January 13, 2011

Updates: Cats, Sister-in-Law, Buttular Region

Christina asked for cat/SIL updates, and I will also throw in a freebie "falling-down-the-stairs injuries" update.

Cat update: Mouse is holding steady. She continues to be a shadow of her former luxuriously plump self (6 pounds down from 11). Her thyroid was re-tested this fall and her current dose of medicine is still working for her. She still occasionally pees in inappropriate locations, but nowhere NEAR as often---and the vet thinks at this point it could be partly an old-age thing. She doesn't wear a calming collar anymore: for a number of months I could TELL when the month was up and it needed to be changed, but then one month she didn't seem to need a new one so I tried not using one, and she seemed fine. Benchley and Feather continue to be lovey-cuddlekins-friendy-friends, so they mostly leave her alone. Sometimes all three of them will sleep on the same chair, though it's always that Benchley and Feather join Mouse, not that Mouse joins THEM.

(Benchley at rear of chair; Feather at front of chair; Mouse on arm of chair)

Sister-in-law update: Holding steady, WE HOPE. The lawyer is waiting to do the final settlement of the estate until after the 2010 taxes (including taxes to be paid on sold stocks) are done. As far as we know, Beth hasn't changed her mind about keeping the house, but we also keep getting cc'd on letters to her from the lawyer that say things like, "Because I haven't heard from you regarding my letter of the 18th, I will go ahead and...," so that's a little worrisome.

As an aside, Paul's aunt (his mother's sister) got bonus points (+3 for thinly-veiled family gossip) on this year's Christmas letter by adding a P.S. that she hoped we'd wish Beth a merry Christmas from her, because she had no contact information AT ALL!!---with "AT ALL" underlined twice. Because this came on the heels of a letter saturated with "blessings"s and "amazing"s (including suggestions that these amazing blessings prove that God favors not only America [sic] ((because she definitely means "the U.S.")) in general but also their family in particular), the peevish little passive-aggressive P.S. was EVEN BETTER and I upped the bonus to +5.

I sent her a cheery note telling her that Beth's contact info hadn't in fact changed (I had to tear up my first attempt and start over, because "not in the last eight years, in fact" and "the same info as your late sister's, if you still have it" was not the tone I was aiming for) (the tone I was aiming for was "I hope you will notice that _I_ am noticing that your silly attempt at peevishness showed only that YOU are the one who hasn't bothered to keep in touch---but without you being able to call me out for tone") (this is a very tricky tone to achieve). She mailed me RIGHT BACK, flustered by her tactical error and hoping to redeem herself while simultaneously shifting the blame, saying that Paul's dad's sister's husband (are you following this? Paul's uncle-by-marriage, but on the OPPOSITE side of a divorced family, so there was NO REASON his aunt would have been in touch with them except to pry) had told her the house would be sold last year.

Well well well! So this got another bonus +5 (very unusual to score Christmas card points for something that did not in fact arrive by Christmas card, but I find that awarding points keeps me from awarding smackdowns), since she has revealed herself to be a prying old pry-bag, and why aren't ANY of these concerned aunts/uncles contacting either Paul or Beth to ask about their plans? If this had been an email exchange rather than snail-mail, I might have responded with "Oh, that's odd! We haven't talked with him about the plans!"---but that's impossible to write on a little floral notecard and sign it and stamp it and put it in the mail, and perhaps that is for the best. I hope my silence instead conveys to her my intended tone, which is "Uh huh. Why don't you just consider whether that reply improved your position."

Okay, so that's the update: Paul's family in its usual dysfunctional turmoil, but luckily far away from us. And we hope the estate settlement will happen soon, with no last-minute changes of heart from his sister.

Injury update: Buttular region (injured in both falls) still uncomfortable when transitioning from sitting to standing, but improving. Ankle (injured on the second fall) doesn't hurt to walk on, but has gradually over the course of a week gone from having a bruise on one side to having a bruise on three sides, and then the top of that foot swelled visibly, enough to hurt when I put on my shoes. But...the INTERNAL part of the foot/ankle isn't bothering me at all: that is, the bones don't hurt, the joint doesn't hurt in any direction. It's just the skin and padding that feels injured and ouchy.


d e v a n said...

Wow. Just... wow on the family situation. Dysfunction runs rampant in my family so I find it makes me feel comforted and sympathetic when i read of other dysfunctional families.
I'm loving the christmas card scoring too. hee

Maybe you could show us/tell us about the card that scored highest this year!

Nik-Nak said...

