A dear friend said to me the other day, “Why can’t life be uncomplicated?” The sympathetic comment was prompted by a situation in my life. Sadie, our black-and-tan miniature dachshund, was spayed last Wednesday and recovering rapidly. So you can imagine our surprise when we awakened Sunday and our beautiful, svelte little girl was whimpering over several large breasts that were leaking milk. A call to the vet assured us that, although rare, nature should take care of it within two weeks. And for the pain? Continue the post-op NSAID pain medication. After an exquisite eyeroll—too bad he couldn’t see it—I got off the phone and wondered if a female vet would have been so cavalier.
Looking up at Sadie propped against the side of the dog bed whimpering, I remembered when my breast milk came in and my B cups were suddenly the size of footballs. In Sadie’s case they were the size of limes. For our part, we have showered our uncomfortable girl with TLC—holding her for long periods of time, hand-feeding her, making sure she has the pain meds, and generally listening to her complaints. But today there was a change. Sadie’s breasts are a tiny bit smaller, and her feisty attitude has returned. She chased Teddy around the yard, stole a piece of bush to hide in her tunnel, barked at just about everything, and, finally exhausted, took a nap after polishing off her lunch. She looked at me just before she fell asleep as if to say, “I got this, Mom.”
And while we are on the subject of complications, the other day I had an online medical chat with my doctor. This should make life easier, yes? I mean, no rooting around in my closet for something without an elastic waistband, no drive to the medical center hoping to arrive on time, and no hunting for a parking space. Oh, and no waiting to be seen. Wrong! After checking in with the medical tech, she disappeared and I was left watching an empty desk chair. In the corner of my iPad screen was my face. I amused myself by moving it around to see if I could improve my cyber visage. I finally gave up after ten minutes since there was no good angle, just a woman with a huge nose, purple skinny lips, and wild eyes. So I started making faces at myself.
When my doctor finally came on the line, I was so startled, I dropped my iPad. As I bent to retrieve it, my discussion note fluttered to the floor and crawled under the couch. I guess I would have to wing it. Grabbing my iPad I caught a glimpse of my face from several highly unflattering angles. When I finally settled down, I noticed the doctor was intently looking to the side at a computer screen. It reminded me of going to confession when I was a child, and you could see the shadowy outline of the priest’s ear and profile. During the entire conversation, the doctor only looked up twice. But kudos to me: I remembered everything I wanted to discuss with him.
It seems that my list of complicated grievances will continue with the medical field. Have any of you made an appointment for a COVID vaccine? The not-so-good news is that you will get to go through this process twice! The very good news is that if you are successful, you will be vaccinated against a deadly disease.
So it seemed logical that John and I would coordinate our appointments. After nearly verbally assaulting him while we were making our first appointments on our respective devices, I decided that for the second appointment, we would do it together, step by step at the kitchen table. All was going well. John filled in the same five pages we had to fill in the first time, using the hunt-and-peck method of typing. (Insert another eyeroll here.) When we finally arrived at the page where you choose your appointment place and time, John ended up at some bizarre page that listed statistics.
I want you to know I was very calm. Patting John on the shoulder, I smiled (it may have been a grimace), gathered up both devices, and said, “I got this.” After about ten minutes, I had secured two appointments for the same time at the same location.
I could probably go on, but I won’t. And I’m sure you have your own list of complications. I don’t think life is more complicated than it was pre-pandemic. The tangles of life are just different. And besides that, my friends, I absolutely know for sure: you got this.