Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Great Depression

Here Marley is helping with the tree clean up. I knew then that Marley's hysterectomy was scheduled but she didn't yet. There is so much more going on besides Marley's hysterectomy. There is my best friend and her diagnosis of cancer and her commitment to "alternative modalities" that has the most impact on my feelings. I feel damn sorry for Marley. But I'm terrified that I may lose my best friend and much too soon. So I'm very sad to begin with. Even without the abyss looming I'm sad. It is my nature to be gloomy. It's either gloomy or euphoria. Happy? So fleeting it hardly registers. I have happy moments, but they happen inside the larger sadness.

Anyway, to get back to Marley and her hysterectomy on last Thursday during the day. While she was gone I was in a cleaning frenzy. Frenzied cleaning can take your mind off most everything if you do it right. But during this cleaning frenzy I not only found the pool of Marley pee in the greenhouse, but I also found the secret spot beside the garbage bag full of Navaho rugs neatly rolled and stored under the bed. You'd think I'd have smelled it. But she got between the tool box (full of prescription drugs I dispense to my weekly pill minder which I keep in the top dresser drawer to take out day by day so I never ever miss a days pills) and the roll of rugs incased in plastic bag. There she peed often enough for a small pond beneath the roll of rugs so rank when I dragged it out I cried not tears of sorrow, but the burning eyes and the tears of ammonia exposure. It dripped across the full expanse of the freshly cleaned Persian rugs and dripped on painted concrete floor on it's way to the door as I carried it outside to land on the deck in the pouring rain. One storm after another. Yes, we need the rain, but this much? I know of only one thing other than stress that can trigger an asthma attack for me and that's mold. I can smell it now when I go outside. Do you notice a theme here?

It took hours of trying to make myself flat enough to squeeze enough of my upper body under my heavy brass bed trying to reach every inch of space with a soapy rag over and over until all I could smell is Spic and Span. I worked so hard I dripped sweat, my hair soaked with sweat. I cursed the entire time. The only bright spot in this discovery of another Marley pee pool is that the roll of rugs kept the pee from continuing it's movement toward the east side of this slightly sloping floor and soaking into the Tibetan run under Cyrus' beds . Nothing's square in this place. And since I haven't been willing to find another little disaster I have refused to actually look inside the bag afraid I'll find that the rugs are ruined. But know this, it doesn't take much to make me cry right now, and my hair-trigger is cocked and has blown many times these past few days. Friends arriving unexpectedly have sent me over the edge into a shocking rage. I hope they will forgive me, but I haven't got what it takes to call and tell them I'm sorry about only one of the three things that pissed me off. Partly because I really was mad about several things that they'd walked into like a dare, like a bad move in a bad movie.

Marley came home and I still didn't have a clean house. As it turned out, it was just as well. Marley was in a little kennel with toweling for bedding, and Marley needed to be kept in her little kennel since she's recovering from major surgery. For almost 20 hours Marley hadn't eaten or drunk water. So I wasn't worried about her having to go potty. She came home with two prescriptions to take if she showed signs of pain or agitation. She came home with the plastic collar to use if she obsessively licked her sutured belly. I hoped not to have to use it since it looks like a kind of torture devise to me.

When she fully wakes from the anesthesia she whines pitifully. I give her tiny bits of soft food on my finger which she gobbles. I leave her kennel door open and she takes a couple of wobbly steps out on the floor and squats to pee. Okay, I give her a pass on that one. She is whiney and seems altogether out of sort. I know that feeling. I too had a hysterectomy long ago and it was the anesthesia that was the worst for me. I give her one of her pain pills, the Rimadyl and one of the anxiety pills to keep her from being over active and chewing at her stitches. She goes back into the kennel and curls up to sleep again. Then about an hour later she is awake and whining horribly. She scratching at the bedding in her kennel and a horrible stink is issuing from it's dark interior. I carry her in her kennel into the bathroom, since my nose tells me she's pooped in her bed. As it turns out her bum is leaking baby diarrhea, the color of mashed and runny yam and very foul smelling. There are only a few little smudges of it on her bedding, but her butt and tail are coated. I wash her off, change her bedding, give her on of the pills the Vet sent home with her to calm her if she's agitated. And she's agitated. I put her back into her kennel carry her back to the space by my bed so I can watch her. But now she wakes every couple of hours to whine. I take her out to pee and poop, but she doesn't like the rain. So she stands on the porch. When we come back in she pees on the persian rug before going back into her kennel. I am dancing on the fragile edge of my bipolar balance beam. I have missed two of my doses of the drugs that keep me sane and the drugs that keep my heart beating normally and the high blood pressure medication. I'm off my rocker and have no reserves.

