Tag Archives: Where have you been?

Summer’s End

I started composing an email to Julie Klausner yesterday. I’ve been bingeing on her Podcast Archive for the last couple of months and since I’m finally nearing the present day I started writing down all the things I’ve been wanting to tell her about. She likes hearing stories about dogs who eat things they shouldn’t and turn out OK so I googled my post about my dogs fecal frolic in Prospect Park. Then of course I found myself browsing down my blog’s rabbit hole which inspired me to write a new post and catch myself up on where I am.

I transferred to a new job in mid-August. I was very happy about the change. My new office is an hour away and requires me to drive on the NYS Thruway which is not my favorite but I’m dealing with it. The new position meant moving to a place where the office was nicer (indoor parking garage!), the pay was a bit better and there was a lot more opportunity to move up. Mr. Awesome felt that my company has been taking advantage of me and my skills for a long time and that meant I should go elsewhere. Even though I agree with him I really really didn’t want to have to start all over again somewhere new (really!). My new office is huge and maze-like. I’m glad that I can find my way to the ladies room and back again without breadcrumbs. While the drive might be anxiety causing and made me have to start taking acid reflux medicine again – I’m very pleased with the change. I hope that this is the start of something really good for me and for us.  

P started the 5th grade this week. She is 10 now and I almost can’t believe it. I think she had a really good summer. She went back to her day camp but also went to acting camp, had two weeks home with Mr. Awesome and spent a week with my in-laws in August. She’s been going to the acting place since last fall. They did a production of The Little Mermaid last winter that was fantastic. The leads were all teens and her age group was in the ensemble. The summer camp worked a little differently since all the 4th and 5th graders were eligible for lead roles. She was very enthused about that idea and was hoping to get a leading role. They did a production of Honk! Jr., which is a musical version of the Ugly Duckling story. She is a great performer but not the strongest singer when it comes to keeping her voice in key. I got the sheet music for the songs and tried to encourage her to sit down at the piano with her dad so he could help her hear and sing the exact notes. She refused this help. The auditions were an all-day affair in early July. They audition as a group and everyone goes in-front of everyone. The director tries different combinations of kids to see who’s going to work best for each role. P was so fixated on getting a lead role she didn’t even want to consider one of the smaller supporting parts – parts with lines and singing solos. When it became clear that she wasn’t strong enough for a lead role they asked her if she wanted to audition for a supporting part and she said no. Later on in the day when she began to realize that she was going to be getting a small non-singing part she became very upset and then asked if she could audition for one of the supporting roles and they said no, it was too late. She was dissolved in tears when I went to pick her up at the end of the day. It was a fundamental lesson to learn but it was a very hard one. At first she said she didn’t even want to do the show and it took a while for her to get used to the idea again. The rehearsals didn’t start until the last week in July and she was hesitant at first but ended up really enjoying herself. The director was very proud of the change in her attitude as well and said that she had turned out to be a model cast member. She did an awesome job in the show and put her all into every moment she had on stage. I was very proud of her. My heart ached for her but it was something she had to go through herself. She says she understands why it turned out the way it did and she’s already preparing for the next audition in a couple of weeks. This time if it looks like she’s not going to get what she wants, she’s not going to shortchange herself. Her singing is improving too. We tried some lessons in the middle of the summer but I don’t think she really connected with the teacher. She’s become obsessed with the music from My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic seasons 1-3 and is constantly singing all the songs. She’s able to keep herself in tune singing those songs. As P obsessions go it’s at a mid-level. She’s singing, binge watching on Netflix and has just started asking about me to make her a pony costume. Her other obsessions of the summer have been mermaids/watching H2O on Netflix and of course Harry Potter which included an insatiable need to listen to back episodes of MuggleCast. While the mermaid mania included an irritatingly irrational desire to make and wear a swimmable mermaid tail the constant listening to 3 and 4 year old episodes of MuggleCast at top volume was very hard to take.

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Where were you?

