apnea and stuff

I suspect I’m not unusual in that, when I am diagnosed with anything, I go to the web and research it.  Probably everyone who does this, does it for the same reason I do–to get some idea what to expect.  That result is iffy; everyone is different.  But the internet really helped me, back when I was practically paralyzed with anxiety and discovered Sam-E.  I really think that, in addition to alleviating the anxiety and enabling me to function emotionally again, Sam-E (and the B-complex I necessarily took with it) has also protected me from the worst of the MTHFR issues I might otherwise have developed by now.  I have also not suffered any major boil eruptions since I began taking Sam-E, and I can’t even express how huge that is.  So while I have no idea how that might work, thank you for that also, internet.  (And sorry for the TMI-grossness.)

But right now the top headline in my health news is the sleep apnea.  I have googled around, and not really found any reports, blog entries, etc., on the topic that quite reflect how I feel.  And, yanno…we don’t really know yet that how I feel is entirely caused by the apnea.  We won’t know until I get my machine and commence treatment.  If it works, it’s the apnea causing my problems.  If it doesn’t, we’ll have to resume the search, and the next step will be a neurologist because pretty much all other possibilities have been eliminated.

I’m hoping it’s the apnea, frankly.  I’m so tired of the hunt.

It’s been two weeks yesterday since the last sleep study.  They said I should have the machine in three weeks.  I still have not heard anything from anyone, except a call from the Lung Doc wanting to schedule a follow up.  His employee sounded surprised I hadn’t heard anything about the machine yet.

Frankly the delays annoy me.  Everything annoys me.  Apparently this is not an uncommon symptom among people who are chronically sleep deprived.

I kind of miss the days of not knowing I was sleep deprived.  Now I notice that I am waking up repeatedly, panting like I have just run a marathon.  Less so, if I fall asleep sitting up on the sofa, but that is only good for a couple of hours, when my legs go to sleep and the tingling wakes me up.

I also try to sleep on my stomach, but that is not extremely comfortable either because, well…boobs.

Sigh.  What a whinebag I am!

And yet I whine.  Today’s whine is, I should not have to sit around for three weeks waiting on a phone call.  (It has taken me four days to write this entry.)  My three weeks is up on Sunday, so I called today (Friday) and spoke to a fellow named Mike who said my xpap is n the “final stages of pre-approval with the insurance company.”  That would be BCBSAnthemWhatever.

Color me unsurprised, and put some symbols in a little balloon over my head.  Rassafrassin sassafrassin insurance.

One of the side-effects of apnea is emotional instability.  So when you read on the news that some crazy middle age fat lady fed her pet dragon exlax laced with napalm and flew over the Anthem headquarters, you won’t have to wonder why.  You’ll know why.

She was tired.

Mike said that I should hear early next week, and if I don’t hear by Tuesday I should call their Respiratory Therapist Anne and inquire again.

Nagging.  It is my super power, and remains so even in my depleted state.

Making a grocery list, not so much, so I need to go do that.  Zor, our living-with-us adult kid, got a restaurant job this week so she can save up to buy a car and pay her tuition at the next school, and we are all adjusting to that.  They feed her there, so that means I don’t have to take her taste into account for some dinners, whee!  On the other hand, I don’t know what her schedule is going to be, so boo!

Flexibility.  I heard of that once.  I think it’s something reserved for people who don’t have obligations.

Peace.

memory is hunger

Today I am mourning my brain.  In between the wracking bouts of anguish, I have ideas of where I will go from here if the cpap machine doesn’t resurrect my ability to remember things, but losing the ability to learn (quickly) and write are huge losses for me, very tied in to my identity.  And I have already mostly lost the ability to read for pleasure, since I don’t retain what I read for any length of time.  I might remember what I read at the top of the page by the time I get to the bottom, but too often I don’t, and re-reading and re-reading might or might not work.

And writing.  How can I write when I forget what I have already written?

Hemingway wrote, “Memory is hunger.”  Of all the things I forget, I’m trying very hard not to remember that I read somewhere that at least one factor in Hemingway’s suicide was that electroshock treatments had zapped his memory, and thus his ability to write.

Anyway, ideas.  Possibilities.  Hope bucket stuff.

Regarding reading:  My old memories seem more or less intact, so I am thankful I read so much.  That means I can possibly still enjoy re-reading old favorites.