And in the midst of all of this my three back lower right molars have abscessed. I am in agony but I was able to reach my dentist on his emergency number. I'm now taking antibiotics and Lortab. So far no improvement, but we're not dead yet. Nick called and I thought it might be Z so I answered the phone. The minute I heard his voice and started talking, I started sobbing. He's bringing books this afternoon. I'm going to try and read out this rough patch.


Mauigirl said...

So sorry for all you (and Marley) are going through! I hope things get better soon. (I'm so sorry to hear about your friend with the cancer too - isn't there any way to convince her to use regular treatment in addition to alternative medicine? I would be worried about going totally alternative.)

When we first had our previous dog, we tried crate training her and one time she got diarrhea while in the crate - a total disaster - she was never in the crate again after that!

Sherry Pasquarello said...

things just seem to come all at once and make for the perfect storm.
i feel bad, for you and marley.
i've had dogs spayed before. poor marley must really be having a rough time of it.
sending calm and healing vibes to all.

Tengrain said...

I skip a day or so to stop by, and all hell breaks loose in Utah.

You make it sound like King Lear, speaking of which, you need your fried to get you Fool by Thomas Moore.

I laughed until I peed like Marley.

OK, bad joke.

Get well, m'love. We need you more than ever.



Ghost Dansing said...

hang in there Utah....

lisahgolden said...

Oh goodness. I'm fretting for you, with you, about you. And that Mawley. And Z. I'm good at fretting. Let me do it for you.

enigma4ever said...

oh my and a new pooch..sooooo cute too...I am so sorry that I have not been round at all....I have been well...diverted and just plain tired out....I hope you are okay...and Marley too...I am lost here...out of had a big slobbery fella that used to be by your feet...I don't know if you still have him...well dear lady I will try to catch up....take care...many many hugs to you and Marley...

D.K. Raed said...

I cried along with our last dog when she got her hysterectomy. She was a big dog and did not take it well. The only way she would settle down the first couple nights was if I laid down in her bed with her and held her all night long. At least she was already housetrained (not an easy task because she was very strong-willed). You are a brave woman, UT. You & Mawley will get through this.

Randal Graves said...

Good luck with all the fuckery. Once everything passes, well, you won't look back and laugh, but it'll be over.

Vigilante said...

Hold Marley close, Utah. Give her a squeeze from me.

Utah Savage said...

Mauigirl, thanks for the good wishes. We are just maintaining for the time being.

Sherry, What is it with trouble? It seems to like to pile on.

Tengrain, thanks for dropping by. Shit happens all at once it seems.

Ghost, thank you. I'm trying to stay calm, to read, to cuddle Marley and keep her from nibbling at her stitches.

Lisa, I'm so glad you're checking up on me. I could use another fretter. I'm not sure I can stop and let you take over, so lets fret together.

Enigma, I still have Cyrus and Roscoe is still hanging out with us. But it's Marley who is currently the one with the problem. Glad you stopped by. I haven't been getting out all that much myself, so I too have been out of touch.

DK, glad to see you. When you were up north did it rain on your reunion?

I hope the potty training of Marley doesn't go badly. I'm a bit too frazzled to put up with a lot of doggy dumbness. I'm patient about real problems like stitches and pain, but stubbornness just won't fly.

Randal, don't leave my just because I'm not visiting Okay? I'm sinking into depression and it makes writing a problem. So I have this nice stack of books to work on. Thankfully I can lie around in bed all day and read. I know that sounds like just another stupid excuse for not actually accomplishing anything. But I'm actively waiting. Waiting for news about my friend Z, waiting for the antibiotics to really kick in, waiting for Marley to heal, waiting for Godot...

Vig, thanks for the visit. I will indeed give Marley a squeeze for you. Bye the way, is a Dachshund a republican or a democrat dog? It might help to know that when it comes to potty training.

1138 said...

Ouch and I was just throwing myself a pity party.

themom said...

