Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm soooo not good at this

I'm coming unglued, waiting for surgery. I really am.

Yesterday my oldest friend called to tell me she's NOT coming in to hold my hand. This is not a surprise. I just wish we hadn't have done this dance. It tired me, trying not to hurt her feelings while still surreptitiously working on Plan B: My Mommy. She's been very patient with me.

Then I read a letter from my insurance agency. I'm pre-authorized for Friday and Saturday nights in the hospital. Yea! Except for one thing -- Kathleen is on deck to drive me home from the hospital on Monday. That's what my doctor told me: 3 nights in the hospital. Kathleen is leaving town with her family on Saturday morning and won't be back until Sunday night. So I have no ride.

I spoke to my doctor's assistant and she told me not to worry about it. Insurance companies do what they do. She will see to it that if I need that third night -- and she's confident I will -- that I will get it. She reiterated that my huge stapler cyst, while creepy to the max, is most likely not malignant and that if the lining of my uterus is, we're catching it early. Okay.

Then there's my cough. See post below. I. Can't. Help. It! But because it's so disruptive, it's also top of mind. So when the lab called, saying they wanted to discuss my chest x-ray, I freaked out. I can't have this surgery rescheduled! I can''t! My x-ray is clear and normal.

I feel like I'm pulled as tight as a piano wire. I wish this waiting was done so I can look back on this surgery and say, "It wasn't so bad ..."

I. Can't. Help. It!

I have a bad cough. A hacking, horrible cough. I sound like a barking seal. I know! I know! You think I don't hear it? You think it's not hurting my throat? You think I don't miss breathing comfortably?

I don't have a fever. My chest x-ray came back clear. I cover my mouth with a tissue (a disposable tissue -- better than a sleeve). I only have four more work days until I take a month off -- I can't just stay home.

I. Can't. Help. It!

Today, while sitting in my office, I was visited by someone who had sat in on a conference call in the next office. "Are you OK? Do you need help? The client could hear you and asked what the noise was!"

I was mortified.

And if we lose an account because of my cough, I sincerely apologize.

Girl Power

I have been watching Gone with the Wind when I can't sleep. I know it's considered an epic and a love story. But to me, it's a portrait of two very different kinds of great women.

Scarlett is tough and shrewd. Yes, she's selfish and spirited. But she faces her problems head-on and deals with them. It was Scarlett who defied the odds and managed to keep a roof over the head of her family and food on their table. If you have only seen the movie, her fixation with Ashley might confuse you. So pick up the book. As Margaret Mitchell describes him, he's more Robert Redford than Prince Charles.

Melanie isn't as tough or willful but she is strong. Her strength comes from decency and faith and a good heart. She knows Ashley better than he knows himself, understands him and loves him anyway. Likewise Scarlett. Melanie's not the deluded fool, she's just wise and chooses to see the good. When times are tough, she's the one -- never Ashley -- who is at Scarlett's side, making sure they prevail.

Part of why I think Rhett rocks is that he sees both of these women -- and Mammy and Belle Watling, too -- so clearly and appreciates each one's uniqueness and good qualities. I can see him living comfortably in the new millennium. But not even Rhett is as powerful as Melanie and Scarlett. Nothing keeps Scarlett down for long, and the only thing that can stop Melanie is death.

(I'd like to be more like Melanie, but in reality I've got a lot of Scarlett in me. I have a very bad temper and a stubborn, unrealistic view of relationships.)

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 29

$3.99 on sale! Feline Pine, that is. My cat, Charlotte, is very loving and devoted to me and tries to be a good influence on wildcat, Reynaldo (alternately chastening him with a stiff paw to the cheek or affectionately tending to his ears and eyes, as the situation requires). But she hates my big old tomcat, Joey. She just does. Every day he tries to be her friend, every day she screams at him like a banshee and pounds on him. Never mind that she's a fraction of his size. Never mind that he lived here first. He simply offends her.

To the point that he's not allowed to ... um ... defecate in her box. I don't know how she enforces this, but she somehow she does. Joey is so much larger than she is that I can tell where he goes, and it's always in the other box, the one I refer to as "The Men's Room."

The Ladies' Room uses grainy scoopable litter and The Men's Room is filled with Feline Pine pellets. The difference in texture and scent make it easier for Joey to differentiate the boxes. Joey, a gentle giant with many sterling qualities, has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer and I'm afraid that if ever I switch brands in his box, it could lead to confusion and chaos.

I have boxes and jugs of scoopable litter stockpiled, but I forgot about Feline Pine. My convalescence could become very odoriferous and unpleasant without an extra sack of Joey's litter. So in an otherwise rather shitty day (no pun intended), Feline Pine on sale at Dominick's was the highlight.