THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

8 January 2015

DECEMBER BITS AND PIECES AND A CATCH UP


Things are getting back to normal for which I'm extremely grateful. However, the lights above, which were impossible to photograph without a rare view of the author, were an impulse buy from Lidl back in November and were so successful, I've decided to make them a permanent feature. I love the shadows they throw and they light up a rather dark area of the room. 

Right, some catching up to do as I just haven't had the time to tell you what's been going on a) with Trigger and b) with Insulin pumps. 

You may recall that some people were coming to see Trigger a couple of weeks before Christmas, to see if he might be a suitable companion for their horse. They came, they liked him and we agreed he would go on a month's trial from the following Sunday....just before Christmas. I was a bit shocked and cried a lot all week. By Friday he had paid what was potentially his last visit to the Dartmoor Madams and, as I was leading him home, I got a text from both Anna (who had suggested Trigger to them), and the people who were meant to be coming to pick him up in two days. Their horse had pinworms and I needed to decide whether I still wanted him to go there. I had never heard of them. What could be the problem with a few worms? Just a simple wormer surely? I Googled them when I got home. Not good news. They are notoriously difficult to get rid of and the expense and work involved is huge. You have to wash down anywhere they might have rubbed their sore and incessantly itchy arses plus the itchy arses themselves every day and re-infestation is seemingly endless from the forums I've been on. So, he didn't go. However, once they have eradicated them, he will go but it can take months. I just can't risk him going, getting them and then it not working out and him coming back and having to be isolated from the Madams. They need to get a couple of sheep to eat up those worm eggs, kill them off (the eggs) and stop the cycle. Most of my farming friends who have horses don't bother to worm at all because their stock graze on the same land.

The Insulin pump is not looking good either. I went to my appointment in Exeter before Christmas and spent a while with the specialist who clearly wasn't listening to anything I was saying and told me I couldn't get a pump for six months and then only if I fitted the required criteria. I asked if I could wear a continuous glucose monitoring sensor for a few days to try and show them (for the third time) that I have what he said doesn't exist, which is night time dips in blood sugar followed by a very steep rise, resulting in very high readings when I get up which CANNOT be explained by its being high all night or I would be up for a wee several times. I never get up for a wee. He then showed me a system on his computer screen that you can purchase yourself but which isn't available on the NHS. It costs £57.95 ($87.64) every two weeks to run which I cannot afford. I walked out of the appointment depressed. I've been having this problem at night for 15 years and no one has ever been able to sort it out. I got a letter a few days ago saying that apparently there are no such continuous monitoring things available any more at the hospital. They were donated in the past but there are now none. Even more depressed. I looked at the thing he'd said cost the money. It's a revelation and I had to do what I'd been trying to avoid. Ask my mum for help. She was delighted to do so but I still feel bad about it. The ironic thing about this brilliant system is that it doesn't cost significantly more than the endless finger pricking test strips I use at least six times a day. Anyway, I went online to try and order one, only to find that the demand has been so huge that their factory can't cope and I can't have one until they catch up. It could be months. Damn. 

I'll keep you posted on both situations but for now, here are some images from the last month, starting with these fabulous Red Deer I spotted early one morning, on their way between two areas of forest. I was beside myself.





Stonechats are still around............or not:


A sorry looking Fieldfare:


Ying and Yang grooming:


Early morning shenanigans:


Long view over towards Hound Tor and Haytor:


Shadow of Kestor in the frosty dawn sun:


Dawn over Thornworthy Tor:


I came across this beautiful filly yesterday. She came over and nuzzled my hand and I was in love:




I took my neighbours' dogs out for walks when they were away. Their Jack Russel is very funny:


Lady Jane will miss Trigger if he goes:


Snippet in a hail storm. We hid behind this wall in the worst of it:


Evening sun:


King Snippet:


River dogs:



Winter sun:



I thought this lichen looked like a Japanese stylised tree:


So I'll leave you now having grumped about NHS funding and Pinworm infestations. Welcome to two new followers, Janine and someone I can't find. The number has gone up by two but I can't see the second one. Hello whoever you are. So, until next time, here are those boys, one more focused than the other. 



