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The King and I-Piper

13 Dec

There is a song that keeps running through my head (ok there are several, but one particularly is recurrent this week).  Deborah Kerr sang it in the movie, “The King and I”.  Well actually that is incorrect.  She was filmed singing it, though she was actually over-dubbed with the voice of Marni Nixon singing.  In fact, Marni Nixon’s voice was used for every movie in which Deborah Kerr sang, including “An Affair to Remember”.   But anyway,  the “it” to which I refer is the song, “Getting to know you”.  That song sums up my week with Piper.  I know, I know…you thought I would post about Cole’s progress second.  And of course your interest is truly focused on the effect of his intensive, rehabilitative treatment; however, if I give you the “goods” up front, then I will have no guarantee of your return for the third installment.  Hey, I’m no dummy…I know how marketing works–now if only I could get paid for my brilliance! HA!!

So onto Piper…

I confess, I’ve fallen in love with her.  She has converted me over to the doggy dark side!  What that means is that she is now in the house…she is currently sleeping on the living room floor!  OUTRAGEOUS!!!  Me, of all people, loving a dog…who could ever guess!  It’s not that I didn’t love animals prior.  I loved them.  You know, I would never want to see an animal mal-treated, or exploited in any way.  In fact, I love nature so much that it bothers me greatly when people feed wildlife, cage them, or put them on display.  Which is probably why I wasn’t such a pet lover before.  But she has won me over.  Piper and I went exploring together and spent a lot of time together while Cole was resting.  My discovery is that she is a beautiful animal, a sweet girl, a lover and cuddle-r, a devoted to her owner canine, and a super silly female.

In the beginning of our week together I was asking G-d why he didn’t send us a simple, basic dog.  The kind of dog that eats whatever you give it, pees and poops without thought (out of doors of course), and is just the “I’m a happy dog” mentality.  No, instead we received a sensitive and complicated bitch.  And by the end of the week I fully cherished all of her complexities.  And now, I am simply in love with her, and in love with her breed.  To that end I say, “HELP”!

A New Believer–Rivka

11 Dec

The swallows have returned safely home to San Juan Capistrano.  The swallows, of course, being myself, Cole, and Piper (the dog).  And because I have three different tales to tell, I will break the postings up accordingly…so as to not overwhelm your eye balls.  This first posting is the “Rivka” part; and while there will be crossover integration between the three stories, in this post, I am the protagonist.

On Thursday we moved to a different hotel.  It was a lateral move financially, but location, location, location!  It was a better location, immediately behind the clinic with an enclosed courtyard grounds.  It also had an enclosed pool and jacuzzi area.  And for me, it was the best decision ever.  I would have moved earlier in the week, however, ALL area hotels were booked solidly until Thursday…some kind of corporate convention.  Being that I am the one who took Piper out in the wee early, dark mornings; as well as the one who took her out for the last opportunity of the night to do her “small-business”, the enclosed grounds made both of our lives 100% better.  The earlier hotel had no grounds and was not in the best area of San Jose.  Thus, I found myself looking over my shoulder while trying to encourage the dog to “get on with it”.  At the new hotel I could take her off leash and she got her business done right away…small and large.  AAAAhhhhhhhhh….I tell you, relief for her was also relief for me!

Moving on…

Most of you know that I suffer from Migraine headaches.  Sometimes they come on with no warning–from the weather or such, and sometimes they are quite predictable.  In fact, I have a sure-fire recipe for getting a migraine:

  1. Lack of sleep, or constant interrupted sleep (which equals the lack of).
  2. Continual stress, such as traveling with a fairly new canine companion and a special needs son.
  3. Stressful driving circumstances, i.e. an eight hour drive (though I did it in 6) with the last couple of hours being at night–in traffic.

