A Life Sidelined by Stroke

 

I started this blog to chronicle my journey from active horse mom- the emphasis on active- to a life sidelined by an unexpected stroke.

I was the chief cheerleader , tack cleaner, stall mucker,trailer packer and check writer for my son in his showing days. As time went by I became the caretaker for our retirees and settled in to a routine of rough boarding so I could manage every aspect of their care. It was my bridge from being out of a mother job to mothering someone else who didn’t mind. My son still works with horses, but life intruded on his ability to ride. 

We had lost his best friend and my heart horse to a barn accident and I was devastated. Eventually under the guise of it would be better to have someone looking out for Booman during the day- as the barn was far away from home- I finally decided to put to put him into full board. It turned out to be the best advice I could have gotten. 

We settled in at the barn, a little rocky at first, just getting used to what can and can’t be done for a big group of boarders. The staff was all wonderful and they didn’t mind me giving him the extras that he was used to. 

If he gets a clean stall, clean water, food and hay that’s fine with me- I don’t expect anyone to care for him the way I do, when they have so many others to be responsible for!

Life was moving along at at a leisurely summer pace when my stroke hit! August 2016 will go down in infamy as they say! I was in the hospital for two weeks and then on to rehab for a month. 

Where I had once considered myself a pillar of invincibility and strength, I was reduced to nothingness. I could only rely on the care of the staff and the loving relationship my horse and I had built over many years to sustain me. 

Not only was the staff taking exceptional care of him in my absence but they even came to visit me in the hospital!

I found solace in my family and the many stroke groups but nothing pulled me through like the love of my horse. 

It’s now almost two years ago and I’m still working and struggling in the trenches of stroke, but I have the love for my horse that keeps me going. 

While I don’t see him as much as I’d like, I know that he’s being cared for by a marvelous group. The therapists at rehab came to know how much he meant to me due to my incessant chatter and arranged a visit to the barn for me.  Even my sister who is not a horse person has stepped forward to pay his expenses for me because she knows what he means to me. 

Now I truly know the meaning of the Seabiscuit quote “ You don’t throw a whole life away, just cause he’s banged up a little” With his bad eyesight, arthritis, Cushing‘ s and “quirky personality “ it would be easy to give up on him-but I never have considered it. 

Now is the time for me to make horses a part of my life but not all of my life for the time being. I’m using this time to revel in my dogs and the home life I was always neglecting.

I’ll keep you posted!

Sharon

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