Short Stories: Rat Tail and Scar…..

 

Chapter 1

How in the world did I get here? Did I go to a party? I really can’t remember. I recall I was eating a really good dinner and had lots of water and now all I see around me is emptiness. Have I crossed over? It can’t be, I can see things moving, I can smell the air. I saw a rat or maybe it was a cat I couldn’t tell it was too far.

I looked down and I realized I was tied to a pole with a very large chain and I could barely move. I looked down at my body and all I saw was fleas jumping off my very very wrinkled skin. When did I become a Sharpei? I am a Pitbull! What maybe I did cross over. This is very confusing! I started focusing really hard and saw the steady drip of water that came from somewhere I don’t know but I think I am in a really large empty room. Light trickles in and from time to time I see some humans that kind of look like me. Lost and afraid and really hungry. There was this one human who gave me some of his food, It kind of tasted like what I imagine Cat food to taste like, but he was kind and shared. He never came back. I guess sharing wasn’t his thing.

Time was passing and I did not remember why I was there, but I must have done something really bad to be tied to this pole for so long. I don’t remember the last time I ate or walked around and I have been sleeping right next to my pee, this was really yucky and I wished I could get off this chain. I pulled and pulled and all it did was hurt my neck and make me sleepy. I guess I sleep all the time as I don’t have a schedule, no one comes to play with me or feed me or take me for walks. I think my human must have crossed over as I can’t smell him anywhere. Of course I cant go anywhere to try to smell him.

One day I hear a lot of noise and the next thing I know, these big car like things start bringing in a lot of junk into my room, boxes and lamps and all kinds of stuff. I tried to call out but no one heard me. Time started passing and I was still all alone. Each day more and more stuff would come in but no one saw me.

One morning or I think it was morning, a lot of light came in my room. Doors were open. I did not even know my room had doors. I heard voices. I started to think maybe now I have crossed over. Light and voices but no one ever sees me.

Then it happened two very beautiful voices came over to me and said “hey Buddy are you all right?” I stood up with all my might and I cried out No, Help me! I am supposed to be a Pit and look at me, I am a damn Sharpei. I have more wrinkles than I can count.

I am hungry and my human never came for me. I have been tied here for a very long time and I am hungry and I don’t feel good. The two nice voices went and got me a blanket and food and water. One stayed with me while the other one went somewhere. I found out later that she went to get big tool thing to cut me off that rope. Wow! it feels good to be off that thing. I can move and I forgot how much I like humans. Some of them are so nice.

The next thing I knew I was in a car. I love the car it is so much fun. They took me to the doctors, as a matter of fact they took me to a lot of doctors and they introduced me to a whole big family. The doctors kept saying this guy is not well, but I knew I just needed some food, and a few baths and to get rid of these fleas. Some of the fleas were always teasing me telling me that they are the boss of me, but my new friends gave me a yucky tasting pill and the next thing I knew all of the fleas were gone. Even the mean ones that not only bit me, but teased me too.

I am kind of confused as to why everyone has the same two names, they are either Mommy or Daddy and sometimes there are a bunch of Mommy and Daddies, but I don’t care because they now call me Mikey. I like that name. It makes feel like I have a family again. I started going to the doctor a lot.

I got this awesome tent to live in while I was healing up. I thought my new friends were going to be my family but they were just letting me stay with them while I healed.

One day my friend said to me, time to go to your new home. I was so excited, I peed on the neighbor dog(he was not that nice and since we were not going to be neighbors anymore, I knew it was going to be okay)

I went on an awesome car ride, and I brought my new tent and blankets and bowls and toys and I knew that my life was going to be better and better. At first it took some used to getting my new Mommy and Daddy to understand when I wanted to eat and go out. I would hear my Dad say I don’t understand Dog, what are you trying to tell me Mikey. Do you want to go out? Do you want to eat. It took a little time to figure out who was going to do what, but after some time we all figured it out.

When I need to do my business, I just stare at them and put one ear up. That means now and if they don’t listen I do my funny bark, it sounds like a-wow wow rue! That means I can’t really wait anymore so now is a really good time to go for a walk.

When I am hungry I give them a different stare and then I just keep staring until they ask me if I am hungry then I wag my tail and they know.

A few weeks passed and I saw my friend who found me in that horrible room, and I saw all those nice people who visited me in the doctors office. I figured out they were family of my new parents. They are all really nice to me and I hear them talking about how much better I look. The only thing is sometimes they call me Rat Tail, I think that might be mean but when they say it they always pet me and say it will grow back boy, so maybe it is just an observation.

My new Mommy is easy to boss around. If she does not pay attention to me, I sit by her bed and rattle my tags, if that does not work I tap my paw nails on her floor. I think I could probably have been a famous tap dancer, had I not been locked away in that place.

Laa Daa tap tap tap,, La La Daa tap tap tap…….

 

Chapter 2

One day I was playing with my brothers and sisters. I was really young. I heard my humans saying that I was the runt. I didn’t know what that meant. I though I was King of the yard. I knew how to go outside to do my business and I slurped the loudest when I was drinking. Late one evening my human said come on little guy we are going for a ride. I was really excited as I did not know what a ride was, but I was the only one going with him so for sure, I knew that runt must mean I am the favorite.

