Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Story of Bumpie Pumpkin...

Ok, to make this story make sense, you have to understand that my son calls my sister "Bumpie," and not "Auntie."  This came from a mis-typed word in a text on an old T9 phone, where I was trying to type "Auntie" and I hit 286743 instead of 286843 and it changed Auntie to Bumpie.  My sister thought it was really funny, and told me, "I've decided that when you have kids they will call me Bumpie." A couple years later, along came Andrew, and thus began Bumpie.

Another thing to know is that my son forms attachments to things that you wouldn't think he might... Getting rid of clothes and toys is quite an ordeal because everything is "my favorite," or "it's so important to me Momma!"

On his pre-school field trip to the pumpkin patch, he got a small pumpkin, and he was instantly very attached to it.  Then at his friend's birthday party we also got some more pumpkins from their patch.  He got 2 medium sized pumpkins and 1 very small one. When he brought them home, he and his Dad decorated them. We didn't carve them, they just drew faces on them.  Andrew named them Mommy Pumpkin, Daddy Pumpkin, and Baby Pumpkin.  They lived on my dining room table for a week or so.

Halloween arrived, and I noticed that Mommy Pumpkin, and Daddy Pumpkin were starting to rot, and being as they lived on my table, I decided it was time for them to go. I took them out and dumped them in the yard waste bin, and didn't think anything of it.

Later on, Andrew noticed their absence and asked where they went.  I told him they had started to rot and I threw them away.  Apparently I should have phrased it in a kinder gentler manner.  My poor son started to cry.  It wasn't just a little crying either, it was full on crying with lots of tears, sobs, and asking "Who is going to take care of Baby Pumpkin now?"

I tried to calm him down and tell him that everything was just fine, and that Baby Pumpkin would survive just fine.  He was not buying that. I was not about to bring the rotting pumpkins back inside, so I knew that I had to come up with an idea, and fast because the tears were not stopping.

Suddenly an idea came to me, and I dashed off to my pantry and retrieved a butternut squash.  Luckily I had one on hand, and I know that squash can last for several months in the pantry.  I grabbed it and said, "Hey Buddy, look who I have! This is Baby Pumpkin's Auntie Squash, and she will take care of Baby Pumpkin now."

He was a little uncertain at first, but then he and his Dad drew a face on her, and I was really trying to talk up Auntie Squash.  I said, "She is Baby Pumpkin's Bumpie!" Andrew decided that she should be called "Bumpie Squash."  Dad and I agreed, happy to have the tears and the agony come to an end.  He decided that Baby Pumpkin, and Bumpie Squash should live up in his room where he could keep an eye on them and know that they were safe.  Later on that evening, he decided that since squash and pumpkins are related, Bumpie Pumpkin had a nicer ring to it.  

Bumpie Pumpkin

Baby and Bumpie Pumpkins

Andrew, finally happy now that we had a happy resolution to the situation.  You can see his eyes were still a little puffy, and there might even be tear tracks still.

So the Pumpkin Family settled into his room, and a few days later he started asking me what was going to happen to Bumpie Pumpkin.  Was I going to throw her away too?  Not it, her.  I explained that Bumpie Pumpkin could stay for awhile and take care of Baby Pumpkin, but eventually that would come to an end, and I was going to take Bumpie Pumpkin and use it for the intended purpose before it was too late.  He asked me what that meant, and being as I strive to be as honest as possible with my son, I told him that meant I was going to cook Bumpie Pumpkin some day.

Every day for the next week or so he would ask me, "Are you going to cook Bumpie Pumpkin today Momma?"  And I kept telling him no, not today.  After a few days, he said, "Ok Mom, you can cook her now." I told him that I didn't need a squash yet, so he could keep Bumpie Pumpkin a while longer.  Then after a few more days, he rescinded the offer and cooking Bumpie Pumpkin was off the table again. 

Well, flash forward to Wednesday night of this week, and we got a box from Blue Apron.  I opened it up and the meal we were making that night had a roasted butternut squash. I washed it and had it sitting next to the cutting board, and was getting ready to start cooking, and Andrew walks into the kitchen and says, "IS THAT BUMPIE PUMPKIN???? ARE YOU COOKING HER???" (Again "her" not it." I said, "No, it's not Bumpie Pumpkin, it's a different squash."  He demands, "WHERE IS SHE???"  I told him she was safe over on the buffet by the windows.  He ran off to check on her. 

