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Monday, January 24 2011

. . . there are no sick days, there is simply a shifting of priorities. Normally you are concerned with feeding everyone, turning everyone out, making sure no one gets eaten by the coyotes, etc. When you are sick, you are doing good to get everyone fed. Here's how it works:

Thursday:  wake up with wretched headache. Decide that it will go away. Pop some Advil and go to work. Buy Dayquil and Nyquil at convenience store on way home from work.  Guzzle Nyquil and go to bed.

Friday: Wake up to head that feels like a football on Superbowl Sunday. Take Dayquil. Go to work. Warn co-workers to stay away.  We are a small, specialized unit. Six people for the entire metroplex. With each cough I become more aware of the fact that I am infecting the entire unit. Assure myself that this is the worst day and tomorrow will be better.

Saturday:  I lied.  Tomorrow is not better.  Tomorrow is now Today, and it sucks.  Am coughing up a lung. Running a fever.  There is a growing mountain of Kleenex on the night stand (dog kennel beside the bed) Accept the fact that I am sick. Realize there is NO WAY I can go to work without infecting EVERYONE. Call in sick. Feed livestock. No new lambs. Turn sheep out. Go back to bed. Send Other Half to store for Musinex. Other Half returns with Musinex , Kleenex, and a stuffed animal. (Awwwwwww . . . ) Then he goes to work.

Throw all dogs outside. Plan to sleep all day. Dogs are barking at everything that moves. Turn on television to drown out barking dogs.  Dogs bark louder.  Dogs are fence-fighting with Mother's dog next door. Finally drag out of bed, fling open patio door and scream at top of lungs "Shut up! Shut up! Shut the *#@! up, you stupid dogs!"

(This is how the people across the road learn new words.)

Dogs are momentarily silent. I slam patio door and go back to bed. Turn on heating pad. Go to sleep. Other Half calls to make sure I haven't died. Stumble to kitchen to make a bowl of cereal. Collapse in cushy chair in front of television. Stare at television in a stupor. Cough through two hours of Sex In The City. Bring dogs in house. Go back to bed while watching television. Listen to Livestock Guardian Dog bark for FOUR SOLID HOURS!  If she is locked in barn, she cannot protect rams, but she will shut up.  By the end of the fourth hour, decide that I do not care if the rams are eaten by coyotes. I HAVE GOT TO GET SOME SLEEP! Lock Briar in barn.  Go back to bed. Forget to put Baby Border Collie Trace in his kennel.  Wake up to discover that he has pooped all over the hallway and has fingerpainted in it.  Clean up hallway. At least I cannot smell the poop that is smeared all over the tile.

While I am cleaning up hallway, he poops in living room.  Want to sit down and cry, but because of constant running nose, am so dehydrated that there are no tears. Throw Trace outside into kennel on back porch. Go back to bed. Finally get to sleep.  Other Half comes home from work and begins to gripe about poor little Trace, in the cold, on the back porch. I am not the picture of sympathy.  He's not sick. He chose to poop in the house. I roll over and go back to sleep.  Hear him yell at Trace for peeing in the living room.  Get some morbid sense of satisfaction out of that.  Go back to bed.

Sunday:  Wake up and throw dogs outside.  Stumble out to see if coyotes got rams.  Nope. Good. Go back to bed. Wake up to phone ringing. Roll over to see who would call at this gawdawful early time in the morning.  It is 11:30 am.  Uh oh! Dear Friend has new Anatolian Shepherd puppy and wants to come get the Boer goat does that I promised to loan her for his socialization training. Stumble out of bed. Feed Very Hungry Very Indignant Farm. Put dog collars on confused goats. Let sheep out.  Accidentally let Trace in with sheep while letting Briar in with sheep.  Call puppy. He ignores me to go gather sheep. Consider shooting myself and going back to bed. People on Nyquil should not match wits with Border Collie Puppies. Finally get puppy captured and thrust him back through fence. 

