Friday, October 5, 2012

The Bitch is Back. Well, No, Not Really. She's Gone. And This is Just Me Dealing.

Dedicated to Janelle. (Sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do).


*********


The last time we spoke, I was in a very dark place. I had just murdered Kenora, my dog of fifteen years. Well, okay, perhaps murder is too strong of a word. Let's just say it was a mercy killing.

As far as mercy killings go, I think I really pulled out all the stops for her: I arranged for the execution to be done at my house; I lit a fire; I burned nice smelling candles—the kind that mask the stench of death—and I invited all my friends who loved Kenora almost as much as I did. But most importantly, I compiled a playlist to commemorate her life. Well... okay, maybe it didn't commemorate her life as much it did my mother's life, considering all the songs on this list were played during my mother's unfortunate departure from this earth, six months earlier. God rest her soul.

I wanted Kenora's passing to be special; as special as lethal injection could be under the given circumstances. It was the least I could do for her, considering all the joy, peace, and love she gave me in the time we were together.

I delegated the position of "Death Deejay" to Terie—the only one of us who seemed to have her shit together—for it it was important to me that Kenora took her last breath to Caledonia, a song, which, being near and dear to my mother's heart, was played incessantly while Mom was on her deathbed.

As I cradled Kenora close to my heart, Dr. Martin said, "Whenever you are ready..."

I held Kenora a while longer, whispering in her ear how much I loved her, how much she had enriched my life, and assuring her that, one day, we would be reunited.

I nodded to Terie to play the song, and then, through my snot and tears, I indicated to Dr. Martin that it was time.

I embraced Kenora—kind of like one of those mothers you see in the movies who is holding her dying child in her arms, rocking back and forth, screaming, "Noooo!"—and as Dr. Martin connected the syringe of death-serum to Kenora's saline lock, that's when things went amok. Right before she pushed the drug (let's just call it arsenic) through Kenora's vein, I heard the Celtic Women's rendition of Amazing Grace.

Now... under any other circumstance, these angelic voices could right the most troubled soul, but at this particular moment, the sound of these voices evoked an evil within me that I didn't know existed.

"NOOOOOO!!!!!!" I shouted loudly, scaring the shit out of everyone in the room, including my ailing dog, Kenora.

"Terie!!! That's not the song!!!" I shrieked, snot and spit flying everywhere, my head spinning like Linda Blair's head in the Exorcist. 

"THAT! (blubber, blubber) IS...  NOT!!!.... (sobbing while making that guttural sound that resembles a silent but violent hiccup)... THE...

 S-uh,uh-O-uh-NNG!!!!"

The room fell silent as Terie fumbled to find the chosen tune, each of my friends waiting with bated breath, my vet thinking it was I who needed to be put out of my misery.

Unfortunately, the bitch (Terie, not Kenora) thrives under pressure, and it seemed like only seconds later that the peaceful words of Caledonia permeated the room. And in the comfort of this song, I leaned in close to Kenora's ear and said, "Goodbye, my love. I love you, lovebug!" And just as quickly as she entered my life, she left it.

She had passed. Peacefully. (Well, almost).

Holy shit, I'm sorry, guys... this was supposed to be a funny post—one about how Pinterest saved my life. (Kidding. Sort of.)

Fuck, I think I have A.D.D.. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Best Friends

I had to say goodbye to my best friend yesterday. To date, it has been the hardest decision I have ever made.

I woke up this morning, and my house feels so empty. I am so used to her following me everywhere I go. I miss her terribly. That is pretty much all I can write about Kenora right now because I am so emotionally drained and my eyes are practically swollen shut that they need a break from crying.

But what I do want to say is thank you to all my amazing friends who helped me get through the last three days.

Elise: Our conversation the other day meant so much to me. Thank you for your advice. I can see why your patients love you.

Janelle: Your email helped me feel less guilty about the decision I made. Your words were very comforting. I respect you so much for rescuing elderly, ill dogs. You have a heart of gold for doing what you do.

Randi: Thank you for the card and wine. I was very touched by your message in the card.

Lauren and Marty: Thanks for coming by unannounced and getting me drunk last night. I appreciate your support but my head says a big f-you to you both this morning... but in a good way.

Cam: Thanks for our conversations, and thanks for pointing out that horrible things happen in threes. I guess we won't count your diagnosis as being the first crappy thing that happened to me, otherwise, losing Kenora is just starting the cycle all over again. I love you so much, and I am so happy you have beaten all odds. I am so blessed you are still in my life.

