Thursday, July 12, 2012


Yeah, yeah,'s been a while. I have good reason, though. It has nothing to do with the Hodge, I promise.

I'm going to be a little vague with some of this, mostly because I want to cut the drama out. Drama is stressful and I just don't feel like detailing that at all. It's been quite difficult, which is why I haven't had a new post for quite some time. I just wasn't ready to open up about any of the things that have been happening. I feel I'm ready now, and my faithful readers deserve an updated

Where to begin? Right off the bat: Ted and I have been experiencing some difficulties in our marriage. He is, of course, away a LOT for training and his job at Camp Ripley. Most of what our difficulties stem from is money, my health, and money. Did I mention money? Things between us reached a boiling over point at the end of December. We decided at that time that a separation would be prudent, so he stays at Ripley and I have been spending a lot of time at my parents' place. We are working through our issues; we will both be seeking individual counseling as well as marriage counseling. A couple's retreat is also in the works but we have to wait for a time when Ted is not working or training. Our marriage is important enough to both of us that we are more than willing to work at it. We have a long road ahead of us.

I had to put my sweet Noel down on December 22nd. She would receive a steroid injection about every 2-3 months; this was to keep her eosinophilic plaques (think psoriasis for kitties) under control. It also had the added benefit of easing her arthritis pain. This fall, the time between injections had become shorter and shorter. Around mid-November, she began coughing and wheezing quite frequently and she hadn't been eating much, so off to the clinic we went. X-rays were taken and showed that her lungs were almost completely filled with...something. My best guess is that she had about 1/4 of usable space in her left lung. The right one was completely occluded. The doc and I both knew that this was likely a cancerous process. At that point, all I wanted to do was make her comfortable enough to enjoy what little time we had left. I opted to not biopsy the lung--I didn't want to stress her any more than necessary. It wouldn't change the outcome or how I was treating her. She received another steroid injection which was just shy of one month after the previous injection. She perked up a LOT after that so we added oral steroids and antibiotics. She was, incredibly, back to her old self--even racing up and down the stairs with the zoomies. Sadly, that didn't last very long. Two weeks later, she was declining again. She began to have some moderate respiratory distress  so I opted for another steroid injection and antibiotics. She didn't respond to the treatment and at that point, I knew that our time was short. She declined RAPIDLY. Within a few days, she was again in respiratory distress and she wasn't eating or using the litter box. That was when I knew it was time. We snuggled on the couch all night--she was purring the whole time. The next day--goddam it, I can't even write this without tears. FARK. The next day at 10:33 a.m., she slipped away peacefully in my arms while the doc and I stroked her her tiny head and frail body. We hugged each other, shed our tears and took comfort from the knowledge that my little peanut was now free of her broken body.

I knew months ago that this was going to be difficult for me. To lose both Harley and Noel, in the same year, a mere few months apart (and both on the 22nd of the month) was just too much for me, I think. I don't feel that I have been dealing with this well--or really, at all. I know that I need to face this but every time I try to do so, my brain just shuts me down so I don't or can't. My coping skills are pretty much non-existent. They always have been. I don't know what to do with the pain so I just smash it all down inside. YES, I know that this isn't the way to go about things but my brain feels that shut-down mode is the best way. At times, it has been--when Harley passed I poured all of my energy into my work. I felt that I had a job to do and that it should take priority. I simply took it too far, I think, and even when the job was done I didn't do anything about the pain in my heart. I feel like I will deal when I'm ready to.

7/12/2012: I wrote this post ages ago and will be posting again shortly with the rest of the disaster that is my life. Stay tuned!!

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