Ponder this:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Things I have learned this week

There is no disguising Tramadol's taste in order to get it down Max's gullet. The best method is a spur of the moment sneak attack and a quick shove of an unadorned teensy little quarter tablet down his throat. Done. Over. No spitting foam and softened diguise material, as he violently rejects the whole mess and flings it two feet from himself where the medication is half-dissolved and useless and I have to wipe up the slop and start over, muttering, "I'm so glad I paid actual money for this medication."

There is something called cat flu, and I think that's what MiMau has.  Husband took her to the vet's office last Monday and saw the vet in the practice in whom I have the least confidence. The vet took a blood sample, said it would be back Wednesday or Thursday and would call. We haven't received a call. A call to the clinic resulted in, "Dr. B. is out until Monday and will call you then." In the meantime, MiMau's perking up in tiny increments, and has begun to be interested in food, although only a kibble at a time, carefully mouthed until she finds a spot in her mouth where she feels like chewing it. I currently have some kibble soaking in the drained juice from canned tuna. We'll try that. Her personality is much in evidence now though, unlike last weekend, and she's drinking water, so I think we've turned the corner. Apparently this cat flu is self-limiting, and there's nothing to be done for it anyway, so we just have to ride it out. 

I'm glad I don't have the daughter for whose birth I longed for years.  I probably would have birthed and raised a daughter with a personality like my own.  I'm guessing that she would have had the same introspective, mulling personality, and she would have gotten herself caught in a morass of emotional turbulence of her own making, and none of my hard-won wisdom would have made the slightest bit of difference. I only got smart after I'd been to Hell and back, and some people just have to do it that way. 

The less I worry about stuff, the better it all goes. It was an absolutely stellar week in Jane's office, with nary an error except other people's, which I, feeling magnanimous and heroic, found and fixed.  It started with Payroll Monday when I got to work late after a doctor visit (pre-op physical physician said, "Get that blood pressure down before surgery!" so off to regular doctor for yet another BP reading and prescription). I bustled into work, pulled together the materials I needed and just did payroll. It was flawless. And angst-free. Imagine that.  Whenever I do something without paying too much attention to it (vinaigrette salad dressing comes to mind) it always works out better.

The prospect of my (next Wednesday) transformation into a Uniboob doesn't bother me as much as other people expect it to. I seem to have friends hovering around, waiting for me to turn into a quivering wreck, and I've been waiting to see if I'm in denial and will, in fact, come to a crashing realization of . . . something.  I think I've truly come to terms with it. Overall, since last . . . what, March? . . . I've had maybe a total of seventy-two hours of "Oh my God!" and now I'm looking forward to getting it over with and moving on. The options presented to me were two:
  1. Traditional simple (total) mastectomy, or
  2. A second lumpectomy followed by five weeks of five days per week radiation treatment.
The third option was, of course, to do nothing and wait to see when (not if) the remaining slightly odd cells would turn invasive. That made both #1 and #2 look quite a bit more attractive.  I chose the first option because I don't feel like making a career out of having breast cancer. It'll be gone, done, over. Much like pilling Max. We'll worry later about whether or not I feel the need for two lumps instead of one.  I'm thinking . . . if, down the road sometime . . . the other one has to go, I'll opt then for two gigantic Dolly Partons. At this stage of my life, the one remaining Natural One on the right and Smooth And Flat on the left will probably appear more similar than one Natural One and one Firm And Perky.  The deciding moment was when the surgeon told me that, even lying down, a new one would be up there, while the other reclined in my armpit. That would be just silly. And exceedingly painful in the achievement. For what?  Or, you know, when I feel the need for more time off from work, I can decide I need reconstruction. I gather recovery from that is far longer than the two weeks I'll need to get over a simple boobectomy (which term, incidentally, Lord Wellbourne tells me he always thought of as a euphemism for divorce). 

I'm so glad I still have the husband I started out with. There have been times when I've wished he were more romantic in the candlelight-and-rose-petals way, and times when I've wished for him to be more this way or that way...  I'm so glad we rode out all that stuff. Now we know each other and while it isn't exciting and heart-fluttering, it's such a comfort to have somebody to see every day who is completely familiar and who says, "You won't be disfigured. You'll have a scar. So what?"  That might be one of those "y'hadda be there" moments, but I was, and it was a pretty significant moment.

Thanks to Hilary for choosing this as one of her Posts of the Week

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The animals are breaking down

