Tag Archives: sadz

Her heart failed…

21 Jan

Four weeks ago, to the day, Rock and I left for a spur-of-the-moment trip to Napa to celebrate our birthdays. I found us a cute little cottage on a farm in Carneros and organized the trip so that we’d visit all my favorite places where we’d taste phenomenal wines and learn about soil, climate, terroir. The restaurants were also picked with care, reservations made, and the anticipation for good food, good wine, and good times seeped through us.

I almost canceled the trip.

The Friday before we were to leave, my Mom calls me from the Emergency Room. She had finally made a doctor appointment to find out why she was so nauseous. Over the past couple of months, Mom started letting on that she wasn’t doing so well. Her hips continued to hurt her, making exercise difficult. She was frequently out of breath when walking and would need to stop. At Thanksgiving, she couldn’t eat her meal and refused wine (not a normal thing, if you knew my badass, larger than life Mom!) Over those months, she reasoned that it was her arthritis (her hips), her asthma (can’t breathe), and stomach flu (her nausea). When she saw her doctor, he knew something was seriously wrong, and had her triaged to the ER to figure out what was going on.

Turns out, she had a heart problem. Her symptoms started presenting themselves in the summer. Shortness of breath and nausea were signs that she ignored or didn’t think were serious. Turns out, she had Atrial Fibrillation, which is normally a treatable condition. The heart rhythm isn’t working all that well but can be managed with medication, diet, exercise etc.

Since she had been living for more than 20 years with high blood pressure, having A-Fib meant that she would need a different blood pressure med and start taking blood thinners to reduce her risk for stroke.

I was scared as hell, considering I lost my father 13 years ago to a massive stroke. Taking him off life support and watching his body struggle as he died will forever be imprinted on my memory. I didn’t want to imagine this happening to my mother.

One of my staff had just lost her mother and I recall telling her how sorry I was and that I couldn’t imagine how hard it must be for her – losing a mother. I told her I wouldn’t know what to do if I lost my own mother. I’d told my Mom this very thing several times over the last couple of years. She’d be wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry and tell me “I want you to have this when I’m gone…” would be met with “That’s awesome, but that’s a long ways away – and I can’t imagine losing you…” I always ended calls and visits with “I love you so very much”.

Sunday, after Mom’s ER visit, we met for my birthday lunch. I took her to one of our favorite restaurants and we ordered a ton of food. Mom’s appetite had come back a little bit, her spirits were high, she was not nauseous for a change. We even joked about her baby being close to 50. All this was quite a different story than on Thanksgiving, where I was more than alarmed and in hindsight, should have taken her to the hospital that night and not listened to her blow off her symptoms. We just didn’t know.

As I dropped my Mom off at her house that day and kissed her super soft lips, I told her “I love you so very much!”  I felt terrific. My badass Mom was going to be fine!

Rock and I decided to keep the last minute Napa trip on schedule. We left Tuesday 12/17 and each day was filled with good food and great wine – lots of laughs and new adventures. Until Friday morning, where, at the start of a wine blending event, I get a call from Mom. She’s back in the ER.

My heart sank. I started to cry. The night before, she had dinner with my brother, who was in town on business. She said she hadn’t been up to it, but she wanted to see Greg, it was that important to her. When she got back from dinner, she called the nurse’s advice line and they made her an appointment with her doctor for first thing the next day, Friday.

She arrived for her appointment that morning and her doctor took one look at her and rushed her again to the ER. A quick test confirmed something was wrong, although it would take all day to diagnose her. I told her I would leave Napa right away and come home (about an hour and a half away). She said “Absolutely not – stay there, enjoy yourself – let’s find out what’s wrong first…”

So I stayed. Of course, I was glued to my phone, calling my sister Sandy and my Mom every hour to find out what, if anything, was yet known. Through tear-filled eyes, I sipped wine, barely noticing how awesome it was. I’d blow my nose and try to eat amazing food. My heart wasn’t into it and I was simply going through the motions.

Mom’s attitude was “I have my iPad and Kindle… I’m set!” It might have been a front for her, that she was fine with dealing with this alone, but being connected via phone to me and my sister was enough. I’ll never know for sure.

Rock and I were at Morimoto’s that evening, with me checking my phone every 30 seconds to see if my phone was ringing (I wasn’t trusting that I’d hear the ringtone.) When my sister called me at 10pm to deliver the diagnosis, I rushed out of the restaurant onto their outside patio and began to cry. Sandy told me that Mom didn’t want to call me and ruin my trip. That made me cry even more.

Rock saw me slumped over and crying and signaled to the waiter, who also saw this. The check was delivered and paid for in about 2 minutes flat. On the 15-minute drive back to the cottage, I was coming out of my skin. I wanted to be with my Mom right then. “Let’s go back NOW!” I made a pot of coffee and started to pack.

Rock was right, we couldn’t drive after drinking. It wasn’t safe for anyone. We’d have to stay put until the morning. I called my Mom sobbing and apologized. I shouldn’t have listened to her about me staying in Napa while she was in the ER. She sounded scared.

I don’t know if I slept that night, but I woke up with a horrible, empty feeling in my stomach. My mother was in heart failure. And I was still an hour and a half away.


With puffy eyes…

13 Aug

Wake up. Exercise. Shower. Cry. Work. Eat. Drink. Cry. Sleep.


18 days ago, my love affair with Rock ended.

Since then, I’ve been trying to cope with this loss. There are moments where I’m completely focused and on my game at work and then there are days like today, where I wake up and start crying in my coffee, feeling lonely and grieving hard. It’s 11:00a and I am so sad today I cannot read my email. I’ve decided to give up, give in to my despair, and go home to my lonely condo.

