buddy

Standard

buddy11

My precious Buddy is dying.

There, I said it.  The reality of this, after a terrible visit last night with John, has pierced through my wall of denial this morning and it’s almost too much to bear.

He has some hard tumors growing in his jaw.  His tongue is protruding and he’s drooling.  The Vet said last week it’s most likely a fast growing bone tumor (cancer).  She X-ray’d his whole body and nothing else showed up anywhere else but this tumor will eventually cut off his ability to swallow and breathe and it will kill him.

How ironic that the Vet’s office just called me as I was typing this and I could barely speak I’m bawling so hard.  It’s very difficult, as I’m sure many of you readers have faced, to accept hard realities that you are in fact going to lose someone (or something but I consider my beloved Buddy a “someone” to me) and there’s nothing you do can about it.

My brother is still desperately suicidal and there’s nothing I can do about that either.  But I can only face one terribly sad thing at a time so I flip flop between these two right now.

I’m not quite sure of how to proceed with Buddy because the testing to determine 100% what he has is expensive and the diagnosis, likely is something that will have no treatment.  He has a very hard bony tumor under his jaw that is spreading fast.  I’ve read and read about it online and these bone tumors don’t waste time.  I see changes in him just from several days ago when I took him for this first exam on this.

The confusing thing in a way is he’s eating better, once I realized he needed pureed soft food.  He’s gaining weight back and his coat looks much better.  But he’s getting sicker as his poor little tongue is protruding and he’s drooling.  Yet there is he, crawling up right next to me as always, affectionate, purring, jumping on and off the bed.  I want to think he’s ok but he’s not.  I know he’s dying.  I just can’t stand it.

buddy4

Buddy has been with me for 14 years, through so much.

I was at the time living in this small condo I was renting after I left my marriage.  I couldn’t have pets there, but one day one of my clients came in desperate about this cat.  She told me her best friend was in town closing up her father’s home who’d just died.  That he’d had this cat that she didn’t know what to do with.  This cat had sat on her father’s bed comforting him through his entire convalescence but the daughter had no real connection to the cat herself.  She didn’t want to take her to the shelter.

My heart just went out to this situation and I agreed to take the cat in temporarily although was not supposed to have a pet.  I assured her I’d find her a good home.  Well, best laid plans.  Mia injected herself immediately right in to my heart and I called my landlord begging her to let me keep her.  I paid an additional deposit and now, I had a cat.

She was a very social and affectionate cat and I was gone a lot.  One day, after returning from a vacation and having boarded her, I went to pick her up at the “pet boarding place” (I can’t think of the right name) and saw a notice on the bulletin board about some kittens that needed homes.

I read about how they’d been rescued from the sewer, having been born down there in the heat of the summer.  The rescuer later told me it took them an entire day to retrieve all those kittens, who of course were feral.

I called her up and found out she was just up the road from me and drove over.  I saw little Buddy, tiny, crazy scared and knew he was for me, a friend for Mia.  It took us 3 hours to capture this little terrified kitty.  The rescuer was so terrified herself to let any of them go after all she’d invested in rescuing them.  She told me to promise her if it didn’t work out, to bring him back.  I assured her I would.

buddy

I brought tiny 2 pound Mia’s “Buddy” home who proceeded immediately to get lost in my condo for three days.  I literally had no idea where he was hiding.  That first evening I sat on my couch, felt a tiny movement on my thigh through the armrest.  He had crawled up in to the workings of that sofa, in to the arm rest and remained there for three solid days.

I would wake up at night, petrified he was doing to die in there and go in “pet chat” rooms for reassurance.  Someone said to me “an animal will not starve to death if there is food around”.  So I opened that sleeper sofa and put food and water inside on the floor for him.  I never heard a peep and he remained tucked away in that arm rest until…

One night I was laying in bed and heard a crunch crunch sound.  Mia was on the bed with me as always so I tiptoed out and saw that tiny cat over by the food.  Once he saw me however, he bolted right back to the sofa.  It was my first sighting of him since I brought him home.

This kind of thing went on for a solid month.  He hid either in the sofa arm or behind the kitchen cabinets I discovered one day.

I almost brought him back to the rescuer about a month in to this when I couldn’t find him anywhere and heard this tiny meow.  I realized it was coming from the fireplace. I stuck my head in to that sooted chimney and two little eyes were peering back at me from the flue.  He had tried to escape the house by crawling up in there.  It broke my heart and terrified me.  I normally didn’t try and grab him but in this case I did, worried he was injured up there, and pulled his little tar black body out of that chimney only to have him screech and fly out of my arms and straight to the bathroom in terror.