One day long ago, we noticed that Max was paying rather too much attention to his private parts. When we investigated as to why that should be, we noticed(!) that almost anybody would pay a lot of attention to his private parts, since a particular part was out waving in the air in a way that, in a neutered dog, it was never meant to do. In addition, Max's mood was Very Bad.
Off to the vet, who put it back inside all nice and cozy. Max seemed happier. A couple of weeks passed, and it was out again, in all its glory. And Max was, once again, unhappy. Unbearable, in fact. Back to the vet who said, "I've never done this before, and neither has Dr. M., but this is what we can try." So the doctor, using local anesthetic and tranquilizers, tucked up the misplaced part and put in a little stitch or two, and sent Max home with a cone on his head to keep him from disturbing the surgical site. Within four days, Max had learned to maneuver his spine so that he could, once again, pay attention. It was OUT again.  I made an appointment, three days hence, with the veterinarian, and took off the cone: "Enjoy yourself, boy."
The day before Max's appointment he was ill. So ill that he hardly knew if he was walking or riding a horse. Husband and I thought that we would wake up to find him dead. We did not.
And off we went to the vet.
"The penis is not the problem," I said to the doctor. It had retracted. Mostly.
The doctor and I agreed that we needed to see if there was something internal that was causing the extrusion.
X-rays followed, and showed all internal organs where they should be, and all of the proper size. Patellas, however, luxating badly. The doctor could pop both hind legs' patellas around quite easily. Tramadol was prescribed, and Max has been living happily ever since. I don't care if he's high; he isn't growling, his parts are all mostly where they're supposed to be, and he isn't falling down the stairs because he doesn't want to flex his hind legs. The only problem remaining is that Tramadol apparently tastes very very bad. My powers of invention are twice daily tested: how to hide a bitter pill in something that Max loves enough to gobble instead of chew. So far I'm batting about .500.

MiMau has been living high on the hog, enjoying her country life. For a week, we daily found a murdered rodent on the front walk. She's been a little off her food, but it's been hot, and there are all those rodents out there. We supposed she was dining al fresco. Yesterday I said to Husband, "Have you seen the cat?" 
"No," he said. 
"I haven't seen her since yesterday afternoon, when she was sitting on the patio."
He went in search and found her sleeping in his workshop, carried her inside, where she moved cautiously and seemingly painfully, drank a little water, and reclined for most of the day.  We concluded that she had gotten drenched in the heavy rain, had gotten chilled and was a little sore. Perhaps, we thought, she had encountered another animal and had been on tense high alert all night. No wounds, no specific sore spots.
Tomorrow I shall make an appointment with the vet for MiMau.  I feel a certain obligation to get all these animals in order before I myself am temporarily incapacitated.

Angus, who was almost killed by a fisher, is beginning to look like Superman next to his siblings.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No place like home. Or is there?

Betsy's "Grassy Cove, Tennessee" pictures took my breath away this morning. It's a beautiful place, yes...but it looks like my neck of the woods.  
Check out Joyful Reflections and see if you don't agree that these two places, 
more than a thousand miles apart, don't look like the very same place! 
(Sounds similar, too, what with the same names throughout the county!)

Rural eastern US . . . y'gotta love it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I am here: X

I am still, daily, humming and singing "What's Your Name." I can almost get all the verses (what are there, two?) in order now.
I have been sweating and reading simultaneously for lo these many days. 
Still working on walking and chewing gum simultaneously.

I have had no long thoughts worth enlargement and recording.
My thoughts have all been of the next drink of water. 
I have taken to filling two sixteen-ounce glasses with ice and water and moving my paraphernalia (in my basket) to shady airy spots, one after another as the sun moves.
Where I sit, waiting for a breeze. Refilling my beverage glasses with alarming frequency.

Going to work has taken on a new gloss because the place is...

This week is another staycation week, however.
Boo hoo. 

Somehow my staycation weeks seem to fill up inordinately with appointments: today a pre-op physical, the very idea of which makes me shudder (not because of the "op," but because of the checking over of all the awful things I have done and not done to and with my body and the revelation thereof); tomorrow Max to the vet for a post-op check. More on Max's Issue in another post.
And tonight I shall be at the office anyway because no one can take notes like I and there's a meeting which requires note-taking.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Doo wop

I woke up with Don & Juan's What's Your Name rolling through my brain. 
I love the harmony of doo wop, I love that the artists dressed formally, moved through choreographed poses as they sang. (They didn't make videos of performances in 1962, but I probably saw them on American Bandstand.)
Life was one big prom night.
 What's Your Name - A Golden Classics Edition Boxart
I wonder why that particular song was at the tip of my consciousness upon awaking. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Heavy sigh

It took slightly more than two hours for all the ahh-ness of my staycation to wear off.

There is a nouveau scandale afoot, another wastebasket fire (although this one might turn out to be more of a dumpster fire). Special meeting called at 10:00am; attendees expecting a rebuttal. The meeting lasted two minutes, during which the accused distributed copies of the accusations and denied all. 

In the midst of all that brouhaha, the end of the pay period, the end of the month! the end of the quarter! ...with all that that entails, and with the accused popping in at random moments, trying to make friends and align allies. 
No dice. No takers. No time.

And in yesterday's local newspaper, a full page representation of the complaint that started it all, printed two pages after the front page story in which the accused said, "Never would I...!"  
Later, the accuser emailed an audio to all, including the news outlets. 
Gasped "OMG! The offense was recorded!"s throughout the building.

In the afternoon, paperwork coming in from several quarters for a presentation in mid-July, none of it organized or collated. 
Organize, send out legal notices hither, thither and yon, answer the phone that never stops ringing. 
Put a smile in the voice.
Accused comes into the office again, whistling a happy tune, letting a smile be his umbrella.

Thus has my return to work transpired.
This is why, years and years ago, I stopped watching television soap operas, with the endless repetition of the petty details of the daily dramas.
Now I'm living it.