Feeble Knees

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Does Anyone Care?

I'm sorry for this post. But I'm getting a little upset. As shocking as the images and stories are coming out of the gulf coast, the thing that's really getting me is how little the world seems to care.

Is it just me? Am I overreacting? Or is there a complete lack of care or concern coming in from the rest of the world - even from other parts of America. Where are the celebrities pledging to raise awareness? Where are the politicians, pledging to send aid and volunteers? Is it because it really hasn't settled in how bad things are?

I truly believe this is going to be as signifigant an event in the history of this country as 9/11 was. The death toll, including those killed in the storm and those sure to die from disease and pestilence may easily exceed the number of innocent people killed that infamous day. And yet... there is so much silence from the rest of the world!

I don't know what to make of it, and it grieves me to the core.

Maybe I'm just overreacting...please, just let it be me overracting. Please don't let it be that people really... don't care....

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Praying for the Gulf Coast

It may be days and weeks before the full impact of Hurricane Katrina is fully realized. My thoughts and prayers are with the poor folks who've lost loved ones, homes, pets, livelihoods...

I'm reminded of Zora Neal Hurston's fictitionalized account of the hurricane that caused lake Okechobee to overrun and flood the Florida Everglades in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God:

They stepped out in water almost to their buttocks and managed to turn east..Dodging flying missiles, floating dangers, avoiding stepping in holes and warmed on the wind now at their backs until they gained comparatively dry land. They had to fight to keep from being pushed the wrong way and to hold together. They saw other popele like themselves struggling along. A house down, here and there, frightened cattle. But above all the drive of the wind and the water. And the lake. Under its multiplied roar could be heard a mighty sound of grinding rock and timber and a wail. They looked back. Saw people trying to run in raging waters and screaming when they found they couldn't. A huge barrier of the makings of the dike to which the cabins had been added was rolling and tumbling forward. Ten feet higher and as far as they could see the muttering wall advanced before the raced-up waters like a road crusher on a cosmic scale. The monstropolous beast had left his bed. The two hundred miles an hour wind had loosed his chains. He seized hold of his dikes and ran forward until he met the quarters; uprooted them like grass and rushed on after his supposed-to-be conquerors, rolling the dikes, rolling the houses, rolling the people in the houses along with other timbers. The sea was walking the earth with a heavy heel.

The damage and destruction, the horrors of hurricane Katrina are only just coming to light for the rest of the world to see. We can only guess the terror of those who died in it, the devastation of those who lived through it.

We can help:

Contact the Red Cross to donate money, time, or blood. There is currently a critical shortage in the nation's blood supply right now, so if you can't give money, give blood.

Or you can make a secure online donation to the Salvation Army's disaster relief efforts.

Most of all please pray for the rescuers and volunteers working around the clock to locate and aid survivors. Pray for those who are desperately seeking word about missing loved ones. Pray for the many thousands who are now suddenly homeless and destitute.

Please pray...

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Can't seem to tear myself away from the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina. It seems like the unthinkable is about to happen before our eyes. When all is said and done, will there still be a city of New Orleans on the face of the earth?

To listen to the news reports, one might think not.

An old friend of mine lived there in of the middle of N'awlins for several years. I've lost touch with her in the past couple of years, and though I've heard reports that she moved east to Florida in the not too distant past, I know that she, like many others, is under the Big Easy's spell. She's tried to leave before, only to find herself inexplicably drawn back to it. Once she told me a story about a girl who came to visit her there for a few days. On her way back to the northeast, the girl snapped. She abandonded her traveling companions and was later apprehended, babbling and incoherent, while trying desperately to board a bus heading back south... My friend laughed about it then, laughed about the mysterious pull, the dark obsession that chains people to the place.

I hope she's not there. I pray she's not there. I'm scared to death she may be there, down on Bourbon street throwing back daquiris. It would not surprise me if she decided that this would be the way to check out of a life that all went to crap years ago.

I'm watching lines of stranded people, people with no where else to go, queueing up outside the Super Dome and I feel sick to my stomach. I hear predictions of thirty foot storm surges overrunning the levess, flooding the city with toxic spills and the remains of corpses buried in above ground graves. As the storm advances closer, it seems inevitable that there will be a direct hit this time. The absolute nightmare scenario could come to pass.

