I cried yesterday for the first time since I felt the snap of my anklebones. I ugly cry-blubbered louder and harder than I did in the ER waiting room when they took in the third person that came in after me leaving me and my ever-swelling ankle dangling off the edge of the wheelchair. I cried and I cried and I cried because I have a broken leg and I can’t do anything quickly or easily or right. It wasn’t pretty. But nothing about these last 5 weeks have been pretty.
It started with the dog food. I’ve sort of gotten a routine going with the feeding of the dogs using the scooter; food and a little water into the bowls, dogs in the crate waiting, bowls down on each dog ‘table’ and then scoot myself out of the way as they charge. But yesterday, I got cocky. I let the dogs outside and filled the dishes while they were outside.
I got Joe and Pepper’s food down without an issue but as I was scooting toward Tigger’s ‘table’, the scooter wheel caught the rug and the water saturated food spilled out of the dish and, in agonizing slow motion, scattered all over the white carpet in the dinning room.
I stood there on one leg; right knee balanced on the scooter, bowl dangling from my hand just flummoxed, no clue what to do next. I could get down off my wheeled leg and scoop the food up but the odds of my getting back up without using Broken Ankle to raise myself were not good. I could put more food in Tigger’s bowl and let them all fight over the food on the floor or I could scoot my cussing self over to the door with the other dogs bowls, let Tigger eat her food off the floor and feed Joe and Pepper outside.
I went with that last choice, having not thought through the major issue – getting a 70lb dog to go where I tell her to when food is involved.
The three dogs were at the front door, waiting. I tried to open the door and have Tigger come in but Joe wiggled his body around the door, squeezed by her and into the house followed by Pepper. With my knee precariously balanced, I bent down and tried to feed them before letting Tigger in to eat in the other room.
Tigger did not understand my plan. Pushing past the slightly open door, she slammed into my leg as she leapt over the scooter to get to Joe’s food. Joe, not being the smartest of dogs, stepped back and let Tigger have her way with his food. Pepper ignored the commotion and kept eating.
“DAMNIT!” I yelled and tried to pull Tigger off the food, ripping a nail. Frustrated with the non-budging growling dog, I changed plans and tried taking Joe to the dining room for a breakfast buffet off the floor. But Joe, who will eat anything, and I mean absolutely ANYTHING, totally refused to eat his breakfast off the floor.
At this point I snapped. Five weeks of no control over what I can do and when I can do it and I just lost it. At the top of my rather considerable lungs I cussed. “FUCKING DOGS!” I screamed. “FUCK!!! I HATE THIS FUCKING LEG!!!” And promptly burst into a thoroughly ugly cry.
My, um… minor fit woke Husband, who came in to see what all the fuss was about, took one look at me sniveling and set about fixing things. While Husband put a full Tigger into her crate and coxed Joe to eat every piece of dog food off the once white carpet, I sat on the scooter stool, stupid green cast hovering off the carpet per doctor’s orders to not let it “bear weight” blubbering.
It was not my proudest moment.
Nope, I was so pitiful; Husband took me out to breakfast AND then for a jaunt on the not-so-zippy scooters at Target. It doesn’t take much to put a smile on my face these days. Better yet, Husband was good enough to not mention my morning temper tantrum. The embarrassment was fading and actually liked the dogs again. Then, last night as I was getting ready for bed, Husband asked me what ringtone he should set his morning alarm with; “FUCKING DOGS!” or “FUCK! I HATE THIS FUCKING LEG!!!”
49 days since break. 13 days till cast off (I hope) and dignity is restored.
Last month, Brother - who is way more trendy and healthy than we are - got us a free week of Blue Apron meals. For someone who doesn’t like to cook (me), and someone who doesn’t like to eat anything but pizza (Husband), it was a funny experiment. We like free but we don’t do well with scheduled meals or cooking those said scheduled meals. And, of course, the sneaky thing about Blue Apron is that they deliver on Friday. If you want to cancel, you have to cancel by Saturday, like 12 hours after you’ve just gotten the delivery. By that point, we’d not even tried a meal so a second week - NOT AT ALL FREE - week was racked up on my credit card.
Now, the meals, though way more complicated than a frozen pizza, were good. So what if the prep time was way WAY longer than the stuffing in face time. And, so what if I might possibly have ended up with hives from the various new and unusual spices my body had not experienced before? And, so what if every little spice and veggie thing came in separate packaging and our recycling is only taken once a month and one delivery of Blue Apron resulted in filling half a recycling can? I was able to take the little bottles and make them into shakers for the 1yr old and the little cups into paint dispensers. So what, because the best thing about Blue Apron was the massive ice packs the food came with.
