Sunday, 24 February 2008

I Interrupt This Series To Bring You A Dose of Real Time Real Life

I decided this year that I would try not to moan so much in this blog. But events this month are such that I can't hold back anymore. Sorry.

I'll start with Jake and work backwards.

Jake: our lovely six-month-old border collie has been diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. I thought he was just reserved and grown up. Nope. He was in agony with two severely dislocated hips. He is now on painkillers, starts supplements next week, and is having hydrotherapy twice a week in the hopes of building up muscle mass in his back legs. Hopefully, in a year's time he'll be able to have an operation in which the tops of his leg bones are sawn off to create false hip sockets. But he can only have this operation if he's below 30 kilos. He weighs 17.1 kilos now. The vet initially suggested hip replacements, which costs a lot of money. Darling hubby said he'd rather put him down that pay for that. I'm putting money aside in case. And no, we don't have pet insurance because Darling hubby said it wasn't worth it.

My mother: Having told her the lump in her breast was a cyst, her doctor now wants her to have a biopsy. It's on Tuesday. I'm hoping he's just being ultra cautious. My sister has been emailing me saying our mother should go to Florida to have this done. My mother said she scared her by saying a needle biopsy can spread cancer cells. I emailed my sister that I don't think it's a good idea for my mother to go to Florida because she'll miss her husband, should be in a comfortable environment, and I suspect my sister's kids would use my mother as a baby sitter. But, I also told her, what I think and what my sister thinks are secondary to what my mother wants. She makes the decision and we work around that. My sister got defensive, and I don't think she's talking to me right now.

Skiing: As you might have suspected if you read a previous post, I lost my son's, daughter's and my passports. I wasn't being careless, or thought I wasn't. We left our luggage in a room at the hotel and went walking around the village. I thought the passports would be safest in the bag I'd worn all week long that contained my money, credit cards, and phone. Nothing had been lost. After we emerged from the Mont Blanc tunnel on the way to Geneva Airport, I checked my bag. No passports. Our taxi driver who spoke no English understood those two words. After some frantic phone calls we got good news: the passports had been found and turned in to the hotel. But I'd have to pay 150 Euros for a taxi to bring them to us. We waited about an hour in a rest stop. The taxi driver appeared, I hopped out with the money, but only two passports were there. More frantic phone calls. My husband called the British and U.S. embassies. The taxi driver called his boss who explained that we'd be best off going to the airport, crossing our fingers that the Swiss border patrol didn't stop us, and sorting it out with the airline. I held my breath as we passed through the border. As we were waved through, I exhaled. The driver just shrugged, like of course they let us through. The airline, EasyJet, actually were very nice about the whole thing. My husband had spoken to someone in Immigration at the airport we'd be landing at. EasyJet got permission to allow us to land. When we went through Immigration, I got the guy who hadn't read the memo about us (yes, there was a memo). But he went and got the LS01 form and was pretty decent (and also made the point that I probably wouldn't be treated this well in the U.S., which I had to agree with though it was someone in the U.S. Embassy who was the most helpful). Oh, and I got a whiplash-type injury and damaged knee ligaments when the pink terrorist skied into me. And I didn't have a very good time with my friend who joined us from New York, but perhaps the less said about that, the better.

The car crash: My husband and daughter were in a serious car crash on Feb. 2. That they both walked away with no noticeable injuries was a miracle in itself. A few days later my daughter complained of back pain. I phoned my GP to make an appointment. After 20 minutes of trying to get through, I finally got hold of the rudest receptionist in the world. Her attitude was that I was a neglectful parent and it wasn't her problem to sort out. She told me to take my daughter to the out-of-hours clinic because she had no more appointments and she wasn't going to treat it as an emergency. At 6:30 I phoned the out-of-hours clinic and was told that all road traffic accident victims go to the emergency room. My husband took my daughter. She saw a wonderful doctor who identified a problem in her back. She's been to see a physiotherapist since who is slowly working the problem out. As for the driver who caused the crash, she is uninsured and unlicensed. She is being taken to court.