I know I’ve written about this many times here but I wrote this comment in reply to the question, “Where were you on 9/11?” here. I thought that it had some details that I had never shared with you before so here goes:

My husband and I had moved out of Brooklyn on September 10, 2001 and September 11th was my first day commuting into my Wall St area job from the Hudson Valley. We took the train to Hoboken and I transferred to the path train and got off at the World Trade Center. I was looking for a specific magazine and stopped at a newsstand before I walked out of the building. I had crossed Church Street and was looking in the windows at Century21 thinking how much I was going to enjoy my new commuting route. Then I heard the loudest plane I had ever heard. It was so loud I had to put my fingers in my ears. Then moments later I heard and felt the impact of what I now know was the first plane hitting the building. I thought it was a bomb and remember thinking, “this is where I die” as I ran down the street and across Broadway. The ground undulated underfoot and I remember cabbies standing next to their stopped cars pointing upwards. The plane hit on the opposite side from where I was so when I looked up I couldn’t see it. I thought that some kind of media stunt had gone horribly wrong since there were papers flying everywhere. I know realize that they were papers from people’s desks and filing cabinets up in the tower. I rushed towards my office which was across town from the WTC. I was very upset and crying and trying to reach my husband on my cell phone. I stranger saw me and told me not to worry that everything was going to be alright. He hugged me and when we said goodbye he was walking towards the towers. When I got to my office everyone was freaking out. There was a window in the corner of our floor where you could see the towers and everyone was crowded around it and looking when the 2nd plane hit. I had NPR on the radio and when I heard that there was an unaccounted for plane and that the pentagon had been hit I knew that I needed to get out of there. My husband and I planned on me getting up to times square where he was working and then we’d figure out our escape plan from there. The only way to get there was to walk so I started out trying to stay as far west as possible. I had just started and was right by the South Street Seaport when the first building came down. I remember people screaming and running in all directions. I could see the top of the tower collapsing out of view. I decided after that to not look back anymore. When the 2nd tower fell and I was already on Broadway in the Soho area, I didn’t even turn around. People all around me were pointing and staring openmouthed downtown but I kept walking up. I stopped briefly at my friend’s apartment on 19th street for a little moral support. I wasn’t able to reach my husband on my phone anymore – we didn’t have texting then – so I just sent him mental messages and counted the blocks as I walked and walked and walked. All around me New York was being New York, amazing and beautiful and so sad and broken. We didn’t even know how sad yet. The saddest of all were the hundreds of flyers and posters people made looking for their loved ones. I guess it’s when we thought that there’d still be people trapped, there’d be bodies to identify and not just fragments. I finally made it to Times Square. I found my husband waiting outside of his building at One Time Square because there had been a bomb threat or something. I was so happy to see him. We tried to get on a NJ ferry up on the west side but were told that it was closed. The only way out was to go back downtown and catch the ferry there. He and I walked all the way back downtown together. As we got closer we started to see people utterly covered in white ash. I remember we saw a business man carrying his briefcase. He was white from head to toe and looked like the statue of the business man on a park bench somewhere downtown except that he was moving. We finally made it back to South Street Seaport where we’d catch the ferry. The sidewalks were covered in white ash and there were hundreds of scattering footprints. People must have panicked in the dust cloud coming towards them and ran in all directions to try to escape. Our ferry ride was surreal. We rode past the end of Manhattan where there towers had been replaced by towers of black smoke reaching up into the blue sky. It really was the most beautiful day.  The ferry let us off in Jersey City (I think) and we had to walk all the way to Hoboken to get a train to come back to our temporary home. It was the longest day of my life. I am so thankful that I am still alive and that I didn’t have to suffer more than I did. I am definitely a different person now and I miss that girl that I used to be sometimes. It makes me very mad when I see people trying to claim ownership of this tragedy for their own needs. People of all religions and races were in those towers that day and they all perished equally. Intolerance and hatred drove the men who planned this and carried it out. We can’t answer this with more intolerance and hatred. I can’t stand it when I hear how everyone is upset that someone wants to build a Muslim Community Center on “hallowed ground”. Hallowed ground, really?? What about the peep show and the strip club that are also in the same radius of the WTC. Aren’t they on hallowed ground as well? Grrrr. Don’t get me started.
Thank you for letting me share. I will never forget.
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Fresh Kills

What was the worst job you ever had?

