I wish I could say I have some "happy" memories of my last birthday, but not really. I do recall that DH had a bad leg/foot injury from the LAST horse-ride he went on.
I love critters, I really do. My life attests to that, from the cat/dog rescues. But I also have my limits: I cannot handle a critter too large, too dangerous. Even the miniature horses I rescued were a bit too big for me to care for. Certainly, I learned that lesson again this past summer when I adopted a dog too large for me to take care of, and had to return it to the vet who raised it. (Otter is still there, perhaps happy to be in a familiar place.)
DH loved horses, perhaps to his own detriment. On his last horseback ride in the forest (with buddies) he had his first ever accident, and in some ways, it was a fatal one. I recall that after the oncologist told us he had leukemia, and said that "something" must have triggered it...I thought it was the heart medications, Plavix, Lipitor, etc. But I remember DH just looked at me, and said, "No, it was that." And he pointed at the spot on his leg where the horse had hurt him so badly.
Here's an excerpt from an entry about that last year:
DH's broken toes are healing well; however, he has a nasty-looking bruise/gash on his shin that happened at the same time. Apparently the horse's hoof hit DH's shin first, which is a more serious problem. The orthopedic doctor has him on the antibiotic cipro, and he's wearing a "boot" brace. But the shin wound keeps getting irritated, and is badly swollen, tender, sore, hot. He is following doctor's orders, but having some pain with that area. We just hope it heals, and the infection responds to the cipro.
He's beginning to have doubts about the whole horse thing, now that he realizes the complications that can arise from injuries and/or the medications. I wouldn't be as alarmed over him having minor accidents if he were not on so much heart medication that can truly cause complications. For example, the Plavix thins his blood so much that the least little bump produces a HUGE knot/bruise which takes days, if not weeks, to heal. IF he should ever get a head injury, we both fear that the bleeding around his brain would be a disaster!
Frankly, if it were me, I'd half the dosage of ALL the doctor has ordered. Once I was on extremely dangerous medication, and had I not cut it waaaay lower than the recommended dosage (eventually stopped taking it without the nephrologist's permission), I'm sure I'd be dead by now -- not from the kidney ailment I have, but from the "medication." But he has to make his own choices and decisions.
I don't know IF the horse injury triggered the leukemia; something did, but I still believe it was a combination of various things that happened and his medications. Plus, there was a definite "genetic" link to acute leukemia in his family -- unknown to us until he fell ill.
At any rate, a LOT of my "rationlizations" this year for his untimely death are similar to Joan Didion's book about her first year as a widow: The Year of Magical Thinking. We always want a reason why someone, especially a spouse, dies unexpectedly.
Perhaps though, as DH so often said, and as one of my former reporter friends said, "Shit happens." No more, no less than that. Who really knows? I don't. BUT I do know that DH DID think his leg injury contributed to his development of leukemia. He had so little time to consider his dire circumstances, and maybe that was for the best. He went to sleep after one chemo treatment, and just never woke up.
Today was a bitch! Family all worked to get mother's place cleared out, but still have to return on Monday and finish the task. Mother seems to be in that fog I was in, sort of between worlds. Of course, as I had figured, my sisters have realized they can't care for her, and are desperately looking into "assisted living" places...though until mother knows the exact amount of funds (SSI and VA benefits) she'll receive, there's no way to know if she can afford that. In the long run, she may end up in a nursing home.
I'm just rambling, thinking of the most horrible year of my life thus far. I can't wait for it be OVER, and hopefully start a new year that will be better.
Happy birthday...to myself. So far, a survivor!