Thursday, October 8, 2009

A very sad and blessed day

I can't believe this. Nobody EVER has a day like this, EVER. Except me.

Last night, I left work early (1am) and took a couple of hours of vacation time so that I could get a little sleep before I had to be at DD's IEP (Individualized Education Plan--for Special Ed) meeting with all of her teachers/caseworkers/etc at 7:15am (they schedule these meetings before school so that all the important people can attend without disrupting their classes.) They have this meeting once or twice a year (once if she does ok, twice if she needs to have her goals adjusted) and I always go. Not too big of a deal, I could get home at 3 or 3:30, sleep until 6:45, go to the meeting and then go home and go back to bed for a couple of hours before I had to leave for work.

So I went home from work at 1am. Unfortunately, I was still very tired from Wednesday morning (my mom's Dr. appointment), which also disrupted my sleep. I try very hard not to do things like this two days in a row, but neither meeting was at all negotiable, so I was just going to bite the bullet. But when I got about 2/3 of the way home from work, I recognized that I was dozing off while driving. This happens every so often, and I've got places pre-selected along the way that are well-lit and populated, where I can pull in and take a mini-nap, so that I don't hurt anyone on the road. So I pulled into the WalMart parking lot. I was SO tired!

I turned off my car, but left the radio on, like I always do. I know my dad always told me not to do that, but I only nap for about 15-20 minutes, and I've never had a problem at all....anyhow, I woke up from my nap and went to start my car to go home (about 30 miles) and it made this noise like a little machine gun and then wouldn't start. And wouldn't start. So I called DH, who, luckily, was awake, and by some miracle had enough money to put enough gas in his car to drive 30 miles, and he came to get me. I was absolutely dreading having my car towed.

DH listened and thought it sounded like a dead battery. He took a look and it was like my battery was leaking out of the top of it, there was acid all over it and crystals and yucky stuff. He got the car to run after he jumped it. But with all that mess all over, I knew I was going to have to get a new battery, so I had to buy one at WalMart ($85.00 that I didn't have at all--something's gonna bounce, I think, but I guess you do what you have to do....) DH followed me home and told me that while I took his car to DD's meeting, he would install my new battery. I went inside and let Kirby (our dog, age 16) out to go potty, and everything was normal. By this time, though, it was 6am. I took a little "nap" until 6:45, and went to the meeting. No surprises there. Meeting got done, I headed home.

When I was about a half mile away from home, DH called on my cell phone, he asked me where I was, and he sounded upset. He said, "Kirby's having a seizure! Please hurry home!" So I got home and Kirby was still having a seizure on the floor. Blood was coming out of his mouth. Shortly after he arrived, he stopped having the seizure, but he was unconscious. DH picked him up and we rushed him to the vet. At the vets, he kind of came to a little, he kept trying to stand up, but he couldn't make his muscles work. And he was wheezing and panting. I know dogs can get "funny" after a seizure, so I wasn't sure if maybe we should just bring him home and see how he did, but the vet took an X Ray and saw that there were tumors in Kirby's lungs. Kirby kept trying to stand up, but he had no idea where he was going. I was holding his chest up so that he wouldn't fall, because his legs still couldn't support his weight, and he "walked" himself right into a corner, with his head in the corner and he didn't even seem to realize it. Then the vet went to listen to his heart and lungs again and he started to whimper. DH and I recognized that it was time. We both cried. Kirby left this world at about 11:30am. I miss him so much.

I still had to go to work, because I had to fill out my time card or I wouldn't get paid. But I called my boss and told her that I couldn't come in at the moment, and that I'd be in later.

I couldn't sleep. I still had to check on my mom, and I told her about Kirby, since she was the first member of my family to meet him on the day I got him, way back in 1993. My mom was still really down. I was kind of hoping that she would see that I really needed her, but all she kept saying was that it was her fault (she hadn't seen Kirby in probably 3 years, so I have no idea how that would work) but she did hug me a lot.

So here I am at work. No sleep, missing my dog, missing my mom.

You know, sometimes I really can empathize with Job (in the Bible) and all of the bad things that happened to him. I mean, how many "emergency" "couldn't possibly be avoided or put off" problems can a person get in a week, when they don't possibly have a way to pay for them? And couldn't we just have one bad thing happen at a time, instead of several?

Some day I would like to be able to write a post where all sorts of miraculous things went right.

Or....maybe that's this post. Really. Here's what I'm talking about, now that I think about it....

1) If DD did not have that meeting scheduled for so early this morning, I would've stayed at my friend Anita's house in the city last night and not been anywhere close to home when Kirby needed me, and I may have been two hours away from home when my car broke down. But since I had to be in town at 7:15 anyhow, I drove home.

2) I have a two-hour commute through some very rural areas, some of which do not have a cell phone signal and my car chose to die in a WalMart parking lot, where I could go inside to warm up (it was 40*F), and where they were open at 4am for me to buy a new battery.

3) Yesterday (Wednesday), my mom's appointment made me run so late that I didn't have time to pick up DH's Seroquel from the pharmacy. Because of that, he didn't have any Seroquel to "knock him out" last night. He didn't sleep well at all, and was only dozing when he heard one of our other dogs making unusual noises because she was confused and knew that something wasn't right. If I had picked up that Seroquel, it's very possible that DH might not have realized there was a problem, and I probably would've come in from the meeting and gone right to bed without checking on him at all. After all, I had let Kirby out earlier and all seemed as fine as ever.

4) DH is still smoking (or trying to). His mom sent him some money for cigarettes again. But since his lungs are still not ok, he's not smoking as much as usual, so he had money for gas to come and help me at WalMart.

5) Kirby waited until DH was out of the hospital. As a matter of fact, so did my car. How much more terrible either of these things could have been if they had happened while DH was in the hospital...or when DD was home either alone or with her PCA...

6) Despite all the time I spend away from home, in situations where either it would take me two hours to get home, or, with the group home, I am not allowed to leave unless there is another employee there to relieve me (the clients cannot be left alone under any circumstances), everything happened in a way where I was able to say goodbye.

So, I guess, in spite of the fact that this counts as one of my worst days in recent history, I think it also might count as one of the biggest "it sure could have been worse" days.

I started out thinking that maybe I was being punished for some unknown thing. Now I'm seeing that I might have actually been blessed beyond reason.


Reighnie said...

I'm so sorry about Kirby. *hugs*

Please be careful driving home. You are going to be so much more exhausted.

stressed61 said...

Sorry to hear about Kirby. Hugs from me to you x

Angelina said...

I'm so sorry you lost your old dog!

I love this post. This is what I need to do more often- see the good in the bad situations. See how things worked out in a way that prevented worse things from happening.

You are often an inspiration to me.

Miz Kizzle said...

I'm sorry to hear about Kirby. I wish more animals lived as long as humans, other than parrots and giant tortoises.
My mother had a saying, "Worse things happen at sea." Whether that's true of not, I don't know, but having read "The Worse Journey in the World" about the disastrous Scott antarctic expedition I know that my troubles pale in comparison to what other people have gone through.
No you didn't win the lottery but you had help when you needed it and that's what counts.

Grace. said...

I very much admire your ability to get a handle on even the really bad days. I tend to just go into a funk--someone else has to point out all the ways in which things could easily have been worse because I can't see it for myself.

Sorry about Kirby.

perphila said...

I'm so sorry.

There seems to be so much loss lately. You are so smart to see good in your otherwise stress filled day. Some things happen the way they do a for a reason it seems.

Thinking of you...*hug*

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