Once on winter break during college I took a job with NYPIRG. NYPIRG is a non-profit research and advocacy group that focuses on environmental and consumer protection issues. I signed up to be one of their outreach workers. We were supposed to go door-to-door and collect signatures in support of Superfund cleanup. The Superfund is an EPA program designed to identify and clean up the worst hazardous waste sites in the country. This is all good stuff and I was glad to be working for such an honorable organization. What made this job the worst was that we were sent off to knock on doors in Staten Island in the middle of January. It was dark and freezing out there and the weather was really cold too. We’d meet at the office downtown around 4pm and we’d get our maps and find out what neighborhood we were going to be working in. Then we’d all pile into a van and we’d drive out to Staten Island. Throughout the trip our group leaders would give us pep talks and try to get us to practice our scripts. Driving in and out we always passed by the infamous Fresh Kills Landfill. It’s known the world over for its enormous size, chemical leeching, odoriferous smell and ominous name. I’m sure that we were on Staten Island because of Fresh Kills. NYPIRG must have figured that the people there would have some notion of the importance of toxic waste clean up since they lived so close to a gigantic garbage dump. I found however that the people had already heard enough about waste cleanup to last a lifetime and were not very receptive to a fresh faced college student knocking on their door at 7 o’clock at night. Most of the time I could barely get through the first paragraph of my pitch before the door was being shut in my face again. It was kind of depressing to say the least.

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This is not a post about Michael Jackson

Yesterday was my daughter’s last day of 1st grade. She cried at school and then she got off the bus with tears in her eyes. I thought her sad mood would last a lot longer than it did once we got inside. Then she found out who her 2nd grade teacher was going to be and she got all interested in looking at the pictures in the yearbook. We went to the library (nothing cheers you up like a good Mary-Kate and Ashley book!) and then for pizza and saw a friend from her class there. They had a hilarious conversation in which they estimated the ages of the 2nd grade teachers. They’re probably all younger than me. Her friend said that one teacher was probably fourty, like that was the biggest number she could come up with. I decided not to tell her how old I was. I didn’t want Piper’s friend to think her Mom was a Golden Girl. I was pleased to see that she was able to get happy and not dwell on all the goodbyes of the past week. A year ago, she had a much harder time dealing with all those pesky goodbyes but then again we had a lot of other stuff to deal with. One year ago today I had an appendectomy and ended up in the hospital for 4 days. Remember, I told you about it here? Piper has been SO freaked out these last couple of months. I knew she was worrying about the end of school but I thought she was taking it a little too far. Now I’m thinking it might have been because she associated the end of Kindergarten with a very scary event in our family’s life. She saw the end of school coming and got very anxious about it. Why didn’t I see this sooner? Doh!

I was really really sad that I missed her getting off the bus on her last day of Kindergarten. Glenn brought her around to see me in the hospital the afternoon after my operation. They were sweet, they brought me magazines and some DVDs from home. I was groggy and sore. I remember trying to watch WALL-E and struggling to pay attention. I just kept nodding off. I started to get antsy as soon as I started feeling better. By Saturday into Sunday I was done with the whole thing and really wanted to get out of there. To prove how well I was feeling I was determined to get myself up and out of bed without asking for any help. This was a little tricky when they moved my IV from my left arm to my right arm. The IV pump plugged into the wall on the left side of the bed but they had to move the pump closer to my right arm after the switch. Getting out of bed to take a walk or go to the bathroom meant that I had to first gingerly get up on the left side of the bed, unplug the pump, toss the cord across the bed, walk slowly and carefully around the end of the bed making sure to bend and extend my right arm as far to the right over the bed as possible so I wouldn’t pull my IV out, all the while trying not to rip out my stitches in my incision. When I returned from my walk or bathroom trip I’d have to repeat the whole dance in reverse and collapse on the bed in exhaustion afterwards.

Piper and I are both so much better than one year ago. For this I am thankful.

