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Breakfast is Served

Breakfast is Served

Just because a dog will eat anything, doesn’t mean it should. Of course YOU try telling that pup that the juicy smelly gym shoe he just devoured or the expensive fluffy feather pillow she just killed because she was protecting YOU from it, isn’t good for them. Or for you…. But what do you say? I’ve tried those and I know they don’t taste good? I’ve shredded many an old sweater and those strings just get caught in your teeth? Well, helping your dog to know the difference between the toys that are his and the toys that are yours is not the point of this particular blog, although it could be the next one.

This one is about the stuff they eat. And again, I’m not talking about the expensive antique throw rug to the expensive new prada heels, but the food you feed them… or don’t.

In my long life of owning dogs the food issues have been so different with so many schools of thought. We were always told different things by different people. There was the way your parents did it, there was the attitude of the area you live in, north, south, backwoods, city. “He’s just a dog”, “He’s my baby and nothing is good enough for him”. There is the newer thinking of holistic eating and vet care.

When I was a kid, we were poor. The dog got table scraps. If there were any, you shared with him (and what kid wasn’t willing to give up his brusslesprouts or spinach) not so much the meat, (although I was, which was why it was so easy for me to become a vegetarian over 40 years ago, but that’s another story). And the lucky dog got our bones. Rib bones, chicken bones, what ever bone we were done gnawing on, they got. And man did they love it. We eventually were told by a vet that chicken bones would splinter and would puncture something and possibly kill him, so that finally stopped. Lucky for Boots, cause he devoured those bones till he was already a teenager and luckily never had an issue.

I remember him, my first dog ever, Boots, I was a baby and he lived to the ripe old age of 19. My buddy from the time I could remember until I had to help him cross over the rainbow bridge when I was already out of high school. He was a terrier X and small and thin and wiry and protected the kids with all his heart.

My mom told us stories of her and my aunts putting all the kids on the porch in their buggies and playpens, the parents would sit and have their coffee, but if they had to go in or answer a phone or whatever, Boots was at the head of the stairs and no one, and I mean no one was getting on that porch without losing a leg.

Sometimes at night when she would put me in my crib to sleep, he would sneak in sometime during the middle of the night and she would find him sleeping at the foot of the crib by my feet, ever the lover and protector! He slept in all my beds, till his last days. As has every dog I’ve ever owned. Don’t get me started on the right or wrong of that…. yet again another blog.

I have wonderful stories about him as I grew up and that will be in that blog, but this one is about his food. I guess as we got older and there was a little more money in the family, my parents starting buying some dog food too. I really remember Ken-l Ration. I think that was the name of it and of course Alpo. The staples of canned dog food back then. It looked like rotten spam, and smelled like…well, rotten spam. Which I wouldn’t eat ever so I couldn’t tell ya what the heck Spam or rotten Spam tasted like. But the dog food came out of the can whole, (you opened both ends then pushed it out) and it was God Awful looking. Or you spooned some out of the can, and then put a lid on the can to keep the rest of the rotten spam-like crap fresh. Actually that came later, first you just wrapped the can, which never stayed closed. Then some genius made plastic dog food can covers. Wow, no more left overs in the fridge smelling like dog food. YUM!

Well, as we grew up, the doggie powers that be said don’t feed table food to dogs, they would get stomach aches, diarrhea, vomit, get spoiled and not eat their own food, etc. etc. and they said, give them the same thing all the time because change would also upset their tummies. Really? How often can you eat rotten-spam-smelling globulous stuff over and over and over?

Oh and way back when, to be honest, never heard of the whole poisonous onions, raisons, grapes food things. Maybe many a sensitive pooch died of unknown causes back then and it was really because of a food allergy or something they they ate. What did we know! But to be really honest, my dog ate everything. If the meat loaf had onions, he had onions, if the pie had raisons, so did he. I guess we were just lucky.

Even these days, when I still had my two huge Italian dogs, Badabing and Badaboom, (Boom is gone and sadly Bing is very old) but my huge Italian kids would beg for anything we had. Well actually they didn’t beg, they would sit in front of us, point to oour plates and say “Youse gonna eat that?”… and of course we would hand it over! Hey, who needs to get whacked over over a piece of linguine.

Our dogs were always healthy, happy, and willing to eat just about anything we gave them. Seriously, what dog doesn’t want your food? Bing is a huge 120 lb dog and still going at 14. Very old for a large breed dog. So thankfully we did something right and he had some strong garbage can genes. Some were pickier than others. But we just never believed in the one kind of food and only feeding dog food. So I guess we were kinda ahead of our time in that way. Lucky Dog!

And seriously, if you gave your kid the same food every day, even a healthy meal with chicken, a potato, some peas, and an apple, you would say, yep, I am a good mom and my child has a healthy nutritious meal (and you would be so right) but….give that same meal to him or her 3 times a day every day for years, and I think they would get bored, not be so thrilled to eat it, and probably would have some nutritional deficiencies to boot.

Now, thankfully for the dogs, there is a whole new holistic approach to the feeding of our pets. (And we already know all this for our kids, but they’re pickier than the dogs) My daughter lived on macaroni and cheese for 2 years one time and still is alive to tell the tale! So maybe I’m wrong, and have no idea what I’m talking about. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Some experts recommend changing the diets at least every three months. (for the dogs, not the kids) Some say to just add something new and healthy to the food they are eating when ever you want to give them a treat. If they eat a manufactured commercial food of high quality that works for them, just add some fresh chicken, turkey, eggs or something that would make their food new and give them the variety they might be craving.

Many vets now tell you that a diversified diet also can help expose him to new foods and possibly help your dog not develop food allergies. Some brands are actually made to rotate so you can stick to high quality products for optimal nutrition and still give them variety. But if you are changing food, like kibble to give them a change, do it gradually, because truly many dogs do get upset stomachs if the change is that abrupt and they are used to eating the same thing all the time. Usually mix a small amount of the new into the old, about 25% new into 75% old and then over a few day gradually blend more of the new until it’s all new. Then do the same with the next change in a few months. And if you have a dog that does have food issues, you may want to ask your vet before you do any changes at all.

So many dogs do have allergies and sensitivities now. (Maybe cause they are so purely bred? I don’t know. Our dogs were 57 heinz varieties, no hint of their background) Hey kid, who was your dad? They had iron clad stomachs cause they lived out of garbage cans before we got them! And I am soooo not kidding. Bing was a street survivor.

Luckily, now there is food without grains, without chicken, without flavor… kidding, there is supposedly a flavor explosion waiting for them…again, should I taste it? If they say this cat food taste just like tuna.. or sparrow… how would I know if they were lying??!

I know you have to pick one and see what works for your pet. And I know some of the foods now are extremely expensive, but thats because they are made of such high quality natural foods, real ingredients, no rendered parts, hand selected cuts of meat, garden vegetables, fresh fruit and tangy yogurt. OMG, just realized, if I ever run out of food, I can certainly just dive into the dog food till I get another pay check. They’re eating better than me!

And some of us nuts, actually cook food for our dogs. This can be a good or a bad thing. The federally regulated commercially prepared foods today (be they frozen, canned, or dry) are supposed to have quality assurance programs that make sure the “nutritional profile” and “bio-availablity” of a food is perfect. These make sure that the dog absorbs what he needs with attention to essential nutrients, amino acids, antioxidants and such. They are supposed to be well balanced and complete.

Not like the meals I make for myself. Hmmm, fresh fruit, good, cheese, good, dairy, good, graham (a form of wheat) good… thus strawberry cheesecake a perfectly good and healthy choice for dinner. And speaking of Healthy Choice… I love that Ice Cream! How much Healthy Choice can you eat before it is no longer a healthy choice?

Anyway, so yes, the dog food you make at home could possibly be incomplete and not as healthy for them. You have to be really creative, careful, and aware to make your own food and not cause deficiencies.

