Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Apr 25

Gratefulness in Photos. Husband Update

Last night was a crazy night.  It all started around dusk.  I was looking out of my bedroom window down to the creek we have running in our back yard.  There they were – a mama duck and 11 ducklings that were each about the size of a golf ball swimming closely behind, peeping away.  Craig was feeling quite uncomfortable after dinner so I was relaying the information to him as he lay in bed.  Suddenly, the two farm ducks that ‘rule the roost’ around these parts came waddling across the yard as quickly as they could.  One jumped in the water and began violently trying to mate with the mama duck.  He balanced himself on top of her while she tried to keep her head above water.  With the weight of him, the current carried them quickly back down the creek and they were gone from my eyesight.  The babies were frantic, peeping as loud as they could, not knowing where to go or what to do.  I kept waiting for the female to swim back upstream and claim her young but after 5 minutes or so I grabbed my coat and hat and marched outside toward the neighbor’s back yard. 

The farm duck had the female on the bank, still trying to mate with her.   A few ducklings found their way back to her and were trying to squeeze close to her body but the male kept stepping all over them as continued to try and mate with her.  She clearly wanted nothing to do with him.  I became so angry that I chased the farm duck all the way up the embankment and to the road.  I waited for them to cross over and into the pond on the other side.  When I started walking back towards the female and her young, they were all there huddled against her while she, clearly exhausted, just sat and watched me pass on by.  I was relieved that all were back together safe and sound – and at the same time very disturbed by how violent animals can get when they mate. 

When I came back to the house it was nearly pitch black outside.  It was time to let both dogs out. When I opened the back door that leads into their large, gated-off ‘do your business here’ pen, Emmie noticed a white tail and began chasing it until it squeezed past the fence bars and out of reach.  If she’d caught it, Emmie would have killed it before she knew what she was doing.  I’ve never seen a more immediate instinct on a dog. 

As she and Brulee started sniffing around I noticed some movement along the dead ornamental grass that lines the foundation of our house.  I looked really hard and couldn’t believe what I saw:  at least 10 baby bunnies trying to clamor their way back into a hole underneath the grass.  They were so small, 4 of them could have sat in one hand. 

Suddenly I panicked and looked over at both dogs but they were completely oblivious to the bunnies, did their business and trotted back into the house.  I ran inside to get my camera so I could capture my Gratitude Photo for the week: 



Can you make out the three faces looking right at me?   I’ve walked by that nest countless times.  Brulee loves to pee in the dead grass and I’m sure has walked right over the nest countless times, yet neither dog ever picked up that it was there. 


On to other news…

Craig had another attack last night – approximately 6 hours after he ate dinner.  There is nothing worse than begin woken up in the middle of the night to someone in severe pain. I asked him if he wanted to go back to the ER.  He was so distressed and holding his side, I couldn’t really get an answer from him. If he pushed really hard on the spot that hurt, it took his pain level down significantly.  I watched as he did this for a while and as the pain subsided he and I both noticed a ridge or lump under the skin where the pain was.  Immediately we both thought ‘hernia’.  We were up the rest of the night, ready to go the hospital if he grew any worse.  It didn’t however, so we waited until this morning to call the doctor.  With an appointment at noon we went in and sure enough, the bulge was gone.  ‘It could be a hernia,’ said the doctor, ‘or, it could be your bowel.’  Sigh. 

The colonoscopy has been canceled but an ultrasound has been scheduled for next Tuesday, along with other tests.  Then he will be referred to a doctor that specializes in hernias.  Until then, we wait. 

I am reminded through all of this how Craig must have felt after my hysterectomy last year – completely helpless. It’s so hard to watch him in be in pain.  We’ve not ruled out another trip back to the ER between now and thenTuesday if the pain worsens, but honestly it’s the waiting that has both of us so incredibly anxious.  My anxiety has been giving me away lately – when I get to a certain level, I get hives.  Sure enough I awoke with hives around my mouth this morning and my lips were twice their normal size.  We make a pair, Craig and I. One day we’ll surely look back on this last year in amazement that we got through it all. 

I saw this on someone’s Facebook page earlier: 

…a very appropriate visual for me to come across today.  No one falls apart on my watch – especially me.

Have a good weekend,


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  1. Kyra says:

    I really hope those doctors get their act together! enough suffering for your husband!

    Cute little bunnies! :)

  2. Sharon says:

    What an ordeal. Sure hope you find some answers soon. Thankfully, the night of the thousand waterfalls isn’t going to happen! Keep us posted!

    • Ellen says:

      Thanks, Sharon. We sure are looking forward to finding out exactly what the problem is. By Tuesday we should have some solid answers. I can handle most anything if I know what I’m facing, but I know that can’t always be the case in life…

  3. I love what an advocate you are for animals! And I agree…it can be so hard to witness the violence that animals visit upon each other.

    Here’s to finding answers for Craig!

    • Ellen says:

      Karen, I am either an advocate or a nutball. You should have seen me chasing that male up the embankment in my pajamas. It was quite a sight!

  4. Caron says:

    I also am hopeful that the doctors will find the answers for your husband very soon. Love the little poster. So true! :)

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you, Caron. We’re ready for some answers so we can make a game plan on what’s ahead. I suppose I should be grateful that we have the time to plan, really. I love that poster too! Anything to keep the mind focused on our strength. We’re much stronger than we believe, I think. It’s remembering that’s so hard sometimes.

  5. Hanlie says:

    I find it so cute that you have bunnies and ducks in your garden!

    I hope Craig stays all right until his appointment…

    • Ellen says:

      Hugs and thanks, Hanlie. Your thoughts and mine were the same about Craig. He’s unable to eat anything solid and I keep wondering how he’ll do between now and Tuesday. I’m getting pretty creative with protein shakes, let me tell you!

  6. didi says:

    Baby ducks and baby bunnies in the same evening? How cool is that? I love that you chased off that farm duck, because I would have done the same thing. We women gotta stick together! 😉 I’ve been seeing a lot of little bun buns around here, and tons of rabbits as well. Tis the season!
    I have had such bad luck with doctors. It’s so hard to find one that LISTENS. It’s a shame you have to go through all this waiting just to find out what you already know, and your poor husband has to be in pain. Sending a hundred hugs.

    • Ellen says:

      Bunnies are now gone – thank goodness. I was going out there and standing with a laundry basket over that hole while the dogs were doing their business. In the rain, even!
      I haven’t seen the ducklings but I’m hoping that’s good news and that Mama is keeping them out of sight. We have a broad winged hawk trolling the yard daily for some easy prey.
      Thanks for the thoughts, Did. You’re a warrior and I always appreciate the love and light you send my way. Hugs right back.

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