Monday, May 25, 2009

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men...

My apologies that I am behind on posting comments and on replying to them. I'll try to be back more soon--last week was a high pain week but also a high activity week--it was Fine Arts week at the kids' school, which meant events every night except Wednesday, on which my daughter had a violin audition for middle school. And double events Monday, barely making it to my son's Cub Scout crossover ceremony on time.

I'm sorry to say it's been a bad pet week or two. My mother-in-law called this morning to say not to come over for lunch, that she was having to put her 9-year-old dog to sleep--kidney failure from Cushing's disease. Thirty minutes later we discovered one of our son's pet mice, Corn, had passed away. My husband thought about pet replacement rather than telling my son since my son grieves so hard about his little pets. When Mousie died when he was six, it just about broke his heart. My son keeps trying to think of what might have caused Corn to die, but she was healthy (so we thought), and very cared for. I feel bad, too, wondering if there's something else we could have done, though I don't think so. Spots, Corn's sister, seems somewhat surprised about being by herself.

Last week, my daughter's aquatic frog that we really thought was going to die at several points before passed away last week. The big tumor this froggy had spontaneously disappeared, and she had many more months, though she couldn't swim a lot at the end. The froggy was a gift from her teacher, so that was hard. Now her betta fish that she's owned for a few years is in grief and doing very poorly. Yes, the aquarium is in good, clean condition, water quality appropriately controlled. I know the betta has a dot sized brain, but he really liked the frog even more than he likes to watch us (always drawing near when we're washing dishes or sitting on the couch--he's in an aquarium on the ledge between our kitchen and living room). The first day was the hardest for him. One of my son's baby African dwarf frogs has been AWOL for a while. The frogs actually have been replaced a few times (shhhhh!). I'm torn between wanting him to know and sparing him unnecessary grief for animals that have very short life spans. Years back, he lost two tadpoles that never turned into frogs but lived an unnaturally long time as tadpoles (almost a year).

As Lene at The Seated View points out, Mercury's been retrograde a while. No, we don't have the house on the market yet though we're making it so far (with fear in our chests)--I don't always remember what I've updated people on here and it would make sense for people to assume that we've been able to do so since I haven't said otherwise. In April I had some other big matters to take care of for most of the month since I didn't want years of work to go down the drain, though we still worked on house projects and ebay too as we could. My pain has been so bad I've been having trouble keeping up with daily tasks, which means my husband must take up more of those. With that, applying for jobs full time (really) and dealing with financial matters, going to several stores to save money (six stores on the list this week, but who can pass up 88 cent Triscuits or Cool Whip for free since the kids eat it with their berries), various applications for all kinds of programs which save money but require a lot of paperwork, we are a bit beat, though we're still muddling through. We have done a lot of ebay though need to do more--setting up auctions can take us a half day on Sundays, then we have packages to mail out Monday and Tuesday. House projects we still have left to do: repaint the trim on the baseboards, scrub and wash the window screens and windows outside and in, clean the light fixtures, clean out the garage, some of my old clothes to a consignment store, ebay more of the kids' clothes (or consignment store--harder to find those for the 'tween ages), retile half-bath, fix trim near bathroom shower, steam clean the carpet, repaint two rooms that really need it. Sigh. If only my pain were less I could keep up with more of the daily tasks so that my husband could keep up with these bigger projects. Yes we can let some things go for a while and do--but even then we are having trouble keeping up. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by our inabilities sometimes. Yes, we're doing things, but at a turtle's pace. My in-laws are exhausted helping out with my great-grandmother and my parents are not in good health and really can't help a lot physically. My mom has helped get shoes for my son, swimsuits for the kids, and other items that my daughter needs for camp, so yes that helps, so we've been shopping for that. Plus there's been all the kids' activities.

Maybe with April projects and kids' activities winding down we can make more headway soon. Maybe my pain flares will diminish. The past couple of days were a little better, though today's not great.


Full Tilt said...


Wow! I'm in awe of all that you have done and hope the pain subsides, but with the stress and all the tasks, not to mention the pet crises...I hope things slow down a bit so your family can catch up and experience relief.