We went to a store, it was really awesome. The store had dog food and cat food and fish and lizards and crickets and toys it was like a giant party. I heard my human talking to other humans but I was very busy meeting this cute little boy and girl and their human. They liked me a lot and they asked their human if they could have me. Have me does that mean I can’t go back to my brothers and sisters? Does that mean my human is just giving me away? Am I for sale? What in the world, that must mean I am a runt and they don’t keep runts?

So very confused. I was so excited I peed right there on the floor. The nice human said oh look he is so happy he is peeing. I think he would fit right in with our family. The little humans said but Dad, Mom is not going to want a puppy she said we were to go in the store get crickets and crickets only. The Dad human said oh she is a softy let’s go outside and show her this puppy and when she falls in love we will tell her he is hers.

They brought me to the car. They had a little car and it had a lot of humans in it now, The Dad human and the Mom human and there were 3 little humans. The Mom human said Oh my this is the cutest puppy I ever saw. Wow she liked me a lot she held me and pet my head and the next thing I knew they started calling me Larry.

They brought me home and I found out that I was going to have a brother, his name was Romeo and he was a lot older than me. He did not love playing and he really loved my new Dad human. They had a lizard named Gilbert and a whole bunch of birds. I thought I was on a farm or something but really it was just a regular house like the one with my real brothers and sisters.

As time past I really liked these humans. They became my family very quickly. The boy human was my best buddy. When the morning would come I would jump over the sofa and land on him to wake him up to go on the big car that took him away every morning and brought him back every afternoon. I hated when he left but it gave me time to get to know my other humans. The little one liked to sneak me out of my little house and play with me. The Dad human slept all the time. The Mom human was always busy she came and went a lot with the Dad human and the little girl human. The older girl human liked me a lot she would sit in the yard with me and my dog brother and we could run around and she would laugh all the time. This made me really happy. I had a big family and they were really nice. They taught me some neat things but they would still get mad sometimes.

I got in trouble one day for eating what they called the wall? I don’t know what that means but it tasted good and there was lots more of it so I don’t know why they were so mad. The boy human got mad at me when I ate his long worms, he said he needed them for school? What is that and why does he need worms for school. I guess they were food for his square thing he carries around.

Time started passing and I was getting bigger and bigger. I no longer had to live in my little house and I was allowed to sleep on the bed with my boy human. It was awesome, he would rub me and pet me and play with me all the time.

One day my Mom human went out with my Dad human and he never came back. I think he must have fallen asleep somewhere? I missed him a lot he was funny, but he did sleep all the time so probably one day he will wake up and come home? I think at least.

One day it was really weird Mom was crying all day long and then my brother Romeo went out and he too never came back. It was so sad, my Mom human told me that he passed over the Rainbow Bridge. I too was sad as all dogs learn about the Rainbow bridge when they are born.

Now our family was smaller. It was kind of weird now but they still took good care of me, they played all the time and fed me and walked with me to the park. I even got to go in the swing until I got too big and did not fit anymore.

One day our family moved to a new house and you would not believe but the big girl human left home. But it was really neat, she would come back with her new friend a boy human and they would sneak me human food. They would visit and bring me toys. It was really nice.

As time passed I got bigger and bigger and sometimes my Mom human and the little girl human would not be home all the time. I spent a lot of time with my boy human and he makes sure I go outside to do my business and he knows when I am hungry all the time.

My family has lots of funny names they call me but my real name is Larry. I answer to that but I also answer to hey you, yo dog and anything as long as it is my humans calling me. I know they love me so much. I am so glad I was the runt and I got to get my own human family…

 

Chapter 3

I went to lots of doctors and they all said the same thing. In time his hair will grow back, in time with the proper diet he will gain weight back and in time we will get these ear infections under control.

Truth is my Dad and Mom human feed me this awful food and then they try to tell me it is good. I don’t see them eating it and it does not taste good. I decide I will not eat until they find me something that at least tastes a little good. One day my Dad human comes home with a bag of something. I was canned food and he mixed it in with my dry food. Oh boy o boy that tastes good. Now I am back to eating. The doctor said my ears are getting better but my fur is taking it’s sweet time coming back in.

When My Mom and Dad human take me walks I hear the other dogs cracking jokes about me, they call me baldy back, lumpy and Rat Tail. There goes that Rat Tail again. The humans say it and the dogs. It must be true I must be the famous Rat Tail. They are not making in fun of me. They know I am a very famous dog. Rat Tail. I am the boss of this dangerous gated community in Florida. All dogs and people know to stay there distance as I run these streets. When big Mikey comes through All hail Mikey, either pet me give me or kiss or walk on the other side of the street.

Now that I finally knew the truth, I am Boss dog, Big Mike aka Rat Tail. I can demand things. When I give my humans the look they better react. I give them that eye and raised ear and they run for that leash and take me for a walk. When I give them the eye, my water bowl fills up and my food appears instantly. When I want a belly rub I just roll over and wiggle and belly rubs come out of no where.

I like being Boss. Sometimes I give those humans a wink and they take me to none other but the famous dog park. When I get there all the dogs greet me at the gate. They all say ohhh Rat tail is here. Give him space, let him in and let him take whatever tennis balls he can find. They usually chatter say good bye to you balls, Rat Tail is here.

I really like the park nice humans usually talk to my humans and ask what is wrong with me and they say nothing. They say they rescued me and that I am an old boy, I am pretty sure that means I am a very cool and famous dog, as they are all very nice to me.