Regarding storytelling:  godlight is finished.  No one may want to represent and/or publish it if I can’t produce more, but I can still publish it myself, since that has long been my backup plan.  At least it won’t languish in a drawer.

I mentioned old memories are still intact, so perhaps I can still finish Gallows Dogs.  I still remember what is supposed to happen, although not everything, because I hadn’t decided on everything yet.  godlight‘s grand finale didn’t reveal itself to me until I wrote it, and I assume surprises will happen in GD as well.  But maybe I can deal.  Maybe.  I can’t know unless I try and see.

Truth:  I’m afraid to try, because the answer might be a big ol’ nope.  I’m putting off trying until I’ve tried the cpap; the doc recommends three weeks.  Maybe I am (not) panicking over nothing.

Another thing I might be able to manage even with my memory impaired is, a sequel to godlight.  Again, this has always been the long term plan.  But since I already have the backstory and characters built for that one, making a series might be a little like writing my own fan fiction.  Again, I won’t know this unless I try.

Maybe I could read new books in old series, also.  I saw where Miss Julia has a new book out.

Storytelling Plan B:  If the cpap doesn’t sufficiently alleviate my memory and cognitive issues, and if I am unable to write fiction, I will switch to another medium.  I’ll finally have time to really explore photography (I still haven’t truly got good use out of my new camera) drawing, or digital painting, or any of the myriad other art skills that I so badly want to practice, but for which I never have time.

Previously, when considering which if any of those activities to pursue, I have always thought, “I’d love to do that, but I’m not really good at any of that anyway.”

Maybe that’s because I haven’t put my 10,000 hours in.  But if I put those hours in, I’d almost certainly get better at them.  The upside of losing my mind could be…gaining time.

I would be reinventing myself.  Again.  But I have done that (hence the again, and could most likely do it again.

Not today though.  Today I am still grieving.  But later.

For now, I need to post this.  Mostly in case I forget.

sleep apnea and keeping the hope

bottle of yellow Joy dish detergentI remember when the film Dances With Wolves was a thing. People jokingly, or not, gave themselves “Indian” names. Mine was Mops Walls With Joy, because when the topic first came up, I was mopping the walls of my apartment. With Joy.

More recently, when I watch Game of Thrones, I find myself envious of Daenerys Targaryen, not for her dragons, but for her extensive list of cool titles: Daenerys Stormborn of the House of Targaryen, second of her name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, the Unburnt, and Mother of Dragons. I may have forgotten some.

Me, I’m Mops Walls With Joy. Maybe I could also be Mother of Meatloaf.

Blah.

In another conversation with a friend (same who inspired Mops Walls With Joy), well, she is going through some tough stuff. The kind of stuff where it is hard to hope, because hope will get you hurt. And I told her I would hope for her. And I have been doing that, relentlessly. I may not believe in much, and my spiritual beliefs are hazy at best, but I thoroughly believe in hope. No matter what, everything is going to work out. Bad things will happen, yes. But the bad things will end, and good things will happen again.

So I posted on Facebook that hope is my superpower, and in my head, gave myself the sobriquet Keeper of Hope.

Sounds nice and all, but yeah. Lately, it’s been hard.

My health has just been UGH. My team seems to be in agreement, after over a year of very expensive testing, that the severe apnea is the thing. It’s causing all my symptoms. At over 72 AHI (that means I stop breathing over 72 times per hour, more than once per minute, and for over ten seconds each time), and with my blood oxygen dipping to OMG 40%, it causes the crushing fatigue and extreme weakness–sometimes I can barely raise my foot high enough to step up on a curb, and forget climbing stairs; I simply can’t.

When your brain (my brain) realizes it is starving for oxygen, it screams for help. “Wake up dumbass, I’m dying up here!” And you do, I do, wake up, breathe, and then fall back asleep. Chances are you don’t even know you woke up. You’re too exhausted to remember, and also, everyone who is sleep deprived is prone to memory problems.

Going a step further, severe apnea causes actual brain damage. There are these little structures in the brain, called mammillary bodies (because they look like breasts) that process memories while you sleep, and in cases of severe apnea, these structures shrink by as much as 20%. Hang on, it’s taking me a minute to find some documentation on this that’s both credible and readable…here we go. Good ol’ UCLA. (This article also explains why this damage didn’t show up in the brain scan I endured.)

