It Can Always Be Worse

What a week. But I’m on the upside of it now, and that reminds me of a favorite children’s book. It Could Always Be Worse is based on a Yiddish folk tale where a man complains to his rabbi about his small overcrowded house. The rabbi has him add to his inside household, the chickens, the cow, and other animals. The man does what the rabbi instructs. Then when he is ready to pull his hair out, the rabbi has him take the animals back out. When the household is back to its original size, the man is so relieved he stops complaining.

I feel as if I’ve written about this book before, but not sure.

Mom was scheduled to come on Wednesday morning, and I had been having a problem with my leg (part of my lymphedema), but hadn’t found time to treat it. I was rushing around, trying to get stuff done before she comes for a month. Tuesday night, right after dinner, my cat Felix got very sick–vomiting and diarrhea. We ended up taking him to the emergency clinic because we were afraid of a urinary blockage (since male cats are prone to those), but he was diagnosed with a microscopic parasite called Coccidia. It’s very contagious. Yippee! Great to hear when you have 5 cats (4 of them elderly). We started medicating Felix, and separated all the cats from each other!

Wednesday morning I took poos from the other cats to the vet and picked up meds for them, then went to Petsmart and bought disposable litter boxes. Then we had to haul all the plastic litter boxes and other cat paraphernalia out to the driveway for cleaning and disinfecting.

FYI, Felix did not get the Coccidia from the animal shelter where we volunteer. He came to us as a stray with parasites that hid from detection in his intestines, and he has had problems in the past because of his medical history.

Then Mom’s first flight was late, and she missed her connection. They couldn’t find her another flight to Phoenix that day! Eighty-two years old, traveling by herself, and they gave her the wrong shuttle bus name. Then they made her go to some ancient Day’s Inn where the ceiling was crumbling onto the bed. They bought her dinner, but NOT a glass of wine!

She arrived the next day in the midst of the chaos of Coccidia over here. I am exhausted. No hat is going to help me now ;).

But day by day things are getting better (or so I tell myself). And we’re just glad to have Mom here and not in Michigan weather right now.

Even this busy, I am doing a little secret editing. #amwriting


Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, Cats and Other Animals, Nonfiction, Sightseeing & Travel, Writing

53 responses to “It Can Always Be Worse

  1. Hope you and mom have a chance to enjoy a nice glass (or two) of wine!

  2. Wow – the troubles ganged up on you ~ but you are still writing and editing, which is great. Hope your Mom and Felix are both better. Reminds me of the saying by Rita Mae Brown: “I tried to drown my sorrows, but they learned how to swim.” May this be a much less pesky week, even a good week. I’m progressing with a new novel, The Hand of Ganesha. Interviewing my character Arundhati, who is giving me ideas about plot and additional characters. So it’s not the actual writing…more like groundwork.

    • They sure did. Felix is still isolated. We moved him from the bathroom to the walk-in closet because the bathroom was too cold. He likes a spot up high in the closet, so I figured he would be happier in there. But I have to sleep with him for an hour or two every night because he scratches at the door and cries😦. Mom is doing better than Felix. I’m so happy to hear that you are moving forward with the new book, Elaine! I can’t wait to read it!

  3. Editing always makes things better. 🙂 Enjoy your visit with your mom, Luanne.

    • The part of editing I’ve been doing is pretty methodical, too, so it’s been easy, but I feel as if I am accomplishing something 😉 Thanks, Jill!

  4. I think I remember that story, Luanne. I hope your week gets better, and that none of the other cats get sick. I’m glad your mother (finally) arrived safely, and hope you feel better soon.
    I thought of Roseanne Rosannadanna, “It’s always something.” 🙂 Remember that?

  5. Wow! When I adopted my last cat Morgan from the shelter, she came with coccidia and giardia (I didn’t know at the time). I isolated her until I got an all clear from the vet but the poop sample test came in positive the next day. I had to medicate all 4 cats. OMG! What a nightmare. You can be sure I will get any new cat tested before she meets my crew. As for your Mom, what a trooper. They couldn’t have made it worse. (She deserved a whole bottle of wine!) My mother wouldn’t have weathered that so well.