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My Dog’s Namesake

I named my dog Dylan after a kid at camp. There are two camps in my life. I went to Camp Thoreau from age 9-11 and worked at Camp Lohikan during college. Dylan the boy was at Lohikan. He was a cool kid who was liked by most campers and counselors. I don’t remember him as being particularly athletic but he was definitely tall for his age. He seemed to be perfecting a stoner cool persona as if he had seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Spicoli had made a great impression on him. Everyone was in the gymnasium for the camp olympics. There was another camp visiting and playing our kids in volleyball and wrestling. There was going to be a wrestling match between senior boys from our camp and senior boys from the visiting camp. They were only matching participants by age because Dylan’s opponent was a good 6″ shorter than he was. When our kids in the gym saw the boy that Dylan had drawn for the match they went crazy. They started chanting, DyLAN, DyLAN, DyLAN! Dylan in turn looked at the boy and decided that he had already won and raised his arms over his head in victory and enjoyed the confidence of his peers. The other boy saw what was happening and started to cry. It seemed for a minute that he was giving up before he’d even started. The chanting of Dylan’s name only got louder while the counselors from the visiting camp gave their wrestler a pep talk. They were able to get him to go through with it. The smaller boy seemed unsure and scared while Dylan was all smiles and was raring to get started on his cake walk. However, once the match got started the smile quickly left Dylan’s face. The smaller boy was like a shark and was relentless in his determination to take Dylan down. Once our crowd caught on to where things were headed they got very quiet and the kids from the other team started cheering jubilantly. I remember watching Dylan’s wincing red face as he was being expertly pinned to the mat. He did not expect this to happen. There was no escape from a spanking humiliation for one boy and utter triumph for the other.

Dylan the dog came from Philadelphia. I got her when I first moved there and was working as a telemarketer for a Dating Service called Great Expectations. She was a German Shepherd Husky mix and looked very tough on the outside. Once on the street a little boy looked at her and said, “Mommy that dog looks like a WOLF”. She was really just a marshmallow inside. She was extremely afraid of thunderstorms and would hide in the bathtub shaking, panting and whimpering until the storm had completely passed. I didn’t know all this about her when I gave her the name though. When she was a puppy she was a one dog wrecking crew and tried to eat or chew on everything in her wake. Once she destroyed a potted plant in the apartment. She broke the pot and scattered the dirt all over the floor. There were paw prints literally 2′ up on the walls. I imagined her running circles on the walls of the room a la Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding.

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3 for 16

If you could go back in time and meet your 16-year-old self, what three things would you tell yourself?

  1. Don’t let your brother Mike slip out of your life. He’s going to steal from you in a couple of years and it’s going to hurt. You’re going to be angry. When you’re angry with someone it is easy to let your heart harden towards them. The anger will subside in time as it always does. Just don’t forget to reopen your heart again. Don’t miss your chance to truly forgive him.
  2. You are just starting to really get into theater and performing now. I should probably tell you to pay a little more attention to your schoolwork, especially math and science. You won’t listen to me so I’m not even going to try. You are finding out where your happiness lies and no one is going to steer you away from that, even old you, I mean me.  Let me make just one little suggestion to you 16, get a teaching degree.
  3. You will meet the love of your life in about 15 years so you’ve just got to relax and hold on until then. I’m not sure what else to tell you 16. I’m not feeling especially filled with wisdom right now. I will tell you what I always tell my daughter (yes, you have a daughter and she’s a STAR), treat people the way you’d like to be treated and that life sometime means you have to do things you don’t want to do. You are beautiful, be kind to yourself. Learn everything you can and don’t postpone joy. Oh and buy Apple stock in a couple of years and hold onto it.

Good luck and take care of yourself.

Love always,

44

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Herman Munster, Cherry Sodas and other thoughts

Herman MunsterI have a confession to make internets. Herman Munster gives me the creeps. I’ve always hated him. His character just bugs. I’m not really charmed by the whole idea of a “lovable buffoon”. To me, buffoons are just annoying. Herman was always surprised and sad when “normal” people were afraid of him and when he broke mirrors just by looking at them. I felt very embarrassed for Herman, he was totally clueless as to how clearly repulsive he was. I would feel a tiny bit of sympathy for poor pathetic ugly Herman but my nice feeling would disappear as soon as he started throwing a fit when he didn’t get his way. Herman was supposed to be the head of the family but acted more like an oversized baby.