I have a feeling that I am going to end up throwing away the Pumpkin Family some night while he is sleeping, and then telling him that they moved to a farm upstate somewhere.  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Darn right I want a medal!

Yesterday I worked around the house. I folded laundry, I worked in my garden, I grocery shopped, I cleaned up after dinner, I put all the laundry away, and I vacuumed. 

As I worked on vacuuming my stairs I had a number of things running through my mind. 

First of all, "Man there is a lot of dog hair on these stairs." Then came, "Why do you let the stairs get this bad before vacuuming them?" And then, "Some day there won't be dog hair on my stairs any more," and then I had to fight back tears while I scrubbed and vacuumed. 

Then I got to thinking about how good it feels when I get all these things done, and I feel like I've accomplished something. And then comes the negative jerk voice from the back of my mind "What do you want, a medal or something? You did the things that needed to be done." And last night I fought back against my inner critical jerk and said, "actually yes, yes I do want a medal!" 

It doesn't really matter that it's things that needed to be done anyway, I still did them. I don't know if I'm the only one who has these inner monologues, but I'm tired of mine and have decided to loudly (in my head) proclaim that I do deserve some recognition and to feel accomplishment for doing the things I needed to do anyway. 

Yes, the garden needed weeding because I hadn't touched it since last fall. Yes I could beat myself up for having neglected it, but instead I am choosing to feel proud at what a couple hours hard work accomplished. And besides, who am I kidding, this fall I'm going to leave the detritus of my Summer's work laying there until next spring. It's who I am. I know it and I'm ok with it. 

The laundry needs to be done, and I know I'm not alone in this one, putting away laundry is the worst! I'll gladly sort it, wash it, dry it, and even fold it, but man do I loathe hauling those heavy baskets up the stairs and having to put it all away. I'm actually considering getting myself some stickers or ribbons or something because doing the laundry deserves recognition!!

And then there is the vacuuming. It's amazing how much accomplishment and contempt can be rolled up into one task. It's a well established fact that I don't like to vacuum. And I have one of the most prolifically shedding dogs that has ever walked this earth. My house, and car, are constantly coated in white dog hair. And I look around and see it and think, "I really need to vacuum this," and then life happens, and dinner needs to be cooked and dishes need to be done, and I don't get to vacuuming and then I really beat myself up over how bad it looks. So when I do vacuum and it looks so nice and I want to congratulate myself, the inner jerk immediately starts in with, "if you hadn't let it get so bad to start with..." 

So I've decided to say "Screw you Inner Jerk! I DO want a medal. I don't care if I'm doing the things that needed to be done anyway. I still did them!"

Once again, I don't know about the rest of you, but I am so hard on myself for stupid things and I'm tired of it. The time has come that we give ourselves credit where credit is due and tell our Inner Jerks to pipe down. From now on my criteria for giving myself credit for doing something is "Did you do it?" and as long as the answer is "yes," then Good Job! 

So if any of you see me walking around wearing my medal from the Color Run 2 years ago, you can assume I've done a mundane task and I wanted my darn medal!

Monday, June 13, 2016

As for me and my house... we shall call them lollipops

As with any story I begin to tell, there is always a back story.  I am a paranoid freak about kids and hard candy.  This goes back almost 20 years to the day a woman was shopping in our store and had her 4 year old daughter with her, and the girl was eating a peppermint candy.  As we were talking, suddenly the little girl began to choke on the candy.  The Mom started to panic and pound the little girl on the back, and I turned around and grabbed the two on duty firemen who were getting some electrical parts less than 10' away from me.  They intervened and saved the little girl's life.

