Tuesday, January 29, 2008


You asked. And actually, it probably isn't much. It's just the usual whining. I just feel like this blog's becoming a one-note samba and I'm losing the fifteen regular readers I still have because I'm boring them to death.

Where to begin? How about the persistent hacking cough that has not completely gone away since November 3 of last year? It still kept me up last night. And it's not one of those nagging, niggling things that makes me think I've got something underlying wrong with me. It's my typically tubercular wheezing yelp that I always get... but I am pretty sure I've had three solid rounds of new rhinoviruses that have just arrived at precisely the right times to re-irritate my bronchii just when they're about to heal over.

Then there's the usual yelling and screaming and arguing that accompanies life with a bipolar teenage girl. I grew up as an only child, you see (until I was almost fifteen, when Manita was born), and I was a bookish little kid that didn't yell and scream and make a whole lot of noise. Our house was really rather quiet. The loud rages and defiance are new territory, and not territory I had wanted to explore. I suppose it's possible that other households, even those without the bipolar angle, have raucous sibling squabbling... but here's my take on parenthood -- if it's unacceptable in OUR house, it doesn't matter what other houses approve of or dismiss offhandedly. We don't taunt or belittle or provoke one another in our house. Period. But I'm tired of fighting it already, and she's not even fourteen yet. It's hard not to wonder what life's going to be like as she gets older and as she becomes an autonomous "adult." It's probably the one good thing about being dead broke -- at least if she tries to come back to us for money, we can honestly shrug our shoulders apologetically and turn our empty pockets inside-out.

But I try to remember that it doesn't do me much good to be anxious about something that may not even occur.

Besides, we still haven't been able to convince the "expert child psychiatrist" that Geodon (the new medication she's been switched to) is JUST NOT WORKING for her. Our next move will have to be to lithium, which I'm sure the doctor is loathe to do... but something has GOT to work. We have added one more Geodon capsule right after she gets home from school in hopes it will stem the furious nighttime rages. It does seem to help somewhat with the fury, but the giddy mania is a problem because she's unaware of her limitations.

As for other family issues... well, there are some things I will not talk about much, but something I was told a long time ago by a wise friend is still fitting: Change will not occur until the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.

On top of everything else, the peaceful coexistence of our household animals has been disrupted. Rick unwittingly agreed to care for the neighbors' miniature Dachshund, Tina, while they left town to care for a dying relative. These are the same neighbors who produced the demon-spawn fifth-grade boy who murdered the white cat and who ended up in court for setting fires in his backyard... but let's not go there right now, ok? Back to the story at hand... Rick doesn't put two and two together on this deal, and instead cheerfully agrees to take the animal in for a few days.

Not only is this pitiful animal NOT housetrained, it's completely out of control. It lives in this enormous, vile-smelling travel crate which could comfortably house two Great Danes. The pad they kept in the bottom is encrusted with dried urine... Rick gingerly removed it and put it outside, since it made our tiny utility room unbearable.

Remember, we're living in a cramped two-bedroom rent house. There's not enough room for those of us who DO live here, much less for a giant, foul-smelling crate with a persistently barking, whining dog that pees everywhere if allowed out of the crate. Rick's been letting Tina stay outside most of the day, since the weather's not bad, but I feel terribly sorry for that poor animal. Her condition is not her fault, but she's the one suffering because of her owners' neglect. She's obviously a very social animal who'd probably like to be loved and fawned over and who'd like to lick her owners' noses happily.

And I have to "not care" ... I have boundaries, after all, and investing time housetraining a dog whose owners will not maintain her? I can't do it. And I won't. I'm not the one who has to exist here at home all day with the poor creature.

Add all these things to the fact that the other van is in the shop for several days undergoing an expensive re-fit of something or other.

And I have to blend every single thing I eat now. Did you know that blended cabbage soup looks remarkably like wallpaper paste?

I brought some black beans in broth for my lunch today at work, but I didn't run it through the blender first. They were soft, after all. I spent the next hour holding it in, hoping it would eventually work its way through, but finally one of my yearbook students said, "Mrs. Wood, are you about to yak?"

I nodded and headed out the door to the bathroom as fast as I could go.

I just have to make this last until June... of course, there's always the possibility that the surgery will go horribly wrong and I'll be unable to eat at all. Or that there's something else wrong with my stomach and when they open me up they'll find such a mess that it's not even worth waking me back up. LOL

Sorry for the black humor... I have to laugh about something.

Besides, I still have the best job EVER. And there's no sarcasm in my tone when I say that. I really do love my job and I'm glad I get to wake up every morning and go to work there.

Thanks... it felt good to spew a bit. Like I said before, eventually things WILL get better. I will stop coughing someday. Tina will go home. Our house didn't burn down in the wildfires all around the area today due to high winds (which, interestingly, blew down another large chunk of the dead cottonwood in Tina's owners' yard... right on top of one of their several late-model vehicles... and we can't get in touch with them because the cell phone number they gave us is not in service... sheesh).

And I don't live in a French prison on Devil's Island off the coast of French Guiana, being nibbled to death by malaria-infested mosquitos.

Comparatively, I have it pretty darn great.

UPDATE: Add "John McCain" to my Misery List, since he just won all the Florida delegates. [growl] We are going to have a Liberal president, regardless of party affiliation. I wonder if they need any art teachers in Tahiti? They're probably Socialists there, too, but I might as well be miserable in someplace beautiful. Who's with me?

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