Feeling Better…But Not Fast Enough

The night before my teaching responsibilities at Birmingham Bible Institute began, my throat became quite sore. “Rats!” I thought. “This is the worst possible timing.” I nevertheless did my three hours of teaching and briefly introduced my classes during the Chapel period. The sore throat lasted a little over two days before it turned into a heavy-duty upper respiratory infection.

By the following Tuesday my sinuses were working overtime, and I was coughing endlessly. Sleep was difficult. Thanks to one of my students, I was able to get a cough syrup that really helped. It dried up my system very well, which led to a really awful sinus infection. Thank heavens I had recently had an appointment with my allergist, so I was able to get a five-day course of azithromycin. That was effective in eliminating the sinus infection, but the drainage and coughing returned, although to a lesser extent than before.

It has now been seventeen days, and I think I am finally on the mend. It has been hard to let co-workers and family members down by not being there to do my jobs as I desire to do them. For much of the time, I spent hours in bed, drifting in and out of sleep. I missed church services and being on campus on the deadline date for submission of financial documents for fiscal year 2014 at Wayne State. At home I did my twice-daily cat chores and not much else.

I am a person who values her “down time.” I like spending time at home with family and felines. To live my entire life that way, however, would be the ultimate waste of the time God has given me here on earth. It is important to make some sort of meaningful contribution(s) to others. I am glad to be feeling better and am praying that I will continue to heal so I can soon resume my “normal” schedule of work and worship.

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Technology Crash Day

Today has been both a little too interesting and a little too frustrating. Most of the problems have involved technology and its vast potential for glitches. Among today’s events include:

  • MJ’s equipment did not function properly on a photo shoot.
  • Our home suffered a more-than-four-hour brownout this afternoon (fortunately I was at work during most of it).
  • My work printer refused to print a PDF document from Internet Explorer and Chrome, but did print it from Firefox. Who knows why? Not I.
  • My printer then started making some very strange noises, so MJ and I had to swap it out for another (identical) model.
  • MJ was demonstrating how to use Adobe Photoshop and Bridge CS6 to edit RAW images, and after saving 2 images in JPG format my computer (which had been used by the now-retired staff photographer, Rick) ran out of memory. MJ was counting on my help with editing images for the great number of photo shoots she is doing this month, but my remote access to my computer will not be of value after all.
  • My lengthy attempt to resolve an incomprehensible hold placed on an order I made with Dell ended with the call being cut off (whether by accident or on purpose, I can’t say…but I have my suspicions). I will NEVER order from Dell again. The salesperson lied about several aspects of the order, and trying to resolve the mess is taking hours I would prefer NOT to waste.

I am so grateful to have a God Whom I can trust absolutely and a family I can count on to keep me on the right track.

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Praise Where Praise Is Due

It occurs to me, belatedly, that I omitted the most important part of the story about Jolie Fille and her paw: the praise I owe God for the way He worked out all the circumstances for me to be able to get her to the veterinary hospital, see the right vet for the circumstances, and get prompt treatment for her condition. Without Him working out the details, this could not have been accomplished.

First came the problem of getting Jolie into a carrier. Having been bitten the first (and last) time I forced her to go where she did not want to go, I had no idea how I could manage it. I got the idea to move the carrier into a more accessible location in the area where Jolie and two other kitties spend their time. I put comfortable bedding inside. Then another thought occurred to me: sprinkle catnip on the bedding in the carrier. I did that Thursday afternoon after work. I figured I had a one-in-three chance of luring the right cat into the carrier.

Before heading upstairs for dinner I peeked in and discovered Jolie in the carrier. Even more amazing was the fact that she was still there when I returned. Too late she realized that I was going to close the door on her…and so I was able to transport her to the vet.

Upon arriving at the veterinary hospital, I requested Dr. T, a vet whom I like and the only one I knew was there on Thursday evenings. Jolie and I were shown to an exam room, where we waited quite some time. Another vet I know and like–Dr. L–passed by and greeted me. When I overheard one of the women on staff tell another client that Dr. T would be tied up for a while yet, I told her that I would be happy to see Dr. L instead.

God worked in that circumstance also. It turned out that Jolie needed surgery on her paw. I asked if Jolie could have the surgery the following day, because I knew I would never get her back in the carrier any time soon. The vet who usually does surgery on Fridays (Dr. R) had taken the Labor Day weekend off, and was not available (as she had told me herself the previous Tuesday). Remarkably Dr. L said she would step off the floor Friday afternoon to do the surgery. Had I seen Dr. T as I had initially asked, this would not have been possible since she does not work on Fridays.

All weekend I felt guilty about Jolie, thinking that something in my home had caused or allowed Jolie’s injury to occur. I worried about her coming home; would she be hurt again? When I took another one of my cats in on Tuesday, I learned the probable cause from Dr. R . . . and it had nothing to do with anything in my home environment. I had hoped to consult Dr. L about when it would be best to bring Jolie home, but she was having a much-needed day off after working the holiday weekend. I posed the question to Dr. R, who said that Jolie was doing well enough to come home any time, per Dr. L; but because I was so concerned about Jolie’s safe recovery, it might be good to wait until Friday.

I am so grateful to Dr. L for doing the surgery and caring for Jolie so well. Even more, I am grateful to God, who worked out every detail so that Jolie could get the treatment she needed. To adapt a well-known refrain:

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on my kitty, and I know He watches me.

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The last ten days have held some interesting surprises, two in particular. The first of the changes concerns Pawscar Awesome, my orange polydactyl, who (at age 7) was adopted in January 2013. He reacted so badly to my efforts to safely introduce him to the other cats that he has lived apart in our kitchen/bathroom area. After some time, he would occasionally come in, check out the food bowls, and leave.

Suddenly, on Sunday afternoon, August 24, while Jim was at work, Pawscar howled to come in. Instead of following his usual pattern, he responded to my attempts at communication and hung around with me for a couple of hours. He leaped into the window that used to be Purrin’Dot’s favorite escape from the vacuum (and had a little trouble jumping down), sat on my computer desk and on my lap, and in general checked things out calmly. Since that day, he has spent time with us nearly every day.

“What changed?” you ask. I have absolutely no idea. I do have a renewed hope that someday he will join the rest of the family full-time.

The second, not so pleasant, surprise, concerns my latest addition to the feline family, Jolie Fille. A day or two after Pawscar’s about-face, she started sitting with her left front paw in the air. At first I chalked it up to a cute mannerism, but when it persisted for three days and was always the same paw I became concerned. I noticed that she was favoring the paw when walking, too. She went to the vet last Thursday evening, and ended up staying for some reparative surgery the next day. I have been visiting her daily (except for Labor Day, when the veterinary hospital was closed), and she seems better. I am told that she will probably be coming home Friday.

Today my sister Melissa and I each took kitties to the vet (her Choo Choo Charley and my Revelly). During the visit, I learned that sisters Jou Jou B and Jolie Fille had come to the vet as candidates for adoption in May 2013. Poor Jou Jou B was there for eight months, and Jolie six months longer. How glad I am that I was able to adopt them both!

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