elvis has left the building

elvis van dolson

1986 (?)-2007


elvis, as much as it hurt all of us, we had to put you to sleep yesterday. your departure hit dad the hardest, as he was the one who tamed you when you wandered to our house in maryland one night eighteen years ago. you wouldn’t go anywhere near him, but huddled under one of our cars until he went inside, leaving a plate of food for you to devour.

night-after-night, dad did this, watching from the window. then, one night, you let him sit on the step outside as you ate. you were still skittish, but you were warming up to him. eventually, you let him bring you inside, and you were with us ever since.

you, whom dad nicknamed “the captain” were a big cat. i could never really tell if it was your incredibly fluffy coat of fur or if you just liked to eat! frisky and sally were wary of letting you into the cat clique, but they eventually opened up as much as cats do. you became a part of our family.

through the years, we’ve added even more cats to the family, but you firmly held your spot as “dad’s cat”. you didn’t talk often, but when you did it was a very deep sound. you looked like a lion with your thick fur. my favorite picture of you wearing a tiny toy hat on your fluffy head is still on mom and dad’s fridge. it always makes me smile.

but, as the years went by, time took its toll on you, as it does to every animal and person. you began to lose weight, but so did frisky, and when he received a clean bill of health from the veterinarian, we thought you were fine too. however, you continued to deteriorate to the point where you could no longer eat. as much as mom and dad loved you, they knew you were suffering, and they couldn’t let that happen.

and so, on february 14, dad, randy and ryan took you to the vet for the last time where they said their final goodbye to you. the night before, dad sat with you and held you, hoping you would slip away peacefully in your sleep, knowing it would be easier emotionally on everyone.

you may be gone now, but we’ll always remember you, and you will always live in our hearts. and, i’m sure your brothers and sisters are missing you as well. we never really knew how old you were, but figured you were several years old when you found us, putting you around 20 or 21. you had a long, good life. i was sad yesterday, sad at the thought of us losing you and the fact that i wasn’t able to see you one last time. we love you, elvis.

you know it’s 2007 when . . .

conversation hearts now say “lol” and “e-mail me”.

happy valentine’s day!

joe really went overboard for our first valentine’s day as a married couple! last night when he got home, he gave me a few “pre-valentine’s” presents.

he got me this *cute* bear and a box of chocolates (yum!)

he also had stopped by zales and got me this sapphire jewelry set, which i had showed him and knew he was getting. they are gorgeous. he wanted me to have sapphire jewelry since it is the birthstone for the month in which we got married. i think that’s romantic. 🙂

also last night, i baked cupcakes to take to work today. joe helped me frost and decorate them.

this morning, we exchanged presents before joe went to work. i can never wait until the evening! i got him the “million dollar baby” dvd because he loved that movie, candy and some black dress socks. hehe. i know that sounds dorky, but he said he really needed a few more pairs!

joe got me the “robin hood” dvd “for us to watch with our kids.” awww. and, he got me a gorgeous aquamarine ring because he wanted me also to have a ring with my birthstone. and, i must say, it is hard to find aquamarine rings that are not lab created! this one is really beautiful.

tonight, we’re going to dinner at provino’s. yum! happy valentine’s day everyone!

why i love my husband, reason no. 42059483

i am very lucky. every saturday morning, i look around my church and see women who are there alone. their husbands don’t bother to accompany them. even though my husband and i have different religions, he faithfully attends my church with me, and i attend his services with him. i know he does it because it is important to me, and that means a lot to me. every weekend, i am reminded of just how lucky i am.

pain, pain go away

i am having a flare up. this means, no exercise for me for a few days.

i was hurting yesterday, but i figured it was because my enbrel prescription got held up. i usually give myself my shot on monday morning, but as of 8:30 p.m. yesterday it still hadn’t arrived at my pharmacy. the pharmacist was great about it, though, and called the various pharmacies in the area and found a different kind of enbrel for me. instead of using a syringe, it was an epipen. for the first time in a long time, i couldn’t inject myself. maybe it was the epipen, or maybe it was that i couldn’t see the needle, but something about it made me unable to use it myself. so my wonderful husband, who normally can’t watch me inject myself, had to give me my medicine.

i thought i’d feel much better today, as i normally do after taking my enbrel, but i’m feeling just as bad, if not worse. my fingers and knees ache, and my knees are so swollen i can’t even see my kneecaps!

so now, more than anything i’m afraid i’ll gain weight because i can’t exercise right now and risk aggravating things. blah. and i was just getting a little more into exercising!

the 3-month prescription that wasn’t

i have an appointment with my rheumatologist every three months. i go in, have my routine check up, tell her where i’ve been hurting, if i have at all, and get my prescriptions. that’s all there is to it.

apparantly, that last part is too difficult for someone, whether it’s my doctor or the pharmacy. my next appointment wasn’t until feb. 19. today it got pushed back until feb. 27. the refills for my methotrexate prescription ran out last week.

why is it so hard to write (or fill) a three-month prescription. i take six pills a week, so only simple math is involved. and, for some reason this is the only prescription that runs short.

today, i had quite a time trying to get a hold of my doctor’s nurse and then trying to get her to call a prescription in for me. she said she couldn’t because i haven’t had labs done since august. i understand they need to keep track of my liver to make sure the medicine doesn’t affect it, but i haven’t had a problem yet, so i’m not too worried. and, if they really want my labs done every three months, why didn’t they give me the orders in november? they let me go on my merry way.

in order to appease the nurse, i had to leave work (and i was quite busy preparing for the weekend news), go to the clinic’s other office (because my doctor’s technician wasn’t working) and have my blood drawn. sigh. then, she couldn’t get the vein in my right arm to cooperate (probably because it gets stuck every three months!), so after several twists of the needle (ouch!), i told her to use a butterfly needle. i probably should have told her that to begin with, but i just didn’t think about it.

ten minutes and two bandaged elbows later, i was on my way, walking quickly back to my car in the freezing cold with both elbows throbbing. and it was all because they couldn’t give me the right prescription in the first place.