“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I have had a very difficult time sitting down to write. Not because I don’t have so many things to write about or to say but because I have too many things to write about and to say! Where do I begin…??
Several angels have written to me asking how I am doing and why they haven’t heard from me lately so I thought that I would post to this blog to let you know that I am still standing and that being overwhelmed is the understatement of the century.
As you know, I am not only trying to help Someone with a bizarre, progressive and terminal neurologic disease, Lewy Body Dementia, all while having been sick for more than a year with a hole in my small intestine–most likely caused by the acid released from holding in lots and lots–did I say lots–of stress! (Yes, I am now acutely aware that stress can kill you so exercise and relax as often as you can so it doesn’t get to this level!)
In addition, while not the stressful part, I have lots of special needs dogs who call the Rescue Ranch their home–and require lots of resources and time and attention. The stressful part is trying every month to figure out how their needs are going to be met since Someone can’t work anymore and is on disability, we are now living on 30% of what our income was when we started the RR–and angel help has dropped dramatically due to lack of exposure, I think. I just can’t do it all, including writing regularly, and as a very responsible person, it bothers me that I can’t juggle all of these things right now.
I was supposed to have the first surgery this past Wednesday, endoscopic–(the docs are trying to do it by going down my throat into my intestines first trying to avoid open surgery from the outside/in which is a big deal) to repair the damage with lots of tools where my stomach and small intestine link up but after the stunning unexpected loss of a significantly close family member on Monday morning (not Someone), my guts were too swollen inside from crying for them to operate so it has been rescheduled to this coming week. In the meantime, I am limited to a liquid diet of Boost Breeze (a nutritional drink with protein that is thin like juice), applesauce and ice cream. After more than a year of being sick, I am still hopeful that getting better is just around the corner! (I keep putting off the surgeon who wants to operate on my abdominal mass until after I can at least eat again!)
Meanwhile, Someone is getting worse. Staying up all night, he has full-on feasts at 4 AM (the docs are finding me locks for the frig and cabinets) and then he wants to go wander the neighborhood for exercise afterward–and have me go with him–and then takes the dogs out for playtime before dawn…well it all has me exhausted. No matter what, my alarm goes off at 6:50 AM every day, which is hours before Someone is even ready to settle down so I can start my day.
Now, by noon, he is able to lay down but in his wake, he leaves the kitchen as if there were a New Year’s Eve party (minus the alcohol), hoards every bit of cardboard possible and candy and sweet things (they are hidden in the den, in the office, in the laundry room, etc.) and he fights to keep it all from being recycled or thrown out, all while calling professionals and writing checks/getting them in the mail on those 4-5 AM outings or while I am napping–which are being returned NSF–gulp–and causing just plain havoc that I have to spend hours daily trying to straighten things out just about every other day. He sounds credible on the phone but he doesn’t understand what he is doing. I feel like all I am doing is fixing problems and cleaning up after Someone. The messes and screw-ups, though, are getting bigger. It is time to lock up the phones and the computer.
The problem is that every major incident causes that acid to run through my body (yes, when it is this bad, you can actually feel a stress hormone being released, triggering the acid and eating through your guts) making me more and more sick. (In fact, for over a year, I kept two ice packs on the spot that blew open last year, trying to quell the pain and postpone whatever was happening. I didn’t have time to get it fixed, whatever it was–and now look what has happened!)
The doctors (his and mine) have been encouraging me to consider permanent placement of Someone or at least temporary placement for a few months while I get better. No stress=no acid release=my guts being able to heal. But, it is not covered by insurance and so unless we have the assets to do that (we don’t), or I surrender the RR and his disability which would leave me and the dogs virtually homeless, I have to either take care of Someone or find a relative who can/will (there are no volunteers to help in any way despite his extended family. Since he’s gotten sick, other than one visit from his half-sister, I just hear “crickets” when I even ask for a show of caring like an email or a card).
Realizing that I am no longer the super human that I tried to be, I have to nap when he rests and force myself to get up to do both dog, house and property maintainance and I have a list a foot long of my own Honey Do’s. I am not a plumber nor a lot of things so they are going to require professionals although I sure am doing my best to try to learn.
The RR angel fund has one regular gift of $15 each month. Then…one angel sends a box of Rattle Ball treats monthly; another sends big cans of food and peanut butter bones; another sends gift cards for Someone (and special surprises for him) and the RR Herd as she is able; another collects things with her mother and drops off different size food tubs that I’ve been freezing for treats in the 110 degree plus heat, blankets, toys, and odds ‘n ends that we need as she can monthly-ish; one gives amazon credits when she can; one sends the much needed little dog food tubs and includes special treats for Someone (all who do this just touches my heart), and occasionally, a gift card or prayer card or special religious very special something or an extra surprise for the dogs finds its way to me. I am so grateful for all of this help, I truly am.
That said, it costs $800 month to feed the dogs and $600 for their medicines and medical supplies and $300 for bones (I try to make them myself as I can) and and and. I refuse to give up on these animals when they have less than a year to five years left most likely (special needs animals have shorter live spans) but having more–and more regular– angel help, sure would take some of this stress away. The overall debt is crushing and the constant hoping that help will come is a source of unconscious stress. Hopefully by next May–give or take a month or two–I can make some permanent changes or get well enough to figure out a way to pick up a work-from-home income or be strong enough to move. I know that right now, I can concentrate for five or ten minutes at a time–imagining eight hours of concentration time seems like a dream from way back when and now impossible!
I had to laugh last night when I took a good look at what I personally own. I have been trying to organize to be ready to pack and get the RR ready in case I need to put it on the market next spring. I have been making bags of donated personal stuff to give to a shelter and a section of stuff (like furniture and some wedding presents, etc.) that I may have to sell on consignment or give away to angels and realized that I haven’t bought any shoes for myself in over 15 years and that aside from some pajamas, I haven’t bought anything new to wear either in all that time! I have always made the needs of the dogs and now those of Someone a priority and myself last. I don’t feel bad about it, I just thought it was kind of interesting! I don’t even have any vices that I waste money on! Sustaining and preserving life has always been more important to me my entire life than money or possessions and when I really took inventory last night, it was clear that I am living/have lived what I believe.
Well, enough for now. We are alive and as fine as can be. All prayers are welcome and very much appreciated. In turn, every time I am at the hospital, we light candles for you–and that is a very special place in which, I am sure, God hears prayers. I try to look above the immediate circumstances and just firmly believe that God has brought us here and so He will bring us through it! He can move the heart of one, some or many to help or to pray or to find ways to make a difference in any of our lives. Remember, every act of caring and compassion counts, no matter the size. It is all about intention. He can also send a miracle, a benefactor, heal us, any one of a thousand things to change a situation. It is my/our job to remain optimistic and faithful.
In the meantime, have a wonderful Labor Day! If you happen to be in Florida, please be safe and if you find yourself in trouble, please let me know if there is any way that we can help. Keep your pets with you and be emphatic (and unwavering) about your pet’s safety. They depend on you to safeguard their lives which is an awesome responsibility and one that you morally must honor and if you can’t, you must find someone who can.
Sending lots of love and always Hugs from the Herd!
Cubby when it was his turn to eat some of the RR 2019 (12 year!) Anniversary Cake…
Sweet Cubby AFTER having his turn at the cake! He was happy–and even had to have a run with his favorite toy before sitting down for this pic!
Cubby and his brothers were abandoned by a rescue group at the RR–and we were never able to get them adopted so they found their forever home.
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Spring, TX 77386
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Thank you for caring. Especially for caring!!