The downside of my SO having access to my blog is that I feel a need to edit some of the things I might otherwise say here. Arguments I might analyze if I had the security of total anonymity. Issues I might work out in writing before addressing them in real life, but which I don’t really feel comfortable bringing up in the forum of this not-so-secret diary I’ve been keeping.
Maybe it’s not possible to be discreet, honest, and fair all at once. I hope it is, because I’m going to attempt it…
I’ve been sick for the past seven days or so. Since I’m preggo, I can’t take cold medicine, and I’ve really been missing cough syrup and cough drops. Instead I’ve relied on tea and honey, or occasionally, honey straight-up. During the worst four days of it, I slept sitting up on the couch downstairs. It wasn’t very good sleep, and it was interrupted both by Ziggy wanting to go outside and pee, and by many trips of my own to the indoor restroom. Each time I got up, the activity triggered a new coughing fit, which made getting back to sleep a problem. During several nights I wondered if I would be better off just turning on the light, reading, and drinking tea. Instead I forced myself to sit on the couch in the dark until, eventually, I managed to drift off again.
J was very sweet during this time. In part because I thought my coughing would keep him awake, I wasn’t sleeping with him in our bedroom. But after several nights of me on the couch, he said he missed having me upstairs, and encouraged me to come back. He even told me to leave Ziggy to him if she needed to go out during the night. In relationships where both members of a couple like animals and chose to adopt a pet, it might be assumed that pet-related responsibilities are shared. But that’s not how things are with J and I. J isn’t a dog person. I love dogs. I wanted to adopt one, and although J does help out with her, she is my responsibility. In the context our life together, J offering to interrupt his sleep to take care of Ziggy was a really nice gesture.
So anyway. The cold has been progressing, and I am over the worst of it now. I still have a phlegmy cough, but at least now I’m sleeping normally at night.
Regarding Ziggy, I received her liver biopsy results a couple days ago. It turns out that she has chronic hepatitis. Her liver scarring is currently moderate, and she will be on medication for the rest of her life, starting sometime this month. We should know in a few months how well she is likely to respond to the treatment. If she responds well, she should have years ahead of her still. Right now she is doing fine — it’s the kind of condition that often displays little or no outward symptoms until it has significantly advanced — and I hope we have caught it early enough for treatment to be effective. Cost-wise, Zig’s medication is going to be at least $90 this month. As the medication is adjusted, the cost per month will *hopefully* decrease.
When I passed on the news about the biopsy results and the medication costs to J, his first response was no response at all, except to look irritated and keep his mouth closed. He didn’t say no to moving forward with treatment and I could have let things be at this juncture, but I didn’t, because… well, that’s how I operate. When pressed for a response, J said that I care too much about dogs and that if it was just up to him, we wouldn’t be spending money on treating Ziggy at this point.
The following evening J was discussing some of the pre-requisites for SRS (Sexual Reassignment Surgery). He was contemplating whether there will be some therapy-related bills we will have to pay as he approaches SRS. Surgery is not covered by insurance, at any rate not by the VA, and there are these ‘gatekeeper’ hoops that have to be cleared before a person is allowed to move forward with medical transition. Hoops we don’t really understand yet. When J said that we might have to pay $100 or so a month for a year to satisfy one of the SRS pre-reqs, he didn’t look or sound upset about it. I wasn’t upset about the idea of the cost either, and admittedly these hypothetical expenses are some distance in the future. But I did think about Ziggy then, and about the different values people place on things, and I felt that same unhappy, trapped feeling I always get when I see the way my career is stalling out and realize how financially dependent on others I have become.
I don’t want to change J. Or at least, I recognize that it is just as pointless for me to tell J to care more about animals as it is for him to tell me that I should care less about them. Value systems develop early on in life, and by the time we reach adulthood, I think most of us have a good deal of cement in our personalities. So, I try not to look for the impossible. But I really, really, really am hoping to see, before too long, the light at the end of this very dark career tunnel that I’ve been walking through.
For now, I’m really going to try and be as productive as I can be in the areas of my life in which I can be productive. I’m going to try and let the things I can’t control go. I’m going to enjoy the time I have with J and with Zig — It’s all limited, after all. And I’m going to remind myself daily how lucky I am to be pregnant, to be expecting a new family member, this little stranger who is a combination of my best friend and myself.