Throughout the years I have made it a priority to know how to correctly handle a child choking situation, and have had to use those skills.  Once, when my nephew was 4 months old, he was happily hanging out in his father's lap sucking on a piece of watermelon while we all visited.  He managed to break the end of the watermelon off and get it lodged in his throat and my sister saw this and grabbed him from her husband and began to pound on his back.  I reached over and grabbed him from her, leaned him forward in my lap and did chest compressions on him until he puked the watermelon into my lap.  I handed him back and walked away because I had just yanked her baby out of hands without a word.  I let about 15 minutes go by before carefully approaching and saying "I'm sorry that I grabbed him like that, but you were doing it wrong, and making it worse." She thanked me for intervening and from that point on we all knew the procedures.

When I had Andrew, I was a little nervous that he might be prone to choking like his cousin was, and I watched and hovered as he tried new things.  I cut things into such small pieces to ensure his chewing safety.  And I steadfastly refused to allow hard candy, including suckers.  Whenever we were somewhere that they would offer one, I would politely decline.

One day when he was about 2, maybe 2 1/2, I decided to let him have a sucker after he got his hair cut. I was so nervous about it that I hovered and after a couple minutes I ended up taking it away.  Thankfully, Andrew is not really that into candy, and he doesn't ask for them, and he accepts my no as no when he asks for one and I say, "No, that's hard candy and you don't have that."

As anyone who has been around us knows, Andrew has speech delays and we are working on articulation and making letter sounds correctly.  He recently finished his first school year of speech therapy and has made huge improvements.  He is getting much clearer and easier for others to understand too.

Yesterday I took him to get his hair cut, and unlike most other people who usually ask the parent first if it's ok for him to have a sucker, she asked him directly, "Would you like a sucker?"  "A sucker??? Sure I'd love a sucker!!" my child excitedly proclaimed.  I cringed a little, but decided to let him have it.  We left the salon and went down to the Dollar Tree to get some graduation cards, and to let him pick a toy for being such a good boy.  He happily chatted about his sucker the whole way there and all through the store.

When we got home I texted my husband and said, "I broke down and let Andrew have a sucker.  On a related note, I think that as long as his S's are still coming out as F's, we should refer to them as lollipops!"

So to anyone who may have overheard the apparently foul mouthed toddler in the Dollar Tree yesterday, I promise you, he was really just talking about the lemon-lime Dum Dum he'd received.

We also don't talk about socks, or shocks in public anymore either.  He went grocery shopping with my sister one day and the cart apparently had a lot of static electricity, and so he kept getting shocked, and he would loudly say "Bumpie, stop "shocking" me!!" "You "shocked" me again!!!"

S's are at the top of my priority list for his articulation goals!!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Horrible Housewife is at it again...

A couple weeks ago started out like a normal Sunday... I was just really exhausted and the idea of a nice relaxing morning at home sounded better than anything else.  So I had my coffee and relaxed for a while, and then I started to feel it, the compulsive need to clean that only hits me every once in a great while had returned.

I started off slowly... I emptied the dishwasher, and loaded the dirty dishes in the sink into it. And then I wiped down the counters.  Nothing too crazy... And then I decided to do some laundry, and maybe a little vacuuming.  I'm not sure what happened after that, I must have gone into some sort of trance to protect myself so that I wouldn't remember it later on.  But the next thing I knew, hours had passed, furniture had been moved, there was sweeping and vacuuming, and mopping too.  An entire room was re-arranged, I cleaned and re-organized my pantry.  

I thought that it might be like a 24 hour bug, it would run its course and leave me alone in my lazy and slobby ways.  But no... I found myself researching new vacuum cleaners.  A lot! I spent hours on multiple sites comparing features and prices.  I hate vacuuming to begin with, so the fact that I spent any time at all researching vacuums is proof that this crazy cleaning bug had burrowed into my brain and taken control! 

I mentioned to my husband that I was looking at new vacuums, and the next day we went shopping and I got a new Shark vacuum.  And if you have talked to me in the last week or so, I'm sure you've walked away shaking your head and thinking, "That crazy broad has joined a cult!!" I cannot stop talking about my new vacuum.  And even worse, I find things to vacuum just so I can use it. 

The downside to having such a great vacuum that works so well is that I'm getting even crazier than I usually am. I vacuumed our stairs as soon as I got the vacuum out of the box and all put together.  And they looked beautiful.  And then someone walked up them, and there were specks of sawdust that had been tracked on their shoes.  And I had to clean them again.  And then Lucie walked up them and dropped more hair.  And I had to clean them again.  And then Andrew dropped some goldfish cracker crumbs... and AAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  When I had a vacuum that didn't work so well, I didn't know any better.