Now at first, they weren’t awesome. At first we were cussing their size and trying to jam them into already filled spaces in the freezer. But, let me tell you, those ice packs sure came in handy when I was walking down the driveway last Thursday and was t-boned by the dogs.
Because t-boned by dogs equals one “very bad Trimalleolar fracture.”
And guess what? Blue Apron ice packs are perfect for ankles that need to be kept cold and still while waiting for the swelling to go down so the surgeon can put in plates and screw in the dang ankle tomorrow to keep it from flapping off the end of ones foot.
Are the ice packs worth the one free week and the one – not even close to free – week? Um…that would be a solid yup! Because a “very bad Trimalleolar fracture” hurts. Very f-ing badly. And it turns out that the very big ice bags are very good at numbing the cussing.
And there has been a lot of cussing. A. Lot.
One of the most frustrating things with the three dog circus that is our life right now – even more annoying than finding Tigger the Dog shoulder deep in a chipmunk hole - is feeding time.
Feeding time sucks worse than – crap, I don’t know what it sucks worse than, it is that awful. It’s fraught with shouting and pulling and yelly ultimatums and general melee.
We’ve got the dogs set up in three different corners of the dinning room. A room, I might add, that we’ve only used twice to eat in ourselves. And despite the three corners, the dogs act as if we’ve never fed them and that we're timing them to see who eats the fastest. Well, two of them do. Pepper the Wannabe Cat barks like she’s defending the free world from attack as she rushes for hers. Tigger the Dog Chewbacca whines and then proceeds to inhale her food like we’re going to yank it away from her. Meanwhile, Joseph acts as he wasn’t emaciated three months ago, not knowing where his next meal was coming from at all and he eats like a picky toddler, one freaking piece of dog food at a time. Which means when Tigger the Dog has gulped down hers, she starts stalking Joseph, waiting for that moment his ADD kicks in and he walks away from his still full bowl. And Pepper the Wannabe Cat sneaks up on Joseph's bowl under the guise of stretching. All training is thrown out the window- theirs and ours - and it’s a cluster fuck of chaos.
I hate it more than I hate the annual visit to the gynecologist. And I HATE that.
But today was wonderful. Not because none of the above happened. Nope, it was shitty as usual. But today was wonderful because, I kicked Tigger the Dog and Pepper the Wannabe Cat out the door as soon as they were done eating and sat with Joseph trying to keep him focused on eating. And while I was doing that, I sat down in our dinning room we've only used twice and I looked out the window. And out that window, I saw Mama Owl and Papa Owl trade spots in their new nest just across the street. And then I watched Papa come out and sit in the doorway of said nest and watch the world go by.
So what if watching Joseph eating is more maddening that a toddler eating peas one at a time? Who cares that Tigger the Dog was outside attempting to catch chipmunks by digging under the HVAC unit? So what if Pepper the Wannabe Cat was teasing Tigger the Dog into fighting and the neighbors are likely to call Animal Services soon? I got to see Owls. AND that means Owl babies are coming!
It's the little things, folks. Little fuzzy things!
When Husband and I were first married, I bought him a candy bra and panties for our first valentines day. Because I thought that that’s what I should do. Because I bought into the damn marketing that said that if I loved him, I’d act like an idiot and dress like slut from the Willy Wonka factory.
When he finally opened the gift, we were both quite giggly about the whole thing but the candy set never made it out of the box. Mostly because I don’t wear costumes because I’ve worn them on stage all my life and probably because neither one of us could have kept a straight face. Valentine's Day regardless, the candy panties stayed in the box and, at some later date, was put into a box in the closet. When we moved, the candy panties box went into a box into the truck into the basement where it stayed until last December when I found the silly things, ELEVEN YEARS LATER.
When I showed Husband my prize the response was just the same as the first time he’d seen them; he laughed himself silly at the stupidity. Because this time, I put them on.
I waited till he was in the shower, stripped off, wrenched the plastic bag open and pulled the damn things on over my not so svelte self. And then I laughed and laughed and laughed. Partly because my body was eleven years older and thirty pounds heavier, but mostly because there is nothing sexy about a string bikini made of candy.
When Husband came out to see what I was laughing about, the look on his face went from shock to hysterics. We spent about ten minuets having a right good giggle about the dang things before I stripped them off and got dressed again.
No, there was no "sexy time" – we’ve been married for eleven years and candy bras on a body with extra fluffy bits nudging through the elastic are not sexy. Very VERY funny but not sexy.
Now, me being me, I didn’t want to just throw away this wonderful piece of sexy comedy. I mean what if I could use it in a project somewhere down the line? What if? What if? What if? So many possibilities so I bundled the candy bra and panties into a Ziploc bag and shoved it into the drawer with all the dog stuff...
...where I just found it and had serious giggle. I mean I was practically rolling on the floor, I so amused myself. Then I wrote this and put the bag back into the cupboard.
