Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Not-So-Sweet Dreams

 It felt odd to have a “real weekend”: I didn’t set an alarm on Sat or Sun. Sleep quality was fair, with my nights passing in their usual sequence of naps, but it was pleasant enough to to lounge around a bit each morning since there were no pressing needs for me to be “up & at ‘em”… After letting dogs out shortly after 6 AM Sun, I laid back down & drifted off until 8:45 - a very unusual occurrence for moi!

However, Mon AM I was jolted out of an unpleasant dream by my alarm - I had to get moving to get ready to ride in our neighborhood 4th of July parade. My subconscious was replaying Wednesday’s grim appointment - a good client brought in their rescued roughly 5-yr old Shep mix. We’ve been battling with an ugly infection in her RR foot, but now she had gone lame on her LR, with nerve paralysis. Radiographs revealed a horrible state of affairs: Dr. J’s working theory is that she was probably hit by car as a puppy, suffered a crushing pelvic injury and now has terrible degenerative disease of both hips. There is no other option rather than humane euthanasia - even if her resources were unlimited and I could send her to the surgery center for a total hip replacement, I think her pelvis is so damaged it could never work out. Understandably the owner took it rough; I prescribed a week’s worth of pain medication as I await her to do the right thing by this poor animal.

Do you understand why I have not missed these last few months where I have not had normal dream time?  I seem to be climbing out of my pit of minor vaccine reaction - I was able to prep my three ponies for the parade yesterday. Jamie came out to ride Baraq, darling Haylea rode Miss Alex, and I rode Scarlett. While it felt great to be aboard my big red mare again,  by the end of the ride I could tell she was short-striding on that right front again - obviously her endurance career is over which never ceases to fill me with deep sadness. It was great while it lasted Scarlotta!

Saturday night I also had to perform an errand of mercy for my friend Karen - her elderly gelding was going downhill and we decided to send him off on a fairly good day since she had managed to arrange for a gravedigger. Her household continues to be beset with personal drama as her daughter ricochets around between home and the baby daddy (baby A just turned 1). Sunday night she made a snap decision to go visit him in Missouri where he recently relocated with his family. Of course I’m only hearing these things through Karen but it doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship. I’m going to try to have a talk with her when she comes back;  supposedly she’s only gone for the week. 

I also struggle with my concern over my Z’s mental health: it doesn’t look good to me for him to be staying up all night, sleeping most the day and living in filth. When I went by yesterday I nagged him into showering and changing his clothes while I changed the poor kitties’ litterboxes and took out some trash. To me his household it’s like a precarious house of cards - he’s keeping everyone fed and cared for but I fear it could fall apart at any moment… I will not tolerate animal neglect.

My photographer (Mr.P)let me down yesterday but I’m hoping someone else will post some decent photos on Facebook - here is Haylea and I from 2014!

Friday, July 1, 2022

A Hard Day’s Night

 …followed closely by a hard night’s day - ??!!?? Doesn’t quite have the same resonance, nor the catchy tune accompanying it.

Nevertheless, I’m hitting another hard stretch of trail, with nothing else to do but keep moving forward (obviously). I like the new doctor - we’re running lots of bloodwork and I’ll get that long-overdue cardiac workup scheduled. (She also nagged me about colonoscopy and mammography - yes all these fun-filled diagnostic tests for which I’m overdue) but she also talked me into a Moderna booster which I was highly skeptical of - she claimed it has helped several other patients with long Covid symptoms similar to mine. It does make sense to try to kick the old immune system in the rear end, even though it’s really rough this morning facing a full workday with a sore arm, a dull headache and a resurgence of the same old nagging malaise that has dogged me for these past seven months. I’m attacking it from both sides with Western medicine’s mRNA vaccine coupled with Eastern therapies in the form of acupuncture, yoga, meditation and my herbal potions…

She also did my gynecological exam and another overdue test - my good old-fashioned Pap smear. (Nothing seemed to be amiss OJ ;-) She even played psychiatrist as I explained my dissatisfaction with MDA & recent attempts to find a GP to coordinate This Fine Mess of Val’s health care. She wanted to hear all about my pharmaceutically-resistant depression - maybe I never gave any medication a fair shake but I hated all side effects! I actually wasn't doing too badly with my good ol' "3-legged stool" of diet/exercise/sleep management that is, until my recent trials & tribulations...

Zach’s R shoulder has been paining him (again) but my young man has not committed as to whether he’d rather go back to his surgeon or have my chiropractor evaluate him (he’s got tingling pain and numbness of his outer three fingers). Mommy’s got enough on her plate, darling - I’m happy to help (musculoskeletal injuries seem so much simpler, even though my heart bleeds for my dear boy, probably facing a lifetime of low-grade misery as a consequence of having his arms wrung like a chicken’s neck in high school wrestling matches) - but he’s got to CHOOSE!

Mr Binx chillaxing 
     Beautiful male anole at Z’s

Nice office, hope it’s a good fit for me

Monday, June 27, 2022


 I hope this is what this minor setback is - as much as I hate the word “detox” (AFAIK my ol’ liver & kidneys are working just fine, thank you! Just the GI tract giving me some issues),  I am reading of other peoples’ experiences with herbal medicines as their bodies adjust to them. Each night I brew my bitter decoction, let it cool off and slug it down…

However, after that initial 1-lb loss, my weight seems stuck at that upper limit of my “barely acceptable” range. I am bloated & gassy - just as well that Peran stays in the upstairs bedroom (!!). I took him out for a day-before-his-birthday dinner at the Italian joint so no doubt that focaccia bread didn’t help matters.