I use chicken, brown rice, fresh vegetables, pumpkin, apples, yams, and eggs. My guy is very old now and basically has kidney problems so I have to keep the protein down cause his kidneys can’t handle it. A kidney diet has to be lower in phosphorous, salt, and higher in fish oil. So if you are going to go the trouble of making their food, talk to your vet or an animal nutritionist first so you help them, not hurt them. And I have to tell you, it is satisfying on the one hand to know exactly what they are getting, but very time consuming and quite an effort to keep up.

But with that all said, all my dogs have eaten from the table, from my plate, taken food right out of my mouth. (Oh, I never said they were well trained) If they had opposable thumbs, they’d open the fridge and help themselves. Maybe I could teach them to serve me… wow, what a concept! LOL!!

So bottom line, high quality commercial food, home made food, mixing it up and giving them variety and healthy treats, oh yeah, lots of treats, that’s the ticket. Luckily, my dogs have lived wholesome healthy long lives and I stand by that. (They’ve had illnesses, they’ve gotten sick and vet bills have soared. It happens. But if you feed them right, it is one more way to try and keep them healthy.

So excuse me, but I have to go now, Bing is waiting for his pizza and I have to pick it up, there’s no delivery from our shop. And yes, I am teaching him to drive. They’re doing it in Australia. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

me and my wonderful sister-in-laws

me and my wonderful sister-in-laws

So I wake up in the morning and I am still exhausted from the pain. I can’t even get up off the couch i am getting so tired and weak. I just sit around all morning getting more and more tired and not farting or pooping but still eating mind you.

My hubby left for work (I made him go, he didn’t want to leave me cause I had sent my sister-in-law home) and I figured if i kept feeling like this i would call the doctor. So i finally grab the phone and head for the bed, i figured i would go back to sleep for a little nap and then call the doctor if i didn’t feel better when i got up, but i barely made it to bed, wanted to call her right then but passed out phone in hand.

Thank God, my hubby decided to come back home and check on me, talk about instincts. He doesn’t work close to home and i never called him, but luckily he shows up, he is looking for me, calling my name throughout the house and i can’t even answer. He can’t find me and comes up to the bedroom where i can barely talk to him. He kinda freaks out (for a not freaking out type of guy) luckily he is a doer and a god send in an emergency)
He is asking me if i talked to the doctor and i told him i meant to but passed out before I could call. So he calls the doctor and she says take her to emergency immediately. He starts to help me off the bed and the doorbell rings and it’s a neighbor with a plant, how sweet, how nice, what timing. a potted plant for the potted plant. We’re making a sitcom here…..!

So he runs back upstairs, says our neighbor is here, she’ll help us, let’s get you to the car. I pick my head up and I whispered in a croak to my husband, give me a washcloth, I need to freshen up first. Like the emergency room crew that was going to stick things in every orifice and take anything they could out of any oriface, would give a damn if I made sure my armpits smelled lemony fresh.

God knows I think I am wonder woman, and want to be a clean Wonder Woman, but when someone finds you on the floor face down ass up and you can’t talk, it’s time to go to the hospital, ya think?

So, as I’m taking my sponge bath….oh yeah, I always win…..I’m trying to wash up, in comes my husband with our neighbor and i basically had fallen off the toilet and was laying on the bathroom floor, washcloth in hand. My poor neighbor says “are you ok?” that’s like……”aside from all this, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” My hubby calls the family, fills them in, picks me up, schleps me to the car, and everyone is on the way to meet us at the hospital.

So we get to the hospital, now remember what i said, this place is closing and has so few people i think its the same person switching uniforms and pretending to be a nurse, a doctor and the janitor.

They take me right into emergency and hook me up to an IV. Unfortunately, the nurse (janitor?) can’t find a vein. She is prodding and poking me like a pin cushion, and finally sticks it in a teeny weeny vein on my hand below my pinky finger. (any orifice…hmmmm?) Look at your hand and picture it! And she misses and it is burning like a hot poker under my skin, and swelling up so my hand looks like I just went 10 rounds and lost the fight and I’m screaming (I don’t scream, trust me) And she says I’m just being a baby.

In walks my sister in law, hears the howling, and thank god she says “she never complains, take that out now!” God I love a bossy take charge sister-in-law!! And she did, and admitted it was “leaking” and put it somewhere else. I would have liked to put it somewhere else on her! Believe me I love and respect the people in the medical field. We have the best doctors and nurses ever in this country, unfortunately… I’m sure this gal was really the janitor.

So while all this is going on, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law who are both certified acupressurists and awesome in their field. http://www.therapeuticacupressure.com/home/ Check it out!! My mother-in-law is the guru of this!!! anyway, they are double teaming me and giving me the session of my life. And right before their eyes, (the people in the emergency room…janitors?) are watching my blood pressure go back to normal, my numbers all get better, and the life comes back into me. The IV is finally flowing so I am getting some fluids and then the drink of dreck!

Then they made me drink that disgusting liquid chalk so they could look for blockages or intestinal knots, worst smoothie ever!!! Can you at least put some flavoring in so i can get it down and not throw it up? How bout making it cold? it’s freaking warm! YUK!!!!!

Long story short, after being readmitted and a battery of tests, they saw the white stuff never went down any lovey paths but was sitting somewhere waiting further instructions. My small intestines were not working (which i guess meant neither were the large ones… everybody’s on strike) Really? Now we have a union problem? So I was in pain every night, because every bit of food I ate, and every drop of water I drank, was sitting in my stomach but couldn’t move, had nowhere to go….. here i was thinking it was just gas but it was like having a blockage. So without absorbing any of the water, i became totally dehydrated and that’s why i passed out at home. And probably why the janitor couldn’t find a vein. Or she was just a crummy janitor.

I had been getting much love and help (and acupressure sessions) from my wonderful family here (I am sure the sessions kept me from the horrible tube they wanted to shove up my nose and down my stomach to release the pressure, and feed me with, by the way, been looking pregnant the whole time.) Oh yeah, I was reeeaal pretty. But the doctor was so impressed with the accupressue results and how much better i did after the sessions and with the liquids in me, she said we will hold off and see how you are in the morning. So another session from the IGM gurus and a good night’s sleep and voila! i almost felt human again.

So they let me go home to see what would happen. They put me on a liquid diet to see if it would rehabilitate on its own so they didn’t have to go in and do exploratory surgery to get the gears going. I woke up in the morning…..AND lo and behold…. 7 farts and 5 hershey squirts later and I’m doing laundry and making lunch… Life is good again…..Unbelievable what a good accupressure session and some fluid will do!

Finally had a good day and night for the first time. Ate some instant oatmeal and a little pasta and all was well. (Had eggs the first day home and it did me in. I was a mess. Found out the protein/fat foods which are eggs, dairy, and meat (which i don’t eat anyway) are the hardest to digest when there are problems….who knew, I thought an egg was mushy…..they said eat mushy foods. I got better quick then and my colongave a sigh of relief for the break….actually if it would friggin’ sigh a little more, I wouldn’t have all this bloating and pressure.

So the good news was, I lost weight so it was all worth it. It was small portions of carbos, like a little pasta, potatoes, oatmeal, ya da ya da goes down smoooooth and actually comes out smoother…LOL…..oh no, I won’t go there. But my doctor said that means the inards are a’workin’ and I could start little by little adding stuff. I was just kinda scared to eat anything that would bring back the excruciating pain!!! But I had turned a corner and was so thrilled to be cancer free and on my way to recovery.

By the way, while all this was going on, the funny thing was I had a swollen neck and was freaking out about it. I was figuring that the cancer spread to my thyroid and I’m doomed while they’re waiting for me to fart. So I call her back up and tell her about ny neck and she says, I hate to break it to you, but you’ve always had a swollen neck and we were all afraid to say something cause you can be a little testy! LOL. And as it turned out, it was actually just a swollen glad and I am totally cancer free, but you know once you’ve had cancer a frigging hangnail looks like it could be cancerous!

So again, kudos to you wonderful brave people fighting the good fight and keep your energy, your sense of humor and your positive spirits going strong! This was not intended to offend anyone but to make light of my own experience and help others laugh at theirs.

So I leave you with this…..

