Well Dear Readers, it’s been a while since my last outing but things have been manic here. I have to say it’s been a very bleak and stressful time with the Old Dears – ODs – both having falls, viral infections, paramedics arriving, paramedics leaving, in and out of hospital, more paramedics, district nurses, support nurses, doctors… you name them they have been here. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not the train coming, although I feel like I have been hit by one several times recently.

The hardest part has been finding care help. It’s mainly the mornings I could do with some more help with. Tessa has been coming in for a while now, but can’t do every morning. “Just phone an agency” I have heard said several times over the last few weeks. Well you try finding one that covers this area. Eleven so far called and not one has been interested. One who prides itself as “Caring for Exmoor”, told me as I did not live within the National Park boundary they weren’t interested. I know I live within the National Park, the bloody sign is just down the road. I have paid the Park’s planning department vast amounts of monies for various applications and enforcements, so I KNOW I live within a National Park. However, the light at the end of the tunnel has been with Karen, my livery and friend, and not the train that keeps hitting me. She has done care work before and announced she was thinking of going back to it. Well she has. She pays me money to keep her horse here, while ODs pay her to do the morning ‘get out of jail  bed’ shift. Bloody marvellous she is too. So between the equally marvellous Tessa and Karen I have 99% of mornings covered. I just cover the rest.
Now I have a problem… well lots of problems. In fact some people might just class me as one big problem. But the problem has been raising its ugly head more recently – I reckon partly to stress – and I am talking about my ankles. Yep, I seem to have the ability to ‘rick’ one’s ankles on a regular basis. I can do it in bare feet, low heels, high heels – not that I wear high ones much any more – walking boots, riding boots… you name it I can rick my ankle and hit the ground in spectacular style. I might end up looking like a beached whale as I try to get up, but the way down is done brilliantly. I have ruined so many pairs of trousers, jeans and jodhpurs over the years when I hit the ground and take out the knees. I can make any kid in the playground jealous of the scabs I have had on my knees. The trouble is it hurts. Something I rick my ankle, stumble, manage to keep upright and limp on. Other times I hit the ground and the pain is dreadful. So picture the scene, am on my own – both best mate and cousin away working – and the ODs have been a nightmare. I have cleaned up s**t, wiped bottoms, stripped beds more times than I care to mention. So I’m walking back across the yard when the ankle gives way and I go down. I take out both knees of my jeans, the elbow on my top and a chunk out of my hand. Even the dogs steer clear, knowing Mum is in trouble and losing it. I haven’t cried like that for years and I just couldn’t stop, the fear of not knowing what to do, the pain and frustration and the feeling of being so totally alone hit me and I blubbed and blubbed.
When things finally started to calm down and get sort of sorted, I managed to book a long overdue and much cancelled appointment with my wonderful Chiropractor Mr Steve Rule (South Street Chiropractic Clinic  01769 572912 – just a little plug).  Now Mr Rule is a wonderful man… well a wonderful chiropractician with a great sense of humour. I managed to stagger into reception, knees, back and shoulders killing me. All those old riding injuries coming back to haunt me. I’m in reception and make the big decision that it is best to stay stay upright leaning against the reception desk having a natter with Jeanette, rather than sitting on the nice comfy sofa. I was not sure I could get back off the nice comfy sofa even if I wanted to. In technical terms I had gone to South Molton Chiropractic Clinic – nothing better than a damn good plug –  to be pummelled, acupunctured and laser heat treated. However, it was more like I was punched, stabbed and burnt. I felt so bad at the end of it, I couldn’t get off the treatment couch. I managed to stagger back into reception and PAID, yes paid for the experience. Somehow I walked out and down the road back to Larry Landrover. Not only had that train hit me again, it ran over me, and then I had a bout in the ring with Mike Tyson. I sat in Larry and sat and sat as I just couldn’t drive. Mr Rule gave me strict instructions to get home and do nothing. Hum… well I had three horses to feed, who are in a far field, which meant hiking across two fields with three heavy buckets. To add insult to injury Mum got stuck on the toilet and Dad has the s**ts again. Both parents washed, changed, beds stripped, I finally got into bed at “God-knows-what-o’clock”.
Next morning I felt great, positively bloody marvellous I could have skipped the light fandango, run a marathon, performed the dance of the sugar plum fairy. Mr Rule had said it might be best to strap up my ankles for a few days to give the ligaments some support. He doesn’t like strapping up things(!) but in this case it would help. A crepe bandage was his suggestion. I search high and low and couldn’t find one anywhere in the house. However, and I am not sure about the colours, Vet wrap bandages have done the job superbly well…