Monday, April 29, 2013

One Week - and anxious

One week from today, I will have kissed my husband good night and sent him on his way home. It will be 'day one' of a (what I hope) will be a three day stay in the hospital. I'm having an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion and we hope (know, wish, beg) that this will fix the current and ever present pain, loss of feeling, numbness and weakness that has been a constant August 2012.

Like any major surgery, it has risks. Not having it fixed, also has risks (not having it corrected has a higher chance of serious complication). Overall, I'm okay with the surgery and the plan. I'm not fixated on the 'what if's' and I expect the surgery to be a success. I've got no reason not to think it won't work!

In 2003, I had a lumbar/sacral fusion due to spondylolisthesis. It too was a three day stay - that morphed into an eight day, five infection, wrong medication (twice) hospital stay from hell. I came out the other side with a brand new lease on life and I hit the ground running and never looked back. The surgery was very successful and with in six months, I was back doing what I did before (and more). Pain was minimal and although I did still occasionally suffer from pain (mostly sciatica), I could usually stretch it out and keep going.

In 2007, I tore a disc in my back while pregnant with TroubleMaker. It would appear that pregnant women with previous back fusions don't have the same ability to flex as the baby gets bigger... It's all fine now, thought, it healed on it's own.

So back issues aren't new and even spinal fusions aren't new, but I'm a little worried and I believe that's got a lot to do with being a Mom now... It also has to do with remembering the pain of pacing the hospital hallways for two nights begging for someone to help me - to help ease the pain. To please LOOK at  the surgery site because something was seriously wrong... That was a truly dehumanizing experience that I do not want to relive. (In case you're wondering, I had a staph infection, obtained in the hospital, in my shiny new, 8" long incision. The staff kept telling me I'd just had back surgery and I had to expect some pain. I was up walking, the pain from the surgery was minute compared to burning, stabbing ache of having all the skin around your surgery site (and right around to the front) infected with a staph infection that was causing the problems))

I've stocked the freezers with food for when I get home, I've got a brand new bag of peas (for icing), I've got a back log of my soap opera to watch and I've got a bunch of books and I've got my story (which I've started writing on again - what can I say? I'm week and in love with my characters, I just couldn't walk away from them). :)

So... We'll see you when we see you.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Memories of Little Miss B - The Kitchen

Oh Tsarina, my darling princess, I miss you. It's been just over a week since you passed away and we've unplugged and cleaned out your fountain. Your crate is still in the Jeep and your cat stand is still in the studio. I don't walk past and reach to scratch you as much this week as I did the first week you were gone.

Last Thursday, I was making dinner, like I usually do but you weren't here to 'help'. Meaning, you weren't driving me crazy with your crazy LOUD meow (I wish I had a video of you meowing - how is it in 13.5 years, I never got a video of your chatter?), the meow, I learned, was a call for me to put down the cooking implements and come play with you.

The kitchen was very hot and I was breaking out into a sweat but I resisted going to open the kitchen window. I knew as soon as I touched the blind, I'd hear the familiar "THUMP" that indicated you'd jumped off the cat stand and were making your way to the soon to be opened window. Before I'd get the window open, you'd be pushing on my arm, trying to get it out of the way so you could take your rightful perch, mashed up against the screen, catching a breeze, spying the birds that dared fly by or howling at the neighbours like we'd abandoned you.

I took a deep breath, pulled up the blind and slid the window open. Then my tears started again. Oh, baby girl, why is this so hard? I had a good cry and went and visited your cat stand. I took the fur laden blanket from the second level and snuggled it close to my face, just wanting to have one more night with you on my pillow, making me wheeze.

But I made it through. Just like I did yesterday when I opened a can of tuna for my lunch. For the first time in all the years you've been my girl, I poured the water from the tuna down the drain. Max was hiding under the table, I know he used to share the tune juice with you, I don't think he'd have wanted it though, it was always more 'your thing' than his.

It is still very, very strange to do things like open the door and not have to rush to close it (so you don't make an escape attempt). The number of times I started to tell TroubleMaker "CLOSE THE DOOR!" only to realize he can stand with the door open all day, save for during mosquito season, because you aren't going to be playing to get out of it. After nine years in this house, your dad and I realized the other night we can actually put in the screen in the front storm door. We both agreed that having you would be better but it's the little things that we'd just adapted too that are going to be the strangest to get used to doing.

I love you, Little Miss B. Be good.

This is my way of dealing with the very emotional loss of our darling Bengal, Tsarina Jasmine (HappyKatz cattery). She passed away April 15, 2013 after a brief, but difficult and debilitating battle with intestinal cancer. She was my surrogate child for eight years (before and after the arrival of our son), for me, losing her, is like losing a child. I appreciate not everyone will understand my attachment and dedication to her. If you don't get it, please move on. I'm in no mood to deal with morons passing judgement on my life.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Memories of Little Miss B

It's been less than twenty four hours since you died in my arms and I wish, oh how I wish, that today I felt better than yesterday. I find peace in the knowledge that although I don't feel a whole lot better, I do know you do. Your pain is gone, the suffering is over, and for that, I am overwhelmingly thankful. Being able to have a few more days with you, to care for you, to bring you comfort, to let you be where you were always happiest, is a memory I will always cherish. I don't want to remember you sick and frail, so I want to remember who you were for the nearly 14 years you were our little girl.