I thought that maybe after a few vacuumings this cleaning bug that had taken over my life might subside... and then I found myself at home with a sick child. And I had a free time while he slept.  So I started cleaning the kitchen, the usual stuff. And then I noticed that my dish-drying rack could use a little cleaning.  Next thing I know, I've taken it apart and soaked and scrubbed it, and then I had to try to figure out how all the pieces went back together again. That was fun... some words were said that I'm glad were not overheard by 3 year old ears.  Then I went upstairs to look for something, and I started cleaning my closet, and then I moved on to the bedroom as a whole. I de-cluttered, and of course moved furniture and vacuumed. Then I walked into the laundry room to start another load, and of course I had to clean that room too.

I find myself wondering... did I join a cult? Is this some sort of multiple personality disorder? Is it maybe an "All Of Me" situation, and I am sharing my body with the spirit of some poor deceased person who loves to clean? Whatever it is... I am enjoying my house being clean, and I'm sorry to those that have been forced to listen to my rhapsodize about my new vacuum... but honestly, it gets Lucie hair out of my carpet!! That is AMAZING!! 

At least I know that whatever is going on, I still have the controlling share of the brain/personality because my fridge is still a chamber of horrors.  That is how I know I haven't gone full on Stepford is because at any given moment I can guarantee that there is at least one thing in my fridge that is unrecognizable, or no longer in its original form.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

And when I cannot stand, I'll fall on you...

If you read the previous post, you will know what's been going on in my life lately.  It has sucked.  In the course of a day I found out my dog could very likely be nearing the end of her life, and that my baby had died a few weeks earlier and my body just didn't realize it yet.

With the baby news, I immediately went into acceptance mode, and started to move forward because that is how I do things.  I said, "It must not have been meant to be," and that was that.  With the Lucie news I fell apart.  I cried, the ugly harsh sobbing cry that nearly makes you puke.  I raged at God and told Him that I wanted to pray that His will be done, but that I just couldn't because what if His will was that it was time for her to die?

I know that people must have thought that I was either dead inside or completely in denial if I could be so calm about a miscarriage.  But I had known that something was wrong, and I was prepared to hear that news.  It wasn't a shock to me.

And yet the news about Lucie didn't just push me over the edge, it picked me up and flung me over the edge.  I could not stop crying about it, and every time I looked at her I'd cry and pray and cry again.

The thing is that after having lost a baby last summer, I wasn't ready to truly accept that there was another baby there until I saw proof.  It remained an idea, a concept, but not a true reality for me.  Lucie has been a physical presence in my life for the last 8 years.  She has brought such happiness to our little family.  When I was in the hospital on bedrest with Andrew, I missed Lucie so much that I made Matt FaceTime with me so I could talk to her.  When we came home for a break from the NICU, the only things I wanted were to sleep in my own bed, and see my Lucie.  The idea that she could be nearing the end of her time with us was horrible and painful.

The day after we both had our ultrasounds, and neither of us got very good news, I took a mental health day from work and stayed home to try to recover from the double sucker punch that I'd been dealt the day before. I had to go get Lucie's medicines from the vet, and I took her with me.  We were enjoying the sunny warm day, and I was enjoying just being alone with my sweet girl.  As we were driving, I was listening to music, and the song "Lord I Need You" came on and as I was singing along with it, I broke down when it got to the part that says "And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You."  That became my mantra over the next several days. I listened to that song more times that I can count, it became my comfort song for this particular moment in my life.

I've had a few of those over the years.  When I was in the hospital with Andrew, the song Always was my go to for comfort.  "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me is another that is always comforting for me.

Thankfully, as the days passed and the medicine began to work, my LucieBelle began to improve.  Every day she got better and better.  She is acting more and more like herself again.  Her appetite is back with a vengeance.

