Friday, September 15, 2017

Roses and Gatorade


To miss a dream vacation once because of a health issue is a major disappointment.  It happened to me last fall, and I can't tell you how miserable I was for many weeks.  Couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, and couldn't care less if people thought I was over the top.  Ignored consolation from family and friends and wallowed in self-pity.  The illness was so awful, and I just couldn't put the sorrow aside.  Sam ached to help me get over being so sad and so sick.  I finally started talking to people again.  It even helped when I was able to go back to work.   Didn't really come around until my guy propped me up in front of the computer and said we were going to plan our trip once more.  That was when I started being me again.

Self Pity - ...the grave you're digging for yourself.

Unfortunately, the health issue cleared up before the gastroenterologist could get it properly diagnosed.  Of course, I was overjoyed that it was finally gone after almost 7 weeks, but the thought that it would ever happen to me again left me as twitchy as a canary with a cat staring into its cage.  The doctor calmed me down with a plan to have a "miracle" drug with me anytime I planned to go farther that the city limits.

Slowly I began to travel again - always with my miracle medicine in tow.  Never a hint of a recurrence.  But as Sam and I prepared and packed for our 2nd go at our dream trip overseas, the symptoms started up again, albeit milder at first.  "Not to worry," I thought.  Went to the doctor immediately, had several tests done, and was directed to begin the medicine I had in reserve as well as another med she prescribed.  There seemed to be a stronger connection between two of the symptoms this time.  After some internet reading, I also added a homeopathic treatment.  I was confident that I was improving quickly and that with plenty of refills on hand, it was a sure bet that we could leave on schedule.

Well, we did, but it all came to a screeching halt in the international terminal of a large east coast airport.  The horrible condition from last year was back in spades.  I just didn't want to believe it.  This couldn't be happening again a whole year later.  Sam took charge as I deteriorated physically.  As the illness gained momentum, I was more than willing to sit back and let Sam get us back home.  There were tears for sure, and Sam took care that I was on board with his decision.  He was the pilot.  My heart was broken, but I knew he was right.

We arrived home almost exactly 24 hours after we left.  The luggage was lost in 2 different cities and did not make an appearance for another 2 days.  In some ways I was more afraid of falling into depression than of the illness itself.  That mental state is a downward spiral that is difficult for me to stop.  As Sam gathered me into a big bear hug of comfort, I whispered that I was scared that it would happen to me again, like it did the previous year. 

                                         He whispered back, 
                   "Don't be afraid.  I will not let it happen this time."  

Even so, the tears started a dozen times that night.  The trip I had dreamed of for so long was not to be again .  By the next morning I was barely talking at all.  A hot shower felt good, but did nothing to improve my mood.  Knew I should try to eat something, but I had no appetite.  I forced myself to put an English muffin in the toaster and just stood there, head down and waiting. 

Sam came up and took me gently by the shoulders so he could look at my face.  "How is your stomach this morning?" he asked.  I told him that for now it seemed to have stalled for a bit.  

"But you are crying again, aren't you?"  I nodded my head even as the tears came back to my eyes.

"The moping isn't going to happen this time, Ella.  I won't let it," he said quietly and took my hand.  He led me to the bedroom, sat on the edge of the bed, and pulled me across one knee.  There was no anger, and Sam was very matter-of-fact as he lifted my nightgown.  He spanked with his hand, but it was not soft and sweet.  It was not meant to comfort me.  Each spank was a way for me to release a bit of the sadness that I didn't want to let go of.  Sam's way of pulling me back from the abyss of depression.

He talked about what he expected of me and what I could expect from him.  There was to be "no mopey stuff."

"Do you understand?" and he continued the spanking and paused for my assent with each point he made.  I could count on him for all the encouraging hugs and all the support I would need to get through this same horrible thing again.  Doctors visits and medications and tests.  But there was to be no pity party going on at all.  I was to call family members to explain what had happened, and I was to write to friends that were expecting us to be off on our vacation.  No building of walls.  No silence.  No days and nights of crying.

When he pulled me up, I practically gave the poor man whiplash as I grabbed to hug him and to feel his strong arms around me.  There was a soft "thank you" whispered in his ear.  I felt safe from the overwhelming sadness, and I could walk away from the edge of that pit.  He wasn't going to let me fall.  He was right there, and he wasn't going anywhere.

We rested up from the airport ordeal for almost 2 days.  I ate some and drank as much as I could, especially drinks with electrolytes.  We quietly enjoyed being together.  We smiled and talked and even laughed.  I called and wrote the people I most love in this world.  I got through conversations with hardly a tear.  Slept a lot and read a lot.

Finally, Sam went back to work one morning.  The house was too quiet, and I felt a little down for the first time since that spanking.  I was on the phone with a dear friend who had lots of good advice concerning the health issue that had returned.  I paused and asked her to hold for just a minute.  I heard the key in the front door unlock and knew it was probably Sam.  I met him coming down the hallway.  He held a beautiful bouquet of a dozen red roses in one hand and a 6-pack of Gatorade in the other.

                                "Love you, Ella," he smiled.  
            "I will check on you again.  Call me if you need me."