For a long time I only went to the park with my Humans but one day my humans family came with their dog. I did not know they had a dog, why are they at our park and who is this wiggly guy. He is like bigger than me and very busy, Eww I hope they don’t really come in the fence, where I am ,hopefully they just needed to tell me humans something and they will leave as fast as they came…….

 

 

Chapter 4

One day my Mom human and my boy and girl human said come on Lar, let’s go meet Grandpa and Mikey at the dog park. I said what a park for dogs….Yes yes yes, I got so happy I peed right there in the doorway. Mom said I really need to control that peeing but I did not care because I heard Grandpa. Grandpa is my friend when he comes to visit he plays with me and rubs my ears in a very special way. Only a real Grandpa could rub them.

While we were driving in the car, I said hi to every car that went by. I was trying to tell them I am going to the park but most of them just looked at me and kept driving. I guess they were mad they were not going to the park.

We finally made it to the park. My boy human said I should walk around outside for a while so I would not be so excited when I get inside. I did not care what he had to say I was really excited and I got to the first gate, I went inside and I was greeting my Moms sister and this dog , He was fierce, he had a Rat Tail and I think he wanted to eat me. I growled and tried to act tough, but he growled louder and he bit me a little. I learned later that he was the famous Rat Tail and I should respect him. I also learned , you will never believe this he was my Grandpa’s dog. My Grandpa human had his own dog and his own dog is famous.

I went inside the park and found out it was a lot of fun. I get to run with out my leash. I can drink from a bucket and there are lots of other dogs and humans. There was this one dog there I think he liked me a little too much. He made me feel weird so I went closer to my humans for protection. I tried really hard to make Rat Tail be my friend, but he was very busy taking a tennis ball apart. He took that ball out with such force I knew I better be nice to him.

It was a nice day except the part when we first got to the park, and I had to growl, that made me feel mean and I am a lover not a fighter. We went home and the whole ride I kept hearing my humans talking about how they hope me and Mikey will get along. They hope we like living together and they hope I don’t get beat up too much.

Now I am really confused, I thought that was just someone we met at the park. I did not know I am moving and I did not know I have to now make friends with the Infamous Rat Tail. Geeze now I am getting a little nervous.

A few weeks past and I did not move and see anyone from the park. I decided they were just talking about maybe moving. Then it happened my Mom human came home with boxes and boxes and she was so busy she barely played with me. The boy and girl human were busy and I knew things were changing.

One day my humans said come on Larry lets go for a ride, lets go visit Grandpa. I got really excited as I like him a lot, while we were driving I was pretty excited. I started thinking about my last car ride and I realized I may have to be brave because that other dog lives with my Grandpa.

We pulled up to the house and went inside. At first I was so excited I ran to my Grandpa and well you probably know what happened next, I peed.

Grandpa said oh Larry you always pee when you get happy, you need to relax. I am also happy to see you and I am not peeing.

Then it happened, my Moms sister came in the house with non other than Mikey aka Rat Tail. I started shaking in my shoes, but then I remembered I am the runt. I am the favorite so I will stand tall and pretend like I am not scared for my life. Mikey came over and we did our dog ritual, a little butt sniffing and a little soft growling. At first I thought my cover was blown when my stupid tail started wiggling, but then I saw his tail was wiggling also.

Time started passing and we tried playing. I jumped on Mikey he jumped on me and sometimes when I walked past him he bit me. Mommy said it was a love bite, but she does not speak dog and I know for sure he wants to eat me.

Luckily we went home and all was well…

Chapter 5

Boy was I glad that annoying youngster Larry went home. My Mommy and Daddy human said I should be nice to him as he is a young guy and he was going to be staying here for a while. I was not to happy with that idea but my humans said I have to get used to it as that is what family does. Family that guy is family. Well he does have a lot of wrinkles so maybe I am part Sharpei. Well if we are going to family for I will have to let him know who is Boss Dog. I ,Sir Mikey aka Rat Tail. I am Boss Dog! I rule the roost and I for sure will make that young guy bow down to me. He will give me all toys and I will steal his bed once he get’s here.

Chapter 6

I heard my humans say its moving day. I did not see any one moving they were just watching that square thing that talks. Later that day I saw some other humans, I knew they were family humans as I see them from time to time, showed up with a few things. Then they left. Late that night they came in with that dog. I guess his name is Larry even though I think by the time I am done with him he might just have a new name, like beat up or dead. My humans reminded me to be nice.

That Larry came in my house and started wiggling. He would not stop wiggling and I thought he kind of looked like he could use one of the doctors. I think he was having a seizure or something. I remembered my humans saying be nice so I went up to him. I barked loudly. I am Mikey. I am ruler of this house you will not eat my food, you will not sleep on my couch and you can’t play with my Mom. And that is the rules, youngster.

Chapter 7

It was moving day. Lots of activity and lots of people. No one wanted to play, they all said later Larry we are busy. My human girl came in my human boys room a lot and said later we will have fun. I believed her as she really loves me. Finally my boy human said come on Larry, we are done with this house. He put my food and my bowl and my bed and my toys in the car and we piled in. Off we went and we said goodbye to our old house.

We started driving and I could see my humans were tired. I was bored had nothing to do all day so I started wiggling in the car and talking to the people in the cars next to us. No one was paying attention to me.