I’m uterusless, but not useless….and quite content.

But I sure won’t be birthin’ no babies (thank you Gone with the Wind)

I will be opening the new sloan kettering comedy club in Biloxi, and then on to the “We don’t need no sticking ovaries” tour…..

Sheila Kay…at your cervix…..

Good night and try the veal…or possibly a kosher meal, hospital food sucks

I’ll be here all week….hopefully longer……:)

image

So I am writing this from the islands, I am on a ship, so I will post a pic of one of the fabulous places I go to when I need free wifi, this is Evita’s little Italian Restaurant in Jamaica. They put a jamaican spin on italian food, it was wonderful and I thank God and my lucky stars that I am alive and able to travel and work in such gorgeous places. Right now I’m in a burger king in the grand caymen islands but you can walk outside your door and see that! HA!

So, OK, we were talking about my cancer experience and we were at the HMO part…..You know what HMO really stands for? I’m jewish so it means, How Much? OY! But it really comes from the phrase , “HEY MOE .” See, when Moe of the Three Stooges, was playing a doctor….Paging Dr Howard, Dr Fine, Dr. Howard. He discovered that a patient would forget the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eye. Works every time. So poke me!

I wanted to use my own doctor that found the cancer, but she was out of network. (yes I said she in case you hadn’t noticed before! Thank you very much) If someone’s pulling out my frigging organs, I want them to have played a tune with those same organs….

Now with an HMO, you can choose the doctor you want. But it’s a little difficult. Kinda like choosing the ass you want. If you don’t want the one god gave ya, ya gotta pay for a different one. no backsies.
So, like I said, I wanted to use my doctor, but the HMO of course wants you to use their doctors. Their doctors basically fall into two categories. Drs. who are no longer accepting new patients, and doctors who are accepting new patients, but don’t participate in the friggin’ HMO. And then, I found a doctor who is still in the HMO and it’s a woman, and accepting new patients and has an office just 134 miles away, which is the closest one with all the things I wanted, and as I discovered when I got there, a diploma from a third world country I’ve never even heard of. But, she did say she could perform the hysterectomy right in her office as an out patient and considering that all I’d be paying is a $20 co-payment, I was thinking of giving it a shot. But, then I started thinking of the thing that might go wrong and who wants to wake up and find out they took out way too many things and maybe put things you don’t want back in? Like a sponge. At least I could clean up after I eat. LOL! So I decided I would stay with my doctor and pay the out of network percentage…which is why I’m working here today, writing this blog and which is why you need to buy 742 dvds from my website. Thanks very much www.sheilakay.com

OK, back to the mri, yes, they found it, it’s small, it’s contained, let’s go get it right now. But the decision was to take everything out, ya just never know when that one pesky vicious cancer cell sneaks into the pond, swims upstream and decides to bake in the sands of my ovaries.

So now, I’m in the hospital, the handsome male nurse says, while hooking up the IV…“You’re just gonna feel a little prick…..” really, how sad for you, and no thanks I’m married. Then I don’t remember a thing, but I woke up and doc says my surgery went well, ya da ya da It’s all good….Can you really ya da ya da cancer surgery? Seinfeld would be so proud.

I’m appropriately dressed in a gown that fits like my mothers moo moos, all I need are the worn furry slippers and some knee hi roll up nylons and I’m her……of course I’m waiting for coffee and cake, cause I really am her. I wake up, I fall asleep, I’m awake, I’m asleep, I’m awake, I mumble stupid stuff, I drool, I’m asleep….Then I’m out (sleep/coma) then I’m up… cake? Then I’m out…. I stay overnight.

Next morning, I’m up but not real alert, but I’m eating. A gals gotta eat and they brought breakfast. I’m only eating a bite here, a bite there, but I have no idea, they’re not supposed to give me any solid food until I pee, take a poop, pass some gas all the stuff ya gotta do or ya can’t go home…..And none of that’s happening. But I’m eating, and I want to get out. Not one for sitting around in hospitals. Heck, I’ve been been here a whole day, SEND MY BUTT HOME.

So they have you get up and walk right away now. No laying around. I’m schleping down the hall in this gorgeous outfit, but I’m not pooping, not in the hall, not in the toilet. And just when they said, ok, we’ll send you home with laxatives, I am suddenly in excruciating pain……I am doubled over and can’t even crawl back into bed.

Now they tell me it’s probably gas and the fact that I haven’t gone to the bathroom in a couple of days…..And the problem is, they don’t really want to give me pain meds cause I’m backed up, and pain meds constipate ya, but I’m in so much pain and I don’t give a $#!t that I can’t take a $#!t!!!! what a catch 22 I’m in.

Now I’m pretty stoic with a high pain tolerance, but this was really bad. So my doc talks me into staying one more night, and since I can’t even stand up, let alone walk, I say, ok. Yeah, I’m a good sport, and not an idiot!

Next day, I’m feeling a little better, walking, of course like a 112 year old woman….but I’m walking, I’m talking, I’m dragging the friggin pole with the bags, and I talk them into letting me go home, cause I don’t want to pay the co pay for the Sheraton Palace Hospital which is understaffed and feels like a morgue it’s so empty and silent.

So home I go. (Now before I forget, let me again remind you that I am at a hospital that is closing down due to financial problems and is being run by a skeletal crew of dr’s and nurses. and I am one of the last patients to be seen) I don’t mean seen alive, I mean treated. There are only 2 other patients even on my floor, the staff is limited but it is where my doc worked and it’s her last days here too. She loved this place, fought to help keep it open, and I had every confidence in being there. But, you need to know this to appreciate the rest of this story.

So home I go. My two sister-in-laws were extremely helpful, one is a nurse with more letters after her name than the doctor, and she brought 5 different kinds of laxatives for me, she bought every laxative known to man, and some not. Then every dried fruit and herb and tea with “laxative” qualities. . I was afraid I would end up with a nuclear launch that would blast me thru the ceiling if I didn’t get a seat belt to hold me to the toilet. But NOoooooo, none of those worked. The other one came to help me in the house and stay with me and to give me an accupresure session. Our family is full of fabulous accupressure practitioners. But after a day I sent her home cause I didn’t want her sitting and watching me do nothing but waiting for the wind.

I was so great when I came home, mainly you are just so happy to be alive and in your own house you forget everything else. But by the days end, I was a bitch, the gas pain and the inability to do the doody deed, turned me into Godzilla. It was a very bad night, and I was so mean to the hubby, jeez, I wanted to stab him in the eye with a bottle of senekot….and the doc said don’t take the pain pills it will put you back to square one with the constipation, you’ve squeaked out a teeny bit of gas so your colon is starting to work…….hang in there, take the laxatives, the gas pills, some ibuprofen, drink water, yada yada… and that’s when I started wishing everyone dead. Then I did pass a little gas But, the gas had no steam, had to hold my butt open to fart. It was like a tropical breeze trying to push in a castle door, a bolted heavy door…. If you never had gas then you don’t get it. But who hasn’t had gas? I wanted to hear….”Lets get ready to rumble”… and the sound of explosions in my ears…. But not a squeak did I get, nor a poop did I do. Finally I passed out for the night.

So let me leave you here and next week you can wake up with me and finish the fun journey….. Thank and hang in there, whoo whoo, just like the perils of Pauline!

I'm OK!

I’m OK!

So first off, I want to say this is going to be a two-parter cause it’s a long story, so you need to read part two next blog. It’s a short little story (not!) with a happy ending (is!) so it will be worth your while, I promise!

But, let me get this out of the way. This is a blog about cancer. I know it is a horrible disease that takes so many lives and devastates those who have it and families and loved ones of those that are near it. My mother died of cancer among other complications. As did way too many of my family and friends. It came and went more than once for her. She fought it, had uterine cancer, surgery, radiation, lots of things but was fine. Many years later she had a lung removed but lived for many years after that. It came back again a year after her getting through heart valve replacement surgery and having a horrible car accident, so she may be gone, but she is certainly not forgotten and was a trooper and a fighter and I know she would laugh at this too. (Love you mom!xxxooo say hi to dad, miss you both terribly)

This is the story of my cancer. A much luckier scenario than so many others. But, please, I don’t want anyone to be offended by the humorous touch on such a horrible subject. Laughter is the best medicine and humor is how I handle everything in my life, the good the bad and the ugly.

