Monday, April 30, 2012

Goosebumps and rashes

The morning began poorly. I hopped out of bed to the alarm only to stand dazed for longer than usual trying to figure out what day it was. The typical chaos ensued. The three-kid, new-kneed dog, mom/dad getting ready for work mornings that have us all going in circles started like a wind-up toy.

I applied hydrocortisone cream and Ivarest to the poison ivy rash, now at its peak, on the face of my youngest amidst her cries and pushes. "It will help you feel better," I explained with futility. She bawled, her tears made streams through the pink medicine and I blotted them with my hands.  She started up again at the bus stop, pleaded with me not to make her go to school, afraid that swimming later would make it hurt. I struggled to ease her anxiety as I had all weekend and failed miserably again. I emailed teachers. I crossed my fingers. She called me an hour later with the same questions, needing the same reassurance so I gave it. (and worried about her all day)

The dog with the bum knee pulled me all over the yard in pursuit of groundhogs. She feels better.

I had an uncomfortable conversation but sometimes the direct approach is the best. I try to abide by this now that I am old but haven't always, fear was and is a strong motivator. I was at this point, late.

My first patient was worried about me as I'm usually nauseatingly punctual. But it happened anyway, that level of connection so spooky and other-worldly that there is no uncertainty that it was intended. I wasn't originally supposed to be there, she was someone else's but I've been treating her for at least a month and she has said from the beginning we were meant to be together. We are from different parts of the giant coffee cake of life. Hers, the upper crust, mine, the moist middle with the occasional bite of cinnamon-swirl.

She usually vents about personal issues and we manage some therapy. I like to listen and learn. We enjoy each other's company, she calls me, "her new best friend" and has since the beginning. It warms me. She told me she sees herself in me. Today I figured out I had been in her previous home fifteen years ago and once knew her estranged son. Our jaws dropped. She said, "I know you'll think I'm crazy, but I felt a connection with you as soon as you stepped in my door."

I was later still. My next patient complained about the same things as usual and we managed some therapy. I called my next one to let her know I was on my way. She answered the phone with, "I'm waiting for you" but her tone really said, "you're late". I apologized. Twice. Her husband moaned and grunted loudly through her therapy drawing attention to himself as usual while their son with lymphoma and one arm (recently dropped from his insurance) counseled him on dying. I gave thanks for being alive.

My husband took the kids to the dentist later, not one of life's more pleasant tasks but necessary for good parenting. He did this (I think) so I could run, be with my thoughts, relax, sweat and I feel loved.

I enjoy my job most days but have to say that above all else, it's the human connection I value far above the original intent.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Above is the scene to which I awoke looking out my kitchen window.  I think it's a fox that's doing the dirty work, my husband thinks it's a hawk.  That chicken was big, fat and three years old. Now we're down to two until the chicks grow.

I heard loud screams and yelling coming from upstairs a half an hour later while I was making breakfast. That's not entirely unusual in a house with three children and a fourth from a sleepover. We're not perfect. I was about to address the situation when my son came flying down the stairs and out the back door to apprehend the (neurotic) border collie who was maiming another white chicken that had flown into the backyard. Stupid chicken. While corralling the dog into the bathroom the lab mix recovering from knee surgery who is supposed to be confined for eight weeks, tried to escape into the backyard. She wanted a taste of chicken perhaps. She just came home from the hospital two days ago and hasn't eaten anything but pain medicine wrapped in cheese.

We let the chicken find her way out of the backyard on her own time. We let the dog back outside and settled the lab. I took a shower. My middle daughter burst in the bathroom before I was dressed in a panic to let me know the (stupid) white chicken was in the backyard again with the (neurotic) border collie. He was eyeing her and sat still as a statue. My husband was at church, I barked out orders. Son-put dog in bathroom! Daughter-open gate! The chicken wandered the backyard for some time yelling and looking for a way out.

Later my son told me he had seen a fox early this morning in the field behind our house. He said it was as big as Quill, the border collie. The boys are planning a fox hunt. The chickens are in the coop. I just saw a large hawk perched on the backyard fence. I really wasn't expecting any of this today.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blog revisited

Since you last visited I haven't knitted a thing. I quit the knitting job a long time ago. I stopped blogging sometime thereafter. I took a different PT job. My husband came back after six months away training for his new one. It was the longest six months of our marriage and my (hopefully) only attempt at nearly single motherhood. I struggled the whole way through. We lost many chickens, picked off by foxes or hawks I don't know which because they're clever. Our border collie killed a white hen that flew into the backyard. I don't fault the dog. We have new chicks and life goes on. Our lab mix blew out her knee at age four, qualified for an FDA drug trial which included a four-thousand dollar surgery for free. We signed on the dotted line. She's home resting comfortably with a swollen, shaved ham hock that the kids are scared to look at. She's getting a lot of attention and rest. We found out our kids aren't angels. I told a friend I've been training for a half-marathon I'll probably never run. I put on five pounds doing it which my husband said was good. I stopped running as much and lost three. We took a family vacation. I started writing a book. I'm reading more. I turn right and then left and follow life where it leads and write all these things down for you under the assumption you're interested.