We pulled up and sure enough we were at my Grandpa humans house. My boy human made me walk a little bit before we went in, He knows when I get happy I have to pee. We went inside and my fears were as suspected. There he was Big Mikey. He came to me and told me the rules. I am not allowed to eat his food, no going on his couch and I am not to try to steal his Mommy human, which is my Mommy humans sister. I knew he mean business when he growled at me. I tried to stand my ground and growl back I even jumped up on him like I was tough.I really was scared but I did not want anyone to notice. I got yelled at and squirted with the water bottle and then my boy human put down my bed and told me I had to go to sleep.

I decided it was safer to sleep with my Mom human and my girl human. They were nice to me and they kept telling me it will all be okay.

The morning came and my boy human took me for a walk. Wait no dumpster? no trash on the side walk? no left over poop to sniff. I am very confused. My Grandpa human must live in a very bad neighborhood. No wonder Mikey has to be so tough , he has to protect himself here. I bet there must be scary dogs and humans here.

 

Chapter 8

Time started passing and it seemed like Larry was not leaving. It was not so bad. His humans are really nice to me and they can walk me when my Daddy is not feeling good or my Mommy is out. She goes out a lot and when she is gone I miss her. Her sister is Larry’s Mommy human and I kind of like those little humans she brought with her. They play with me a lot.

Larry and I try to be friends but he is a youngster and he thinks he knows everything so I have to school him from time to time. You will never believe he tried to eat my food. I had to bite him right on the nose. I made him bleed and his humans got really worried. I thought I might be in big trouble, but there were just worried about him. I started to feel bad about biting him so hard, but hey sometimes you just react.

Now

they call him Scar. The other day we were walking through the streets. When we go out together our humans always remind us Rat Tail and Scar be nice. Don’t bark and don’t jump. I listen really well. Scar not so much he likes to bark. I figured out he is just bragging about being my brother. He yells at everyone and says clear the way, Rat Tail is coming through and he needs to do his business. Give him space give him privacy and most importantly don’t mess with his new partner in crime Scar.

So now you know about Rat Tail and Scar…..

 

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General Hospital

I have been watching General Hospital since I was a small child. Perhaps my entire life through, my mother and sisters. Over the years us girls watched Days of our Lives and General Hospital. I am the only one who still watches. I tried forcing it on my kids over the kids. My oldest watched until a few years ago. My son stopped the second he realized what I was forcing him to watch. My youngest watches with me faithfully. I know I can only count on that for so long so I will continue to cherish it.

For the past few years the story lines have been very predictable, repetitive and at times downright annoying. Somehow, my morbid curiosity forces me to watch each day and at times look forward to it.

The past few weeks, the show is on fire! It is finally interesting, finally semi-unpredictable and truly entertaining. I am glad I spent 40 years paying attention as now they have brought back old storylines and infused into current storylines and they actually halfway make sense, and they have been able to pull old footage and ad into make the stories more believable.

I am impressed and a little sad that it is Friday and only one more episode for the week.

The good thing is there is plenty of tv to keep me watching. Gotta love NetFlix.

And here’s to the future….

After almost 15 years I saw a Physiatrist, I used to see one a long time ago. At the time I suffered from not only depression and anxiety but self worthlessness. That was a long time ago. I have learned a lot about life and a lot about myself in these years. I no longer see myself as worthless, I actually think I am a pretty cool person. I am kind, well mannered(for the most part) and I can hold up my end of most conversations and when I can’t I stay quiet, crack a joke or admit I have no idea what you are all talking about so I am just going to sit back and listen.

I think all that that makes for a little clue as to how I might think, but it does not. It would be improbable to think that someone would be able to delve into my brain and get what is going on in there. It can be a scary place sometimes, mostly just mixed up, hyped up type thought but then there is some dark and depressing,sad and confusing stuff in there also.

Most people think I just go about my days but there are a handful of people who really know me. They know that I fight depression and anxiety and although I give it a good fight now and again it gets the best of me. In the past few years I have learned that no matter how I am feeling, put to the test, I will react and take care of whatever I need to do. If we have appointments, I get to them. If we have bills I figure out a way to pay them, if we have food I cook it, if we don’t I figure out how to get it and so on. So I do fight it, so what does that really mean, nothing on the big swing of things I still need help. I still have days where it is a complete blur and I have no clue how the things got accomplished and sometimes I wonder what exactly I said to all the people I encountered.

Well as it seems, the doctor did not admit me to an institution so that is a good sign. He also did not deny that I have had these issues a long time and even though I fight it on my own, I don’t need to , he is there and he will help to the best of his ability. I need to understand that just because you take a pill it does not lessen the fact that your kid needs to endure one more huge surgery before the summer is out and she really does not want to do it. It does not change the fact that I need to work, yet how can I work. I need to take care of business yet it is stressful not having a clue how. I need to understand just because a take a pill it is not magic it will not take away real life, however it will help, it will make me more evened out and less I can accomplish the world today and tomorrow and then I can’t get off the couch for three days. It may not make it perfect but it will help me to help myself. I believe that is a really good starting point.

I also learned that me talking to people about my issues and what is going on in my mind is a good thing and that seeing a counselor will help me work out some of the emotions I have and if anything give me a good sounding board. I need that.

I have so many stories I would like to share. So many things I would like to talk about , but then people would know, then people judge, then people would look at me and have something say about things that are past tense and even if you would have done differently, I am not supernatural and I can’t go back and change events, it is simply not an option. Although that would be kind of cool. I watch  a lot of Supernatural and Charmed and the different powers are all kind of awesome, but I know better….

