Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Paying for My Crimes



Monday I had one of those days. You know the kind. The kind where you leave your grocery list and coupons home on the counter when you had hoped this trip to the store would be your last until after Christmas. I also took off without my cell phone. I didn’t figure that one out until I was writing a check for my groceries and I noticed the piece of red card-stock sticking out of my purse pocket with the words PUT CELL IN PURSE written on it with a magic marker. I could almost hear my mother saying, “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached!” How I ever got the reputation for being a detail person is beyond me. Actually, I do understand and I do deserve that reputation. But I’m also known for being a one-track person and when I left for the store my one-track was on a different road.

At the store I came upon something I’d never seen before---a beautiful layered tiramisu cake all boxed up for gift-giving, an import from Italy. I love tiramisu cakes and Italy but I couldn’t read 99% of the words on the box or find an expiration date. Even so that box was in and out of my cart a bunch of times before the you’re-on-a-diet side of the debate going on in my head won over the you-deserve-a-Christmas-gift side. Still, I couldn’t get tiramisu out my thoughts so when I got to the bakery section I couldn’t help buying a single square of American style tiramisu. (Punishment for my indiscretion would come later.) When the young clerk handed me the box he'd put the two inch square of cake in, I almost asked him to tape the lid shut---they usually do---but I didn’t want to sound like a fussy old woman. Big mistake.

When I got home I took two cloth grocery bags in the house and sat them on the kitchen floor then went back to the garage to get some more. When I came back in, the dog had popped the top off the tiramisu and was eating the chocolate layer and then some off the top of cake square. The top that is dusted in cocoa powder. Most people know that chocolate is toxic to dogs, the darker the chocolate the more toxic it is and cocoa powder is right up there at the top of the list. Coffee isn’t good for dogs either which tiramisu also has in its layers. I hopped on the internet and found a site that scared the heck out of me. Levi was going to suffer diarrhea, vomiting, low blood pressure, rapid breathing and seizures before his muscles got rigid and his heart failed. The site also said that once the symptoms start it was almost too late for treatment.

I called his veterinary, prepared to rush Levi down to get his stomach pumped and force it full of charcoal to absorb any left-over toxicity. The vet wanted to call me back after he did some calculations that involved Levi’s weight vs. how much tiramisu he had consumed. They have an app for that. Who knew. And who would have ever guessed math would play such a critic role in my day? When the vet called back he said he was quite sure Levi would be okay but if Levi started showing any symptoms over the next six hours I was to rush him down to the Animal Emergency Hospital. Yes, we have one of those in town and it’s very much like an ER for people.  Sad, tense, even crying people are in the waiting area and you wait forever while your pet is surrounded by specialty veterinaries prepared 24/7 to do anything from pull a thorn out of a paw to open heart surgery. Like any other hospital, though, the less critical patients wait while they take the more serious cases first. And you’d better have a credit card with you because you have to hand it over before your pet even gets rushed back for treatment. I don't know what happens if you don't have one and I hope I never find out.

After I got off the phone, Levi was acting like a brat, begging for treats that I didn’t give him. If he was going to upchuck, I thought, best not to have too much in his stomach. Do you know how hard it is to watch a dog for six hours? All kinds of thoughts ran through your mind. What would I do without him in my life? How could I have set that grocery bag on the floor? Why didn’t I act on the impulse to ask the guy at the bakery counter to tape the box shut? In the meantime, Levi ran around barking at squirrels and birds while I followed closely behind making sure he didn’t park any barf in the corners of the rooms. Perfectly normal---well, not the following part but you probably knew that. Then he took a nap. Perfectly normal even if I did keep annoying him by taking his pulse every time he twitched in his sleep. Finally, the six hours ticked by and Levi didn't show any symptoms that he would die by chocolate. To celebrate I ate the rest of the tiramisu. But I did not enjoy it...and I'm not sure I ever will again. What a waste of calories, a half a day and $2.99. Crimes against your diet plan just aren’t worth it! ©


16 comments:

  1. I hate to admit it, but I knew Levi would be fine and you wouldn't. It just works that way. You should have had that boxed taped shut or guarded it with your life. Okay, I'm guessing that dessert is off your list for some time.

    Have a fabulous day and I'm thrilled Levi is fine. ☺

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    1. Yup, it will be a long time before I cave in again to the call of tiramisu. And if Levi had not been okay. I would have started this blog out with a primal scream.

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  2. sorry but i thought that was so funny, well now that levi is okay that is. and you eating it after he licked it was hysterical! i just love it here honey!

    smiles, bee
    xoxo

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    1. Everything can be funny in hindsight, can't it. At least that seems to be the case in my life.

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  3. This was so funny, Jean. I'm going on the theory that Levi licked all the calories off.

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  4. Yep, payback. The BIG Guy is smoking out your cheating ways. Got a free pass this time, but who knows N E X T T I M E

    How is your shoulder and arm doing? Are you in Physical Therapy yet?

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    1. I find out Friday on the therapy. My shoulder is fine but my arm is giving me a little pain when I move certain ways. Nothing major but it's still there. Last night I slept on my stomach for the first time in a long, long time. No pain, extra pillows. I was always a stomach sleeper until about six months before the surgery.

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    2. Oh, what joy to sleep normally without pain! I'm so happy for you.

      You MUST get therapy. You know the drill - Exaggerate the aches, wince a little here and there? Physical therapy works wonders on limbering up and strengthening shoulders. After all, you have to get back to shoveling snow tunnels for Levi.

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    3. I know, I won't fight it if he thinks physical therapy is the best route to take.but I'm also open to a structured home therapy program. I know he doesn't want me doing any lifting all winter and no reaching above my head for months in the future. I could see him waiting awhile longer for therapy. The x-rays will show the mending, I guess.

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  5. Oh gosh! What a STRESS!!! Thank goodness Levi is okay ... and so glad he licked off all the calories!!

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  6. OMGosh--dang pets are more trouble than a passel of kids!!!

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    1. The only difference is you can leave your dog or cat alone while you go shopping.

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  7. I'm glad Levi is fine, but I'm sorry that you didn't get to curl up with a favorite beverage and reading (or tv show or movie) and savor that square of tiramisu one delicious bite at a time.
    My mother also used that "you'd forget your head if it wasn't attached to your neck" line. I can't tell you how often I've gone out to do grocery shopping and realized at some point that I forgot to take my wallet when I went out the door. (Thankfully, I usually realize that before I get to the store, not at the cash register.) When I was teaching, I would have at least one episode a year when I would get to class and realize that I never picked up my class notes off the department printer. The choices were to run back to get them, thereby starting class late and too breathless to speak, or to wing it. Usually I decided to wing it and it went fine. (After all, I had just finished writing the notes 10 minutes before class; I ought to be able to remember what the key points were!) Grocery lists are not so forgiving, though. Whenever I forget my list and decide to wing it, I seem to arrive home to discover that I forgot one key ingredient. -Jean

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    1. Thankfully, I've never forgot my wallet when leaving the house but about 30% of the time I do forget my coupons and grocery list.

      That's interesting that your mother used the same ling about forgetting your head. I'll bet it came from a movie or radio soap of their era. My dad used to say, "Do you live around here or ride a bike" and it wasn't until I tried to research it that I found out that the line first appeared in a 1920s college humor magazine.

      Have a good Christmas!

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