medical mayhem

Special Occasion: Yanno, Thursday

Canned biscuits

Canned biscuits

The other morning I stuck these in the oven for Art Child’s breakfast. When she woke up and came in the kitchen she asked, “Is today a special day?”

Ooof.  I was never the picture of the Happy Housewife, never cooked breakfast daily, but I used to actually make breakfast regularly enough that no one thought anything of it to wake up to eggs or muffins on a weekday.  The above wasn’t making breakfast, this was popping open a tube and sticking overly sweet pre-made discs of dough in the oven.  I’ve been pleased with how I’ve forced myself to relax over the past several years; not everything has to be from scratch, the world doesn’t end and I’m less stressed if I’m busy or my back is hurting so I buy leaves already trimmed and washed in a bag for salad.  (Still make my own dressings, that bottled stuff should be banned.)

For Art Child to look at those biscuits and think we were either celebrating or there was a state test she forgot about…let’s just say it made me take a closer look at myself, in a broader sense than in the kitchen. Have I relaxed and adapted or have my standards dropped?

Both. Yes, it’s good to relax, not put so much pressure on myself. Some of this “relaxing” is due to enforced lessons of hurry-up-and-wait, both in the world of writing and in the world of medical needs parenting.  Wait for responses, call-backs, appointments with specialologists scheduled six months out, test results, watch and see how things develop.  As a parent in the specialized medical world, generally bad news comes fast and good news comes slow. As a wanna-be writer, it’s the opposite. Again, these are generalizations, there are exceptions both ways. In either world that bad news feels like a sucker punch, even if you’re sure it’s coming. And in both worlds, sometimes the ball gets dropped, and you don’t hear news until months after you could/should have. Either way, you learn that most things are not the emergency they feel like in your own mind.

And yes, my standards have dropped. I think it’s been necessary for my sanity. When I first began writing and sending queries, it was done through snail mail with SASEs. It often took a long time to get a response, but 99% of the time, you got one. I took long breaks, lots of gaps in my efforts to write and submit queries. The next time I was querying, most were done through email, and more agents were straightforward that if they weren’t interested, they wouldn’t respond. Ugh! For a little while.  Then I got used to it. I had to. It’s like sending in a job application, right? If they’re interested, they’ll contact you, if not they won’t.  Put into that perspective, it makes sense–though it’s still absolutely appreciated to get a response, positive or negative.  Lowered standards or preserving sanity, call it what you will. If they requested a full, you were pretty much guaranteed a personalized response.

Now?  Even on a request, people are now seeing bare bones form rejections, the same as on a query. This latest go-round I saw agents who don’t respond at all even to requested material. I have a hard time with this one. Requested means you sent a query and opening pages, they (or their intern) liked it enough to send you a note and ask for the full manuscript. I checked with other wanna-bees to try and read the coffee grounds between the non-existent lines, and it isn’t just me. A request for a full doesn’t mean anymore than what it is, so don’t start practicing your acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in literature, you crazy-overactive-imagination-writer, you.  And yes, I know I shouldn’t be saying this out loud, let alone posting it on my blog, the internet is forever, some magical publisher or agent in the future could come across this and say hey! I was going to make Mrs Fringe an offer, but now I won’t. Obviously she’s whiny and difficult, a gnat of a wanna-be. How dare she try to hold on to any standards, think she deserves a little courtesy of a response?

I don’t mean to be difficult, though I’m fully aware that I’m whining. In many ways I’ve been lucky, received a fair share of requests, and gotten many lovely responses, personalized and complimentary. No one has ever told me my writing sucks and I should go submerge my head in my tank, stick to writing grocery lists. Thank God, because I am the worst shopping list writer on the Upper West side–three chicken scratches on the back of an old appointment card, and walk out of the store with $200 transformed into three environmentally friendly reusable bags.

I decided it’s time to slow my slipping standards, so I went to the Farmer’s Market the other day.

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Saw mushrooms that looked like they belonged in the art fair.

Passed on these.

Passed on these.

Made a wish on a particularly resilient dandelion

These things really do spring up everywhere.

These things really do spring up everywhere.

Said a little prayer

IMG_3977And set about making a fresh baked breakfast of rhubarb muffins.

I can still chop, if uneven.

I can still chop, if uneven.

Oops, no sour cream.  Ok, not dropping standards, adapting with greek yogurt.