I didn’t really start out to write a post about sleep apnea, but the thing is, after all these months (over a year) of testing and decline, and thinking–hoping!–that this time we’ve found the problem, or that this next test will find the problem, I find myself in the same position as my friend, afraid to hope.

Watch as the blogger rambles all over half a dozen topics. Welcome to my brain off oxygen. Scattered. Please accept my apologies for that.

I am a blue collar housewife with a medical team. There’s a heart guy, a lung guy, and my regular Primary Care Provider. They seem convinced that this is it! This is the problem. It probably underlies my “original” medical issues as well as the more recent things, because apnea contributes to diabetes, unregulatable blood pressure, and pretty much anything else you can think of, because it breaks your brain, both grey matter and white. I didn’t even know we had white matter. Brain damaged though I may be, I learned something new.

Still afraid to hope, though.

The articles don’t quite seem to agree whether treatment (CPAP therapy) will completely restore my brain function. Most seem hopeful that there will be at least partial improvement. (Sorry, I’m too tired to chase links on this.)

If it happens, it may take a year.

The Keeper of Hope needs a bucket to carry hope in, because it is bleeding away through her fingers.

Which brings me to this very small idea I have had, that there is a fine line between hope and things to look forward to. I think I need things to look forward to, to hope for. Not so long term, either, although I do retain hope that there will be a long term. I’m just not sure what my capabilities will be, either physically or cognitively.

So stay tuned for the Hope Bucket:  things to look forward to, things to hope for. May be, or may not be, the same things as One Good Thing, or Thankful Thursday things. I’m not going to overburden myself with technicalities that will make this harder than it has to be. Life makes things difficult enough at times already. Not that I won’t post about those types of things, because I will. But the worry bucket needs balancing out.

Seems to me, it can’t be good to set down the good stuff so you can lug around more bad stuff.

woman carrying buckets of water near leningrad

No more mopping walls, with Joy or otherwise.  I have a new use for my buckets.  I am now Holly, first of many names, Mother of Meatloaf, Protector of Puppies, and Keeper of the Hope.

perceptions, a personal epiphany

The other day I was having some dental work done–scaling and root planing–and my hygienist said, “You’re really one tough chick.” And, “You have a very high tolerance to pain.”

I was actively dozing when she said the latter, so I went, “Huh?” and had her repeat it.  Even when I was sure I had heard her correctly, I was confused because I wasn’t feeling any pain.

Later when I was driving to another, much dreaded, appointment, a thought came to me.  Maybe that is a high tolerance to pain.

All my life I have assumed that people with high tolerances–to whatever–were just iron people who felt things the same way I do but somehow, via some inner strength, they just took it, and that if I were a good enough person, a brave enough person, a strong enough person, a person with enough willpower, I could ironman it through those same experiences.

If I were strong enough, I could tough it out through the fear, the anxiety, the pain. That I should be able to. That everyone, or everyone over the age of 18 or so–should be able to man up, toughen up, gut it out, take it on the chin, ironman it.

Whatever you’re afraid of, whatever hurts.  Just do it.  Just deal with it.

I can’t help but feel I should have known this already, but evidently not everyone experiences fear and pain, or anything really, the same. I knew (or accepted, is there a difference?) that psychopaths don’t experience fear or guilt or empathy the same way other people do.

But now I believe there are not just two levels, psycho and us/everybody else.

It’s all a spectrum.  More than that, a limitless assortment of spectrums. A pain spectrum, an anxiety spectrum, everything a person could possibly experience lies along a spectrum of perspective.

I’m not trying to take away from firefighters who race into burning buildings to save others. But I’m guessing they are not as afraid as others or they would choose some other line of work. This doesn’t lessen what they do at all.  Their stakes are as high as anyone’s, the risk of serious injury or death is the same whether they perceive the risk or not.

So yes, I am throwing out that definition of courage that says, “Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” I am redefining it as, “Courage is knowing the risk and doing it anyway.”

(Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is something far beyond courage, and only each person can know for him/herself what overcoming it cost.)

So we (I) don’t know and can’t know and should stop pretending that we (I) know how other people experience their experiences, and stop judging them based on our (my) perspectives. Others are living inside their own perspectives, which are almost certainly different than ours (mine).

