Sunday, August 08, 2004

Painting for Cats

So, yes, I did it. And it hurt. And probably the less said about the whole sorry business the better. I am really glad I did it, and I would have been very disappointed in myself if I hadn't gone through with it.

As we were leaving the house to go to the hospital a nice happy bit of synchronicity; the package arrived from the Halifax Cochlear Implant Evaluation Unit. It contains info about the two different types of implants they use; and a whole bunch of forms to be filled out, including a detailed medical history for me to fill out, and, interestingly, an "expectations" form for myself and for Husband, which I guess is used to determine which patients (and families) are expecting miracles; s'okay, I'm not expecting miracles. "Reasonable facsimile of hearing" would be most warmly embraced.

Dr. H. decided to put in the tube but also put in something called the Steinberger wick, a literal wick that goes through the tube and wicks the steroid eardrops behind the eardrum, which is where they need to get to (hopefully) work. The other option was needle injections through the tube to behind the eardrum; I told Dr. H. I'd go along with whichever he thought had the best chance of success but I'm sure as hell glad it was this one!

The steroids being prescribed are (I am not making this up, kids) apparently so potent that only three pharmacies in the province are licensed to dispense them; so we had to drive about fifteen minutes out of town to a nearby farming community to reach the nearest one. ("Maybe they're for cattle," I mused dubiously.) Three drops a day, three times a day, for two weeks. They sting a little but otherwise it beats a poke in the ear with a sharp stick by a country mile.

Anyway, besides that I have also been busy secretly planning Husband's 50th birthday celebration which happened last night... it was an amazing evening, he was completely surprised (not surprisingly - his birthday isn't until Tuesday!) and all our close and dear friends made the effort to be there. It really meant a huge amount to me that people turned out to give him cards and even gifts, and to lift a pint with him - in a way it was an effort on my part to thank him and celebrate him for all the support he's given me these past trying months.

Goes without saying that I had help - my wonderful friend C. (the same one I spent my museum afternoon with) made all the phone calls I couldn't make and was just phenomenal in getting the word out. She's been such an awesome friend through this.

The owner and staff of "our local" capped the evening by providing - unasked - copious pitchers of free beer and exquisite service and much fussing over the guest of honour; the owner is just a sterling guy and he hires youngsters (most are working their way through university) who are just the cream of the generation coming behind us, in attitude, in personality and work ethic. What a good bunch, how nice they made our special evening.

Now, my own personal birthday pressie for Husband won't be ready until his actual birthday, but "the kids" (Veronica and Mojo) had already finished theirs, so it got presented at the party last night:

A little non-toxic acrylic paint, a little water, a few hours in the freezer, and voila! ice cubes just custom-made for a couple of cats to skitter around on paper. We waited until "Dad" was out and laid down a ton of newspaper in the kitchen and had ourselves a gay old time. Mojo got more into it than Veronica, but to my surprise she was most intrigued as well. They knocked the ice cubes around, walked over the painting, and Veronica added a nice touch of spattering when she paused to shake a paw fussily. (Those are their pawprint "signatures" in the lower right-hand corner, in red.)

(They didn't enjoy having all four paws thoroughly washed later with soap and water but, hey, you have to suffer for your art.)

Vacation over, back to work tomorrow...



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