Ann: Thanks for checking in on me. I love and miss you, Sis.

Shawna: Thanks for crying with me and always being there. Kenora loved you so much, as do I. I will treasure the cards the girls made for me.

Terie: You always come through for me. You took the best care of Kenora whenever I was out of town, and I will never forget all that you have done for me.

Sue: Thanks for loving Kenora like she was your own. She loved you so much. I wouldn't have been able to have done this without your help.

Sally: As usual, you were there, crying with me and holding my hand through it all. You were the only one that made Kenora so excited, she would pee.

Dad and Marg: Thanks for your love and support. I love the flowers.

Dr Martin of Brodie Animal Hospital: Thank you so much for coming to my home so that I wouldn't have to take Kenora to the vet (a place she so despised going). You helped my dog die with more dignity than what we afford our human loved ones. You made it so peaceful, and I will never be able to express my gratitude.

Terie, Sue and Sally: Thanks for being there with me when I said my final goodbyes. Thanks for crying with me, and thanks for not mentioning what an ugly crier I am. Oh, and thanks for talking me out of keeping Kenora after she passed so I could cuddle her one last night. You're right, that would have been creepy.

Thanks to everyone else for all the messages of love and condolences.

But most of all, thanks to Kenora for teaching me responsibility and the meaning of unconditional love. I will miss you more than you will ever know, and no other dog will ever replace you. You gave me the best fifteen years of my life. Life will be a huge adjustment without you in it, love bug.



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Patient I Failed - L&D Version.

I knew the second she rolled onto our unit that the broad wasn't in labor. Heck, I'd seen corpses in more pain than what she "appeared" to be in.

This wasn't my first rodeo, so her well-rehearsed "hee, hee, hees" and "hoo, hoo, hoos" didn't have me fooled for second. I was all too familiar with her type... the kind of dame who dresses up for labor like it's some sort of beauty pageant or cakewalk— makeup meticulously applied, hair lacquered into place with so much hairspray that it would require an act of God to dishevel it, and perfume so pungent, its scent would haunt our halls for a fortnight to come.

Her husband pushed her wheelchair as if he were racing to a finish line that was way out of reach, but, really, it wasn't out of reach at all; they had been assigned to room 252, which was only a few feet away.

I sighed at the despicable sight of them, these labor wannabes, and I was disappointed that they were about to waste my valuable time. Concealing my disdain, I introduced myself and politely instructed her to change into a gown.

It wasn't until I was tucking her into bed that I noticed she seemed despondent, detached if you will. As I applied the monitors, I could see, from the corner of my eye, a lone tear roll down her cheek as it etched a trail of smudged makeup in its path.

It was at this precise moment that something inside me shifted—an awakening of sorts, per se. I could feel it as it relentlessly surged through my veins, its presence reminding me that it was during moments like this that I must suppress my ego and channel my natural calling.

Without further hesitation, I pulled up a chair and sat next to her bed, for I knew that in order to gain her trust, I had to bring myself down to her level. I grabbed her perfectly manicured hand in mine and looked deep into her eyes.

"I know. I get it," I said, hoping to convey a sense of commonality between us—anything to bring her to the safe place she so desperately needed to be.

"You can speak freely," I gently encouraged. "I am here to help."

Her husband sat on the other side of the room, his head buried in his hands. I realized that this was his pain, too, so I beckoned him to her bedside, hoping that this small gesture would emancipate him from his painful solitude.

I waited patiently for her to speak, knowing that if I pushed too hard, she would withdraw.

When she finally broke her silence, I braced myself, even though I was already aware of the confession she was about to impart. I had heard this exact confession countless times before, and let me tell ya, it never gets any easier.

She inhaled deeply. I inhaled deeply. Her husband inhaled deeply. It was like an orgy of oxygen-deprived souls.

She exhaled slowly, and riding on the air that escaped her lungs were the six words she was so terrified to say.

"I've..." she hesitated, fighting back the tears.

"I've lost...  my...  mucous... plug!"

(Okay, five words, but in all fairness, I didn't know she was going to use the contraction "I've." Ironically, it was the only contraction she had during her entire "labor" check.)

These words pierced my heart like an army of a thousand swords. As I fought back my own tears, I squeezed her hand. Stay strong, I thought, you must be a pillar of strength for your patient. 