A few years ago, I found out I had cancer but they caught it early so I’m good. Very lucky. Thanks for the applause, but I can’t take the credit, I couldn’t have done it without the CANCER…. Really, I could have done WITHOUT the cancer…but thank you, thanks for the support… There’s a reason for everything, and thank god for cancer, cause I finally wrote 20 new minutes of material after 20 years. No, seriously, I was so lucky. Except for the part where they tore out all my womanly innards, but parts is parts and when ya can’t use em, ya gotta lose em. Speaking of parts, I think this is gonna be a three-parter.

As soon as I found out, I started telling other comics and everyone I talked to either had their own cancer story or told me about another comic with cancer and I started freaking out. I couldn’t believe how many comics currently have or have had cancer. Then I realized what it was…. it’s the comedy clubs. They’re toxic…. I just want to warn you people, we comics gotta stop working and you need to stop coming here. It’s too friggin dangerous!!! Please step away from the club!!! OK, I kid, don’t stop. Laughter is the best medicine, in fact if you have an illness. Run. Immediately… to your nearest comedy club and get your “meds”. Laugh till it hurts, I swear, you’ll feel better. I’ve many times talked about the author Norman Cousins and his book Anatomy of an Illness. How he helped heal himself of cancer through humor. Good read, check it out.

Anywho…..long story short, so as not to upset the guys with a lot of girly girl talk, I had endometrial endometrial cancer. (uterine cancer). First thing I thought was….Whats a yute (thank you” My Cousin Vinnie ” fans) Actually, like mother, like daughter.

So, I had to have a total hysterectomy, which personally I think should be called a hersterectomy , not a his-terectomy, if you want the name, you take the blame….. if it’s gonna be a his-terectomy, then lets pull your organs out, hey hey hey, I didn’t mean right now mister!! Put that back, or get a room!

So first things first, how I found out…I had some issues. Never ignore your issues. The signs are there and you need to pay them mind!! And that I am MOST serious about. Please don’t ever hesitate going to your doctor if you feel something is wrong. No matter what it is, better safe than sorry always. Don’t self-diagnose. Better to hear “you’re an absolute idiot and a hypochondriac” than “if only you’d have come in sooner”. I am an idiot, but I went in early.

So, I had a little spotting. Nothing really but when you are my age, and you don’t have periods anymore, spotting is an issue. We thought maybe it was an adjustment in my bio-identical hormones. I was taking them for my menopause, which again what are you doing in our “things” it should be wo-menopause, or girlopause, or the pause that refreshes. If you call sweating like a pig refreshing. Yes, lovely menopause, I can’t sleep, I can’t think, I can’t remember anything. I know I just sneezed, so think I just peed. Oh do we even want to go there? We start out in diapers, we end up in diapers. We pee, we have no memory, and we sag. I have wings. On a good blustery day, I can spread my arms and hit about 50 miles an hour. And peeing, fuhgedaboudit!! I shop, I cough, I pee, I run to the car. But the point is there is no men in menopause, well actually there are men in male menopause so I guess I should rewrite this but I won’t!! Let them suffer as we do! Hot flashes… oh this is a whole ‘nother blog!

So back to my original thought… oh yeah, by the way, menopause means you can’t concentrate on one thing at a time either. Have ya noticed that, when you read my blogs? In fact, who left this blog just to pee, ended up looking for something in the fridge, didn’t know why they were even looking in the fridge, closed the door, then said, what did I just put back and do I want some more? Then remembered you were reading something and then tried to find your glasses, thought they might be in the car, opened the door to go out to the car, saw the mail and brought in the bills, started going through them, then remembered you went outside for something else, went out to figure out what, saw the snow shovel and gloves you left out, put them away, came back found your reading glasses hanging on a chain around your neck, and remembered you were reading my blog and now hours later, you’re back??

Good for you, cause I left to go pee too and have been playing with the dog, having a refreshing beverage, decided to go out and clean the dog poop since he won’t do it himself although I keep trying to teach him, and just got back myself. Welcome back to us both!

And that is exactly why this will be a three-parter. In fact, it may be a four-parter now that I’m traveling the roads of my brains nook and crannies. Cause I haven’t even gotten anywhere yet and this is almost time to quit.

In fact, anyone remember what the hell I was saying? Oh yeah, spotting. See, I do eventually find my way back. So the original thought, adjusting my hormones for the spotting, that didn’t do anything. So then, she sent me for an ultra sound, and that showed fibroids. So my doc, a great gal that I love and respect, says we can do a myomectomy. That is a surgery used to remove fibroids and part of the uterus. But since most fibroids are not cancerous and many women have them, I said how bout just cleaning? I don’t want to dump any parts yet. So it was onward for a d and c… for you guys, that’s a spring cleaning, sweeping the womb, vacuuming the house….whatever.

So after I wake up from the d and c, feeling awesome, my doc says, everything looks great, went well, and she will send it to the lab. And home I go for a meal. Even though they already gave me lemonade and cookies. Never skip a meal, worse than skipping an issue.

The next day I’m going to a birthday party for my 85 year old aunt and in the car, on the way, I get the call that they found cancer. Damn those cell phones. Sometimes I yearn for the days when you left the house and you left your communication behind. Nobody texting you, emailing you, calling you. You were just out of contact for a while. Today the kids sit right next to each other and text, oh my god, look up and just speak, how insane is that? We were totally out of touch, incommunicado, when we were your age, walking to school, uphill, both ways, in the snow, barefoot,OMG, Now I am my mother!!! And now that I’m saying it, how did we live like that?? I remember as a young comic going out to road gigs and getting lost and having to get even more lost by getting off a highway and looking for a phone booth in some secluded area where you knew freddie, or jason, or one of those freaks was just waiting for you to get out of your car all alone and chase you with an axe all the way to the comedy club.

Anyway, the doctor calls (and of course now my cell phone goes into my dashboard so anyone in the car hears your conversation) but it was just me and the hubby, and the doc tells me they found cancer and I freak out a little, just a little, AARRGGGGHHHH!!!! Luckily I wasn’t driving or other people would have had more problems than me. Now what? I certainly don’t want to ruin this great old gal’s party we are going to which means I have to pretend everything is fine. So of course what would you do? I started DRINKING!!!!! I don’t mean as a career. I didn’t crawl in a bottle and now this is my AA intervention story. I just mean for getting through this party.

I drank to forget, to try and party, to not ruin the party, and hoped I wouldn’t drink so much that I said obnoxious stupid things like “stop having fun, I have cancer, what is wrong with you people????” But I didn’t, I just drank to take the edge off, to try and have a good time and celebrate the great life aunty had and prayed I would live as long and have as great a life as she did. But you do question it all. Why me? Or really why anyone? As we all know, sometimes it just happens. I don’t care what you eat, what you drink, whatcha do, that damn cancer just shows up. Good person, old person, healthy person, young person, a$$h@le!! Anyone can get it. You should definitely try to do all the right things for your body, but you can’t blame anything or anyone when it happens. I’m healthy, I don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 45 years. WHY ME? Well, my mom fought it, so would I. It’s a negative waste of energy. Half the battle is attitude I believe. So I started thinking, cancer shmancer, ahfungoo, which loosely translated means….up yours! Of course, I think that was the alcohol speaking.

So I get through the party, drunk as a skunk and stressed to the max. No one knows but my husband, and the party is over, kisses and hugs, keep my mouth shut, and home I go. I immediately get scheduled for tests. I was going in for an MRI which if you’ve had one, is kinda like being in one of those road runner cartoons where some giant bird is whacking the sides of a bell with a huge sledge hammer while your head is inside. beep beep. The good news is, they let you wear headphones to listen to music and try to drown out the beating. Yeah, that helps, you can still hear the stressed anxiety overdriven beat of your heart!

