Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 14, 2013

Hives, horses and two broken fingers make for a challenging two weeks

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — Has anyone else seemed to have a streak of bad luck? Something happens and then it seems like everything else goes down the drain too.

As many of you know from reading my last column, I struggled to find a job for awhile after moving to the area. I finally landed my awesome reporter job, but let me just tell you about this bad luck streak I was on about two weeks prior to starting at the Telegraph. I mentioned before I grew up riding horses and for anyone who grew up with horses and riding, knows you just don’t ever stop having a horse. It’s something in your blood.

While away at school I didn’t get to ride much and only when I would go home on occasional weekends did I get to see my horses. When we moved here, I couldn’t wait to bring my horse. My husband on the other hand could only see dollar signs piling up. He put it off as long as he could, but he finally gave into me bringing the horse to our house. Because any good man knows, “it’s our world ladies, they just live in it.”

The second week in August my mom brought the horse to our house. I was so excited, I envisioned myself going out in the mornings feeding my horse and coming home in the afternoons to ride, just like when I lived at home. I had gotten my hopes to high, because as Dean (my horses name) got used to his new field and home, he quickly discovered that there was no need for me to even bother him. He had so much grass, he didn’t even want to come up to eat.

Well that led to making him hard to catch when I wanted to ride. He would see me coming and he would take off.  I guess this was a combination of him being in a new pasture and environment, but it was very unusual for him to act this way.

Day after day I chased him around and around the field, until he was so out of breath he would let me catch him. You never let the horse win! Sometimes it would take five minutes and sometimes it would take 50 minutes, just depending on his mood that day I guess. I thought a grazing muzzle would help prevent him from eating too much grass and also make him hungry so he would come to me.

No ... he didn’t care. This went on for about two weeks, but I still loved having him and enjoyed looking out the window in the morning at him grazing peacefully.  That was the happy part of the story. So one evening after nagging my husband that I needed my tires rotated for months, he finally had time after dinner one evening to rotate them for me. Of course I had offered a hundred times to just go get them rotated, but no that would cost $25 and he could do it for free. Plus, that’s the “manly” thing to do right?

He comes stumbling in the house after about 30 minutes or so, holding his hand out to show me his two black and blue bloody fingers that he had somehow crushed rotating my tires. After making a trip to MedExpress to get them looked at and get a tetanus shot, they were broken.

Somehow, $25 was sounding better and better to him at that point after a large bill and painful fingers for days. It wasn’t even 24 hours later and I found myself landed in MedExpress. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. with what I thought were a couple bug bites, which I soon discovered were hives!

By 8 a.m. I was covered head to toe in hives, I was on fire, my fingers, hands, and feet where swollen so large, I couldn’t even bend them. Let’s make a long story short, I went to MedExpress, the ER and an allergist all in about 36 hours. I had eaten nothing different and besides basic allergies from dust and pollen season, I could think of nothing that would have done this to me. I had never had the hives before.

My husband was convinced I had an allergic reaction to my horse. I guess he figured that would be a good excuse to get rid of the horse. Little did he know that was not going to stop me from having a horse, even if that had been the problem, which I just convinced myself that it couldn’t have been. When the allergist told me these hives could last for up to six weeks, the look on my poor husbands face said it all. He had taken two days off work to stay with me. You know your bad off when your hard working husband who doesn’t miss a day of work even when he is sick, stays home to take care of you.

The allergist gave me some allergy medicine at his office and the hives disappeared and have not been back.  I went out to catch my horse a few days after I started feeling better. Something was off though and I knew right away he had colic. As I walked him I called every vet in the phone book, not knowing any vets in the area.

I found a vet who lived some distance away and suggested other vets in the area. No luck. It was Sunday night at 7 p.m. He was down for the count around 11 p.m. I finally found a vet to come out. He wouldn’t have made it through the night she told me. We put him down.

For days all I could think about is this bad luck streak my husband and I had been on. We were just married and this was suppose to be a happy time. Then I tell myself, we have only been married for three months, it is bound to be worse times than these. Because after all, God doesn’t give us anything he doesn’t think we can handle.  May your life be filled, as mine has been, with love and laughter, when things are rough all you need is ... chocolate.

Anne Elgin is a reporter for the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at