Sunday, December 19, 2004

Missy 1990-2004

The most expensive vet bill my mom ever paid was when she had to fly her dog Negra from Whitehorse to Alaska to reach the closest veterinarian. It cost her a couple thousand dollars and this was the 1970's. Because of this, I believed my mom's reason for putting my dog down without me and before I could say goodbye.

I got home from work to find my mom waiting at the top of the stairs with red glassy eyes. Missy's condition was too distressing for her to wait past receiving the number of ill-fated tests we put her through. She was missing fur on half her face, around her eyes, before her ear and on her paws. Instead of fur, red scabs coloured her skin. A tumor had grown on the gland that fights against mites and other illnesses. Even though my mother tried to force her for over an hour, Missy wasn't eating. A couple of days before her death, I saw a fellow with a severe case of psoriasis on his face and I gravely thought of her. The night before, I slept with her in my bed and I woke up the next morning with blood on my pillow.

She was thirteen years old. JJ, my other dog and her daughter, probably knows. She's not acting too happy. She and I walked through Mundy Park and she wouldn't trot ahead of me like she usually does. It disturbed me that I won't be calling Missy's name out in that park. JJ's going to need a lot of attention for the next couple of weeks.

A few days ago, I was interviewed for a volunteer position at the Boys and Girls Club of North Burnaby. I'll probably be working with children in crafts or theatre. What I appreciated the most about the interview is that the main objective of the programs they offer is that the children are happy. Because of my personal study of social behavior, they were surprised at how much I know about abused or neglected children and their needs and behavior. I should probably pursue my curiousities further. For now, I'm really looking forward to volunteering there this January.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Eggnog and Mental Health

Everyone has their Christmas Parties to go to - for work, family, friends. Who needs a good party the most around this time of year? The Mood Disorder Association!
Yep, that's right - friends and I were partying it up with the clinically depressed! They sure know how to party. Ed (a fellow with a severe case of bipolar disorder) and his wife Vickie organized it. Ed played Santa and I've never seen a more giving Santa. He has been a driving force behind the Mood Disorder Association of BC - fighting to improve mental health care while providing support groups, newsletters and fundraisers (There was a fundraiser with rock bands of psychiatrists performing).
This Christmas party was the first party I've ever been to where everyone was sure to leave with a prize (ensuring that no one left feeling depressed) We ate way too much, played bingo and sang carols. There wasn't much order to any of it which made it a hell lot of fun - when bingo got too tiring Ed just started giving out the prizes. At the end of the night I left with a nineteen inch TV which will be good for the future appartment I'll be renting with Julie and Kenton (in spring 2005).

Earlier that evening I hit a truck with my car.

I was in a psychiatrist's office once where the wait room was almost bare. There were some coffee stained chairs I associate with those Sundays spent in United Church staring at the back of people's boring necks. Cardboard boxes with that tacky fake doorskin pattern were scattered across the beaten down carpet. The secretary's shoulders curled over her water-stained desk. Yelling came from one room, my psychiatrist waited for me in the other. He asked me about my problems, my physical symptoms, and then proposed to prescribe me children's bedwetting medication for my depression without accompaning psychotherapy. I didn't see him again but I would love to paint the memory of that waiting room.