Struggle Bus.

I’m going to try and not make this a “woe is me” post because it’s not intended to be, not really. And not a medical post, at least not entirely, because this is a horse blog. But, it all really relates, sort of? Horse stuff further down.

Harry Potter desk characters taking up space on my cluttered desk

It’s starts with me. I’m falling apart. I mean, I fall apart every year at this time through spring, but this year is worse. Chronic illnesses just suck. My migraines seem to be as bad as ever (though it seems I have a week reprieve thanks to my month migraine injection… used to help more, but now a decent week is all I get). That combined with fall just makes things hard. I had a meltdown at the neurologist the other week where he suggested we try more (additional) medication and I just said no. So, I’m going to try Botox instead starting in December assuming insurance doesn’t have anything to say about it. I’m sick of drugs (though I’ll continue my millions I already take).

I f your going to spend millions, spend it on Biscuit in a box

Then add in my asthma taking a random turn for the worse. I guess it’s been getting bad for a while and I’ve been ignoring it (lack of oxygen probably explains my exhaustion), but really not being able to breathe is no fun. Finding yourself in danger zones in breathing tests is scary too. So more medication/changed medication and 2x/day nebulizer treatments (since I have so much free time) and we’ll see? Drs office wanted a follow up Friday but I’m not missing jump crew for YEH at Fair Hill for anything so Monday.

Add in random new food allergies (suddenly developed a soy allergy to add to dairy and gluten), I’m falling apart.

First vendor table the other week

Then there is Batt. He’s doing OK-ish. He’d be great if he could have ventipulmin daily but that’s NOT in my budget. Daily I’d be going through probably $600 worth/month and I can’t do that. I can’t do $300 worth of ventipulmin a month. So, I use it to get rid of the worst attacks, then hope the steroids do their job. We’re trying to get him consistent on prednisalone every other day, but every time I get him there, he has another attack and we’re back to daily plus ventipulmin. And the more you use ventipulmin, the more you need.

I need to order more steroids today to add to my growing vet bill. The only thing I haven’t tried is albuterol syrup. It’s cheap so that’s the last thing on the list. He’s also getting 30 Zyrtec (thank you Costco generic)/day down from his loading dose of 40 which seem to help much more than when he was on the 20/day. He also gets Air Power each morning.

Love him, but sometimes…

Right now he’s OK, but this brings me to the question, when is enough enough? I’m not there now, but if I can’t control with steroids and the occasional ventipulmin, I might be there because financially, he’s sucking all my money. Chronic illnesses suck and it’s not like this one is getting better, but rather worse. It’s a ticking time bomb between attacks. Now, if we go 6 months between attacks, great, but 4-5 weeks, that’s what’s killing me!

Do you have a limit? If it was just Batt, it would be easier, but… I could funnel lesson money into his medication, but again, for how long? Over time he’s going to build resistance and need more and more and more… I’m asking questions now while I’m not facing a decision (just this month’s 1k vet bill for his medication and a couple other things). But it’s not sustainable if he’s not manageable.

Favorite times of the year!

Anyway, depressing post. Positive? Fair Hill jogs start today! Not sure I’ll make it for the jogs before I have to volunteer, but I’ll be there for dressage tomorrow, YEH Friday, cross country Saturday, and Stadium Sunday! Looking forward to an exhausting few days!

20 thoughts on “Struggle Bus.

  1. Oof. That’s a lot all at once. I suffer from migraines as well- not as severe as yours but I literally feel your pain.
    As for Batt, I’d say give yourself some sort of timeline? Where you can see if you’re seeing progress and still able to afford that level of care?
    I hope fair hill brings you some happiness and a moment or two away from all the stress and pain!

    • Thanks. I feel like I needed to write some of that out. I can to a point control him on medication, but I’m not sure I’m willing to bankrupt myself to do that. Maybe that’s wrong but… when I see him aspirating on food some days because he’s coughing so badly, I do wonder when enough is enough. I’m not anywhere near that point today (today’s coughing I believe had to do with not chewing his cookie), but it’s easier to think when I’m not in a panic situation. I can do the regular prednisalone (even though I’m allergic 😂) and occasional ventipulmin to get through bad spells. It’s more than that that I question…

      Thanks for listening!

  2. I hope the botox gives you some relief! I have it done for TMJ pain – the first round did amazing, and then it wore off and we did an other round a couple of weeks ago but I’m not getting quite the same response to it.
    As for Batt, it’s got to be hard figuring out what your limit is. We love them, but we can’t give up absolutely everything for them. But making the choice is hard. Friggen horses.

    • Thanks. I hope Botox does something. I mean I can function but I know not that well. Sometimes I read emails and my spelling is way off. Neurocognitively I need help! Lol

      The rest, with Batt, I just need a plan. Like now he’s pretty good, but it’s always something. Abscesses, colic, heaves. Seriously horse! If I could manage it without bankruptcy? Sure, it’s when stuff is costing a fortune and not working. For now, we keep chugging along and come up with some limits. It’s sticking to those limits…

      • I feel ya – when my botox wore off, I was in a cloud of pain and the things I did at work…yeesh lol.

        Fingers crossed that maybe things will start to even out with him instead of one thing after an other !