I had to go to work so threw water and food in there and closed the door leaving him in there.  When I came home, there were little black paw prints all the way up the walls and doors.  I didn’t know how on Earth I could keep this wild feral cat.

cats_leave_paw_prints_in_our_hearts_stickers-radbbcb3787104d2b875d8683ec62cea4_v9waf_8byvr_512

I kept going in to the chat rooms and one night someone said “he will come to you through your other cat.  Let her bring him to you”.   That person also told me “either he will stay skittish like this the rest of his life or he will become the best cat you ever have”.

These words stuck with me, in fact I clung to them for dear life.  So I started noticing Mia’s behavior.  Never once did that sweet cat ever hiss at Buddy or be aggressive with him (tears).  She just stood patiently waiting for him to come around outside the sofa, across the room, near the food dish.  Just watching…and waiting.

I’ll never forget the night I was on my bed reading and I heard this little “poof”.  I knew he’d popped up on the bed.  I didn’t veer my eye contact to even look at him as even making eye contact would send him running or rather crawling with his tiny belly to the ground like a Marine in battle back to his hiding place.

buddy13

So I just sat there, stone faced, not even wanting to smile or move and he joined us.

That was the beginning of Buddy becoming the best cat I’ve ever had.

Mia and Buddy grew very close, like mother and son.  She was probably the only mother he ever had, practically.

When she died, of lung cancer of all things, several years ago in my arms, Buddy went in to a severe depression for almost a year.  He started that belly crawling again and lost his luster in his eyes.  It was just as heartbreaking as losing Mia, his extreme grief.

I got Sabine shortly thereafter because I just couldn’t bear watching him like that.  They became close but nothing like him and Mia.  A loved one just cannot be replaced, we all know this. (more tears)

buddy14

When I was down at the Ranch a few weeks ago I took a memoir writing class.  We were asked, as an assignment one day, to describe “What is Home?”.

buddy7

This is what I scribbled out in that 5 minute allowance:

I lay myself on my right side on the white feather sofa I found for a $300 steal at the consignment store.  After settling in comfortably, I call Buddy’s name in the falsetto he only recognizes.  He comes from whatever sunny hiding place he’s found, crawls up into the curl of my belly, roots around until he finds his perfect spot.  And we spoon.”

I wrote this before coming back, realizing how sick he is.

Sabine is also distancing from him now.  Animals know this detaching thing so much more naturally and organically than us humans.  We tend to hold on for dear life.  I’m holding on for dear life right now and at the same time I know my days are very numbered.

buddy15

It’s a strange relationship we engage in with these furred children we adopt.  We bond with them in such a pure way, a way you don’t get in these complicated human relationships.  And in order to go deep like that, we also have to go in to years of denial that we will most certainly out live them and have to bury them one day.

One of the things I’ve noticed about myself, having endured so much loss throughout my life, is that intimacy, the choice to be intimate with a loved one is one of the most terrifying things I ever endeavor.  It’s easier to stay distant in the delusion of some kind of “protection’ yet with the side effect of sure loneliness and unfulfillment.  It’s something I have struggled with my whole life, stepping in to intimacy like ripping off a bandaid and just going for it.

I also know the pain of regrets so that outweighs the fears of attachment with it’s certain detachment.

But once that commitment is made, you can drop deeper as it’s already where you are.   There’s some kind of “point of no return” I’ve noticed when it comes to that kind of risk taking.

buddy10

I took that risk with Buddy after that chimney incident, realizing we were in it together for the long haul. And I’ve bonded deeply with this little animal through so many of my life’s struggles.  He was always there curling up in to the soft curve of my belly or my armpit.   On the couch, in the bed, on the back of the chair I sit in as I type, curling around my neck.

How brave he is.  He has to know he’s on his last days as he struggles to swallow the pureed food I make for him now that he begs for and laps up.  Yet he keeps coming to me, every night, purring and curling in to my body.

buddy6

I think he’s trying to comfort me.  Soon is coming a moment where I have to make that unselfish decision for him, knowing his attempts to comfort me are outweighed by this pain he is in and I will have to let him go.

buddy2

I’m just glad I have the day off today.  And on Friday when I take him to the Vet for the certain bad news and horrible terrible decisions to be faced.