Dear Friend and Husband come for goats. Try not to cough on them. Put leashes on goats and lead them with a bucket of feed across pasture, down the fence line and into their new pasture. Baby Anatolian puppy says hello.  Awwwww . . . They are not impressed. Watch long enough to determine that goats will not hurt puppy and puppy will not hurt goats.  Go back to bed. Wake up hungry. Wake Other Half up and insist he make me pork chops. Wonder of wonders - he does.

Feel better with food in belly. Other Half demands to know why there are no vitamins in house.  I argue that I do not like to take pills and would rather get my vitamins in my food.  Other Half scoffs, "Chocolate?"  (That was mean.  You shouldn't be mean to sick people.)

Send Other Half to work. Water rams and ponies. Note that Little Red Monster Pony is down.  Colic?  Sleeping? Go check him out.  Definitely colic.  Severe abdominal pain.  Call Other Half.  Banamine is in the fridge. Call Dear Friend.  Need help giving Beast injection because he is a Half-Pint Monster. No answer.  Walk down road.  She is gone but Vet Husband is home.  Pennies from Heaven.  Walk back down with vet.  Try not to cough on him. He holds Ruffy while I give injection.  No rodeo.  (Monster does these things to make a liar out of me.)  Put ear on his gut to listen for gut sounds.  He tries to kick me in the face.  Ahhh.... there's the Monster!  In a feat of athletic prowess that surprises me, I catch his hoof in my hand as he attempts to smash my face.  Wow! Listen again while I hold his hoof in the air.  He tries to kick me again.   Hear no gut sounds. Get turkey baster and pump Little Monster full of Pepto Bismal. Now he has a reason to be angry.  His lips are pink.

Walk Devil Pony up and down roadway until banamine takes effect. When his gut finally relaxes, put him back out in paddock where he and other pony begin to play.  O.K.  Thank Vet profusely. Hope I have not infected him.  Go back to bed. Phone Other Half for update. He agrees to call every two hours to wake me up to check on Devil Pony. True to his word, he does.

Ruffy is not happy to see me. He makes it clear that unless I come bearing cookies instead of Pepto Bismal, I can take a hike. I remind him that if his hoof had connected with my head earlier, Other Half would have let a Certain Red Monster die of colic. He is not impressed. But he is alive, and that's all I care about, so I go back to bed. This is repeated every two hours until Other Half comes home from work.

Have six (6!!!!) uninterrupted hours of sleep! Border Collie #1 (Lily) wakes me up to inform me that everyone with 4 legs has to pee and they would very much like me to drag my butt out of bed to open the patio door for them. Stumble to the door.  It is pouring down raining. Why me, Lord? Dearly, dearly want to go back to bed, but must check on Monster Pony and Ewe-About-To-Pop. Ewe has no babies. Pony is standing in stall, forcing his companion to stand out in the rain. He is very much back to his normal self.

Stand in rain, looking at Grumpy Ungrateful Pony and wonder what people who live in subdivisions do when they get sick.


To read more about Ruffy:




Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
The whole thing sounds like a royal drag! Sucks being sick. Sucks worse when you still have things you have to take care of. I think only small children really get sick days. Or people in apartments with no animals. I hope you're on the mend soon!
Posted by CeeCee on 01/24/2011 - 07:51 PM
Wondered where you were. Hope you are much improved.Summers coming chin up. Our summer is so cool it feels like winter. 3 states are drowning under movable floods but all is well down here.
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust.) on 01/24/2011 - 08:07 PM
Ok, I won't whine the next time I get sick. I do live in the suburbs with one border collie and one indoor cat. Hope you feel better soon!
Posted by clairesmum on 01/24/2011 - 08:40 PM
Thank you! I do feel much better now! Still coughing up a lung, but I FEEL better. Now Other Half is getting sick . . . .
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 01/26/2011 - 09:56 PM

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