I just love you! I see myself in your writing...it's crazy!!

Jess said...

I have an aunt like this. She is super nosy, likes to make barely-veiled rude interfering comments, and is quite stunning in her ability to pry information from people she shouldn't even KNOW, or know how to be in touch with, much less gain sensitive information from. It's really amazing. I guess there's one in every family. Or, in the case of Paul's family, more than one.

lifeofadoctorswife said...

Oh the family situation... I kind of love passive aggressive officiousness... but it's also very irritating.

Superjules said...

Sometimes I wonder HOW passive aggressive conversations between people far, far away ever happened before the internet. Now I know!

Dr. Maureen said...

Goodness, it's entertaining to read about other people's dysfunction. Perhaps it should not be, but it is. I suppose this is why celebrity magazines are so popular.

Regarding the ankle: Did you know that when you get a bad bruise, the blood can pool? Because that's what a bruise is. Internal bleeding. I once got a bad hit on my shin in a Tae Kwon Do class. It was very painful, and swelled up and turned black. I told my mom about it over the phone, and she said, and I quote, "Don't worry if your ankle turns black." I took this literally and imagined a BLACK ANKLE, and said, "If my ankle turns black, I am going to the doctor no matter what you say." But it turned out she just meant the blood could drain down to my ankle as I healed, and my ankle could swell and look bruised even though the bruise was on my leg. She didn't mean BLACK black like I saw in my head. Like DEAD black.

Anyway, that's probably what's happening with your ankle. But if it turns black, go to a doctor. :)

Nellyru said...

"a prying old pry-bag". Hahaha! Man, you crack me up! That's right up there with pine-hole!

Whimsy said...

Oh I do adore you, Swistle. I love love LOVE the fact that you had this exchange via snail mail, when so many of us (maybe I'm just saying this for MYSELF) would have pitched the card and rolled our eyes. I love that you took the time to reply to her inquiry. AND THEN SHE WROTE BACK. Ha!

In other news, I do hope you're feeling better soon.

Christina said...

I feel so frickin' special!

Perhaps you hurt your tailbone? I took a hard fall down the stairs once - ironically the day before a scheduled chiropractic appointment that required x-rays. She said that my tailbone was "chipped" and tailbone injuries take several weeks, sometimes months to fully go away and feel no pain. I remember sitting/standing transitions were achy for quite some time.

Christy said...

"I find that awarding points keeps me from awarding smackdowns"

This made me snort my tea this morning. I've been trying to keep from awarding smackdowns all week.

Rah said...

Also snorting morning beverage! Hilarious. I have held back from being motherly, but now that Christina broke the ice, I have wondered if you might have chipped or cracked something--it has been a long time, to still be hurting like that.

Jenny said...

I hope this comes across as confused, which I am, and not aggressive, which I'm not, but what's wrong with saying "America"? I know other countries are part of North America, but no other country in North America has "America" as part of its official name (the United States of America) and we do. And in fact, Mexico is the United States of Mexico. I am just wondering if I'm missing something obviously jingoistic here.

Swistle said...

Jenny- As I understand it, others consider it egotistical and self-absorbed for people who live in one small part of one of the two "America" continents to take that as a name representing just their little part of it, in a way that acts as if it's obvious what we mean. Like, when we U.S. people refer to ourselves as Americans, or as living in America, it's like we're saying, "DUH, of course by Americans and America we mean us, who ELSE could we possibly be referring to??" I was first alerted to this problem when I was crossing the U.S./Canadian border and told a Canadian border guard that my citizenship was "American." This did not go over well. (The correct answer is that we are United States citizens. It doesn't flow off the tongue as well, does it?)

There! Whew! That's all I know on the topic, I think!

Jenny said...

Thank you! This makes sense. But when I have talked to my own Canadian, Mexican, and other South/Central American friends, they don't consider themselves to be "American" or living in "America," nor do they find it confusing to call US citizens "Americans." Far from it. So I guess that's where the confusion stems from -- along with what I said about the actual name of our country!

Oh, and (totally unrelated) THANK YOU for the recommendation on your coat recently! I bought one and luuurrrrrrve it.

Swistle said...

Jenny- Yeah, I don't think it's a CONFUSION issue at all.

Isn't the coat WARM?? It's CHANGED MY [bus stop] LIFE.

Miz S said...

I recommend that you start telling people the bruises/injuries are from your Tae Kwon Do class, rather than from tripping on dinosaurs and such. It def sounds cooler.

I really need to come up with a point system for certain areas of my life. I'm gonna work on that this weekend.