My Story: Jazmin

My Story: Jazmin

Last month we had to “put down” one of our horses that we have owned for 9 years due to a progressive, painful illness.  It was humane and it was time.



Jazmin loved apples and the day before she passed I shared one with her.  Jazz would take a bite and then let me take one.  Sometimes we would take one together, and my lips touched her soft muzzle.

Horse people like me say that “sharing an apple with your horse is like breaking bread with Jesus” because that is how strong the bond is between us.

After I hand-fed her most of the apple, I flung my arms around her neck for our last hug while I wept into her curly, flowing mane until the tears rolled down onto my bare legs.  It hurt so badly to let her go.

As I slowly stumbled toward the barn door, I could only look back at her once to see her watching me the whole way.

“I love you, Jazz” were the last words I whispered to her.

Jazmin winterWe buried her right next to the front corner of the barn, so that I can look out of my bedroom window to see the apple tree we will plant on her grave.  Then someday when the blossoms produce the juicy red fruit that Jazz loved so much, I’ll sit down and share an apple again with my Jazmin, the strong-hearted, sassy head mare with the most courage I have ever seen in a horse.

Paso Fino horses can live to the age of 40, and being only 12 years old, she should have outlived me, but chronic illness took my Jazz too soon.  My heart is broken.

I understand whole-heartedly the pain that my Jazmin endured.  My multiple chronic illnesses made me unable to take care of her like I did before my life came crashing down in 2010.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome developed quickly that year.  I had no idea what was happening to me. I was a teacher at the time, and realized after a few months of dragging myself home after school to crawl into bed for the rest of the day that it was more than just feeling tired.  Later, I needed to go out to my car during lunch and stretch out for a short rest in the back seat just to get to 3:00 pm.

My Jazmin started having to lie down in the pasture for hours each morning facing the direction of the warm, morning sun.  This year she also began to stretch out in the hay pile during the evening while her companion horse ate around her.

By the fall of 2010, pain had developed and progressed to the point that I couldn’t walk more than the 50 feet to our barn without sitting to rest.  Jazz would be waiting for me to check in on her, rub her face, and share an apple.

She was also beginning to experience some pain.  She had a low thyroid with the start of Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS).  And now I had fibromyalgia.

My symptoms grew worse during the winter while Jazz grew worse each spring as we tried to keep her off grass.  We fed her hay all year, but she was determined to have some nibbles on the bright green treat that led to laminitis.  She foundered.  Winter was actually better for her.

I tried many medications that my body rejected.  Pain relief trials failed with allergic reactions.  Side effects were so horrid that they outweighed the targeted benefits.  The sedation, nausea, dizziness, memory loss, irritability, weight gain, and more became overwhelming to the point that the illnesses and the side effects were blurred.

This spring Jazmin needed pain medication just to stand and walk so she could eat hay.  She foundered again.  The laminitis had progressed to the point of no return.

The day that I saw her holding up her left front leg, while trying to hop to greet me, was the moment I knew I couldn’t save her.  Jazz was suffering, and I couldn’t keep her around for selfish reasons.  She needed to rest in peace.

I am still suffering without that option.

12_7.jpgCharlotte Ann lives in Wisconsin.

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The information in this column is not intended to be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Only your doctor can do that!  It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s personal experiences and opinions alone. It does not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report or Microcast Media.

Authored by: Charlotte Ann

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Joy H Selak

What a gift this comment is. How generous and how kind to provide another avenue of question and hope. Jazz lives.

Linda McNulty Sauer

Your story about your horse was so touching I cried. I know what it’s like to lose an animal and we just buried a rabbit that had a spinal cord injury that we had for 9 years yesterday. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

Please find a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor. The entire Great Lakes area is endemic for Lyme disease and Wisconsin leads the pack for the number of cases. Unfortunately, there is not test that will tell you who is infected and who isn’t. Borreliosis is a clinical diagnosis to be made in a doctor’s office by a doctor familiar with tick borne infections.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been sick. I thought my symptoms were due to CFS and then Fibro. Then I went to the Detroit Fibro & Fatigue Clinic. I got a Lyme test and it changed my life. Finally I knew the real cause of my illness.

I was deficient in every major hormone including growth hormone and without that sleep is impossible. I also had a clotting disorder. Please don’t accept your symptoms as CFS. There is help out there. If you do go to a FFC please don’t do their treatment. Take your labs to another doctor once you know what your illness is all about. They have IVs and they won’t tell you what’s in them. No where else does the kind of testing they do though.

Ticks are everywhere and they can be the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The nymphs are the size of a poppy seed and adults are sesame sized.
Please do yourself a favor and see a LLMD. You might find something to treat instead of writing it off as severe fatigue. Check out discussion board to find a doctor near you.


This is so sad, I am sorry for your loss. The apple tree is a great way to tribute your Jazmin!
Whenever I see a post such as yours, sharing your pain story, I like to ask a few questions and make some observations, as I have also been throguh the endless mill of doctor’s visits.

As for your diagnosis of Fibro, have you also been tested for other diseases as well? My initial diagnosis was Fibro, but through my insistance, I also found out I have serum-negative Sjogren’s, Thyroid disease (toxic multinodular goiter-abltion-hypoactive and still have some nodules) Lyme, Babesia & b. Burgdorferi, three years in a row, Lupus, Systemic Sclerosis, IgG (Immunity problems causing 4 bouts on Klebsiella Oxytoca Pneumonia within one years’ time & addressing at month’s end).
So please make sure you get checked for those things.
OTOH, I woul like to warn you of some side effects of certain things: I also found a connection from the imaging studies (10 MRI’s in 13 yers time) for brain and woman problems and I believe that is what caused my SS-NSF is a Gadolinium connected disease and I was initially told I did NOT HAVE SS back in the 90’s “I can promise you that you do NOT HAVE SS! Dr Nora Sandorfi of Jefferson HJosp. at the time!) and now i test positive as an 1:40 ana, nucleolar pattern. I did not have any kidney disease to begin with and yet my skin is hardening daily, doctors do NOT want this out in the open as many folks get MRI contrast daily and when they continue to be sick as I and my friends do, we’re told “IT’s not what you think it is!”-NO ONE WANTS this let out! My face is tightening, throat is closing, I developed pancreatitis, my tendons are damaged, It is getting more difficult for me to breathe, the list goes on…and the pain…
also after sinus surgery I was given the Fluoroquinolone antibiotic, Levaquin along with a steroid and had used Cipro in the past, for urinary tract infections; these drugs just received a Black Box warning eyt again because of the Adverse effects-stay away from BOTH GADOLINIUM MRI CONTRAST AND FQ’s as we call them, FOR SHORT. IF OYU HAVE HAD THEM, THEY COULD BE THE TRUE CAUSE OF YOUR PAIN, so contact me on FB!
I try to help everyone when possible.

FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires label changes to warn of risk for possibly permanent nerve damage from antibacterial fluoroquinolone drugs taken by mouth or by injection

Joy H Selak

Simple an utterly beautiful. This is a touching story, told with tenderness and understanding. Thank you for sharing.