Now when I awoke yesterday morning I had already had a full week of numbers 1 and 2.  I also had the beginnings of a bad headache, which I knew that with #3 integrated into the equation would yield a suffering in the head that could land me in the hospital at about the time I would be hitting Los Angeles.  Our plan, yesterday, was for Cole to have his final session in the morning and then we would head for home right after lunch.  And I confess I was nervous for what I knew was coming my way.  In fact, I was planning scenarios in which I could help myself through the inevitable…I could drive to my Aunt Susie’s in Encino and stay the night with ice packs on my head, then finish the trek home this morning; though I wasn’t sure how she would feel about Piper in her domicile.  Or, I could have Brian and Esther drive and meet me in L. A. and Brian could drive my car while Esther follows in hers and I lie down in the back.  But those scenarios, I knew, were reactionary options.  I knew I had a proactive option right in front of me, and though I have been witness to the positive effects of acupuncture for Cole, I was still reluctant to have it done for myself.  When it comes to physical pain, I am a baby…I just don’t have the time for it (sing it Carly).  But this situation felt desperate, so I asked if Dr. Zhu had the time to help me.  And help me he did!  He was so kind, especially knowing how nervous I was.  He put the needles, strategically in my head, after asking where the pain was coming from.  He felt how tight my shoulder and neck muscles were and added a few needles in to help loosen those areas.  He checked on me, had me rest, and continued to care for Cole and his other patients at the same time.  When I went to check out and pay, the front office girl, Lisa, told me there would be no charge for my treatment.

What you need to know is that I have taken all kinds of medicine for headaches/migraines.  I know the varying levels of pain, some functional and some not.  I knew, yesterday morning, that nothing that I could take would alter the difficulty awaiting my horizon of driving in Los Angeles at night.  I might make it home, but I would be ill for potentially the entire week–at the very least!  So you can imagine my delight when, with needles still intact, I made the drive home without an ounce of pain, discomfort, or exhaustion.  And this morning, here I am typing a new post without a headache, even though my recipe for one was perfectly constructed.  I have no side effects from medication present in my body, and I feel good.

The question to ask now is, why I waited so long?!  What a dope I have been…allowing fear to keep me from health.  Fear, in any form, is just dumb.  I am a convert, and I will follow up with Dr. Jing Li here in Irvine.  THANK YOU DR. ZHU AND DR. MOYEE, thank you Dr. Li for referring us.  Thank you friends and family for supporting our pilgrimage.  Now you can listen, if you haven’t already, to the song included in this post, with a new understanding of why I chose for it to be here.

P.s. As the Lord would have it, our Chinese doctors are believers in the Lord Most High–no idols were in our presence–just people allowing their G-d given gifts to be used for the good of humanity.  And today I am grateful to be a human.

K9 Krunchies

8 Dec

Well lets talk about how we are doing…

First you need to know that I must be absolutely the most crazy person I know.  I mean, as if life isn’t difficult enough with just the every day reality in which I live, but to bring a dog along in the mix is just outrageously nuts!!!  I have discussed more dog parks with strangers than I can count and keep track of.  I am, in addition to assisting my son in his treatments and out, wrangling a ‘she wolf’.  So much so that my other non-broken fingers are trembling with fear every time I have to put on and take off Piper’s chain collar–the culprit of my first broken appendage.  But it is now Wednesday and I am happy to report that I, and my digits, are surviving.  What, you want to talk about Cole?  Cole who?  Did you not come to this place to read only about me?!  Isn’t this blog, after all, called “BentRivka”???

Ok, ok, I get it, Cole is the star of this story.  So to him I turn my focus…

Cole is, hands down, one of the strongest people I know.  He has a tolerance that puts me (and many others quite frankly) to shame.  He is working out with needles all over his head, and sometimes face, for 3 hours straight.  I have taken a photo of him today on the exercise bicycle.  While on the bike he is working on coordination for his left leg, as well as his ability to balance.  To work on balance, he puts his arms in different positions while cycling with his legs.  This exercise is quite easy for me to do (and probably most of you), which just goes to show how much of Cole’s physical abilities have been robbed.

Now regarding what we are seeing with the acupuncture this week.  Here is my analogy of the situation as a whole.  Let’s imagine we are on a hike and our first leg of the trail involves a steep incline, this means we reach the top quickly.  Then, while still ascending, our next hill is a more gradual incline thus the top is reached at a slower pace.  You probably get the picture by now…the first week of treatment the results were phenomenal, immediate, and miraculous.  This week, while Cole is most definitely still progressing & miracles still abound, the results are more gradual and therefore perceived more slowly.  But be assured, progress is still the course.  In this you can most definitely rely because it has been an exceptionally trying week for me (see first paragraph, and read between the lines), and if progress was not happening, I can promise you I would be sleeping in my own bed this very night instead of spending another night in our little dumpy hotel (though I love the staff).

One more thing…when I am struggling with a low disposition, I think on the Lord and His goodness.  I focus on the MANY aspects of life for which I am grateful, AND I count the blessings of, not just my little world, but of the entire world.  When I do this, my spirit soars.  And when my spirit is soaring I can honestly say, “You’ve got me feeling so fly!”.

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