But now he walks down the stairs, past me, his little tongue hanging out, in to the sunshine by the back door and he’s here.

buddy9

And I take every last moment, every last breath I can share with this beautiful unconditionally loving creature, knowing he will never be replaced and that I will miss him for the rest of my life.

Yet I will have to let him go.

buddy8

Oh my Dear Precious Buddy.

My life will never be the same without your loving presence.

happy birthday travis

Standard

TA33

TA28

TA29

Travis standing 400 strong

What a day yesterday was.  It was one of those experiences that is hard to describe in words which makes me glad I took a ton of pictures.  I decided I will show this day in 36 pictures in honor of Travis’ 36th birthday.

TA36

A legion of angels had spent days creating these amazing care packages in brown paper bags filled with food/toiletry items with Travis’ picture and quote on it, all donated including the printing of the post cards and the large banner that was used at the park (pic below).  Most of us gathering around Tanisha to help her make her dream come true actually met randomly at the trial and formed lifelong friendships.  I reflected on that yesterday, how Travis brought us all together and we’d likely not have met each other any other way.  One of the jurors, who was actually unfortunately an alternate in deliberations, joined us with her sweet family.  It was heartwarming to see children participating in this cause, learning about the good feelings associated with giving.

TA31

This is my car with Steve in the driver’s seat

Steve and I brought cases of water and individually wrapped crackers and lemonade just as kind of an add on.  I would have normally been there to help with the gift bags as I love that kind of project but my leg injury side lined me for a couple of days.

Steve and I got the car packed up for the day and headed out to the church, about a half hour away in Mesa.  We were warmly greeted at the door by who I think was the Bishop.  They knew we were coming and asked if we were part of the Travis group.  We took up two full rows in the center of the church.  Everyone was wearing their Travis blue and Tanisha sat right in the center of my row.  The Bishop started off the service giving a tribute to Travis and explaining why we were all there.  One of the speakers, a church member, who gave a testimonial, broke down in tears as she began to speak referencing how daunting it was for her to speak with Travis’ family in the congregation.  It was all very moving.

TA34

Two Rows of Supporters at Travis’ Ward

We all took a picture outside before heading over to Joilyn’s house to pack up our cars and change clothes (well in reverse order).  It was already getting so hot outside.  It looks like Steve and I are photobombing here but we are actually standing on our tip toes.  😉

The packing of cars actually went pretty quickly with a group.  Things are so much easier in life when done together.  Which as I write, was kind of the theme for the day.

20130728-103535.jpg

Once the cars were packed to the gills with bags, canopies and coolers, we caravanned out to the park in Central Phoenix – about a 40 minute drive.

TA24

As we unpacked everything and set up, many of the folks hanging out in the park, who we came there to serve, joined in with the work.  It was so hot but I kept thinking “if these folks have to navigate this heat every day, living in it, I can certainly tolerate this one afternoon in Travis’ name”.  It is very daunting to be out there in the middle of it, learning what people are actually dealing with in our community.  I also thought of my brother, how people just like him, end up in living situations like that because they have limited support.  I saw a man who reminded me of John actually.

TA25

We set up canopies, tables, chairs, hundreds of bottles and water and of course hundreds of gift bags (400 plus actually).  People started gathering.

TA22

I looked at these bags lining the sidewalks and thought of luminarias

In the middle of our setup was what I’d call a centerpiece, focusing on Travis.  The lovely banner, Books of Mormon, pictures of Travis and a large picture of Jesus.  Tanisha and Harold brought all of that with them from California.

TA17

I saw this empty seat here and thought “that’s Travis’ seat”

TA30

TA12

TA3

TA16

When we arrived, the Channel 10 van was already there.   As we set up other news stations arrived with cameras which we were basically maneuvering around and they blended in filming whatever they were filming.  People also brought bags of clothes and shoes and there was an area for people to go through all of those.  That was actually I’d say, the most popular section of the whole set up which made me think I need to go there more regularly as I clean out my closet.  I was asked a couple of times if there were more clothes somewhere.

TA8

TA32

We got to visit with several of the homeless people who came by and hear their stories.  I heard from some of the gals that one woman shared she’d actually been in jail with Jodi Arias at one point.  How bizarre was that?  She didn’t have much nice to say about her, I heard.  Good.