So I will try out some new medication, hope it works, hope I don’t break out in hives like the others in the past, and hope to be able to see my future in the bright way I would truly like to see it…

Team Angel- Spinal Fusion

Thanks for the reminder Vater Syndrome!

These are the Before and After X-Rays of my daughter’s spine. Actually they are after and before as the pictures are posted.

Just last week we had her spinal fusion done. It was about a 4 hour procedure, although this is Angel we are talking about so you probably already know it was not really 4 hours. We got to the hospital ahead of time about 5:45 am and the day hospital opens at 6. By 6:20 they are looking for a good spot to put an IV. I explained to them she is a very hard stick. Even though they heard me they really were not listening to me. Not one of the 4 nurses could get a good vein. Don’t get me wrong the nurses found veins. They just did not work from all the scar tissue. The reason I tried telling them she is a hard stick. Eventually the Anesthesiologist Doctor came in and popped one right in an artery. I guess he can do that. At this point she was slightly overwhelmed but she is getting older now and learning to deal with the fact that she can’t stop all the doctors and nurses to come in when they need help. That is overwhelming for Angel she hates that. At home(TGH) they know that, at The Joes as Angel calls it they are learning.

So now the procedure is supposed to start at 7:30 and in fact they do take her back at that time. The nurse told me I will call you once the procedure actually starts and then each hour until it is completed. I was happy with that. I figured I would be less stressed getting the calls. I go back to the waiting area with me son and a gentleman from the hospital approaches me and asks if I would be willing to be part of their pilot program , updated text messages. I thought it was a great idea so I agreed. Now time is passing, My Dad shows up, now we are sitting waiting, my son, my Dad and myself. I am starting to worry why have they not called out yet? What is going on? Finally just after 10 am I get a call from the nurse explaining that the procedure is just now starting as they could not find a spot to put a central line, All of her access spots are shot and they struggled to find one.  It truly breaks my heart as I told them this from jump.

In any event she was comfortable and did not know anything going on as she was already sedated. Each hour or so they called out and each time assured me she was doing great. I also received a few text messages in between so I was super informed. I think the texting is great as it is not as scary as the phone some how or another.

When she first came out of surgery we were fortunate enough to know the recovery nurse. She has known Angel since she was a little baby and was quite familiar with her past health experiences. She recognized right away that her potassium was way too high for a Renal patient and immediately worked to get that reversed. By that evening her lab were almost back to normal. That was a good thing as any stress to Stevie(her transplanted kidney) is scary stuff.

The next two days were spent managing pain , only to wind up having a reaction to one of the IV pain meds so lots of steroids and benadryl and eventually figured out another pain plan. By the third day she was out of the ICU and on the second day of Physical Therapy. By day 5 we made discharge plans and have been continuing to heal at home. Aside from the obvious pain she is doing wonderful.

We are already noticing some differences, such as she is taller, her ribs are no longer sticking out in the front and back making her shirts fit wonky as she says. She said no longer feels the pressure in her lungs she was feeling from the ribs pushing and she is now practicing being straight which is quite different than it feels.

I knew this would be a big surgery, I was not surprised by the amount of blood she needed, or the issues getting the correct plan for pain. I was totally surprised by how quickly she was able to shift herself and put full weight on her legs.

Tomorrow she goes to get her stitches out and speak with the doctor about the amount of pain she is still currently having and the best way to manage it and hopefully get clearance to go back to teleclasses as the more you miss the harder it is to make up in school.

@TeamAngel

So I get a knock on my door….

I am not sure about you but for me I find this kind of distraction annoying. I work from home. This allows me to have great opportunity to care for my family and actually not hate work. I can roll out of bed, log on start my morning get things in order and then wake up my kids. I can pretty much run my household while still being productive at work. This is a blessing that took me many many years to find. Although it is only part time and I do struggle financially , I don’t mind. I have the exact balance I need right now today. My youngest daughter has many health issues and being able to care for her needs is worth not  having the extra’s.

This morning I have been up for several hours. Working corresponding with people and simply doing my job. I went out to the living to see what my daughter is  up to and freshen my coffee. I hear a knock on my door. I was somewhat startled, but I thought maybe it was finally maintenance that I called the other day. No, it was not the maintenance, it was not friends or family. It was two ladies that I have never seen before. Right away I was regretting opening my door. The way I see it is religion is a personal thing. If you are very religious or not religious at all, you may believe, you may have faith and you may not believe at all. Either way this is you business, your choice and well, your life. As soon as I said Hi, they said Oh Good Morning,  We are hear to invite you to Jesus’s birthday party. My eyes were rolling into the back of my head and I had to politely hold them still while holding a straight face and continuing to be polite. This was not easy as I am that person who messes with telemarketers and tells jokes to random people so I hold back my sarcasticness and politely take her paper and tell them to have a nice day and shut the door.

I was doing my best not to be rude, I was doing my best to hold a straight face and not be a clown and truly I was standing there half dressed and annoyed they were distracting me from my morning.