When I found out that I was going to have to have surgery, my acceptance shifted to anger, sadness, and wondering why I couldn't just do this on my own.  I also have been trying to come to terms with the fact that another baby is not in the cards for me.  And as I've tried to handle this whole process with grace, I've had my moments where I am just plain ugly and bitter.  I've had my moments of jealousy and being petty.  I've really wanted to congratulate all the people I know who have had babies, or announced that they were expecting, but I just haven't been able to, and I'm sorry about that, and I will get there, but just not yet.  I keep reminding myself "Stephanie, they are not being pregnant AT you!" And people who ask me when I'm going to have another baby, or make the "Time to have another" comment have no idea what has gone on in my life because I don't talk about it.  They aren't trying to be hurtful. They just don't know.

I've had plenty of moments lately where I haven't been able to stand, so I fall on God.  And I'm thankful that when I'm throwing my "No Fair No Fair No Fair" tantrums at Him, that I know He just listens and loves me still.  He might shake His head and roll His eyes at my behavior sometimes, like I do when Andrew throws tantrums, but I know, that just like I will always pick Andrew up and hold him and tell him that I love him, He will always let His love surround me, and for that I am so incredibly grateful.

The Purpose in the Process

This post is one I've been trying to compose for a couple weeks now.  I don't know that I will be able to put it into any sort of coherent stream of thought, but I will try.

On March 28, I took my beloved dog Lucie back to the vet because we'd been battling what we thought was pancreatitis and then she quit eating for almost 2 weeks.  At that time we found out things were very serious and that we might not have Lucie for much longer. On March 29, I dropped Lucie off at the vet early in the morning for an ultrasound to see if we could find the problem.  And then I headed off to my own doctor's appointment.

You see, what only a handful of people knew is that I was pregnant again, and it looked like Andrew was going to be a big brother. I had a miscarriage last summer, and I was extremely cautious about telling anyone about this baby because of that loss.

I had a nagging feeling that I couldn't shake that I wasn't going to get good news at this appointment.  I believe that God had been preparing my heart the best He could that this baby wasn't really there.  I made the comment to a couple people that I was going to be surprised if there really was a baby there.  I arrived at the office for my appointment and was taken to the ultrasound room first, and then would meet with the doctor.  The ultrasound tech began and I knew right away that something was wrong. I remembered what Andrew had looked like at 10 weeks and what I was seeing on the screen looked nothing like that. She asked me if I was sure about my dates, and I said yes I was.  She told me that the baby was only measuring 6 weeks 2 days.  No where near my 10 weeks that I should have been.  She had me wait in the ultrasound room until they had an exam room ready for me, and left me there for a moment.  My practical nature kicked in and while I waited I pulled my phone out of my purse and immediately deleted my pregnancy apps because I knew it was all over.

My doctor came in and talked with me, and he said that he couldn't definitively say it was a miscarriage, but it most likely was, and that even if it wasn't, the chance of it being a normal pregnancy was extremely low. We discussed some options, and he gave me two doses of the medication that I'd used last summer to help my body get the whole process going.  He wanted me to have a blood draw done to check my levels, and told me to wait until they had the results to take the medicine.

I left, and went home to wait for my results, and for Lucie's results at the same time. I fully anticipated that I'd get the call that my numbers were falling and I could go ahead and take the medicine and then I'd be all done with this.  Instead I got a call that my numbers were still high enough that I needed to go back in a few days for another ultrasound before I could take the medicine.

I went back Friday for my ultrasound and it was confirmed that there was no cardiac activity, and in fact the fetal pole had already begun to shrink.  I wasn't scheduled to see a doctor at all that day, but was supposed to talk to a nurse before I left.  During my ultrasound the tech said that she just needed to take another look at something that was off to the side of the umbilical sac because she wasn't quite sure what she was seeing.  Then she left to go get the doctor to come in and look too.  I was laying on the table talking to my body.  The conversation went a little like this: "Body, you're an asshole! Can't you do any part of this right?"