Because who knows. Maybe someday, those candy panties will come in handy for… well, not sure what for but they’re there, just in case I need them. For something.
I’m having an afternoon visit with a new friend. What if I say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing or spill my wine or break her great grandmother’s priceless urn and scatter her ashes over her expensive Persian rug. I have no idea if she has a Persian rug or her great grandmother’s ashes in an expensive rug but I’m currently devoting time to worrying about it.
See, I’m good at worrying. I really can take a little thing and make it into hours of angst and anguish. I’ve tried all things to calm the crazy down. I’ve meditated – which is just more quite time to let the mental carnival go wild. I’ve tried coming up with solutions for all my ‘What if…’ scenarios. I’ve tried writing them down so the worry is out of my head and on paper but… nothing works. In fact, the only thing that seems to calm me is to shave my head – which is not practical at all times. So, welcome to my crazy train. Grab a seat near the window and settle in for a brief look at the wackiness in my head -
At the flea market a few weeks ago, I was bit by something on my arm. Husband said I’m never to say ‘bit’ and ‘flea’ in the same sentence but he’s a wack-a-doodle. And it wasn’t a flea. It didn’t itch. It hurt. A lot. Like, a really bad bruise under the skin, hurt. And it still doesn’t itch. It still hurts. But now, there’s a hard little lump that hurts when I poke at it. Like I’m pretty sure I have a large spiders nest IN my arm cooking a family of baby spiders that will pop out of my skin in the middle of the night and proceed to swarm my body and the bed.
This morning, when Husband was out of the room for 10minutes, Joseph and Tigger the Dog took this perfectly good dog bed, shredded it and strewed its insides all over the room. What if when we’re not looking, Joseph or Tigger the Dog decide to see what is inside Pepper’s wound? I don’t think I could handle coming into a room covered in Pepper’s innards. I might have to move.
What if Donald trump does actually become president. And the USA really becomes more Us vs. Them than it already is right now and we end up in a war with the rest of the world and– I can’t even finish the thought. I’m hyperventilating and the world is slowly going dark. My doc said to keep my heart active but I don’t think that’s what he meant.
Which brings me to my heart, what if, when they did my EKG and my ultrasound and said that things were okay, they were lying and all it’s going to take to send me into cardiac arrest is one big scare. Or a laughing fit over Joseph shaking himself silly? Or that final bowl of chips and chocolate? And then, when I’m lying dead or dying on the floor, what if the dogs decide to eat me? I’ve seen it happen on NCIS and CSI and Criminal Minds and Bones, that animal ravaged body that’s unrecognizable and oozing. That’s not going to feel good. And then, what if I don’t die but I’m in a bloody coma when the forensic team is in the house looking for clues to my battered body’s mauling, what if they are going through all my stuff and find something embarrassing. I still have, somewhere, the candy bikini I bought for my first valentines day with Husband as a joke. That is a twelve years old candy bikini that’s never been worn – or should that be ‘used’. Not sure what’s worse. What if they find that vile of sperm (!!! LONG STORY) my boyfriend sent me many years ago? I’m pretty sure I tossed it long ago but what if I didn’t. What if it’s tucked in the back of some box in the closet and then Old Boyfriend gets questioned and Husband starts wondering why I kept it and won’t believe me when I tell him that I didn’t think I had and he divorces me and I have to heal my broken dog-chewed body alone…
What if I never find the special thing that makes work feel like fun. What if Confucius was lying to us and there is no such thing as ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ What if I’m just piece-mealing my days with this and that because I can’t find my special purpose that makes me bounce out of bed in the mornings? Or what if I found it but didn’t see it because I was so worried about life or love or money or whatever?
What if Husband dies and I have to figure out what to do with his stuff. Like find a buyer for those damn microphones he keeps blathering on about. And I have sort through all that stuff he cannot throw away but is really crap but what if it’s not crap and I should keep it or find someone who really wants the rubber thingumabob that goes to the electronic thing that I don’t know how to work? I don’t even know what he’s done to make the TV work.
And worse, if he dies, I have to find a new person to get used to and what if I can’t find one that can calm me down from the manic stages and prop me up on the dark days and generally make farts funny? Worse that that, what if he dies and leaves me with three dogs?
What if I am never able to calm the crazy merry go round of ‘What if…’ thoughts that pollute my mind and I’m destined to lie awake at three in the morning planning for the worst. Coming up with my own ‘choose your own adventure’ answers to whatever the world might throw at me.
There’s more, soooooooo much more. But I’m starting to panic and I’m pretty sure that heart attack is forthcoming and so it’s best I go eat chocolate and pretend I’m sane and the sun is shining and focus on things I can control. One shaved head coming up…
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me