I really don’t understand how someone can knock on my door, assume that I believe in Jesus, assume that I am interested in religion at all and then assume I would go to a party for a guy who is not going to be there. Do I bring presents? Is it a kid party? Do I need to dress up. Like give me a break. It is your way of trying to force people to come to your Kingdom Hall or Church or whatever it was, that I did not bother to find out about. I wonder how well it would go if I took my kids dressed them up like my daughter was for Halloween(she was Abaddon from the TV  SuperNatural- All red hair and bloody head cut off ) (her character was trying to be the Queen of Hell she was trying to take over and she was well pretty badass)and went around telling them I am pretty sure Lucifer is out of the cage and he wants to kill the darkness. Or I could tell them Lucifer is driving around Los Angeles I saw it on a commercial.Or worse yet I can tell them the truth, I was raised Jewish I still follow a lot of the tradition but I am not entirely sold on the whole faith thing. I am thinking someone would call the cops on me. I give it about 6 door knocks and I will be explaining to my family why one of them needs to bond me out and get my kids back from protective custody. Yet these people can knock and force their religion down my throat and that is just fine and dandy because more people are into those religions.

I  live in a crappy neighborhood, in a low income apartment complex. I don’t believe anywhere states that means I should be solicited for religion. I think it is annoying and no wonder people with money choose gated communities so no one can knock on their door unexpectedly.

On the other hand, my curiosity has me wondering  what kind of cake do they serve at Jesus’ party?  Is is a little cake like I make for my family? Is is a big fancy cake with many tiers? I am confused by this whole party thing and I am pretty sure if curiosity got the best of me and I went to such an event I would find myself at some festival where I would be expected to buy little trinkets or something like that. I am just guessing though. I really hope the next door knock is either maintenance or someone accidentally ordering us pizza.

The Versatile Blogger Award and Me…

What an honor it was to look at my notifications and see that I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. I received notification from Madhurima all the way from New Zealand, she runs the Nostalgic Lemon Blog. I found her blog one day while just wanting to read about some of the shows I was just about to start Binge watching. I like what I saw and followed her. She writes about different subjects such as TV, Books to Personal Stories she shares. I was so shocked and surprised when I saw her nominate me for the Versatile Blogger award, I thank you and wholeheartedly accept the nomination.

In accepting this award there are a few small rules to follow:

So upon acceptance of the award, here are the official rules:

  • Thank your nominator
  • Share the award on your blog
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Choose 10 new nominees who have fewer than 300 followers
  • Notify them via social media

 

I have been reading blogs and truly looking to see who I would like to nominate for this award. I tell you it was not easy. I read and read. I thought about. I searched for different subjects and blogs that I would normally read. I did not search for things outside of my interest as I want to nominate those I truly feel are Versatile Bloggers. Some blogs are truly wonderful, but they are limited subject matter. Many many blogs are automatically excluded from this as their following is already past 300. My nominees will be contacted very soon.

7 things you will now know about me:

 

  1. I am a terrible Movie Partner. I catch the giggles at the worst times and my attention span is short. I have been known to go to the bathroom and come back in and say random things like” What? no- one here could pause the movie for me” That either results in laughing or dirty looks. There is only one small group of moviegoers left that will put up with me, My oldest sister and my youngest daughter. Everyone else well they tell me about the movie after they  have already seen it.
  2. I always find the good in people, even when they have a lot more bad than good. I believe every person, even the worst people have some good in them. Maybe they are a thief but they would carry an old lady’s groceries or maybe they are like Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to the poor. This has not been my brightspot in life. Even when the bad is out seeking me, I tend to find reason to see the good anyway.
  3. I am a HomeSchool Mom. If you know me that is not even in my personality at all. But is is true. My oldest daughter started homeschooling in the 8th grade. She was missing a lot of school with my youngest daughter being in the hospital all the time.Now my son and my youngest daughter are also homeschooled. It is a lot easier than it sounds. My son and oldest daughter attended school on the computer.(my oldest graduated several years ago) They have actual teachers that they must answer too. My youngest daughter attends Hospital Homebound so she sees the teacher 2 times a week and they send work home and I help her as she needs.
  4. My life can be described a one long run-on sentence. Although I have never been properly diagnosed, I am ADHD. When in preschool, I was that child that woke every one up from nap, just because. and well 40 years later I have not changed much. I am that Mom who wakes my kids up in the middle of the night to tell them a joke. They are used to it, but I get lots of eye rolls and sarcastics Moms!!!
  5. I am very sensitive. I cry for other people randomly. I had to stop reading the newspaper when I was younger because I used to cry about things all the time and it drove my late husband crazy. He would say can you read the comics or sports or something. I am not a wimp or a cry baby, as a matter of fact I am quite the opposite I just have a really compassionate sensitive side.
  6. I have a great Sense of Humor. My childhood was picture perfect, my adult life has been quite a mess. My sense of humor has gotten me through, loss, divorce, raising kids and so much more. I am truly thankful that I can dish it and I can take it. I like corny jokes and sweet Romantic comedy. I have a wide variety of levels to what makes my sense of humor unique.
  7. I am in my early 40’s yet I am already Divorced and Widowed. This makes for lots of reasons why my life is a run-on sentence and why I need such a great sense of humor.

 

 

Now that I have shared 7 things about me, you maybe happy to know there is more where that comes from.

