I've added another guest to the pasture this week, a mare that was injured after getting her hind legs torn up in barbed wire. The people who were boarding her didn't even notice she was injured for several days, so she was in some need of doctoring and pain management. Fortunately her injuries are not going to leave her permanently lame.
Part of doctoring her for the moment involves hosing down her legs until the scabs are softened and then scrubbing them off with a bristle brush so that I can get antibacterial agents into the wounds themselves. The first time we treated her there were some pretty big scabs that had to come off. Just scrubbing wasn't working and I had to grab them and pull them off.
Its one thing to grab your kid and pull off a bandage or a scab. You know they're going to yelp, you know its going to hurt, but you have to do it fast and all at once. And your child is (hopefully) smaller than you are and so you're not taking your life in your hands.
Its another thing entirely to put yourself within striking distance of a 1200 pound animal and do something that you absolutely know is going to hurt like hell.
I've been fortunate in my years not to have many injured horses that needed doctoring. Only twice have I ever dealt with having a horse stitched up. Both of those times I just held my horse and let the vet do their job, then made sure I kept the stitches clean until they could come out. My friend Michelle, on the other hand, has dealt with a sizable herd for a long time and is no stranger to doctoring horses. She says that its the uncanniest thing sometimes, even horses you don't think will be able to tolerate what you need to do will actually be very quiet and patient when you have to do something that hurts. Perhaps they realize that they need your help to get better, and so they stand still and let you work.
For whatever reason, this lovely mare allowed me to grab hold and yank some fairly large scabs from her hocks without kicking, rearing, biting or bolting. She was an angel, and has been every day since as I clean and reopen her scabs and treat them with Betadine and a gel spray.
I guess she knows the truth - the only way to take off a scab is to stand still and yank it all right at once.
When SG and I got married its not like I was unaware of the fact that his current career means he is gone for weeks at a time. I'm still getting used to it, though. I liked having him home, having two of us doing the heavy lifting together. Enjoying each other's company, having him there to come home to at night, to kiss goodbye in the mornings. With him gone life seems emptier, less meaningful. Far too stressful. The part of me that is logical acknowledges fully the need for paying work in a down economy. My inner drama queen, however, is less inclined to care about logic. She's far more concerned with her creature comforts. She wants her man home, and NOW. She puts up such a fuss and my inner Spockette has found herself drowned out by the brouhaha.
A couple of weeks ago, there was a murmur of further jobs on the road. Maybe months worth. My inner drama queen blew up like a unicorn full of glitter with a hand grenade shoved up its ass. Then she stuck her fingers in her ears.
Its been a merry spectacle, let me tell you. Tears, emotionally charged text messages. Hangups. And really, nothing had been decided yet.
Fortunately, my inner Spockette and I tag-teamed her, stuffed a handkerchief in her mouth, duct taped it in place and shuttled her off to the back of the attic for the time being. When SG called, inner Spockette and I had it all under control. He ripped the scab off - he will be going directly to North Carolina from Arizon with no time for a visit home, and he will be gone until the end of May. Inner drama queen made a barely recognizable muffled yelp and hasn't been heard from for a couple of days.
If you try to pull the scab off a little bit at a time it takes forever. Every little tug hurts just as bad as the one before it and the one after it. All you have accomplished in the end is to make your pain last longer. Even horses know this. Hopefully my inner drama queen has figured it out as well.