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Skip To My LOO

11 Apr

If fecal matter, aka crap, shit, poo, number 2, is offensive to you, or reading about it rather, then I strongly suggest you skip this post.  Because in this one, shit is definitely hitting the fan, making this an extremely dirty, nasty post!

My last week in San Jose was so exhausting.  First the drive up on Sunday, then the arrival where I served as luggage porter to our third floor room, Siberian Husky wrangler, cook, maid, and chauffeur.  And when it came to Thursday, the day I was to fly home for the weekend, the morning set the stage for what I call, “Rivka and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”  So much so, I couldn’t bring myself to write about the chaos and feel badly that I even shared it with a neighbor couple.  Let’s just say, it began with our hotel room toilet overflowing, middled with Piper, the dog, peeing on MY bed and my flight canceling, and ended with me stuck on an overfilled plane between two passengers who both needed one and a half seats.  It honestly took me two full days (Good Friday and even better Saturday) to recover from the exhaustion of it all–especially as I am sparing you several of the outrageous details.  In fact, at one point on that Thursday I had an “out of body experience”.  No, not the new-age type of ‘I-have-faced-myself-dead’ experiences; but the kind where I was literally in the mix of continuous, progressively building, chaotic events and wondering to myself how to abort the circumstance.  It was almost as if I was watching this fiasco, like it was a television sitcom, and desperately trying to figure out how to change the channel.

But wait, it continues to get better.  Since Piper sent me off with a yellow present, I guess she figured I needed a brown one upon my return…

At three thirty in the morning, Monday–the day of my scheduled return flight to San Jose–I heard our house phone ringing.  Mind you, I am still living on high alert, so a telephone ring at that hour, usually incites fear of impending news of death.  However, it was not the case.  It was my son, Cole, calling from the hotel room in San Jose.  Apparently Piper had a bout of diarrhea–all over the hotel room floor.  But since I was, all of 500 miles away and his Uncle was in the next room over, I suggested he wake his Uncle to help with the tragic situation.  …which he in fact did.  “Thank you a thousand times Uncle Timmy!”  But of course the paranoia of it all kept me awake just the same.

So I made it back to northern Cal and made sure to gift the laundry man and the maid something super special.  And even though our dear Tim assured us the Piper cub was probably finished with her “expelling”, Cole and I decided to have her sleep outside on our tiny, third story balcony with a half-hearted prayer she wouldn’t jump.  And if she did, Cole and I were resigned to mourning! 😉

Now last night, we figured she was for sure “finished, kaput, done” with her loose stools, thus the girl was again allowed to sleep inside.  But at 3a.m (what is it with that number?!), she was awake and pacing!  We quickly put her bed outside and I wrangled her back to the patio–a place she is not fond of!  And this morning what did I receive?  Yep, a patch-work quilt of poo.  Piles of loose, mucus filled stool.  Some areas bigger than others, with many small dots–the girl pretty much covered the area of the patio that did not house her bed!  Guess what I did this morning?  I had the high honor and privilege of collecting diarrhea via scooping with a plastic knife into a paper bowl.  And since I had taken an hour or so at breakfast to formulate my cleansing plan I was able to assess the patio and how, once the feces was collected, I would proceed with cleaning the area.  My deduction was as follows:

In the center of the patio is a drain hole, which I deduced would funnel the dirty water down a pipe and out to the ground floor.  So there I was, with a plastic bag over my hand, a brought-from-home rag (I didn’t want to again have to impose on the hotel staff!  I was afraid I’d have to also find us a new place to stay if they were brought into the our sitcom routine once more), an ice bucket filled with soapy warm water and all the scrubbing power I could muster.  Scrub, scrub, scrub and then WHOOSH…I poured the bucket of water over the area to rinse it down the drain.  Only as I was rinsing, I was hearing the sound of water dumping from below.  I looked over the balcony only to learn the drain hole empties directly onto the balcony of our second floor neighbors.  And as if that wasn’t the worst epiphany ever, the maintenance man (yes the one who had to unplug our toilet and who had to shampoo the carpet) was right outside in the parking lot to witness the occasion.  Needless to say I ducked down and hoped he would mistake the bubbles for rain!