Anyway, that is what I learned at the dentist this week and wanted to share.

oliver

If you’re connected to me on Facebook, you know that a little while ago, I rearranged my office, and used an online room planner to experiment with the layout. This is what I ended up with. The big round thing wedged in next to the white desk is a floor fan; the site didn’t have one so I made do. The white desk is an old tank of a steelcase, and I should probably dedicate an entire entry to it. Hell, maybe I already have.

The planning site also didn’t have a cat dish to put on the macdesk (the brown one.) Every morning when I get up, I race to pee, and then eventually get dressed, let dogs out, make coffee, etc. Sometimes the Ckatten (Artemis) is in Zor’s room, and if she squalls, I let her out. Sometimes she is loose in the hoose, and if she wants, she goes out with the dogs. Sometimes she is already out, and wants in. The TL;DR of all this is, whatever the Ckatten wants, the Ckatten gets. Oliver, too. Whichever cat is in wants–nay, demands–canned food served in a dish on the kitchen table, and Friskies (junk food) served in a dish on the macdesk, where the dogs can’t reach. Well, Kelly can’t reach and Cobie is too polite to just get up there and steal it, at least while I’m looking.

Both dogs want Friskies too, of course. Sometimes I give them a few, but they have their own other-brand kibble that they think is treats, which I hand out. Cobie has learned to catch them out of the air; someday I plan to video that. Kelly can catch them sometimes too, but she really seems to prefer racing around hoovering up Cobie’s misses.

And so it has slowly evolved that my mornings are not much my own, but more a critter-dictated ritual, most of which happens before I’ve actually got outside of any coffee.

Pretty much only animals can get away with that.

Anyway, the point of all this, what I started out to say, is that Oliver can’t jump so swell anymore, so there is now a padded-seat folding chair in front of the steelcase, so he can jump up on it, and from there to the desk, which he then crosses before making the short leap (about his body’s length) to the macdesk, and the kibble thereupon. Except he doesn’t want to leap; he wants sky trammed over, which I do. Except when he decides he’d rather have delivery, whereupon he sits behind my laptop, reaches over, and claws it. So far he has missed the screen itself, but dammit, cat.

Sometimes I forget why it is I like critters.

Then he sits on my aching shoulder and purrs and I remember that he is 13 or 14 years old—68 to 72 in human years, at which point I decide I can stand him a while longer.

Don’t ask what that is in his headfur, because I have no idea.

creative focus

I need to narrow my creative focus. I’m too all over the place. It’s overwhelming.

I started with writing. I’m good at it, but it’s hard for me. I have a pretty decent manuscript finished, and ideas for a couple more, one started. I have a re-write project I could sign on for.

When I went back to school in 2011, it was because Mr Moth suggested it. It was because I realized, with my stalker dead and my youngest starting college and my husband employed, I could go back and finally get the degree I allowed myself to become derailed from in 1985. I chose Graphic Design as a major for three reasons. (1) No math requirement. (2) Photoshop, yo! And (3) I thought I could use the skills to maybe design my own covers and make my own ebooks, on the chance I may someday decide to self publish.

Halfway through the first year of Graphic Design, the school developed a brand new curriculum called New Media, which is audio, visual, social media, web design and development–basically everything you need for digital marketing. Like Graphic Design, it’s a business degree. I really wanted to jump ship, but by that point I was also invested in setting an example for my youngest, in not giving up. So I stayed the course, got my degree in Graphic Design, and then signed up for New Media. They even wrote a special curriculum guide to cover the second degree, allowing credit for things I had already taken, even if they weren’t quite exactly the same courses required in the second major.

I did have to take Business Math though…

Anyway, I now know how to do so many different creative things. Also, I know there are things I don’t know how to do, but now that I know they exist, I would like to learn them. Digital painting, for example. I am learning to shoot and edit videos, although photography has always been something I enjoyed, and I think I still prefer it.

However.

I miss writing. I miss it veddy much badly. And while lack of time is very much a factor,  I feel like the creative demands of the programs I’ve chosen sap my creativity to the point there’s nothing left for storyteling. But when I am done, if I were to take a creative-type job, I’m guessing there would still be very little to nothing left.

I’ve accepted the fact that I’m never going to crochet again. But I still want to take photographs. And I want to make graphics. And draw.

