Monday, June 30, 2008

Doggone Weekend

What do you get when you wake up the Vet at 1AM to see your dog for an emergency visit?

Aside from a bill for $360? A drugged up puppy? A little boy who thinks he killed the dog? Yes, but that's not all: A very tired and cranky Mama for the rest of the day.

Friday night, I managed to get my petite little flower to bed at 8:45! PM! Asleep! It was wonderful. I napped for about 1/2 with her and got up to enjoy some much deserved time for myself. Should I watch a movie, do some needlework, clean? Hmm? The cleaning will still be there later, and I've been sitting on a movie from Netflix for about 3 weeks.....Movie it is.

The rest of the kids were enjoying time in the basement playing with each other and the occasional video game. The movie was delightful. The main character invents new pies all the time with the most interesting names (my favorite name is the "I Don't Want Earl's Baby Pie"). There is even a surprise in the movie in the form of Andy Griffith. When the movie was over, it was getting to be late AND I was actually tired. Tired! Really! Enough to sleep! You'll have to excuse my excitement at that prospect - while I find myself feeling tired a lot while pregnant, the actual attainment of sleep is a rare event for me.

I rounded the kids upstairs and towards bed uttering the usual requests: brush your teeth, put on pajamas, let the dog out to pee, turn off the lights.

As the dog is being let out to pee, I hear a loud yelp. This happens often enough that I didn't think much of it. Occasionally, the door is pulled shut a little too soon and his back leg or tail gets slammed in the door, but generally he is fine. The yelp was a little louder than usual. I yelled down to see if everything was all right and the answer returned was, "There's a lot of blood! Help!" "What?" I thought to myself. "Blood?" Maybe a toenail got caught, that would make blood and there probably really isn't that much.

At this point I will tell you that if you are squeamish about hearing bloody details, skip the next bit.

Down I trotted to the door and boy was I wrong. There was A LOT of blood. It was NOT a toenail. It was one of those cushy, little pads dogs grow on the bottom of their feet to walk on. Ripped mostly off and hanging by a thread, bleeding profusely all over my carpeted stairs and tiled landing, and onto my husband's shoes. Yuck. I am not one to get queasy at the sight of blood. In fact, my family knows exactly who to go to in the event that something hurts, is broken, bleeding, or in need of general repair, medically speaking of course. The blood is not doing anything to freak my out. Although I will admit the sight of meaty flesh exposed on my doggie's foot did make me shudder just a bit. It looked painful, really painful.

My son of course, as I mentioned earlier, thought he killed the dog. At least that is how he was acting. Total hysterics, complete with tears, whining, crying, apologizing, guilt - you name it. I tried to inform him that the dog had not indeed been hit by a car and that all major body systems of his were in order and functioning perfectly. No good. There was blood, he was hurt, and he wasn't going to make it.

I realized pretty quickly that this was not something I was going to be able to fix, nor something that could wait until morning or Monday. I got a towel and put pressure on the wound, which little (I use little here affectionately, for our dog is a full-grown, chocolate Lab, weighing in at about 75 lbs.) Red did not like at all and called the Vet. After giving him the gruesome news, he agreed to meet us at his office and take a look at the damage.

We got poor Red into the back of the van, all the while me telling my 8-year-old to calm down and occasionally to Shut Up. His hysterics were getting to me, as I knew the dog would be fine even though I personally was not sure if he'd ever be able to regenerate the tissue lost.

The vet confirmed that he could not stitch the pad back on and would have to CUT. IT. OFF. Ewwww. Yucky, Yucky, Yucky. So, he "sedated" the dog, shot his foot up with Lidocaine, or something like that, got out a surgical kit, and snipped the pad right OFF. HIS. FOOT. EWWWW. Then he put in a few stitches to stop the bleeding, bandaged it up, and gave us some antibiotics and pain relievers to give Red for the next week. Red got 2 shots before we left, one of each the pain reliever and antibiotic, and we were instructed to call on Monday for a wound check. That was that. My boy still in hysterics.

