1) I thought I was getting better.
2) I had a lunch meeting that took two months to schedule.
3) I’m stubborn.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure that Saturday and Sunday were payback for being so active on Friday, so no discussion of “how stupid I was” is needed here. After all, I had a lot of time to consider this as I lay (dying) in bed over the weekend.
My family is unique in the sense that we are all highly unsupportive of illness. I know what you are thinking: Whose family IS supportive of illness? Let me explain. When a family member falls ill, no one goes out of their way to help the sick one. The reason is simple: no one wants to catch it. This is okay, though, because when you happen to be that sick family member, you don’t want to give said illness to anyone else in the family, either. It almost sounds selfless of the sick person, until you consider that the MAIN reason they so shun aid and support is in an effort to avoid having conversations that begin with “Remember that time you gave me the chicken pox/stomach flu/cold bug” for the next decade or two. This is especially true of my father.
None of this applies, of course, if a doctor deems any ache, fever or illness “non contagious”. If/when such a diagnosis is given, all family members are immediately supportive and/or willing to wait on the sick one hand and foot. No problem.
However, if there is any question as to your level of “contagious”, this is how you can expect to be treated:
1) Communication with the sick person is limited to a phone call and/or email. Any other method of contact may result in contamination.
2) People are willing to bring you things (i.e. food, medicine, etc.) presuming, of course, that the brought items can be left on the doorstep. Once deposited, the deliverer will ring the doorbell before sprinting back to the car, climbing inside and shutting the door. It is understood that the deliverer will wait for visual confirmation of the sick person before driving away.
3) If the sick person does not respond to the doorbell promptly, than a phone call may be necessary to establish that the sick person is, indeed, still alive. (Note: no protocol has yet been determined in the incidence that the sick person does not respond to either the doorbell or a phone call. However, I’m guessing it would involve breaching the perimeter and calling Mom).
4) Numbers 1, 2 and 3 do not apply to Trevor or Auntie Mimi. Trevor isn’t related, so it is up to him to decide whether “exposure” is a risk he is willing to take or not (generally, though, I won’t allow him near me if I’m sick out of fear that he’ll catch it and then give it back to me later on). Auntie Mimi, on the other hand, is very sweet and will actually hand the sick person any necessary deliveries (instead of the more popular drop-and-run method). Granted, she won’t actually come inside the contaminated dwelling, but she will get within mere inches of the sick person and talk to them face-to-face. This is always very much appreciated.
5) Most of these rules were initiated by my father, and no one follows them more strictly than him. The only difference is if/when HE gets sick. Then, it is expected that everyone will be at his beck and call all day, every day. This includes entering his house, making soup and delivering it to his bedside. If he happens to contaminate everyone in the process, oh-well.
So, as you might expect (now that you are privy to my family’s eccentricities), I spent the majority of the past several days with no one but my dogs for company. Not that my dogs aren’t entertaining, mind you. In fact, Gypsy Kitty went well out of her way to “make Mommy feel better”. This included staring at Mommy for hours, fetching the entire contents of the toy basket for Mommy (to make Mommy happy) and trying ever-so-often to climb onto the bed (when Mommy was not watching) in an attempt to help keep Mommy warm.
Haskell, on the other hand, seemed much more preoccupied with the fact that Mommy appeared to be dying. This caused him to worry and “squeak” much more than usual. It is also, as far as I can tell, the only reasonable explanation why I discovered every bone, Kong and uneaten rawhide (all formerly located in the aforementioned toy basket) inside his crate while putting him to bed Sunday night. Apparently, Haskell was preparing for the worst.
Anyway, after a weekend of absolute misery, I finally made an appointment with my doctor for Monday afternoon. This had nothing to do with ME thinking it was finally time to see the doctor (oh, no. The last thing I ever WANT to do is see the doctor. I HATE going to the doctor, and will make many excuses in an effort to avoid GOING TO the doctor). Instead, I was
Well, apparently, the appointment was justified because I have, according to the doctor, “a nasty sinus infection”. Apparently, judging by the “severity” of said infection, I could have started medication on Thursday or Friday of last week and spared myself a lot of misery over the weekend (coulda’, woulda’, shoulda’). Thanks, doc. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind for next time. Maybe.
Technically, I probably should have waited another day to go back to work. However, I was just too stir-crazy (sick or not) to stay in bed another day. I know, I know…“doctor’s orders”, but I had my drugs (as well as a school tour and an important lunch meeting today). Consequently, I decided last night that – barring feeling worse than I already felt – I’d be at the office by 9 AM.
In preparation, I decided to take a hot bath and curl up in bed around seven last night. The plan was to relax and watch some TV while the antibiotics started to take effect. Well, apparently I became a tad bit too relaxed because I completely passed out. In fact, I might have slept through the entire night – and work tomorrow – if it hadn’t been for Haskell’s squeaking (he does this when he needs to go outside). However, I might have slept through even this had the little guy not been so persistent. This was because I vividly remember associating his squeaks with a bizarre dream I was having.
Anyway, I finally pulled myself back to reality in time to realize that Haskell was near the popping point. Immediately, I jumped out of bed and headed to the back door – Haskell eagerly leading the way. I don’t think I fully grasped the extent of Haskell’s bathroom emergency until I saw the little guy’s paws hit the lawn just in time for his body to be doubled over with the…uhmmm…“Hershey Squirts”.
It took awhile for him to be done, but afterwards I went through the entire “good boy for waking me up” routine. After all, I want to reward such behavior (I’ll take awake-by-squeaking any day over major-bathroom-on-the-carpet). Plus, I was feeling a little guilty. I was pretty sure his tummy troubles were a direct result of him worrying all weekend about whether or not I was about to die.