Please enjoy reading my blog. Have I told you about the time….

https://lisabarriera.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

Part 3 – A Successful Transplant

Part 3- A Journey to my Daughter’s Kidney Transplant

 

June 2015, Typical Wednesday morning in dialysis. Chatting and watching TV, waiting for the teacher to come for school. Dr C comes in, says come here to me, in his always the same  Dr. C way. You feel like your school Principal just walked in and is about to scold you for something you are not even sure  you did. He said, its time. We have reviewed everything single thing that happened last time. We have gone over ever test and saw what is the same and what is different and we all believe it is time to move forward. You may or may not get a visit from the Transplant surgeon(He always checked in on her regularly throughout the years) We were hoping when the time came he would be the same doctor to do the surgery but of course we don’t get to dictate this type of event. He told me that The transplant coordinator would be over to see me in the next couple of hours so If I need to stay late after dialysis plan to do so. That today they will activate her on the official list. I don’t think I uttered a word, I just let the tears run down my face. I smiled and said I don’t know what to say. It’s so scary and so exciting and he smiled and quite frankly I don’t even remember what he said. What ever it was I continued to smile and went back into the room where my daughter was having her treatment. We got to use the isolation room as long as no one else actually needed. This helped for school. As she had only been schooled during dialysis she was really behind for a really long time. She has recently caught up to the best of her ability and we are actually looking at school for next year.

She said to me, Mom why are you crying. I said I am happy. Dr C said you are ready. You are ready to get a kidney and they could call right now or a year from now any time. I told her that we will wait for the transplant coordinator and she will explain some things and I may have to sign some papers or something. She was happy but did not really catch the excitement as she is the one who must endure all that goes with it. She knows long run she will feel better, short run it hurts. She is one tough cookie. When school started I went out to the floor with the other kids. When Dr. C motioned me to the desk all the older kids did their oh’sss and ah’ss   ha ha your in trouble. So now they of course want to know if in fact I am in trouble, is the little one ok? I went and told them that she will activate on the list after all these years. The kids were all excited. My daughter could not hear the conversation as she was doing school and the door was shut. The walls are basically glass so we can all see each other. When I told one of the Mom’s she started hugging me and crying as that is what we do in Dialysis, we love one another. We get new members all the time. We lose members. Sometimes people leave the state, sometimes they get transplanted and sadly sometimes everything goes wrong and we actually lose a member. We hide if from the little ones so they don’t have to actually think of the reality. I recently told my daughter about an older girl she did not know passed on. She was truly heartbroken and she said she thought once that me and my older daughter were being weird and went out all day she did not know why. That is the reality of living with Kidney disease it is a treatable disease but it is also a terminal disease. If you have Kidney disease likely your end will meet with complications of Kidney disease. I know people who have lived into their late 70’s with dialysis daily and still went to BBQ’s and drank a beer. People can live with Kidney disease but each person’s severity will of course be different.

Told you I get off topic easy. I would venture to guess I am likely ADHD. I have been hyper my entire life, I never stay focused, yet I can accomplish anything if you leave me alone and let me figure it out for myself. If you pressure me into doing your way, likely I will screw it up.

So now we are on the list for a few months. Life as it is has changed for our family. I am now a widow learning to live on my own again after so many years of having a partner. I learned just how hard it is to get by on your own with limited income and limited resources. My daughter’s medical needs  are a priority and unfortunately it is not possible to work full time and care for her needs. The state does not offer me any cash as an option as they state to get welfare you must volunteer 40 hours a week. I told them if I had 40 hours a week surely I would just work. I have learned to live on 20 hours a week. It does not go far and does not allow for much extras but we are living. We have a great apartment in a terrible neighborhood. We have food and we have our internet and we make due. I have a great family that knows this. They compensate where they can, Take us out to eat, take us to a movie they have even purchased us tickets to the amusement park that is local so we always have something we could do if we are able.

My oldest daughter moved on, she lives in her own place now. She has started to show some serious signs of maturity so I am able to worry a bit less. So now at home it’s just the three of us. My teenage son, and my little one and of course our dog. Our dog has been a big part of helping my children heal when they lost their Dad. He got them this puppy that no one was prepared for. He turned out to be a  big baby and we have since trained him to be a Service dog. He is not the most intelligent service dog but he is their for emotional support and does that well.

We were living in a rental house. This house was literally falling apart and the rent was higher than I was comfortable paying. I was struggling financially and my stress level was at an all time high. Finally I gave into looking at low income apartments. I did not want to. I know they are all in crappy neighborhoods, with crappy neighbors and crappy stores and all that. I also knew that the apartments are kept up with, big, fairly new and cost a comfortable amount for me to pay. I had no choice but to either pack it in put my stuff in storage and beg from my family or move to the apartments. I chose the apartments. A couple of months had past since my daughter became active on the list. I joke with her nurses I said if I know our life, we will get “The Call” the day we are moving. They laughed and said if I know you guys,  you are right that is just when it will happen.