That same woman ended up on Channel 15 news segment and we were all in tears hearing her, again, saying “this is the Heart of God”.  She kept saying that at the park and I turned to someone and said “that’s the whole point right there”.  You never know where your wisdom will show up.  It’s good to pay attention.

tanishalady

This news broadcast is worth a watch:

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_phoenix_metro/central_phoenix/travis-alexander-honored-with-good-works-on-his-birthday

TA21

TA9

About an hour after we got there, a woman who’d shown up quite a bit at the trial named Tiffany, came up with bags and boxes of food.  She’d purchased dozens of loaves of bread, jars and jars of peanut butter and jelly, chips and bags.  She set up a station to make sack lunches so we all did an assembly line, handing those out as well.  It was very unexpected and generous of her!  Most of us sat down and had a sack lunch ourselves as, at least in Steve and my case, we hadn’t had breakfast or lunch by 1pm.  We had to laugh about how Steve got the Hot Fries, in the 106 degree sweltering heat.  😉

TA6

TA7

TA2

TA1

A couple of the news stations did interviews with Tanisha. She was as eloquent as I’ve ever seen her.  Her whole heart was in this project and she was wearing it all over her royal blue sleeves.  It was a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of.

TA18

TA11

TA19

TA20

You can view that Fox 10 broadcast here:

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/22952153/2013/07/28/family-friends-celebrate-alexanders-birthday-with-service-project

At one point we looked and had  what seemed, about half the bags still there so decided we’d take them back to the shelter and as Tanisha said “cover the freeway exits on the way home”.  But suddenly we looked up and hoards of people were walking over from the direction of the shelter. Word must have gotten out.

TA26

It seemed like in a matter of 10 minutes all the bags were gone.

TA23

Someone brought a big poster board and markers for people to write messages on (great idea).  I sat at that station for quite a while talking to some neighborhood kids who’d come to help us, have some lunch and each get a bag.  One of them, a little hispanic boy named Chris who seemed about 10 years old, started talking to me about the trial.  He knew the name “Jodi Arias” and wanted to know “what the Judge is gonna do”.  I was actually quite shocked he knew so much about it as such a young boy.  He wrote his “Happy Birthday” message to Travis with a green smiley face.  When he went to leave, he realized his two gifts bags were gone.  He said “I’ve been robbed” with a smile on his face.  All the bags were gone by then so we scrounged up whatever cracker packages and other things we could find and created him a little bag.  As Steve and I drove away we saw them walking down the sidewalk, waving at us, Chris with a big smile on his face.  It was amazing spending time with those little kids in service.  Kids so naturally want to please.

TA13

TA9

I knew when I’d hit the wall at the park.  The heat was over the top and we were all feeling like we were going to throw up or pass out. Steve and I sat in the car with the a/c on for awhile.  Again I thought of those who have to live in this environment day after day, coping.  It’s very humbling.

TA4

TA10

TA14

We stopped back at my house and I had to take a long shower to just hydrate and cool myself down.  I laid down on my bed to just regroup for a minute and instantly fell asleep for 45 minutes.  Came downstairs and Steve was similarly crashed on my couch.  😉  Wish I’d gotten a pic. lol

We gathered ourselves together, cookies, wine I brought to the party and headed back to Joi’s for the celebration.

Travisbd1

yes we were all wanting ice bergs in our drinks

TravisBD

We had great food (of course), drinks, swimming, watched all three local news broadcasts of the event on Joi’s big TV, talked and talked, laughed, cried and bonded.  I have to say it was so interesting having Tara there as she’d served on the jury.  I feel so bad that she didn’t get to deliberate after devoting all of those months to the trial.  She shared with us so many perceptions of the trial experience and all those involved.  We asked her tons of questions which she was very engaged in answering.  It was funny, her watching the trial, us watching her.  As many of you remember, I studied that jury like a scientist.  When she shared stories related to this witness or that I’d nod my head saying “oh yeah I took notes on you that day”.  It’s all kind of surreal remembering those months and how we oddly bonded, including with Tara from a distance, never speaking with her but somehow knowing her and her “Ponytail” (the nickname I used for her for months..and yesterday she was sportin her signature ponytail!).  😉  She’s a sweetheart and a very “our kinda people” person.

TA35

BAM!

We stayed at the party talking and talking until about 9 then lit Travis’ birthday candles, sang, and Tanisha made a wish and blew them out.  She gave a little speech about how today was perfect and how much she appreciated everyone joining in as we all did.  It was very very touching.

tanishacake

I hope you enjoyed these 36 photos in honor of Travis’ 36th.  Tanisha says she wants to do this every year, and I know every one of us will gather in support of her dream and her heart.

