Anxiety, Dread, and…a car in the driveway?

today sucks.

There, I said it. Today simply sucks.

In December of 2021, I scheduled an appointment for this day. A regular appointment. The one that I hate with every fiber of my being because it’s all about the physical parts of me that I don’t want to acknowledge. The parts that make my life hell and make me wish I was never born. Or at least not born with these parts. These parts have caused me trouble from the beginning and it’s never gotten better. I have been dreading this appointment since I made it 13 months ago.

Further complicating this appointment is the fact that the doctor I saw last year is out on maternity leave. Or bed rest. I’m not sure where she’s at in her pregnancy. Although this clinic is amazing and geared towards people like me, I cannot do the new provider every year dance. I started with a different primary doctor in 2021 and had to be switched to someone different this fall. He’s amazing and wonderful and it was no big deal. But THIS appointment…

In the military I saw so many doctors. I was assigned to flight medicine, which meant you saw whoever was free when you needed to be seen. Most clinics had a civilian provider who didn’t move at all, but I found these providers to be rude and inconsistent in their care. I pretty much hated every single one of them because they spoke to you in such a disrespectful way. As if moving every few years wasn’t hard enough, when you add in rotating medical personnel, it feels like no one cares about your health at all.

Also happening today is surgery for one of our cats. She has a fatty cyst on her side and a vet told my wife years ago as long as it doesn’t bother her or the cat, it’s harmless. It suddenly started getting bigger these last 6-9 months and it’s definitely bothering her. First it looked like she scratched it on something. Then she started licking it and the irritated abrasion is getting larger. It bothers us that it’s bothering her too.

We went to a new vet last week because the old one retired. The new vet said surgery would be easy, did a bunch of bloodwork and said the cat is perfectly healthy. We wanted to get it done sooner rather than later and today was the first available day for surgery. We left the vet’s office happy, excited, but a little nervous about the surgery.

When we had to get the cat in the carrier for the appointment last week, it went ok. A few rough moments, but we made it happen. She was displeased in the car and at the vet’s office. But she quickly came around and was fine once we got home.

Today’s experience was not like that. Not even close. We decided to put the carrier in the downstairs bathroom because we could bring her in there and then close the door. We warmed her blanket up for her and then I was tasked to put her warmed blanket in the carrier while my wife grabbed her. I was super quiet about it, but somehow the cat heard me.

I was all prepped, holding the door latch open, ready to shut it quickly once she was in there. But then my wife knocked on the door and I had to let go and open it and then jump back to the carrier. I forgot to close the door. Oops. My wife said, “Close the door!” and I was able to reach back and slam it shut while she started the struggle with the world’s only octopus-cat, who seemingly grew 6 additional arms/legs overnight. Somehow we got her in there with all those extra appendages though. She did that terrible vet cry right away. It hits the same nerve in me that was rubbed raw when the kids got shots as babies. Or their diaper changed in those early newborn days. Sometimes diaper changes were fairly traumatic for them, I guess.

Back to the cat trauma, I went to hug my wife and the cat…I’m not sure what she did exactly, but the entire carrier flipped onto the floor on the door end. I grabbed it quickly and we looked in at her. Her 8 appendages were all on the door and she was clinging to it like a cartoon cat would cling to a screen door. It was insane. And she was crying. Again. She seemed ok, though. Other than the problem of being in a carrier and remembering that doesn’t mean she’s going on a fun road trip. She’s going somewhere where those weird barking creatures sometimes are and where strange humans poke and touch you.

I helped my wife get the carrier and her other stuff for work into the car. The vet’s office is on the way to her work and the drop off time was right when she’d be driving by anyway. I returned inside, ready to put down the food bowls we had to pick up last night to ensure that no food was consumed after midnight. Unfortunately for our other cat, that necessitated a nighttime fast for her too. (She did punish me during the night by sleeping in a crappy spot by my legs that forced me to the very edge of the bed with extremely uncomfortable sleep.)

I decided that this other cat deserved some treats for fasting all night for no reason, other than supporting her sister’s need for an empty stomach. Normally she comes running when she hears the pantry door open. But if she somehow misses that sound, she does know the sound of the treat bag. I was able to open the pantry, grab the treats, shake the bag, POUR THE TREATS INTO MY HAND, close the bag, and return it to the pantry without her even checking on what was happening.

When I came into the living room, this is what I saw:

Clearly her face is saying she doesn’t trust my intentions. Like she understands that we know her motivation is treats and she can’t be sure that I am just giving her treats, without attempting to lure her to the scene of a crime committed against her sister. Another cat inserted unceremoniously into a cat carrier. Not a fate she wants to meet. She’s been to the vet in 2020 and 2021. There’s no way she doesn’t remember the hidden hell we carry her to in that carrier. Just wait until she realizes that my impending appointment means I will not be home during her lunch time…so many crimes against cats today.

To top it all off, the car in the driveway was my wife. She forgot her phone this morning during the cat carrier shuffle. I told her to call me after she dropped the cat off because I knew she’d be upset and anxious. She went to call me and no phone. Of course she had to come back because the vet is supposed to call her after the surgery.

And the last appointment of the day belongs to Boy #3, who has his monthly therapy appointment. He needs it after a huge angry outburst last night. And after a visit to his other’s parent’s house. All of that is another entire post that I need to finish. Today is definitely the day that needs to be over as quickly as possible.

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