Kim’s Pity Parties

First Pity Party of This Week:

We were transporting a rescue dog; he bit me. He didn’t do anything wrong, and I don’t think I did anything wrong, either. (Sometimes the transport itself is very stressful, because the dog is being handed off from one stranger to another, repeatedly.)

Rex bit my left hand, which is the better choice because I’m right handed. The damage is minor as dog bites go. (He’s a 2 1/2 year old, 95-pound lab. That’s a LOT of bite force.) My hand is tender and a little swollen. I have full range of motion and sensation, but gripping hurts. His lower canines went though the pad at the base of my ring finger and the space between my first & middle fingers; the upper canines broke through the skin below the first knuckle on my middle finger and between the first & second knuckle on my index finger.

I can’t imagine gripping a handlebar with my left hand; I’m guessing I’ll have to lay off the bike for several days. (I get most of my bike miles by commuting – that can be a bike-handling test.) My hand is pretty well swaddled in bandages, so it may be best if I avoid the pool this week, too.

To add insult to injury, the driver we were delivering Rex to was over an hour late. She was driving quite a distance to the pick-up point, and she got stuck behind three different accidents. She felt terrible, but I can imagine how stressed out she was — I certainly wasn’t going to add to her stress by complaining about having to wait. We stopped for dinner, so we didn’t get home until 10-ish. I’m tired.

I’ll still do dog transports, but I’m going to wait until my hand heals completely. If the dog isn’t in a crate, we’re required to have two leashes on the dog, attached to two points (a collar and a harness), and they want one leash in each hand. I couldn’t really use my left hand to control the leash with the bite; I need to let this heal so I can grip a leash.

If you’re concerned, please know that Rex won’t be euthanized because of the bite. We often have limited information about rescue dogs. (This gorgeous boy was surrendered for euthanizing at 2 1/2 because he was “uncontrollable.”) During his transport, people saw signs he’d been abused. I was sitting in the back seat with him, and a put my arm around him to pet him. He knew I was on his right side; he may not have known what was touching his left side, and if he’d been abused his instinctive reaction would be to defend himself. He snarled, spun around, and bit me in a split second. I am amazed at how calm I remained. I said, “NO” very sternly, pulled my hand away, and moved away from him as best I could. He moved to the other side of the seat and laid down. This broke my heart: the poor boy looked terrified. I’m sure he thought I was going to beat him. He was fine the rest of the trip. He adored my husband, and he accepted pets from me and obeyed me when I was walking him on the leash. (Also, if he wanted to attack me, he was just inches from my face after he bit my hand. He’s not a bad boy at all – he needs love, understanding, space, time, and appropriate training.)

Pity Party, the Sequel:

I had my screening colonoscopy yesterday. (It’s the worst thing about turning fifty.) A full 24-hours of consuming nothing but clear fluids. I’m not a big juice drinker, but I drank about a gallon of juice. The “clean out your bowels” prep made me nauseous, so I puked a fair bit. Nothing, not even plain water, for three hours prior to the procedure. (That’s hard for me – I rarely go more than one awake hour without drinking water.)

My mom survived colon cancer. There was a complication with her surgery that resulted in her having an ileostomy while she was undergoing chemo. So, on top of all the horrors of chemo, she dealt with a bag of diarrhea hanging from her stomach. I kept that in mind while puking during the prep. Yes, it sucked, but it was nothing compared to what Mom went through. (They put everything back in place, so now she poops like the rest of us.)

I was dreaming of food before we went to the doctor’s office. I wanted a bagel with cream cheese immediately afterwards, and either a pizza or pot stickers and shrimp fried rice for dinner.

But, alas, the gastroenterologist found something “interesting” during the procedure. He removed the interesting bits. I was awake during that part, so I got to watch. It was kind of cool, but I’m a little bent.

The “interesting” part changed everything. Nothing strenuous for a week. What about running and cycling, I asked. I was impressed with how high the gastroenterologist’s eyebrows went. “That’s strenuous – no running or cycling for a week.” (I didn’t think to ask about swimming, because I’ll accept just about any excuse to skip swimming.) No bending over, no lifting anything more than twenty pounds.

As I was waiting for the last of the paperwork – the fun part telling me I get to come back in three months to make sure nothing is “interesting” any more – I noticed something on my discharge paperwork: full liquid diet for 48 hours; reintroduce solid food as tolerated. Wait, what? More liquid?

I was advised that putting a bagel and cream cheese in a blender does NOT make it liquid.

The Hubs had the Chinese food I requested already pre-paid and ordered. It’s sitting in the fridge. I had a can of cream of tomato soup and a can of cream of chicken soup for dinner. I had a smoothie – minus the peanut butter – for breakfast. I just had some plain yogurt for lunch. It’s not truly liquid, but it’s at least as slippery as everything else I’ve eaten in the last 24 hours. I have some cans of soup sitting here, on my desk, awaiting preparation. The thing is, I am hungry. I just cannot get excited about yet another round of cream of anything.

This weekend, I’m volunteering for an ultra trail run. The pre-race dinner and meeting is tonight. You know what a big deal food is for these types of races — and I’ll stll be on my full liquid diet. I’m not terribly tempted to cheat: I saw the divot in my intestine left by the doc cutting out the interesting part, and I don’t want to do anything to complicate its healing. So, yay me.

I am REALLY looking forward to eating leftover, probably dried out, Chinese food tomorrow.

(Okay, so this really shouldn’t be a pity party. I have health insurance that paid for all of this (except the Chinese food). I have sick leave at work, so I’m not missing out on a paycheck when I get these vitally important health screenings done. I have a loving and supportive partner who bought, and then did not eat, Chinese food because I couldn’t have any. And I have an excuse to skip swimming for a week.)

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