50 comments:

  1. Such incredible pictures! Sorry you are having other issues :-/.

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    1. People have a lot worse so I guess i should be grateful really!

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  2. Well, that's bummer about the insulin pump! The fieldfare doesn't look that impressed with the news either.
    Jane x

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    1. He doesn't does he? Not my finest ornithological shot. x

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  3. Hello Em! Another enjoyable series of photos!! I'm sorry that Trigger wasn't able to go to his new home, but I know you are grateful that they told you about the worms -- I've heard of them, but had no idea they could be so tenacious. And I really do hope you find the help and the answers for your night-time glucose issues. A friend of mine has a pump, and I know what a difference it can make, Take care and know I'm sending positive vibes for you to keep that determination to find a doctor who will listen to you!!

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    1. Everyone says the same about pumps and it's so shortsighted of the NHS not to prescribe them as a matter of course to prevent later problems. x

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  4. Ah, these photos are like a breath of fresh air. Just lovely Em! So sorry about all the problems you've had and hope they sort themselves out okay. Hang in there :) Sending a lot of sympathy.

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    1. Thanks Denise....I'm feeling it coming over the pond. x

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  5. So frustrating on both fronts!! At least the situation with the worms can hopefully be easily resolved and you found out before Trigger went for a visit. Re the pump, I assume that your GP is "on side" as they arranged the consultant appointment so can you not get them to lobby on your behalf? I guess that you are doing/have done that already though as I know you are tenacious about these things with doctors and so on. It is so frustrating to get this news. I hope that you will keep progressing it as you are able to do and that you will eventually get somewhere with this. Don't let them knock you back forever at the first hurdle. Thinking of you and sending all best wishes that it will ALL work out! xx

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    1. My GP is absolutely on side so I need ot talk to her about it once I've seen the diabetes clinic for the second time. I'm scouring my email every day in the hope the glucose monitoring people get their proverbial arses in gear at their factory! Thanks for your good wishes Amy - they're much appreciated. xx

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  6. I'm enjoying the new photos dear Emm - the ponies are amazing as are the red deer - know you must have been thrilled to catch them in your lens. Glad Trigger will not exposed to the nasty worms.

    I recall many issues with NHS when trying to get assistance for my aging, and later ill, parents. My dad died of pancreatic cancer in '77 - I went home hoping for help and got into several arguments with doctors at Torbay Hospital. Bottom line - I was told something to this effect - "You are not in America here, things are done differently". You bet they were, and so my daddy died in terrible pain.
    I climbed into a freezing cold, early morning train at Newton Abbot station, headed back to Heathrow, knowing that I'd probably go through similar scenarios with physicians when my dear mother's turn came…….and I certainly did!

    I pray you will get help for your illness Emm, sooner rather than later. It is very sad that you are having to go through all this. Whatever you do, don't give up, bother the heck out of them - I have a feeling you are a strong woman and will do just that. Brava!!!!

    My best wishes plus a hug - Mary

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    1. So sad you had such miserable experiences with the NHS when your parents were so very ill.
      However, in the US it may well have been even worse - and have cost you every penny you/they had. I grew up in England and now live in NY. There is no national health here and the rich buy good care ......and the very poor get Medicaid.... and the middle class well....they just pay...

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    2. Hi Mary - I'm so sorry about your parents too. Torbay hospital is indeed to be avoided at all costs still. I had a frozen shoulder and cancelled my scheduled operation at Torbay at the last minute and went to Exeter instead where they did a different and less brutal procedure which worked brilliantly. I know Newton Abbot station and can imagine you there very well in the freezing cold. My heart goes out to you all these years later. Elizabeth is right too of course and in my situation work-wise, I would be even worse off in the States! Hugs to you too. x

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  7. Hi Em Well the new year didn't exactly start too good for you but you can be grateful that they told you about the worms and also be grateful that your Mum has offered to help with this equipment. It must be very frustrating but you have had this for 15 years, another few months won't make much of a difference. Now all these photographs are like a breathe of spring to the soul. I do hope things are sorted out sooner rather than later.