The rain has begun to fall. They're starting to close the only bridges out of town. Parties are starting down on Bourbon street. One hundred thousand people are stranded in the city with no way out. Elderly. Sick and disabled. Poor. Mommas and babies, children. Heroic National guard, medical and emergency personnel...




God have mercy. Dear Lord have mercy.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


So they managed to pull it off, my friends and family caught me off guard even though I was expecting a baby shower any minute.

I have to confess I was getting a little panicky as time passed, because the days are flying and here we were without so much as a single diaper on hand. I had to resist the temptation to go out and start getting stuff myself, knowing that there was a shower in the works. The urge to go on a shopping rampage for onesies, booties and hats dominated my thoughts last week. Maybe it was a nesting thing, or the precursor to it, but it was awfully hard to ignore.

Thankfully they didn't keep me waiting any longer, and our family and friends really blessed us with all sorts of wonderful stuff. Maybe we were a little too blessed, given the number of loads of baby laundry I ended up doing this week. I know, I probably should have waited to unpack and wash everything, but once we got home there was no holding me back. So everything's been inventoried, washed and put away, sorted by size and type of garment. There must be some sort of gestational form of obsessive compulsive disorder that causes a pregnant woman to compulsively fold, then re-fold, and re-sort and re-organize baby clothes. I'm convinced there is, because I've got it bad.

Among my favorites is a white onesie given to me by my sister. I'll let the picture speak for itself:

Just wish they made them in adult sizes... :)

But I Don't Want to Let Go

It's getting to be decision time regarding our kitty, the best kitty ever.

We've been doing everything we can to keep him going despite the kidney failure and to give him quality of life. He gets extra fluids subcutaneously a couple times a week, which basically involves hooking him up to an IV bag and plumping him up with sterile fluids under the skin. He tolerates the whole thing with great patience, and never gives us any trouble or complaints.

We've been giving him Pepcid A/C, ground up in his food to help ward off ulcers as the kidney failure progresses. He gets to eat pretty much whatever he likes, and he's developed a real fondness for Gerber strained ham baby food. Also V-8 juice. And yogurt. Whatever he likes, he gets. Last night he got real chunk light tuna (the people food kind) for dinner. Then I caved and gave him some more for breakfast this morning. That's one thing you can say for him, when tuna is on the menu, there's nothing wrong with his appetite.

But things are starting to break down. The arthritis is causing him to limp quite noticeably now, though he's still as determined as ever to get where he wants to go. But he's slowing down. We know we're nearing the end.

Yesterday the vet mentioned the E word: euthanasia. Up to this point she hasn't said it out loud, but yesterday she finally did. She said given where he's at, it would now be "a valid choice" for us to make. Either that or pain medication to make him comfortable for a little while longer.

I knew it was coming, we both did. But it doesn't make it any easier. I'm a bit of a mess. OK, no, I'm a total mess. Would that I was better equipped to be strong and handle it with dignity but I can't say that I am. At least I made it out of the vet's office without sobbing openly. Considering how I fell apart during the drive home, it was a minor victory I kept it together long enough to pay the bill and get to the car.

There will never be another kitty like him. He really *is* a family member, not just a pet. And he's been one of the best family members you could ever hope for: intelligent, longsuffering, gentle, loyal, loving, tolerant, comical, supportive, empathetic and affectionate.

Ok, so sometimes he's been known to drop nuclear stink bombs in the litter box, then refuse to bury them (I won't even get into the times he lackadaisically "misses" the box). And there's the tendency he had for a while to dribble toxic-smelling drool on peoples' laps. And there's that thing he has about insisting on water drawn fresh from the tap many multiple times a day. He can be somewhat demanding, in a cranky but charming old man kind of way. But a sweeter, more loving and loyal guy you'll never find.

We've been very lucky to be his people, and to be loved by him for so long.

It's been a tough month, a month of too much having to let go. My heart strains against the bonds of the present and longs for eternity - for Life and Love and a world without end...

