Thursday, September 28, 2006

When the Dog Bites; When the Bee Stings...

When I'm feeling saaaaaaaad...I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feeeeeeeeeeel soooooooo baaaaaaaaaad.

You know, bad, but just not SO bad, perhaps. I'm still having the massive panic attack to end all panic attacks, but, hey. There are good things.

Mom just left with Bella, who will spend the night with her Grandmommy tonight, so that we don't have to yank her poor little self up at 4:00 A.M. tomorrow. Because me? I gotta be at the wretched hospital at 5:30. A.M. In the MORNING. Whee. But WAIT--there is an upside to that. I figure that if, say, it's a really bad mess in there ("there" being my bizarro innards, because even the doctors have NO idea what they're gonna be looking at until they open 'er up and SEE), and the surgery takes the maximum time they've blocked off in the O.R.--three hours. I'm done at 10:30, then out of post-op by noon and in a room. HOPEFULLY, that means that I have the bulk of the day Friday as a RECUPERATION day, not as just "the day of the surgery." I also have time to try to wake the %&*!@ UP and be ALERT before the night-shift comes on. Because, no offense to hardworking and dedicated night-shift nurses everywhere--my beef is not with YOU--I have found that hospitals tend to understaff that shift, and that as a result, there just isn't enough attention to go around to every patient's every, say...NEED.

So if I am, for the most part, alert come nightfall, I'll feel OK about being there alone overnight, as I am abundantly capable of making sure my needs are met (and yes, that means I can become an obnoxious patient if I have to), AND because, when I'm hospitalized and dozing in and out of wakefulness, and some loved one is there standing vigil hour after hour, well, then I tend to fret over THEM every time I wake up. (Is he comfortable? Is she tired? Are they bored out of their minds? ZZZZZzzzzzzz...) IF, however, I have still not regained full consciousness since coming out of surgery (this has happened), then I'm going to want Alex, or my Mommy. There. All night. Making sure I don't accidentally die while no one is looking. Or, say (as has also happened), get so dehydrated when my I.V. runs out and no one notices until the next shift that I slip into a cute little mini-coma. You know, stuff like that.

Are you, just now, catching onto exactly HOW MUCH FUN I am when I have an operation pending? I AM NOT HAPPY.

Where were we? Oh, yeah. Goodness. Bella skipping off with Mom to spend the night, taking with her MY old teddy bear, so that she can "hug it and think of me." That's good. Knowing she's in capable hands, since Alex's hands will be busy, and possibly even partially broken or fractured due to my overzealous squeezing of them. And that IF I am conscious, Mom will bring Bella to see me tomorrow afternoon. That is good.

Also? My husband can clean and prepare for huge life-altering events like a house afire (if you're not from Arkansas, that pronunciation is "a'far"). My house is spotless, the yard looks great, all the laundry is done, the guest room is made up, the floors are at "you could eat off them" status, the pantry is stocked, the animals have enough food for several days, and all the electronic equipment is loaded and ready to go. Gee, it's worth scheduling some surgery once a year or so, just for the Extreme Makeover, Alex Edition! HAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAAA! That is a total lie! NOTHING is worth surgery except to save one's own life, which is why I am doing it. If fthere was no chance this thing might kill me, as it has tried to do before, I might just play chicken with it the rest of my life. But, it has proven that it darn well COULD kill me if it wants, so I'm not jerking it around any more.

The new iPod is cool, as is the speaker dock thingy Alex bought me for it. Of course, I can't work it, but when he turns it on and plays my music on it, it's way cool. And people, mostly YOU people, have come through in spades on the happy-making music tips. WOW. From SJ and so many others with the links and the downloads, to the Caffeinated Librarian's PERSONAL mix CD arriving yesterday, to the inspirational and beautiful song my church choir director sent over, which seems to speak DIRECTLY to me...just, wow. Thanks, guys.

I get to spend time with my family. My mom, my sister and her family, my mother-in-law...none of whom live really far away, but I just don't get a lot of one-on-one time with folks very often. HA. Got 'em right where I want 'em now, don't I? Trying to leave the room? HA! Don't make me bust out my pity-evoking pain-moan on you, because it will bring you to your KNEES.

