What’s going on with Nay Nay?

Ah the post I didn’t really want to write and the post that is…lacking information?

The short story is Nay Nay just isn’t… quite right. Something is off and I just can’t quite pinpoint what’s going on.

I woke him up from his nap the other day…

A few weeks ago, he started leaving behind his grain…sometimes. This isn’t exactly weird. He’s not the best eater and hasn’t ever been, but it’s something I keep an eye on. Typically he eats some breakfast and then finishes his breakfast at dinner. But some mornings he just eats his treats and doesn’t even touch anything else. Most of the time he eats everything overnight, but once every 5/6 days, he doesn’t clean everything up.

Then he started leaving behind his alfalfa. Like not even touching his hay bag of alfalfa. Before this he’d always eat his prized alfalfa. He has a feeder that I ended up taking the lid off of because his hay eating habits were…bad. But then they got worse. So we switched from one bag (standard slow feed bag to a general bag with a huge opening) to another and he ate alfalfa again. Part of me wrote this off as it coincided with a new bale, but then again, nothing is that simple. Then last week, he stopped his alfalfa again. I started tossing it on the rest of his hay. Some days he’d eat it, sometime not.

“Mom! I’m sleeping!”

Outside he just appears… off. He’s been spooking and not himself. Keep in mind, throughout all of this, I’ve also been trying to get healthy again as I was really, really sick. So, diagnostics have been delayed. I plan to get blood pulled soon just to see. But he’s also the same sweet horse?

I’ve added lunch any day I’m home. Lunch is a fibre beet mash with treats (yes, we just add carrots, cookies, and candy to everything) and grain. I thought I’d see if he’d eat it even though fibre beet is $$$$$$. Nay HATES soaked feed. Interestingly enough, he LOVES this stuff. I don’t want to add it to his breakfast/dinner as I’m pretty sure he’ll refuse to eat it in his feed bucket because my luck, but as a supplement, it’s been great. He definitely marches to fence when he sees me walk outside during the day looking for his mash. So, that’s one positive.

Still the sweetest face

That also made me wonder if he had a tooth bothering him. So I scheduled the dentist as Subi was due anyway and she came out yesterday. She did a quick check of Jiminy (he’s good) and a thorough exam for Nay (so thankful for an awesome dentist who will check my horses! And did a super thorough exam when she heard my concerns). That said, she said his teeth were fine AND no evidence of foxtail either (so I have nice hay) so his issues aren’t teeth related. But, while we were waiting for Subi to get sleepy (his dorm gel was taking a touch longer than I thought), we all observed him.

He spent a lot of time snacking on his chopped TC baled alfalfa and definitely preferred that over anything else (he’s also been picking at ultra pricey timothy). Anyway, everyone agreed it’s likely gut related. I ordered him 40 days of omeprazole/ulcergard, but I’m waiting for it to come in since online pricing was cheaper than local, but I need to wait. I could scope, but he gets so stressed with the scoping/food pulling that I’d rather wait if I can…

If I treat plus pull blood, maybe I’ll have a better idea what’s going on? I’m not sure what brought all of this on either. Nay hates winter and he’s been out of work… Stressing plus change of routine? I have no idea.

The one with the steroids…

I’m completely without horse content right now so instead the medical chronicles of… me continue.

But at least Nay Nay is cute?

This is the story of my unintentional steroid withdrawal.

Where we last left off I was in the midst of a major asthma flare and awaiting a consult with a pulmonologist. I’m still waiting. I go later this month. But, I saw my PCP and got some new medication and more dexamethasone and started to breathe again. The dexamethasone has some crazy taper (because as most of you know you can’t just stop steroids) and I wrote it out of my refrigerator and checked it off every day after I took my morning and evening dose.

All was well.

Until it wasn’t.

You see, the steroid taper took in account that I was on steroids for 14 days. This was a high dose and tapered me down to what was acceptable to cut off cold turkey after 14 days. It did NOT account for the fact that I had already been on steroids for 14 days prior… Yeah.

Subi had to get his neck cover customized because Nay Nay likes to undo velcro…

So, when I took my last dose (I was so freaking excited because I can only take steroids for so long before my body has enough), I started to feel really, really, really off. In fact, it was really, really bad.

I initially blamed the brain fog on the fact that I hadn’t been sleeping. I mean, brain fog comes with lack of sleep, right? But, then it got worse.

On Tuesday, I tried to write an email and my first attempt was… not necessarily in English. I mean they were words, but they meant nothing. I took me over an hour to resort them until I could create a paragraph that I could actually send to colleagues. And things went downhill from there. I sat at my desk crying while I tried to work and accomplished very little. It was just… hard.

Then I woke up with the most horrific body aches I have ever experienced. Ibuprofen didn’t touch them. My skin hurt. My hands hurt. Walking hurt. Moving hurt. Thinking hurt. My clothing hurt. Everything hurt. I ended up telling my boss I needed the rest of the week off. I covered my chat shift until 10am and then logged off for the week which was the best thing I could have done for myself.

During those 2 hours I worked, I basically consulted Dr. Google (yes, I know) and some of my actual medical resources and realized I was going through steroid withdrawal. While I suspected it the day before, the body aches confirmed it. I spent all of Wednesday trying to push through it cold turkey. And then I nearly passed out. Yeah. Withdrawal is scary as all hell.

Come Thursday a decision was made to reintroduce steroids at a very low dose.

Some days the boys meet me at the gate. Other days they make me walk to the shed and retrieve them… Yesterday? I had to walk to them.

So, yeah. I actually wrote most of this Friday (?) night? And then started to feel terrible again and put down my computer until today, Monday. I’m actually doing pretty well now, but brain fog is still a thing. I am working again, but stuff takes a lot longer than it should!

Anyway, all I can say is maybe one winter I’ll post actual horse content vs my struggling with illness! And just think, what interesting side effects do animals have after being on medication? If only they could talk…