Tag Archives: sick

Happy New Year!


Damn it is 2009! and I am ever so grateful….

Although it started out awful, I spend New Years Eve puking my brains out and it was not even alcohol induced, what fun is that!  I had the damn flu!  Just now getting back to my normal self, if there is such a thing.  

But things since the ring in of 2009 thing have already climaxed….. Leave it to me to get a new job in this horrible economy without even looking!  A promotion even, with a fantastic agency, less costly benefits, a raise, and managing a group of people I know (for the most part) and already have established relationships, not to mention the impact that the program has on our community!  I am so excited and terrified at the same time.  (Being terrified only means that I am anxious to do a good job.)  I am ever so grateful for having friends & acquaintances who believe that I am a capable, compassionate  and confident leader; over the years I have been fortunate to experience many growth opportunities thanks to this network of individuals.     

And Woody, the ever so adorable being below now resides with us.  We adopted him just before Christmas from the Community Cat Connection, the shelter where I volunteer and sit on the board.  

Woody has brought much love and odor into our lives, yes I said odor.  He is assaultive with his affections, demanding and persistent.  He loves to sit on my lap and knead, he usually goes for the boobs, I am after all his new mumma, but damn he has the biggest paws and claws of any cat I have ever owned.  He also has some problems with gas, stinky, smelly, offensive toots.  Have you ever met a cat that farts?  We we now are owned by one.  We are researching the cause and how we might be able to resolve the gas.  Probably a food issue.  It is on the checklist for his first vet visit with us.  Oh and he doesn’t meow, he quacks like a duck, is 15lbs (huge) and drools when he gets excited.

Hence all his Nicknames:  Duckman, Sirdroolsalot, stinky boy, the Tunaeater (say it like Arnold Schwarzenegger), Quackman,  Sweaterman (he looks like he is wearing a sweater), the boobymonster….. and the list goes on and on and on….

Woody’s transition into our home is very slow, with the ever so dominant female Boo who rules the roost not yet accepting his presence.  So for now he is set up in the finished basement with his own pad, toys, scratching post, beds and bathroom.  We call it his bachelor pad.  From all the reading I have done, slow transitions are the most successful transitions with hostile territorial first pets in the home.   Woody comes upstairs and watches TV with us, snuggles in bed and wanders the house under our watchful eyes, but does not yet have full access to the house when we are not present and engaged in his supervision.  Someday though, time, it will take time. 

Anyway, Happy New Year to you and yours; 2009 the year of CHANGE, for me, for you, and hopefully for the whole country.  It is going to be a good year for us all, I can feel it, can you?




Wiped Out


I don’t mean to intentionally disappoint my mass audience.  I have been suffering from a tummy bug for a few days and then I woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday with severe pain in my left ear.  It seems I have developed an ear infection, no fun at all.  In between the spasms of shooting pain (that radiates into my jaw, sinus and behind my eye) I feel like my head is in a fish bowl and I cannot hear very well, huh, what did you say?  And, lovely, this morning the other ear started to ache too, oh joy.   Damn allergies are tough this year.  Not hitting my nose as hard (not runny or stuffy), but my sinuses (pain/pressure), head and ears are taking a beating.

After being at work all day, my shelter commitments and family/household commitments I am totally wiped out and really don’t have any energy or patience to sit in front of a computer.  Not to mention I don’t have anything positive to say (so why say anything at all).

I hope to be back to my healthy self by the weekend through my regimen of regular doses of prescription ear drops, vitamins, rest and reiki.

$100 an Inch




So last week we noticed that Cooper, our pet turtle, had an eye infection.  It did not go away on its own in a couple of days so we made an appointment at Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals in Grafton Massachusetts, one of the few experts in the area.  Tufts is a teaching hospital and locally is highly respected for their caring expertise and 24 hour emergency services.  Locally if you have an animal emergency any time of day or night, they are the people you go to.

