Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It Looks Like I May Survive Another One (and general musings)

Yes, it's that day again. Today, June 23th, is my 51st birthday. (And Happy Bday to you too, Bezzie.) :)

There was a time when 30 seemed old. Then 40. Then 60. Now, 52 seems like a really wonderful age to attain. This birthday is meaningful for many reasons, not the least of which is that I'm still here. Things are on a downhill slide right now, but I'm here. So what's going on?

Well, I lost 15 pounds last week, I spend all night barfing (and not words on the screen), and I'm losing my appetite.

Don't get me wrong - I'd love to lose weight. Just not this way. But this is the way that it's happening, and I can only hope this is a phase I'm going through, not the next step of the disease. Hubster is terribly worried, but he tries not to show it. The same with my mother and grandmother. I see my doctor next week, so I'll talk to him about it then.

Emma has become my personal protector. I can't even fart without her barking, running right to my side, and gluing herself to my leg. If I sit on the couch, she either sits on the couch next to me or on the floor against my leg. It really doesn't matter as long as some part of her is touching me. When I fall and cry, she abandons whatever she's doing and runs to me, checking me out as if I were a puppy. And the ultimate sacrifice for a bulldog?

Hubster took her out to do her business while I was sitting in my chair eating a piece of cake covered with powdered sugar. All of a sudden, a moth the size of a B-52 began attacking my face and head. Logic and reason tells me that the moth was there because of the insanely bright light which shines down on my work. Hysteria and fear tells me that the moth was there to torture me with it's wings and nibble me to death. So I did what any sane woman would do.

I screamed. At the top of my lungs.

As soon as I began to scream, Emma, who was about to take a dump, stopped herself up like a cork, began barking as if an intruder (the human variety) was breaking in the house, and dragged Hubster inside (we have to take her outside at night on a leash because of the coyotes). She literally dragged him up the stairs of the deck and into the house, where she immediately stationed herself next to me. I was still screaming and waving my hands around wildly. Never mind the piece of cake which had fallen over, spilling powdered sugar all over the chair, floor, knitting, etc. Never mind that all the doors and windows were open. Never mind that it sounded like I was being beaten or murdered all the way to Palm Springs. I was terrified, and Emma saw it as her duty to save me. Hubster was NOT amused and began to yell, whereupon I began to cry. It was not a pleasant scene.

The upshot? The fucking moth disappeared and Emma is now constipated. Great.

I can't quite believe that I'm over a half-century in age. It seems like yesterday that there were gas lines, Levi's were $27, an 8-track was the epitome in car stereos, Senior Cut Day to Santa Cruz had just passed, and I graduated from high school. Then came college and work, and my daughter. Then I got married. Six years later, I got divorced and spent a year alone in my house because you couldn't give away a house anywhere in California. Relationships. Fights with the family. Illness and deaths. So many things, so many events, so many memories. And now I'm sitting here at 4:45 a.m. in a big cabin in the mountains of Southern California wondering how in the hell I got here. Life is funny.

I saw a picture of San Francisco yesterday. It was shrouded in fog and made me intensely homesick. I love it here and will die here (and now, that's not just me saying it). But it's been six months since I've been home, and I really miss it - and my family. I know my mother will call later today, and my daughter will probably call, too. But it's not the same. I crave the birthdays of my youth, when everybody fawned all over you, you got lots of presents, and the entire day was magical. Now, it's a day like any other day. I don't get presents from Hubster; we've never exchanged birthday gifts because I buy whatever I want. It's not a special day anymore. And yet... some part of me longs for it to be. Every year, I'm disappointed and wait until the following year to see if it will be different. And every year, it sucks worse than the one before.

