Saying Goodbye

thThe past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. It started with Brady getting the flu, strain A to be exact. My boy was sick. He told me it was the sickest he’s ever been. Coming from him, that is a large statement.Flu-Season

He’s been in and out of hospitals his entire life with his asthma. He’s encountered many different types of sick.

We Lysol’d and Lysol’d every nook and cranny but I still fell ill about the time he became well. Not long after that, Bryant joined the “down for the count” club. Bryant was followed by Christian, who was followed by Haven.

I believe we finally got rid of the flu, but not without a loss. You see, in one of my sickest points Piper (see My Best Friends) was begging to go outside. When Piper begs she is very mouthy about it. In fact, I don’t think I have ever owned a dog that talked to me like she does. So I let her out and returned to bed where I then fell asleep. Forgetting Piper was out, she ran off.

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Piper

I awoke to a phone call from a neighbor asking if that was Piper on the side of the road down from my house. My heart stopped for a minute. I remembered Piper wasn’t inside. I instructed Christian to go down the road and see if it was Piper. Sure enough, my girl had met her demise. Her lifeless body lie dead on the side of the road. My best friend. I let her down. wonceinalifetimedog

No words can explain the somber of losing a dog. It is so hard. It affects everyone in the house, including my other two best friends who still haven’t figured out where Piper has gone. They only know that their Mom is sad and their friend is absent.

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Sometimes you get on a roll in life. Be it a good run of bad luck, or good. I seem to have been on the later of the two. Not to be outdone, Brady’s great grandaddy passed away last week. A mere few days after the loss of Piper, we lost a wonderful, influential man from our lives.

Grandaddy (we dropped the great because it’s easier that way) and Brady had a special bond like no other. I’m not a grandparent yet, and I hope it is a LONG time before I am, but I do know that whether they want to admit it or not, grandparents have their favorites. Brady was his. No doubt about it. He talked to grandaddy on the phone more than anyone else in his life. Almost daily. When school events didn’t get in the way he spent nearly every weekend with Grandaddy. They always had some chore that needed to be done, and I think Brady found it fun to play around the farm with Grandaddy.

Brady

Charles, Brady’s great grandaddy, was Brady’s dad’s grandaddy. So you would think that because he and I are no longer together, his Grandaddy and I had become distant. Not the case here. The man was so loving and so great with Brady. Until this year, you could count the number of sporting events he had missed of Brady’s on one hand. Rain or shine, he was there to see his boy.

What the worst part of this is, Brady was sick with the flu for a little over a week and couldn’t go see him and risk giving it to him. When he got over the flu he had several basketball games. His grandmamma called two nights before his passing and asked if I could get Brady to call her. She said Grandaddy was asking to see Brady. The plan was that the next day she would come get him and take him to the nursing home to see him.

The time came for Brady to leave and he got a call from his Grandmomma. The doctor wanted to speak to the family, the trip to see him would have to be postponed another day. It was that day that Great Grandaddy was called up. Brady never got to tell him goodbye.

I checked him out of school and had to deliver the bad news. My strong boy didn’t cry. His face was red and the tears filled his eyes, but he didn’t cry. I told him, “son, I know you are upset, and that’s okay, you should be.” “But son, you don’t have to be ashamed to cry, especially not in front of me,” I told him that holding things in would cause you to go crazy.

And so the tears fell and fell. We got home and he went to his room and locked the door and sobbed. His grandmamma came to get him. He stayed there at his great grandaddy’s until yesterday.

The funeral was Saturday and of course, I went. Thank goodness the flu was about a day behind me and I was able to go. Because Brady needed me. He was not okay. It is a strange feeling to be in a church full of the family of my ex but their family is so loving and so accepting of all. I received many hugs and “so good to see you’s”.

The time came to close the casket and begin the Funeral part of the funeral. Brady nearly had to be pried away from his grandaddy’s casket. He didn’t want to say goodbye. My heart broke because there was nothing I could do to make it better. Nothing at all. And I have never seen my boy this upset. Never! A mom wants nothing but happiness for her kids. She wants nothing more than to make things better, but this is an instance where that cannot be done.

Great-grandaddy taught my son so much about life and how to be a man. And he did a dang good job of it. The world lost a truly wonderful man. We will all miss him dearly. But I am so glad Brady has so many great memories and lessons learned from him that he can carry through the rest of his life. I am blessed to have had such a wonderful man be a part of my son’s life for so long. If I could tell him how thankful I am for him and all that he did, I would.