I wish there was something I could do. Take care.

yanub said...

With children, there is constantly something that needs doing, must be done, and must be done with thought. And then you have all this financial stress, too. No wonder your pain is high now. It's always like that, isn't it? That the more you could stand to be pain-free because of everything going on, the less likely that is?

I honestly don't think you could be getting any more accomplished, though, even if your pain was to recede. That you have time to draw a breath is a wonder!

I wonder if household stress affects pets' health. Wee little animals maybe feel changes more? And explaining pet death to children--I don't envy you your task, but I know you will do the right thing, whatever that may be for the case.

FridaWrites said...

Actually, I am not doing that much, I just need to be doing that much again. For about ten to twelve days, except for one Saturday morning, all I could do was go to the kids' activities; the SST meeting for my son made going to two kids' activities the same night extraordinarily difficult (maybe thus extra pain on those days).

Yanub, I think I figured out what did it. I was working on typing up/formatting some shields (medieval theme) on papyrus-style paper as a keepsake for each 5th grade graduate--over 100 kids. That didn't put me under, but sorting through and matching up the physical papers--student names (Old English font, separate tag), the message itself, and the original paper handwritten by the parents is what compounded things last week, especially since things got out of order (some came in by email and the printer printed one set backwards).

I really can't lean forward at all, and I did, for several hours. Sigh. It's not that much, and yet it is. This is why I think I do need the assistance dog--it couldn't help with this, but could help with other things I have to lean forward to get.

FridaWrites said...

Our son does know about the mice and now about the two frogs (Birdy's and his own). He's been sad about Corn in particular. She and Spots liked to run in the mouse wheel together at the same time and curl up together to sleep. I hope we're not stressing the pets--mostly I'm lying down a lot, not doing much of anything. Am playing some games with the kids, balancing them partly on my lapdesk (whoa if I move!).

Lisa Moon said...

Hi, Frida,
Gosh, sorry to hear about the pets; it's always so hard to lose our little creature friends, no matter how 'small' they might be.

It's been two years this month that I lost my little hamster, whom I affectionately named Gimpie (she broke her leg as a baby and I nursed her back to health and more and into a puppy-like, adorable friend who was certainly 'the boss of me' as kids would say!) It was ironic that when I was injured, I wound up walking like Gimpie, with my foot turned out painfully... I thought we were a match meant to be.

Her sweet antics and total devotion to me as her human mommy was such a real saviour to me in that dark time when I was getting worse post-injury, with no answers and no idea why... when nothing else would make me smile, she could... it is so hard, even as an adult, to lose this pure love - and yes, like fishies and such, hamsters are quite sadly short lived...

Now for the house stuff, boy was I tired just READING everything that's being worked on! How intense. And with your kid's school stuff - I've always found that stuff stressful, let alone since dealing with disabling condition... no wonder the increased pain!

Yes, Mercury retro; I've have the non-pleasure before and am having again (it's good for 'killing' computers, cars, losing cheques - I've literally had all of the above happen in the last 4 or so years during Mercury retrogrades!).

I've actually been wondering, before I read this, if Mercury retro also increases pain! I've heard from other women then experience greater pain before/during their menstrual period, but I've not charted enough to see if that's true for myself...

But, with me, sometimes there is no rhyme or reason.

I too am having a terrible flare, but for once, it has a very clear reason... and boy am I kicking myself for pushing like I did... (for an assessment at rehab program, no less - seemed not too bad!).

Thinking of you and sending wishes for less stressful and painful days...


FridaWrites said...

It's amazing how affectionate they can be--the mice love to be petted and the one still living comes running when called or when I kiss my lips together--so long as she's not too sleepy.

Funny about Mercury being retrograde--I had a bunch of housekeeping kinds of emails that people hadn't got back to me on--and everyone's responded over the weekend--a few after a month's delay!

My period's a couple of weeks late--maybe that accounts for the continuing increased pain--continuous PMS. It's probably stress--that does it for me, as well as postsurgery.