Sunday, October 28, 2007

Piper's progress

I know I've said virtually nothing about how we've been getting along. She's been on Prozac the last three months and I think it has helped her anxiety a little, though she's still extremely reactive and very vocal (with nerve-jangling shrillness and with ear-piercing volume). She had seven teeth cut out of her head this summer, and it was a painful recovery. A couple of others are iffy, as the bone loss in her jaw continues. She's lost a much-needed 18 pounds by doing it the hard slow way, and still cries hysterically at mealtimes. I know just how she feels.

She's a real pain in the neck, frankly, and I suspect that my karmic reward for taking in this old abandoned girl will be as one of our clients yesterday predicted, that she will turn out to be the world's first 30-year-old German shepherd dog and I will never be rid of this short-term obligation. So she lives her life each day without ever getting enough to eat, and I live my life each day without ever getting enough silence to sleep. We are stuck with each other and that's just the way it is when you're family.

The month in review

A monthly blog entry seems to be about all I can come up with right now. Two weeks ago I got severely ill with a viral bronchitis which turned into multiple infections.

I blame it all on actually going to the doctor. I was so very ill initially that I felt scared about being able to care for my mother's needs. The bronchitis I had earlier this year lasted 12 weeks and I really wanted to just die, so this time I made it a priority to immediately see the doc-in-the-box (around the corner, 20 min, $262) and get meds. However, I think the steroids they put me on for the bronchitis left my already largely non-existent immune system open to all the other things that hit two days later.

Yesterday I started to feel human again except for the pressure- deafness in my left ear that's been ongoing the last six days. I think it will break, sometime, but I've never had total ear blockage persist for days on end - it's weird. But at least I narrowly avoided a burst eardrum. Last weekend I was completely without a voice for three days. Another visit to the doctor (out to Palmer, two hours' drive and $60) got me on a broad spectrum antibiotic and things started to resolve. I did get back to work most days this past week, just slowly slogging. And yesterday felt almost normal, just very tired. We had a Halloween party for clients and dogs and although it was very enjoyable (and I will have to post a photo once I have one, of Kari and I dressed as each other) I came home after and didn't get anything done the rest of the day.

In other news, I finished another section of working on Matthew's book last weekend while I could do nothing but sit on the couch. I really am enjoying watching his efforts bear fruit. And am looking forward to another piece of good news - he and Alice plan a trip to Alaska in a few months as he will be here on a speaking tour in January.

My mother is not precisely herself since the stroke. Much to be grateful for in her recovery, but a lot has changed. Being so sick myself, I haven't felt like I was doing the best in taking care of her now that there's a good bit that she can't do for herself. Dirk has been cooking for us at least once a week and sending Kari over with his creations - besides being a meat master, he makes the best soups and stews particularly, and that hits the spot for both Nana and me when we haven't been well.

Katie, Brett and Saucy moved away (to Las Vegas where Brett is now stationed) the second week of October, and I am sick at heart still. I know the future is bright wherever their young lives will take them, but the world here is so dark and diminished without their particular brand of compassion, perception, decency and good humor. I know that when you have had the gift of such extraordinary people (and dear little bulldogs) in your life, nothing will ever really take it away, but the loss of their physical presence is deeply painful right now and I can't think of it without breaking down in tears. I look at the wonderful photos Katie framed for us before they left and it's just hard to know we'll likely never see our little Saucy again.

In all, another month I'd just as soon forget, to add to a rather long string of the same.