At loose ends.

I don’t know how else to describe myself these days but to say that I am at loose ends. I’m not very good at grieving, I guess. I expected the tears. I expected to keep being brought up short when my Bubba wasn’t where I expected him to be. I expected the emptiness. I expected to be constantly tired. I expected to be revisited by my old friend insomnia. I didn’t expect this restlessness. This feeling that something is missing that stays at a low level in the background of my consciousness all day, everyday…even when I’m otherwise occupied, even when I’m happy.

Sometimes I look at Barley (aka, the other dog) and I get the feeling that he’s there with me, just as lost, and I feel awful that I don’t know what to do for him. I guess there is nothing to be done. This isn’t something fixable. I had hoped that having Copper back home would help but Eric picked up his ashes over the weekend and this is still there. I know time will help but, despite feeling like time is moving way too fast in every other way, it seems at be running at a snail’s pace in this regard.

On a happier note, Monkey is feeling mostly better and he returned to school yesterday! We were all very happy and when we got to school he had more cards from friends. They made me smile, there are a LOT of hearts and a LOT of love in these…click on each image to enlarge.

Sicky boy

Since Wednesday of last week, Monkey has been feeling punky1. He has a nasty, dry cough that once it starts…normally ends in puke. Hey! Have you ever seen a kid cough and puke at the same time??? Oh, man is that FUN! You need a fire hose for clean up. Ugh. Mixed in here and there with the puking were some fevers, just to add some flavor to the mix.

Kids must be fever and vomit free for 24 hours before they can go to school…Monkey has qualified only 1 of the last 6 school days. We have our fingers crossed for tomorrow, he hasn’t thrown up since Wednesday night…now if he can just string a few hours of sleep together we will be golden.

Earlier today we received an e-mail from his teacher asking if she could stop by on her way home to drop off our binder2 and a few cards from his friends. Eric and I immediately swooned, I mean, can she be any cooler? Then this evening when I got home I read the cards and swooned again. His classmates are just too darned sweet! The cards are a mix from his substantially separate classroom and his inclusion classroom.

I’ve got to share them they’re so adorable…click on the photos to enlarge them.

He is loved, he is missed, he is the class clown…he is valued. Have I already mentioned how awesome this school is? Because it is…very.

  1. HAHA! []
  2. All our data! Tracking! CHARTS! That show Monkey is progressing very nicely *phew* []

I laughed more than I cried today.

I call that a good day.

For those who are still unaware, we had to say goodbye to Copper last Friday. Even after everything we had been through with him, even knowing for weeks that our time together was limited, I was still surprised by how quickly it all happened at the end. At the beginning of last week I had said to Eric that I thought we might not leave the vet’s office with him after his Friday morning appointment and then my boy, a fighter to the very end, rallied and I allowed myself to hope for a little bit more…I am a greedy girl.

Unfortunately,  his rally was more based on his fighting spirit than actual improvement. Monkey was home sick and had accompanied us to the appointment. He was very upset and did not want to take Copper inside when we arrived. After I promised him that we would take Copper home with us, he settled down. Then Copper collapsed in the vet’s office during the exam. Eric took Monkey to the car to wait while the vet and I discussed how to proceed. She did not think it was time to euthanize him, she thought with an adjustment to his medication we would be OK.

She ran some simple blood tests while I waited just to be sure there wasn’t anything more going on. When she brought back the results, the printout was covered in red ink. His kidneys had failed. I was given 2 options, 24-48 hours on an IV in their emergency hospital or euthanasia. I had promised Caleb that Copper would be going home with us. I also just knew…his time was short even with the IV treatment. I didn’t want his last days to be spent with strangers in a hospital. So she gave him fluids under the skin and I told her I would call our regular vet for an appointment the next day.

When we got home around 11, I convinced Copper to eat a bit and we cuddled on the couch. By 2 he was too weak to move around and I moved our appointment to that afternoon at 4. It was utter torture to sit there with him, knowing the minutes were ticking away bringing us closer to our goodbye…mostly because they weren’t going fast enough. I know that sounds horrible but my love for him, this dog who was the only lifeline I could see when my depression had been at its worst, was such that I couldn’t bear his pain. I would take my heartache and grief gladly if only to spare him those painful hours.

Many years ago I promised Copper that I would never leave him. As hard as it was, I kept that promise until his last breath. I’m glad I was there, I know he was completely comfortable at the end. I heard his last breath and felt the last strong beats of his heart, he did not suffer. The suffering is left for us to bear. The only moment I feared I could not cope with was the moment when I had to finally break the promise and leave him there while I went home. It took a long time for me to do it but I did finally do it. I am counting the days until he comes home again for good. I won’t leave him again.