Works out the same

Works out the same

Ready?

Fold the rhubarb in gently, Mrs Fringe!

Fold the rhubarb in gently, Mrs Fringe!

And then I couldn’t find one normal muffin pan. I found my teeny mini muffin pan, too small for those rhubarb pieces, and too annoying with such a thick batter. I found my muffin top pan, too shallow for the rhubarb. I found tart pans, springform pans, pie plates, and cookie sheets. No muffin pans.

Give up those expectations, and adapt.

Can I interest you in a slice of rhubarb bread?

Can I interest you in a slice of standard dropping rhubarb bread?

 

 

 

Shhh, I’m Hiding

This is Mrs Fringe, a little out of focus, sticking close to my hiding spot under a rock.

This is Mrs Fringe, a little out of focus, sticking close to my hiding spot under a rock.

Hello, Fringelings!  I hope all are well.  I’ve been sniveling so it seemed prudent to remain quiet.  Not much to say, really.  I’m lying low, pain, a gala of self-pity.  In order to keep myself occupied, I’ve been researching college options for Nerd Child. A fun and exciting time, right?  I have to say, after 8000 rounds of school admissions for each child at every school entry point, this isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Honestly, this whole multiple fractures gig is quite a nuisance.  Next time I’m going to opt for door number 2, maybe a 72 hour stomach virus.

Nope, haven’t done any writing, but the longer my arm is casted, the more my ideas for that short story are being pushed aside in favor of horror stories that involve rotting flesh.  Move over, Stephen King, Mrs Fringe has owies just begging to be fictionalized.

Two days ago I thought hey, I’m doing a little better, I think I’ve turned a corner.  Yesterday I had to go back to the orthopedist to be checked.  Hah! Sure I’m doing better if I don’t move, but by the time I returned home from a couple of hours of new X-rays, limping down hospital corridors, and being asked if “this hurts” I was ready to forcibly remove the jawfish from his tunnel and claim his residence.  Someone do a water change once in a while, ok?  In any case, the ortho now wants me to start non weight bearing physical and occupational therapy.  I have no clue what this will entail, but if it’s going to put me further along the path to recovery, I’m all for it. So I thought, until I got a phone call from the PT office to set up an appointment.

I know I’m cranky, and I know not everyone has a strict budget, but really, wtf?  I’m moving slow, no matter what I have to get the girl to and from school, and I’m having to take cabs because going up and down the subway steps is still out of the question. The coordinator from the ortho’s office assured me she would let them know I needed PT and OT scheduled together.

The PT clinic has other ideas.  I told the woman clearly, I have a budget and time constraints, so no, I can’t schedule PT and OT for different days, leaving me to get back and forth across town every day of the week–not to mention an additional co-pay every time I go. She offered me a PT appointment for this morning.  Fine, let’s get this started. Then she offered me an OT appointment for Thursday, exactly when I have to pick Art Child up from school.  No can do. She recommended I hire someone to take Art Child back and forth from school for the duration of my recovery.  If I were a different sort of woman, I’d have been flabbergasted.  Being me, I was pissed. I was watching the tank while I was on the phone, and the jawfish must have heard my thoughts, because he dove back into his hole and spit sand at me from the entryway. From a fresh perspective this morning, it’s a good thing I was still in a daze of pain from the morning’s appointments when she called, or I likely would have said some things that would have led to me needing to find a different clinic.

It occurs to me I don’t own sneakers that are real umm, sneakers.  Hopefully, since I won’t be running or doing anything with weights, or, yanno, standing, barefoot will be ok.

I think I’ll just keep losing myself in watching the reef.

skunk cleaner shrimp

skunk cleaner shrimp

anemone, still waiting for the clowns to discover him

anemone, still waiting for the clowns to discover him

bird's nest coral, growing fast

bird’s nest coral, growing fast

setosa coral, happy polyps extended

setosa coral, happy polyps extended

Queen of the tank

Queen of the tank

Acan, two new heads

Acan, two new heads

Acropora

Acropora

The jawfish venturing out of his hiding spot

The jawfish venturing out of his hiding spot

Fire shrimp

Fire shrimp

Is It Over Yet?

I ate all the fruit, I must be healed by now.

I ate all the fruit, I must be healed by now.

Isn’t that the loveliest fruit basket?  Sent to me by a friend, and it didn’t have strawberries, so I was actually able to eat it.

