Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

A thousand apologies. It seems forever and a day since I last wrote, and I have no excuse, as the car is (once again) down. Well, actually, it's in perfect working order. It's just liable to have a wheel fall off at any moment due to a bad tie rod, so it is parked outside Zabet and Hubby's house so I'm not tempted to go out for ice cream and get myself and a few others killed. [Warning, rant on how awful my pre-menstrual &^&$^%^ week went to follow. But, hey, in DBT they have this thing called 'comparison' where you cope with distress by comparing your situation to something else far worse. So maybe this will help you in your day. :) ] Okay, first the car: this latest probelm came on top of a bad battery, replacing the battery which was, thankfully, under warranty. After two weeks thinking I was going to have to buy a new alternator followed by one day of mobile bliss, there was the troublesome battery connector that had to be squeezed together as hard as we could get it so that I could start the car and head over to the auto parts store for some new clamps. On the way I shredded a tyre. No trouble, I say, I have AAA! I am somewhat used to breakdowns, so I called the number, used the bathroom at the filling station, bought muchies and gloves (the temperature was dropping fast) and waited for my knight-in-shining-tow truck to come change the tyre. (Lest you think I am a weak, wussy female, let me assure you that I can change a flat. I've done it nearly a dozen times. However, it was cold, I'm allergic to rubber, and that is, after all, why I pay $85 a year for road service). Again we had to smush the clamp to get the car to start. So I finally made it to the auto parts store, bought new clamps, windshield wipers, and some tools of my own so I could stop bumming pliers off of others. The funny thing about this car is that so much has gone wrong, I'm actually learning what everything is, so I can actually pull my own spark plugs and trace my electrical wires. Who would have thought? So after a quick bite to eat, it was over to Zabet's to pay off a loan she'd made. Turning into her neighbourhood, the tyre that had just been put on shredded, too. So, I called AAA again, and discovered the wobbly wheel. So after a nice visit, they took me home. The way my luck was running, it seemed best.

The next day they came and picked me up at work (it's only a block to my house, but it was very cold, so it was much appreciated), dropped me off, and then Zabet noticed my cat was sitting oddly. I checked and it looked like a piece of his rear end had been snagged. We went to the emergency room and discovered he had an anal gland abcess. He'd been fine the day before. Apparently it had ruptured. For those of you who care to know, anal glands are found in dogs and cats (and thankfully NOT people) and seem to function in the wild for scent-marking and to ward off predators as the animal runs away (much like a skunk). If they get impacted, the animal will often scoot on the floor. If the animal cannot espress the stuff out of them on its own, you may need to take it to a vet or groomer who will do it. You can do it yourself, but it really, really stinks, so most people don't. Buns (yes, that's his name; he came that way) hadn't given any real sign of trouble. I've been concentrating on getting his coat and weight back to normal (he has food allergies, and has to have a special diet of venison and green peas food), so a little redness near his rectum wasn't much to think abolut. He'd gone from 9.5 lbs to 7 over the year or so it had taken us to eliminate other allergens and had a mohawk of hair wherever he couldn't lick. He'd licked himself raw. No he finally was looking somewhat like his old self, except for a giant hole on his butt. Poor thing.

They were very nice at the hospital but wanted to do full-blown surgery, and beyond the cost, I didn't think it was such a good idea to put a 10 1/2 year old cat under anaesthesia, put a drain in the wound, and hope it would stay put. So I had them clean him up really well, and told them I'd check with my regular vet (who would let me make payments) the next day. Imagine if you will a small cat, with a head that looks way too big for his body because he's thin, with big, lemur eyes, being brought out into a room with dogs barking and an Elizabethan collar around his neck. He looked like a little alien kitty. Want an idea of what I mean? Go to Hallmark, choose one of their 'groovy kitty' free e-cards, and then imagine him with a plastic cone around his head. Yeah, I'm not sure Buns'll forgive me.

We went to the vet the next day and she said she'd keep it open, apply antibiotics, and let it heal regularly. Abcesses can be worse if you close them up, and like I thought, putting a drain in might not work and could just rupture open again. Everything went fine for a day or so.

Monday I woke up, couldn't find the cat, finally found him curlded up underneath the centre of my bed, and quite frankly panicked when he wouldn't respond. Once I'd fished him out (after pulling up the mattresses), I found that he was very red, hot to the touch, limp, and unresponsive and drooling. He would not eat or drink. At most he would walk a step or two, then lay down. He sat next to the water dish but couldn't drink. So we made another emergency trip to the vet (thankfully, during regular office hours), found that he was having a reaction to the antibiotic, and she gave him a shot to help with the reaction and a different medicine for the infection. By that night, he was eating again. Today, he purred and is back to normal, with everything healing. [Rant completed.]

My thanks to Zabet and Hubby for their help with vet runs and with the finances. They wound up spending every penny I had just repaid them plus about $50 more. Sigh. Also, even though Buns was sitting like he usually did, Zabet somehow knew something was wrong. I might not have caught it until much later that night.

On the bright side, while I went in late yesterday due to the vet visit, I got a lot accomplished both then and today at work. I had a good DBT session last night where we talked about radical acceptance. I had never really thought about the fact that I am in a sense grieving for a father I wanted, but never had. Nor had I really realised how much I had taken for granted that it was my job to make sure my mom was okay emotionally as I was growing up. She needed me, and I'm glad we've been as close as we have, but it was probably not a great position for a kid to be in. I understand my mom a lot more now that I've dealt with depression and anxiety. She's come a long way and seems truly happy with her life now. I hope that continues.

No blog entry would be complete without a quiz. So, here goes:

You are Spaceman Spiff!
Zounds! You are the intrepid Spaceman Spiff, the engaging explorer ensconsed in an unending universe of exotic and evil extraterrestrials! You're brave, but you should give that dictionary a rest.
Take the What Calvin are You? Quiz by contessina_2000@yahoo.com!

Gee, that tired me out more than I expected. Guess that's what happens when you blog in one spurt rather than daily. I think it's time to put my CPAP mask on, curl up with the cats and dog, and go into dreamland....

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