Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Breathless

I know I write this often. I don't want to go to work,today. I had a hands-on hair cutting class both Sunday and Monday. It was actually very good. The stylist who taught the class was from the Redken team and was a lot of fun.He looked just like Elvis Costello and was incredibly enthusiastic in a soft spoken way. I actually felt relaxed around him and longed to work in a salon enviroment with stylists like him. It did help make me feel revitalized as a hair stylist so it was worth losing a weekend for. But~ I am still grumpy that my weekend was shot as far as any riding in this picture perfect weather.
I also had to have a stress test done yesterday.I had to laugh when my doctor told me I needed to get one after I was complaining of being short of breath and experiencing chest pain.I was blaming allergies. I need a test to tell me that I am stressed? C'mon now. I can tell you the answer to that.
Anyhoo, in spite of my many jokes this past year,apparently my heart is not broken after all. I just have what is commonly known as Mitral Valve Prolapse. It makes an irregular heartbeat. Since I have that, compounded by panic attacks...ummmm...my chest hurts. My own solution was to buy a more comfortable bra on my way home from the doctor.
Now my doctor will move me on to pulmonary tests. I wouldn't be shocked that I may have some form of asthma at this point in life. 23 years of breathing in chemicals and hairspray,plus living outside of Philly, could not have helped my lungs. Of eight levels on the treadmill I barely made it to the third. I was humiliated. I can lift a 50 pound bale of hay with one arm,ride a 1200 pound horse, but can barely make it up two flights of steps. The overly enthusiastic nurse was yelling, "C'mon! Even old ladies can get to level four!"
If I wasn't so out of breath I would of slugged her a good one. Instead I wished her a painful bunion on her feet that were encased in fuchsia colored Croc shoes. That was about all I could see while I was hyperventilating were those horrid Croc shoes.
I guess my trip to climb Mount Everest will have to wait...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Derailed

Another gap in the blogging. Life is coasting along. Some good,some bad. I just keep trying to focus on what I can control and release whatever I can't. Some days that is easier said than done.
The weather has finally changed to feel more like fall. Temps in the mid 70s during the day and cooler at night. I actually put a blanket on my bed and woke this morning with my cat Kenni under the covers. She is such a ham. Nothing beats waking up with a giggle and Kenni managed to make me do just that.
I decided to not ride this morning. I have no clean clothes for the rest of the week and my house has suffered from neglect with all of the nice weather keeping me at the barn. Of course I shouldn't be here at the computer, but...
I received several emails from Prick's sister. I always loved her and she has been amazingly supportive towards me since the whole ordeal with her brother began. She shared with me that her father wrote a letter to the judge asking for a thorough mental health evaluation along with Prick's original full sentence of two years. He disclosed some details that should help in my request for a stiffer sentence. I know how hard it is for them as family to see what has become of Prick. Recently I have encountered things in my own family that make me feel so helpless. No one wants to see their loved ones hurt. But, I finally realized that what is even worse is seeing their loved ones doing the hurting to others. I am just glad that his parents are finally at that point to say it is no longer acceptable to enable someone who is hurting other people and that protecting him is actually worse for him in the long run.
There still is no date set for the next hearing. I feel like so much of my life is just spent waiting. Waiting for court dates,waiting for test results, waiting for phone calls. Waiting for my life to get back on track. I have a feeling this train is never going to smoothly ride the rails ever again. The only time I feel a slightly smooth ride is when I am in the presence of the horses. *please God, don't let me jinx this*

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor of Love

Labor Day. The day that symbolizes the end of the season. In spite of the depression I had been feeling recently I finally managed to take one of my biggest steps forward in healing this year. It took me a couple weeks past the year mark of losing Gwen. The hardest part of this past year was the onset of panic attacks that come from nowhere. Even though I understood why I developed them after the assault, it didn't make it any easier that I had no way of predicting what would set them off. I could be in my car, standing in Target or the supermarket seemingly stress free and out of no where I felt like I would die in an instant. The worst for me were the ones I suffered in the barn or when I tried to ride again. I rode several clients or friends horses since I lost Gwen but I could not for the life of me get back out on the trail where there were open fields. I hyperventilated even thinking about it. I took to exercising their horses in the safety of the ring. I made excuses of time constraints and being too out of sorts to do much more.
This past weekend here in Pennsylvania is the exact reason why I love where I live. Crystal clear, blue skies, soft warm breezes and low humidity. The countryside is covered with tall cornfields, lush hay fields and wildflowers galore. Picture perfect in so many ways. I can't imagine a life where there are no change of seasons. As sad as I am that the days are shorter, the perfect oncoming fall weather makes my heart sing whenever I come upon another gorgeous view as I drive along the wooded hillsides and rolling open fields.
Then today a funny thing happened. Dru came up to the ring and opened the gate and told me I should take Veritas out on the trail. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn't pre-planned the worst case scenario in my mind before hand. Maybe it was the fact that the day felt so perfect or that in the ring, Veritas was so soft in my hands as we rode in perfect cadence.
Dru is the kind of friend who is my tough love. She knows when it is time to kick the bird out of the nest. Her timing was perfect. The other boarders must of all been out early in the day. There wasn't a soul around. It just felt right.
I let Veritas pick the pace and where he wanted to go which was a nice amble through the 150 acre field next door. The grass was tall and softly bending with the late afternoon breeze. Every time the breeze rolled up over a hill the smell was warm and sweet.It is the smell that makes you tingle because it makes you so happy. Tas would lift his nose up like a dog,sniffing it in and then releasing a big sigh. Every so often he would reach out and nibble a branch off a tree or squeak a stalk of grass up in to his mouth, never breaking stride in his slow, even walk. After a half hour of walking along the edge of the field it hit me why I love this horse so much. He is the equine version of me. He honest to God, loves the earth as much as I do.
After we got back to the barn and I turned him back out in to his pasture, Veritas hung at the gate with me for several minutes. He lowered his head so I could scratch his ears and nibbled my boot laces. The sun was starting to set so he was washed in that warm glow of the late sunshine that makes a horse's coat glisten. It wasn't until he walked away that I realised I was crying. For the first time in forever it didn't hurt. They just were tears.
For once I wasn't lamenting the end of summer. I know I just had a change of seasons and I am so grateful for the love of a great equine to help get me there.