    • Ugh, has Morgan ever had these problems crop up again? Felix had giardia that wasn’t diagnosed for four years because he tested negative when we let him in the house and hauled him over to the vet. Now the vet thinks the giardia damaged his intestines and that’s why the coccidia which could from anywhere, even lying dormant in his own digestive tract. I feel terrible, just awful, that Mom had to go through that. Layovers have got to be 3 hours to avoid that problem. Flights are just too unreliable today. And the way they handle things is just awful. Remember when you were running late to your flight and they would announce your name over the loudspeaker? Then you could go to the nearest airline rep and show you were on the way. Now they just don’t wait. My daughter was in a long line at the start of the holidays (with her cat) and had checked in 2 hours earlier, and they gave her seat away to someone else!!! She was there in time and had to sit there and look at “her” plane out there for 20 minutes. She had to take a cab all the way back to her apartment (in NYC) and go the next day (this time without cat). But at least she’s a lot younger then Mom and could go to her own home.

      • No, Morgan didn’t test positive again. But I stopped testing after a year. Poor kitty. I can’t get my husband to travel because of the poor service. There are very few airports that he will do a layover in and he will only fly out in the early morning to avoid delays. Unfortunately his kids live across country. Sigh. Wish they lived in driving distance.

        • That’s such a shame about your husband, but I do get it. And the gardener isn’t much better. He will only fly in the later morning–too early and he can’t handle it, any later, and he fears the layovers. So happy that Morgan didn’t get these problems again! What a nightmare.

  6. Wow! What a week! Hope things get better this week. Blessings!

  7. Crossing fingers and toes that you get an all clear on your next visit to the vet. I can’t imagine trying to get the house ready for your mom while juggling with the entire cat situation. It’s in those hectic moments that our inner strengths shine through! On a good note, you didn’t mention having to disinfect your mom after her stay in that dilapidated motel room. 🙂 I hope you are having a wonderful visit with your mom and that her return trip home is pleasant for her. P.S. It was 8 degrees in Indiana this morning when I woke up.

    • LOL, I laughed at the idea of disinfecting Mom! So funny. The other day when it was 5 degrees in Kalamazoo, I think she was a little glad to be in Arizona ;). Thank you for noticing the inner (and outer) strength it’s taken to get through this past week haha. I am so tired! Hauling cat food, water, poop bags etc. all over the house back and forth. Ugh, making me more tired just writing that out! Hope your week is a good one!

  8. Oh coccidia! It’s the bane of goat herders too. Every year at least one kid gets it and then you have to treat them all. Runny poo all over the place!

    I can’t imagine having to deal with it indoors. Sorry to hear about your struggles this week. Hope you have a nice time with your mother and your leg improves!

    • Luckily, they gave Felix a shot at the ER that calmed his system so that the “runs” stopped right away–and since everybody else has tested positive, it hasn’t been too bad, but YES, if they had all gotten it, can you even imagine??!!!! Poor goats. They probably wonder what in the world is going on! Thank you for your kind wishes, Adrienne! I hope all is well with you and your family!

  9. I hope your Mom has got over her ordeal

  10. Oh good grief!!!!! But… at least you didn’t have a cow in the kitchen (as per that story which I’m very familiar with)! Arghh how awful, everything going wrong like falling dominoes!
    BTW u might want to fix a typo near the beginning: “microscopic paradise called Coccidia”
    LOL! It wasn’t really such a “paradise”!! 😀

    • Hahahaha, oh dear iPad, you are such a kidder . . . . Thanks, Ellie–much appreciated! I don’t know–a cow in the kitchen might be preferable to coccidia in every room ;).

  11. What a week Luanne, I hope things settle down for you soon and good to know you’re still finding some writing time among all the chaos 🙂

  12. What a terrible time! I hope things are going a bit smoother now, your kitty is feeling better, and your mom and you are relaxing.

  13. Oh you poor thing, Luanne. I sympathize and know exactly how you feel, stretched to the limit. The good thing is that if it doesn’t kill you, it gets better.