My  assistant is the best and I am so lucky to have her. She’s rescheduling my day, which is incredibly difficult to do and she’s even going to monitor my emails for critical items requiring my attention. Her name is Venus and she is an absolute goddess. Thank Goddess for her.

I know it won’t always be like this.  I take comfort in the fact that I will start to feel better soon. Maybe I’ll have something to smile about later today, or possibly tomorrow. Or the next day.

My best friend gave me some touch stones over the weekend. Courage, Healing Heart, and Love. Right now, I’m clutching Courage to my aching chest and hoping it won’t fail me again. It’s incredibly difficult to be courageous and start over. She promises me that one day, my heart will heal and I will feel love again.

Today however, I’m just taking it minute by minute. With puffy eyes, a red nose and running mascara.

One last night…

8 Mar

It’s been 9 months since the hubby and I split. We didn’t however split our financial expenses until this week. We spent the last month negotiating who would pay for what and finally agreed. So now he’s got his own checking account, his own credit cards and his share of our obligations. It’s time. It’s our time to move on.

It was a bittersweet meet-n-greet on Tuesday to finalize that. We spent 30 minutes making sure we captured everything, then the next hour drinking cocktails and talking about the future.

We chatted about the new people in our life, gossiped a little about people we know, and then we talked about Buddy. This is our 16-year old Yorkie. I’ve had both of our dogs for the last 4 weekends and I’ve noticed such a marked change in Buddy that we talked again about euthanasia. It wasn’t a new conversation, but it hurts every time to talk about it. The selfish parts of us don’t want to let him go. The pragmatic side knows he’s just hanging on to this life. He doesn’t eat his dog food anymore, he can’t keep his dog treats down, and he doesn’t know where he is. Our vet told us that when his quality of life diminishes to the point where he no longer wants to be with us, that’s when it’s time to make that appointment.

My sweet little Buddy

It’s time. It’s his time to move on. To be greeted by Spike and Nikki, our other beloved pets who will surely be waiting with tails wagging and big doggie smiles to greet and welcome Buddy to the meadow.

With heavy hearts, we set the date with the vet. It’ll be tomorrow, Friday. I’m meeting the ex in a few hours to take Buddy and Sparticus to my place for one last night together. I want to be strong and not some weepy girl, but I am just a puddle of tears about all the change that’s going on.

I don’t have a pithy point to this post. No earth shattering self-realization. No correlation between what I’m experiencing and my past life. I’m just putting computer ink on computer post paper.

For my sweet little Buddy – you are loved and cherished and I thank you with all my heart for the 16 devoted years you loved me.

For my dog loving friends – a few quotes to remind us all why dogs are so revered…

My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.  ~Edith Wharton

Happiness is a warm puppy.  ~Charles M. Schulz

Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.  ~Gene Hill

Trying to forget…

11 Sep

On the anniversary of 9/11, while the rest of the country world is remembering the agony of the day, I am choosing to forget.

Not 9/11. Not the fear. But on a more personal level, I’m choosing to let things go. To move forward and life live now.

Reality has an uncanny way of reminding us how fragile we are, so dwelling on the events of a particular action from 10 years ago seems to me to be… well, a bit indulgent.

Now don’t go all getting your panties in a ruffle. I’m relating all of this to my own soul searching recently. I’ve done a pretty good job at NOT dwelling on events from the past – and thank gawd for that – because there are some things that are quite painful and for all of you in therapy, reliving them aint easy.

As I sit here on my patio, listening to Tubby Ted, my upstairs neighbor, cough up his lungs, the only thing I don’t think I’ll be forgetting anytime soon is him.

For the rest, I’ll recall those events and be thankful for all that I have today, and with eyes wide open, I’ll nudge those memories back into a corner. For a while. Because while those events shaped me, they also taught me valuable lessons. And they cannot be unlearned.

History happens every day. But life is short and we have only one of them. I choose to be happy so yes, recall the past as needed, but… Live. Life. Now.

It’s ruff ruff on the doggies…

29 Jun

I love my two Yorkshire terriers Sparticus and Buddy. When I left, it hadn’t really dawned on me that I was not just leaving the house and husband, but I was also leaving my beloved pets.

Buddy is 15 years old. That’s really old in doggie years even for a little guy. Buddy is pretty much blind and deaf now and wherever I would be in the house, that is where he’d want to be. Shaking at my feet. I think he shakes because he is confused so I’d often just pick him up and put him on my lap and carry him from room to room. Sparticus is 8 years old and totally fits his name. He races out the doggie door toward the back wire fence to bark at the deer family that lives in the creek. He totally thinks he’s super badass. He walks bow-legged even.

As of today, I’ve been out of the house for two weeks. Sort of.

A few days after I left, I made arrangements for a doggie play date so I could see them. Sparticus was overjoyed to see me and very clingy, which isn’t really his way. Buddy is just so tired all the time that he mostly slept when I was there. And I also stayed at the house last weekend when the husband went out of town. But since I was moving my things into my new place, I feel like I didn’t get to spend any quality time with either of them. As a result, every time I tried to play with Sparticus, he half-heartedly engaged and then would just sigh, walk away, and curl up on the couch cushion, looking outside the window.

He saw me packing clothes and shoes, miscellaneous kitchen things, etc and then leaving. He knows. He always knew when I was packing for a trip and I’d be gone overnight.

I know my leaving is hard on the husband, and now I know my leaving is hard on my dogs too. And while I love my dogs probably more than I love people, and miss their cute wiggly bodies jumping up on me, I’m also surprised to find that I’m sort of okay not living with them.

Or perhaps this just means I’m numb right now. We’ll see. I will say this, I’ve found that it’s nice not to be kicked by little paws during the night.