I swear, sometimes I think our G-d in Heaven is a big television producer and he is making one heck of a killing off of my weekly episode.  Quick, somebody find the remote and change the channel!

And Cole?  He is progressing.  Though the progress is slow, there is a forward motion of improvement (otherwise we would pack up our things, end our humiliation, and head home).  We, of course, are praying for a miraculous return of his facial muscles (controlled by cranial nerve 7), but the tumor was strong on that area of the brain-stem, thus the damage it inflicted is difficult to ignore.  But we are not giving up…sorry San Jose, we will stay a while more!

Bird Flew

2 Apr

I am currently in northern California.  San Jose to be exact.  I drove my son, Cole and his dog, Piper, up from southern Cal, yesterday.  It should have been a six hour drive, but due to an incinerated vehicle in Los Angeles and heavy traffic all the way through, we made it up here in seven and one half hours.

Let me tell you, I am tired today!

We are again up here so Cole can receive the neurological acupuncture treatments from Dr.’s Zhu and Moyee.  The plan is for treatments every day, except Sundays, for the next two weeks.  I will fly home for this upcoming weekend and fly back on Monday.  In my absence, my brother in law is taking charge.  For you new readers to this blog, my son’s face is paralyzed, his balance altered, and he lacks full ocular function.

Anyway, today I took him to his appointment at 11:30a.m.  I then took Piper to an, almost always, empty dog park.  When I reunited with Cole an hour later, he could move the upper portion of his nose…bilaterally!  It is just incredible and almost unbelievable…even when I’m first hand witness to it.  We then took a break for lunch back at our hotel room.  And while Cole finished his bento-box, Piper and I went down to the outdoor pool and jacuzzi area.  Both of which are enclosed by a gate so I was able to take her off leash while I dipped my feet in the warmth of the jacuzzi and made a few phone calls.

The reasons I am so wiped out today is one, I was up working past midnight the night before we left.  Two, I drove all the day in traffic yesterday.  Three, last night I had crashing-the-car-nightmares which kept waking me with a jolt.  Four, I had a dog on my bed the whole night.  Five, I’m wrangling our luggage, my purse, the car and hotel doors, my son, his dog, my beverage, and the hotel room/door key.  Shoot, that last one is enough to make me tired all by itself.  I’ve decided I need to hire a “Rivka Wrangler”.  Anyone looking for a job?  I pay with “please and thank you!” 🙂

Well we finished up at the clinic today at 4p.m.  Actually, Cole called it quits…his threshold had been met.  So with us both being so tired I knew I needed to let Piper have one more go round on the enclosed courtyard grass before heading up to our room (where I hoped to land for a while).  But as my life would have it, my full-proof, proactive planning, backfired.  Piper spied a cute bird couple “twitterpating”… and then all of a sudden, BAM!! …one was in her mouth.  She then paraded her kill while the other widowed avian spouse flew around quite disgruntled.

So here I was, just a few minutes ago, first day in our hotel and my son’s dog hunts, kills, parades, and then proceeds to eat one of the little birdies that lives here.  I don’t even know what to say…  After I once again wrangled Piper back onto her leash (after her first victory she was ready for round two, three, who knows probably four and five), we returned to Cole in our room and I told him what had happened.  He asked, “Did anybody see?”   “Heck if I know,” was my reply–because I nabbed Piper as fast as I could and pretty much ran back to our room.

I called Brian and told him.  I also mentioned, “I am not much for ‘animal kingdom’.  I don’t even know what or how to handle a bird eating dog!”  To which he replied, “Me neither.”

HELLO SAN JOSE; THE BENTS ARE HERE!!

p.s. Still no migraine, even with lack of sleep, a stressful drive, a son, and a bird dog!

Beauty AND the Beast!