OK, back to the mri, yes, it’s cancer, yes, they found it, now go and get it! Right now. KILL, Kill, Kill my cancer, Kill my cancer. (Please use the proper Eddie Murphy voice when saying that! LOL. But the decision was to take everything out, ya just never know when that one pesky vicious freakin’ cancer cell sneaks into the pond, swims upstream and decides to pollute the waters of my ovaries.

So I am scheduled for surgery within 3 days. And of course, now I’m on the computer everyday (trying to get my medical degree) by looking up everything I can about cancer…because I am a doctor, or at least I could play one on TV….. anyway I’m trying to find out what it is, how’d I get it, what can I do, what are the stages, who can I call, and are there alternative forms of treatment, and my HMO said, yes there are alternative forms of treatment. but you’ll need to find alternative forms of payment……thank you very much, helpful as always.

OK, this is it for now…. To be continued…. Stop the presses…..Stay tuned. See ya next week, same bat time, same bat station.

Oh and by the way, Have a Very Happy Easter or Passover everyone!!

AAARRRGGG

AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!

So lets see if I can actually write anything on this tablet. I’m jewish, a tablet was always something moses brought down from the mountain. Or something a wife took when she didn’t want to be with her hubby at night… “Not tonight Morris, I have a headache, I need to take a tablet”. I am writing on my new ipad, what a trip, but thats next weeks blog. How will that relate to my health you ask? I have a headache trying to figure it out, so there ya go.

Anyway today I want to talk about my bad eyeballs. It all started out when I got my new glasses. I’ve worn glasses for the last 50 years. Been through all the styles, all the trends. Tiny John Lennon wire frames to cat eyes to looking like George Burns. But this day I found THEM. Fabulous frames if I so say so myself. I found them in a store in New York City. Of course NY has the hippest greatest shops ever. You try on six gazillions pair going from looking studious to cute to “is that my insane aunt Ethel with the oversized magnified owl glasses looking back at me?” But I found my pair. Unbelievably perfect for my face. Unfortunately, too believably expensive for my wallet. So I left them in the store and started my research. Who made them. Who else sold them. How do I get them cheaper Ya da ya da ya da, my favorite saying as my followers know, long story short I found them, I bought them, I loved them. Took them to LensCrafters where they have made my glasses for years and in one day voila! I can see again. Or so I thought. My right lens was off. Everything was a little blurry and it was driving me crazy. I went back, complained and they remeasured and remade. Easy peasy. Gotta love glasses in an hour. I’m doing the old cover one eye, read the street sign. Cover the other eye, look at the poster. Read close, stare far, watch tv, cover your eye. I was my own eye doctor. “Better this way? Or this way…better? Worse?” Again I was getting really aggravated with them. How could they screw up twice? But they did, so back I went again.

Great guy my doc trying to figure it out, checking it twice just like Santa and yet again he changed my prescription. When that didn’t help he said “hate to say it but it looks like you have cataracts and I want you to go see a specialist. Ya know getting old is a matter of fact no getting around it, and at your age it will only get worse”. So I found a new ophthalmologist. He told me the same thing. I hate everyone.

So off I went to the surgical eye center where they promptly gave me even more tests and had the nerve to tell me I had cataracts in BOTH eyes, oh someone shoot me now! Now I feel twice as old. They said, ok here are your options. One, we can remove the cataracts and you will go back to your same vision you used to have (near sighted, far sighted and major astigmatism) but just wear glasses again and the surgery is covered by insurance and you’re back to normal. Or, and we recommend, removing cataracts and replacing the lens with corrective lenses and you won’t need glasses anymore. Now I’ve worn them all my life, used to wear contacts till they drove me insane and I’d rather have a root canal than put those broken pieces of glass in my eyes again. I know they have improved, they are disposable, thin like saran wrap on your eyeballs, but they still irritate my sensitive orbs. Anyway, to get the corrective lenses for astigmatism surgically put in, the surgery is covered, the lenses are 1500 bucks a piece. That should have been my first clue to run screaming into the night noooooooooooo! But I talked to my doctor, (yes the original who knows I’m an old fart ) and my hubby and my friends who all said the same thing..do it! What an opportunity, you’ll be so glad, you have beautiful eyes, get rid of those spectacles, you’ll look younger, do it! ok, so I do it… we all want to do it right? Surgery, no biggie to tell the truth. Better eyes, look younger? I’m in!! I’ve already had my ovaries ripped out, what’s a little cataract removal? Again, another blog.

Well, it’s a one day in and out, it’s like getting a colonoscopy, they just put ya “under” but it’s not “really under”. The problem for me… I wasn’t even “sorta under”, I had two surgeries, both eyes, went for the whole magilla. The first anesthesiologist, gave me the IV, I felt woozy, thought this will be good, feeling a little drunk, whoo whooo, and BAM, I feel him stick a needle in my eye. I literally said “What the f#@k? That didn’t feel good.” Talk about an understatement. (Which not to scare anyone, that is not supposed to happen, And no one I’ve talked to has ever felt that, and when i had my other eye done, I didn’t feel a thing!! and even this BAM, I was pretty sure it would have been a way bigger bam without the IV but it was a weird shocking BAM none the less) Anyway, everything was calm, shadowy, you’re aware, but not. Then it’s over, you wake up with a. Wonky eye, and you see like a fly out of that eye. Unfocused, blurry, sorta double vision. Then they put drops and keep watch and then put a clear plastic bulbous patch. I looked like an insane pirate. See picture above.

So it’s a week of don’t sleep on that side, don’t rub your eye, don’t lift anything, don’t cough, don’t sneeze, (how the hell do you stop yourself from sneezing?) and you know as soon as they say that it’s gonna happen. They even tell you don’t strain on the toilet? Really? So just sit there till it comes out on it’s own? Well, how bout, don’t even get out of bed, what the hells the point… lets eat… so I babied myself and ate like a pig. One week later I’m in for the next eye. I mentioned the needle in the eye thing, like if i feel that again, I’m kicking someone in the cajones… I don’t even know how to spell cajones I just tried not to say nuts, oh nuts. it’s want I said, nuts. Anyway, this guy knocks me out it was awesome one minute I’m there, the next I’m not…then I’m up and I say really that’s it, over? Wow, you are good!!!! And they say, well, no, the dr. is running late, he’s very backed up. I’m thinking I don’t care if he can’t take a dump what about my eye? So now he’s ready for me and I’m wide awake and yelling, more drugs !! put me out!! And they’re saying, your eye is blocked, totally gone, no pain, no feeling, you can be awake… so I figured what the hell, go for it. This should be a trip. So this time I’m wide awake, I get on the table/chair, they strap you down, draping my face with some material, and the whole time, I’m making jokes and he’s saying shut up you’re moving your face, oh really then give me some more DRUGS cause I’m a nervous wreck and I cant stop talking!! But actually, it was pretty darn cool, I was up for the whole thing, felt like water or something being poured on my eye, but other than that, totally painless and you really can’t see what they’re doing cause you kinda blind! But you know they are doing something, cause it’s surgery for gods sake… LOL…

Anyway, again, long story short, which this so obviously isn’t… as I heal, my one eye is not quite as clear as the other. Now I do have to mention that 2 days after surgery, that bitch Sandy, the storm of the century hits and now I’m healing without power, water, heat, and yep, that is not easy to keep up the things I have to do, but I do it cause that’s the kinda gal I am!!! Anyway, i heal, but I just don’t think that eye is clear like the other. I keep complaining about that and telling them and they say give it time to heal. It’s a week behind the other eye, it will catch up. Well, after bitching worse than Sandy, for almost 3 months and being home for a couple of those, I go back to my original dr. for a check up and he agrees that one eye is off. The right eye is almost 20/20, the left eye is about 85% of that. He says, no problem I can give you a contact lens to make it perfect. So I paid 3000 bucks for surgery to not wear glasses or lenses, to have to pay 30 bucks a month for the rest of my life to wear a lens that I had the surgery for so I wouldn’t have to wear a lens? Are you frigging kidding me?????? But he gives me a lens to try and lo and behold that eye is magically delicious, even better than the other one.