Now when I started having a Turtle as a pet the thought never crossed my mind that I would have to take him to the vet.  I have always taken very good care of Cooper (He has a very cool set up, seen below), and over the course of many many years never once has he been ill (until now).

Murphy’s Law, by the time Friday rolled around his eye infection had cleared up, but to err on the side of caution we decided to take him in for a work up anyway.  

It seems that the turtles they see in the “Exotics” department usually are much LARGER than Cooper, they commented several times that he was so little, he is about 4 inches in diameter.  As well the turtles that they usually see in the “Exotics” department are of the more exotic variety, Cooper is just a common Eastern Painted Turtle.   I am sure though that the Wildlife Department sees their share of Coopers kind.

He cooperated (no pun intended) by being pulled into his shell the entire time and was moved around like a lump of rock.  He had two x-rays that indicated that his lungs looked “fluffy”, possible sign of infection. (I wish we could get copies of the x-rays because they were really neat!)  So then they drew blood-work.      

Diagnosis: Cooper has an upper respiratory infection that requires antibiotics.  So we have to jab him in the front arm/leg  with a syringe every 72 hours (10 times = 1 month), injecting a teeny weeny amount of medicine.  The first time we did it really sucked, he flailed his little arms about I think I stuck him three or four times before I got the needle in deep enough to dose him.  Today went smoother, but you still gotta feel bad for the little guy when you put him back into the water and he holds the arm that you stuck in. 

Needless to say this little adventure was expensive, but as a responsible loving pet owner it was worth every penny.  I took on the responsibility many years ago and am in charge of his care.   It does not matter that he does not have fur & does not snuggle.  He deserves the respect, care and love that any member of our family does, we try to treat everyone equal around here.    

It has been a learning experience too, we also found out that Cooper “Male” is more than likely  “Cooperette” Female!  They could not tell us for sure without running a DNA test (not necessary & very expensive).  Apparently her long claws and flat bottom shell are indicators of her femininity.  Collectively we decided that she can remain “Cooper” and we will try our darnedest to break the “he” habit.  Now go through the entire post again and replace all the hes with shes.


Pretty Lady


Oh the sun is all mine today!

Here she is yesterday content soaking up the sun.   She had a good day, eating some catnip, enjoying some reiki, and playing with a pipe cleaner.  

I took her to the vet last week to have a second lump I found in her belly checked out.   As the doc said, “yup there it is, down the chain, it will have to be removed too”.   Hocus goes in for her surgery on Wednesday morning.

I am starting to feel a little guilty and selfish about putting her under the knife.  But in thinking about the alternatives, putting down a happy apparently healthy cat or leaving them in – watching and allowing her get “sick”, I have to believe that I have made the right decision.  The vet recommends the surgery and it is quite routine.  The point is that after the lumps have been removed the surgery will give her a better quality of life after she has healed.







Diary of one sick chick


Last week I had a nasty ear ache and thought I had an ear infection, but it cleared up on it’s own without treatment.  Just thought is was an after affect of the first round of the plague……..  

Saturday I was so exhausted.  I dragged myself around all day.  Finally around dinner time I felt so tired I had to lay down to take a nap…… ended up getting almost 12 hours sleep.  

Monday night was sleepless with a nasty sore throat that lasted into Tuesday.

Tuesday night mid yoga my head suddenly filled up with fluid and my nose has not stopped running since.  

Wednesday, yesterday, I went home early from work with the ick.  Did not want to expose my colleagues to my germs.  

I called in sick today.  No fever, but the damn nose will not stop running!!! I have zero energy.  And am bored silly.  Daytime TV sucks, but I am too tired to read or be on-line.  I hope to get some good solid sleep tonight and drag my ass to work tomorrow, even if it is for only a portion of the day, I don’t want to fall too far behind.  

Oh, and the generous loving partner that I am I shared it with H! That’s what love is all about, we share everything.  He called a little while ago to say that he’s feeling the start of it again.  

Not that there is ever a good time to be sick, but it figures that we would get the plague redux just in time for the holiday weekend.  

