I’m Wrung Out

As we say here in the South.  The present tense of which is “wring”.  Wringing is a process of twisting hand-washed laundry until as much water is squeezed out as possible before hanging it up on a clothesline to drip-dry.   Also used to describe the process of killing a chicken by twisting its neck.  I can’t decide whether I’m a chicken or a pillowcase.  Either fits. 

This week I learned that my dog may have something called Wobbler’s disease (or Syndrome).  The vet, who is eminently qualified, suggested it very tentatively, but I’ve learned to translate.  He means, “I really think this is what it is, but I don’t want to alarm you, and I don’t want to totally commit myself unless we can confirm it with a lot more expensive tests”.

I’m not suggesting he’s trying to make money.  It’s that vets are as hesitant as people doctors.  They get blamed and sued when someone dies.  Ergo, let’s do more tests before we tell you we can’t help you. 

In the end, it doesn’t matter.  My dog either has Wobbler’s, or something like it, and the symptoms and the treatments are the same.  He’s a Doberman who is 11 1/2 years old.  Something had to happen sometime soon.   It’s just that I’m not ready.   I’ll never be ready.  You could give me another 11 1/2 years with him and I would still not be ready.

But I will be.  That’s the thing about dogs.  You get the joy of them when they’re young, but in the end, you have to be the grownup and let them go. 

Meanwhile, there’s a possibility my job may be ending.  I’ve been pretty good at denial until today, but today I realized that I need to treat this possiblity as if it was a done deal, and hope to be pleasantly surprised instead. 

Meanwhile, there have been the usual petty issues that annoyed me and those that made me laugh during this week.  It’s taken me many years of self-training to get to the point where I deliberately focus on the good stuff and the funny stuff, because it really works to counteract the bad stuff.  But this week I feel defeated, like I just don’t have to resources to do it. 

Small bad things are easy.  I think these are two big bad things.  That’s part of my philosophy too.  Don’t attach major importance to small bad things.  I just wish that when big bad things happen, they would space themselves out, and not happen in the same week. 

This week I intended to blog about Horseshoe crabs.  There was a beautiful tribute to them in the newspaper last week by Ann Rudloe of the Gulf Specimen Marine Labaratory (in Panacea, FL).  Maybe another time.

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6 responses to “I’m Wrung Out

  1. Sorry to hear about your “pup.” My lab was diagnosed with ataxia some years back that shares symptoms with Wobbler’s. Prednisone shots did relieve the symptoms for a time, but it is hard on the kidneys.

    There are cheaper alternatives your Vet could recommend like prednisone tablets that might help and are not terribly pricey. Might be worth the $50.00 for a bottle to see.

  2. Thanks, Wayne. He is on oral Prednisone for 3 weeks. The vet said he would give him injections only if the oral Prednisone didn’t work, which it is. I’m guessing he will be steroid-free for periods, then have to go back on them. I care more than anything about him not being in pain. I will lose him when I can’t prevent that any more. I’m so sorry to hear about your Lab too.

  3. Sorry about your situation(s), you have a right to be wrung. Focusing on the positives you can summon is a healthy response but sometimes not enough. Still it beats woe is me all to hell. My transitions have always been the same, when it going to happen grab as much as you are entitled to and begin whatever you are planning to do as soon as possible.

    Here are some unsolicited thoughts.

    At this point in your life realism is a healthy quality. Fortunately you don’t need a career transition just something to get you to the next phase. I’m trying to remember how long it is before you can draw SS but it ain’t that long as I recollect.

    You have some obvious talents and it would be great if you could put them to work for you. Ever think about freelance writing? You could do that well from home which saves enormous workplace expenses too. I can sometimes go a month on a tank of gas. How about working with a vet or animal hospital. Your love of all things animal could be a real asset.

    Finding a roommate would really help if you had the energy to put up with someone to help with expenses.

  4. When I retired I changed my life enormously. I cut everywhere that I could cut. I had always been in the 35% tax bracket coupled with SS and Medicare that is more like 40%. Of course there were health insurance premiums too. So by weeks end my take home was good but not fabulous.

    Last year for the first time in 25 years I got a tax refund and payed an effective tax rate of about 9%. Now I draw SS and in November am illegible for Medicare, which won’t effect my expenses all that much as I have a great Healthcare plan anyway. But I suspect it will effect you positively when you get to it.

    Anyway my point is this. Numbers change with age and if you can get to it without going into big debt it might be easier than you think.

    And on the brighter side maybe your work situation will change but not totally go away. Is that possible? Then you could keep benefits:)

  5. Ah, pt, you cheered me up 🙂 A positive response beating “Woe is me” all to hell is just right. I was saying that that is not my natural state. I’m good at doom and gloom and being pessimistic. Less good at looking at things from another perspective, but I had to learn. And it works. It’s all about how you talk to yourself. (“This is THE END. Well…maybe not…”)
    I love your suggestions. I’m flattered by them actually. The issue is money. Can I live. I need to start now though, doing some research. Thank you.

  6. > a possibility my job may be ending

    So sorry to hear this.

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