Being the extremely level-headed but empathetic and compassionate person I am, I frequently find it difficult to separate "the nurse" in me from the human of raw emotions that is my heart and soul.

She began sobbing. I began sobbing. Her husband began sobbing. It was like a ménage à trois of guttural catharsis.

After we were done crying and I had composed myself, the nurse in me overtook the human in me.

I grabbed a pencil and notepad and got down to business.

"Listen," I spoke with purpose, "I, myself, am no stranger to loss. Now, granted, I have never lost a mucous plug, but I have lost family members, and let me tell you, grief is like a beast of burden; it burdens you like, well... a beast. So I totally understand what you are going through."

She listened attentively, hanging on my every word.

"I don't want to seem insensitive, but I need to ask you some very difficult questions."

As painful as it was for her, she seemed willing to cooperate.

The following is a transcript of our discussion:

Me: What were you doing when you lost said mucous plug?

Her: We were watching T.V..

Me: What were you watching?

Her: Um, I don't know, it might have been Glee.

Me: Listen, I need you to focus. It's important you try to remember because we've noticed a pattern as to when these mucous plugs go missing... it tends to happen during really shitty programming.

Her: Let me think... yes, it was definitely Glee.

Me: Okay, that makes total sense. Now, was there anyone with whom your mucous plug may have been angry, someone worthy of a grudge? An obstetrician who was too rough during a cervical exam, perhaps? Or someone who may have talked you into a little somethin', somethin', if you know what I mean? *This question was indirectly directed in the indirect direction of her husband.*

She exchanged a look with her husband, who sat quietly with a sheepish look on his face, his complexion turning a deep shade of crimson red. I immediately knew the answer and felt it futile to pursue the matter any further. I scribbled in my notepad, Horny husband angered mucous plug through act of  self-serving and unnecessary intercourse. 

Me: Did said plug leave a note?

Her: No.

Me: And there's been no contact with the plug since it went missing?

Her: None.

Me: Did you alert the police?

The look on her face indicated she had not. This wasn't good, as I knew that time was of the essence.

Me: Look, I'm going to be totally honest with you: statistically, if a mucous plug isn't found within two minutes of its disappearance, the case usually goes unsolved. Those two minutes are the most crucial minutes in these cases.

I didn't have the heart to tell her about the stack of charts in medical records that had long become cold case files, never to be opened again.

Me: I'm sorry, I don't know what else to tell you, except, mark my words, I will put up the good fight; I will continue to search for your mucous plug, leaving no peripad unturned.

Given that my patient was not in labor, I discharged her home later that night. As we said our farewells, I assured her that we would soon meet again—under happier circumstances—when they would return for the birth of their child.

In the weeks that followed, I searched diligently for their lost mucous plug, even going as far as petitioning my local congressman to pass a bill that would mandate a nationwide alert when mucous plugs go missing. The bill for Code Cream-Colored-Gob-of-Goo-With-the-Consistency-of-Snot is still in its infancy period but should hopefully be passed sometime early next spring.

I have made it my personal mission to ensure that the search of a missing mucous plug does not end with the birth of the baby it so vigilantly protected in utero. To raise awareness of this issue, I have taken it a step further:

Fellow Americans, I implore you to get involved. As you begin your day around the breakfast table with your family, please pay close attention to the picture on the milk carton. You never know, you might be instrumental in reuniting a family with their long lost mucous plug.



Thank you,
CS



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Well, Since You Asked...

Some of you may have noticed *this* circulating on facebook...



It warrants serious consideration. However, when it comes down to it, the answer is pretty simple...



Oh, how I long for a man with classic good looks.


Saturday, December 31, 2011

You Drive Your Automatic and I'll Drive My Double Standard

Let's talk about driving. More specifically, let's talk about how I'm a better driver than you.

1) If you're barely pushing 65mph in the left lane, I can only assume that you are an imbecile for not knowing the remedial rules of the road, or you're (insert racist stereotype here)... (hint: rhymes with Cajun)... (if you say it with a soft "j").

Um, hello? The left lane is the PASSING lane, which means you should be driving FASTER than those in the right lane. So if I'm driving behind you, all up in your ass, then you better move the eff over because it's an emergency, like I'm late for work. There are lives depending on me, people!