I also need time to refill my tank. (And there is another post coming very soon, I think, just on this topic alone.) Reading, sitting on the deck, dog things, family things, browsing the second-hand stores. Vacuuming! I like for the house to be clean so I can take pictures without worrying about the sty in the background. I also like knowing where things are; it saves time. I want to spend time with my family, including my husband, which I almost never get to do anymore.

So, in summary, there are many things I need to do, and many things I want to do, and just not enough time (and lately energy) for them all.

I am going to have to narrow my focus. Decide which creative outlet I want to pursue and focus on that. I could maybe do three things, but more likely only two, and one of those is going to be writing because telling stories is what I do.

I don’t want to, though–narrow my focus. I want to do everything!

Sigh.

Narrowing focus is like choosing a shelter dog. You know you’ll love the one you pick…but what about all those others? I don’t get more dogs because I like to focus my limited resources on the ones I have, but. But. But what?

I’ll never be really good at any one thing as long as my limited resources are spread across so many potential creative fields, is but what.

Did I sigh already?

Well…SIGH.

the whateveritis in our garage

We caught the WhateverItIs; it is a WhateverItIs no more.

I suspected a raccoon, mostly because I didn’t think cats, squirrels, or possums could pry the lids off food-grade five gallon buckets of dog kibble that I can’t even get the lids off of half the time, and also because I’ve actually seen neighbor cats in the garage. (And once in the kitchen.) But I never heard any cat noises, not even when Kelly got hurt.

Adding to the doubt is the fact that none of us have ever seen a single ‘coon in this neighborhood in the going-on six years we’ve lived here. (Nor a ‘possum for that matter.) We smell skunks quite often, to the point that I call this neighborhood Skunkridge at times.

Adding to the fun of this week (which events included my accidental overdose on my medication, due to which I am still feeling like death in a bag) was that our visitor, the WhateverItIs, had gone from the garage to the attic, and possibly into the walls. The dogs would just randomly start barking at the walls, or racing through the house whining at the ceiling. And Kelly’s bark would be that full on terrier YARK that people–including me–hate, like a railroad spike through the head, possibly more so when you’ve poisoned yourself with diabetes pills.

I started to worry, because there’s this one wall behind the tub that Artemis the Ckatten got into, and followed it down into the basement’s drop ceiling, crashed through, and landed amid an avalanche of ceiling material, on Mr Moth while he was doing homework. So in between trying to do my (hideous, kill me now) video assignment–not so easy when [a] all the neighbors are using their leaf blowers right up until they put them away and then get out their snow blowers, and [b] dogs are breaking out into random barking sprees, and [c] you’ve poisoned yourself and can’t breathe.

We really didn’t want the WhateverItIs in the house.

Mr Moth asked me if I had any suggestions and I suggested a box trap, and he said he didn’t know where to get one, and I said I didn’t either, and then he thought of Tractor Supply Company, which I always call Quality Farm and Fleet because once your company name is registered in my brain it will never be changed, I’m looking at you too Revco and Lawson’s. So he went and got a trap and we baited it with Oliver’s slightly crusty gooshy fudz leftover from morning. Mr Moth somehow finagled the whole thing into the attic entrance (it’s not a real attic, more of an access space).

We also had some discussion about how, if he didn’t catch anything, he would dis-arm the trap before he went to bed because we didn’t want anything caught for a long period of time out there with no water and it’s ten degrees, ugh. Also he was pretty sure we were trapping a cat. I was pretty sure we weren’t. But neither of us was completely certain.

Forty-five minutes after trap deployment, Kelly YARKed so I got up and went to the door, opened it, and then heard the trap close. I hollered, “You got something!”

It took some wrestling to get the thing out of the attick, but this is what we caught:

Some time ago Cobie caught a turtle in the yard and I took it out to a pond I know of and let it go, and to my surprise the turtle made an about face and hauled ass away from the pond and toward the tree line. Mr Moth took this critter out there and turned it loose and it streaked away across the frozen water. I think–I hope–it is a good place for raccoons, I see a lot of road killed ones there, but I think that is more a factor of the booming population than that the road is particularly bad. There’s water, and trees, and hopefully this ‘coon can make a living there.