I’m working hard on staying, well, if not positive, at least fatalistic. Yanno: life happens, accidents happen, what can you do, blah blah, blah.  And in the scheme of things, I was lucky.  I fell forwards instead of backwards, which would have been worse for my back, and most certainly would have cracked my skull, thick as it is.  Nerd Child has been home this week (Spring Break), a huge bonus, getting Art Child to and from school, keeping me company, and generally helping out.

Art Child has been feeding the tank, and Husband and Nerd Child even got the water change done yesterday, so the fishes and corals are taken care of. I think Little Incredibly Dumb Dog has given up hope that she’ll ever be taken for a walk again.  I’ll just be grateful for pee pads, and she’s learning to enjoy sitting on the terrace.

No, I haven’t written anything, still feeling scattered and shattered.  Unless checking my Submittable submissions and lurking on the writing website counts–in which case, I’ve been hugely productive.

I’m impatient, and refuse to believe a multi-fractured pelvis is going to hurt for as long and be as much of a nuisance as predicted.  Every night I go to bed thinking, tomorrow I’m going to feel much better. By yesterday I was feeling fairly blue about the whole thing, and then Husband came upstairs with a package that had been left with the doorman for me.

I have the best friends.

I have the best friends.

Seriously. The best friends ever. This was sent by a friend who is laid up herself, how incredibly generous is this?! Chocolate heals all, doesn’t it?  It has calcium, that has to go a long way towards getting my bones back where they belong.

So yeah, my everything still hurts, and the road to recovery is longer than I want to admit, but the support, check-ins, and well wishes (along with the above treats) from friends is greater. Thank you!!

 

Suck It Up, Ya Weenie!

The latest must-have accessory for the woman of 40,000 years.

The latest must-have accessory for the woman of 40,000 years.

I tried.  Tuesday afternoon I was shaken but feeling positive, “oh, a few days of rest and I’ll be ok.” Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, not so much.  I made a bunch of calls on Wednesday morning, trying to find an ortho who could see me that day. No luck–and apparently most of them super specialize, and the offices all insisted I choose if wanted to see someone for my arm or my pelvis.  “but they both hurt like hell.” “Well, you have to decide which specialist you want to see.” Screw it. No appointment, the pain seemed like it was easing up, I figured I’d just tough it out.

10:15 Wednesday night, I was lying in bed trying to pretend the pain had not increased by multiples of thousands, and my back doctor returned my call. Bless this woman. I told her what was going on, and she told me to come in first thing the next morning.  I did, she checked me out, and sent me off to the imaging place, with more concerns than I thought.

I may not have been able to tough this out, but apparently I’m pretty fucking tough.  The next ten hours involved 4 MRIs, 7 X-rays, 1 CT scan, and 3 exams.

At the first MRI stop, after being told it would take 2-3 hours. Umm, do you have a chill pill or something?

Sorry, Mrs F, we’re an outpatient facility, so we don’t offer any medications.  We have headphones and music, it’s on classical already.

Find me the classic rock station and we’ll be in business, I can get lost in my youth–where I didn’t humiliate myself by breaking and tearing my body from a simple slip on ice.

Between the music and the two hours of sleep I was running on, I was able to stay very still, no panic in the tube.  Could have done without Van Halen’s “Jump,” though.

The doctor was in touch with the imaging center throughout, and it seemed that every test finished sent me to another.  Everyone was nice, but suspiciously nicer as time went on, particularly since I had to have been screwing everyone’s schedule, being pushed (figuratively) to the front of the line, staff and techs waiting for me to hobble in at each new stop.

Can I please go get tea before the next one?

I’m sorry Mrs Fringe, they’re waiting for you.

Again and again.

Finally, one woman said I could get tea while they burned the images of all the tests onto cd.  Yay! When I limped back in, she told me my doctor was waiting for me to call her. I know, I know, by this time it was clear I’m looking at some serious injury, but by then 7 hours had passed, 8 since my morning coffee–a woman needs a cup of tea–and some of us need several!

Every time I thought I was finished, I was sent to the next test, the next building.  I stripped so many damn times by the time I reached the last X-ray tech I expected her to stick dollar bills in my underwear. By then I knew I had 4 fractures, why did I need more X-rays? The day ended at the office of a special trauma orthopedist, his physician’s assistant, his orthotist, his secretary, and the cleaning crew–clearly waiting and wondering when this patient would leave so they could do their jobs.

