tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunday, October 17, 2010

So much has been going on this last week or so, that it is far too much to share in a simple status update. So I thought I’d catch everyone up in a note. Grab a coffee and a comfy seat.

Troy is doing better. As well as can be expected. I still can’t possibly fathom how he must be feeling. It is a terrible thing to watch the one you love experience such a horrible loss. I do my best to give him what he needs, although most of the time I’m not sure what it is, other than just being there. Please hold him and his family in your thoughts.

Speaking of Troy…
Things continue to progress at a very rapid pace. Rapid, yet oddly, quite comfortable.
I pinch myself daily.

(I’ll get wishy-washy here for a moment, and then I’ll move on)…
After Craig left, I truly felt that love had found (and left) me for the last time in my life. Even though I constantly complained about being lonely and alone, I’m not sure I even wanted it to find me again, or even believed it to actually exist. I had become jaded, bitter, defeated.
“They” (whoever they are) always say that’s when “it” happens. Who knew, “they” were right.
The few times I have been in love, it’s been more of the growing kind. You can feel it coming on, it develops, and then, before long, you love that person deeply. Whether or not you’re “in love”, remains to be seen, but usually that develops as well, but then again, not always.
This time for me has been completely different. It’s not like I woke up one morning and realized I was in love with Troy, but it was kind of like that I suppose. I did get a bit of warning. I could feel it creeping in around the edges. I questioned it drastically, of course, especially considering how briefly we have been together. I was skeptical, as always. But before I knew it, it blew my doors open, and there was no further denial. It was fast moving, and furious. And I love it.
Troy is easily the most wonderful man I have ever met. He’s kind, generous, attentive, funny, smart, loving. He’s just the right amount of tough-guy and softy, all in one. He’s patient enough to handle me at my worst, and loves me just the same when I’m there (although I’ll admit, I haven’t been much of an ogre lately!). He humors me when I want to go to the local dive karaoke bar, and yet (for once in my life), I am quite content to spend a Friday night in, watching movies and cuddling on the couch. Who knew!
And believe it or not, our kids actually get along too. Now THAT’S good fortune!
I have NO idea how I got lucky enough for us to find each other. I guess Karma owed it to me.
So anyway…

Hercules IMHA seems to be under control. He had a very promising red blood count this week. It has risen to 41%, even on 5 milligrams of prednisone, twice a week. We will now taper him to one 5 mg dose per week. If he is still stable in two weeks, he will then come off the pred completely. We have waited for this day for many months. We never knew if he would survive this disease at all, let alone be able to come off medications completely. Most dogs with IMHA live the entirety of their lives on prednisone. We have been very fortunate.
Our next concern is whether or not to follow up with his immunizations. It is loosely theorized that they could trigger his immune system to go haywire again, but there is no proof of this. I’ve always been a supporter of immunizing, but I may have to reconsider and err on the side of caution. We shall see.
On the flip side of this good news (as it always seems), there is also bad.
Herc has had some developmental issues in his growth plates around his wrists. His front legs (near the feet) are now turning quite outward, and he’s starting to walk on the insides of his feet.
We knew he had some issues, but we weren’t sure how severe it would become. This week, his x-rays showed that they were considerably worse than we expected.
Growth plates, which are responsible for longitudinal bone growth, are located near the ends of the bones and are found in animals less one year of age. In normal circumstances, these growth plates “close up” as the dog grows to maturity, usually before one year of age.
In Herc’s case, the growth plate at the end of his lower radial (outer leg) bone closed prematurely at some point, while the growth plate on the ulna side for some reason has not closed yet. This allows the ulna (or inner) side to continue to grow, while the radius remains the same length. The wrists twist, the feet point outward, the elbows eventually get pulled out of alignment, and arthritis quickly sets in. Lameness and pain are not noticeable yet, but it is only a matter of time.
I am in the process of emailing a renowned orthopedic surgeon in CT. I am hoping he will take a look at Herc’s films. We may be able to travel down to see him at least for a consult, and to discuss his options for surgery. Whether or not we will be able to afford that surgery is another issue entirely. It doesn’t seem likely.
The problem is, without it, Herc will eventually fall to the pain and arthritis that is sure to come. It could be disabling if not corrected. 
I cryptically wonder if we saved him from the IMHA, only to lose him prematurely to this.

The kids are good. 
Dawson just turned 9. I can’t believe that. They grow so fast. 
Speaking of growing, my baby is driving. She’s driving. Holy crap.

Work is work, as usual. 
Although, I am now the proud owner of only one job, instead of two. 
Financially that may not be the best thing in the world. And who knows, I may pick up another bartending gig if I need to. But for now, I am going to enjoy a one-job lifestyle for a bit. Bartending has a high burn-out rate, and I’ve been doing it for about 10 years. That’s about 9 years too many.
Giving my notice last night at Jester’s was bittersweet. I have many customers that became friends of mine, and I will miss them. But I can go in once in a while for the famous pizza and say hello anytime.
The short story behind this decision goes something like this…
During my sick haze yesterday, I got a phonecall. A (reliable) little birdie told me that the owner had announced (openly) that he was cleaning out the entire staff. Well, all except one. And that one was not me. He truly feels that an entire staff change is something the bar needs. It is his business, and these are his decisions to make. I don’t have a problem with that. So, in order to save my resume, I decided to give my notice. 
Whether or not he does “clean house” with the others remains to be seen. Either way, it was a huge relief for me. It is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, all I needed was a little push. 
I am thoroughly looking forward to enjoying my weekends for a while. In fact, when someone in the bar asked why I did it, Troy quickly answered- “she has something better to do on Saturday nights now”. 
And he is absolutely right.
Well, I guess that’s it for now. All the important updates I can think of…

Oh, and watch out for the bug. It was debilitating for me. I haven’t been this sick in YEARS. Sore throat first for a few days.  Easily the worst sore throat I’ve ever had. Tested negative for strep. Then came the vomiting. I spent all day yesterday in bed. I only went to Jester’s last night to avoid being fired, and to give my notice. Today is better, and I think I’m on the road to recovery. Hoping I’ll be able to eat something soon!

Be well.