I know there is a good percentage of people who think I’m nuts, some might even be related to me…but he saved my life. When I had to make a promise to my doctor, all those years ago, when she wanted to admit me to the hospital to treat my depression, I promised I would not hurt myself because I couldn’t leave Copper. That promise that I had made to him when I adopted him was the promise I leaned on when I didn’t have anything else.

So today, when my son was spraying me with vomit, I laughed because, really what else can you do at a moment like that? And I suddenly realized that I had laughed a lot today. Even though there is1 a Copper-shaped hole in my heart he did more for me than I could ever hope to do for anyone else. He had been my reason to keep going and, because I did, I found a whole new world of reasons to keep going. I have Eric and Caleb and Holly and these awesome2 Mamas I go out to eat with every month and the Cupcake ladies and CANADA and the Pinterest peeps and you…each one of you reading this and supporting us and loving us…it’s all a gift from him.

So if my love for him seems over the top it’s because his gift to me was so…wondrous.

  1. and always will be []
  2. fucking []

It’s snowballing, in a good way!

We were “reluctant” to move Monkey to his new school, you may recall. We I threw more than one hissy fit in which I wailed over the unfairness of it all. I do still think it was unfair for the district to assign him to 3 schools in 4 years but now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can see this was the exact move he needed. Just, you know, maybe a year earlier letting us skip school number 2 but whatever! 😉

Today we had an appointment with C’s developmental pediatrician at the Fragile X clinic here in Boston and I was left giddy and a bit breathless by it. That’s new and, I have to say, it’s way more fun than leaving the office feeling brittle and broken! I’d like to do this more.

Our last appointment was 5 months ago, before Monkey started at the new school, so the pediatrician’s last impression of us was one of pure anxiety and anger. We were still furious about the entire IEP process, we were still prepared to hate…well…everything. So when he asked us how things were going, I don’t think he expected to hear me say, “Perfect!”

Of course, thing are not really perfect. Copper is still dying, Caleb still has fragile x syndrome, I still struggle mightily with depression, I have friends who are hurting badly but…given all that…we’re still pretty good which is way better than I would expect. In that 1/2 of a second between him finishing his question and my mouth opening, the last 5 months flashed through my mind at warp speed and since, “Fucking awesome!” didn’t seem appropriate1, “Perfect!” just popped out.

Of course the doctor wanted to know details and so I flashed through the highlights: learning to read, loves school, interacting appropriately with peers, well liked in general, interacting with less familiar adults with ease, opened every single Christmas present in an age appropriate manner and time frame2 and, oh yeah, STUDENT OF THE MONTH3.

The look on the doctor’s face went from intense and interested to incredulous to one of pure joy…and he did a full on fist pump when I hit him with that last tidbit. There was nothing I could do but laugh at his obvious excitement over Monkey’s accomplishments. I really needed to look at all the things that are good and getting better today. It was an added bonus to see the doctor totally lose his calm, professional demeanor there for a bit.

I know that changing schools wasn’t a small change but I truly never expected for it to affect so much of our lives in such a completely positive manner. I have not one negative or critical thing to say about his teacher or aids or staff or…well…about anything. That’s pretty damned amazing since I’m better than average at finding the negatives. Not only can I not find anything negative to say, I find myself singing their praises…almost daily. Seeing how much happier he is and how much he is growing and changing…how could I not?

  1. See, I do have a filter! []
  2. i.e. like a BEAST! []
  3. ZOMG!! []
Welcome to 2012! Nothing will change.

Welcome to 2012! Nothing will change.

No money fairy is going to swoop down and deposit $1,000,000 in my account. No job fairy is going to flit through and drop a raise, promotion or career change in my lap. FXS fairies are not going to swarm my friends and family and revise what FXS has changed or return what was taken from us. It’s not going to happen…and that sucks, eh?

This is why I don’t like New Years, there is all this hype because it’s a NEW YEAR! It’s a FRESH START! Life will be so much BETTER, just wait and see! But it doesn’t work like that…ever. It sounds a bit like my inner Pollyanna has a hangover, eh? I guess I better get to the point before someone1 kicks my ass.

Welcome to 2012! Nothing will change…unless I change it. Yesterday, as I was moping around in my PJs, it suddenly hit me that the things that have changed for the better in my life, and there are a lot, are things that I changed. I made conscious decisions and put in the work even when I felt sick to my stomach over the idea of changing. I have only ever grown as a person when I’ve put myself out there on a limb, knowing that it might snap under my feet at any second.

Why is it that taking risks have that effect? I suspect because it reminds me of something I learned a long time ago but sometimes need to be reminded of…

Today, I’m stepping out on a limb that is feeling pretty shaky underfoot already but 2012 has so much potential…I just can’t waste it by standing still waiting for a fairy that won’t ever show2.

 

  1. Holly []
  2. Although, if there is a money fairy, she is welcome at any time!! []