Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Promise of the Rose Buds


I look at these exquisitely tight buds, at their perfection and their portent of future perfection as represented by the blossom. I think of Mama's future, of Duncan's future, and mine. All we ever really have is the semblance, the idea, of a promise. That's enough, isn't it?

Along with this photo of the What a Peach rose that I took in May, 2007, here for you--our CDPBer friends--is the e-mail I sent to our family and friends on Saturday:

The physical therapist and doctors consulted and decided Mama was ready to return to Mt. Tabor Skilled Nursing Facility so that she could be closely monitored as she works on regaining her strength and mobility. Since she has steadily improved since late Wednesday afternoon, that's good news because I believe this time that she has a real chance to accomplish that goal. She's in a different room, in the bed near the door, but with a more interesting view of the sky. At least I think it's more interesting--with the rain today, the sky was a uniform light gray for the most part. There is a lady named Pat in the other bed--she's either a couple of years older than Mama or a couple of years younger--almost to the day since her birthday was Jan. 17--but I cannot remember which right now.

Fatigue sets in once one becomes still. Today was a very long and involved day for me, starting with bathing Duncan before our trip to the vet. He needed his nails trimmed, and I wanted to him to be checked for a possible reason why he's been losing weight since Mama went into the hospital. I had quite a scare when the vet felt a lump beneath his left ear and surmised it was a swollen lymph gland--maybe an infection, maybe cancer. I spent a couple of hours wondering if he had cancer and how in the world would I tell Mama. His blood test and fecal test didn't show anything out of the ordinary. Also, all three vets checked the lump and came to the conclusion that it is a salivary gland. The vet sat down beside me and said, "I'm wondering, since this started happening when your mother went into the hospital, if she wasn't sneaking him treats, and now that he's not getting them, he's losing weight." I looked at her and smiled slowly. "My Mama wouldn't sneak this dog treats, no way. She's a straight, narrow, arrow. Just ask my two sons who are now grown men how straight she is about such things. They'll tell you. Besides, she doesn't want him weighing too much because it could hurt is long spine. No, that's not it." Poor girl was several shades of pink/scarlet/red, taking it all in stride. So, the plan is to increase the amount of food he gets at his two meals and to come back in three weeks to see if he's gained any weight. If he hasn't, then they'll dig deeper for a cause. Y'all dog people out there, should I have advocated for more now? I'm tired and overloaded. I'm cautiously optimistic about this, but somewhat alarmed, too.

I forgot to tell you that after I bathed him, I rolled him up in a towel to help him dry as he napped for a bit. I was busy getting Mama's clothes, etc., back into the suitcase and/or bag. When I realized he was not all the way dry, I got my brand new hair dryer with a diffuser and blew him dry. The little cutie took it very well. Then I put on his black houndstooth coat with the collar and his new water repellant coat with the reflective stripes. That way he was double wrapped against the cold and rain. He looked right at home in Portland where everyone layers.

After we left the vet, we headed for Mt. Tabor and Mama. She was some kind of glad to see the little guy, as he was to see her. I put him down beside her right side where he cuddled up at her armpit, his little head resting on her upper arm. It did my heart a great deal of good to see the two of them together. We stayed a couple of hours--he napped while I put her things away and the two of us talked. The difference in how Mama was after her first arrival at Mt. Tabor on Jan. 17 and today was unreal to the real good side! I told Mama that if it does snow, or even threatens snow, I won't be over on Sunday. She certainly understands that. Her facility is closing in on the 600 foot elevation, while the apartment is probably at 350-400 feet. For a week (until today when warmer air--mid 40s--blew up from California, bringing the rain) we've had lows around 25 and highs around 33-37 degrees. So, who knows, Portland itself could be ripe for snow. TriMet has already put chains on 50 buses that go up into the hills where the elevations range from 700-1000 feet.

Now Duncan is curled up beside me on the couch, asleep. I've got my computer on a lap desk that Lindsay and Lamont gave to Mama for either Christmas 2006 or her 81st birthday--I can't remember which. I don't think that I'll stay alert after I send this e-mail and finish with my Portland Oregon Daily Photo entry. It was good day, though.

Thank you for your comments and your prayers, for sharing our hope.


WendyB said...

OMG! Great dog story. So funny!

Jim said...

Thanks for sharing the email. I like the rose buds surrounding the rose in full bloom. Kinda like the rose showing the buds how its done.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting story. Have a nice Day.

Sonia said...

Just dropping by to say that Duncan is on my blog!

Give a hug on your Mom!

GMG said...

Sorry Lynette for having been a bit absent... Hopefully things will get better around you!
Thanks for the comments at Blogtrotter
Have a ever better week!

Kerri said...

Your posts move me! Rarely can I get through without tearing up.

I am so glad that Mama seems to be doing better.

As for you think he could be losing weight because he misses Mama?? I would think that would be a VERY logical answer to this issue. I know pets are VERY attached to their people!

I hope you are taking care of yourself and that Mama continues to improve. I will add Duncan to my prayers and continue praying for you and Mama.

Annie said...

Lynette, you speak a truth when you say all we really have is a sense of a promise. I remind myself of this each day as I decide to do what I really want to do, what will satisfy and please me and mine. This might be all there is, this moment.

But it seems like the promise is there will be more moments for Mama and you, thank goodness. And Duncan too.

dot said...

Nice post! I'm glad Mama is settled in again and hope she does well.

AVCR8TEUR said...

Glad to hear Mama is getting better and Duncan is well. It must've been sweet to have Duncan and Mama together. Glad they allow dogs.

smilnsigh said...

All so good news, Dear. Including that you realize the fatigue. I so hope you will try to get more rest now that things have sort of settled down. I know. I know. It's hard advice to take. But I can't help but keep saying it. :-)

And as to Duncan losing weight, could he simply be very confused, about Mama not being there all the time? I suppose the vets could tell you that, and I may be giving a pet, too much 'credit.' But it's a thought. I'm not a dog owner so I have no real advice.

Hugs to you,

smilnsigh said...

And I meant all good news, other than the scare at the vets! Heavens, I don't mean to minimize that!