My ridiculous fish. I am forced to admit that I have become quite besotted with these ridiculous fish in the little pond just outside my living room windows. They're beautiful, and ever since they've become socialized, due to the 3 daily feedings, my excitement over the way they come rushing to meet you when you step up to the edge of the pond is rivalled only by Bella's. I love it. I just stand there and watch them being pretty and graceful and stupid, without a care in the world or the ability to remember what happened 5 minutes ago (or so say the "experts," but I've always wondered, if that is true, how it is, then, that they are capable of being conditioned to come a-runnin' at chow time).See that curvy, pretty red-orange & white one over on the top right, in the bottom photo? That is the survivor from Bella's short stint with her own fishtank, Carl. (Please observe a moment of silence for Carl's prematurely departed companion, Gil.) After Gil died, and Carl got to looking sickly, we put him out here. He has, since, literally quadrupled in size. In 5 months. I'm almost afraid of where the end of next year's growing season will find us, fish-size-wise.

Oh, yes: The house. SOLD. Done. Gone. Sentimentally sad, a bit, but GOOD folks are there now. And they're not even going to repaint, because they like my color scheme. Awwwwww. That gave me warm-fuzzies all over, for some bizarre reason. It was almost as if they'd complimented my child. Well, maybe my dog, or something. And yes, we had to borrow a smidge more than we intended to for our "new" home, but the way it worked out, our new mortgage payment is almost exactly equal to the product of our old mortgage payment plus the loan payment on the vehicle we paid off earlier this year. So now if we can just deal with the $600/month electric bills, we may just be able to make it work. We hope to be able to hire one of those fuel efficiency companies that comes out and hooks up the giant blower to your house and tells you where it needs help and what to do about it...and then, of course, to be able to actually afford to DO most of those things.

The Ninjas' Best Groomer Ever is BACK, for GOOD, from a way-too-long stint in Pennsylvania, where she'd moved for what seemed like 17 years. Welcome home, Michelle, and don't ever ever leave again ever, because I did some horrible things to some dogs with scissors while you were gone. Which led to me doing some horrible things to dogs with clippers, which led to me doing some horrible things to dogs by withholding haircutting tools of any kind for long periods of time, since I could only make them look WORSE. Michelle's mobile grooming unit sat in my driveway for two days while she made her way through the mountain of hair that was the Ninja Poodles, en masse. Actually, this time, pretty much everyone just got cut down, but that was still more than I've been able to do in recent months, merely because of the standing involved. How pitiful is that? But the dogs are all SO happy, now that they look like poodles once again, instead of either being shaved nekkid or resembling dustmops. Halle happily models her decidedly "poodlier" look, post-grooming (and yes, I will sell her one of these days, and yes, she is a litter-sister to Erin's Ryder, and yes, she is almost 9 months old now, and yes, this is just one reason I don't breed more often, because I tend to fart around and just keep all of the puppies for waaay too long):
Wow, the flash really caught her just-shaved white neck skin! It looks like she has a big ol' white spot on the front of her neck. She does NOT. (Can you tell from my blogging tone that a giant mismark would be a serious no-no in this breed?) And yes, look--boxes! Still unpacked! But ignore those, because my house is SO clean and nice and shiny. Alex even picked up little decorative touches like pretty candles, and even a brushed-steel soap dispenser for the guest bathroom that exactly matches the fixtures. Seriously--whose husband does that? We have a mild difference of opinion over a lamp and lampshade he bought for his bedside table, but...well, it's HIS bedside table, you know? Any my mom came over one day and SUPER-ORGANIZED all my kitchen cabinets, especially the stupid glass-fronted ones (I really don't understand anyone ever thinking that SEE-THROUGH kitchen cabinets would be a good decorative idea, but whatever)!

But yeah, things will be OK. This will be surgery number 10 for me, I think. Double-digits. They haven't managed to kill me yet, so I'm hoping this time won't be any different. But you can bet that I have not watched one minute of any of the doctor shows for the last few weeks. Well, except for "House," but he never lets anyone die. I'm sure I'll be fine, they'll get everything out nice and neat, solve my hormone-driven problems, and then I'll get to come home to a nice, clean, sweet-smelling house, where I'll be greeted by a passel of nice, clean, sweet-smelling poodles, and then I'll crawl into my nice, clean, sweet-smelling bed, along with my nice-clean, sweet-smelling daughter, and rest and get pampered like crazy by a whole mess of nice, clean, sweet-smelling family members.