Dr Mallory came in and looked at the pictures and they determined that what they were seeing was a large clot forming near where the placenta was separating.  He told me to go ahead and go home and take the medicine and gave me the list of things to be prepared for, and cautioned me about if and when I might need to go to the hospital, etc.  After having been told by two different doctors how much worse this one was going to be than the last one, I went to the store and got some supplies.  I stocked up on feminine supplies, and also some Pity Party snacks.  I let myself choose whatever I wanted.  I headed home and got through dinner and evening clean-up before taking the medicine, because last time it worked almost instantly and I wanted to be down for the night when it kicked in.  I took the medicine, which is a disgusting and unpleasant experience.  You have to sit for 30 minutes with 4 tablets tucked between your cheek and gum and wait while they dissolve, and after 30 minutes you swallow whatever hasn't dissolved.  It turns into a chalky paste in your mouth and it makes me gag.  I got it all swallowed down, and then on the advice of my doctor I also took a pain pill for the inevitable horrific cramps that were going to come.  Then I went to bed.  I felt gross for a couple hours, and I checked several times throughout the night, but nothing happened.  I had been told that if the first dose didn't work to take the second dose 24 hours later.  So all day I waited, and waited.  Nothing happened.  That night I got to repeat the awful process and wait again.  Pretty soon after I finished with the medicine I started feeling sick and crampy, and I thought, "here we go, it is all starting now."  I was wrong.  I felt sick all night, but still nothing happened.  I waited all day Sunday, but still nothing happened.  I called the doctor's office first thing Monday morning, and was told what I was expecting, but was also dreading hearing.  I was going to need a D&C.  I was told to keep my appointment that was already scheduled for Wednesday.  So I went in and Dr Mallory came in and sadly looked at me and said, "D&C." And I said, "Yep, that's what I figured."

I had been handling this whole process just fine.  I had already known in my heart that the baby was gone, and I was accepting it and moving on.  When he looked at me with such compassion, and then started to explain the procedure to me, I moved backwards in my steps of grief.  I had started at acceptance and then I moved to anger and sadness mixed.  The fact that I was going to have to have surgery brought a whole new level to this. and an added element of reality.  Up until this point I had really only lost the idea of a baby.  Now I was going to have to have it surgically removed from me.

He talked me through it all, and then he looked at me and asked me how I was doing.  And that damn near broke me. I told him that I had been doing ok, but that I was sad/mad.  I just wished that there was one part of this whole pregnancy thing that my body was capable of doing right.

I left there with my pre and post op instructions and was told that I'd get a call very soon telling me when my surgery would be.  He was going to try to get it scheduled for his on-call days so he could do it for me.  That meant the world to me that he took the time to talk with me and to also try to be the one who was with me through this whole time.

I got the call later that afternoon that my surgery was scheduled for Friday morning with Dr Russo.  I was a little sad that they hadn't been able to schedule it for Dr Mallory's call day, but decided that it was best to just get it over with.  I was a more nervous about the surgery at this point because it was with the one doctor in that office that I'd never met and that just added an extra level of discomfort for me.

Friday morning my Mom came and got me and we dropped Andrew off at our friends' house and were on our way to the surgery center.  We got checked in and were taken back to get ready.  I had an amazing nurse who got my IV started on the first try and completely painlessly.  I met with the anesthesiologist, who was wonderful, thorough, and funny.  Then I met Dr Russo.  She was very nice and I felt more at ease.  I was taken back to the OR and got settled on the table and then the anesthesiologist came in.  She had told me that some people say that the medicine feels cold in their arm as it travels up.  She administered it and then asked me if I felt it because I had winced.  I told her it stung a little, it didn't feel cold.  Then I remember thinking that I just wanted to close my eyes for a moment.  What felt like about 5 seconds later I heard a nurse saying my name and asking me to open my eyes.  I was no longer in the OR, and I was wrapped in warm blankets, and I was told that I had just been talking with Dr Russo.  (Sure, if they say so.)  Pretty soon my Mom was sitting next to me again, and I realized that I really didn't care at all who had done the surgery.  General anesthesia does not suck y'all!!

Mom brought me home, and I spent the next couple days taking it easy, and recovering.  Physically it was a very easy recovery.  A couple of days of feeling rough, and then mostly back to normal.  I needed a little extra iron and had to remember to drink lots of water, but other than that, I was ok.

I titled this "The Purpose in the Process" from the song Joy in the Journey that I have previously written a post about.  And it's not because I've found the purpose in this process...  It's because that full line is "Show me the purpose in the process, because I can't see where you're taking me.  And yet you promised it will all be for my good, show me the purpose in the process, show me the joy."