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    1. Thanks Margaret and you're right about waiting a few more months. It's always more difficult when you know there may be an end in sight!

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  8. Life sucks sometimes. Hope you'll find the solution with insulin pump. Good you found out abouth the worms and Trigger won't be exposes to these nasty worms.
    Great you spotted the Deer. The Ponys, lovely. And the dogs seem to have a great time. As Always I love the serounding you live in and your captures of it give such a good impression. Thank you Em.

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    1. The deer were so exciting, particularly being of the red variety. We mostly see Roe deer but I've always known the Red deer were out there somewhere!

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  9. So sorry for you on the health front. Horrid when doctors won't listen, or act as if you are an idiot...
    do hope you finally get an insulin pump. I gather from friends that they really are good.
    Health care in the US is unspeakably awful and horrendously expensive.
    Pinworms sound vile.
    So glad your photos show an amazingly free and open world....and very beautifully too.
    Snowing in New York. Cheers!

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    1. I fancy some snow. Easy to say when we don't have it! I would be stuffed in the US as you say. My half brother, who also has type 1 diabetes, lives in NYC but has a job with health insurance and has a pump paid for by them. It makes sense as it can save so much money on complications in the future. Keep warm over there!

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  10. I am pleased to hear that for at least part of your day you can take your mind off your problems by taking your fabulous photographs. I sometimes think specialists have no idea how much heartache they can cause by their behaviour - some are so wonderful but by no means all. Hope things go well as the new year progresses.

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    1. You're so right about their behaviour sometimes Pat; I know a lot of it is about money but their arrogance and disinterest is avoidable surely?

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  11. Most of us are very fortunate that we don't have to suffer the problems you get Em, hope it works out OK anyway. Great shot of King Snippet.
    Oh! and more shots of the Author please.{:))

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    1. I prefer King Snippet to anything of the author Roy!

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  12. It seems to be going from bad to worse in the NHS, I worry for all of our futures. The deer are wonderful, what a treat to see those.

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    1. It was a treat Jess. I do worry as I get older that the care will just not be available. Scary!

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  13. Hi Em, thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! Your photos of Dartmoor are amazing. I really regret that we didn't spent more time in the moor, when we were in Devon last year for vacation. I especially love the one of the Ying and Yang ponies and the ones of your dogs. It is so wonderful that you can let your dogs just ran free in the moor. They must have the time of their life each time they are out there with you. Talking about dogs I better go with our new pooch for his night walk...
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. How exciting having a new pooch! I love the ying and yang ponies too Christina.

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  14. How depressing! "Round and round the mulberry bush" comes to mind! Thank goodness they discovered the pinworm problem before Trigger got there - our animals are so dependent upon our care, aren't they - and that care isn't cheap, either financially or emotionally. Let's hope 2015 sees both those issues resolved. Meanwhile, thank you for your lovely photos - I loved that friendly filly too. Great winter woolies she's wearing!

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    1. Isn't she gorgeous? I need to think of a suitable name. Daphne perhaps? A bit Scooby Doo!

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  15. God, what a pain :o) Hope the pump sorts itself out before too long. Lovely photos- I see Snip's coat has grown since his last trim. T and P are due a hair cut this afternoon. Can I email you some more pics of Pop and you let me know if you think they are any good re drawing her? I'm wondering if a face pic might work better with her xx

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    1. I've emailed you.......

      He's SO shaggy now. Do you know he's never had a bath in five and a half years? Self cleansing.....he gets rained on a lot! Jack on the other hand had YET ANOTHER BLOODY BATH today due to rolling in you know what. Sigh. xx

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  16. So sorry to hear about all the problems - hope you get the pump situation sorted soon and at least they found the pinworm before Trigger joined them. Beautiful photos as always of the Moor, ponies and dogs :) Loved the deer photos.