You are gone and you're not coming back. And that sucks. And it hurts and it brings tears to my eyes every single time I think of it. You won't ever come home but you are always here. Everywhere I look, I see you.

I went to the bathroom today. Alone. It has happened before, but not very often since you came home to live with us in 1999 (and even more infrequently after your baby (human) brother was born in 2008). I looked at the wall where you always rubbed your cheeks before you swirled right, then left, trying to solicit scratches and a gentle tail tug. The dark little mark is still there and although we usually wash the walls and wipe them away every couple months, I touched it today knowing that if I clean it away, it will never come back. I think it's okay right where it is.

Then I saw the drinking cup. Oh, God, how you drove me nuts with that when TroubleMaker was a baby. I'd no more get him to sleep and you'd go into the bathroom looking for a drink and knock it into the sink. BANG! And the baby would wake up! Finally, we broke that habit by keeping the en suite door closed... That is, until we realized something was wrong a week and a half ago. Then I was so desperate to get you to drink, I cupped water in my hand and encouraged you to drink; even if it was 3 in the morning. After we found out that you were going to die, I would have done anything to have you drink from that sink.

And the toothbrushes! Do you remember when we picked you up from Grammy's after Daddy and I went to Texas? I left my travelling toothbrush out and came up to the room to find you chewing on it. That's when we figured out you liked to brush your own teeth.

Everything in that small bathroom reminded me of you. Toilet paper – how many rolls did you unravel in your years with us? But your favourite thing was to BITE the rolls and claw just enough holes in them that they were often left unusable. Oh, you silly girl, I'd say...

This house, and the house before, has you imprinted all over it and that's what's making this even harder on me, on us, your family.

Your cat stand; I keep find myself wandering over to it, ready to give you a pet and ask you how you're feeling. I'm waiting to hear you jump down and start meowing at me because I forgot to put your food out. I keep waiting to hear all the sounds I'm used to. You were the most talkative cat anyone had ever met. I'll never forget when we were in the condo – the neighbours asking us, gently of course, if you were okay because you'd sit in the window when we took Max out for a walk and MEOW at the top of your lungs. It always made us laugh and when we moved, the same thing would happen. It was so you... Neighbours would try and talk to you through the window (to calm you down) and you'd only meow louder...

The fountain was running last night, neither your Dad or I can bear to unplug it. It's hard enough having you gone, unplugging your fountain just... Well, it will stay on a few more days.

When we got home last night, we left your crate in the Jeep. I think your Dad and I thought it might just stave off some of the sadness we were both feeling.

But in this house, filled with everything you, it will be a long time before the sad is all gone.  I love you, little girl. Sleep easy.

This is my way of dealing with the very emotional loss of our darling Bengal, Tsarina Jasmine (HappyKatz cattery). She passed away April 15, 2013 after a brief, but difficult and debilitating battle with intestinal cancer. She was my surrogate child for eight years (before and after the arrival of our son), for me, losing her, is like losing a child. I appreciate not everyone will understand my attachment and dedication to her. If you don't get it, please move on. I'm in no mood to deal with morons passing judgement on my life.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - April 14 - 19, 2013

Hello.. It's been awhile since I've shared a menu - in part because I fell off the (planning) wagon. I've started using the MealBoard app I got for my Ipad and am hoping to plan a month at a time again. Given a few big things that will be happening, I'm actually hoping to plan several months ahead. I also started discussing doing big batch freezer cooking with some friends so I look forward to having some of that to chose from in the coming months.

Sunday: White Chicken Enchiladas with green chili sour cream sauce 
Monday: Veggie burgers
Tuesday: Mongolian Beef with fried rice and stir fried vegetables
Wednesday: Incredibly Easy Chicken and Noodles 
Thursday: Fettuccine Alfredo
Friday: Tacos

Thanks for stopping by and have a good week.

Linking up with:

Menu Plan Monday (Org Junkie)
Menu Monday (Erin Branscom)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's done... I think...

Last night, I wrote a sentence, in what I thought, was just the end of the thirty sixth chapter. I spent an hour looking at the sentence. Tonight, I've spent another hour looking at the sentence. The longer I look at the sentence, the more I think that it is actually the last sentence in the last chapter in the story. It doesn't wrap up any loose ends, it doesn't give you the answers, it just ends and right now, I think that is the perfect ending. As much as I enjoyed several popular book series (50 Shades, Twilight, Harry Potter), the authors wrapped up the stories and gave us all the answers in a nice, tidy package. Being handed the answers really pissed me off. Sure, we all love happy endings and in my head, with my own story, since the fourth chapter, I've been waffling on what my happy ending would be. The deeper I got into the story and the more involved with the characters I became, the more certain I was that even if I know what happened, I'm not so sure I need to draw those lines for anyone who may read this story. Part of what I've always loved about reading is being able to draw my own conclusions and make my own inferences on the why and how certain things happen. Having that taken away from me always leaves me feeling empty. Does the author not think I'm capable of writing my own happy ending? Does the author not trust my ability to draw conclusions? Maybe it's just as simple as the author needs to get the story out of their head and to them, that means painting the entire picture. As much as I abhor serials, I know that there is more of my story to be told, in fact, while in the shower this afternoon, I actually thought of a completely different side to the story that I may need to tell. However, for right now, I would say my labour of love is complete. Edited to add: Now what am I going to do? It's been done just over 25 hours and I'm already tapping the keyboard wondering what to write next...


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