Song Lyric of the Day:
I think I found something / I think I found something in my TV screen / I think I found out, that I have nothing / That I have nothing in this place for me
The Neighbourhood / “Female Robbery”
I’ve never really looked forward to the end of a month before, but now that the end of October is in sight, I’m thisclose to breathing a sigh of relief. Because it has been a very stressful month, to say the least. (Heads up: This is going to be a long post.)
The downward spiral, as it were, started on Monday, October 1. Midday, a coworker came to tell me Rich was laying down on a couch and thought he had food poisoning and wanted me to take him home. We packed up our stuff, and I finished out my workday from one of the upstairs couches while Rich slept fitfully on the other couch. Around 5:30PM, he asked me to take him to the hospital since he felt worse. I called Mom to let her know what was going on so she’d know why we weren’t on our way to pick up Coraline. Hours later, we got the diagnosis of kidney stones and I left to pick up Coraline while Rich and I tried finding someone to bring him home; our neighbor ended up saving the day.
That Thursday I started a week of house- and pet-sitting for my parents, so I was going back and forth between our houses a lot (Mom and Dad have diabetic kitties who need insulin shots twice a day). The following Monday Rich ended up getting blasted by lasers to break up the larger (5mm) of the two kidney stones. Thankfully, his mom was able to bring him home from the hospital so I could continue working and watching Coraline.
Wednesday morning rolled around and when I got home from Mom’s house to help Rich get Coraline ready for daycare and then carpool to work, I noticed that our dog Happy couldn’t raise her head to say hi to me. Rich then told me how he hadn’t been able to get her to eat or drink the night before and that he’d found her collapsed in the grass during the dogs’ bedtime walk. Happy had been in decline for a few weeks by this point, and even though she had rallied a bit, I still didn’t want to admit this might be the end. We came home from work at lunchtime, and when I walked In the living room, Happy was so unresponsive I at first thought she had died. I started crying (again after a morning cry) and asked Rich to please call the vet. We dropped her off at the vet on our way back to work; we were scared she would hurt herself without us around. We arranged to come back at 4PM to be with her and say goodbye, and Rich called his parents to let them know (we rehomed Happy from Rich’s parents). Back at work the time remaining until 4PM seemed interminable, with me making numerous trips to the bathroom to cry. By the time we got to the vet, Rich’s parents had been with Happy for an hour, so I was grateful they had some time together. Rich, his parents, and I were all with Happy when the time came to say goodbye. It broke my heart when we brought Coraline home from daycare and she immediately pointed to the dog beds and said, “Happy. Where’s Happy?” I said, “Happy’s not here anymore. She’s in heaven now.” Then I rushed to the bathroom to cry while Rich attended to Coraline. That turned out to be the tip of the iceberg as far as how Coraline has noticed and been affected by Happy’s passing.
The next day I picked up Coraline from daycare and took her to wrap things up at my parents’ house; my sister was picking them up from the airport later that night. Everything was going fine until Coraline started down the stairs just ahead of me, after I told her to wait for me. I think I had three simultaneous heart attacks as I watched her fall down the stairs (about eight steps, I believe). The only saving grace was that she rolled down perfectly parallel to the stairs and did NOT hit her head, even on landing on the floor at the bottom. I called a triage nurse immediately to find out if I needed to take Coraline to the ER; all I kept thinking about was Natasha Richardson and her seemingly innocuous bump on the head. After several minutes of me answering the nurse’s questions, she advised me on what to watch out for so I would know if/when to rush Coraline to the hospital. If she’d hit her head, I would’ve taken her to the hospital straightaway, but (THANK GOD), she didn’t hit her head. She didn’t even end up with any bruises. Someone was watching out for her that night. I knew she was going to be OK when she said, “I fall down stairs,” a couple of times, followed by her asking to finish eating her chicken nuggets. Once we got home, as Coraline was jumping up and down on our bed, I told Rich what had happened. Needless to say, he doubted my story a bit as Coraline was hopping around like a nut.
The next few days were blessedly uneventful until Mom called me at work Tuesday morning to tell me she’d fallen down a couple of steps and had hit her head. I ran and told my boss why I had to leave, picked up Mom and my nephew, who she was watching, and rushed to the hospital. I spent the next few hours waiting to hear that Mom was OK (her CAT scan came back clean, thank God) and sending texts and returning calls to keep our family apprised of what was going on. Turns out Mom also had someone watching out for her.
Oh, and there was also a shakeup at work that led to my friend/coworker’s departure. And Rich and I also received some news that has helped send our stress levels skyrocketing. Because we weren’t already at all stressed this month.
I know things could have been a LOT worse this month, particularly with regard to Rich’s health and Coraline’s and Mom’s falls. But with my life turning into fodder for a country music song in the span of a few days, it was definitely bad enough.
So that’s why I can’t wait for this month to be over. I sure as hell hope your October has been better than mine.