Friday, August 19, 2005

33 Weeks Down, No More Than 7 to Go

Well, it's officially official that one way or another, I will definitely have a baby on or before October 3rd.

At our last OB visit the doc told us that I will not be allowed to go past my due date. So there it is. In one way I really like knowing that there won't be any guessing or prolonged waiting. I don't know why I find that comforting and reassuring, but I do, for some strange reason.

After week 35 we'll be going to the hospital 2x a week for non-stress tests, which, from what I understand, consist of hanging around while hooked up to a fetal monitor for twenty to thirty minutes to see how the little guy is doing. Based on that and other details, we'll determine whether I'll be allowed to go into labor or whether there'll be some sort of intervention (inducement, c-section, etc.)

It still doesn't seem quite real to me, so I'm not quite all that concerned about it yet. I figure we're in good hands and whatever needs to happen will happen. I'm trusting. It's quite amazing.

In the meantime I keep waiting for that wonderful nesting instinct thing to kick in. There's a lot I'd like to get accomplished, but the energy just isn't there. I did finally manage to attack some weeds out around the rose bushes yesterday. Wore myself out pretty quickly doing that, especially since bending down isn't something I really excel at anymore.

Every morning I stare at this belly of mine and marvel at how much it seems to be growing, even overnight. It's rather cute, if I do say so myself. Baby F has settled into a position that he apparently likes, since he hasn't shifted very much in the last few weeks. Though he did seem kind of annoyed my attempts to prompt him to kick by poking him in the back - he tolerated it for a few pokes, then slowly started shifting away towards the left. Clearly he's a guy who likes to do things on his own time & in his own way. :)

He's been a good tenant, all things considered. He hasn't kicked me in the ribs (yet) or really made too much of a fuss in there. It would seem he's kind of mellow really, and boy wouldn't it nice if that turned out to be true?

It's amazing to think there are only a few weeks left to wonder over so many questions. It's only a few more weeks now that I get to have him all to myself; only a little while longer and then I'll have to share him with the world. I don't know if I'm ready for that...

* * *

On a somewhat related note:

Maybe it's the hormones, maybe it's just the way I am, but I can neither see nor read a birth story without being reduced to a soggy, sobbing mess of tears. It just gets me every time. This one got me yesterday, and I still tear up every time I think of it. Just beautiful stuff, an incredible story, so heartbreakingly beautiful.

Seriously Negligent Blogger

Just recently I realized that a good number of the links in my blogroll had changed, and it took another week or so before I finally got around to updating them...

I think I've updated everyone by now, but if you're listed on the roll but your link is invalid, please send your new blog address to me at feebleknees at mac dot com. I promise to update it asap, now that I have finally managed to re-remember my Blogrolling account & password.

(I am a bad, bad blogger!)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Must Read

Read this. It's long, in seven parts. Make some time. Read it. Please.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Comic Relief

Or should I call it "Laughing on the Way to the Gallows"?

I've been lurking over at Chez Miscarriage since right before her brand new baby son was born. I've never laughed so hard while at the same time groaning at the realization that this too will be my life in about 8 (give or take a few) rapidly fleeting weeks.

Caution: Do NOT read her posts while consuming beverages of any kind unless you enjoy spewing liquid out your nose. You've been warned!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Hour of Lead

Haven't been much inspired to write (or think) that much in the last few days. My disposition has generally been quiet, solemn, still -- reminiscent of an Emily Dickinson poem that has been floating in the periphery of my waking thoughts since Wednesday.

Figured I'd share it here, and let it speak for itself, and me.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes --
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs --
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round --
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought --
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone --

This is the Hour of Lead --
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow --
First -- Chill -- then Stupor -- then the letting go --

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Terrible Shock

The subject of the email was "Sad news".

A friend of many years wrote me this email this morning. She and her husband are devoted, dedicated parents of a special needs child, their only child. Together they fought to help her overcome incredible odds and obstacles when the doctors said she wouldn't live past age seven. With their love and constant care she has thrived. She is ten now and doing great.

Now her daddy is dead.

A young, devoted, loving husband and father is dead. Out of the blue. No warning. Gone.

There are no words.