We left the Vet at 1:45 with a "drunk" doggie. To explain further the vet had given him a sedative. Generally speaking, there is another drug they can give to reverse the effects so that you can get your pet home easily, all awake and everything. However, with it being the middle of the night and us all wanting some sleep, we decided to let the drug wear off on its own, hoping also that it would help Red "sleep-it-off" so to speak. So my dog was drunk, or so it seemed. He waddled very slowly out to the car, with his eyes kind of shut and I'm sure with the world seeming kind of a blur and a little weird what with the funky plastic cone around his head.

We got home, and my little petite flower, who had been sleeping so well when I left, had apparently been up since just after we left and was waiting for me (with the big kids, of course, who I left home to watch her and NOT watch the bloody dog. They get pretty freaked out at blood or any body fluid.) I put the dog and 8-year-old to bed. My little flower and I had snacks and watched some TV. I found myself kind of wired from all that had happened. We didn't get to bed until about 5. Not so bad, hopefully I can sleep in.


At 8 my son came in to inform me that the dog had gotten the cone off and chewed off his bandage. Great. The Vet called to say he was open and why don't we bring in the puppy in for a check. Nice timing, since he needed to be rebandaged. The Flower got to sleep till 10, I was up early, again. Got to see the exposed, meaty flesh of the paw, again. Got no rest for the entire day, again. Mama turns into Medusa - new episodes to air this week.

That evening, my husband and I had unofficially planned to go out to dinner. By unofficially I mean earlier in the week he had said he would take me out, probably Saturday night, because he knew I needed some time alone with him. As evening fell upon us, my husband expressed his concern with the weather possibly being the cause for some weekend fireworks festivities being cancelled and therefore his work for that evening being much busier than it would be if the festivities ensued. In other words, he wanted to go into work early to deal with the larger crowd he was expecting due to bad weather. "Could we just go out tomorrow night?" he carefully asked me. Um, no. Um, I've had a bad couple of days. Um, I am totally overwhelmed....what do you think, that I don't look forward to time, ALONE, with you all week long? Do you think I don't pay attention to every word you say and therefore know that tonight is our night? Hello!!?

What I actually said was, "OK. If you think that is best." But, of course, my facial expression betrayed me. Yes, I know I looked hurt. And eventually, completely against my will, tears were flowing. Then he said, "Fine. We can go out tonight." Oh but I don't even want to now. Duh. Then he was nice enough to ask why I was so upset.....and out it came, tears and all. "I am overwhelmed. I can't do everything. I need a break. I NEED A BREAK. Look what happened to the dog. How am I going to get the babies' room ready? I have laundry to do. The kitchen needs to be cleaned and organized. What are the kids going to eat anyway? I should just stay home because there is so much to do.....but....**sob, sob, cry, cry**I need a break. You have to take me away and feed me because I need it."

He sat, quite taken aback I'm sure, very quietly and stared at me. Then as calmly as he could said, "You are a great mom. They love you, and I love you. Go get in the shower so we can get going. I will take care of you. You do a wonderful job of keeping the house going and keeping it all together. I can't believe you don't think you can do it all because you always do. And I love you."

Ok. Fine. I'll get ready. If you insist. **cry, cry** I don't know why it is so hard sometimes for me to just come right out and admit that I need help, or need a break, or whatever. I am so used to doing everything for everyone that sometimes, especially at a time like this - being pregnant and physically unable to do it all - I forget that it's OK to need help. The harder part for me still is realizing that it's OK to ask for it, too.

How do I ask for help when I am supposed to be the super strong one? Why is it so damn hard, and why do I wait so long to do it? Life would be much simpler if I would just let others around me have a hand in what goes on, instead of thinking I have to take care of it all myself - usually at the cost of not taking care of myself at all.

So, in case you're wondering, we did go to dinner. It was very nice, and I have lots of nice leftovers to chow on. I got some much needed alone time to talk with him about any and everything. I felt renewed, if even only for the evening. And it was much easier to see him off to work with a smile and a kiss knowing that he had also made time for me in his day.

The dog - well, he's still in bandages. We went in today again for a wound check and he's healing very well. The stitches can come out in a week and hopefully by then we can leave the bandages off.

I am also trying to keep the bandages off. Instead of staying wrapped up in myself and all the duties I think I deserve to have to do, I need to take it all off and humbly admit that I need help. Or a break. Or whatever else will make me feel more like a person and less like I HAVE to be everything for everyone.

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