  3. Hang in there! I’m fighting a health issue currently and it’s hard. Add on that of your horse too and ugh. I can feel you drowning from here.

    I think it’s perfectly human and reasonable to have a limit in what you can do. You can’t help him if you can’t feed yourself because of his meds.

    • I mostly needed to get some of that out. He’s doing pretty ok now and maybe we’ll even get to ride again. But I do wonder when enough is enough. It’s pouring rain now and it hasn’t really rained in weeks so we’ll see how he reacts. Thanks for listening.

  4. I’m so sorry. I don’t get migraines like you do, but I have been having weird health issues too, so I feel you. And I totally get that about medication – for you and for Batt. It works until the body gets used to it, and then it doesn’t work so well anymore.
    I feel you about funneling money into Batt as well. His is a really hard case to know, but I agree with Nadia – maybe give yourself a timeline? I had to make that decision as well – try to get Amber’s foot better at least, and then go from there because I couldn’t afford more. It’s why I won’t do surgery again. I can’t put her – or myself, really – through that again. So maybe for you that timeline would work?
    And I LOVE that picture of Biscuit ❤ so adorable! I hope Fair Hill is exciting, and gives you a reprieve from all the stress ❤

    • You need a cat? Just kidding! I think…

      I definitely think Nadia is on point with either a timeline or a list of limits/benchmarks. If he chugs along with his max 1 prednisone/day and occasional ventipulmin? Great. But if that course of treatment stops working, I need to have max amount of what I’m willing to do. Frankly, there’s not much else besides another steroid like dex… he responds well to it, but long term dex isn’t great either. Lol. Stack steroids like I’m doing? Inhalers are out, that decision has already been made.

      • I like cats….LOL

        Yeah that’s just hard figuring out all those medications together. I’m crossing my fingers tho that you can get him consistent on 1 prednisone/day and occasional ventipulmin!

  5. I’m sorry you’ve got so much to deal with right now. Fingers crossed you’re feeling better soon, so all the extra stuff is a little easier to deal with. Re: the ventipulmin…Bridget needs it now and then, but I’ve been SO lucky that I moved her to a different barn and changed her hay and the symptoms lessened all on their own (knocking on wood like crazy right now). But when it was bad I did have to sit down and take a hard look at what I can afford to do vs quality of life. Fingers crossed for you once you get this latest attack under control you get a respite from it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to set limits…particularly since it is a progressive thing. I’m sorry, it sucks.

  6. Oi vey! That is A LOT. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with it all – especially at the same time.

    While I haven’t come to that point financially yet, I have thought about it on and off. I think if I was continuing to stress over my own well-being and making-ends-meet for my husband and I and our animals, I’d have to say enough. Still, it’s so hard to say what that looks like! Keep doing your best ❤

    • Thanks. I judge me more harshly than I judge others… it’s double standard because I can’t take my own advice? Lol. Thankfully for now he’s tolerating the every other day meds and I can manage that (I can even do daily pred but I don’t want him to need that). If we can even get back to some sort of trail wandering, that would be nice, because who knows how much longer he can manage that.

  7. I am sorry about this. I suffer from the occasional migraine and I cannot imagine functioning if they were chronic. I worry about this with Irish similar to you and Batt. When the vet starting talking about his heart i expected to hear ‘and here’s this super expensive drug that can help’. But she didn’t. Which I’m glad about because I don’t know what I’d do. I think that there’s a limit with finances. But also a limit in terms of keeping a creature (human or animal) going – I don’t always believe that we should just because we can.

    It’s easier for me to say though that treating him with that super expensive treatment is simply prolonging the inevitable and to what purpose? Because he’s not mine. I look at Irish and I always think ‘well he’s happy right now so we’re good’. I know what I will do in a crisis but not about the chipping away of health. There’s a lot to be said for a quiet and easy end. And whatever you choose we will not judge.

    Like you said, he’s not there now so it’s okay. (((hugs)) to you and your animals.

    • Exactly. When I hear him coughing, I think that just must be so uncomfortable… especially because I’m pretty sure he aspirates some food since the worst coughing is while eating—his favorite thing in the world. He sounded good this morning and he’s currently on the every other night pred so… no pred since Wednesday night. Fingers crossed he’s managed for now. Not forever, he’ll never be managed forever, but now is OK.

      Just one day at a time and as each incident gets longer, I have to decide how much I can afford and what I’m willing to put him through. I appreciate every one letting me talk this out. It’s only fitting I’m replying while using my nebulizer…

  8. late as usual (still playing catchup from my lost week away)! I hope the Botox helps you! I have so few headaches now that i moved down to TN BUT last week in NOLA i got one that almost made me vomit. And i had to work for 12 hours that day. UGH I mainlined coffee and sinus pills and finally got rid of it. But mine are minor compared to yours. UGH.

    Also re Batt sorry you are having so much issues with him (it is worse this year right). Do you think part of it is having the barn?? I mean was he this bad outdoors? I can’t remember? You are doing what you can to keep him comfy as possible and i think that is our end goal for all of us!!

    I hope he improves and gets off this cycle!! And more rain up there. UGH UGH UGH

    I am sorry to miss FHI this year. OUR STUPID CONFERENCE IS IN OCTOBER every year now. UGH

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