Now, let's just say, hypothetically speaking, that I'm the one in the left lane, and you're all up in my ass. Well, it goes without saying that you are being nothing short of an asshole. In case you haven't noticed, I'm already speeding, which means you are really speeding, and there comes a point when you're just being plain reckless. You're not going to get to that "number-crunching" job any sooner if you cause an accident, so back the hell off.

2) If you're stupid enough to still text and drive, then don't be all shocked if I flip you the finger as I overtake your sorry ass. In case you haven't heard, texting and driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. So, basically, that oh-so-important message you are responding to better be worth killing that close-knit family of four, all dressed in matching outfits, on their way to a square dancing competition. Hmm? Sounds like a perfect story for 60 Minutes or Dateline, doesn't it?

Now, lets just say, hypothetically speaking, you overtake me, and it looks like I'm texting... you are sorely mistaken. I don't text and drive; I Shazam and drive. BIG difference. Huge! You see, there are less steps in Shazaming than there are in texting.

Texting:

*Merge on to major freeway*
 "Beeeling" Oh, I got a text. Who could it be? 
*Slide to unlock phone*
*Look up at road*
 Who, who? 
*Enter pass code to unlock phone*
  Please be Ryan. 
* Look up at road*
 Yippee!  It's Ryan. Wants to do dinner. Awesome.
*Look up at road* Must respond.
*See bumper of minivan in front of you approaching at the speed of light*
"Fuck! Don't yield, asshole. Merge! Merge!"
*Head and neck snap as your car crashes into back of minivan* Ouch! 
*Smoke envelopes car but not enough to prevent you from texting Ryan back*
"Jussot got into accaident. No big biggy. Will taxt you latesr." (you're a little shaky; hence, the typos.)
*Get out of car.*
*Take notice of minivan's mangled bumper with totally intact sticker that says, "It's Hip To Be Square. The National Society of Square Dancers."*
*Approach car. See blood and guts EVERYwhere. Boy in back seat looks like he is do-si-do-ing but he is really seizing.*

Horrible scenario, right? Well, think about it, people, because this could be you...but not me... because I'm a better driver than you. Remember?

Shazaming:

*Awesome song plays on radio* 
 Love this song. Wonder who sings it. 
*Turn up radio*
*Slide to unlock phone* (I don't even have to take my eyes off the road to do this.)
*Enter pass code*
*Look up at road*
*Open Shazam*
*Press Tag*
 No, Big Brother, I won't allow you to use my current location!
*Look up at road*
*Get name of song*
*Look in rearview mirror to see long line of cars behind me*
*Begrudgingly move over into right lane because of inpatient assholes in left lane*
 The nerve of some people, I tell ya!


3) Did the D.M.V. issue you a special license that negates you from having to signal because you are way too cool and better than everyone else? No? Then use your damn blinker, buddy, because you look like a total douche and not all of us are mind readers!

Now, let's just say, hypothetically speaking, you catch me not signaling. It's not because I think I'm too cool to signal; it's because I'm busy trying to steer, drink coffee, shift gears, and put on lipstick. Geeesh, I only have two hands! What do you expect?

4) On the other end of the spectrum, if you're one of those people (ahem... Gramps) who forgets to turn off his signal, then perhaps your mind is too preoccupied or diseased to allow you to drive safely.

Hypothetically speaking, if I should have my blinker on for any length of time, it's because I am a very conscientious driver, and I am giving you plenty of warning that I will be turning soon, like in another eight blocks. Give or take ten. Just be grateful I at least use my signal.

5) Wow, that bass sure is sweet. Thanks for sharing it with everyone IN A 20 MILE RADIUS. You must have worked a whole month to save up for that system. Or you stole it. Either way, I really like the way it makes my cellulite jiggle. But your music SUCKS, so turn it down, homeboy!

My music, on the other hand, should be shared with everyone because it is that good. You're welcome.

6) Last but definitely not least, if you drink and drive, you're an idiot. Plain. And. Simple.

I don't drink and drive. I drink and write; hence, the title of this blog. My writing, unlike drinking and driving, has never killed anyone, as far as I know.

I'm wrapping this little chitty-chat up because I gotta go celebrate New Year's Eve. May all of you have a safe night. To aspire to my level, remember to always anticipate—anticipation is what makes me an awesome driver. Let me show you how it works:

I anticipate that I'm going to get really tanked tonight. I also anticipate that I will be passing out on a friend's couch, so I anticipate that I won't be driving.

See? I probably just saved a couple of lives just there.


Happy New Year. 2012 is going to be AWESOME!

CSxo