A Challenging Week

Do you ever write blog posts in your head?

I did that last week, craving the time and the mental bandwidth to free my thoughts with the tap-tap-tap of the keyboard. I knew my blog would be waiting for me but I missed it nonetheless.  My idol keyboard tugged at my random thoughts, yet they declined to heed its call.

Put simply it was a long and trying week.

Last Monday I suited up in one-size-fits-no-one scrubs for a long-awaited MRI. Chronic and still un-diagnosed foot pain landed me in the clinic for this joyless procedure.

Have you ever had an MRI? The machine is loud enough to require earplugs, and a bit daunting in size and scope. It’s a fabulous diagnostic tool, but not something you want to incorporate into your day.  I went in with a sore foot, and came home with that same sore foot and an aching back. In my next life I’m going to design medical equipment with a modicum of comfort in mind.

Although the results of the tests are available in two days, your doctor determines when you can see them. I dutifully made my appointment for late this week. They will not release my test results unless I meet with my doctor. Welcome to the American healthcare system.

Throughout the past several months my foot has been on the pointy end of a cortisone shot not to mention several acupuncture needles. I’ve tried heat and ice, massage, mobilization, manipulation and ultrasound, electrical stimulation and targeted exercises. They took a peek under the hood with a diagnostic x-ray and finally the MRI.  This foot of mine has been the subject of speculation in my Pilates class and has received enough attention to warrant its own Facebook page. I fear that with all that attention my foot will only continue to swell.

Next up was a trip to the vet. Two of the three resident felines were due for a checkup. It’s kind of long story, but two of the kitties remain close to home thanks to our cat-fence enclosed yard. Mr. M. technically has a home, but prefers to eat, sleep, drink and make merry at our place, also known as the home for spoiled and wayward cats. It was his turn to go to the vet.

I’ve been taking cats to the vet for years, so I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. I try to keep it on the down low, hiding the cat carriers in the garage till go-time. Then I execute my stealth move: in one fell swoop I scoop up the cat, bow the head toward the chest, slip the cat into the carrier and close the door before they thinks about exposing teeth or claws.

So carriers at the ready, Mr. M. manages to slip out the back door and disappear at the appointed hour. I kitty-kitty-kitty him in my sincerest voice, shake bags of treats, walk up and down the street and even venture one block over. Nothing. I sit quietly on the garden swing (how can he resist) and still nothing. I realize that I’m going to be late.

I place a compliant Lindy into the carrier, then decide to take Slinky in Mr. M’s place and off we go. I arrive 15 minutes late, then wait another 15 minutes, and now I’m too late to see the vet who is about to start surgical rounds. Reluctantly I leave Lindy and Slinky in the vet’s care to be seen later in the day between rounds. Then I head to see my first client of the day.

Fast forward through two days, three round trips to the vet, multiple phone calls and a sleepless night and both kitties are finally back home. Lindy checked out well. Slinky on the other hand, who was at the vet by default, has a heart murmur, elevated thyroid and a painful and worrying hard growth on her spine. They said she cried out in pain with the exam so ordered an x-ray. Those results were inconclusive. She’s now home and on two medications, one to control her thyroid and the other to help with pain and inflammation. She goes back in another week to be sure her kidneys can tolerate the medication. My poor, sweet kitty.

Thursday my son announced that he would be moving into the dorms several days earlier than planned. He received an email that day from university housing saying that “students with disabilities” would move in on the 15th. I was stunned. We’ve been mentally preparing for the big day for months, and this news really threw me for a loop. When I asked to see the email, my heart sank. We have a painful and troubled relationship with the sender, one that dates back to grade school. I’ve been softly weeping on the back steps, trying to keep my feelings to myself. My son never met her, but she caused our family a good deal of grief. I’ll share in more detail when I can muster some emotional clarity. Right now I feel raw.

A week from today he’ll be off. Careful preparations have brought us to this day. I know he’s ready. I’m trying to ease the remnants of our traumatic past that continue to ricochet against my heavy heart. I want to be fully present when he crosses the threshold into the next chapter of his life.

collage september 8