Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Hits Keep Coming

As we drove home Sunday night after spending a day in Brenham with family I remember thinking all I wanted was to go home and snuggle up with Brandon and get a good night's sleep. We had had a rough week before, what with doctor's appointments, taking my grandmother to the ER not once but twice including the night before, and getting up early because Brandon had soundboard duties at church that morning.

Alas, it wasn't to be.

When we drove past the backside of our apartment I noticed the porch light was on. That made me a little nervous, we never leave that light on. My mind wandered a bit, thinking someone had broken in. I always tell Brandon that I don't fear for the theft of our belongings, I just worry that they will let our cat (who is declawed and thus, defenseless) out to get lost.

We cautiously unlocked and opened the door and I noticed immediately that furniture had been moved. We turned on the light to find our apartment turned upside down. I had joked earlier that our apartment looked like a bomb went off. Through all the craziness of the preceding week I hadn't been able to pick up or finish folding several loads of laundry. When we got home my joke looked like reality. Things were moved, our stuff was thrown all over the place. And most strange, 80% of our carpet was missing!?!?!

I did a quick check for the cats. I found the new cat still holed up in the bathroom looking bewildered but then my worst fear flooded over me, I couldn't find Chu! I must admit I went a little batty. I called my sister to help calm me down. About 10 minutes later a harried looking cat squeezed out from under the couch, meowing pitifully.

Meanwhile, Brandon kept his cool and called the answering service. He was given the number for the manager, called her and demanded to know what had happened.

Around 6pm or so a water main blew right outside our bedroom window. The water was shooting at our's and our neighbor's window and somehow made its way inside to flood both our apartments. Another neighbor called to notify the answering service and maintenance came 15 minutes later. They came into our (and the next door neighbor's) home and moved as much of our stuff off the wet carpet then removed the carpet as quickly as possible. Thank God for them, they saved nearly all of our stuff.

Some of our furniture has minor water damage on the bottom but no one but us can probably tell. Luckily our bed which is right by the window was not a bit wet. The worst damage was to Brandon's college computer science textbooks and class notes. There were 4 cardboard boxes full under the bed. We ended up having to take 3 boxes worth to the recycling center. He felt like he was losing an arm.

Needless to say we didn't get to bed until after 1am. We sorted through as much as we could, laundered wet clothes, unburied and made up the bed, and tried to get some sleep. I tossed and turned all night long.

Monday was spent going through boxes, packing up, and trying to clean up as much as possible. When they pulled up the carpet, years worth of dust and dirt was distributed throughout the air and over much of the furniture. Not a good mix for someone with allergies. I was miserable. We made arrangements with my parents to keep Chu for a few days because it had become impossible to keep Chu and and still sick Midna separated from each other.

In the midst of the nightmare we came home to, we noticed Midna's eye was red and oozing. Can cats get pink eye? Apparently so. (Sigh) I looked up and found that cat's indeed can develop pink eye after upper respiratory infection and if left untreated might cause blindness. So Tuesday morning I called to schedule yet another appointment with the vet.

Tuesday morning we woke up to go talk to management about their plans to fix the floors and walls. They told us we could expect hardwood floors to replace the carpet in the living room and carpet wouldn't be installed until Wednesday because the supplier was waiting on a shipment. They also have to repaint our bedroom to cover the water damaged areas. We get all the benefits of moving without changing our address.

We are grateful. As is life, it could have been much, much worse.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We All Have Scars

"Scars are not here to remind us how much pain we have experienced but to remind us about how much we have overcome."

Something I really needed to hear today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bad News

I returned to my GI doc for a check up today. He wants me to stay on immunosuppressants for at least a year. His reasoning, if I was taken off now I might suffer a relapse thus another round of steroids and 6-mp indefinitely.

I didn't anticipate this. Changing doctors means different opinions, I get that. I still really like him but I got the impression from my previous doctor (who I also liked) that I would not have to take medication for that long. Oh well, that's life, I have to accept the things I can't control.

Now we have hard decisions to make in regard to having children. 2 1/2 years ago after becoming ill and going through disgusting procedures to figure things out I said I would not let my life be put on hold due to illness. And I still maintain that.

There is no consensus among doctors whether or not 6-mp is harmful to a developing baby. Some say, "absolutely not." But studies haven't proven conclusively that it's harmful. I spoke to my doctor who said he has had patients have healthy, successful pregnancies while taking the medication. Ultimately good health of the mother is most important.

No one has any place to tell us we can or can't have children, the decision is ours. I could wait the year out but there is always the chance I may suffer a relapse anyway and have to stay on some sort of immunosuppressant for the rest of my life. Then what, I can't have children ever?