Moving day approached. We packed we went through our stuff and really got rid of things we did not need to move with us. A big job and with as stressed as I was I was proud of myself for accomplishing most of it on my own. My son and daughter of course helped but I am used to my oldest daughter and my husband helping me with all the big stuff. The day before moving. I was getting everything in order. We had packed everything we could possible pack and I finished working for the day. We decided let’s watch an episode of our favorite show.. SuperNatural. I left my phone in my room and I was sitting on the couch ready for tv. I hear my phone ringing and I said to my daughter Answer that. I hear her on the phone and say I will get my Mom. I said who is it and she said I think it’s Dr. P,  my eyes widened and she said I have a Kidney for your daughter. I am not sure it is perfectly healthy but if it is healthy it’s an excellent match. Please head to the hospital now. I started crying, just like I am now when I re-tell the story. I knew my oldest daughter was at work so I text her and Facebook message so I know for sure she will see one of them on her break. I called my sister’s. I started crying in the message , Don’t even know if she could understand me and I called my Dad. We went to the hospital. We did a fun night time dialysis and all of our family showed up. We waited and waited to see what direction the Kidney would go and all the old emotions came up. The night moved on and by 1 in the morning we still did not know anything. I told my daughter that me and my son are going to go home and walk the dog and make sure he is well and we will be back in a few hours. For her to go ahead and get some rest. We went home took care of all last minute moving things, not sure what was going to happen there and fell asleep for a few hours. At 5 am the phone rang and Dr. P said I am sorry but I really just don’t like this kidney. It is not showing me the signs I had hoped for but, hey the good thing is we are there. She is at the top of the list and the next match will be better. I said ok should I come get her now she said no  I would like to do dialysis this morning anyway since we are going into the weekend. So I said ok I will be there by the time she is hooked up. We did a shortened dialysis and gathered all the treats everyone brought to her and went home. We waited for our moving truck. It was late and the day got hectic but by 10 that night we finally had all our stuff in our new apartment and the old house was emptied and cleaned. We realized we were starving and my Dad and Sister and Grand- niece took us to IHOP for some very needed nutrition. We were exhausted from the night before’s hospital and the move. We went home and fell asleep once our heads hit the pillow.

5:30 AM the next morning. I am sleeping starting to stir, realizing I am in a new place I think the phone was ringing. I answered it half asleep and it was Dr P. She said good morning and I think time we have a perfectly healthy kidney but your daughter is the back up the kidney came for another patient. That patient is having some health issues and we can’t be certain that now is a good time for surgery. If in fact that happens surely your daughter will have surgery by tomorrow morning at 6 AM. She said since it has only been 24 hours since your labs were drawn we do not need you to come in yet. She said don’t let her eat or drink anything after 10 AM just in case it comes earlier. The day started passing and we tried to unpack. It was not possible to stay focused as we knew(well we hoped we knew) any minute we would head back to the hospital and this time was going to be for real. We already did our practice run. Finally around 6 I get the call for sure this is her Kidney, but since they have not harvested the organs it will still be a while. Wait for a call around 9 ish and let her eat up until 8 PM. I was so excited,  I was about to take her anywhere to eat and then we realized what if it is noisy and we don’t hear the phone. So we opted for some sandwiches and took care of her medical needs and bath nice and early. I told her this call can come at any time so lets just lay in the bed, watch TV and Nap. We fell asleep. About 5 minutes into sleep my son came in my room, screaming at me. Mom why are you sleeping they are going to call any minute and you are not going to hear the phone. I agreed that he should hold my phone and wake me when the doc calls. At 1:45 AM he comes running in my room, Mommy get up the Transplant Guy from the Hospital is on the phone. He said I need you here within the hour to prepare for 6 am surgery. I made a few phone calls and we headed to the hospital. I will never forget walking through the parking lot to the main hospital to admissions. We ran in the security guard and he said what are you guys doing here its 2 in the morning. I said she is getting a Kidney. We had a happy dance party for a few and he escorted us to the ER where they do middle of the night admits. We tried to be patient waiting for transport but now it was approaching 3 AM and I just wanted her to be with her Nurses and make sure they take care of all the last minute details. They lady at the desk told me I won’t tell anyone if you guys just found yourself in room such and such she gave me a quick wink and we ditched the ER and went straight to the pediatric floor. We know that hospital better than the employees so this was easy for us. When we finally got to the room life turned into slow motion. My sister showed up and brought me coffee or soda or something. I called my oldest daughter about 4 million times. Poor thing was sound asleep and never knew anything until she was halfway through the surgery. My Dad and sisters and son sat with me during the surgery.

We were told the surgery should be about 4 hours long. Before we went in my daughter told the surgeon. Hey Dr B can you take a picture of my Kidney. He explained that at his age that would be technically challenging but he would ask and see if he could make that request happen. Well he did and he had it framed for her. I do believe I told you before she has the entire staff wrapped around her fingers. We waited and waited and the 4 hours turned to 7. I started to panic and just when I thought I could take no more, out came Dr. B He said well she is doing great. He said this is your daughter you know she is a complicated tricky one so surgery would have to be complicated and tricky but it is done and we believe everything is doing great. By the time I go to see her she was already off the Vent. This was the exact opposite of last time. She was producing urine. At first it was a little slow. I was semi panicked but the docs were happy. The nurses were happy, everyone that was there 7 years ago and remembered all that went wrong, we’re confident that this time would be different. The days started passing. She started producing more and urine. She started tolerating the pain and she started eating. Things were truly looking up and by the end of the week they were talking about transfer out of the ICU to the Floor. This is a huge step and about another week passed and we went home. Although she had to get a Urostomy and that is a complication of not having a functioning bladder. That just a complication for now. In the future someone will figure out the next step and build her a bladder and hopefully it will be functioning.

It is now 8 weeks post Transplant. All labs are within normal ranges for a person with healthy kidney function. She is having a few issues with the Urostomy that we are working through and her blood pressure is finally trending down to a more tolerable number. She is eating and drinking like a champ and each day she gets better and better. Each day we watch her skin get clearer and softer, her incision is almost totally healed and most of the bruising is gone. We have started taking daily walks, resumed school( still at the hospital) and we are actually learning what it is like to have life Post Transplant. It is a true miracle. We could not be more thankful to the donor family for making that unselfish decision to donate and truly make my daughter’s life healthier therefore better.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read our Journey through her Kidney Transplant.

There are 3 parts to this story in total….