I was also enormously distracted by Herman’s makeup. The dark lipstick and heavy pancake on his face made it impossible for me to see anything else. Let’s not even talk about the neck bolts. Fred Gywnne was famously unhappy playing Herman Munster and maybe I was picking up on his discomfort. To this day I can’t stand the sight of black nail polish. it doesn’t matter who is wearing it, Adam Lambert, Elvira or Kate Winslet I see black nail polish and my mind screams “HERMAN”!

I’m not really sure why I find myself mulling over Herman lately. The Munsters was one in a long line of shows that were on TV after school when I was a kid. My brother and I watched them all. We were latch key kids. Him more than me because I was physically unable to open the door to the apartment by myself for a long time. I may have had a key but that didn’t mean that I could open the door. The lock was too tricky for me to figure out. I would get off the bus and then have to wait for him to get home to let me in. I’d go up to our apartment on the 2nd floor and sit on the fake grass doormat with the plastic daisy waiting for Mike until my butt went numb. I really don’t remember having any homework though I know that I did. It is all a big mish-mash in my brain now. I do remember that my parents always had a big bottle of red wine in the house. On family dinner nights my Dad would mix a little red wine with ginger ale and give it to me. We called it “Cherry Soda”. I guess he felt like he was doing the European thing and letting his 10, 11, 12 year old (?? see what I mean, brain mish-mash, Herman Munster-mash) have a little wine was his way of teaching me to be responsible with it. Except I remember being a little irresponsible with it and mixing my own Cherry Sodas when I was home alone after school. I made my own in a much bigger glass too. I don’t really think that I was consciously trying to get drunk, I liked the taste and the fuzzy way that they made me feel. I did that for a while and I don’t really remember why I stopped or when. I don’t think my parents noticed that the wine was missing from the big bottle in the fridge but if they did they probably blamed my brother for it.

I definitely watched too much TV as a kid and probably watch too much now. We had very little choice of what to watch and it taught me to watch stupid stuff that I didn’t really like, i.e. Herman Munster. During college and immediately afterwards when I was feeling very depressed, which was very often back then, I would binge on TV. I remember one day during my senior year of college where I spent the entire 12 hour day watching my little television alone in my room. It made me feel so guilty and stupid but I couldn’t stop myself. I can’t even think of what I was watching in 1988 or what was even on?? I’m much better with it now. I still watch stupid stuff on TV but only if I actually like it.

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Reunion Day

Dancers from Dance Parade 2010

Hubbi Frubiends! I’m blogging to you from big ol’ NYC today. It’s a beautiful day and there are people EVERYWHERE. I’m sitting in the Starbucks at Astor Place, home of non-free WiFi. Boo to that. I’ve got my little cell phone set up and I’m bucking the system as it were. I have a little while before it is time to meet up with my two High School girlfriends. I’m hoping that there will be two. My one friend texted me this morning that she wasn’t feeling well and I told her to take a power nap and let me know later. Sending good thoughts her way. We are going to have dinner and then go to a High School reunion of sorts. I was in an alternative education program in HS called SWAS (which stands for School Within A School) and my friend Mark who was in my brother’s class is having a reunion at his store in the East Village tonight. I wanted to go to represent my brother but I wanted to have some people there who were from my era so I invited some to come with me. When I first entered SWAS in 10th grade in 1982 there were still a lot of hippies and dead heads there. By the time I left in 1984 the future of SWAS was iffy. The Reagan era had started and everyone my age suddenly thought they should be a republican for some reason. SWAS was good for me. It was a much more nurturing environment than I would have had in regular English and Social Studies classes. We didn’t have tests and called our teachers by their first names (how very 70’s that was now that I think of it) and the students had a lot more say in the direction of the classes we had. You were graded on your class participation which was a bit of a struggle for shy me.