One thingtumblr_m8ex8s1RSk1r7zepzo1_400 I wish I could say goodbye to is all of this pain I am feeling constantly. It is getting old. I wish I could have just one good day. It doesn’t seem like an attainable wish.

Footloose, NOT Fancy or Free

I haven’t been able to do a blog lately. This week or two has been plum pitiful. On all fronts.  IMG_4311.JPG
I think the last time I wrote I was writing about bleacher butt and I told ya’ll about how my son tore his UCL. Well, he has been doing therapy and is getting much much better. The first week of therapy was last week.
Last week started off with the entire Hallman clan coming down with what I thought was a stomach virus on Monday. By Tuesday everyone else felt okay and Bryant, my youngest, was worse. He started running a fever that would not respond to Tylenol or ibuprofen. So off to the ER we go with him. They thought it may be strep, but he didn’t test positive, so that was ruled out. So we get a breathing treatment in the hospital along with antibiotics and steroids. We get sent home with the same. He is supposed to be able to return to school on Thursday but he wasn’t because he hadn’t yet been 24 hours without a fever.
So, it’s Thursday and things are looking up because he is back to his somewhat normal self and plans to go to school tomorrow. Over the course of everyone being sick and me off and on convincing myself that I too am sick I have lost a considerable amount of much needed hours of work. Not only is it much needed because I am getting behind on my daily basic job duties but because I am also missing out on hours I need to be paid.

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As you know I work from home. I also have chronic pain that I deal with all of the time. This week was no different than any other week when it comes to pain level. I had a makeshift desk set up in the recliner in my room which I would sit in with my little lap desk and peck away on this laptop until I decided it was time for a break. Well, for whatever reason, that day I felt like setting this lap desk on the floor in front of my bed and it would be fine. For most people, it would have. IMG_4348
For my extremely forgetful, excessively clumsy self, it was a recipe for destruction. Sometime after Greys Anatomy was over I decided to hop out of bed and high tale it over towards the closet. To this day, I have no idea what I was going to look for. Not one. All I do know is that after my left foot hit that lap desk and bent in places feet are not meant to bend I blacked out and when I came to I hurt all over. Mostly my left foot which is already riddled with rheumatoid arthritis and bunions and traits that make me look like I am walking on Leggo’s for the first few steps that I go anywhere after sitting for a while.
This same left foot has made its debut on my blog before for its ability to turn green when it isn’t the perfect degree of not too hot, not too cold. This foot has now taken on a different color. Black, blue, and a little red, oh, and A LOT swollen.IMG_4347

I can’t imagine what my whole falling incident looked like to my husband who was sitting on the bed at the time of tumble, but I guess it was a laughable moment for him. I will laugh about that now, but at the time, it was a lot of things but funny wasn’t one of them.  If I could’ve gotten up, I would’ve knocked him out.
But see, it’s hard to get up when A) Your left foot doesn’t work at all, B) Your three loving (obviously more than my husband at this time) dogs are worried about you and they are all crowding around you trying to help. C) The throbbing and constant pain you are in combined with the disgust you have for yourself for being clumsy enough to allow this to happen causes you to hyperventilate. Full on, sweat, can’t breathe, can’t-do` anything! I was finally able to get myself up from the floor with the help of my husband and lie down on the bed while he took a shower and I tried to calm myself down.
It was at this time that I knew that the only thing that would help me was a prescription drug of some sort to take the edge off of the pain. So back to the ER goes another Hallman.

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After a shot of Toradol I was sent to x-ray and when I told the ER doc that I have MCTD and RA with the worst of the RA being in my feet he came back into the room and gave me a shot of Morphine. He tells me that he believes I have a Lisfranc tear and I need to see ortho first thing in the morning.
So by the time I get home and bathe and try to find any sort of comfortable position to sleep I have almost been awake now long enough to watch the sun come up. Finally, I slept. I got up Friday and got into the ortho who told me that I have two places that are clean breaks and another that is cracked. He’s worried about my Lisfranc and possibly a ligament in my ankle but can’t even attempt to check on them until my bones have somewhat healed.

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Each passing day deems my foot blacker and blacker and my body wore and worse.

There is NO relief to be found. There is no comfortable position. I am mad, sad, aggravated that along with all the other BS I go through daily with regards to pain, I still needed to bust my butt and add to that pain with some more pain.