There was a quick kiss and he was out the door again.  I finished my conversation with my friend.  She couldn't see me, but I wager she could tell there was a big smile on my face.  Later there was an unexpected dedication that touched my heart, and I really thought about how lucky I was.

I would love to end with a happily ever after.  That is the name of my blog, after all.  But this is real life, and that didn't happen.

Just so you don't get all gushy about a happy ending, I fell from grace with Sam big time again last Monday.  Feeling so sorry for myself and thinking only of what adventures we were missing.  Of another special friend with whom I wasn't going to get to collect any hugs or laughs or silly times together.  Sam was patient with me at lunch that day but not when he arrived home that evening.

                         "Not going to happen.  I mean what I say."
                                       "Come with me, girl." 

My roses were still lovely, and I was still drinking lots of fluids, but this time there was a paddle doing a lot of the talking.  

                          The kisses came later with a warning.

               "There will be NO mopey stuff around here.  Got it?" 
           "Yes, sir," was all I said and stepped away from the edge.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Devil's Hand !

I am heartily sick of fireworks this summer.  The constant question in my mind is, "When will the people in my neighborhood run out of cherry bombs!?"  It started the Friday night before July 4th and continues still.  The racket stops for a night or two, and I am lulled into a false sense of security.  Then "Boom!" it begins again.

Cherry bombs and aerials are illegal in our city, but the next county over has huge tents along the highway with all the fireworks you could ever want.  Please, don't get me wrong.  I love the 4th of July, and I love a good show with lots of boomers.  But almost 8 weeks later, I was so hoping they would save their leftovers for New Year's Eve.

When these stalwart supporters of our national freedoms start up after I am asleep, I get really grouchy.  Our older dog could care less and snores right through the blasts on the next block, but our younger rescue dog is literally petrified.  If an unexpected explosion disturbs the night, she shakes uncontrollably and tries to burrow in back of the furniture, regardless of electrical cords and my lamps.  It can go on for several hours.

Anyway, I was already asleep when Sam took both our dogs out to do their business before coming to bed.  All the windows were open because the evening had cooled down and was very pleasant.  Suddenly, I was jolted out of my sleep.  There was a horrendous boom that rattled the glass in the windows, and then every dog in the whole neighborhood started barking and howling - ours included!  The cacophony went on until I finally gave up and got out of bed to stand at the window.

Yes, some temper was showing.  I yelled out the window at our dogs to "Shut up!" and then heard Sam's voice in the darkness.  And there was an edge to it.

                 "I am handling this and don't need any help from you."

It was the tone of voice that made me realize, without even seeing his face, that I had crossed some line.  When he came to bed, I apologized for the incident.  He drew me over to spoon but whispered that I needed to "Butt out," when he was taking care of a situation.  I agreed, and we both went off to sleep.

The next morning I was writing an email , still in my nightgown and drinking coffee, when Sam went to get ready for work.  My fingers were flying over the keyboard when he suddenly appeared in the doorway to the office.  His eyes were narrowed (never a good sign,) and he was crooking his finger. 

                                         "Come with me," he said ominously.

I followed him down the hallway.  I could see that he had closed the bedroom windows and was rustling in the bottom drawer of his dresser.  In happier times, I refer to it as the "Toy Box."  When he came up with the rice paddle, I knew he was dead serious.

                                          "Close the door," he said quietly.

I know I have mentioned the rice paddle before, but I am not sure I have explained that it was me who bought it.  Long ago, I had read a story that mentioned such an item.  I had never heard of it before.  About 2 years ago I was out antiquing/junking when I spotted this utensil in a display of old kitchen utensils.  When I remembered the spanking story, I thought it would be a fun implement to have in our toy box.  I shall tell you sincerely that I rue that day.

With the handle included, the entire rice paddle is probably 14 inches in length.  The paddle portion is a slightly oval shape with a concave dip in which to pick up the rice.  Sam says that it is exactly the size of one rear cheek.  I believe it is made of bamboo and is as deadly a weapon of ass destruction as I have ever experienced.  After "playing" with it once or twice, I convinced Sam to leave it in the drawer.  This thing is simply not conducive to an erotic spanking.

It stays at the bottom of the drawer and has only made an appearance once in a great while.  When Sam gets really riled up about something, he will dig to find it.  The tears start before the paddle ever hits its target.

"Oh, Sam, not that one.  Pleeease."  This came out as a bit of a whine, which was probably not the right thing to do at the time.  

           "Yes, this one.  Next time you will remember to butt out."

                              And then he just stood there 
                          waiting for me to put my butt out.

This did not seem one bit funny at the time.  Perhaps if we had been playing, I would have seen the humor.  Good god, my friends, that thing is the devil's hand!


The spanking lecture was all about knowing that Sam was in charge.  That if there were fireworks, then the dogs were going to bark.  That's life.  My yelling out the window for all the neighbors to hear was not only useless, it was just as irritating as the rest of the noise.  The fireworks on my butt continued until Sam's message was crystal clear to me.

The loud explosions in our neighborhood continue to go off every few nights.  I have not even been tempted to complain.  Adjectives that could describe the change in my reaction would be serene, peaceful, calm, and even tranquil.

                               Halo restored and that's a wrap.