So back this bitching complaining hag goes to the surgeon again and they tell me that a lot of times, it’s just a few degrees off, just a minimal difference in eyes, and proceed to tell me I could just wear a contact lens. That’s when I lost it…. LOOK AT MY EYE !!!! Something is not right!! I am not an animal!!!!!! Ok, I wasn’t quite that obnoxious, they finally check it out, dilate my eye, look around in there, and sure enough, the one lens has rotated out of position. This is extremely unusual they tell me so of course my luck it has happened to me. It’s not a minor move either, it’s significant enough that they say I can only correct it by a surgical repositioning or lasix, where they change the shape of your eye with lasers. But he says, “It’s been almost 3 months and there might be too much scar tissue” but I opt for them to go take a look and they do, and it’s fixable so they put it back into position and send me home again. So now I have to go back to work on the cruise ship. Oh yeah, bad timing to say the least. They couldn’t listen to me and do it when I told them months ago to do it? I’m back to work on a ship, and I’m healing, so I can’t work out or pick up my bags at the airport, or sleep on my left side on the prison cot in the wall that I use for a bed. (Well, that’s how it feels!) I can’t let the shower hit my eye and I’m in a shower the size of my back seat. I can shower, shave, and pee all at the same time without moving. If I bend over to pick up the soap I flush the toilet with my butt. So how do i avoid the water in my eye. Let’s just say it’s not ideal conditions for healing.

And my hair color …oh puhleeze, I have gray roots longer than my arm, and I can’t use chemicals, I can’t wear eye make-up so I am one ugly duckling entertaining the cruisers. I look like i just got done floating on a piece of wood blowing a whistle behind the ship.
But where’s my diamond??? Anyway, so now here I am again, covering my eye… better? like this? or like this? squinting and so nervous that I’m still in the same boat… so to speak, oh I love when that happens. Ha! I still think it’s healing, it’s only been a week and a day, but it’s still not quite as clear, but i’m assuming it’s still all swelled up or squished in or whatever the hell happens inside your eyeball after surgery. And I have my appointment when I get back on dry land.

But here is the kicker, the other thing they mentioned but I wasn’t really thinking it through, didn’t take it too seriously, they said, you will never need glasses again, but you will need reading glasses. So I’m picturing having those little cute reading specs in my purse for menus in the restaurant and such. But noooooooo. I cannot see anything close to my face, so now I have them dangling off a chain around my neck like my grandma used to wear. It is my permanent string of pearls. It is the “accent” to every outfit I wear. Cause I can’t see my fingernails, I can’t type, I can’t read the directions on a can or the label on a box. I can’t change the channels on TV cause I can’t see the numbers on the remote in my hand. I have a pair of readers in every room of the house because if I forget to put them on, there better be a pair where ever I am. I’ve already lost a pair of expensive rayban sunglasses cause when I have the readers on, and I have to put on sunglasses, the readers go down, then the sunglasses go down, they don’t have a string, so I’m leaving them where ever. So when all is said and done, I am still wearing glasses. And the worst of it? I loved my glasses! They were the perfect pair, the hippest ever, they made me look good, I have been hiding behind my glasses for over 50 something years and I looked younger. You couldn’t see my wrinkles, you couldn’t see my dark circles, you couldn’t see my bags when I drank too much. WHAT DID I DO???? I WANT MY GLASSES!!! WHAAAAAAAAAAAH….

Well, the story is almost over, I’ll report back when my eye heals, but I have to say one thing, someone came up to me the other day and said “what color are your eyes? they’re so pretty, like a brown/green” Hmmmmm no one has ever seen my eyes before…….

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!!! Please keep your pets safe during the holidays. Lots of stuff to get into and lots of sugar and chocolate around to keep from them… get them doggie Christmas treats!!! But stick their butts under the mistletoe and kiss them all day long!

But for now, I want to talk a little about Animal Transporting. In the world of animal rescue there are all kinds of wonderful people doing wonderful things. They can volunteer at a shelter to help with a gazillion jobs, cleaning cages, walking dogs, helping with adoptions, ya da ya da… sorry, I should never yada yada a pet… but anyway, there are so many things needed and so much help required. And that is just the beginning. People go out and literally rescue from the streets: trap feral cats to help protect them and keep them healthy and neutered. In fact my cousin has a wonderful non-profit in Israel that I am part of (also run out of Michigan here in the sates) http://www.meowmission.org/ But as I was saying, and I do tend to ramble on, but only because every animal thought leads me to another. People go on the streets and rescue strays (dogs and cats) running lost and afraid. People doing hands on rescues, home visits for approval of adoptions (I do those too) Fostering dogs while they wait for permanent homes, pulling and testing dogs at shelters to be saved. (Pullers are the ones that go into a shelter to see the dogs (most of the time on death row) and see what they are like, personalities, health, issues, are they good with kids, with other dogs, do they fight with cats… and so on and they take them from the shelters and other overcrowded places) to go to no kill rescues and foster. Any of these jobs are so hard to do, you see so many dogs you know are going to be put down, so many scared, helpless little babies. But thank God someone does it, someone cares, and someone saves these sweet babies, one at a time.
One of the things I love to do is transporting. Cause if I walked into a shelter I would walk out sobbing, with 20 animals in my arms. . I get so emotional and attached. I’m a sucker for a furball in need. I’m one of these people watching a movie, people are being thrown off roofs, run over by cars, but when I see the animal left behind or hurt, I get hysterical…even if it’s a cartoon… no one cried harder at bambi than me when I was a kid and I still cry at cartoons… !!

But transporting is such a wonderful feeling and I can help without having to actually go to the shelter (I am such a wimp). Not that I don’t get attached in that small amount of time that I drive, I do, I fall in love with someone on every trip. Like last weekend, I only had 2 dogs in my car, usually I have 5, 6, 10! Depends on the size, the need, the crates we have etc… But last week it was 2 beauties. A lovely chocolate lab and the absolutely fabulous St Bernard puppy Mortimer!! I say puppy, but he weighed 85 lbs and was only 8 to 10 months old. He came from a kill shelter in Georgia and went to rescue in Connecticut, Bandits Place. Which if anyone is interested please contact them, but remember nobody in the Real Rescue Business is just going to give you a dog, it is like adopting a child, thankfully. Because no one wants to have a dog saved just to go back to any kind of abuse or intolerable or unsafe situation. I will talk about adoptions on the next blog, but I want to get back to the transport…. What did I say about rambling?????
Mortimer drove with his back end in the back seat, and his front end in the front seat. Most dogs are crated for their own safety and to keep dogs apart, but he was so huge, and mellow, I let him be tethered in the back. But he tried to drive, he tried to make out with me while I drove, he had his paws on my lap and his head in my arms, all with his back half still in the back. I was smitten to say the least!!!

Anyway, so transporters volunteer to do a “leg” or section of the run. The runs I work with pttr (paws to the rescue) and rural shelter transports are just two of hundreds of transports across the country. These two groups pull dogs from the south and they are transported up north to rescues usually in new jersey, Connecticut, Maine, etc. There is a wonderful network of supporters that help them put this all together and weekly come up with all the dogs, what kind they are and what size to see what cars they will fit in, who is driving which leg, etc. They send out emails to get volunteers, they coordinate, they beg, they do everything in their power to get the dogs safely and quickly from caged kill environments to warmth, love, and the beginning of a new life. There are many rules and guidelines to follow. Young puppies cannot touch the ground. They don’t have protected immune systems and have to be transferred from crate to crate in each person’s car. If they poop and pee, we clean them up and then clean the cages, they get water, they get Nutrical, they get love and hugs. But puppies are the hardest. You can’t contaminate the litters, you can’t mix the litters, you have to keep them hydrated, clean, you really have to follow all the preps, the guidelines and so forth. They are usually given a round of vaccines but they can have worms, they can be sick, they can fade so fast and especially in the winter they can get so cold when you are transferring. So many little things to know. If you use hand sanitizer and they lick it, they can get very ill. So there is so much coordinating done by these great volunteers.

