Monday, December 12, 2016

On Sickness and Death

That about sums up my feelings about this past year. Expectations versus reality, and this year shall henceforth be known as "The Year that Shall Not Be Named" in my book. Since early November I've been feeling like I'm living in some surreal universe, and since Thanksgiving I've been hermiting and hiding out as the waves kept pummeling me over the past 3 weeks.

Over Thanksgiving, I had a cold. No big deal really. It did the usual cold thing of making me boogery and sleepy and sneezy and coughy. Then it stretched on for 12 days before petering out in to a mild, annoying cough. I thought I was on the mend, until we went and got our Christmas tree and saw Santa (I'll share those happy events in a different post) and was knocked flat on my ass that afternoon with fever and lethargy and a cough so bad I could barely breath.

It being the weekend, I had to go to an urgent care clinic to be checked out. Most of you already know the long saga of the shitty doctor and staff who were less than kind, completely unsympathetic or willing to listen to my concerns, made off color political comments about the color of my throat, failed to give me a proper exam, gave me a steroid when he shouldn't have (I found this out after calling them to verify I was given and NSAID - Joke was on me, I guess!), and prescribed me a medication I was unable to take. Thankfully, I did the very intelligent thing of reading the paperwork that came with it.

I woke up the next day feeling even worse. Went to a different clinic, where I was treated with kindness, empathy, and very importantly, was given the correct tests and properly diagnosed with strep. I was sent home with antibiotics that could choke my neighbor, Hank the Horse, and was on the mend.

Until that fucking steroid shot woke up my ocular herpes and caused a legion of blisters to erupt under my eyelid. Hence, why I'm not supposed to have steroids. Unless it is properly discussed with me, so we can create a contingency plan to help. My condition's been dormant for 2 years. *sigh* So, I had to call my eye doctor as soon as they opened, explain that I couldn't come in because I was still contagious with strep and ask for yet more prescriptions to be called into the pharmacy for me. Luckily, my eye doctor and I have a great relationship, and are a very good team, so they did exactly what I needed and when I got in to see him he said I look like I am well on my way to a short few week recovery. So, fingers crossed.

Obviously, I wrote several very angry letters to the original clinic's manager and corporate offices, and surprisingly have already heard back. I was given a formal apology and a promise that this behavior would be brought up to the board of directors. Here's hoping that I am able to spare others this abysmal level of care.

But, as angry as I am about all of that, and as tired as I am of being sick after 3 weeks of it, the biggest heartbreak of this year and the thing that is currently causing me to feel terrible and hiding from everyone, is saying goodbye to my beautiful boyfriend, snuggle buddy, and familiar Mister Molly this past weekend.

The last time I lost a pet, people felt the need to question if I had done everything I could for my beloved Chico. And I did. And always will do everything in my power to make my pets well, and to keep them with me for as long as they are happy and healthy and it is feasible. So if you are one of those sorts people, you can fuck off right now.

Mister Molly, whose real name was Flogging Molly McGee, has grown up with me. He's been with me since before I was even engaged to Joe. He was a terror of a kitten, whose needle claws were always looking for something to swat, climb, or snag. He was the monster who hid under beds and would rake at your toes and ankles for fun when you'd unsuspectingly get up to get a drink in the middle of the night.

He was named Molly because he was incorrectly sexed by everyone as a kitten, including his vet. His tiny little hairballs barely descended when he was 6 months old. And at that point, he knew his name. Being a cat though, he never seemed to mind being mistaken for a girl, and it was always funny to introduce new people to our Boy named Molly.

He loved on me and was there for me as I grew and changed, and went through all manner of health issues both mental and physical. Purring and head butting my chin. Or pinning me down in the bed by laying all 15 pounds of giant cat body on my chest while I slept. He made the 700 mile, 12 hour move South with us, protesting most of the way. He kept our shit hole apartment mouse free, and we know this to be factual because we saw him catch mice a few times. He was the first critter to properly investigate and cuddle up with newborn Orion. He was always curious about my rituals and liked batting at my oracle cards.

He was Joe's first pet, the one who opened his heart to the love and joy animals can bring to your home. He was an excellent companion to Chico, and later, Luna. And he was so patient and kind with Orion, allowing him to use him as a purring pillow on several occasions. Something that dignified (and cranky) Luna would never allow a human to do.

I've been praying as hard as I could for months that things would get better. Realizing they wouldn't nearly robbed me of the faith I've been clinging to and trying to reweave in to my life.

It's been 3 days, and I miss his midnight yodeling. I miss shooing him away from Orion's bedroom door when I was trying to sneak out after getting him to sleep. I miss him sitting at the window chirping at all the cardinals. I miss the warm furry body on my lap as I crochet or read. I just miss him. So, so much.

We buried him in our beautiful backyard on the chilly afternoon that he passed, right next to his partner in crime, Chico. Truth be told, Molly hasn't been the same since his brother passed. I think his heart never quite healed. As I shoveled the first scoops of dirt on to his grave, the crows flew in to the yard, singing a croaking dirge. It felt fitting, like my backyard crows were sending my magical partner off.

Goodbye, my sweet Molly. I love you so much.

And I'm really, really fucking tired of this year.