Friday, March 20, 2015

I'd Like to Think

This has been a tough winter. I (and the whole family) have been slogging through the mire, metaphorically. After months of this, I find it's a bit hard to carry on.

My niece, 14, was diagnosed two weeks ago with Crohn's Disease after an emergency admission to Children's Hospital. Her life just changed, and not in a "You won the lottery!" way. She had just been accepted to the International Baccalaureate Program, but maintaining honours will be difficult -- may well be impossible -- with active Crohn's and the school hours she will inevitably miss. And then there's the malnourishment...and the anemia...and the pain.

I know there are drugs (big, mean, serious drugs: she's on the same immunosuppressants that my husband takes for his kidney transplant) and I have heard the happy sunshiney people blithely sing out that their friend with Crohn's has been in remission for years, but.

There are a number of people, let's just say, who haven't.

Piper, my dog, who just turned 7 in February, spent four horrible nights suffering from grand mal seizures. On the fourth day, he couldn't even lift his head off the floor. After a battery of tests and hours spent examining him and observing him, the vet was stumped. And we were so exhausted and stressed out, all we could do was cry (me) and worry (Mr HSB). I phoned my homeopath and he told me to give Piper a remedy, which I already had in the house. He revived within about 30 seconds, and has been almost normal since.

But he's not himself (does it make sense when I say he seems very sad?), and we think something is seriously wrong. The vet says she's ruled out everything below the neck: the next step is taking him to Vancouver to get an MRI on his head. Thousands, my friends. And that's before he has a single pill, chemo treatment, or surgery. Not happening.

So we wait and hope we still get to keep him for a while.

Then, head lice. And I don't really want to talk about that. Suffice it to say, that particular child is never coming over to our house again, and the laundry machines have aged years in two weeks, and I now have a pixie cut again after 9 months of growing out.

There's more, but I'll spare you.

I don't like these times, and not only for the obvious reason that it's painful and difficult. I don't like them because I feel embarrassed about being that person who is always going through something. It's almost like it's my fault or there's some kind of drama that I should be able to control.

On the up-side.

School is going well, comparatively, though with all the bad juju going around, we haven't had much time or energy to cover lots of ground.

And I started a new job. (!) It's just one day a week, and that day is only five hours, but the kids can come with me if they want to and I just love it.

I'm working at the local yarn shop.

Getting paid in yarn is wonderful. I know my husband would rather there be money involved, and that's an option in the future, but at the moment the arrangement is just what I need. If I were being paid, I'd be putting it all straight onto the (gigantic, fearsome) Visa balance, or making another payment on Avery's new  braces, or the vet, or summer tires for the Mazda, or the complete brake job for the Civic, or riding lessons, or, or, or.....  But the one place that money wouldn't go, is toward a luxury like yarn. So right now, Thursday from 11 to 4 makes me happy.

My daughter is turning 11 next week and we have a whole plan for her birthday week. We're going to make sugar cookies (flower shapes, I'll post a picture), go to Cinderella, spend an afternoon at the barn doing PPG (in slow motion), paint with an artist friend of mine, go shopping in the next town, and have dinner out. I might try to fit in a drop-in clay class so she can have some more time on the pottery wheel -- she loves that.

Spring is here, so I'm looking outside. I don't know whether there will be a lot of visible progress made this year (I had wanted to get to a couple of mowing paths and maybe plant a hedge), but we can at least go outside and pull a rake around, right?

Any minute now it's bound to turn a corner, and good things will start happening. That's what spring is about.

I hope.

I hope.


Carolyn said...

Dear Shan, you have been through the wringer! Or are going through the wringer. I send a cuppa tea (or coffee), and warm fuzzy soft Rowan KidSilk Haze -- just to cozy up with, mind you, not to knit, because I'm not that fond of knitting with it and so you might not be either -- and a good book to read. My best wishes for Piper, and cute short hairstyles, and your dear niece.

But it is spring. Time for those in my neck of the woods to start thinking about starting seeds for gardens!

Anonymous said...

I will be coming to visit you, as I have a gift certificate I got recently.

I got nothing but what seem like empty platitudes. So I offer laughing. A lot. And some knitting. Soon.

Dave Hingsburger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Hingsburger said...

It's funny that with all the texting, and the messaging, and the tweeting, we've become a people of shallow sentiments. We find meaning in pictures of puppies with captions written with words carved out of sugar.

Life is hard. They don't tell us that when we are kids but it's hard and it hurts and sometimes is seems very, very long.

The only thing I can tell you being well older than you is to remember the road it long, I've been surprised to walk through winter and find spring. I've been shocked to find that the bumps and bruises from living real life heal. I've been surprised to find that, as your friend oddly names 0521kt, there is always laughter.(Particularly if you live, like I do, with Joe.)

I'm a little nervous to post this as I think it may be simply another kind of platitude but I'm diabetic so I can assure you it isn't carved out of sugar.

Susie Hewer said...

Hi Shan, so sorry to hear all your news. No sugar coating here. Sometimes all the bad things seem to hang around until there are far too many of them and then they just dump on you all at once. Laughter, wine and chocolate can dull the pain for a while! In the meantime I'm sending you hugs from across the pond. Love and hugs, Susie xxx ps you look great with short hair so that's not a bad thing ;-)

Jeannette said...

You're not a drama queen. Things really do come in bunches. I have no idea why, but they do. Good things, bad things. There are times when life is all glowing and sweet as honey, and other times when it feels like you're in the trenches with bullets whizzing overhead (don't stand up to look around...).
I've been missing your posts, and sending you good thoughts.
And that's the right decision about your dog. Keep him home and love him. You can spend your bank balance for this year and the next, and the most you can really expect is a diagnosis, a label, And it probably won't extend his life one little bit. Been there, done that.
Good luck, and hugs from south of the border.