All the bigger dogs get walked and watered and of course everyone wants give hugs and kisses and help each other make the transfer easy. These dogs are traveling a long way and every hour are getting handed off to new people, in strange cars, and more cages. So it’s hard on them. They get scared, they get tired, they get nervous. Sometimes the stress can make them fight, So you have to have patience and be on your toes. It’s one of the reasons they crate them. Some are sick and you don’t want to spread disease, there is so much to be aware of…. but in the long run, they are safe and going to wonderful places to people who care and will help them on their journey….and that makes it all worthwhile.

If you want to get involved, just look around, facebook, dog sites, local shelters, adoptions at pet stores, and right here!! Please let me know if I can help you get going in any area. And get info from your local shelters to see how you can help. I have met some great new friends, 2 footed and 4 footed, doing the transports and hopefully you will too. Good Luck and remember, our pets love us unconditionally and deserve all the love and caring we can give them. And remember the ones that aren’t as lucky as your pets and donate some time or money or goodies to a shelter, a group, a nonprofit, or just help a neighbor down on his luck that has a pet. Whatever you do, blessings on your heads and a healthy and happy new year to you and your loved ones… 4 footed and 2 !!

 

I  live in New Jersey. Nuff said as to what have you been doing recently.  When people ask me how we made out in the storm, I feel so guilty saying we lost power for ten days and had no real damage to speak of, a downed arbor, broken gate, etc. More an inconvenience than a catastrophe. Because we were the lucky ones. Just minutes or miles away, we see images of mass destruction.

 

I have neighbors only houses away that had their homes destroyed. A tree dropped in the middle of a roof, smashing in the upstairs. As they sat downstairs, (where they would have had dinner with family, the marshal said, “get out of this house it isn’t safe” so they left. And moments later, the tree continued down into the dining room. Disaster avoided, but leaving devastation that will take months to fix so they can return home.

 

I have many neighbors with the same problems and wreckage. So yes, I had no hot water and heat and lights, but what the hell… now I’m back to my normal routines.

 

So what do ya do? Lots of people feel the same way. We all want to help, but did not know where to begin, do I donate money, time, and to who, there is so much devastation everywhere on the east coast. Families in need, pets lost, injuries, even death. It’s horrible. This picture was homes standing.

Now, my sister and brother in law live on Staten Island. And they too were lucky and only lost power for so many days and had no damage to their property. But my brother in law and both his sons are cops. And my sister in law has worked with the catholic schools there for years.  And the things they’ve seen, the stories they’ve told,  and the pictures they showed are heart wrenching. I think people didn’t realize what was going on over there on this little island. I heard about the horrifying stories coming out of that neighborhood not only from them but from fellow animal rescuers, relatives and friends and neighbors of relatives.

 

One gal wrote about a friends family member swimming his way to safety when his home filled with 9 feet of water, homes leveled, bodies of people and animals being found..During the hurricane, I was very out of touch, no tv, a radio with batteries I was afraid to use up so I listened very little. No gas, so I went nowhere.  I knew it was bad there, but not how bad.  I had wonderful friends and neighbors that let us sleep over in front of their fireplace. I brought the old man, no not my hubby, my old dog. 14, old and pretty decrepit and huge, but his stinky butt  was welcomed  too! The hubby works for at&t and put in over 100 hours working that week, so I was pretty much alone. but with great friends it was easy!

 

But it seemed Staten Island was truly the “lost borough” of NYC.  I know the shore suffered so, long island and omg, the rockaways. But only in the last day or so did people finally seem to realize what was happening on the forgotten isle of staten, seemingly isolated and alone in the storm.  Now, the stories are beyond words, the loss of lives and people’s pasts and futures demolished, the island unrecognizable…

 

So usually my actions, and abilities as a comic are thrown in the mix for the animals of this world, abused, abandoned, shelters and rescues needing funds, transports needing drivers, home visits, whatever I can do. And I know pazoo, this great site I write for, has it’s groups and foundations they work with. But since I have a personal connection to Staten Island, I would like to pass this along in my blog.

My sister in law works for the archdiocese in NY. I have offered to do a comedy fundraiser for them, and I’m sure that will take place in the near future and I’ll keep ya all posted, and post it on facebook. But for now, she passed a letter on to me from the schools she works with. The principals are besides themselves with despair. So I am printing her letter and asking you to please pay this forward to anyone you know. They were hit very hard there by Hurricane Sandy.  17,000 homes were affected on Staten Island, most have to be condemned. The children lost their homes and with it all of their belongings including necessary school uniforms, shoes, school books, bags and supplies. They have been frantically trying to help them and give them a sense of safety and normalcy during their school day.

 

So here I am the little Jew asking for all of you to help them.  Ain’t that the greatest! Cause we are all people and that’s the bottom line. Love, Light, and healing Energy to all of you after and during this trying time.

 

The following is the letter describing a program that they have put into place on Staten Island. I am not asking you to donate, (unless you want to just please spread the word and “pay this blog” forward.

 

She

 

The Catholic School community of Staten Island, New York has been blessed to receive offers of assistance from around the nation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The outpouring of prayers and support bolsters our spirit incredibly during this trying time.

Hurricane Sandy impacted our 24 elementary schools serving over 8,000 students – as well as our seven high schools, faculty, staff, and families – to varying degrees. Our principals continue to uncover the full extent of the storm’s damage on members of their school communities. The Staten Island Catholic Schools Office is compiling a list of the families and staff members who have suffered losses of homes, property, and livelihoods, as well as the needs of those affected.

In the storm’s immediate aftermath, we received an outpouring of supplies, clothing and medical help from various agencies and individuals. However, as emergent needs are now met and we move into a phase of protracted recovery, at this point our families require financial assistance as they work to rebuild their homes and their lives.

 

Appropriately, the Catholic Schools Office has established an account to accept monetary donations. This account will enable us to provide assistance to the families who have lost so much, yet wish to keep their children in a Catholic school, while also attending to their immediate needs.

 

We ask that you would extend your support by contributing to this account. All financial donations should be made payable to: The Staten Island Federation of Catholic School Parents.

Please direct donations to the attention of:

 

Zoilita M. Herrera, Regional Superintendent

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School Region of Staten Island

15 Lisbon Place

Staten Island, NY 10306

 

On behalf of all of our Catholic school students, families, teachers and administrators on Staten Island, I thank you. We are truly humbled by your generosity.

 

Sincerely,

 

Zoilita M. Herrera Regional Superintendent

 

So this is all about me…. as usual… actually this time I have to start out telling you the truth about my memory…what memory you ask?… well that is exactly correct. I wrote this blog this morning, posted it and voila! I posted wrong, it disappeared, and I think they heard me screaming at the north pole. So, with that being said…. And I probably won’t remember that I said it…..I will see if I have any recall left…and let the real blog begin….let me get my coffee

If you are reading our credentials then you already know that even though I do acupressure on pets and their people, I am first and foremost a comic. I love what I do, I love who I help, and know that laughter is the best medicine always!! But today I want to talk about exercise. But remember, laughter is good exercise too. It’s like jogging on the inside.

But today,  I wanted to talk about exercise and how much more fun it is to do with a buddy. (Please watch the video exercising with a buddy after you read this blog, it’s sooooo cute!) Well, ok, if you have to, watch it now and come back! The truth is, sometimes you don’t have the time to work out, and sometimes you just feel like ya need a break from working out. And sometimes you are just a lazy slob slug in the rug looking for an excuse to not work out! That would be me, occasionally. And that would be everyone, occasionally.  I mean once I’m in the groove, I love it. Can’t keep me away from the zumba! I’d rather zumba than eat, and that’s saying something, there is not much else I would rather do than eat. Oh yah, love it!! I Love lifting weights, love lifting heavy objects… and occasionally thinking of throwing them at someone… naaahhhhh!