Things could be worse.

Pray for me, those of you who do, especially during the scheduled surgery time, 7:30 to 10:30 A.M. CST. And also for my family, especially Alex, who has had his own struggle to deal with lately, and is having to put that aside to care for me. Which I appreciate. I do not want this to be too hard on him, nor any of the rest of my saintly family. I do thank God for plunking me down where he (or "she" according, still, to Bella, which works fine for me) did. I've been leaning heavily on the following from Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Which is good, because MY understanding? Well, that's what tends to lead to giant panic attacks and my crazy brain telling me that it's time to escape now, NOW, BEFORE THEY HOOK UP THE I.V.!!!!!

And everyone please look in on JenB while I'm "out," OK? She's having a sucky time, too, and I worry.


  1. I hope your surgery goes well. It seems like everyone I know is having surgery right now! I hope my health at least remains in the status quo.

    My sweet, sweet, late poodle used to model for photos after his groomings, he seemed to KNOW he just looked BEAUTIFUL! Poodles are so smart and bond with you so deeply, I can't imagine ever having another pet like he was to me.

    I thought he looked cute even when he was shaggy! :)

    You'll never look forward to surgery, I guess, but you can look forward to getting better. Try not to overthink it too much, and only think about it when the day comes. It's good it's in the morning, cuz then you don't have a day-long panic attack while waiting. I always handle things I'm nervous about by not thinking about them until I need to. There isn't much mental preparation you can do anyway, so it only compromises your immune system to worry, something you don't need while going in to surgery. Have friends and family distract you! Or read my blog to fall asleep! :)

    Take care, okay,

  2. Belinda, sending you TONS of good energy and healing vibes. After tomorrow it's all good!
    Much love.

  3. You I'm praying for you, but you may not know that I added you to a misheberach list at synagogue over Rosh Hashona, so many many people are praying for you, more than you could possibly imagine (membership is 1400 families, and everyone of those families has a number of people in it, so I'd say at least 5000 people in the greater Boston area, including Bob Kraft, the owner of the Patriots!...when I do prayers I do them BIG.)

    Please have Alex post tomorrow and let us know how it went. I know you won't feel up to it. But honestly, I need to know before I go quiet over Yom Kippur. We love you, Belinda.

  4. Belinda, you are an inspiration to me in so very many ways, not the least of which being your bravery in dealing with the Beast.

    Ryder sends a great big poodle hug and kiss, and we're sending our thoughts and prayers your way.

  5. I will pray without ceasing for you.

  6. Good luck Belinda. I am thinking about you and your family. Prayers and positive thoughts coming your way....

    I hope Hubby will be able to keep us updated. Take care.

    P.s...JenB is a part of my "daily reads"... I just love her...

  7. All paws crossed here at Poodlevania for a successful surgery and quick recovery!

  8. Praying super, duper hard for you Belinda!!! If anyone needs me to make animal-check trips or anything, you know my number!!

  9. I'm SO glad the cd made it there on time and it one piece. I've got my fingers crossed and prayers aplenty, Lady (and Gent)!

  10. Belinda~~ we have an awful lot of fingers and cleanly shaved Poodle toes crossed for you here in CT. I KNOW you will do great. Please keep us posted.

  11. You are in surgery now. I am praying for you and all your loved ones.

    Can't wait to read the post-game play-by-play wrap-up!

    Sending virtual hugs and positive vibes.

  12. I am praying for you and looking forward to your update posts on your recovery and feeling better.

  13. On my mind and in my prayers, darlin'. Get this overwith so you can get on with LIFE. :)

  14. The funny thing is, while you're worried whether or not they're comfortable, all they're thinking is that they wouldn't be comfortable anywhere else.


  15. Love you Belinda! I'm thinking about you!

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  17. We'll light candles for you. *comfort*

  18. Well, I don't know if I'd say "Best Groomer Ever," Okay, yeah I would. But only because it's soooo true. ;-)
    We're all thinking of you, and I am whipping up some awesome, hearty and wholesome meals for your family while you're recuperating, so be warned--errr--looking forward to it.

  19. I'm thinking of you! I hope it all comes out okay.



  20. wishing you all the best....

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