I didn’t sleep well at all - Zach took a quick weekend trip back to Lubbock so I was on zookeeper duty. I vowed to quit trying to bail him out on his housework but I did clear the dirty dishes out of his sink. If I had more energy I would have done more but at least I got everyone fed & watered - also put off course when the tub of African soft-furs (small rodents which are very high-strung, similar to gerbils) had chewed through their water nozzle & flooded their tub, fortunately hadn’t drowned themselves but were perched on a pile of shavings in the corner like desperate flood victims perched on their roof.

Zach has given me no notification that he’s alive and well since yesterday afternoon about 2 o’clock-ish. He was supposed to return home last night - I will have to go feed & water animals and water his tomato plants if he was delayed. The joys of motherhood never stop.

In other news, my mother’s house has been rented out so I got to break that news to her yesterday. As I anticipated, she didn’t take it too well but at least didn’t argue or cry about it. She sat next to me on the couch afterwards and just leaned her head against my shoulder in a touching gesture of vulnerability and helplessness that really broke my heart. I don’t know what else I can do for her to help her adjust to this new situation. I got all I can deal with this pressure on my chest which I’m sure translates into pericarditis/myocarditis. And I didn’t mention my long-anticipated appointment with new doctor has been delayed until this Thursday since HER mother fell and she had to take her to the ER last Thursday. I feel for her - hopefully injuries were not severe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Do Not Go Gentle

 Who else is a poetry fan? 

 - 1914-1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I knew my Clarice was failing but she seems especially  frail and weak here lately… but as long as she’s eating and seems happy to see me, we will soldier on. It seems that these past seven months for me have flashed by in a mixture of pain (first specifically related to car crash, now more generalized), disability and general ill health.

My husband seems to have abandoned me like a crumpled-up piece of trash in the gutter but the rest of the world still needs me: my son, my mother, my critters, my employees, my clients.

I made it to my Bruce class last night which left my heart pounding & my carcass pouring sweat - today I once again feel like the Tin Woman, with wires of soreness strung from my heels to the base of my skull, but it is so good to anchor myself in this aging bod o’ mine, the only one I’ll ever get, what I must make the best of - maybe it will give me pause before I go through another fast-food drive-thru?

I’ve got to start lining things up if I have any hope of getting away for those last two days of the Fort Stanton ride next month. I need to go ahead and put new tires on my truck - I was squinting at the tread pattern last weekend. These may be the best set of tires I’ve ever bought - the only ones that have actually held up for 50,000 miles (!!!) but I don’t wanna push my luck on a 1200-mile haul in the summer heat.

And I don’t know why it’s posting in this format but I’ll try to fix it - later gotta get to work!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Mistakes Being Made

 I often paraphrase the words of the immortal Gus McCrae: “I face my mistakes every day and then it’s not much worse than a dry shave” [sic]

Last night in an oversight I accidentally took two of my melatonin gummie chews (I took one during one pass through the bathroom, but about an hour later when I was on Final Approach to the mattress I popped another) so this morning I am especially groggy, but at least I slept fairly well. Dreamtime also seems to be returning - which sometimes leaves a lingering trace of an unpleasant memory like a bad smell but necessary…

I ordered an assortment of Chinese herbs on the recommendation of someone in my long-haul Covid group: I hope soon to post something along the lines of that old Visa commercial - X = ungodly amounts of time wasted doing “research” - surfing the Internet and browsing social media, $133 Worth of Chinese herbs, but relief from long-haul Covid symptoms = PRICELESS!!! I was warned it was a noxious brew which it is! but I can choke it down for the sake of science. It has kind of hit my G.I. tract like a depth charge but it’s good to clean the pipes ain’t it? I’m down 1 lb overnight which is always good for ye olde morale. Also suffering a low-grade headache, but I need to take my ibuprofen and get moving this morning - the day ain’t gonna wait for me.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Reptile Expo Photos

 Sorry that they're out of order (quick photo dump)
Zach made a trade for this pretty girl
My son's gift to me - baby crested gecko (of course then I had to buy her a habitat)
Celebratory meal at the Argentinian steakhouse - the "dad" who sold all his children ;-)
Photo doesn't do justice to beautiful radiated tortoise, a species which is critically endangered & would likely be extinct if not for captive breeding efforts
New banner
Z chatting with customers at the expo

One Mission Accomplished

 Zach & I returned from the reptile expo with empty tanks - we dispersed all of the baby skinks & baby beardies with the exception of the one with the leg amputation. “Tripod” will be going to a client of mine who brought Zach a juvenile Sulcata tortoise in a very lopsided trade. (The crippled baby beardie probably has a value of $50, but a female Sulcata who has decades of life at about 1/3 of her adult size is worth several hundred dollars - but of course Z will get her set up with a habitat which has around $200 value. I warn clients all the time, quite often it’s not the animal that is expensive, it is getting the habitat set up correctly!)

Tina the water monitor will be traveling to Tulsa to become the mascot of a pet store there - Zach was very sad to rehome her but he just didn’t have the space. Monitor lizards are also pets which people buy impulsively as babies, not recognizing they’re going to grow to tremendous size and basically need a spare bedroom as a habitat. I could’ve made a terrific video of all the people coming by who did a doubletake upon seeing her - whoa, look at that!

I miscalculated booking my motel room over by the expo center - I failed to take into account the fact that Zach needed to come home Sat night and take care of the rest of his critters… I should’ve just stayed in Mesquite but it worked out OK - I drove Zach home, then took his car back to my motel so he was just responsible for loading up things Sunday morning and getting to the show on time. What an awesome test of responsibility, huh?

I’m pretty tired this morning since I worked all through the weekend, but I’m proud of Zach, encouraged for the growth of his business, and happy to stay connected with the herpetological community which after all, is where I met his father in the first place. Is this supreme irony or what? Photo dump to follow.