This was a horrible year.
I know we all have shitty days and problems and yes, there are people that have worse problems that we do, but it’s fair for all of us to complain about them. And this year was full of wonderful suck that has pretty much lasted all year. To help cleanse the 2008 palette I’m going to vent through some of the biggies (and the smallies). And misery loves company, so feel free to unload your own troubles with us.
The Great Cancer Scare of ’08 Jen underwent major surgery this year to have a huge, 6-inch tumor removed on her back. She had slipped on dog slobber and landed on her ass in the summer and naturally a bump formed where she fell. We didn’t think much of it because you always get a goose egg when you bump, but this goose egg didn’t go away. We finally saw a doctor and was informed it was a giant fatty tumor with a possibility of cancer. I’ve had a really good, safe life, as has Jen, so this was incredibly scary and was totally one of those “can’t believe it’s happening to us” type moments. After many doctor visits, poking, prodding, and worrying she went under the knife and had the thing removed. Of course the doctor couldn’t say he was 100% sure it wasn’t cancerous, but thankfully it was not. It was quite literally a ball of fat. The surgery itself I think was pretty simple, it was completed in under an hour. By far the recovery was worse. To help in draining fluids that had built up, she had to carry about a little fluid sack thing with a hose that ran into the stitches where the incision was. Talk about a pain in the ass. Fear of it getting ripped out was there and it happened once or twice thanks to our damn dogs, but it was by far the most inconvenient thing I think we’ve ever had to deal with. It was a very rough 3-4 month period of which she’s still feeling the effects of. We count our stars it turned out to be just an inconvenience, but jesus, it was awful to live through.
Our Poor Dog We found out early in the year that our oldest dog, Colby, is prone to seizures. The first one happened the same night we brought our puppy, Roxi, home. We dealing with her running around and pooping on everything when all of a sudden Colby freezes up and starts to act like he is choking. We had no idea what was going on. I stuck my fingers down his throat thinking he was choking but that didn’t do anything. I had to pick him up and put him in the car to rush him to the vet. But dare I forget to mention that this was the night that the “blizzard” rolled in to town so the roads were shit, wrecked cars everywhere, and there I was rushing my poor dog to the vet at 9 o’clock at night. By the time we got to the vet Colby was fine, however, seemingly unaware that anything had happened. The vet didn’t have much to go by besides my account of what happened, but she’s sure it was some type of seizure and suggested he might have some sort of epilepsy. Since March he’s only had three seizures. They are few and far between, but it’s quite unsettling not knowing if he’s having an attack while we’re both away at work. There’s not much we can do or give him to help with these things. They don’t last long and the don’t seem to effect him on the outside, we just don’t know what’s happening on the inside.
Crazy Ohio Weather We here in Ohio aren’t used to hurricane-force winds, but this year we had them. Not only did it knock out our power for three days and blow out a window on our patio room, it nearly took out some shingles from the roof. Again, it was a mess that ended up fine but was a huge and costly inconvenience. The only good thing that came out of it was it gave us a reason to clean out the fridge. And at least we didn’t suffer as much as some people down the street, whose metal siding I watched tumble down the street. And as if the winds weren’t enough, just a few months prior we had the biggest snow fall that I had even bared witness too. About 20″ of snow fell in a very short amount of time pretty much crippling the entire city. We couldn’t get to work, couldn’t go anywhere…just disabled. The dogs loved it, but it was a bitch to deal with.
Stupid Burglars We don’t live in an unsafe neighborhood but we had two break-ins of our shed in the back yard. It’s very unsettling to be out in your yard cleaning up dog crap and finding the lock on your shed busted right off. Granted, it’s a shed and not exactly locked up like Fort Knox, but all the same. I took inventory to find they had taken nothing from the inside. At the time of the first bust in, I had a nice bike and lawn mower in the shed. Both were left in place. Stupid burglars. I mean, c’mon – if you’re gonna bust in, take something, otherwise it’s just punk-ish. Nonetheless, I replaced the lock and shuffled some things to the garage, but that didn’t stop them.
They jacked the lock again and once more took nothing. Even though (we think) it turned out to just be stupid, bored kids being asses, knowing that someone was in you yard busting shit up is very unnerving. I couldn’t tell you how many times I got up in the middle of the night, flashlight in hand ready to find the Hamburglar in my back yard. The only hint of good from this story was that the yard was covered in dog shit, so at least I hope the fools that jumped the fence stepped right a big ol’ pile. Jerks.
We Hate Cars I may collect Hot Wheels, but I hate cars. I know nothing about cars and they’re just expensive blackholes that bring little joy. First Jen suffered a HUGE tire blowout on the freeway, of all places. And I’m not talking the tire just goes flat, I’m talking F1-quality blowout. The sides blew off…smoke, sparks, the whole nine yards. Thankfully she was close to home and near an off-ramp. A call to roadside assist yieled a Geo Metro bearing a 400-pound man with a tire iron. Whatever works. Could have been worse but expensive and not fun. And why would car problems stop there? I found out I needed a new manifold in my car. Yeah. Suck. The engine light was on and off for a few weeks and when I finally took it in they quoted me about $120 based on what I had told them was happening. Much to my surprise the return saw that quote go from $120 to $700. It seems I took the car in at just the right time before things got “really bad.” Whatever…I hate cars.
Parental Worries My dad is 60+ and has had his share of kidney stones in the past. He’s out of shape, doesn’t do anything, and has a horrible diet (as if I’m one to talk), but it all came to ahead just this past month when he magically lost 30+ pounds, turned yellow, couldn’t walk without a cane, and had his foot swell up to the size of a watermelon. We weren’t sure what the deal was, all we knew is that he actually had to go see the doctor for the first time in 15 years. With no family medical records to go on, we had no idea if his problem was something he had been carrying a long time or if it was the onset of cancer or what. Turns out it was just a small stone blocking the bile duct in his liver – a kidney stone in his liver, basically. He got off easy. I doubt it will change any of his habits to avoid such an occurance in the future, but if he’s not careful next time it won’t be “just a stone.” Unfortunately, at 62 years old he’s as stubborn as the Kool-Aid stain on my carpet.
Shy of all that…
…the year was pretty normal with few other surprises. We both have jobs we enjoy. We have pets we love. We have a house we love and we have friends and family close by that we love. I guess when you have it good for so long you have to have downs to appreciate the ups. I’m all for having downs. It’s just part of the game and part of that thing called “balance” we all need to live properly and happily. But here’s hoping 2009 can deliver fewer downs than 2008. But I guess considering we had to deal with a lot of crap in 2008, if we could go through 2009 with only one or two minor deals, we’ll be good. But…we’ll take what we get and we’ll kick ass.