Sunday, March 14, 2010

Better living through chemistry

The past few hours & much of the last two days have been given over to Becca (horse).  We thought she was having a garden variety belly-ache: she was showing signs of early colic, trying to lie down etc.  But she was pooping & peeing, albeit in small quantities & after walking her about for much of the morning we called our large animal vet.  While I was leaving the voicemail message , Becca started spinning like a drunk who had been spun in circles & then told to walk a straight line.  In the course of that voicemail message I went from "when you get this, call me & I'll come pick-up some banamine" to "Oh my G*d, please call, please please please.  As soon as you can, please".

S**** did call & she came right out & she confirmed with a nod what we both had begun to suspect.  This was not colic, this was neurological.  We spent some time yesterday getting antibiotics into Becca, some banamine & tubing her to deliver DMSO straight to her belly.  We don't know yet how things are going to go for Becca.  Although she is looking better, this treatment is not something she can live on, long-term. In some ways we could not live with it long-term either; the smell of DMSO as it does its things is so overwhelmingly bad that I have to walk away & gag every few minutes I am with her.

This made me think about Janet Finch's acclaimed book White Oleander.  I read this book before my own DMSO experiences (yes, I have had more than one) & so I missed a critical flaw in the crime that starts the whole adventure.  The short version is a man is poisoned with oleander, the absorption of which is enhanced by DMSO.  It is the presence of the DMSO that is the difference in differnt degrees of guilt & premeditation.  When I read the book., this did not raise any flag at all.  Now, of course, I wonder how completely smell & taste impaired a person would have to be to ingest DMSO unknowingly. 

On another the other hand, one of A's collaborators is here now (they are preparing for a meeting later in the week) & he swears he cannot smell a thing.  He's an organic chemist.  I honestly do not remember what the murder victim did for a living.

1 comment:

  1. OMG... i get it on my skin and i can smell it coming out my mouth! i used to use all the time on leg injuries. and learned the hard way NOT to let it touch my skin. for days i would breathe out and inhale and smell it. JUST awful...

    How is becca doing ? I hope all is well. toxin you think?