I wish I could help in some way. Your plate is full which has it upside and downside. So much to deal with the immediate and possibly the future. I am truly feeling bad for what you have to deal with in your friend's illness. But remember, you have to take care of yourself first and foremost. Marley needs you along with Z, Cyrus, and all of us here! Stay well friend.

Commander Zaius said...

I almost wrote "the sun will come out tomorrow,,." but I figured you would hunt me down with a sawed-of shotgun. And you would have every right.

Steve said...

keeping you, your friend, and Marley in my thoughts!

Fran said...

Well dayum.
If I had a magic wand I would make it all better.
Excuse me while I go try to find one.... I could use some magic too....

One day at a time-- hope it gets better/soon.

thereturnofRusty said...

I'm a cat guy...had two that
to the ripe old age of 19.
Best wishes to you.

D.K. Raed said...

UT it rained so hard we were practically swimming in the streets which were more like canals on Saturday! so.....I came up with "let's go see the Salt Lake Men's Choir"....a gay time was had by all.

With our previous stubborn unhousetrained dog, I had to resort to yelling (loudly and a lot) and then snubbing her until she apologized. And of course making sure I took her outside every couple hours, heaping lavish praise on her when she did the right thing. She was a stubborn bitch until it finally clicked in her head when she reached 6-months of age. Some dogs really fight it.

Hope your waiting (for news of Z, for Marley to heal, and for Godot) proves fruitful!

Paul said...

I'll say a prayer for you tonight.

"The Great Depression" post was 3 days ago. Take it easy and take your time but I, like others I am sure, am looking forward to your next post to hear how everything is going.

Take care, Utah.

La Belette Rouge said...

Oh, sweet you and dear Marley. I am so sorry for all you are enduring. this too shall pass.
Hugs to you both.xoxo

Nan said...

Are you familiar with the indoor dog potty? I've also heard of people just getting a big plastic tray and lining it with newspapers.

We had a rescue dog once, an Irish Setter, that absolutely could not be housebroken. Her den instinct had been destroyed by being confined in too small a space for too long. As long as she wasn't lying in the middle of a puddle, she thought she was doing good.

anita said...

Utah --- as pessimistic as this may sound, and given your friend's diagnosis, i do think it would be best to just allow her to explore the various alternative / natural modalities out there.

having had the experience of watching both my sister with inoperable melanoma and my mother with the same diagnosis as Z (inoperable small-cell carcinoma of the lung), i think that two good things can happen when patients explore all their available options, be they traditional or non-traditional:

1. despite their prognosis, the patients feel very empowered simply by their process of exploring and taking part in clinical trials, researching other things such as nutritional and herbal therapy options and, so importantly, learning that some people actually do defy the odds and overcome the worst of diagnoses (i.d., long-term remission, etc.).

2. a lot of the alternative treatments include relaxation techniques, meditation, acupuncture, etc., all of which absolutely improve the patient's daily quality of life and emotional well being. and that is so very important. they also give the patient something to do with their time, since sitting around thinking and believing the worst is about to come down on one or one's loved ones is probably the worst thing for them to do, both the patient and for his/her friends and families.

believe me, i understand a little bit about Z's diagnosis (in terms of how it affected my mother, of course, since i do not know Z, and as well in terms of the amazing people i met this winter as i was going through my own journey with cancer).

yet there comes a time when we have to allow ourselves to allow our loved one to take his/her own final journey as they see fit for themselves. it's just part of the process.

be well, utah.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

i so understand this dilemma. my older dog is as stubborn as a mule, smart as a whip and contrary as me. he knows damn good and well where to take a piss (outside) but he also feels free to do as he pleases. my younger one, within weeks of arriving to live with me, began alerting me to his desire to exit and do his business. first he sits and stares me down, if this doesn't work he hops up and licks my face until I inquire what he wants. then he does his dance, nibbling my feet to tell me to arise and tend his needs.

Louis (the older fat king) will follow to the door, but doesn't like cold wet grass. If I don't practically hurl him out and follow him like an inspector to make sure he pisses, he'll hold it and come inside and pee.

Usually on something I cherish. like one of my precious persian rugs, tracked down in various auctions and carted round the world with me.

when they arrived here, I washed them all by hand (again) in the tub and hung them out in the garden to dry and air in the sun.

I'll have to do that again before autumn comes. the little bastard.