I wish I knew the purpose for all of this.  I wish I knew why two babies in a row have died before they ever had a chance at life.  But I don't.  I know that I'm not trying to find the purpose, I'm trying to find the joy.  I realize that while this was a hard time in my life, it could have been so much worse. Physically I am fine, I am healthy, and I am strong.  Lucie is recovering from what turned out to be an infection in her liver.  I am still surrounded by my family and friends.  I may not know the purpose in this process now... and I may not ever know it.  But I do know that I have much to give thanks for, and am thankful that while I struggle with sadness, I can still find joy.

Monday, September 28, 2015

What if the Old Lady never swallowed the fly to begin with?

My life has felt kind of like the old song "There was an Old Lady who swallowed a fly" this last week or so...

About a week and a half ago I got sick with a cold.  Last Saturday night, I went to bed kind of early since I felt awful and I had to work the next morning.  Apparently some time after I fell asleep Andrew came in and crawled in bed with me.  At 2:30 Matt woke me up saying "Steph, I need your help," as he was taking Andrew back to his bed.  I was understandably confused and when he came back into our room, he said "Lucie got sprayed by a skunk." She had gone outside for a break when he got home from work, and that's when my week of awesomeness began.

I googled what to do, and we went to work on our poor frightened and smelly pup.  We did the best we could with what we had on hand, (by the way, tomato products... no help at all) and after some serious scrubbing, blotting, rinsing, bathing, and toweling, we put her to bed in the garage, and tried to get some sleep ourselves.

The next day I brought home some enzyme stuff that is supposed to help, and I thought it did.  I couldn't smell the skunk smell on her anymore after using that and another bath.  But then later on she was smelly again. And she was really subdued and upset, and I just knew she didn't feel well.  2 days after she was sprayed I noticed a sore on her throat that looked like a puncture mark and small bumps all over her muzzle.  I thought that maybe she had got too close to the tree with the yellow jacket nest under it, so I gave her a dose of Benadryl and cleaned up her owie the best I could.  The next day I knew there was something wrong with her, so I called the vet.  When I took her in, the vet started examining her and making notes to the vet tech.  He made reference to several spots of "Moist Dermatitis." I was thinking "Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin, he's using fancy terms to tell the tech that I'm being Panicky Over-Reactor Mom."  As if he sensed what I was thinking he looked up at me and said, "Moist Dermatitis just means Staph Infection."  Oh, is that all?  Just a measly little STAPH INFECTION?!?!?! I went from thinking I had over-reacted to feeling like the worst dog Momma in the world.  The infection was a result of the skunk spray, and then her skin being further irritated by all the scrubbing and cleansing.  They took her to the back room and shaved and cleaned several spots.  When they brought her back, she and I were alone in the exam room for a few moments while they got her medicines.  I about had a melt-down in there.  I felt like I had done this to her, and I felt like a real big jerk! We also realized that the reason she was still so smelly was from her infection, not the skunk spray.  (The doctor told me that I did a really good job of cleaning her because he couldn't smell any trace of skunk on her)

We started her medicines (one oral, one topical) and of course the antibiotics made her sick to her stomach.  So I called back and talked to the vet again, and we decided to take extra precautions to help her not get sick from these meds.  So now twice a day I am giving her some cottage cheese, plain yogurt, or scrambled eggs before her regular meal to ensure that her tummy is properly coated and she hasn't had any further sickness.

As I was scrambling an egg for my dog the other night, (a night when I didn't even cook dinner for my family, every but Lucie got leftovers, Lucie got scrambled eggs) The Old Lady who swallowed a fly song popped into my head.  "I'm scrambling the eggs, to coat the tummy, to keep her from puking, when taking the medicine, to treat the infection, all because of that damn skunk!!"  And of course I had to start thinking about that song a little more in depth, and wondering why the Old Lady ever thought it was a good idea to swallow that fly in the first place.

Of course Lucie is on the opposite end of this scale now... getting sprayed by a skunk, and all the scrubbing was pretty awful, but she got a nice comfy new bed, and she gets yummy extra meals twice a day, and tons of attention and sympathy and treats.  I think that she is going to be a little sad when this course of antibiotics ends.