Forever grateful for anything with cheese mixed in, and this morning’s breakfast was cheesy eggs.
He was a happy, happy dog.
Right now, having narrowed the ‘something’ that happened with him last week to a suspected stroke or brain lesion, we are now calling him an extra–special needs dog (emphasis on ‘extra-special‘). He cannot see, nor can he smell anymore. But he loves cuddles, has developed an impressive desire for Smartfood popcorn, still loves his cheese, and isn’t in pain.
We live in the moment with him. We allow him to do whatever he can do, and help him where he needs help, and we love him.
I will know when it is time to help Fred from this world. But it’s not today.
For the past few days, this thing with Fred has been a big deal, pretty much all by itself.
But then this morning the big deal, in addition to Fred, was the barn floor in Maine and also a screened-in porch or dining room (or screened in porch, or dining room, or…). And I was a little stressed about this stuff, and Fred was pretty stable.
So I headed to Maine to meet with Derek-the-Builder.
First, I saw the barn floor where there used to be a Black Hole but is now all filled in with itty-bitty rocks (also known as ‘crushed stone’) and that was exciting because soon I will have a barn floor that I can, like, walk on, rather than a black hole that will suck me in and never let me out.
Then Derek-the-Builder and I discussed the thing that was totally stressing me out, which was whether our porch should become an actual dining room or a screened in porch.
That was the thing that I was wrapped around my own axle about.
Or a dining room.
Along with my newly extra-special needs dog.
But we squared everything away. We are going with the screened-in porch.
Yes, I know. You are so relieved.
And as I was leaving town, I saw this:
So then I was all happy that I’d driven the three hours to Maine and was feeling quite happy and perspective-y about my day.
But then I almost got killed.
No, like, really.
And, a more artistic view:
I was passing a tractor-trailer truck on Route 95, and a 3-foot by 4-foot (by about 6 inches thick) chunk of ice flew off of the top of his trailer and smashed into my car.
When I pulled over to the side of the road, the inside of the car was bizarre. As if it snowed.
Teeny tiny bits of powdery glass everywhere.
I took inventory.
I was okay.
A few wicked small pock marks on my face that I actually thought I would exploit for sympathy later (yes, I did think that and am not making it up).
I took a deep, shaky breath.
I was okay.
The car is just a thing.
I have insurance.
Oh, and once again…
I was okay.
When I got home, snuggled my extra-special needs dog and the ShepHerds and counted my blessings.
Surely this was the perspective I needed after Fred’s issues and my silly stress over building projects.
I mean, how much better message than a brush with death, right?
Less than five minutes after I got home, I got a call from JoHn, who had just driven Gabe to his workout.
He’d gotten a call from Granny, who was with Grampa (the Old Yankee Man) at a routine check up, when the doc said Grampa had to go to the hospital.
In an ambulance.
For his heart.
JoHn was rushing home.
I was standing at the door when he got here.
We got to the hospital and JoHn dropped me at the door and I rushed in.
No, no, no, no…
I made my way though the crowded emergency room, beds in the hallways, patients and loved ones calling for attention.
I found Granny and Grampa in Room Ten. A nurse, thinking I was a nurse (I don’t know why, but I suspect she may have been told I was a medical professional by one or more octogenarians in the room at the time), showed me the tape from his EKG.
I am not a nurse.
But I got it.
My eye found the flat bit of the sharply peaking and dipping line.
Just a little segment.
I am very calm in an emergency.
I began asking questions.
He’d had a rapid heartbeat.
They gave him medicine.
Turned out he had an irregular heartbeat, not just a rapid one.
Wrong medicine for that.
They fixed it.
No more flatline segments after that.
I felt a bit better.
The cardiologist came in.
A pacemaker will be inserted tomorrow.
And by the time we left so he could get some sleep, just a short time ago, Grampa had charmed all of his nurses, and Granny was smiling and rolling her eyes.
I’ll be there first thing tomorrow, to hear what the docs say when they do rounds. Granny and JoHn will join me a little bit after that.
When I get there, I’ll place his pillows because no one got them right (I won’t either, but he won’t tell me that).
I’ll listen to him gripe about no one in a hospital keeping to a schedule, and if he ran things he would <insert very long explanation that translates into “Everything would be to Grampa’s liking” here>.
I’ll ask the nurses and doctors questions and write down the answers so Grampa has them beside him in the hospital, and then at home.
I’ll explain, and then explain again, the procedure, and what the pacemaker will do, and why I’m pretty excited about it and what it might do for him.
And then I’ll explain it again, as many times as he needs to hear it.
I left my house today worried about my dog, my barn, and a building project.
I will go to sleep knowing that, by the grace of angels, I am still here.
And so is Grampa.
Perspective, you have my attention.
Thanks for readin’.
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