Last year at this time, I was heading up to Folsom Prison for my visit. My boys bestowed gifts on me, and we had as much of a party as they could manage. Hubster picked me up, gave me a card with a baby English Bulldog on it, and had written inside that that was part of my gift. Then we headed to Reno and stayed in a tiny closet of a room. He gave me $25 and told me that we were broke, but that he had managed to scrape that amount of money up so I could gamble a little. At the time, I was a beast - depressed, angry, demanding to know why we drove to Reno with that tiny amount of money. I've been known to bet a helluva lot more than that on one hand of blackjack. But I soon calmed down and realized what a huge sacrifice he had made. Sometimes, I'm an ass, and I certainly was that day. As it turned out, I was able to gamble for hours on that money - I just didn't play my usual high-limit slots. And we had a wonderful time. I selected Emma the next day, and the rest is history. What I wouldn't give now to have a trip to Reno again.

And yet, not all is lost. I guess next weekend, I'll be whisked away to one of the local Indian casinos for a spa day. I think there's an overnight trip involved, too, where I'll be alone. That's fine by me - I can sit, knit, watch TV, and sprawl in a bed. A bed. Luxury. I'm so tired of sleeping in the chair, but yet, that happens every night. So far, I've not had to run upstairs to hit the bathroom, so I might have a decent night. We'll see. Anyway, I'm looking forward to next weekend, and we'll see what today brings.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've been reflecting on my life, and it's been a damned good one. Sure, I've had terrible times - we all do. But I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I've met fascinating people, traveled, eaten well, loved hard, had my dream car, my dream house, and always come out of adversity smelling like a rose. I've been with Hubster for 20 years. I have a snoring bulldog laying next to me, making sure that her Mommy is doing okay. And should I not make it to my next birthday, it's okay. I'd rather stay here with Hubster and my family, of course, but should that not be in the cards, I still wouldn't change a thing.

Well... I would like to finish this damn pair of socks first.


Syd said...

Happy Birthday Darlin'!!! I hope your getaway is ultra special! Give that little Pot roast a snuggle for me, such a good girl being Mommy's nurse.

Magic Stix said...

i wish you a very happy birthday,and i will send you that same wish next year (it ain't over till the fat lady sings!!!)My birthday is coming up in a few days and i had doubts 4 years ago that i would see another one.you fight and you dont give up. you get mad, you hate your illness with all your might and you fight!!
sending you lots of hugs(wish i could deliver them for real).

Bezzie said...

Happy Birthday B-Day Twin! Or should I say big sister since I kind of cramped your style being born on YOUR birthday ;-).

I forsee many moth free birthdays for you my dear. With little Miss Em at your side!!

I was struck by your SF picture comment--I had the same thing happen this morning--msn.com had a picture of the Anchorage skyline on there....sigh!!!

Laura Neal said...

Happy Birthday, lady! I hope you have many more to come and there is a present for you in the mail! I did do it and I hope you enjoy loving on it! I believe in birthday presents and everyone deserves one. This is why I knit those birthday socks because it puts that silly little smile on everyone's faces when they realize that someone took the time to make them a pair of hand knit socks. Yeah so, I bitch about it but, it does help. No, you didn't get socks from me. I am having issues knitting a pair of women's 8.5 right now.
I hope you will be here for the next 20 years or more, keep your spirits up and fight like hell, I know you can do it! Put that bitch we all love into gear and let her roar! I love you, Pam.

Kim said...

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Lots and lots of love and hugs! I wish that I could be there to hug you in person, sweetie. :-)

Marin (AntiM) said...

Happy, happy birthday, Pam!

Whatever lies ahead (and you know I have all my fingers and toes crossed for you), you seem bound and determined to tackle it with grace and humour. I so admire that in you.


Angie said...

Happy Birthday, my dear! Enjoy every minute of the day.... birthday or not, you're a princess in my book! :)

As for the future... who knows what the next ten minutes will bring? I have every faith that you will spit in the eye of any bad karma that comes your way, as you always have.

Love & Hugs,

skywitch said...

Happy Birthday, Pam!

Sandi said...

Happy B-lated Birthday!! What a wonderful attitude!!!!! Enjoying life minute by minute, day by day is really what it's about!!

Much love to you!

Jeanne said...

Happy 51st! I missed it (was offline a couple days). Hope it was great in spite of all the recent medical stuff. Mine is Monday. The forecast calls for rain...

Mrs.Q said...

Happy belated birthday! Sending you lots of good thoughts!