The train was very crowded this morning. I almost didn’t get a seat. I sat down on the aisle seat next to a young couple. I chatted with them briefly since they were friendly. Then I noticed the man was reading a copy of AWAKE! magazine which is a publication of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was pretty sure that he would manage to give me a copy before the end of the trip and I was right. I had put on my ipod to discourage any further chit chat but he flagged me down as we were pulling to a stop in Grand Central. Everyone’s got an agenda I guess.

I came in early and met my friend Jed for lunch. Jed and I used to date a long time ago. We work a lot better as friends than we ever did as a couple. My brother introduced us when I first moved to Brooklyn. He works here. It is a very cool old place that I would highly recommend visiting. We had yummy asian food and walked out to find a dance parade in Union Square. There are giant groups of people all dancing their way to Tompkins Square. I got some video. It all feels very NY, wacky, big and brightly colored. I don’t feel too much like a country mouse here in the city but I feel like people can tell that I’m kind of a tourist. Oh wait, there’s a gigantic band of kids going by now all playing instruments. When the band stopped marching all the kids with smaller instruments lifted them above their heads and danced while the tubas and drums kept playing. AWESOME!

I’ll try to write more later!

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He had me at meow

Back when I first met my husband I had my two dogs Danny and Dylan and he had two cats, the brothers, Trevor and Nigel. When we decided to get married it was like we were some kind of furry Brady bunch. When we moved in together we were two adults and four animals trying to live together peacefully in my 650 square foot apartment. It was nerve wracking at first, these were dogs and cats that had never lived with cats and dogs before. We had a couple of fights to break up but really the worst of it was trying to keep the dogs from sneaking cat poop out of the litter box. Just like candy! When we finally moved ourselves into the country it meant we could finally give everyone the space they needed. Glenn built a heated house for the cats out in the garage so they could have free reign during the day. Trevor took full advantage of his new environment and even though he had been an apartment cat for over 7 years he quickly became a proficient hunter. He had a 1 to 2 mole-a-day habit for a while. So the years went on and sadly we lost Dylan at the age of 14 a couple of months before Piper was born. Danny followed later that summer. We were a two cat family for quite a while after that. The guys both seemed quite happy and healthy even though they were getting on in years. Trevor got sick in 2006 and needed surgery to relieve a blocked intestine which he fully recovered from. Then in the spring of 2008 it seemed like Trevor’s problems had returned. He was gone by the end of June. Nigel held on until right after Christmas this past year. He had become a mostly indoor cat and would only go out to his garage house to sleep at night. It was very sad to lose our last pet. I first got Dylan in 1989 so Nigel’s death meant the end to 20 years of continuous pet ownership. It still feels strange to go to the grocery store and not have to visit the pet food aisle. As much as they were a pain in the butt sometimes I can’t imagine my life without having had them in it. I guess that now since our home is free of animal presence both dog and cat we seem to be getting some visits from some “neighbors” that we had never met before. There is a little black female cat that my daughter calls Pumpkin (because she says she looks like a “Halloween thing”) but our favorite is this little cross-eyed gray cat we call Quarter. We were outside in the back yard for most of the day yesterday and he was out there with us almost the whole time. We can’t tell if he is a stray or not because he looks well taken care of but has no collar. He did seem very hungry yesterday – he was trying to get at an orange that Glenn was eating. We still had some of Nigel’s cat food left over so we gave him some. He is obviously still a silly kitten and will chase anything that moves. Glenn and I watched him almost snatch a large bumble bee out of the air, 3 feet up in the air that is. I really enjoyed watching him and Piper play together too. We don’t know what this little guy’s status is but if we could be sure he was a stray I would seriously think about keeping him. Right now however it is a good situation for us. We get to enjoy the company of an adorable cat without any of the responsibility for him. I’d be heartbroken if anything happened to him and I’d miss him if he stopped coming around.

The position he assumed right when Glenn said, "I hope he doesn't forget how to get home again".

