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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I’ve been trying to stop myself from running around like a nutso so I can post something, but I wont listen to me and just keep on going. I go and I go, even when I don’t feel well… and what does it get me?


But before I go into that, I just want to let you know that this post may appear long, but it flows fast and has a couple yummies at the bottom as a reward for getting through the whole thing without falling asleep.

You won't fall asleep. I promise.

Soooo back to the bronchitis....

I knew something was wrong but I didn’t stop long enough to figure out what. Ain’t that always the way? I just knew that as long as I popped some Liquid Gel Advil, I could do what I needed to do. So from last Wednesday till today, I dealt. I just coughed and sweated and wheezed – I’m sorry, “rasped” (wheezing, I’ve been told, is what you do when you have pneumonia) and felt my eyeballs want to fall out and avoided touching my skin cause it hurt and went to bed wondering if perhaps I would die before I woke up again.

No worries. I had Advil.

So after a long holiday weekend, I woke up this morning to go to work for the first time since Friday afternoon, and well, I felt like death.

And lucky me, it decided to RAIN right before we left. Now, it started to RAIN at 6:40am, and by 7am, I looked out the kitchen window to see a raging river of muddy water rolling on the road. It looked like an entire universe of chocolate milk was a-coming down the mountain. It was incredible to see how much water can fall in just 15 minutes. We got in our car and started off to work, driving through it all. At the main intersection, the force of the water popped the manhole cover up to a 75-degree angle, and hit it so hard that it made a 4-foot fountain in the center of the road. It was quit impressive, yes. But it was also pretty scary knowing your house is in this mess, and you’re about to leave it for 8-hours to go to work.

This rain never once let up the entire ride into work. I couldn’t do more than 30-40 mph the whole 55 miles in. There was so much water on the road that I could feel us going in and out of hydroplaning. And the rain was so heavy on the windshield it was almost impossible to see what lane I was in.

Needless to say, we were late to work.

But I had to go. So I went. And I called the doctor first thing and said, “I’m sick. Do something.” And he did. He told me to come right in, listen to every piece of lung I own, gave me pills and wrote me a note to go home. I told him that I couldn’t go home because it took me so long to get in. Plus, I work with my husband and couldn’t really just leave whenever I felt like it. So he scribbled out today’s date and wrote in tomorrows, and made me pinky swear I would stay home in bed. Okay, we didn’t really pinky swear but it was implied, I’m sure. But before the HMO timer went off, I tried to squeeze in a couple more requests, like…. “What do you think of this bruise?” and “Can I get my cholesterol checked real quick? I want to see if my oatmeal is working.” But his response was that he was working emergency and that I have to come back (and pay my co-pay again and miss more work) if I wanted to get stuck with needles… so we skipped that.

Somehow I will blame my high cholesterol on him, trust me. See, I tried and he refused. Hence, not my fault.

I got back to work and handed my boss my note.

Get this… He told me I could do whatever I needed to do to get better, and if I wanted to leave right then, I could. Well hot damn. Except… I have an deadline on Friday for something and needed to get as much done as possible now… cause my doctor told me I wont be in tomorrow…

But, not to let something good completely slip by, we did leave ½ hour early. Just to, you know, please the boss.

We hit the bank to cash my paycheck, but the bank teller was brand spanking new and it took her 30 MINUTES to do it because she had to help everybody first even though we had been waiting longer and then demanded to see ID but wouldn’t send the canister through the shoot thingy so we could send it on over and then wouldn’t give my check back when Earl said SCREW IT we would come back later, which meant we had to park the car and go inside where we could watch her count. each bill. one. at. a. time.

So even though we left a little early from work, we still ended up getting home at the same time.

Of course, the road to home was blocked off because of flooding and there were no detour signs to tell us what roads were opened. We EVENTUALLY found the roads that were not flooded and got ourselves home.

Which is where I am now. Typing. Looking forward to sitting in bed all day long tomorrow because I have been instructed by a physician to do so.

Oh well, okay then.


On a totally different note….

My sad news to report is that our beloved Oscar, Miss Panama Red, took a turn for the worse a couple days after her tank cleaning, and was very unfortunately unable to recover. She died sometime early Saturday morning.

We had done everything we could to help her and make sure the water was at correct levels, but apparently she was suffering from something unknown to us – quite possibly even simple old age. I cried for her and buried her pale body under the Rose of Sharon bush with everybody else we loved of fins and feathers. I placed a cross atop her grave and thanked her for stay with us, wished her well on her journey to heaven, and asked the bugs to go gentle as they returned her back into the Earth.

Mind you, I am not making light of this. I am not trying to sound humorous, that is just how I write. We loved our Panama and this was a great loss to our family. She has been with us for 8 years - though we thought 7 before and realized that no... no, it has been 8 - and there is a definate empty space in our home, and the tank, without her. Everytime I walk by - she is not there. And everytime I visit the garden, there she be. Not in water, but in dirt ~ somehow not right, but necessary. And she is with the others now and I know she had a good life... as best as she could have had in a big glass tank... and she was loved. Very, very loved... more so than any carnivorous fish in any South American river ever could have been loved.

Perhaps even more mournful - Poor man Dempsey has not left the corner since she passed. Amazing, I have to say. This Dempsey, as mean as he is, was most certainly in love with his Panama. We thought forever that he tolerated her because she was twice his size. But in the end, he did not leave her side. In fact, and I kid you not, when she was in her worst hours, she would start to fall to one side. The Dempsey, being next to her, would go up under her belly and stand her back up. He never left her till the end, and the corner in which I found her is where he remains. It is oh so sad to watch. I just want to hug him.

Panama Red 1998-2006 Swim to heaven, my dear friend. It's upstream.

But wait. I don't want you to go away with that tight squeezing "I just swallowed a walnut" sensation in your throat, as even I am choked up yet again. To make you think of something happy, I will show you the moon from Sunday night.

Now doesn’t that feel a little better?