Thursday, November 29, 2012

No Sleep. Sick Sheep.

I couldn't sleep last night. Not more than a few moments in-between long stretches of anxiety. Sleep has been hard won lately. This time of year is stressful for me, The Holidays. And I was up worrying about things I can't change or control for most of the night. When the sun finally arrived I told Gibson we were going to take care of the animals and then try to catch a nap when everyone was content. That was the plan. But farm's have a way of not caring much for the farmer's plans.

I went outside with Gibson and noticed a Blackface ewe on the ground near the gate, looking at me with bright eyes but away from the rest of the flock up the hill. Sheep are not loners, and if one is by itself it is either bringing life into the world or preparing to leave life altogether. Any notion of sleep was lost, ran off with that broken leash we call Circumstance. I knew what I was going to have to do to treat the ewe and it required a trip into Greenwich to the refrigerated section at the Tractor Supply. The ewe was weakened with an infection, I have seen it twice before on this farm and managed to heal the last sheep showing the same signs. I give three 9ml shots of Pro Pen G (per my vet's instruction), amp up her selenium intake, give electrolytes to drinking water, and up the caloric intake of the flock. This treatment has never failed me when acted on at the first signs of struggle. I wanted this ewe back on her feet for the breeding season around Yule.

Something about the farm takes away any selfish desires you may have, or dare consider having like naps and the such. Instead of feeling deflated, I felt infused with purpose. My energy was back. There was no room for the luxury of anxiety, because I had a job to do and it could be a matter of life and death. I asked Gibson to push back the flock and let me focus on the little girl with the wobbly legs. I looked her over, checked her eyelid color, searching for signs of bloat or wounds. She was just weak. I think it is a vitamin/mineral deficiency, probably selenium. I am of course, not a vet, just a farmer writing in her journal. But my experience and diagnose felt correct.

I fed the flock and the rest of the animals and then headed inside for a shower. The farm supply store would not be open for another hour and a half. The hot water felt better than usual in the cold house. It helped get me back into the real world, out of that torpor of self-pity and fear. The night before was lost, ran off with Circumstance. Life is give and take around here. I would not have time to light a fire and enjoy a cuppa at home, not today, but no matter how tiring the day grew it would be easily set aside in the whitewash of genuine need. Soon as I looked more like a citizen than a meth addict, I jumped into the truck and headed to town to get the meds.

And of course, once the day gets rolling there is no point in slowing down. I know if I nap I'll just have another night without sleep. So I went about the farm doing chores, medicating the sheep, adding more minerals to their grain, and then going for a walk in the woods to see if any deer were active at the midday hour. They weren't.

I'm keeping an eye on the ewe, and moving her to shelter soon, on clean fresh bedding where no one can disturb her healing process.

I am starting to feel the day catch up with me now. I am feeling tired. But the next thing on my list before nightfall is to check the entire horse fence for working electricity and get that ewe in a safe place and some more meds in her. What I need is a massage, a hot tub, a green juice, and some sleep. I'll get those things by and by. But for the now, it's sheep medications and keeping the home fires burning. I'll update with more on the ewe as I learn more, but sending healing thoughts our way if you have them to spare.


Blogger Melanie J. said...

Consider it done. I know that strength of purpose, and toss some more your way to get you to nightfall. Been rereading Barnheart this week; good stuff! Hang in there, girl!

November 29, 2012 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Thinking of ewe and you. Sorry. I couldn't resist. Taking action is always better than standing by helplessly with no options open.

November 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger eidolons said...

Definitely sending my best healing thoughts to your poor ewe. And some restful night thoughts are heading your way as well.

November 29, 2012 at 4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sending some thoughts your way!

November 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Karen Talamantez said...

Healing thoughts on the way. Good Ewe. Get well.

November 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Prayers of healing to the sheep and a good night's rest to you:)

November 29, 2012 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Prayers of healing to the sheep and a good night's rest to you:)

November 29, 2012 at 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sending lots of healing wishes your ways!

November 29, 2012 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Paul Molnar said...

Positive energies and best wishes to you and the ewe!

November 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I am, and hoping all is much better. Do your anxious nights coincide with the full moon? I love the look of it, but can't sleep. If I don't have anything handy to obsessively worry about, I have nightmares. Good luck to you.

November 29, 2012 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Sending healing energy your way

November 29, 2012 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Sending healing energy your way

November 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

Sending thoughts-AND thirsty Thursday Woodchuck. ;)

November 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

Sending thoughts-and thirsty Thursday Woodchuck! ;)

November 29, 2012 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Christee said...

Healing happy thoughts on the way!

Just when I was having a crummy start to my day I read this post and seriously laughed out loud at the line of "looking more like a citizen than a meth addict"! Thanks, I needed that. LOL (still)
You crack me up Jenna!

November 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM  

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