Saturday, March 05, 2022

Team effort

A lot has happened in the last two weeks since Dad was released from hospital. A great team of healthcare professionals worked with him in the hospital and during his outpatient radiation treatments. Another great team of healthcare professionals are coming to his home, monitoring, supporting, and assigning him exercises to hopefully improve function. Mom and I are helping him throughout the day with companionship, meals, and physical assistance. My sister has helped from afar with support, research, and ordering needed items through her Amazon Prime account, and is driving down next weekend to spend a week here. A team of workmen have labored all this week remodeling the master bathroom to make it more usable and useful, and have taken care of some other needed repairs. My husband and son have held down the fort at home for much longer than they planned or imagined. And through it all, my dad has shown amazing grace.

The master bath remodel was needed because there was not an accessible shower in the house. Their small, square shower stall, directly behind me in the photos below, could not be used because of a floor leak; the tub they never used anyway, and the toilet was old, short, and round.

Now there is a low threshold shower with lots of grab bars in place of the tub so that Dad can get a shower with the assistance of aides, plus a better toilet and beautiful tile on walls and floor.

In addition to a bedside commode and wheelchair for Dad, I asked my sister to order a supply of fiber to keep me and my spindle busy during downtimes. (All arrived quickly; no supply chain issues here!) Then my sister wouldn't let me reimburse her, the sweet rascal.
At the top is the fiber I brought with me, all spun up in four turtles of singles. Below that are the ten different colors of dyed merino roving that came in my order, 20g of each. I'm almost done with that pale pastel lot at the bottom now.

When I woke up this morning, my silenced phone showed two missed calls, Rick at 1:00 a.m. and Brian at 1:05. My heart skipped a couple beats as I opened a text message sent at 1:48. It said, "Heat lamp on the lamb. Ewe number 48 had a single" along with this photo:
Right on schedule for her October 9 breeding date, Bette had lambed. I had so many questions, but knew Rick would be sleeping with the two-hour time difference. So I texted him, "Call me when you're awake." One minute later, he did!

It was not a short birth announcement. When Rick did chores late last night, he found mayhem in the Ram-ada Inn. Blaise was on her back like a turtle; Rick thought she was dead at first. He got her righted, wobbly but alive, then heard a lamb and saw Bette guarding it, all dried off, in the corner. He and Brian had to prepare a spot in the empty horse stall and move momma and baby into it. Brian said he witnessed it nursing, and they went to bed.

I had several questions, including the certainty of the mother since he said Blaise looked kind of skinny to him and Bette had no vaginal discharge. So Rick got up, said good-bye, and headed down to check things out more.

Rick found the lamb cold and weak, so he took it into the tack room where there's a heater, gave it sub-Q dextrose, milked the ewe, and started tube-feeding her colostrum every hour. Yes, it's a ewe lamb. 😊
Bette was distressed so Rick took her into the tackroom, too.

After several hours, little girl gained enough strength to stand when Rick lifted her up.

It was so hard to be so far away, wondering if the lamb would make it or not, powerless to help. I briefly contemplated finding an earlier flight home, but knew the crisis would likely be over one way or another no matter how quickly I could leave. And every day I can be here is helpful, if not essential, to Mom and Dad.

At 4:30, Rick called again. He had gone down to the barn to check on the pair and feed the lamb one more time before he had to leave on a veterinary emergency. When he got her up, she immediately went to nursing! Hallelujah, praise the Creator – and my dear husband's efforts. I am awaiting tonight's report, but I am much encouraged – encouraged enough to share the name for her that popped into my mind and wouldn't leave. Meet Bette's daughter Boop:

That's it for the latest news from Texas and . . .

P.S. for Tim at Oakdale Farm; I sure hope you read this! Your blog has been compromised (hacked?), along with your email. Your blog will load briefly, then switch to a page called "" And the emails I've tried to send to let you know bounce back as undeliverable.


Donna said...

So happy the lambs are doing OK. It is a team effort!

Michelle said...

It's just a single, Donna, but the final report last night was good!

Leigh said...

Miracle lamb! It's a relief and a joy, I know!

The bathroom remodel looks great; functional and attractive. So glad your dad is doing so well. And such great family support. That's so important.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Yay for a good momma and baby :-). And dad and daughters!

Goatldi said...

Great news!

Sounds as if things are going well bithwith your Dad and on the home front !

Michelle said...

I agree on all accounts, Leigh.

And husbands, Sara, as well you know!

Goatldi, I'm dwelling on the 'highlights' even though there are 'lowlights;' thankful for all that's going well.

Jeanne said...

Thank the Lord for a beautiful lamb! It sounds like Rick did a good job!

The bathroom looks great! So much easier to use. I hate having to "c!imb" into the tub to take a shower!

More later. Time to get ready for church.

Mama Pea said...

It takes a village! A village spread all across the country apparently. ;o) Through your words, Michelle, I could feel your yearning to be at home with your sheep and new little lamb. So glad you have both Rick and Brian there and that they knew what they're doing even though you are the official shepherdess! The situation with you mom and dad sounds as though it's progressing as well as possible, but wouldn't be without all the help, and most of all, with you being there.

P.S. TIM, I'm experiencing the same problem with your recent blog post as Michelle is. :o(

Retired Knitter said...

Wow. What an adventure!! SOOOOO glad your husband is a vet! SO GLAD!! Bette and Boop! I laughed right out loud! PERFECT!!

Retired Knitter said...

OH ... and your dad! So glad things are falling in place in that regard as well. Sorry - the news of your dad was certainly primary over the lamb, but I got so wrapped up in the story of the lamb! Having the right people around your dad will make these coming months comfortable for him. Very important.

Mokihana said...

The bathroom remodel is wonderful and so much better for your dad. I know you love to be home for lambing; it sounds like your "boys" are doing a wonderful job. Boop is a perfect name for that adorable lamb.

marlane said...

Thank goodness your husband is a veterinarian LOL

Michelle said...

Jeanne, the lamb definitely wouldn't have survived without Rick's intervention.

Mama Pea, we've all made it work so far, but there have been consequences at home because of me being here and I fear for the consequences here from me going home. It's hard....

I totally understand, Elaine. The lamb is a spot of joy in an otherwise terminal situation.

Yes, Mokihana, I really wish the ewes had ALL crossed their legs until I got home, but that was not to be.

Marlane, at the beginning of the sheep crisis, Rick sounded more like the clueless husband of a shepherdess, but he's gotten better. The problem is that very few vets get much experience with sheep medicine, because commercial producers don't invest in emergency care; it's not 'cost effective.'

Tim B. Inman said...

As usual, I'm late to the show - Again!

Sorry I missed this one. Here is a 'direct' link to the blog:

I think I have figured out the root of the troubles. My email account was too full, and a lot of stuff got bumped because of that. It is cleaned out now, so hopefully it will function again as intended. Sorry for the inconvenience. BTW, it seemed to affect Apple equipment more than others. Go figure?!