After praising him, I stumbled back to bed (now more tired than ever) and discovered that my comforter had partially fallen on the floor. This was really no surprise to me because I tend to be a very “active” sleeper and thrash around a lot. However, it didn’t take long for me – upon touching my blanket – to realize that something was very wrong with it. Specifically, my blanket was soaking wet. At first, this confused me: why is my blanket wet, I wondered? Then, it became more than obvious that Haskell had indeed reached his popping point BEFORE I was able to get him outside. That’s right. My dog peed all over my king-sized comforter.
Now, before I go any further, I would like to note that Haskell is generally a very good dog and rarely has “accidents”. In fact, I can name each and every time he has had one:
1) A couple of days after I had him neutered, I had to take him back to the vet for a check-up. On the way home, a thunderstorm hit and the rain was so heavy that driving became very difficult. So, in no hurry, I decided to pull over at the PetSmart that is about halfway between my house and the veterinarian’s office. I needed dog food anyway, and figured it was best to wait out the storm inside PetSmart than on the road with the rest of the rush hour commuters. Anyway, Haskell had never been inside a pet store before, and it was obvious that the storm coupled with a new, strange place was making him nervous (not to mention the fact that he was still wearing his post-operative “lamp shade”). I had just gotten him down the dog food aisle when a bolt of lightening hit a telephone pole just outside the store. The thunder associated with it was deafening. When I turned to see how Haskell was dealing with the noise, I found him both pooping and peeing at once. He wasn’t even squatting. He was so scared that his bowels simply released while he was standing up. Pardon the cliche, but my dog was literately scared sh*tless.
2) A couple of weeks after his neuter, Haskell wet the bed. His bed (not mine). The vet said that this was probably due to some incontinence he was experiencing post surgery (it isn’t normal for a dog to wet their own bed while they are still sleeping in it, after all).
3) A couple of days after I returned from Africa, Haskell up and lifted his leg on the dinning room table. This was the first time he “intentionally” wet inside the house. It was rather odd. I think it was his way of punishing me for being away for so long.
4) About a month ago, I was over at my dad’s house with RR. It was cold and rainy outside and Haskell hadn’t had the opportunity to go out in quite awhile (correction: He WON’T go out when it is raining outside. He just looks at me like I’m crazy or something). He was doing a lot of squeaking, but I just figured he was afraid of the thunder. Well, that was until I discovered that Haskell had made a deposit on the floor.
5) He wet my comforter last night.
Now, I don’t know how many of you have raised a puppy, but they generally have lots of “accidents” before they catch on to the whole no-mess-in-the-house thing. When I first found Haskell back in June, he was only about eight months old. Not to mention the fact that he was a stray (i.e. never been in a house, much less peed in one), and had been hit by a car. I actually find it near miraculous that he’s ONLY had five accidents since I’ve had him. Gypsy definitely wasn’t that easy when I first adopted her.
Of course, NONE of this made the fact that HASKELL PEED ON MY BEDSPREAD LAST NIGHT any easier. To be honest, it mattered very little.
Upon making the “discovery” my ability to cope with the situation was completely nonexistent. So, not knowing what else to do, I called Trevor and burst into tears. Dogs have routinely peed on his bed over the years (yes, even DOLLY), so I figured he’d be supportive. However, it had always been rather comical when it happened to him, which was SOOOooooo not the case now that it was happening to me. Despite that, Trevor immediately came to my rescue, and spent the next hour with me and my trash-bag-encased-comforter driving around Dallas looking for an all-night Laundromat.
We found only two that were open past 10 PM. The first one had a broken change machine – although it is important to note that we would have otherwise washed the blanket there had that not been the case. I mention this for two reasons:
1) The only other people inside the Laundromat were small children with their parents (yes, after 10 PM), a middle-aged woman clearly high on something, a drunken homeless man trying to get warm and a so-called “lady of the night”.
2) The second Laundromat was too sketchy to even consider going into after dark.
So, yeah. That was fun.
Since it was more than obvious that getting the blanket washed last night was going to be easier said than done, I decided to cut our losses and call it a night. Translation: I came to my senses (i.e. tired) and realized that it would be much easier to take the darn thing to the dry cleaners the next morning. This seemed even more logical once I remembered two things:
1) I wasn’t even sure if the comforter was washable (it isn’t. The label clearly says “dry clean only”).
2) It suddenly occurred to me that I had already decided that I was going into work today. As a result, it would be a lot easier to drop the blanket off on the way into the office than spending the next two and a half hours washing it myself (at some seedy all-night Laundromat at that).
Anyway, Trevor had me back at home around 11 and I promptly climbed into bed (using a spare queen-sized blanket as a substitute for the one Haskell peed on). I recall thinking that – even after all the excitement – I was still going to get eight hours of sleep before my alarm went off at 7 AM.
Or so I thought…
Haskell woke me up “squeaking” every two hours or so. The fact I had punished him for peeing on my blanket (i.e. put him outside in the backyard while I drove around looking for a Laundromat) only further upset his already troubled tummy. Fortunately, for all parties involved, Haskell woke me up in plenty of time to get him out of his crate, outside the door and onto the lawn (Thank God!).
In other news, my blanket will be ready for pick up either late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Yes, that's right: king size comforters take three to four days to dry clean. Boo. At least, all this past weekend's germs will be washed away along with Haskell's urine.
Oh, and speaking of dog pee, I could not bring myself to tell the nice Asian lady at the dry cleaners this morning that my dog had wet my bedspread. Instead, I lied and told her that my four year old nephew "had an accident" while sleeping over. Yeah. I don't even have any nieces or nephews (much less a four year old bed wetter). Why I couldn't tell the truth to a complete stranger (who probably could have cared less), I have no idea.