So. Despite that first X-ray done at the urgent care place, my arm is fractured, and now encased in a super duper molded to my arm but removable for showering cast.  The rest of it….As I understand it, there are three types of bones that make up the triangular shape of the pelvis.  I have fractures in all three, including one that extends to the hip socket. I would make a joke about not doing things half-assed, but I’m pretty sure this yields the very definition of half-assed.

Dogwalking is out of the question for the time being. I didn’t actually ask about typing, I figure I’ll just go slower and less verbose than usual, stop when it hurts.

On the positive side, even though I feel like I’m completely out of shape, all the past yoga left me in good enough shape that I don’t need total bed rest, can hobble with the cane when I need to, yanno, live.  And I think this gives me the perfect opportunity to catch up on my reading.

Downturn on the Upswing

Lucky day.

Lucky day.

Yesterday I woke up and smiled.  43°F felt like spring compared to the single digits I’ve been waking up to. I was exfoliating my pits trying to scrape the last bits of deodorant on, when I remembered I had a brand new stick in the closet. The sun made an appearance and stayed out all day. I walked a dog through  Central Park, and enough ice had melted so the paths were wet but relatively clear.  We learned that Art Child was accepted to a high school she feels good about, as do we.

This morning when I woke, it didn’t feel as warm. Sunrise came and left behind a gray sky. Disappointing, but still not bad. The mounds of snow at curbs and corners are disgustingly black and slick, but they’re melting.  I took Art Child to school, and I slipped. Luckily, I broke the fall with my face.

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Oh yes. I went down hard and fast, didn’t have a chance to try to break the fall with my hands. See the black chunks that look like slabs of asphalt? That’s snow in Manhattan after a couple of weeks, and I slipped on a very similar looking mound.  My entire left side was covered in black muck and who knows what else.  I could just cry thinking about how I’m going to get this crap out of my beautiful sheepskin fingerless gloves. I opted to go home and shower before heading to the urgent care place for X-rays. A good thing, because it also gave me a chance to stop shaking.

My face is bruised and hurts, but not broken. My arm is sore and swollen, but probably not broken. The urgent care didn’t have the right machine (?) to X-ray my pelvis, if my lower half gets significantly worse I’m supposed to head to the ER for more X-rays.

After loading up on ibuprofen and acetaminophen, I figured I’d blog about my little adventure.  Turns out I’ve used up all the storage available with a free domain.  Upgrade time, we’re now at mrsfringe.com instead of mrsfringe.wordpress.com–this should also mean if you saw ads before, you won’t now, and you should automatically be redirected if you’re visiting from a link or bookmark.

I think this is now me.

I think this is now me.

Fuck spring, I want summer.

Why Walk When You Can Crawl

Sculpture and quote by Nerd Child, 1st grade

Sculpture and quote by Nerd Child, 1st grade

Change the he to she and yup, that’s Mrs Fringe. Proof that Nerd Child was able to predict the future.

This move has not gone smoothly.  In fact, I can say without hesitation this has been the most disorganized, chaotic, and s-l-o-w move I’ve ever made–and I’ve made many.

First there was the realization I was living in a clown car.  Seriously, we had ten times the amount of shit we should have been able to fit in the last apartment.  Then there was the fact that every time I lifted a hefty bag or moved a box, my back would cry.  And then the kicker, an early flu/virus season.  Art Child got sick, and then I caught it.  The first day I was sick, I happened to have a meeting with Art Child’s teachers. “Sick while moving? Oh no.” “No worries, I have a strong immune system, never more than a nuisance head cold.”  Mmm hmm.  What’s that about famous last words?  By the following night, I had 102° fever.  I’m still not completely recovered, but no one else has gotten sick, so I’m not contagious, and I am improving.  What I don’t have is stamina.  Yanno, that trait needed to pack, move, and unpack.

We have been staying in the new apartment for the last six nights, but still have some miscellaneous crud to move up here, and then turn in the keys to the old apartment.  Every morning I think, we should be able to knock this out by the end of the day, and every afternoon, round about noon, I think, oh-my-gawd-I’m-dying-I-can’t-do-one-more-thing.  A model of efficiency, I tell ya.

The most welcome sight in the world.

