Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Of fleas and failure

We have fleas.

Yes, fleas. As in the jumping bugs that live on cats and dogs. As in fleas that bite. As in disgusting. In our apartment. We have fleas.

A week ago I picked a flea off my baby girl. Fleas?!? In MY apartment?! Where did they come from? How did this happen? (Answer: a stray cat gained entry into our building). I couldn't sleep, I wouldn't set Anna down, I didn't know what to do. I was absolutely paralyzed. I just wanted to flee (ha) to my sisters in Vancouver, but I was terrified that somehow I would infest her house too.

Our sense of urgency combined with the exterminators unavailability caused us to tackle the fleas ourselves. We spent hours dousing our entire apartment with (completely benign and safe to humans and pets) powder, moving furniture, sweeping, vacuuming, etc. It was a tremendous amount of work and it will take a couple weeks to fully, completely, eradicate every last one. Until then I spend an hour each morning cleaning our floors since Anna spends her days crawling over every last inch of them. And although there is nary a trace of fleas, I remain paranoid - and itchy.

Somehow these little critters have managed to make me feel like a failure. I feel so dirty, so helpless, so gross. I have failed as a mother, wife and house-keeper.

I am slowly gathering my wits together.

We are not dirty people. It is not our fault. Anna is not going to contract some awful disease. I am not a bad mother. It will be OK. I am not a failure. I must accept that this time I am simply a victim.

They are just fleas. They will not hurt us. But my pride - my pride is a different story.

In her words...

An update on my mom in her own words because I can't say it any better.

"Today is exactly the 6 week post-op mark for me! Tomorrow is 3 weeks since discharge. I know my INR, Warfarin dose, dates for follow-up surgeons' appointments and many more related issues by date and number. But one thing I'll never be able to quantify is the number of prayers offered on my behalf. But I can qualify it - God has done "abundantly more than I could ask or think." And - I can't thank Him - or all of you who prayed and supported me in so many wonderful ways - enough!
The surgery had the best possible outcome and now I've been recovering very well. In fact, so well that (in my words to a friend who inquired how I was): "either very well or very crazy." That referred to our decision to indulge a fond wish of mine to attend my nephew, Matt Josephson's, wedding in Atlanta, GA this weekend. We fly there Thursday then on Sunday head to Cape Cod gratefully accepting the invitation from Dean and Jill Lundgren to further recuperate at their wonderful vacation home.
The doctors may deal with tumours (via radio frequency ablation) on the remaining 40% of my liver later this fall but they have no concern regarding urgency. As they expected, I've had none of my preop symptoms recur.
In so many ways I've been encouraged and touched and taken care of. What a gift your friendship and support has been. The words thank-you don't even seem to convey as much as I wish but please accept them from me, from the bottom of my heart - which I believe is in the same place as before.

Love and blessings,