A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

Scoliosis Update: The follow-up visit after cast 2

I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.

Dear Ellen,

Last Tuesday was crazy. My day started at 4 a.m. Why? Because that’s when I get up to write my novel.



I only get two hours of writing time before the kids wake up and the school-morning frenzy begins. That particular day, the writing went well. But like clockwork, the kids stumbled downstairs around 6 a.m and that’s when I had to set my novel aside so I could feed the kids, micromanage the kids while they got dressed and brushed their teeth and then keep them from killing each other while we waited for the school bus.

Atypical morning events included scheduling a follow-up visit with the pediatrician to make sure that the Daikini child’s most recent ear infection had cleared up as well as scheduling a veterinarian appointment for my poor little fluffywufflekins, Gwennie.


I noticed a day or two earlier that something was off with Gwennie. She was hiding. That by itself wasn’t that unusual. Gwennie spends most of the day hiding either in my closet or underneath the bed in my room. Normally she’ll come out when it’s quiet – like nap time or when the kids are in school – and find me so she can have her turn at hugs and kisses. Over the last day or two, Gwennie hadn’t been coming to find me. Monday night, I called all over the house for her and she didn’t come.

When I finally found her, she looked horrible, like she hadn’t been grooming herself. I picked her up. Normally when I pick her up, she’ll lay across my shoulder and purr. Not this time. This time she quietly complained with a series of cranky meows. She also smacked her gums and her breath stunk. Something was wrong with Gwennie. I googled her symptoms and according to the Internet my cat was suffering from testicular elephantiasis.



I have so many questions about that diagnosis, I don’t even know where to begin. I was also worried that a recent discussion between my husband and me had driven poor Gwennie into an early grave.

My husband wants us to switch over from being cat owners to being dog owners. We’re both in agreement that there will be no more pets until he’s out of the military and our two cats have either crossed over the rainbow bridge or are on their way. As it so happens, this celebrity I follow on Instagram – who shall remain nameless because there’s a limit to how cyber-creepy I want to be —



— recently adopted a dog and has been sharing photos of him on Instagram. The dog’s breed is a French Bulldog. If you’re not familiar with the breed, here are some pictures:


I’m now completely obsessed. 

When we do adopt a dog, this is the breed I want to get.

It was because of this recent fascination with getting a dog, I worried that when Gwennie became sick it was because she was dying of a broken heart.

Needless to say, I thought it might be in Gwennie’s best interest to take her to the vet. That brings us back to last Tuesday. My hope was to take the cat to the vet while all three kids were in school. No such luck. They couldn’t get her in until 3 pm that afternoon – when two out of three of my kids would be home.



Before I knew it, it was 8 am. I put my son on the school bus. Drove my daughters to preschool. Ran to the store to buy Valentine’s for my two girls to take to school on Thursday. As I pulled into the driveway, I received a phone call from the pediatrician’s nurse, asking if I could bring the Daikini child in at 11 am to check her ears. It was 10:15 when I received the phone call and the preschool was a 15 minute drive from the house. The pediatrician’s office was a five minute drive from the preschool. So….I ran inside, dropped off the groceries, went to the bathroom, got back into my car, drove to the preschool, picked up my child, drove to the doctor’s office. Waited for 45 minutes before learning that her ear was fine. Left the doctor’s office, ran through a drive thru so I could eat something, came home with the baby, ate my lunch, went to the bathroom again, grabbed the baby, put her back into the car and then left again to pick the five year old up from her pre-k class.

Then we all got home. I put the baby down for a nap. And sat on the sofa for some quiet time for about 90 minutes before it was time for me to put Gwennie into her carrier and take her to the vet. At that point, she was hiding and also highly suspicious of me. I found Gwennie underneath the five year old’s bed and chased her out. She ran like hell for my bed which is king-sized and naturally she hid under the center of it, out of my reach. Desperate to get the cat into her carrier so I could get her medical assistance, I looked around the room for anything I could use to chase her out from under the bed. The only thing I had was my yoga mat. So I shoved the rolled up mat underneath the bed and out came the cat. I cornered her in the bathroom, picked up her up and placed her into the carrier.

This process took about ten minutes. So by the time I got the cat into the carrier it was time to get the kids in the car. I put the cat on the floor of the car by the baby’s seat. I instructed the five year old to get in and put her seat belt on while I ran upstairs to get the baby who was still sleeping. As I was putting the baby in her car seat, the five year old looked at me and said, “Mommy I was afraid to get into the car because Gwennie was in here.”

“Sweet girl, Gwennie can’t hurt you. She’s in her carrier.”

We drove to the vet. I put the Daikini child in a Ergo baby carrier (the kind you wear) so that I could carry the pet carrier. The problem was that my husband was the last person to use the Ergo so everything was adjusted for him. So when I put the baby in, she was very loose inside of there and I feared if I bent over she would fall out. So I’m holding her against my chest with one hand and trying to pull the carrier out with the other. The carrier got stuck on something inside of the minivan and when I pulled, the handle broke clean off.



I went around to the back of the minivan and set up the stroller which was actually easy to do one-handed. Getting the carrier into the stroller one-handed that was a different story. I’m holding the baby against my chest so she doesn’t fall out and trying to grab onto something – anything – on the carrier so I can lift it. It almost worked, until I dropped the carrier into the stroller so that it was standing on one end, with the door to the carrier facing up. Fortunately, Gwennie was unharmed. 

As it turned out, Gwennie had two cuts down the bottom sides of her mouth (the side that cat’s use to rub up against furniture.) The cuts became infected and abscessed and there was even puss draining out of one of them. I didn’t notice the puss because Gwennie is so fluffy. The vet gave her an antibiotic injection for the infection and a pain killer to treat the fever she had and promised she’d back to herself within 24 hours.

And so she was. I however, was completely exhausted from all of the running I did that day. Taking my mother’s advice:



I contacted my husband at work on Tuesday afternoon and asked him if he could take the baby to Atlanta. He had to take the day off anyway to shuffle the other two kids but because he’s in the military and they have a form for everything, I wanted to make sure if he needed special approval to go to Atlanta that he’d have time to get it.

The curve in the baby’s spine is continuing to decrease and she’s going to have one more cast put on in March. Then, in either May or June, she’ll go back to Atlanta to get a back brace.



Ellen, we feel so fortunate that our baby girl is doing so well.  And also that Gwennie is okay. But mostly our baby girl.

We’re so blessed to have this dancing diva in our lives!


A. Marie

Thanks for shopping Snark, Sass, & Sarcasm! I’ll see you next time.

3 Responses

Leave a Reply

A. Marie Smith

Your short bio telling the story of why you are a writer and the things that you think are important.