Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Back in the Saddle

Unfortunately vacations don't last forever. After a pleasant plane ride back to Texas, life resumed its normal abnormality. Dishes to wash, laundry to do, caregiving to resume, cats to pet and dogs to worry about.

And, oh yes, the job trials and tribulations. We'll take that up later.

Mr. Bebop, the crown prince of the house, also known as canis rattius terrorus #1, has been sick lately. He's getting old and every illness is cause for immediate concern. The week before my trip he went down abruptly and I was preparing myself for the worst case scenario. He has ruled the house with a iron paw in a velvet glove for almost 15 years now. (His 15th birthday comes around on May 19th.) Hard to conceive of life without him.

Fortunately, after several days of IV fluids and antibiotics to combat an infection, he bounced back enough for me to go ahead with my trip plans. His care was left in the capable hands of Uncle David. Along about Saturday night, he began to go down again. So back we went to see Dr. Leslie as soon as I got back. As it turns out, we think the second round was more likely the result of arthitic problems and being pissed off at Mommy for leaving him than a relapse. He still has an infection, but he's back on his arthritis medicine, continuing his antibiotics, and beginning to act more like himself. We are waiting on a consult report from a doggie internist in Austin to see if there's more that needs doing. The total for this little round of hospitalization and follow up visits is in the hundreds of dollars already and continuing to mount up. But then, what are savings accounts for? He is, after all, my baby.

So my priority right now is to take good care of my baby. I am not so interested in the so-called emergencies that proliferate at the office on an hourly basis. I'm getting much better at distancing my nerves from those little explosions. One of the advantages of getting older, I suppose. There was a time when I did not sleep for weeks on end, terrified that work would not be done right and on time. My stomach churned constantly, worried that some slipup on my part would result in a telephone call the next day to ream me out about something. Well, it finally occurred to me that nothing I did was going to have a forever effect. The best I could do was to do the best I could and take every precaution to avoid catastrophes. On the rare occasion that the you-know did hit the fan with a splat, I made reparations as quickly as possible and added one more thing to my list of things to never do again.

Be that as it may, the work still piles up. My desk that was almost clean when I left was piled up again when I got back. So I've been running all week. Staying fairly cool and collected, save for a brief moment in a meeting this morning where I finally couldn't stand listening any longer to a complaining attorney and turned my acid tongue loose. Nobody seemed too surprised and I think I was just saying what everyone else in the meeting was thinking. And it did shut him up briefly. I've learned to stop feeling guilty about controlled outbursts, too. Keeps the ulcer count down, dontcha know. Another good thing about getting older. Speak my mind and go along my way, the devil take the hindmost. I foresee a future as an eccentric old lady, wielding my cane at all idiots encountered. Almost looking forward to it.

As I was writing, the report came back from the specialist and I will be taking Bebop in for an abdominal ultrasound on Monday afternoon. Someday I will write about my unfortunate and unwanted familiarity with the hospitals and doctor offices in Travis and Bastrop Counties, thanks to my mother. It looks like I may become an authority on the animal specialists in the area thanks to Bebop. Keep your fingers crossed that we can keep him going until he disappears in a puff of dust, like the one-hoss shay.


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