Happy Birthday Travis. Thank you for inspiring me.

energizer bunny

Image

energizer bunny

Ok just had to get the last gory post covered up. Took this of Steve last night with Buddy’s tail wrapped around his neck. Awww, I love this pic.

Now he’s driving me like a manager to get out of the house and in to our chores for the day. Shhh, don’t tell him, I kinda secretly love the control he’s taking. But that’s our secret.

sir lancelot

Standard

**************WARNING!!!************

Graphic photos enclosed involving blood and injury so if you’re squeamish, please have someone hold your hand, get a waste basket, take a Valium or simply skip this post.

Please know I will not in any way be offended if you choose to skip this particular post which I would probably do myself being a trained RN who’s totally squeamish about injuries like this.  My feelings won’t be hurt, honestly.  I just had to document this for reasons which you will see…it’s more than the injury, it’s the story, as always.

First one thing I’ll say is I’m completely ok.  I got my first stitches yesterday!  I’ve never had surgery or anything like that so this was kind of a big deal for me.  Steve said maybe I was just wanting a little attention for myself with John in the hospital and Buddy to the Vet so I guess I manifested my own medical crisis. 😉

I may as well go ahead and first introduce you to Sir Lancelot, my lanceration and then we’ll go back to the beginning.

Sirl9

Sir Lancelot and his Seven Knights of the Round Beer Bottle

Back to the beginning….of  yesterday.

Steve was already planning on coming over for the weekend to attend the Travis Day of Service on Sunday with me and some of the festivities, fix my toilet, help with some other odd jobs, eat good food, grill on the BBQ, watch some movies and basically hang out again.

He was planning on arriving at 11 so I ran out to hit the bank and some quick errands and met him back here just as he was arriving.  I’d already put my spaghetti sauce in the crockpot so our fun weekend was on it’s way.  We stood in the kitchen discussing ideas for the day as I told him the meal options (yeah, food is always top of the agenda all the way down the lineage in my family).  I showed him the three bottles of red wine I had, went to the pantry to grab the rice crackers and saw a dark Henry Weinhard beer sitting looking so innocent on the top shelf!  Wow, I didn’t realize I even had a bottle of beer in there.  Must have been a leftover from when my Dad was last here as he loves dark beer.  I almost never drink it.  (bloat)

Henry-Weinhards-Redwood-Flats

Look how innocent he looks, that little sneaky bastard

I was so excited to see it to offer it to Steve who had been wanting a dark beer last weekend in Sedona that I hurriedly grabbed it, along with the rice crackers in the same hand and suddenly…..explosion.  That little bastard jumped out of my hand and suicided right to my faux wood ceramic tile floor shattering in just enough pieces to send a missile of shrapnel right in to my leg.

The weird thing was I felt no pain but instantly blood was gushing and I mean gushing everywhere.  It must have nicked some kind of blood vessel. I’m telling you, it was entirely disorienting to feel basically nothing but see a river of blood rushing down your leg.

I guess they don’t call it hysteria for nothing because, for some reason, Steve and I instantly went in to hysterical laughter.  He said “get over here” and started pulling paper towels to stop the bleeding which flooded right through them in like two seconds.  He then ordered me to “grab one of those towels”.  Now this sounds totally benign but for some reason that moment ended up being one of the funniest of the day.  We both paused and didn’t know which of the kitchen towels to grab, each of us having the same thought “which is the one that’s expendable?”. 

Steve said at the Urgent Care “you’re there bleeding to death and we’re contemplating the value of each towel versus the fact you need a tourniquet”.  I guess it was a “you had to be there”  moment but we had tears all the way to the Urgent Care thinking of the insanity of that.

I stood in the kitchen, hunched over holding that tourniquet to my leg just inches above my ankle (can you picture my position?  In my short skirt?) and said “do I need to go get this treated?”.

Steve “uh, yeah, we’re going right now to the Emergency Room.  Go!  Get in the car, put your leg up, I’m getting your purse”.

Really what would I have done without him?

I hobbled out to the car hunched over, laughing the entire way of what I imagined this looked like. Steve holding my big red purse and keys behind me.  Blood saturating my nice IKEA dish towel, running down my leg and filling my shoe (I’m not kidding this was gushing–it was creepy!).

As soon as we got in the car, Steve goes in to ER mode putting the a/c vents on full blast on me, making sure I had my bloody foot up on the dash and patting my leg, holding my hand saying “stay with me, breathe, don’t pass out, keep talking”.  But we for some reason were in such a fit of hysteria, we laughed the entire way to the Urgent Care.