I've spent a lot of time wrestling with the emotional aspects of illness and infertility. I'm not always strong and my outlook isn't always rosy. Sometimes I believe we aren't meant to raise children at all. Sometimes I believe that my health issues aren't something I want to pass on. Sometimes I have the feeling I don't want to raise children. In short, I'm weary, it's been a long road.

But I haven't quite given up hope. It's not our fault, we aren't being punished. If it is His will, God will make it happen in His time. And if we never raise children, it does not make Brandon and I less of a family. I cling to the fact that with God's help, this will only make me stronger. In my weakness, that is all I can do.

Sick Cat

Our new little one has a cold. Poor thing, she looks and sounds so miserable.

I took her in last Wednesday for her free follow up at a local vet after her spaying surgery. She was doing well. They treated her for tapeworms, (ick) gave me some flea medication to prevent future worms, and sent us on our merry way.

Thursday she started sneezing a bit. On Friday night she was looking pretty miserable so we decided to call for an appointment the next morning.

I took her in this afternoon, its a respiratory infection and all I can do for her is give her kitty decongestant, keep her happy and warm, wait for the cold to run it's course, and keep her away from Chu. They told me to return if she started having discharge from her eyes.

They also found her ears clogged with ear mites and ear mite dirt. (Again, ick) They were shocked that the other vet clinic didn't find them. That's because they never even bothered to look. I guess you get what you pay for, but in their partnership with the SPCA I would think the animal clinic would take it as an opportunity to attract new customers by providing great service. Mildly annoying to say the least.

I'm still glad we could rescue and provide her a home even though she is costing more than first anticipated. I'm sure she will get well and be a happy, healthy cat in no time.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Edition

Last night we welcomed a new little one into our home. And by little, I mean 6 lbs, 4 oz. Tiny! We named her Midna.

It's been a long time coming. I asked a couple of years ago to adopt another cat, Brandon said yes. We agreed to adopt from a shelter or other adoption program. We decided on another female, male cats are fine but you have to get them young and have them altered before they start spraying, we can't have a cat spraying up inside our apartment and we refuse to just let a cat roam free in the city. We decided on a kitten or young cat so she would not be too set in her ways and would be more accepting of the cat we already have.

Every time we would find a cat meeting our agreed upon requirements, Brandon would grow indecisive.

While volunteering at the SPCA on Friday I found a little cat in one of the back rooms where they don't get a lot of attention. Brandon came down and we agreed to adopt her. She is a Tortie-point Siamese/domestic short hair mix, blue eyes, brown points, with light yellow patches here and there and some crazy speckled whiskers. She's 1 1/2 years old, has a sweet, affectionate temperament, and a purr that is ridiculously loud for her small size. Maybe that's why the shelter called her Sweet Pea.

We currently have her closed up in our huge bathroom because we need to have her health checked before we expose her to Chu. Cats can pick up highly contagious, respiratory infections in shelters and her paperwork says she was brought in as a stray so she could have worms. She was given medication for both as a precaution but I would rather be safe then sorry. Also it isn't good to just shove 2 strange cats in each others faces right away. We will use a number of techniques to introduce their smells to each other before they actually get to meet in a week or so.

Chu is a bit nervous, she knows some strange beast has entered her territory. Midna is somewhat curious but doesn't seem put out by Chu. I'm anxious to get them together. I'm pretty sure they will be friends before long.

The poor thing looks so ragged but with a proper bath in a couple of weeks and some good food she will become a good looking little girl. We are happy to give her a home and affection.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Flabbergasted!

I woke up Saturday feeling like I had a hangover which is quite a feat for someone who doesn't drink.  Needless to say I skipped Brandon's company barbeque and instead curled up to finish what has to be one of the most depressing books ever written. (1984)  My older brother called at 10:45 am which I briefly thought  strange since they are now 2 hours behind in Arizona and he doesn't usually call me that early.  We chatted for a bit and then he mentioned seeing us at church the next morning.  Huh?  He chuckled and told me they were in town because Jessica's grandmother had finally passed away after months of poor health.  He wanted information on what mom was up to for Mother's day.  He decided since they had to come he would surprise her.  Brandon and I coordinated with Jeff and kept it a secret from everyone. 

Sunday afternoon there was a knock on the door at my grandmother's home where we were gathered.  I contained my smile as my grandma opened the door to find Jeff and Jessica standing there with flowers.  She did a double take then fell against the wall she was so surprised.  By that time I was bouncing up and down on the couch, clapping like a small child and grinning from ear to ear.  My mom got up at my grandma's exclamations and her jaw dropped.  Everyone was so surprised.  Then my mom wanted to know who knew, only Brandon and me, and called us sneaky. 

It was a good surprise for my mom and grandma.  I'm sure they'll remember it for years.