind ……. Ahhhh, peace of mind. If this cannot be found within, it will never be available in the outer world.

I know.