He ran in with my purse, said “wait out here til I come get you” and handled all the paperwork, sent a nurse out with a wheelchair to get me.  I held the tourniquet which was now just an over saturated sponge, dripping, and sat in the wheelchair with the leg elevated.

She rushed me past Steve at the desk who of course made some kind of hilarious remark causing every one of us to break out in laughter.  The nurse immediately checked out the wound and started cleaning it up.  She asked “what is your pain level?” to which I answered “zero”.  How weird was that?

I asked if Steve could come back and she went to get him.  Just as she opened the door, Steve was walking in “Oh I wasn’t going to let her be back here alone”.

He immediately sat at the head of the exam table where I was half laying/half sitting in this weird twisted yoga pose I was clearly not flexible enough for while Steve held my hand, patting it, saying things like “look at me, there’s nothing good over there, keep the focus right here, right here”.  I had such a hard time sitting still because we were laughing so hard the entire time, including the nurse now, over just silly little quips coming out of Steve’s mouth.

SirL6

What a vision, especially the hair, right?

I don’t know why it was all so funny, it just was.  At one point he handed me my pink wallet saying “squeeze this between your knees so you don’t give the Dr. a beaver shot”.  OMG, I’m laughing now remembering this craziness in there.

She cleaned up the laceration, about two inches long and, as the Dr. said “all the way to the connective tissue” (which fascinated me as I work with connective tissue) and asked me if I’d had a recent tetanus shot (no, dammit).  She said the Dr. would stitch it up.  It was still bleeding 20 min. later.  I guess I don’t even injure myself half way.

I’m not kidding you though, it never hurt.  Weird!  Until of course the Dr. started shooting it with the numbing anesthetic which hurt like hell.  Steve kept holding my hand and making jokes saying “look at me, look at me” and other things that normally wouldn’t be funny but had me and the Dr. cracking up.  I don’t know how to explain it any better.

Oh and before the Dr. came in to stitch it, I asked Steve to take a picture of the wound because I’d want to see it later.  So he shook his head saying “only you Kath” and took a pic of it saying “no you don’t want to see this now”.

Sirl7

I also made him open the trash can and take a pic of the now discarded IKEA dishtowel, because I’m just that nerdy. I’m kinda sad cuz I did love that dish towel.  Good thing it came in a 3 pack. 😉

SirL1

And basically everything else around the room.

SirL3

He called this tray “soy sauce and sake”.  See what I mean?

sirl8

I asked the Dr. why he was stitching it vs. those butterfly bandages and he said “you need to stitch a would that’s gaping”.  Steve said “you never really want to hear the word gaping associated with your body in any way”.  Again, all of us in stitches, which of course Steve used as a pun throughout the whole ordeal.

Before he left the room I asked the Dr. his name and he said “Lance” and I told him I was naming my wound after him, calling it Lance which when you think of it is kinda creepy but we all found it funny.  After he left Steve said “no, it should be Sir Lancelot” so, obviously, that’s what we went with.  And told the Dr. on our way out.

Sir Lancelot with his Seven Knights of the Round Beer Bottle was born.

Along with stories and memories for years to come.  And pictures of course. 😉

As we drove home, Steve said “first thing we do is you get to get your shower and I’m cleaning up the crime scene”.

SirL4

That’s the scene of the crime and the remnants of that bastard Henry and you see in there somewhere the actual weapon used.  We never figured out which one it was but convicted them all as guilty and Steve sent them to their garbage can final resting place, nicking his own finger along the way.  (he just refused to allow me to take a picture of it, I guess everyone has their limits).  😀

Actually this is just one area of pooling blood as there was the middle of the kitchen, the towel, my shoe, the car.  Dexter would have had a field day with the amount of evidence involved.

I rinsed my foot/shoe off with the hose when we got back and took my shower and went on the rest.

We stayed in a state of hysteria over the whole thing for a couple more hours rehashing the series of events and making more jokes for example “we’re having a bloody good time!” in British accents and things like that.

Oh and I failed to mention I was in the middle of baking Sweet Potato cookies when Henry attacked me and I did get home from Urgent Care and I did finish my cookies which we enjoyed with milk on our red wine breaks.  😉

sweetpotatocookies

Here’s the recipe…they turned out pretty good and believe it or not are really healthy and wheat free!

http://theprimitivefoodie.blogspot.com/2012/03/sweet-potato-cookies.html

Can you believe we ate spaghetti for dinner?

photo(156)

We then stayed up, trying to watch movies but doing more wine drinking and talking than anything.  I think the adrenaline was coursing through us still for hours so we couldn’t even focus on an action flick.

