Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Gyspy and Alex victorious! What a thrill!

I took Gypsy to an event yesterday that was held by the local hunt club. It was fun putting pony on the trailer after a couple years off… fun to have the energy and wind to run around getting it all ready. Upon arriving to the grounds in the morning we went on a mock-hunt, which was fun, and you try and match the “ideal course time” laid by the hunt-master (but kept a secret from the entrants).  Gyspy went with her friend Maddy (as Beaumont is still recovering his strength).  In any event, it was a 5KM ride through managed fields and woods, with the rustic jumps here and there. We had a GREAT time! Gypsy didn’t cough once the entire day!

In the afternoon there were some horse show classes (competitions) over the course on site at the kennels. I walked the course never once feeling out of breath. I did not wilt in the heat. With the hounds singing in the background I rode into the show ring not knowing if I could get around an entire course of jumps: we’ve not done that since …. since years ago!  So, as we entered the ring the sun was shining hotly, but Gypsy had plenty of gumption because she likes jumping in an open field. We had to canter up onto a bank and then jump off it, go up and down hills, over rocks walls, in and out of a box, it was totally what I love to do (but rarely get a chance to).  In any event, coming into the last three jumps I was officially getting quite out of breath.  But I just stayed calm and determined because I just knew that we could do it: I got plenty experience pre-transplant at being out of breath, but I instinctively knew that at the end of it all I’d be able to catch my breath, because of my transplant. These lungs work! I may be diminished somewhat from a regular person (we’re talking used “auto-parts” here after all!)… and in my thirties and somewhat out of shape, but I DID IT! When we landed our last jump I let out a little whoop! WE HAD DONE IT!!!!!  We had completed a course in competition. Well.  Nobody could believe my pony was 32… I was very proud of us both and teared up a little leaving the ring.

You can imagine my glee when I was called in to collect a first place ribbon — again, on the verge of happy tears.  I remember before the transplant watching a video of a horse show thinking, “someday… maybe someday I’ll be able to do that again….” And that day, my friends, was yesterday! Grateful? You bet. To top it all off, I was on stage singing with our band by  7pm for the final show of our series at the Dakota tavern, which will now recess until the fall. Great day. Great night. Grateful.

Some of the obstacles on course.

Cripes… as if we wanted more drama.

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2010 at 5:07 am

Tom and Beaumont from this weekend at the hospital...

We do not welcome drama in our lives. No, in fact we’d be glad to pass a lazy afternoon under a tree with a book. Such is not our lot in life it would appear.

Saturday morning, the promise of a lovely restful long weekend dangling in front of Thomas like a sausage in front of a hungry dog, the telephone rang at breakfast.  Unusual. In short? Tom’s horse was sick.  With colic, the number one horse killer,  the name of which casts fear into the hearts of horse owners.  Colic is something horses are prone to in their stomachs because they are poorly designed: they are like twisty turny french horns inside, and remember that lovely grassy paddock I told you about? Well, it caused a nasty traffic jam inside of him.  He was rushed to hospital –yes,” horse hospital”, and I saw them shoving things in his nose, up his pooper, and even starting an i.v. on him attached to the LARGEST bags of saline solution I have EVER seen, hanging from a chandelier of saline bags 10 feet above his head in the rafters. It was dreadful seeing him in pain but he was in the best place with great 24 hour care.  The Doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of needing risky surgery.  LUCKILY, his insides seems to have flipped back into place on their own … after lots of care and tlc from the staff and Tom.  Happily Beamont arrived home  tonight after five days away. He’s still on careful watch, but it’s great to have him home. Gypsy walked right up to him and squealed something to the effect of, “where have you been? And why didn’t you write?!”

She and I had a delightful ride in the cooling winds of the evening around the orchard. Her just snorting strong: and lately after rides she’s taken to cooling off in front of the giant fan in the stable, her hair blowing in the wind like a music video tartlette!

The trumpet lessons have also given me pause for thought after I awoke with a very sore sternum after last weeks blowing fest.  Can it be that the bones STILL ache after being cracked a year and a half ago for surgery? Hope not. I have a date set for my first official trumpet lesson in hopes that if I learn the RIGHT way to make sounds that I wont hurt myself. My lung function goes up a little everytime I blow.

