arts & music health

Surgery & Other Bad Luck, or: Hang in There!

by Bridget — December 25, 2018

Sometimes you get all the back luck at once–like surgery times two to the power of–you’ve got to be kidding me! Happy moments & creative vibes help.

I’ve had a shitty shitty autumn. All the things that could go wrong, totally went wrong. I think the Xmas cards I sent out are probably depressing. Surprisingly, I’m still hangin’ in there like that cute little kitten poster–popular in the 80s.

Here’s a list of the bad things that happened only since September:

-I come down with the flu just in time for a T10 to blow into town (that’s the worst Typhoon going). It’s scary, I’m home alone, and need to walk the dog at some point.

-We find out my dog has some kind of serious liver issue and she needs a biopsy.

-My large living room window shatters from the typhoon.

-Home alone one evening I discover my dog has a raging ear infection, which looks an awful lot like blood, prompting an emergency visit to a 24hr vet.

-Jessie, the dog, goes for the liver biopsy, it’s not cancer, but she needs to have major surgery; of course the expensive, invasive, & scary kind.

-The surgeon removes her gallbladder, and a whole lobe of her liver for biopsy, and we’re back to seriously worrying about cancer again.

keep calm, hang in there, hang in

-A few days later the results come back and we learn that Jessie has an extremely rare antibiotic resistant pathogen (lactococcus garvieae) that is responsible for destroying her liver and she will have to keep going back for ultrasounds and a 2 month course of antibiotics.

-Oh right, and they think she probably got the bacteria from a probiotic, which doesn’t really make sense to me until I have an epiphany in the middle of the night, of course as I’m just about to fall asleep. I realise that I share my yogurt with her. I don’t sleep that night.

-The next week I go to get my own liver enzymes tested, just to be on the safe side, and I have to wait a week for the results (it turns out ok–phew!)

-We have to feed Jessie a mostly kibble diet with no treats (as much to her dismay) so my furry teenager rebels by barely eating anything and losing a lot of weight in the next few weeks

-The car doesn’t start and has to go to the shop for several days

-Just when I start to think I have a handle on things again, that I might actually be able to pay for the last operation, and the dog is grumpy cat, seriously, surgeryrecovering well from her surgery, she blows out her left hind knee as we are heading out for a walk.

-4 days later, Jessie has her second expensive surgery in 2 months, this one to remove the torn cruciate ligament in her knee. It’s called a TPLO surgery, they remove her torn ligament, break her leg, and reposition it with a plate. Our surgeon, Dr. Nickolas Woodbridge has developed his own method for this. I already know all about it from the first time we went through this with her right knee.

-This surgery comes out as 50% more expensive than her right knee we had done only 27 months earlier. She’s now our bionic dog with matching metal plates in both knees.

-They let her come back home from the hospital early, just in time for me to come down with food poisoning that night and over the next 4 days.

-That weekend the 2 of us are miserable creatures, both barely eating anything.

-The rest of the week is dire, taking care of the poor girl who is refusing to eat and peeing every 2 hours. I spend the week cleaning up pee, doing laundry, and administering medicine. Nearly every inch of our floor has been scrubbed by hand and our place permanently smells like Dettol & laundry.

-By the time we go for our first walk/3 legged hop she hasn’t been out of the house in more than a week

-As of last week she finally starts to eat a bit more, and do a least one walk a day.

-Oh and Jessie has the craziest of haircuts from all of her surgeries at the moment. It will take a year for her fur to completely grow back.

-I’ve spend 4 days feeling dizzy for whatever reason. I visit my doctor on Monday and discover it’s from severe tension in my neck. That week I go for 3 rounds of acupuncture (yay torture), and 2 therapeutic massages. I’m still not feeling 100% by Christmas Eve.

It’s funny how life is though, even with so much stress going on there are still a lot of lovely moments too. I guess that’s what keeps you going and makes everything seem okay. ‘Hang in there’, ‘It gets better’, ‘Keep calm and carry on’, ‘We’ve been there too!’ are the type of sentiments that help you toughen up and just keep trudging ahead. You have a good cry, shrug your shoulders, and then just keep swimming.

In the meantime I’ve been able to have some fun and enjoy the little wins life brings. I’ve also been doing some meditating which I find helpful. Then there are a few creative things I’ve been working on which help with the inspiration for life side of things. The following piece I was working on for a mural but we’re now going a different direction so I can share this with you. The model is a friend of mine and I like it so much I’m inspired to do more of other people. Are you interested in a portrait of your own? Let me know because I certainly could use the income! LOL/I’m actually serious/crying into a puddle of my own tears!

But now it’s Christmas, so happy holiday season darlings! All the best to you in 2019! xoxo

The Lovely Erin, by Bridget Steis

portrait, art, Bridget, bsteis, bsteis designs, watercolour

(Cover photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash, image above by bsteis)

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