Steve and I stayed up til 2:30 am finally falling asleep on the couch like two dogs flopped over each other with the movie we were trying to watch after about seven starts and stops having ended with our seeing about 45 minutes of it total.  Guess I’ll have another RedBox daily fee.

What would I have done without Steve, seriously?  I’d probably have gone in to denial and tried to stop the bleeding and waited it out.  I sure couldn’t have driven myself anywhere with my leg up.  I guess I’d have called an ambulance.  Ugh.

Steve at some junction of the day, pointed to my injury and said “sometimes life just forces you to stop”.  He knows that better than anyone.

I’ve been doing all this medical crisis intervention all week between Alfonse, Buddy, now myself.  Of course we laughed about me being jealous and trying to make things “all about me”.

In the afternoon I called Alfonse telling him what happened and he kept repeating “Oh no, I’m sorry, please don’t worry about me.  You get better and come when you can”.  Signs of my Alfonse peeking out.  He is still hearing “lots of voices” and feels “depressed” but he is at least connecting to me.  He also reminded me he’ll “be in the hospital for a long time” which relieves me that he’s willing to stay.  I just keep telling him he’s going to get better and we all love him and people are praying for him and he responds repeatedly “I hope so”.  I say I know so and that we are both healing now and we both are going to get better than ever.

I’ll limp in there and see him later today.

My car gets detailed today (how’s that for timing?), I have Steve for the weekend who’s currently arranging for my palm trees to be trimmed and headed to Lowe’s for the fittings for the toilet to fix and told me he was making bacon and eggs when he gets back as I sit here with my leg  up and typing.  I have to say that Sir Lancelot is talking to me today and he’s kinda pissed so guess I didn’t escape the pain 100%.

I don’t know what I did to deserve a Steve but I’m pinching myself that he showed up when he did in the ways that he has.  He’s an absolute angel and I never forget that for one second, believe me.

TGIF everyone and stay away from that rat bastard Henry Weinhard.

He’s a sneaky bugger and he’s not allowed in our tribe no matter how hard he tries to crash the party.

good news

Standard

John was much better tonite.  We had a nice conversation and he gave me a list of things he needs.  He was much calmer and clear headed.  He said “I think I’m gonna be in here a long time Kathy”.  I think he’ll just be in there as long as it takes to stabilize him but it’s good he’s not feeling like bolting.

Most important to me is he told me he loves me.  That’s my Alfonse.  All I know is we just have to stay connected, both of us.

Thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts.  They are being heard.

xoxo

together

boomerang

Standard

fallapart

John is back in the hospital.

Yesterday was another level of nightmare dealing with this whole thing.

I have a sign up in my office that reads something like this:

marilyn

I’ve seen this quote attributed so many times to Marilyn Monroe and I’m not sure I believe she ever really said that but right now I’m hanging on to Marilyn for dear life and sending up prayers to her, to my mother to my sister to my grandma to anyone up there who knows my brother’s dear heart and will speak to it in a way he can hear.

John is obsessed with Marilyn Monroe as I’ve shared in another post so I will be peppering this post with her image as my brother gleans some kind of support from her which I don’t even need to understand.  I just need to bring back some kind of normal in the way I’m looking at him right now.

marilyn3

Yesterday, plain and simple, was another level of chaos for both of us.  I worked all day and between my appointments, dealing with other people in a high level of acuity of stress and pain, I fielded phone calls from John’s program and my Dad about how they were initiating a court ordered involuntary admission.

I spent my entire hour lunch break on the phone talking to someone or another about this as John waited at his program for a police escort to take him to a “holding area” for “one or two days” while awaiting a bed in the court ordered hospital.

As I write this, finally the tears I held back all day yesterday are falling down my face.

Just the thought of him in that prison like environment for one hour, much less two days, is almost too much for me to bear.

marilyn-monroe

The staff at his program felt the care he’s gotten recently at the prior hospitalization plus his crappy bullshit Psychiatrist was actually doing more harm than good and assessed him at a level of acuity that this was what they needed to do.  He was a harm to himself and others.  The believed the court ordered hospital would be a safer place plus provide him better care.  I was terrified of one thing:  no smoking.  I don’t understand why they would take mentally ill people, often addicted to cigarettes, and rip that one coping mechanism away from them abruptly in a crisis.

marilyn2

I was also firing off emails to my new attorney who is an absolute angel, writing me back immediately with plans and support how to navigate this.  All the while I had one person on my table waiting for me and another with questions standing next to me, basically all day long.