Chronic Plague

14 Feb

Did you know that another word for chronic is ‘inveterate’?  Yet just as twins share many of the same distinguishing marks, they invariably are two separate individuals.  And while you might entice me to conjecture that the three words, ‘chronic, inveterate, and invariable’ are synonymous to each other, I will hold firm in my opposed view.  True, each word pays reference to a continuum, however, inveterate leans more heavily in the negative connotation of its definition than that of chronic, and invariably shows itself more like a cousin to the other two adjectives and less like the triplet I suggested it to be.

Why even allow myself this inconsequential diatribe?  Because, words are important.  And choosing them wisely is a tricky practice.  Right now I am hung up on ‘chronic’.  Let me explain…

I have not written a new post since last Monday.  It was titled, “Telegrafico, Western Union”, and it was very short.  Yes I put up a link to a song on Wednesday but I couldn’t write.  I was plagued.  I have been suffering with a horrendous headache since January.  Now granted I am given a day or two or maybe even three of a reprieve, but I can tell it is the same headache holding its place in my physique because even on the days of rest, its presence winks at me.  My worst day of suffering was on January 27th, the day before hosting an open house birthday party for my son, Cole.  Thankfully I have amazing friends who pinch-hit for me and who stepped in to take on the pre-party chores, being I was rendered useless and connected to my icepack.  And unfortunately for me, the acupuncture treatment I received on that Friday the 27th offered me not one ounce of relief from the migraine.  Hither there to (sounds better than “needless to say”, though completely lacks sense), I have been on sporadic computer function for quite some time.

So last Thursday evening I played out the, all too familiar, scenario…me prone on the living room couch, an icepack wrapped around my eyes and forehead, the lights out, and all noise makers off–with the exception of one.  A knock at the front door.  A knock that aroused the instinctual sirens of alert which presently live in my home…the dogs lying on the floor next to me.  It was our dear friend from England.  He was in town for the weekend and had hoped to see Cole and offer him his good wishes in person.  Now isn’t that a good dose of irony…he from out of the country, now in the country to see Cole only to find Cole out of the country…too situationally funny for words, though I try!  Even funnier is that Cole happened to call right before the spontaneous arrival of our guest, so I was on the line with Cole when he came through our door.  And the mere fact that Cole was finding respite outside our USA walls was encouraging news to our concerned Brit.

At any rate, I had no idea he was coming by, but as is customary with our ‘open door policy’, he knew he would be welcome.  What he didn’t know is that he would be welcomed to me lying down in the dark with two very suspicious dogs at his ankles (well one really as the Piper dog wouldn’t get that close).  Thankfully (for the both of us) Brian came home shortly after, allowing my return to the migraine regimen.  However, upon his departure to the land of “Brian Bent” (aka the garage), he offered his condolences to me as he felt very sorry I had to suffer a “chronic condition”.  There it is, the word…chronic.  Up until he said that particular word, I merely dealt with the many headaches as a plague.  You know, something that hits and then subsides.  But chronic I hadn’t considered and the reality of that word being applied to my situation really stinks.  Which is why I carry on and write nonsensical verbiage about word synonyms.  I mean who wants to carry the label of “chronic illness”?  Certainly not me, though sadly it is appearing to be more of the truth.

Alas, I have had to pull out of the acupuncture adventure due to an insurance loss, though I honestly feel I have pulled out too soon to render an opinion of its effectiveness (for my case).  I remain sold on the effectiveness for my son, it has been miraculous in his recovery.  And I had hoped, a little too much, that it would as quickly resolve my own inveterate condition.

Chronic, inveterate, invariable.  Choose whichever one you want, for they are all riding my tail.  It’s the eleventh plague.  Perhaps I look Egyptian!

P.s. An addendum will come to this subject regarding methods of solving the migraine issue, for I have applied many.  I don’t write them just yet as I am hoping to hear back from you, the reader, in the case a new possibility remains available.  …a heart full of hope and a head full of pain, that’s me! 🙂

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