But here is the problem. The last couple of months I’ve had a lot of small medical issues. Nothing major but combined with my time issues, the exercise thing got away from me…

When I’m on a cruise ship, which I am a lot, I exercise quite a bit. First of all, there is absolutely no reason to take the elevator. There are usually at least 10 floors, and if you take the stairs, it’s more exercise than you can imagine. I work out regularly and still am breathless by the fifth floor. And feel especially old as I watch the little whipper snappers, and yes, I called them whipper snappers, running up and down the stairs like monkeys on a tree, practically pushing us old folks out of the way. More energy than a locomotive…able to leap tall buildings in a single bound… oh sorry, TV trivia seeping out.  But, anyway, since there is really not much else I do on the ship because I work the shows, I go up and down all day long, to the buffet, of course! I eat. It’s what I do…it’s what everyone does on a ship…. many many times a day!  So basically, if I didn’t run the stairs, and go to the gym,  I would have nothing TO DO but eat! And there is more continuous food at all times on a cruise ship.  You can easily gain 5 lbs or more on a cruise, as anyone that’s cruised knows! And I cruise all the time, not just once or twice a year, so I would have a butt that would sink a ship, literally! Wow, that would be weird, to have charges brought against me… “for sinking a ship with thighs the size of Cleveland.”

But back to the point. So I got off the ship and figured I had worked out quite a bit and was leaving town for a wedding, so I didn’t work out. Then I went to the wedding, was gone for a week, so I didn’t work out. Then I got home and had gum surgery. A gum graft, so I didn’t work out. (They told me I couldn’t) Then before I healed, I broke my toe…..so…. I couldn’t work out…and now we are at the 2 month mark and I just got cataract surgery and they said, don’t work out…soooooo, I HAVEN’T WORKED OUT!!  And I feel AWFUL!! You just don’t realize until you stay away from it, how much you really miss working out.  You just can’t know how much better you feel when you get your body in motion. I don’t care if it’s just walking in the neighborhood, or taking a strenuous dance class, you have to move… like jagger.. well, you know what I’m talking about. It keeps ya alive, it keeps you mentally active along with physically stronger. It gets those endorphins going.  And let us not forget to be happy while we exercise. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the push, the pain, the euphoric feeling.

But if you are stuck in a rut, and make excuses then get a work out partner! Having a workout partner can mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to your fitness goals. Unless you’re consistently a highly motivated self-starter, your chances of sticking to a long-term fitness plan without a partner are significantly lower than they are with a partner.

1. The Time Goes by Faster

Working out with a friend or family member can make your workout time go by much more quickly. When you work out alone, it’s easy to watch the clock and feel the time drag by. When you’re able to chat with a workout partner and catch up on each other’s lives, and gossip and dish everyone around you… look at the abs on that guy… look at the flab on that girl….oh crap is that me in that mirror? Then, as you exercise, the time will fly by.

2. You Can’t Stand-up your Workout Partner

When you answer to no one but yourself, it can become a habit to cancel a workout after a long, busy day because you feel tired or because you feel that it’s a waste of time. “Hello?  Me? I am not gonna make it today, you work out without me. See ya next time” You may think that canceling one workout won’t hurt you, but if you cancel even one session, it can be more difficult to get back into the habit because you may decrease your endurance. I’m here to tell ya, now that I’ve missed 2 frigging months of work out. HELP!!  If your workout partner is counting on you to be there for an exercise session, you’ll be less likely to cancel.

3. You Can Help Each Other with Time

Another reason you may not meet your fitness goals on your own is that you can’t find the time. If you have to arrange a babysitter while you work out, or you have a project due, or you can’t imagine having to cook a dinner before or after your workout session, it can become easy to cancel the workout. But if you have a workout partner, you can coordinate your schedules. You can both share a babysitter or you can take turns cooking for each other and/or both families, or do the smart thing and make your husbands take you out to eat..

4. You’ll Feel Better with Positive Feedback

It’s difficult to view yourself objectively. When it comes to your fitness progress, you may not notice how your strength and endurance is improving or that you’ve lost weight or gained muscle tone over time. When I look in the mirror, I still see fat me even if I’ve lost weight. Your partner can be a positve person in your life and remind you of your progress so far. “You look Mah-velous!” We all need to be validated! (Your car is in Row 6B) Having that validation can help bolster your self-esteem and keep your motivation levels high.

5. You Can Celebrate Your Successes

Celebrating your progress alone isn’t as much fun as it is with a partner. You and your partner can set goals for yourselves and celebrate every few weeks after you’ve met those goals. Take a night off from work and stress and celebrate at the movies or a bar or at a mall. Yeah, Drink and Eat those calories back on… it will be so much fun getting them back off. Well, that’s not exactly what I mean, but a treat to keep ya going is so worth it.

Of course, there is the possibility that your workout partner can be a negative influence on your fitness progress if you choose someone who doesn’t respond to your encouragement, belittles your progress and won’t commit. That’s why you don’t work out with your husband or wife! KIDDING!! Sorta….Search until you find a competent, positive partner for your fitness regimen. And that brings us back to the video… the perfect partner to work out with!!!

 

So today will be a very sad day indeed for me, and I’m crying as i write this. I will have to help one of my wonderful dogs, Badaboom, brown long haired shepherd,  cross over the rainbow bridge. It is always so hard when we have to make the decision to end their life. There are so many things to consider. When you have no choice, if they are truely at lifes end, it is hard enough but you do what you have to.

But when you are weighing pros and cons and justifiying and hesitating it is awful. The main thing here is her pain. She is a typical shepherd with such a stoic attitude, she will barrel thru anything, even as we took walks in her wheelcart, as she limped along, she would see another dog and get a burst of enery pulling the cart and spinning the wheels and you could just hear her screaming, “get back here… I’ll kill you, you can’t run from me”  and then she would be exhausted and even more lame and i could barely get her home. But, oh, what a moment of fun for her!

But she still loves life, she has a great appetite, loves to have someone play with her, belly rubs, tug of war (from a laying down position) her cookies, her treats, sleeping in bed with us, laying next to her best bud Badabing. But she can no longer get around without pain. She has Degenerative Myelopathy (in the rear legs) and they are very weak,  and the front leg has a tumor (cancerous) that we opted not to treat except for pain pills, because she also has hip and elbow dysplasia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_dysplasia_(canine) that she has dealt with since she is 6 months old, she is now 13, pretty damn old for such a big dog.  But she would end up with one good leg, so what’s the point.

I have to say, we have kept her going and pain free for all these years with natural products and accupressure. http://www.therapeuticacupressure.com/home/  My hubby and I are both certified for people and use the same modality on our dogs. It has helped them tremendously and made for a very long happy life. I will talk about it more in another blog. It is a wonderful alternative therapy that you can use in conjunction with western medicine. Always take your pets to the vet for care and immunizations, but adding other natural modalities is always helpful.

Anyway, at this point, she is so wobbly on the rear legs, can no longer put the right foot down and is in constant pain, and on pain meds that can only help with the pain, not take it away anymore, and it’s is so unfair to keep her going like that even tho I want to. It is selfish and not in her best interest, even tho she seems to want to be around too. But at what cost, she cannot get up and down without crying, my husband carries her up and down our stairs, and in and out of our bed, it is time and i am dealing with it.

I feel even worse for her best bud Badabing, black lab/newfie X,

who will be so lonely and confused without her, he is 14 and has arthritis and is a big fat bastard that we love, but we will comfort him and help him, and keep on giving him his IGM sessions and eventually get him another pal. At this point, just getting thru the day will be hard enough for all of us.

If any of you have the same dilemma, my heart goes out to you, and I hope all the pets we love that cross the bridge can party like they want to while they wait for us on the other side. Love you miss boomie… wait for Bing… kisses and hugs, mom and dad. :(

The final cut of Sheila Kay in the Dysfunctional Diving Diva is now out of post (we ran out of beer) and up for viewing.  Let the Production BASHING begin! Hey, I ain’t no Lloyd Bridges but……..at least we had fun(and now you know how old I am).  No sealife was harmed during the filming of this production.