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Homie’s Jewels

spay-neuter-2Well, today is a good day. The past 7 days have been something. If you are following my blog you know about my best friend, my Homie, my dog.  You know that I have expressed that I will lose my marbles if anything were to ever happen to him. Well, I lost them last weekend. I need to explain.

Homie is a wanderer. He will slip off if he is left outside unattended. He’s an escape artist who can smell a woman’s musk from miles and miles away.  He is a ladies man. I don’t have a fenced in yard. I have wanted one, but I honestly do not think there is a fence around that would keep him in. Boxers jump. HIGH.  They also dig deep if need be. So to have a fence which would be large enough to hold him in and give him plenty of room to run would be outrageous. He loves to run circles around our house and he needs that. He is so full of energy. And I am so unenergetic and unable to take him for runs like he needs. I am just very vigilant when it comes to him. When we go out, multiple times a day, I have to watch his every move. He can not get out of my eyesight. And he knows he can’t and things are okay.

Saturday I was working in my bedroom and I asked the kids to take him out because he had been begging to go. They did and he came right back in. I assume he didn’t have enough time to do whatever it was he needed to do. At some point, later on, he slipped out with one of the many kids or their friends.  It wasn’t until nearly 4:00 pm that I took a break from working and decided to take the dogs outside. I quickly noticed Homie wasn’t home. I panicked. I went up and down the roads in our neighborhood and the neighborhood beside us screaming, “Homie” out of the window. This went on and on and on until after 11 pm. I just knew that this time was different. This time he was gone. This time I had lost my best friend.

I cried, and cried, and cried. Ugly cried. I cried so much that my eyeballs stung. They hurt. I didn’t want to take my night time meds because I was afraid there may be a small chance he would come back and I would be asleep and unable to let him in. I felt like I was to blame for his leaving. I should have had him neutered a long time ago. I should have checked to see where he was earlier in the day. I should have done this. I should have done that. It is, and always will be, my fault. Then I found myself also feeling as if no one else in this house cared about things that I value. Nobody else noticed my best friend was missing. How is it that they have lost him? They must not even love me. These are the erratic things that go through your brain when you are losing your mind. And I was losing mine rapidly and on a grand scale.  At one point I was even mad at my other two dogs for not consoling me during my breakdown. Homie would have been all up in my grits during a fit like that. He would have been there for me. Why aren’t they?

I had planned for this. I knew that this day would come. I just didn’t think it would be this soon while he was still so young.  I’m not sure if other people keep the loss of their pets in the back of their mind the way that I do. I have lost a lot of good dogs in my lifetime. And the loss of them has always been so overwhelmingly miserable for me. I think that because of this I seemingly try to prepare myself in hopes that it won’t hurt as bad. I know that isn’t going to work but, irrationally, I do this anyway.

Finally, around 3:45 am, I decided to take my Ambien. I decided to call it a night. I decided he was really gone. And I laid down on the living room couch to cry uncontrollably one last time before I went to bed. When I got up to go to bed I decided to check the back door one last time.  To my surprise, Homie was there!!! I couldn’t even get on to him for having left. I was over the moon. He stunk, he was muddy, he was slobbering and panting something fierce yet all I could do is hug him and tell him how much I love him.

So flash forward to Monday morning. My first order of business was to call the vet and schedule him to be neutered. At some point during my fall apart my mom told me to make him an appointment when he got back to get him fixed. She would pay for it. Thank the Lord above for that. Because after all was said and done, it cost $364.30 for him to turn in his prized jewels.

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Homie’s last night with his manhood.

 

He went in Tuesday morning. He went happily. He is such a sweet dog. He had no idea what was about to go down. He just trotted his big self right back to the back with the vet tech with absolutely no worry. He thought we were going on an adventure I suppose. He spent the night there after his surgery so that they could give him pain medication for 24 hours. Wednesday morning when I got there to get him that same trot was not there. The vet wanted to explain to me all of the medication and wound care I needed to do for him in the coming week. She felt like I couldn’t hear her because of Homie’s loud overjoyed panting. So she asked the vet tech to go ahead and take him to my car so that I could hear her. I have never seen a dog stand his ground the way Homie then did. He was planted on my feet. He wouldn’t budge. As if he was saying, Nope, I’m not going on any more of your adventures, thank you very much, I have my mommy.