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    1. I think seeing those deer might have been a one off so I'm treasuring the memory!

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  17. Great images of your part of the world Em. I love ying and yang, king Snippet and the deer. I love seeing deer, such beautiful animals. Sorry to hear about the lack of support for your insulin pump, and your troubles getting Trigger a new home, so upsetting after you were ready and prepared emotionally.

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    1. I emailed them today to find out how it's going. It must be so demoralising getting it for the second time. So much work getting rid of it.

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  18. Insulin pumps are a life altering, amazing thing for those who suffer diabetes. The son of a friend of mine got one about 5-6 years ago and basically gave him the confidence to do things that would never have been possible without it. I wish you all the best wishes and hope that yours will be forthcoming. Such a great creative spirit should not be diminished by the worry and uncertainty you have experienced. All best wishes and prayers going your way from Nova Scotia! Take care Em.

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    1. I have everything crossed that I'll get one eventually and your good wishes from Nova Scotia are much appreciated - thanks Mark.

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  19. Your photos as always are stunning and make me long for Dartmoor even though it is just as but differently beautiful where I live. Sorry to hear about the trials of the insulin pump but I am glad your mother was able to help. You will get there eventually, I am sure!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth. Your hills are far more rolling and lovely than our bleak ones but I do love the bleakness so much. It takes my breath away sometimes when I stand and stare.

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  20. Wow, I can't say more about your NHS that has been said except it is worst here in the US. (Obama care is not working at all)
    I am just amazed by the Red Deer.
    As always your photos are wonderful.
    Love the lights !

    cheers, parsnip

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  21. Pinworms...not good! Glad you found out before Trigger went there!

    So sorry about all your problems with the insulin pump. I know it would be a great help for you. My best friend got one 2 months ago and it has made a big difference for her. She is on medicare and had no problem getting it. Our medical situation is different here and Obama Care has been a big help for the many that couldn't afford insurance before. I hope the other program will help convince that doctor that you really do need the pump. Sometimes doctors just don't listen to us and it infuriates me no end.

    So happy to see the Red Deer! Never seen them before!

    Loved Yin and Yang! Would be a great drawing. I can see why you love that filly! She is gorgeous.

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    1. You have to fit certain criteria to become eligible for a pump. They're not sure that I fit them yet but it's all so short sighted. As I said to Elizabeth further back, my half brother lives in NYC and was given a pump as soon as he moved there from the UK. It changed his life.

      I will put Ying and Yang in my 'drawing possibilities' folder and keep you posted!

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  22. Good to catch up with you. Sorry about the pinworms. Even sorrier about the problems over monitoring your insulin levels. I hope that the factory soon catch up with production levels (Christmas always seems to put a block on all sensible things).

    What lovely photos, and I can see why you fell for that blue dun filly - she's got very Highland colouring especially with the dorsal list.

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    1. I've never seen a properly dun pony around this part of the moor and only a couple elsewhere. Such a beautiful colour. One for the grandchildren BB?

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  23. It's definitely best to avoid Pinworm!! not easy to clear up either, well it takes management, if these people don't deal with it correctly it will just recycle. Just as well you knew before Trigger went to them!

    Sorry you haven't had success with the pump, hope something helps soon.

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    1. They're very responsible so I'm sure they will get on top of it. I just don't envy them!

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  24. I can feel the wind! Happy New Year.

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    1. My face is bright red when I get in!

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  25. i'm sorry to hear about the horse deal falling through initially. but, i'm hopeful after the worms are gone that you can resume your deal. but, your insulin pump is a bit worrying. i hope you can get the pump soon so you'll start feeling better. nothing i hate more than a doctor not listening to you. hopefully you'll find a doctor that's a better fit for you and will take your health a bit more seriously.

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Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It's great to read them and I will always try to reply.