However, I am not a huge fan of raccoons, and this one is presumably the varmint that hurt Kelly to the point she had a seizure. I realize she would have killed him/her if she could, so no hard feelings, but yanno…you hurt my dog and you ain’t even paying rent, so Mr/Ms Raccoon, you gotta go.

It looks bigger in the photo than it is. It was actually about Kelly-sized, and she weighs about 20 pounds.

Last night was the first night in I forget how long I didn’t get awaked by dogs barking at something in the ceiling, so hopefully this was the only squatter.

sightings

My mom placed her Aldi order. She knows I don’t really have time to do that, but my father, who like me is a “little bit Asperger-y” (except he’s a lot Asperger-y) really loves their vegetable soup and eats it every day for lunch, and he also really wants to have two kinds of Aldi crackers, and their brand of margarine in the yellow tub (not the brown). She likes their baked potato chips, and sometime a can of the low-fat mushroom soup, which I also like. It’s somehow creamier than the full-fat kind.

Anyway, I was zooming toward the family home (in the next county; I came here to escape Dead Ex Stalker Husband) and I saw a fox. A red, red fox. It was the color of the stripes on a ginger tabby cat, with various shades, plus accented in white and a tiny bit of black. It’s bottle brush tail was standing straight up. It was taking a crap several yards off the side of the road.

I think I saw a couple of gray foxes once, many years ago, but I have never seen a red fox alive. I see them as roadkill occasionally. Lately roadkill makes me cry and I’m pretty sure someone is going to come revoke my half-breed redneck card if I don’t knock that shit off. But this fox was definitely alive! Quiveringly alive! And red! So very red! It was glorious, I say!

One red fox taking a crap by the side of the road = one moment of grace in a week full of crap.

And then there was another.

On the way home I saw a white tail buck. He was galloping up the road toward me. I hit the brakes. He kept coming. A car–or cars, not sure–behind me blew their horn; in the twilight I don’t think they could see the deer. He was not particularly close when he veered off into the brush on my right, his left. But he was close enough for me to judge his rack was almost as wide as my van, holy toledo. Magnificent.

I am not going to say where I saw either animal precisely, because while I have no ethical objections to hunting for food, and have eaten venison before and would again, I am not going to snitch out the location of this tremendous deer that gave me such a moment on a day when I so desperately needed it.

I saw a bigger buck twenty years ago, at the intersection of Rt 36 and Upper Valley Pike. Standing there under the blinking traffic light, looking quite frankly haughty. We stared at each other for the longest time before he turned and departed. I didn’t actually see where he went, just the turning and then poof! He was gone.

This concludes my wildlife report for today.

a scary critter adventure

Something has been getting into our garage.

The way the house is laid out, there is no door leading directly from the house to the back yard, so the dogs go in and out through the garage. I don’t like the arrangement much, but on the other hand, it creates a kind of safety valve, an airlock but for dogs–doglock. But I am lazy (not to mention lately also dizzy) and so when I am home and awake (and sometimes not awake) the man door stays open so I can just open the door from the kitchen to the garage and the dogs can charge out gaily and terrorize their back yard. This saves me having to traipse out there in my house shoes or bare feet to open the man door.

But something has been getting into our garage.

At one point I knew the neighbor’s cat was getting in out there, because I saw it. It had climbed Berta (the van) and was lurking in the rafters out there. In fact, here. Have a photo.

cat in the garage rafters

But lately something has been getting into our garage and tipping over five gallon buckets full of dog food. Those things are heavy. And whatever it is has removed impossible-to-remove lids on at least two occasions and made a huge mess, forcing us to relocate the dog food to the workshop, where so far it has remained unmolested.

Wish I could say the same for Kelly.

They hear whatever it is, and go crazy. I try to warn WhateverItIs before I let them out, and give it time to take shelter, but a few weeks ago it didn’t move fast enough. Maybe it thought I was kidding. But for whatever reason, it didn’t, and apparently Cobie and Kelly caught it, cornered it, or something, and all hell broke loose in my garage.

It was roughly one a.m., of course.

There ensued all kinds of yelping and squealing and barking and nails scrabbling on cement, but no noises that sounded like they might come from WhateverItIs. In short order the noises all rushed outside. At first I figured WhateverItIs had escaped, but minutes ticked by and the dogs fell silent and I started to think they had killed it, WhateverItIs.