So, there you have it. That is what my week has been like. A roller coaster of events that were game changers for both Homie and me. Piper is scheduled to be spayed on September 5th. I will have all dogs accounted for at that time. I can not stress enough to people how important having your pets fixed is. There are so many unwanted puppies in the world and so many being euthanized. I am to blame for taking such a long time to have Homie fixed. I didn’t want to take his youth away from him. I felt like having him fixed would, in some way, make him a different dog. I see how stupid that was to think now. And if I had it to do all over again, I would’ve had his jewels removed as soon as they were able to be.

Today, as I said, is a good day. Homie is home and his balls are gone and he is on the mend. I hope you all have a great weekend.

My Best Friends

 

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Homie and Bella

 

I probably have a different opinion about my dogs than most. My dogs are people to me. They are my best friends. Sure, I have friends that don’t have 4 legs but my dogs are my true, loyal no matter what, best friends. It is so cliche’ to call them that, I know. But there really is no other way to put it.

I look at them as my rescuers. If I’m feeling down about anything with my illness I can always, without a doubt, rely on them to cheer me up.  I have three dogs. Two of them are full blooded boxers and the other is a mutt, mostly German Shephard. She is the newest addition to the pack and although I do love her dearly, she is the most destructive dog I have ever owned. I question my decision to bring her home often. She literally chews up everything she can get her mouth on and no amount of scolding or giving her alternative things to chew on has worked. Still, she is here to stay. She’s now a part of the pack.

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Piper

 

Before her we got Homie. He turned 3 on April 1st. He’s my April FOOL. Just look at that picture of him and you’ll see why I say that. We named him Homie and other people don’t understand why. I really can’t even explain why it just fits. When we first got him and took him to the vet for his shots the veterinarian heard a really bad murmur. She acted as if she didn’t even want to give him shots. She asked where we got him and asked if we would be able to get a refund. Like he was just some item we purchased at the store. My husband, who was the one that took him to the vet that day, told her to give him the shots anyway. When he got home and told me the news and that he got the shots anyway and expressed how callous it seemed of her to act that way I was shocked. I was shocked for several reasons.

 

Homie

Homie

 

See there are some things that I don’t see as problems where my husband will. One of them is my dogs.  Don’t get me wrong, he loves them. But he is a voice of reason when it comes to them. He is the person who has said on several occasions that we may not be able to afford Piper because of her destructive behavior and the price tag on a lot of the items she chooses to rip to shreds. I know he’s right, but the ability to find her another home is something I don’t possess.  So when this vets actions and mannerisms didn’t sit right with my husband and he felt it came off as disheartening I knew this situation would’ve probably caused me to raise Hell if I had been with him. I was so proud of him for demanding the shots anyways.

She did tell him that Homie may outgrow the murmur, but that his was one of the worst she had heard. She was doubtful. I did contact the breeder and she assured me that if he were to pass away from this condition she would get us another puppy. Once we bring a puppy home he is a member of the family. How could I just give him back and deem him defective? I couldn’t. Most animal lovers couldn’t.  Skip forward 3 years and me and my Homie are still kickin’ it. He’s healthier than I am at this point.

Before him, there was one. Bella. My sweet, loving, extremely weird, Bella. I got her from someone that didn’t take up a lot of time with her. And because of that, she is strange. She is getting old and can’t see well anymore which prompts her to bark at stuff that really is nothing.

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Bella

 

She is the well mannered, rarely ever does anything wrong, innocent one. Until she’s not. And since we brought Piper home  Bella has acted like she found her youth. Sometimes she is actually the instigator in some of their rough play sessions. And she is having a blast!

Back to Homie- I know as a parent you’re not supposed to have a favorite. Because I treat my dogs like humans too I’m sure I shouldn’t have favorites among them either.

I Have a Confession to Make

Homie is my favorite! I never want to think about the day when something happens to any of them, but I’m telling you now, I WILL have a come-apart if anything happens to Homie.

Homie has helped me with so much in my life that he’s not even aware of.  I can’t tell you how many days I’ve felt like crap and near my wit’s end and Homie will nudge his squishy nose on the side of my bed and just lay his head there because he knows when I’m upset. He doesn’t like it at all and he tries his best to cheer me up. Most of the time it works. I honestly don’t think a day has gone by since we got him that that goofy dog hasn’t made me laugh. I’m not even over exaggerating that, not even a little.

I could sit and go on and on about my friends but it’s getting bed time. Don’t worry about me tonight. My best friend is already sawing logs right beside my bed.IMG_3522