  14. Those are hectic times! I’m glad you’re getting things accomplished, though.
    Also, I love that book 🙂

  15. Our first cat, Joshua, had Coccidia. He was a shelter cat but he was diagnosed pretty quickly after we got him home. Poor guy had a run of health problems the first few weeks. We figure he would have died (or been put down) if we hadn’t adopted him. Fortunately, he was our only cat at the time so we didn’t have your Hell on Wheels experience.
    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s experience. One time a bunch of us had a flight canceled (it was a business trip) and the airline put us up at a very seedy motel miles from the airport (which was infuriating because the airport had a hotel in it but, you know, it was an expensive hotel so … ). It was so seedy I slept in my clothes on top of the sheets and tried to not touch anything. I assume your mom didn’t have an airport escort? I’ve never used one, but I’ve heard that for a fee, you can have someone affiliated with the airport escort you to and from your plane. It’s something that my sibs and I have talked about, should my mother ever brave trying to fly by herself. She’s 93 and so far she’s always managed to rustle up one of my cousins to fly with her. (Lucky us, one of my cousins has a condo and family in Florida that he likes to visit a few times a year.) Anyway, something to think about for your mom’s flight back. In the meantime, drink lots of wine and keep pumping! (And I hope your kitties will be back to their normal routine soon.)

    • Thanks, Marie! I did call Delta and found out about a hidden disability assistance, but they weren’t very clear on how much help they will really give her. Better than just wheelchair help, which is not even guaranteed, I discovered! Yes, someone needs to fly with your mom, for sure.
      Things are still really hard over here with the cats. In fact, after a day that kicked me in the you-know-what Pear, our oldest, got sick with cystitis again and had to go to the emergency clinic (so much $ in the past week for cat medical!!!!). I got home at midnight and then had to sleep on the floor of the closet with Felix until 2:30AM because he was freaking out. Kana got stuck in “her” bedroom because I couldn’t have her shenanigans going on around Pear. FUN TIMES AT THE CAT RESORT! xoxox

  16. This same folk tale is familiar to the Arab levant, as well. I’ve told it myself, too.

    • Oh, interesting. I wonder if it’s one of those tales that originates in all areas of the world. Cinderella does that except for the African continent, I think.

      • It probably stems to long ago when the people travelled from one place to another, on their trade routes, when they weren’t divided territorially, as they are today. There were tribal differences, but still the news was past on by travelling merchants and entertainers.

  17. I love that book! I had forgotten about it. I should get it for my kids. 🙂 I hope everything is all better now, cats, mom, and all!

    • Robyn, I love you getting these books for your kids. I wish you lived here. I have a great collection of kids’ books, and they could read their fill as they get older ;). I’m saving them for my grandkids–IF I have them haha. No, things are not better, but I hope they will be soon. It’s been pretty icky here.

  18. Pingback: Can Always Be Worse Continues | Writer Site

  19. Shhh! I am binging on my good friend’s posts! Hopefully, coherent and clever. . . Ha! 😁
    I always am happy your mother is able to travel and visit you! So sorry, belatedly, how she ended up in a motel and missing her flight. My Mom isn’t able to travel like this but would enjoy seeing her grandchildren in their own settings. The Legos were fun and skillful of your son.
    Gary, son and ND are quite warm and open-hearted to have expanded their nuclear family to include the older dog, Gary! He was so cute!
    I bet the Gardener was happy to be able to have this visit, too. 💞

  20. Hopefully “I” am coherent and clever! It is a little late after I worked and visited my granddaughter Makyah who turned 7 this week. She and I went to the store and she chose a mother dog which has three baby puppies, “one boy” she told me, “and twin girls.”

    • That is so sweet: “one boy and twin girls.” What a lovely way to think of it. Happy birthday to your little Makyah!

      • Thank you for your comment, Luanne! The softest hearts in my seven grandies are those of Makyah (my son’s child) and Micah (my daughter’s child). They are ones who take care of the classmates who are not always accepted, Micah had this boy with autism (Asperger’s syndrome) sit by him, jump with him and following him around for two hours at a busy indoor trampoline park called, Sky Zone. Tristan even was laughing and social. He has been his “shadow” on the playground since kindergarten, now in third grade. They will definitely be adopting lost animals, feral cats, too. There is a band of feral cats behind our Pizza Hut that get fed by the workers. Micah wants to pet them but I will only let him talk to them. 💞

        • This is the BEST! I love that about your grandkids, Robin! What wonderful kids who have been trained by you directly and through their parents by you!

    • By the way, you are always coherent and very clever!

Leave a Reply