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Swan

Swan

This is Swan. She is on my daughter’s dresser. I put her there before I went to bed last night. I gave her to my daughter last June to celebrate her first ballet recital. Less than a week after that recital I had to have an appendectomy. I ended up in the hospital for 4 days. After I came home it was clear that Piper was very worried about me. She constantly asked if she could check my incision and got very anxious at bedtime. She didn’t want me to go to bed before she went to bed and needed to be sure that I was checking on her after she fell asleep. Then she started waking up in the middle of the night insisting that I didn’t check on her before I went to bed. I would try to assure her that I did but that since she was asleep when I was in her room I had no way to prove it to her. I was having a lot of trouble sleeping at the time because I was still uncomfortable from the incision. I needed what little sleep I could get so I had to think of something to settle Piper down. That’s when I got the idea to use Swan. After Piper would fall asleep I  would move Swan from her place on the shelf to Piper’s dresser. I told Piper that if she woke up in the middle of the night and looked at her dresser and saw Swan there she could be sure that I had been there to check on her. It worked and she stopped coming into my room at night to tell me that I didn’t check on her. She did wake me up at 1 am the other night to tell me that her water cup was empty but that is another story.

My appendectomy came as a total surprise to me as I guess it often does. I started feeling kind of sick on a Monday afternoon. My stomach was hurting but I thought that it was just because of some cherries I had eaten. The feeling went away by dinner time. I had just started training for a TNT half marathon so I was running fairly regularly. I had a run afterwork and felt fine. We went to Piper’s Kindergarten graduation and all was right with the world. Tuesday afternoon I had some more cherries and the bad feeling returned for a little while. I felt well enough to have another run after work because I was anticipating hot weather at the end of the week and wanted to get my miles in. I felt pretty good after the run and decided to celebrate with a brownie after dinner. That did me in. I started feeling a horrible heartburn pain right under the sternum and it just didn’t let up all night long. Tuesday night was totally sleepless. I was tossing and turning and taking Mylanta but nothing seemed to touch it. I went to work on Wednesday thinking, hey, I only work a four hour shift how hard can it be?? I couldn’t make it through the whole thing. I had to go home early to take a nap. After my nap I still felt terrible and had my father-in-law drive me to the urgent care clinic. They took blood and had me take a cat scan. This all took 5 hours. They gave me a shot for the pain which was good because while I was waiting there I discovered that my period had started and I started having really bad cramping on my right side in addition to the heartburnie feeling. I guess that the right side pain should have been a flag for appendicitis but I was still clueless. So after the cat scan the doctor came back in and told me that he felt that it was just a gastro intestinal distress thing. Maybe I had IBS or a bug. He gave me something to settle the belly and sent me home. I was thinking, great another sleepless night is on the way. Pretty much as soon as we got home from the clinic the phone rang and it was the same doctor calling me back. He said that the radiologist had reviewed my film and felt that I had appendicitis and a possible abcess and that I needed to go to the emergency room right away. What fun! Glenn had already gotten home so my in-laws drove me back to the hospital and took me to the ER. It wasn’t entirely clear if they were going to admit me at first but once they got hold of my test results from the cat scan I was scheduled for an operation that night. The surgeon told me that my appendix looked like a “bullseye” on the cat scan so I’m not quite sure what that first doctor was looking at. I guess that I should be glad that they check up on one another. I went in for my operation at 4 am on Thursday 6/25. This incidentally was the same day that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died and watching the all day TV coverage from a hospital bed made it all the more surreal. The procedure was only supposed to take 45 mins to an hour but it ended up taking 3 hours. Poor Glenn, no one came out to tell him what was going on with me!! Apparently the appendix was so deteriorated and there was so much pus by the time that they got there they couldn’t just cauterize the connections like they normally would. They had to take out part of my colon and small intestine and then put them back in again to be sure that they got all the pus out. All in all I’d say that the care I received was great – all the nurses were wonderful with a few real stand outs, but there is nothing like being in the hosptial – it SUCKS. I was whisked out of my life for 4 days and there was absolutely nothing that I could do about it.

Maybe I was thinking about appendectomies last night because of Bret Michaels (he had one on April 12) or maybe I just felt bad about letting Piper go to bed without a cuddle. When I went up to her room before bed to check on her I moved Swan to her place on the dresser. I wanted to let her know that I checked on her before I went to bed and that I love her all the time and always.

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