Looking forward to more summer swims (had my first on Sunday) and PRAYING FOR NO MORE DRAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Hearing about the death of someone who has had a transplant is always a terrible moment. Learning that for them their second chance is over is a moment teeming with emotion: denial, anger, frustration, concern for their loved ones… fear. It is a fact that transplant does not necessarily mean another “100, 000KMs on the odometer”.  As I’ve often said in my advocacy, when transplant works well it works beautifully. But, it’s not that simple, and as such it is a very complex thing that is done to and for the body.  There is always risk of complication, of rejection.  Just such news  reaches my ears now and then, and I am awash in the aforementioned emotions. My sincere condolences go out to the families of those who have felt a loss, are shaking their fists at the lung disease that took their loved one from them.  It is a sad fact that the need for organs vastly outweighs the availability of “replacement” organs. If we had lungs stocked on shelves like at the Lung Dept none of this would be an issue.  But it is. Please consider becoming an organ donor by signing your consent.  And, while we’re at it, live life fully. Live with hope and abundance. As a rule.

Henry chillin' in the back yard post operation.

On another track now, our dog Henry lies beside me as I write this sleeping the sleep of the well and truly stoned! He had a successful amputation of his bad toe, which had been growing a tumor.  At fourteen years of age, our boy has had yet another surgery, but he vet felt it necessary to improve Henry’s quality of life and said “this dog has lots left to give.”  I know Tom didn’t enter into the surgery without some serious thought, but so far the recovery is going well. One begins to wonder if Henry isn’t part cat. Peruse this list of things he’s done (and lived to tell the tale)

Jumped from a moving car

Been hit by a Car

Fallen through the ice (multiple times… he never learns! )

Caught in the reeds trying to hunt a beaver (nearly drowned)

Fought (and won!) with Raccoons (and squirrels aplenty)

Got in a bloody fight with a Chow (who he almost pulled the ear off)

Hung in a 40 foot deep crevasse by his collar (Yet again, Tom saved him)

Disappeared for a time until he was discovered trapped in a well-like snow-hole of his own invention

Reappeared after a lengthy absence foaming at the mouth from having chased a stag… and jumped off a ten foot drop into the river to cool off.

Fallen down innumerable stairs/embankments

Considers stinging wasps a tasty treat. (Once had his eyes swollen shut from mosquito bites on a camping trip)

Chased a coyote once. (I mean, the call of the wild or what?!)

Had all his teeth ripped out to prevent heart disease

Had vestibular disease (which presents like a stroke, but goes away)

Took on a Porcupine (Yikes!)

Sprayed by multiple skunks (not dangerous, just stinky)

There’s likely even more ways he’s challenged death! Aw, the little tyke is so darned cute. And so darned STONED!  His snoozing sounds are better than any dream machine on the market. Maybe we’ll make a digital recording of him sleeping: we could market it and make millions!!!!!!!!

Myself I am back in the saddle after a couple of weeks away. Busy with editing the record, dog, and stuff.  Can I just say? Gypsy is my best friend! When we go out to the woods together we are like one creature! We both read each others body language so well, communication barely needs words. The woods are green! They have exploded, and underneath me my precious pony strutting along, ears pricked forward.  Gypsy has been breathing much better since she began getting longer turnout (with her turnout buddy, Beaumont!) and a stall with a great big window in it: MUCH better for her breathing!

Here are the “kids” today in their paddock: Gypsy is wearing her fly mask (to keep the flies from her eyes) and her fly sheet (to keep the dust off of her, because dust and a transplant patient don’t mix)…. it doubles as fly protection. Anyhow, I took these photos today while I was busy living life with abundance (wink!) …. and then I came home and spent some time with this trumpet mouthpiece. Hopefully the trumpet will increase my lung function… perhaps I’ll get some lessons….

18 Month Assessment

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Hi gang,

Well, this week was my 18 month Assessment: that’s the year and half mark folks!  This is marked by lots of tests to bookmark where I am at present.  I had xray, CT, breathing tests, and most excitingly, my exercise test, on which I walked farther faster than even in November (right before I hurt my knee)! So, I’ve recovered my knee, AND improved my fitness, far out!  This makes up for the slight dip in lung function that we believe may be damage from all the infections I had since transplant.

To celebrate, on Tuesday I ate a giant breakfast, rode both the horses, sang a gig, and then did some swing dancing. YES!  Bronchoscopy (standard operating procedure at 18 Months) followed the next morning… I’m still awaiting results of pathology on that. Hopefully they find nothing scary, and hopefully those results come soon. It is a fact that people can feel fine –great in fact– and be rejecting on a cellular level. Bronch helps to ascertain this.

The new record is currently being mixed and mastered. I hope it will be released this summer (it will be ready sooner, but it’s sort of suicide to release a record in the summer months.)  Very exciting to hear the new lungs at work on record.

The horses remain a joy: we took a long ride out into the woods and saw the most amazing display of trilliums last week: hundreds and hundreds of them.  All a blessed gift!

and speaking of gifts, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!  (love you, Mom!)


Heard from transplant co-ordinater  this afternoon: NO REJECTION at this time. Also, nothing else growing!  To celebrate, some TRANSPLANT GREEN shoes for the summer: