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Archive for August, 2013

Hope for Carl

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Carl is resting now. He’s sitting in the sunny window, enjoying Baroque. Vets of traditional medicine tell owners of cats with feline aids that there is little that can be done for them. They’ll tell you that you need to consider having the sick cat put down. I’m not one to always agree with traditional medicine. I believe that “food is life”, and as long as a creature or person has a desire to eat, they still have a desire to live. Carl was vomiting several times per day- he wanted to eat but simply couldn’t keep anything down. He’d lost so much weight, and three days ago, began looking a grey, ashy colour- apart from his very yellow skin and gums from an excessive amount of billirubin, resultling in jaundice. After doing some research, I discovered that vets will prescribe Phenergan to sick cats. Phenergan is also known as promethazine- which is an antihistimine that quells nausea. It also give you a serious case of the munchies: the kind of munchies that lead you to the fridge at 3: a.m., whipping up concoctions like peas, ketchup and Keebler crackers. (etc.) I was prescribed Phenergan months ago because the migraines I suffer cause heavy bouts of nausea. One prescription of Phenergan (30 pills) lasts me in the area of 8 months. It’s heavy stuff! For me anyway, and I can only take 1/2 at any given time. It’ll knock you on your butt. I decided to give Carl a small dose of Phenergan so he would get the munchies and be able to keep his food down. He had stopped drinking liquids altogether and looked as if he wouldn’t last much longer.

The first dose I gave him was very small- three days ago. I mixed it with some milk and a bit of the gravy from his canned soft food. Josh and I administered about 3/4 of a strawful in small increments. Afterwards, we waited. Within the hour, Carl had the munchies, as anticipated- he ate voraciously! Later that night, he wanted to eat again so I gave him some milk instead, which he drank, and then gave him another small portion of soft food. Several hours later, more food. I’m happy to report that Carl is able to keep everything down and hasn’t vomited once. Mission successful!

I’ll continue to give Carl a small dose of the Phenergan mixture every 3 days. He’s put on a bit of weight, albeit slight, but it’s there. A side effect of the Phenergan is drowsiness but he was already so weak from extreme dehydration and vomiting, he can use the rest to recuperate.

In the next few weeks, I’ll buy acidophilus powder, buffered vitamin C, bone meal and a handful of other crucial vitamins, and using a blender, mix up a protein shake for Carl that will restore him to some level of homeostasis and better health. He’ll always have the feline AIDS- but he doesn’t have to die from it. People and animals seldom die from the actual disease that afflicts them: they die from combined system failures- their diets, colon, and vital organs being at the center of it all.

On to other things- I’ve decided to not take “Study Skills” this semester. I’m not loving that my adviser suggested a “filler class” to simply jack up my credit hours to 12+. I mean, I’m happy that she tried to help, but if something doesn’t have meaning, there’s no point.

Study Skills is a class for new Vincennes University students who need to learn new ways and methods of studying but it also familiarizes the student with their new University. My adviser knows this. I’m getting ready to graduate! Why not just take a filler class about clown shoes and circus life? I mean, I’m never going to use that either…

No, it didn’t sit right with me so I’ve decided to substitute my 5th class with something I’ll actually use when I transfer- Spanish II. Yes, it’ll make my semester that much more challenging, but I love to be challenged. If I don’t set challenging goals for myself, then I feel dull and idle. I’ve already knocked out about 6 Spanish assignments last night. My adviser told me that I wouldn’t be able take that class because of its course number- they were all full. Sooooo….I sort of went over her head and emailed the Spanish instructor personally, asking him to squeeze me in- which he did. 🙂 He said that he remembered me (I got an A in his Spanish I class) and that he’d be happy to squeeze me in.

It sure beats the hell out of Study Skills.

Time for Carl’s bath.
Hasta luego…

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Road Trip!

Welp- it’s official. Josh and I are going to see his family! He hasn’t been there (apart from two times, shortly) in about 7 years. Losing both parents at an early age and then being shuffled through foster homes, he had all of the odds stacked against him in life, and like me, should have ended up a statistic. But he’s kind, strong, loving, and highly intelligent (I know you’re reading this Brianna, and I know you’re laughing!) but he really is. He’s overcome great odds; it ripped my heart out of my chest to see him writhing on the floor last night, wailing and crying out for his Mother.

So, after pulling a few strings today, I’ve managed to coordinate a road trip. The house is stocked with $300 of groceries- Bob’s got his smokes- Brianna’s got her Carl back (he had escaped earlier) and after fueling up, we’re headed out to Huber’s Winery to pick up a couple of bottles of Catawba Rose to go with Josh’s Aunt’s “Wild Gypsy” candle we bought for her. I’ve heard about his family for so long now, I feel like I know them already, and I love them all truly. I’ve been missing his sister, Kat, lately. I feel sad in my heart for her and I just can’t put my finger on it, but when my fall aid is finalized, we’re going to take a trip to see her too.

I had an odd dream last night. I dreamed that I was walking in the snow but it was warm, like a mild summer day. (I usually dream in monochrome and sepia tones, much like my photography.) But last night, the palette was explosive! Wild, vivid colours. I walked into a patch of sunshine: I could tell by the grass’s shadows that it was about 6:00 p.m.- just when the shadows are stretched to their peak (and the best time for photographing them if you want dramatic photos). As I stepped into a triangular area of bright sunlight, the snow became mingled with dollar bills. It was literally “snowing money”. I walked with my eyes closed and a bizarre smile plastered on my face, and when I woke up, there was a warm glow all around me. Is that…is that what happiness feels like?!

I suppose it was a bit prophetic in a way- I was able to access $500 for groceries and a road trip- last minute. Josh is strangely tense. I know there are a lot of emotions he feels right now. It’s like being around a brooding storm without thunder- but a very quiet one just the same. I understand.

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Rough Sailing

Josh has been a heap of tears on the floor, wailing and howling: last night was his Mother’s birthday anniversary. She was shot/murdered when he was only 7. It’s always rough around this time of year, understandably. His pain is so intense that all I can do is wrap myself on the floor around him there and hold on tight- trying to absorb his pain as he wails. I cry too. He told me that his Aunt Bev released a balloon today for her sister, Josh’s Mom. It broke my heart that Josh wasn’t able to be with his Aunt Bev during these hard times. I know it will do them both a world of good to spend some time together, and time with the rest of his family there too. Hopefully we can go very soon.

He’s feeling better now; chit-chatting with (Bob). He’ll feel better tomorrow.
He always does.

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By the Grace of God and the Skin of my Teeth

…I’ve finished the semester. Having been told that my financial aid fall disbursement was being held back until my Public Speaking grade was submitted, I kicked things into high gear and completed all 6 speeches in just two days- complete with their full speech outlines and a 9 chapter test. (Two days!) I made an A. The written assignments for that class were insane- they were 7-9 pages each (per assignment).

I  have three full days until my next semester begins- that’s a luxury at this point. I haven’t been on a photoshoot in weeks and I’ve barely played my guitar and sung, but there will be time for all of that after graduation. One semester to go!

My fall classes will be:

Intro to Criminology
Social Psychology
Lifetime Fitness and Wellness (College P.E.)
Therapeutic Interventions with Substance Abusers II
Study Skills

Not that I need “Study Skills”, but in order for my Frank O’Bannon grant to kick in, I have to be full-time, so my adviser suggested that I add a course (Study Skills) that won’t count toward my major but will increase my credit hours to 14. It’s doable.

I’ll receive an additional $1,380 for the Frank O’Bannon grant, or thereabouts. My Mom has a $900 debt from a bad car deal- how can I not help my own Mother out? If it weren’t for that, I might let the last class slide and settle for 11 credit hours but I simply have to help her out. Besides, nothing will be as difficult as College Algebra. After that (and Public Speaking)- it’s all gravy.

I was planning to celebrate earlier and in fine spirits, when I received a knock at the door. It was the police. (Good golly here we go again…)

“Are you Mrs. Lindsey?” they asked.

“Yeah.”

“Is this your son?”

Sigh.

“Yeah…”

Brian Bob was in an accident. Thank God he wasn’t hurt too badly. He ran right into a big, orange truck at a red light. He was on a bicycle. (These things happen.) My joy was short-lived today but hey, on the larger scale of things- my son’s alive. His Dad and I are going to have to pay for the damage out of pocket, seeing how Bob’s only 17.  Busted tail light, scraped bumper… On the even larger scale of things, I don’t have a migraine! All in all, it’s been a good day still.

I have this weird smile on my face- even after all of that.
I finished Public Speaking! And made an A!

Definitely smile-worthy.

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Heidi and Josh- abandoned farmhouse- semi-HDR
Madison, Indiana


Kitty AIDS

It’s a sad day here. Perhaps today will be brighter than yesterday.

Carl has “kitty AIDS”: a feline autoimmune deficiency disease. It’s not exactly the AIDS that is the problem as much as the cat’s compromised immune system, which allows other bacteria and viruses to attack its systems. 

Carl  was healthy here:

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Brianna noticed that Carl has been turning yellow on his skin and inside of his ears- jaundice. He came in from a fight recently with a gaping wound on his head, which later became infected. We cleaned it daily with peroxide and eventually applied Neosporin, which helped. It’s looking much better now, but he’s lost a good bit of weight and has developed kitty-bulimia. He’ll overeat, almost always, and regurgitate immediately afterwards. It’s hard to say if this stems from a behavioral or physiological process. Brianna rescued him two or so years ago; he’d had a fairly hard life beforehand, always scrapping for food.

We took him to the vet yesterday and the vet blatantly shared with us that Carl should be taken home, given the best soft food available, and “made comfortable”. I know what that means. When my Dad was dying in the hospital, the doctor was farting around with his words, so I pulled a nurse out into the hallway and asked her to shoot me between the eyes. She told me to take him home and “make him comfortable”. It was her hard stare that solidified the impact: we both knew what she was saying.

Brianna has been crying her heart out. Carl is her best friend! He looks like a total bruiser but really, if you give him a small piece of steak, he won’t just take it from you; he rubs his head on your hand to show his appreciation, then he gently takes it. He’s a gem. 

We were told by Dr. Strong (the vet) that there are a pack of cats in our area that have feline AIDS: it’s transferred through a saliva to blood interaction, or blood to blood, or mating. Often, cats who fight will transfer this deadly virus to other kitties. It doesn’t transmute over to humans, however.

We’ve quarantined Carl; he’s staying in Brianna’s room at the moment. The vet donated a $56 antibiotic shot from her own Angel Fund Foundation- it was hard to hold back the tears on that one. I’m going to make her a thank you card, using Carl’s picture.

Although the prognosis looks fairly grim, as Dr. Strong stated, “There are always miracles…”

 

 


Road Kill

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The last month or so has been so horrendously awful that I haven’t been able to write anything. Everything has been so bad: I’ve been like a dying woman on a deserted island.

School has been kicking my butt…as usual. I’ve been incredibly bitter.

On the brighter side of things, I have only my Public Speaking class to polish off. And then, my fall semester begins on August 15th- no summer break for me. I’m working through it all. I keep reminding myself that I only have one semester to go before I get my degree. The joy will be short-lived as I’ll move right into my B.A. in Criminal Justice. It’s never ending, isn’t it?

Tomorrow is Josh’s birthday. He’s been saddened by the fact that he hasn’t been able to go and visit his family. He’s been crying lately…

Last night something really crazy happened. Josh and Brianna and I had just returned from a trip to see Heidi in Bloomington. After blowing back into town, we stopped at Kroger to pick up some cat food. Josh and I had been bickering much of the way home- who knows what started it this time- we’ve both been on edge lately given the circumstances- and when we walked out to the car, we saw that it was surrounded by no less than 5 cop cars. It was crazy! Brianna was in the back seat and was slumped down, holding Heidi’s cat, Numa, and the cops were shining flashlights all in her face and all inside the car.

I asked what was going on, and one of the officers sheepishly apologized saying that they’d had a call stating that “somebody had left a toddler in a carseat in the back- alone and unattended”. I was furious!

I explained that Brianna was actually 19 (thank you very much) and that we were “just fine” (thank you very much).

Good golly…talking about pissing a woman off. I’ve pretty much had it with the Barney Fifes in this town “playing cops”. I wasn’t really as pissed at the cops as I was at the very ignorant people who’d called.

After the cops had completely cleared out, I was told that the people who had called the cops on us were actually the couple right across from us in the parking lot, holding their baby. Lovely.

I drove around to them and confronted them, saying (and playing dumb, totally), “Excuse me, do you know who called the cops on us?”

“Um,” the woman said, stuttering, “Yeah, um, we…we didn’t know who was in there- we thought it was a baby and…we didn’t want to snoop but…” (yada yada yada)

“Listen,” I said, ” Always make sure that you know exactly what you’re doing when you call the cops like that. You can destroy people’s lives. You have to make sure that you know exactly what you’re talking about before you just ‘call the cops’ all right?”

I was supremely pissed. We were in there for all of 5 minutes!

K. Moving on…

Josh is doing schoolwork: we’ve really been through the wringer lately. We’ll be able to take a much needed vacation in a few more weeks. Life has been a little… too exciting lately.

Until we meet again!