The most welcome sight in the world.

Above, the saving grace.  Big boy sneakers.  My godson has come the last couple of weekends, to help with heavy lifting, shlepping, and bringing bags o’ crud to the basement.  Man Child, bless his Herculean heart, also came last week. He took two days off from school to help sort and pack, and then did the majority of the heavy furniture lifting and moving.  Mr and Mrs Smitholini also pitched in, putting up curtains and ceiling fans, general assistance and wondering what the fuck happened to me.

We did get some new pieces of furniture.  I have a desk! A real desk! And it’s all mine, bwahahaha!  And a new kitchen table, because mine didn’t fit in our new, smaller dining space.  Luckily, Husband is in the furniture business, so when we realized the new table wobbles, he was able to fix it in no time.

Maybe I should have gone with my first instinct, a couple of matchbooks.

Maybe I should have gone with my first instinct, a couple of matchbooks.

It is all getting done though.  The first several days were like camping.  The stove wasn’t hooked up, the kitchen sink didn’t work, the dishwasher (hooray!) was sitting in the living room, and did I mention that my refrigerator died the night before we moved it?  The wireless internet didn’t reach the living room (where my desk is), and then it was spotty.  Finally I have a reasonable connection, for the moment I’ll pretend those cables aren’t slithering down the hall floor waiting to trip me.

Sure she looks innocent while she's sleeping.

Sure she looks innocent while she’s sleeping.

Little Incredibly Dumb Dog is very unhappy with the move and attendant chaos, and has been displaying her displeasure by peeing on the floor.  Yesterday she decided it was time to meet the new neighbors. While I was cleaning, she snuck under the divider of our shared terrace, and walked into my next door neighbor’s living room.  My bell rang, she came running and barking as usual.  It was my neighbor, reporting the visit.  Are you kidding me?! We had the same set up downstairs, she never did that.

Almost done.  That’s what I keep saying.  Well, that and knowing I’m getting myself a new tank as soon as possible.  Besides, with the new, higher apartment comes a better view.  This was our first morning, not a bad way to wake up–and no boxes on the horizon.

Somewhere btw 5-5:30am

Somewhere btw 5-5:30am

Sort, Sorting, Sorted

Meeeeemories

Meeeeemories

While it doesn’t quite feel like anything is happening, I am making headway.  The envelopes above.  There were over twenty of them on high shelves that lined my halls, plus dozens of loose rolled preschool paintings and 5 boxes of school and kiddo related stuff.  And cards. Cards from them to us, us to them, Abuela y Abuelo to them, Grandma and Grandpa to them, even one from my grandmother to Man Child. Cards to me and Art Child from several friends met online.  So freaking sweet, I wanted to melt with many of them.

My poor Man Child, we had a couple of years when he was 8,9,10 where it felt like a round robin of funerals and ICU visits.  “Dear Dad, Please don’t die.”  And Nerd Child, from homework on a page of vocabulary sentences, 1st grade, “My aunt was in a ventilator in the hospital.”  There are fun ones, too. From NC’s second grade teacher, a note in response to his first homework of the year, an “about me” letter:  “Dear Nerd Child, Wow, I’ve never met a kid who said Pink Floyd was his favorite band before.” A note from Art Child to me, “Dear Momy, Im sory, Im doo it nw.  Lov lov lov lov”  Whittled down to 5 envelopes, period.  The shelves have been taken down.

And the fridge magnets.  I don’t have any on my fridge in this apartment, it makes the kitchen feel too cluttered when you’re talking about such a small space.  But my last apartment?  Like 90% of other moms, the refrigerator was covered. Magnets holding pictures, drawings, receipts, phone numbers, appointment cards, glucose level logs, seizure logs, med titration schedules.  Ok, maybe not quite like most other moms, but close enough. Apparently I had put all of those into one box when I was moving in here, it got put on a shelf to be dealt with later. Guess it’s later.  In the box was the complete set of these:

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Two sets, actually.  I don’t know if they still sell them, they’re a little electronic learning game, magnetized so the main component and letters can all be stuck on the fridge, and it says the name and sound of the letter when fit into the main piece. The other set does the same, next step, slots for three letter words. Many, many hours playing with these. I was happy to pass them on to the nursery school.

