Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wild Kitten Update

Just figured it was time for a quick "wild kitten update". Here are two of the three siblings that have been visiting our backyard garden this summer. Of course, Momma visits, too. These two decided that an afternoon lounging on the backyard swing was on their agenda. Don't they look comfy?

Joe dutifully puts out fresh food and water for them each evening. Then he keeps watch to see when they come by, alerting me when they visit. Once in a while we happen upon them when we are outside. They won't really let us get very close, but they will rest comfortably, like lions in the tall grass of the jungle, beneath the vibernum bush in the corner of the backyard.

I love having them here. I openly wonder where they are on days when they don't come by. Partly worried that something has happened to them, or that they've found better accommodations. Surely we have the nicest spot on the block, don't we? Why would they want to hang about elsewhere? Really, Kimberly, jealous of anyone else in the neighborhood with wild and adorable visitors? Yeah, that's me. I don't lose any sleep over it though.

Not yet, anyway.

The Parakeet Tree

Last winter I got this great idea to make a tree for the birds. Along the lines of a coffee mug tree, but sized bigger for the birds. Using a drill and saw aren't exactly my strong points. I can drill a hole, no problem. But drilling and cutting and assembling to specifications, that's a bit of a challenge for someone clumsy like me.

So, after several tries at getting the diameter of the holes right for putting the smaller dowels through (and working out how to drill the hole without destroying the post), I was finally able to assemble the piece. It's not as stable as I'd like it to be, but it's pretty good. I thought about painting it with food coloring or kool-aid, but haven't gotten 'round to that yet. In the meantime, I set it up next to the big playgym on one of the desks in birdland and waited to see what would happen.

Over the next couple months the birds began using it. One, maybe two at a time. But, lately, and it seems more often close to night-night time, they've all been flocking to the tree. I'll realize they've gotten quiet and I hear them grinding their beaks quietly, then turn from the computer to see the tree branches full. The Parakeet Tree is a success.

It seems they think they should be able to sleep there all night. Something I haven't permitted. But, you know, it kind of makes sense. In the wild I'm sure they congregate in trees, settling in on branches, well camouflaged by leaves and flowers, and drift off to sleep there. So, it seems right that they've taken to filling in the branches on The Parakeet Tree each night.

Plus, it makes a great photo.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just a little frustrated...

It's emotional pain I struggle with. Emotional pain I hate. Physical pain, I can deal a point, of course. Part of my genetics, I think. Part of being a woman, too. You just suck it up and deal with it. I'm always bumping into things, scraping myself, poking myself with something, falling off chairs, you name it. Miraculously, I've never injured myself to a point of breaking something, losing a limb, or poking an eye out. Never had to have stitches, other than for corrective foot surgery, or dental surgery. So, pretty lucky.

I never had kids. Joe and I met when we were both in our late 30's, just barely. By the time we settled in together, and then got married, we were well into our 40's. Neither of us had strong reproductive longings...(ok, I do once in a while...but I have friends and family with little ones to cure those). So, we have 7 birds. Those are my kids. Oh, plus Joe.

Anyway, I've never been pregnant. Never gone through the joy and the miseries of 9 months of gestation. So, it's hard to relate. But in the past few years I've had some female issues come into play. And, now, I'm feeling a bit unpleasant.

Several years back I was diagnosed with a of those "female tumors"...I didn't have much of a problem with it at the time. But since then it has grown, and grown, and grown. I've had a few ultrasounds to diagnose the position and size. It's on the exterior of my uterus, on a stalk, growing out and about. The last check showed it to be nearly up to my belly button. The size of two grapefruit, or something like that. But I've been lucky, and only had occasional discomfort.

I've had some frustration with the doctor's office I was going to. First they made a big deal about the fibroid..."Oh, you need to have another ultrasound, since it's getting bigger". Let me tell you this, those ultrasounds are not exactly pleasant. There's poking and prodding, and, soreness afterward. It's much less invasive than other things, I know. Plus, the cost isn't exactly small beans. We have insurance, but it doesn't cover all of it. Not close enough by me, anyway.

Anyway, after I had the test I called to find out the results. They acted like it was an imposition to find the results and confer with me. And, to top it all off, I never even talked or met with the actual doctor in the office. Her assistant did the exam, recommended the test, and then couldn't remember who I was later. They told me that the test showed there really wasn't much change, and that we should just "wait and see. The doctor would like to examine you herself next time, she may have a different take on the situation. Come back in 6 months or so." Oh.

Now, I'm not all fired up to be cut open. I've done my research. I know these things, generally, aren't lethal. They cause problems for many, but not all. I'm well into my 40's, and perimenopause, and hot flashes, are common visitors in my person these days. It's known that these things can shrink after menopause. But that could still be 5-10 years away. In the meantime...

I haven't really done my job of finding a new doctor. I did find a great GP, whom I trust. The past few weeks I've been having some pain. Hot flashes. Pain radiating from my abdomen up, some back pain, and it has been waking me up, and making it a little more difficult to sleep. My cycles are a little goofed up, too. So, I decided to see my GP. Maybe a bladder infection, something like that?

So, I saw the doc this morning. He said there is a slight possibility of an infection, but he doesn't really think so. He checked me over. His instincts are leaning towards the fibroid causing the pain. So, we discussed it further. By his estimation, it's up to my belly button. Or, rather, it has pushed my uterus up to my belly button. Where most women find it once they are in the latter months of pregnancy.

I tried to talk him out of the test. But the discomfort is turning into pain. And I don't exactly like the idea of it crowding out all my other organs. So, I agreed.

But then what? There are a few different options available. But due to the position, and the size of the fibroid, there won't be as many as for some. Do I go on some kind of hormone drug to reduce its size before trying to remove it? Hysterectomy? Myomectomy? Have the blood supply to it cut off and let it die a slow, painful death and then, possibly, have it roam around freely in my body? Not too keen on that.

I'm lucky. I know. It's not cancer. I haven't ended up in an emergency room with an emergency hysterectomy. Hopefully, we'll sort it out and just be done with the whole thing.

It's just been frustrating. I really felt like a number at the one clinic. I'm lucky to have found a GP that I can trust.

Been there? Done that? Wanna share your experience? I'd be happy to hear from you.