Thursday, 6 December 2012

The week that was....

The weeks leading up to Christmas are busy, often hectic for most people. I am rarely organised and this year is no exception. I can count on one hand the number of gifts that I have purchased, and to this point I have managed to avoid all conversations regarding family events and who will bring what etc etc....LOL Sensible?? Probably not. But I have found the need to protect myself, create a little space to deal with things as they happen, and I only let something else in when there is room. Unfortunately my carefully choreographed dance of "avoidance till I am ready" doesn't always work....

Lets start this story last Wednesday.

I have 4 children, and in a short few months 3 of them will be over 18...combine that with the knowledge that my youngest is probably the most independent and sensible of the lot of them and it appears that the job of mothering is mostly done. Well all of us that are mothers know that is not actually the My brood are all still living at home and although I let the older ones go about their own business, their proximity does mean I am aware of all their comings and goings...Along with that comes a degree of worry. I am getting better and stepping back, but it is a learning/letting go process. On Wednesday morning my eldest son Hayden headed of on a big traveling adventure. He is nearly 20 and has never been on a plane in is life....and he chooses to go to Canada for his first venture!! Don't get me wrong I am very pleased he was going...there was a time when I worried he would never do anything but work and play on his computer....but I don't fly AT ALL anymore because of fear, so it was natural that I would feel apprehensive about him heading off. Thankfully he has arrived safely....and is enjoying his time, but those couple of days till I heard from him had me just a little worked up!

There were 3 more events on the family calendar between Hayden leaving and today....My Dad was to celebrate his 70th birthday on Sunday. On the same day my husband and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary and on Tuesday of this week our youngest son Marcus, who has just finished his Year 12 exams, was to have a Mastoidectomy. This was a  follow up surgery to one that removed a large Cholesteatoma from his left middle ear 18 months ago. (If you want to know anymore about either of those medical terms...Google The first operation went for 5 hours and was brutal...the recovery was long and painful, so to say that there was a high degree of anxiety for us all is an understatement.

So what we DIDN'T need in the middle of all that, was for our lovely, but very demented dog to take a turn for the worst. I bathed him on Thursday as it was lovely and warm. Bathing him had become traumatic for both of us. It was clearly uncomfortable for him and lately I have been reduced to tears each time realising just how poor his physical condition was becoming. Although difficult the bath seemed to have some sort of revitalizing power. I sat in the shade and watched him roll and gallop around the back yard trying hard to "remove" the clean I just put on That was the last day I saw him happy....From Friday we all noticed a very obvious deterioration. His ability to stand and walk was disappearing, he lost interest in food...which for a dog that is part Cocker Spaniel is almost unheard of. Where he had been sleeping very deeply and soundly for long long periods, his rest became fretful and he woke at the smallest movement around him. Most telling, he just looked sad....done in, worn out! As a family we have been both anticipating this time and dreading it...I had just prayed it would come at a time when we had the space to process and grieve. This we not the week for that! Husband and I decided at 1am Sunday morning ( as he was heading out to a night shift) that I would call the Vet in the morning and book an appointment for Monday morning, we just hoped he would stay some degree of stable till then. He did not. We returned home from the birthday Party at around 8pm on Sunday and decided we needed to put him at rest as soon as possible. We called the Vet and loaded him in the the convoy prepared to leave, I balked. I made the decision to stay home while my husband, the 3 children not in Canada, 1 boyfriend & 1 girlfriend accompanied Socks on his final journey. In barely no time at all they returned without him.......

Monday we set up the Christmas tree: a pleasant and necessary distraction for us all.

Tuesday morning Marcus and I gathered our things and were driven into the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital.  Thankfully he had a late admission time as he was on the afternoon surgical list. We were both extra nervous as he had developed a mild head cold overnight and we were worried they would send us home. Thankfully the anesthetist was not concerned and were able to proceed...though it was still not a smooth ride. All the lights were flickering as we made our way to the basement in the elevator (I hate elevators). Upon arrival we were informed that the hospital was operating on it's back up generators as the power had gone off to the whole city block!!!There was a risk that the whole afternoon list would be cancelled ..... UUGGHHH! It was a very tense 15 min as I considered the possibility of having to come back and go through all the waiting and preparation again after we were VERY pleased when the word came we were back ON! I said goodbye to my boy in the anesthetic bay...and wandered off to find my mother so we could get lunch. Thanks goodness she was with us as chauffeur and distraction for me!! Pretty much 2 hours after I had seen him wheeled away I was called to say he was in recovery and awake!! The time frame was of significance to me....going in we had been told that quick meant everything was ok,  longer meant more work had needed to be done! Before even speaking to the Surgeon I KNEW we had a good result. The Professor confirmed that the ear was clear of any regrowth and we should expect to not need any more invasive treatment for this problem! Music to MY ears...LOL The hearing Marcus lost in that ear will not be recovered....but he will not lose anymore! A hearing aid is a possibility but is also not strictly necessary! I stayed with him till around 10pm when husband arrived to collect me....then home, dinner (yes at 11pm) put the bins on the curb then into bed! Then up to go back in to collect him mid morning! Was so VERY pleased to see him up and about and itching to get home. Such a far cry from the recovery phase of his first operation. He slept VERY well last night, and we are managing his pain. All is good.

2pm yesterday there was a wall, a truck or a bus....whatever it was I hit it or it hit me....I took myself to bed and rested for the afternoon.

Today I am just sad!

Picked up some groceries this morning....I nearly lost it in the pet food isle when I collected a bag of dog food for the dog we still have....who would have thought buying dog food could illicit such a strong reaction. Clearly my emotions are still very close to the surface!

I am teaching a class tonight, and on Friday I have a Christmas party for a volunteering job I do weekly. That will end my regular commitments for this year....then I must shop and prepare for Christmas. I have time, right?? I am looking forward to that week in between Christmas and New Year...I have long treated it as a free week:  a week that feels like limbo....a week where I can do whatever I want guilt free. I think I will sleep!

Thank you for letting me has been helpful to debrief......