The painting and the floors are close to finished in the new apartment. If all goes well, we’ll be able to really move within the next week or two, hooray!  I spent the day celebrating by cuddling with my sick and sniffling girl, Dr Who on the TV.  Ok, maybe I wasn’t hanging onto the Dr’s every word quite the way Art Child would have liked. Maybe I was cyber window shopping for tank equipment.  I don’t know why I find shopping for curtains and medicine cabinets tedious, but protein skimmers and RO/DI water systems and salt mixes, oh my!  Bestill my shriveled reefing heart.

We saw this sky the other evening, I had to take a photo to share.

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Happy Anniversary: Carpe Diem

Mrs Fringe is 2 years old.  I could write a fun post, a retrospective of the highlights, discuss how very much this blog and all of my followers mean to me, but in true fractured Fringeland style, I’m not going to do any of those today.  No silliness, no photos. Instead, I’m writing a PSA post, asking you all to please read and remember.

I’ve written epilepsy awareness posts before, I usually post one in November, but I’m writing another one today.

On the train this morning I got a phone call from Man Child telling me he was on his way to the ER, and when I arrived at the beach it was raining.  Ok, life.

After the rain stopped and the clouds moved off, someone several towels down had a tonic clonic seizure.  Tonic clinics are what used to be called grand mal seizures.  I went over, as did several other people.  Really nice to see so many willing to get involved and see if they could help, lifeguards were hailed, police were flagged down, 911 was called.

I was umm, happy?  I don’t think happy is the right word, to see the person was on their side, and they were on a towel on the sand, away from the water, nothing to be injured on.  This is probably the safest scenario for a seizure when someone is alone and outside.

But I was quickly upset, and I’m still upset now.

The problem.  One woman pushed through, trying to turn the person onto their back, saying they needed to be held down. NO. There is no reason to restrain someone having a seizure, and doing so risks injuring them.  No less than two people stepped forward ready to grab the jaw and force the mouth open, yelling that they were going to choke on their tongue.  NO.  NEVER, EVER PUT ANYTHING IN THE MOUTH OF SOMEONE HAVING A SEIZURE.  It is physically impossible for someone to choke on their tongue.  It is, however, possible for the tongue to block the airway, which is why lying on their side is the safest position for someone having a seizure.  One woman tried to hold their head, saying she was going to put her finger in their mouth to swipe away the saliva.  NO.  Nothing in the mouth includes fingers, it’s a good way to a) have your finger injured, possibly bitten off, b) break the jaw of the person having the seizure, c) trying to force anything into the mouth when someone is seizing can result in chipping their teeth.

Yes, I spoke up.

But, why, oh why, is there not more seizure awareness?  Seizures aren’t rare.  1 in 100 people can expect to have a seizure in their lifetime.  Anyone can have a seizure.  Epilepsy is generally defined as 2 or more unprovoked seizures.  Epilepsy can develop in any person at any time.  It is the fourth most common neurological disorder.

So how come, as the person was coming out of the seizure, the only question asked was if they had taken anything or been drinking?  These are valid, important, sensible questions.  But they weren’t asked if they had epilepsy.

Most seizures are self limiting, — end on their own.  Without anything else going on (injury, illness) they are usually not considered medical emergencies.  But they can be.  People can and do die– from SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy), status epilepticus (prolonged seizures), and injuries sustained during seizures (head injury, drowning, etc).  These events are not common, but they can and do happen.

Please.  Know what to do in case someone around you has a seizure (and tonic clinics are just one of many types).

Backwards Skate

Hellooo Fringelings!

It’s been a little bit since I last posted.  You know what they say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then shut the fuck up.  Really it’s just been hectic.  Nerd Child is home for the summer, which is wonderful, and Mother in Law is in the hospital, not wonderful.  On the bright side, she’s recuperating, getting stronger each day.  Art Child is not finished with school yet, the NYC public schools are in session until the end of June every year.  Just making sure that even with a late start to summer weather, the kids and teachers have plenty of sweltering days in the classrooms.

This has, of course, all involved a lot of back and forth and running around.  Yesterday, Mother in Law told me I need roller skates.  I agree, and would like the ones I had in middle school/high school, with the emerald green wheels and matching green sparkle laces and furry green pom poms.  Yes indeed, I was stylin’ those Friday Nights at the Roller Palace.  For some reason, my clearest memories involve the inevitable point in the night when someone’s wheel would bust off, and there would suddenly be a thousand little ball bearings rolling across the floor.

