This fall has been rough on me. With the sinus infection-bronchitis-pansinusitis and now my doctor tells me that my chronic sinusitis, which honestly I’ve had for years, is all a part of my fibromyalgia getting worse, not to mention the change in my work schedule that’s made my health decline, I haven’t had as much horse snuggly time as I’ve wanted. Though the weather is gorgeous today and it’s supposed to be in the 60’s on Christmas, to compound the issues for most of the fall the weekends were cold and rainy, keeping me in doors.

The one thing I didn’t quite understand as I embarked on this chronic illness journey, is just how much free time I’d have with horses, or rather how little. Maybe it’s because when I worked from home taking care of mom I could slip outside for a horse hug every so often. A good cry when I needed it. It’s been so long since I’ve worked in the office five days a week that honestly, I’d forgotten. Add to that the health issues of pretty much being a medically untreated chronic pain patient (as I talk about in my memoir Chronically Disposable), and it’s been a rough haul.

I try not to beat myself up for this. My horses are cared for. Don’t get me wrong. They get fed twice a day, a big hay bale rolled in once a week with the help of my husband. He tops off their water while I’m at work. I look them over for injuries or the occasional burr or twig to come out of their manes. They’re pasture puffs and are turned out all the time so they get plenty of exercise (especially when the cows next door spook them. Scary, scary cows.). They’re not neglected by any stretch of the imagination. But my time and feeling well enough to stand out in the pasture with them, talking to them, scratching their necks or withers…that hasn’t been what I wanted.

And it hurts. Not just the overall body aches that I have with fibromyalgia. It hurts my heart, because while I know that I am a damn good horsey mom and anyone would tell you I take the best care of my horses, spoil them even, I feel as if this illness is holding me back. I’m doing something wrong. It’s me that’s the problem.

Just like that, I know my horses forgive too. Oh sure, they always would want more horse cookies and nose kisses. Okay, more cookies. Sometimes they could care less about the kisses. But I’d like to think that they miss me just as much as I miss them. And I hope that I can get back out there. After all, our glorious weather won’t last for long, and I want to take advantage of it as much as I can.

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