Now for a little good news. I have been given the following awards from the following people: from Kaycie, Sparx, and Jenny I received this

From Rotten Correspondent, I received this:

Thanks, guys. Now all you other bloggers out there who deserve this award, and you know who you are, just go ahead and help yourselves.


Pantheist Mom said...

Gracious! Any one of those would be adequate excuse to "moan." All of those happening within a few weeks? How have you not imploded???

"this too shall pass."



Kaycie said...

Oh, sweetie, that's a long run of bad luck. I do hope you've seen the last of it.

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts, especially your mother and daughter. And Jakie, as well, of course.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Hey Jen: I know it shall. And really all this could have had much worse outcomes. I watched "Beaches" on Saturday and had a good therapeutic cry. And I slept a lot, unusual for me.

kaycie: Thank you. I just can't believe this is all happening at once.

Kelly said...

We all have terrible weeks, but I admit that yours really takes the biscuit. If there was an award, I would even give it to you...instead I send virtual chocolate (or cheesecake if you have given up choclate for lent) and a big hug. Thanks for your thoughts about our dog...she is healing incredibly well.

Kisses, K

Flowerpot said...

Oh my God you are having such a bad time aren't you? You poor poor thing. However, Feb is nearly over and March is the time for good things to come. Big hugs.

ChrisB said...

You have had a lot to deal with recently.
Poor Jake it must be awful to know he has been in so much pain let's hope the treatment helps.

Sending warm wishes to your mother and your daughter.

The passport incident must have been horrendous~ always my worst nightmare when I'm away. I have to say especially when in the US!

Congratulations on the awards :)

Annie said...

WOW! That's a lot on one plate! Hope the poor doggie gets some relief from the meds.

Don't you love medical receptionists? Gatekeepers extraordinaire - they are no better here in my experience.

The passport issue sounds like a real hassle - and the official was completely right - US immigration personnel scare the life out of me - and I don't have any reason to be scared lol!

Sandrine said...

I am sorry you had to go through all this.
I hope the next weeks will be better for you.
I will be thinking about you and your family.
Take care.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Hi Kelly: Thank you for the chocolate. I had given it up for Lent, but what the hell.

flowerpot: I do need a hug so thank you. Can March be worse than February? God, I hope not.

chrisb: I have to say since Jake's been on the painkillers he's back to his puppy self. He just doesn't understand why he can't go on long walks anymore. In retrospect, the passport experience was one of the least bad ones this month. Thank you for your warm wishes.

annie: I hate U.S. Immigration people. They are unnecessarily rude, particularly in New York.

sandrine: Thank you so much and thanks for visiting my blog.

Anonymous said...

Phew! I am so sorry to hear about the dog. Of course you may remember Sparky (my border collie) dislocating her hip back in December and now you only need visit my blog to see how well she's doing. There is hope. Never give in.

Crystal xx

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

CJ: When I saw the pictures of Sparky, I felt so happy for her and you. And I know Jake will be better in time. It's just going to take time and money -- lots of it.

Pixie said...

whoa! I was just coming by to have a quiet read and .....
well you carry on moaning sounds as if you have good reason to for all sorts of reasons.
Poor Jake!

laurie said...

holy moly, coffee. this is all really grim.

your poor pup. let me think about this and do some research for you on my end. there might be other things you can do for Jake.

re your mom: don't worry about the biopsy. it won't spread cancer cells (assuming there even are cancer cells to spread.) they can spread during surgery, but these biopsies are very routine.

you would never get back into the US without a passport, so i'm glad that all worked out. did you ever determine what, exactly, happened to the passports in teh first place? and whose is still missing?

geeeeez not a terribly relaxing vacation.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Pixie: At least no one's died.

laurie: The passports must have slipped out of my bag. I don't think they were stolen. My son's is still missing. Thanks for the reassurance about the biopsy. I'll call my mother later to see how it went. I'll welcome any information you find about hip dysplasia.