Monday, 31 March 2008

Cone head is back

Jake was better over the weekend, thank you all for your kind wishes and comments. I took the cone off on Saturday, and he was one happy puppy chasing his ball and licking his wound. However, I put the cone back on him Sunday morning because it looked like pus was coming out of his scar. I sterilized some tongs, put some cotton balls in rubbing alcohol, picked them up with the tongs and very gingerly dabbed them on the scar for about one second before he reared his head in pain. It seemed to do the trick though. I kept the cone on him all today but then thought he might be OK to have it off again. After 20 minutes, I inspected the scar. Part of it was red-raw-looking so back on with the cone. I'm too chicken to try the rubbing alcohol again so I am taking him to the vet tomorrow and ordering a BiteNot collar as well. No more fooling around. He may not realize what an infection could do to him but I do.

Yesterday hubby and I spent quite a bit of time working in the garden, weeding, digging, cleaning up. Hubby said to me, "Don't do any heavy lifting or digging. I'll do it for you. Remember your back." Famous last words. As I struggled with digging up a kniphophia that had grown out of control, I felt my back go. I quickly went inside and did a bunch of exercises designed to stretch the lower back, but too late.

Of course, that made it even more difficult for me when I tried to coax Jake to climb up his ramp to get in the car today. I thought I'd take him for a walk somewhere different, but he didn't want to go. Eventually, I got him up, and I do believe he was quite pleased to have a change of scenery. Still, I struggled to get him back in the car again. Somehow, my phone managed to call hubby at work (he's still there; they just keep prolonging his agony by not releasing him) while this struggle was going on. He had quite a laugh listening to me try various methods to get Jake up the ramp. From "C'mon sweetheart" to "Jake! Get up the ramp now!" Imagine if this had happened in a different scenario! Wouldn't be so funny then.

I am trying to look on the bright side as much as possible. In the mornings I find myself waking up with damp eyes. These are tears escaping when I'm at my most vulnerable. I am going next week to my mother's for two weeks. She phoned Saturday night while I was out with my daughter at a dance competition (her team didn't win anything) and seemed a bit distraught. I called her back. Seems no one from Florida, not my brother, my sister, or her four children, can spare the time to go see my mother. So I am going. This will not be easy. I will fly from Manchester to Salt Lake City via Newark, spend the night, then drive five hours. It is a journey I have made every summer for many years now, but this will be the first time I do it on my own. This will not be cheap either. While hubby has a few job possibilities, nothing is definite. My mother sent my sister $1,000 recently to keep in case she or one of her children needed to fly out to my mother in an emergency. I don't know what's happened to the money. Maybe my sister doesn't think this is an emergency.

I'm actually disgusted with my sister. While my mother was hospitalized with atrial fibrillation, her heart rate went as high as 200 at one point. She said she thought she was going to die. My sister told her people don't die of atrial fibrillation. Well, I checked, and yes, they most certainly can die of that. They can also get embolisms from it. Since my mother's been home from the hospital, she's asked every one of my sister's children if they could come out and see her. Nope, not one of them can spare the time. My sister told my mother there are people in this world who are much worse off than her. I can't believe she was so heartless and unsympathetic. Since January my mother has had a biopsy on a lump on her breast, pneumonia, blood found in her stool, and atrial fibrillation. Her doctor took her off the medication she takes for her tremor (age-related, not Parkinson's) so she's shaking a lot. She feels very weak and obviously needs family around her to lift her spirits.

This means I will miss Jake's follow-up appointment with the surgeon. Hubby has not been to the referral center. I will have to show him how to get there before I go. I will have to give him a list of things to do and ask. I will have to get Jake used to the ramp again (I don't want hubby manhandling Jake). The house and people in it will cope while I am gone, but I bet the ironing will be left till I get home (and I hope it is because hubby hasn't a clue how to use a steam iron. Seems his mother still used the Victorian kind you heated on the fire).

I haven't felt this stressed in many years. Sunday morning after I discovered the pus on Jake's scar, I could feel the stress building inside me. The tight chest, the pins and needles feeling in my fingers, the tense muscles. My back went because I was doing heavy lifting, but it also went because that's what it does when I feel stressed. Which makes me even more stressed. I will get through all this. I hope my mother gets better and Jakey gets better and hubby gets another job and no more horrible things happen. But if they do I will have to cope because there's no other choice.


softinthehead said...

Goodness me, you do seem to have a lot on your plate at the moment, hopefully a change of scene will help, It will certainly be good for your mum. Remember you will be good to no-one if you don't take care of yourself.

J said...

If things happen in threes, you have your three (jake, mom, hubby's job), and things can only get better from here.

Fingers and toes crossed for you, and please take care of yourself as best you can.

Shania said...

Gracious, things do seem to pile up, don't they? I hope the time with your mother does you and her a world of good. Sometimes it's hard to remember that we can't take of everyone else if we don't take care of ourselves. Which is much easier said than done.

laurie said...

you've hit quite the rough patch. the good news is, once you get through all this---and you will---things will be quiet for quite some time. that's the way of the world.

good luck.

jenny said...

Oh lovey-- Such a rough time for you these days. I can certainly empathise with you. I'd go visit your mama if she lived closer to me! What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. Remember that as you fly out to help her, in the midst of all the chaos at home. I hope your mama will be ok, Jake will get better, and Hubby will find a job sooner rather than later.


ExpatKat said...

Your mother is truely lucky to have you. She's obviously feeling frayed herself. It's a great thing you're doing travelling to see her when your own life is on a downer. You'll be blessed for blessing her I'm sure.

Flowerpot said...

I am so sorry - you're giong through such a rough time at the moment. But well done you for making that incredible trip to see your mum. Adn book yourself in for a massage when you get back.

Kelly said...

Golly- it's all happening in your part of the world. Hope your trip goes well. Have everything crossed for you.

marymaryquitecontrary said...

We always find extra strenght to cope in bad times. You will too. Jake is on the mend,; the vet will deal with any infection if he thinks it necessary; so don't worry.
Another job will come your husbands way; maybe one he will enjoy even more.
When you see your Mother,give her a hug,see to her needs, you will feel much better. Your conscience will be clear. Going to see her is the right thing to do ;your sister has to live with hers.

Pantheist Mom said...

It's good you're headed out to be with your mother. You're doing the right thing. If you can, block out all the sibling issues. That's background noise (annoying and not necessary).

Be CAREFUL with your back! Ack. Makes it hard to think, much less fly around the globe when that goes.

Go slow, take it easy, and take one day at a time. You're stronger than you think.

ChrisB said...

I feel for you all these stressful things happening at the same time. However, I bet your mother is thrilled that you are going to visit so you will be a real tonic for her.
Hope Jake will be OK and a good employment opportunity turns up for your hubby.

Kaycie said...

It's so hard to cope with just one of the things you have going on right now, having them piled one on top of the other is dreadful.

I'll be thinking of you and hoping all is going as smoothly as possible.

Sally's Chateau said...

I know those feelings so well, I leap and my bike and pedal furiously, take care xx

Vi said...

I do hope things get a little bit more easier for you hon, before you get really sick yourself from the stress of it all. x

Pixie said...

Oh Hon you have more than you need to deal with right now.
sending you positive thoughts that it's all going to get better asap.
flying by yourself is a doddle, you can ask foor an upgrade and relax into the whole thing without feeling you have to constantly know where the kids are.
And sleep without interruption on the plane, or get drunk or whatever.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

If I ever need picking up, I know exactly where to go. Thank you all so much for your supportive comments. You don't know how much they mean to me.