Friday, March 14, 2014

Can’t Cook, Can’t Sew, Thank Goodness for Diego

      If there was ever a right time for something, it happened yesterday.   Any apprehension I had about bringing a service dog into my life melted into a sigh of relief less than a day of having this little guy. Again, no heralded angels singing, no love at first sight, just pure relief and joy to have something to pull my attention forward instead of inward. The events of the past week, though more blessings than not, were really trying to draw me into a pity party I did not want to attend.
      The first day of March (which would have been our parents’ 68th anniversary) brought all my siblings here to Denver to celebrate a new life within our fold.
A new baby next month is the best reason to celebrate and after a quarter of a century of mostly coming together for funerals this was cool stuff. We had met up in Albuquerque 2 years ago for this new baby’s parents (my nephew Andrew and his beautiful wife Gretchen) to marry. I was liking this new pattern and it was such a joy to have both brothers and my sister with their spouses in my home.
     The week was filled with everyone going in different directions for skiing, traveling, and working. We didn't have to be in each other’s back pockets to just enjoy being close by. Our last day together would just include my sister and husband. We planned a little western apparel shopping, lunch, the beautiful Butterfly Pavilion, and an easy home cooked dinner. But in a quick rush back to the car to get the clothing coupon, my bifocals read one step when there were actually two. If I had been even a decade younger, I might have been able to correct my stumble, but this time I made a sprawling leap forward onto the concrete walk. My right hand and temple received the greatest damage.
     I now have a “road hazard” orange cast on my broken hand and the most brilliant black eye I have ever seen.
“A sight for sore eyes” has taken on a new meaning.  Because I cannot have an MRI due to my cochlear implant, I am just watching for possible symptoms in case a lurking subdural hematoma wants to surface. The death of a dear friend’s son and a close call with a sister-in-law’s brain bleed last year has made me all too aware of that potential danger.
     I decided to go ahead with the plans to have Diego arrive this week.  Luckily I am left handed and he is trained to walk on my left.  The commands can be delivered with a clap to my thigh rather than a two hand clap. However, this plan was not without its challenges. The daily training practice, feeding, walking, poop paroling is a silly scenario to watch. While I have to remember to lead him with my left hand, it is the only functioning hand I have, and I need it to use it to open doors, get him out of the car, and carry things.

     Even with these crazy challenges, I’m very grateful for them.  The outlook of thinking about the next six weeks was going to be overwhelming. There is very little I can do that I wanted to do. Sewing/quilting right now is pretty much on hold. One arm cooking and cleaning is a bit slow but doable. One hand typing for this blog is a whole new brain adjustment.  I pictured myself just sitting and moping about the “can’ts” but with Diego I have so many other things to focus on. He and I are in training for the next three months, and it is up to me to follow through with it all. Two practice sessions daily of listening for the door bell, the phone and the smoke alarm.  I don't have time for a pity party! We have work, and praising, and a lot of loving to do. Oh, and learning to take better selfies is on the list, too. Stay tuned to hear about Diego's first professional on the job outing.It was a doozy!

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