Alas, my wheels are long misplaced, and I suspect if I tried, I’d be skating backwards when I tried to go forward.

Yesterday Man Child called me to touch base, and maybe, just maybe, give me a little nudge along the lines of, “Hey Ma, wtf?!  You haven’t blogged.”  So I brought my camera earlier today, to catch a few pics of St John The Divine, and the assault construction taking place on its grounds right now.  In my opinion, this cathedral (Episcopal) is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, in the city.  Interesting, too.  Construction began in 1892, and has yet to be completed. The campus involves something like 11 acres, and they offer a lot of free or inexpensive programs and classes for the public.  They also house one of the fancy private schools of NY.  Somehow, they’ve found themselves running with a deficit.  There was a huge fire over ten years ago, and if I had to guess, I’d say they’re still trying to make up for the cost of restoration and clean up.  Several years ago they leased a corner of the property, and allowed an apartment building to be put up.  Now comes another one, this one much closer to the church itself.  As I walked around with my camera, able to see in through the back along Morningside Ave, it broke my heart a little.  They don’t have official landmark status, and I’m not familiar with the politics of this type of thing to know why, but somehow, seeing the excavation for the foundation up against the gorgeous granite and carvings, it feels wrong.

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This Way Lies Madness

Make it stop!!!!

Make it stop!

That’s in the hallway outside my apartment.  It’s been chirp-shrieking for three days now.  Why, oh why, doesn’t someone with a ladder come and change the battery?

Little Incredibly Dumb Dog is afraid of the sound.  She spent all of Saturday quaking. She barks and jumps like a wee mop lunatic for me to pick her up every time we’re in the hall waiting for the elevator to go down for a walk.  By yesterday, she realized it can’t actually harm her through the door when she’s in the apartment, so she spent last night demonstrating her valor by growling and barking at the doorknob.  All. Night. Long.

I considered (for about the 29th day in a row) working on the short story I’ve been building in my mind. Nope, not yet.

Big Senile Dog is only bothered by the little one’s shenanigans.  I think his hearing is going, in addition to his kidneys.  Why yes, I did have to take him back to the vet for more testing, and spoke with her a while ago.  Renal failure.  We’re going to try to keep him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.  The thing is, when you live in this world of medical mayhem I’ve been party to in the last ten years or so, part of your brain starts sifting through and throwing up memories of every one of these moments when you hear test results.  Fucked up as this sounds, I’ve dealt with much worse.  Sorry.  I love my beasts, but watching Husband turn blue?  Worse.  Art Child turn blue? No contest.

Big Senile Dog was a gift from my brother.  What an awesome gift, right?  None of us dreamed of the extent of  it until he became an unofficial but invaluable service dog for my daughter.  In the dog/people world, Big Senile Dog’s breed hasn’t been “just” a pet for very long.  They’re working dogs.  Bless his tired, scrawny body, he’s worked for us.  Gift isn’t the word, I don’t think there is one.

I didn’t cry when the vet told me, just asked questions about how best to keep him comfortable, and stressed that I don’t want him to suffer.  We should still have at least a couple of months with him.  I’ve been on the receiving end of bad news for people and critters I hold near and dear many times, and many lessons learned.  Among them, falling apart doesn’t mean you care more, not falling apart doesn’t mean you care less.  I will say, though, falling apart while speaking with a doctor makes it much harder to take in the necessary information, understand what they’re saying, and then move forward with what needs to be done.  This doesn’t mean I don’t feel, I’ve just become, I don’t know…judicious? in the when and where.  Try to be, anyway.

I’d like to say I’ve learned all these marvelous spiritual lessons, but in all honesty I can’t.  What I’ve learned is that all I don’t know, can’t control or predict, is vast– and there are no safe assumptions.  Not assuming medical science can treat all or even identify all.  Not assuming good writing trumps all.  Not assuming what I believe is everyone’s truth–or even my truth a year from now.

Nerd Child was home a couple of weeks ago, and sounded like shit.  His asthma and allergies were flaring, and I told him approximately 53,000 times how important it is for him to take care of himself.  In completely age appropriate teenaged boy spirit he told me, “Don’t worry, Ma.  I’m not dead yet.”  Flippant, sure.  But a good reminder to keep perspective, too.

So no, I’m not crying, but I need the musical equivalent of comfort food.