Then I had to get shoes on, because, oh did I forget to mention, it was storming. Sheets of rain, and huge flashes of lightning in both sheets and bolts, and window rattling thunder. This is why we were still up in wee hours. Kelly is terrified of storms and had been shivering between my feet. Now she was out in her worst fear.

So I put on shoes and went out, and as soon as I got to the deck started slipping because damn that thing is slippery when wet. I have no idea if all wood decks are like that, or if it’s just ours, but regardless, yeah–treacherous. Worse, I couldn’t see. The lightning was blinding, and my eyes couldn’t adjust fast enough between flashes to actually see much.

And then, in between cracks of thunder, here came Kelly, charging toward me out of the dark. “Come on!” I cheered, and skated back into the house. She followed.

In the light, I saw her face. Her right eye was full of blood. I reached for her.

She ran past me and down the hall, threw herself down, staggered, hopped sideways, fell over, yelped, stood, hopped, fell over, began crying, got up, tore past me, fell over by the sofa, and started seizing.

The storm raged outside (where Cobie still was, doing heaven knows what) and in, and I screeched for Tim to wake up and come help me, although help with what, I had no idea. I was not able to think or move or do anything but stare in horror.

By the time Tim got out of bed, the seizure was over. Kelly hopped up on the sofa and wiped her bloody face on the spread there. She panted and panted, and I collapsed next to her, I didn’t touch her because I didn’t want to make things worse. After she cleared the blood from her eye she came and lay next to me.

Somehow, Tim got Cobie to come in. Zor came out to see why I was shrieking. I was able to inspect her and see that her eye was ok, just the blood from the scratch on her face had got into it. We debated the necessity of a middle-of-the-night emergency vet visit.

Kelly has never shown any signs of any neurological problems before. She’s a little high strung, but not really that much considering she’s a terrier and all. She’s already up on her shots, and her annual is coming up soon anyway. I remember the little dog Trickie Woo from the Herriott novels that would get so wound up he would have a “fit”, so it’s a thing.

So I put some neosporin on her, and called the vet in the morning. Barring a whole lot of expensive tests that might not show anything, there isn’t anything to be done at this point, except to worry obsessively, which of course I began at once.

I think she was already wound up about the storm, and then the WhateverItIs, and then blood got in her eye and partly blinded her, and it was all just too much. At least I hope that’s what it was. She has been completely normal ever since. Well, KellyNormal. Her poor face was a little puffy for a couple of days (but not hot, so no infection) and there’s a scab, which I want to go away right now because it hurts me to look at it. It makes me feel like a scared six-year-old:  Get offa my Kelly Doll, you bad ol’ scab!!!

So. We are all keeping an eye on Whee Kelly, and she has been a hundred percent KellyNormal. Which is good, because she is, well…my sunshine? My heart? My light? My joy?  She’s my dog.

Which pretty much sums up everything about her, as far as I’m concerned.

Scamper on!

gemini shoes

Follow my brain.  Mr Moth grumbled about how professors give vague assignments and did they ever do that to me?

Are you for SERIOUS, Mr Moth?!

As a specific example I reminded him how Ms L gave us the topic of duality and I drew Gollum.

Duality is a favorite theme of mine. I’m pretty sure that there’s no validity to astrology and that it’s a huge coincidence that I really am so very Gemini. Either that or hearing what a person born under that sign is supposed to be actually shaped my personality.

Regardless, later in the week, as I was driving, it popped into my head that my shoes are an example of the many dichotomies that make up my life. I have several pair: house shoes, bad weather boots, dress boots, dress loafers (ha), and the primary subcategory of athletic shoes, which I call tennis shoes.

Of tennis shoes there are a couple of pair I should really get rid of because they don’t fit right but I hate to because they are in good shape, a couple of pair that I should get rid of because they are beat down and awful, and two pair that are fairly respectable. It’s these two pair that captured my imagination on the way to school that day.

One pair are Nikes.

One pair are Dr Scholl’s, and since I couldn’t find an internet image anywhere, I took a snappy of them on my feet with potting soil accents.

I later remarked on this to my family over dinner, about the complete opposite branding going on with my shoes.  One “just do it,” and the other, well.

Zor said, “One pair for running, and one pair for falling.”

Um…ok, but hopefully not!

Anyway, duality.  Yeah.