I don’t know what this virus is, but it is inconvenient, nasty and just as misery inducing the second time around.    

How I spent my weekend


sniffling, sneezing, coughing, moaning and blowing my schnoz raw…..

Not to mention trying to find the right balance of over the counter drugs that make being alive tolerable.

I did manage to throw together some fresh vegetable soup.  It took all the energy I had, but at least I have something hot and nutritious to eat later.  (and strawberries for dessert)  

I am wiped out, time to go back to the couch now and snuggle with the cat. 



10% Hope is not much :-(


OM at Kripalu

I am glad that I was mentally prepared and got a good chunk of my crying and worry out of the way yesterday evening.

Pathology should be back within 5-7 days.  There is a 10% chance that it is not malignant.  After pathology is confirmed we will run blood tests, urine samples and full body x-rays.  These diagnostics should determine 1 – whether the cancer has metastasized, and 2- whether or not she is even a candidate for surgery.

I am planning on making all the decisions based on Hocus’ Quality of Life, not quantity of life.  She is after all a geriatric kitty.  Surgery would only be an option if the cancer has not spread and she is not in a high risk category of going under anaesthesia, or the if the tumor breaks through the skin wall and begins to cause concern (I will spare you the icky details about that).  Chemotherapy is not even an option.  It is my will not to cause Hocus any unnecessary stress or trauma .   I keep reminding myself that every decision I make from here on out is for her, not for me.

To date, Hocus has had a full wonderfully spoiled life.  I was reading in a chart in the exam room today that she is the equivalent of 82 years old.  That is a good long life.  I plan on making her remaining days as happy as all her previous days and as comfortable for her as I can.  It is unclear at this point how much time we have left together, but from what I have read probably less than a year, likely 5-6 months.  If it comes to her being in pain, suffering, not eating, not enjoying her life, then I will make the difficult decisions. 

Right now Hocus is not acting sick in any way.  I am unsure  whether she knows that she is diseased. She seems to be really enjoying the Reiki sessions with me everyday and wants me to have my hands on her all the time (more than usual that is).  She is happy, playful, affectionate and my goal is for her to remain that way for as long as she can.  She is sleeping right now in the sun next to me out on the deck, absorbing all those good warm healing spring sun rays.

I am OK with this.  Yes it is hard, yes it will get harder, and it is sad, but I cannot change what is.  Fact -We all die someday.  I just feel like I have been challenged a little too much this year in the death department. I have experienced, “suffered”, many losses this past year, some people I knew intimately and some only acquaintances, but all significant in their own way.  I count seven total.  I know there is a lesson in all this death somewhere, I guess I have not learned it yet because I feel like I keep getting challenged & tested by it.   Either that or it might be the fact that I am inching nearly a year towards turning forty.  I think I like the “lesson” scenario better.    

I want to end with two quotes I found on a a Buddhist blog & website about the Buddhist perspective towards healing from grief and loss.  They make sense to me and resonate some beauty for me in this challenging time. 

It is best to expect to be up and down and just take each day and each experience as it comes. It is thinking that we should be feeling something other than what we are feeling that makes things so difficult.  The thing is to train ourselves to be as simple as we can be – simply feeling sad, simply feeling angry, simply feeling awful or happy for that matter.  That way we somehow can honour each experience and from that some inspiration naturally arises …….and we find the inspiration to somehow open up into the moment and live it in a way that feels meaningful and good.  Somehow we have the power within us to do that – it is what we are – we are that openness, that awareness and that sensitivity, responsiveness and its feels good somehow.  It is how it is and how we want it to be somehow.

I’m reminded of a Buddhist teaching I was given in England, by the 10 year old daughter of one of my classmates, Heather. “How do we hold on to the things we love?” her mother asked. “Like this,” she replied, with her hand outstretched, palm up, fingers open.
This is the epitome of accepting love, the gentle way we hold all that which is precious and delicate. 


There is still that 10% chance on which I can hope.