Chick Arnold set me up with an appointment at his office Monday with a new Psychiatrist who he trusts and this next week the whole new plan for dealing with John with new higher level professionals and systems, begins.  It will take awhile to get him plugged in to it all, but it will be worth it.  He was shocked we’d been surviving in the public sector services for so long.  He’s a goldmine of information/resources.  One program for example is this one:

http://www.planofaz.org/index.html

marilyn-monroe-le-noeud-papillon-635x429

John being in the hospital will give me time to get the ball rolling in lots of these areas.

Somewhere midday I got a call from his program coordinator telling me they’d scrapped the court ordered deal as the “Crisis Management Team” came out to intervene and arrange a police escort but instead changed the plan as John agreed to go voluntarily.  So they sent him alone, via ambulance, to his prior hospital and basically dumped him off without an escort.

John proceeded to immediately call me to come pick him up.  I was still treating clients when all this went on.

Balancing my work life and intervening in John’s crises is something I’m continually struggling with.  It’s like I’m having to make these snap decisions about who’s pain is more important for me to deal with in the moment.  My own pain/stress almost never gets addressed anymore, unless I leave town that is. Sometimes I feel like my entire life is looking around myself 360 and seeing pain upon pain I need to take care of around me.  I create my own cracks then step right in to them and fall.  That’s changing too.

I’ve lost so much income scrapping my work day and rushing to John’s side.  I only make an income when I work, it’s just that simple.

Yesterday as it seemed the program had all of this in process and frankly I didn’t want to rescue any of them by rushing over to pick him up like I typically do, landing with my car/home/life as it’s own Psychiatric hospital, I let the whole thing unfold.  While dealing with other people in their own degrees of crisis having to turn off my mind and focus on them over and over again.  I can’t survive too many more days like that.  It’s just too much for most anyone.

chaos

After John called me begging me on a voice mail to come take him home, I began , hurriedly, trying to call the hospital to see where he was, if was still there, had he walked out, what was going on.  He had his keys and his wallet.  He could have walked out, totally dangerous to himself and others and gotten to his car.  I was doing this between client appointments.

Finally at the end of my work day I got notice he’d been admitted.  He went willingly.

Marilyn-Monroe-What-Life-is-Like_thumb

After my last client, I ran to his condo, grabbed clothes, cigarettes, toiletries and went to see him rushing in under the wire at 7:50 as visiting hours end at 8.

He was/is in a basement unit.  I can’t/wont describe just how awful it was.  He was mad, paranoid, yelling at everyone, “suicidal” (his word, to me).  He had two male nurses who talked to me for quite awhile.  I told John I was taking his keys back home and that made him more paranoid but I really don’t care.  He can walk out of that hospital AMA and could take a cab to his car. I will always err on the side of his safety.

The nurses encouraged me to write a note to John’s Dr. which I did as I was super pissed he’d been discharged while unstable two weeks ago.  Also that his crappy incompetent Psychiatrist didn’t readmit him last Wednesday when we were in there for an appointment and John was openly telling him, yelling, that I was trying to poison him and to have his pills checked at the lab.

Chick Arnold reinforced that the public systems are burnt out and poorly staffed but there is another level of nirvana (my word) that can truly help John.  You just have to pay for it which I will scrape my last dollar to do for him.  Luckily money isn’t the problem in our family as it is for most mentally ill persons and I’m going to go First Class for him.

marilyperfume

Just as I found when I got him the ticket to move out here…a first class plane ticket.  In fact, John will never fly other than First Class again on any level if I have any say in the matter.  And I am getting ready to have even more say as his Power of Attorney.

I won’t give up on him.  I won’t allow his illness to let me see him as those horrible thoughts and words.  That is not my dear brother.  That is pain and illness talking and nothing more.

marilyn4

We are in the thick of it now, no doubt.  But I’m assembling an Army and have the time to do it and space now that he’s safe and cared for.

marilyn-monroe-quotes-09

And I’ll be back tonite, bringing him a new shaver so he doesn’t have to grow a beard like last hospitalization and I will steel myself to all of his fear and insults and keep telling him over and over that I love him and believe he will get well again, hoping it will sink in and touch him somewhere in there.

Like I always do.

marilyn_monroe_smile

marilynsmile