Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van oktober, 2016


I have written 10 pieces, just to make sense of how my consult went last Tuesday. It was almost like a crazy dream gone real. I really expected that someone would walk in on us, and would yell; ‘You just got punked!’ And then we all would laugh, and I would give a firm shoulder punch at my doctor, just to let him know to never do that again. Shake hands with the cameraman and the show host, and meanwhile brushing the mud stains from my coat, hoping it didn’t catch on camera.

But it was real… A doctor with no people skill, whom loved to hear himself talk, and making the strangest remarks because he hadn’t read up on my medical history.

And I cried all the way home. I was so glad my mom would come within an hour after I got home. We were going to peel the apples and pears together. Now I could first burry my face in her coat the moment she would arrive, and then we would sit down and talk it over while we would peel.




It couldn’t be at a better time, that my mom came over. It was a lovely distraction after I told what had happened. It was cold outside, and rather gloomy, but inside was the warmth of our pot stove, the smell of coffee, and a floor covered with peels. It felt so cozy, and I so loved this moment together with my mother, that I almost forgot my sadness.

And then came yesterday…. ( I say with a hu-uuuuuuuuuuge smile on my face)

The day, that is now the official day, Kuzco has lost his virginity. Another thing we can scratch of his Bucket List.

What an excitement, and what an experience! It wasn’t at all what I dreaded. Never once I thought of those wildlife programs on tv, where it just looks like porn explained in every detail by a voice-over. We had to help them a little and sooth them, because they were stuck for 40 minutes. But he did it! tired as hell, but he did it! And now we have to wait…..




So even though the doctors words are still in the back of my mind, feeling sadness and despair for being back where we started from, have to endure the pain a little while longer, and needing to find a new hospital with a better doctor, I have been able to counter those negative thoughts and feelings with warm, loving, exiting, and positive things.

Keep focusing Joyce. It are all just bad moments, not a bad life.







It’s been a good day.

The results were in from my blood test on the hormone levels, and I talked them through with my physician. I didn’t want to go alone, I was a little scared of what outcome could be, so Ramon joined me for moral support.

My physician made a sad face, when he told me nothing has changed and I am still infertile. But my first reaction was; exhale….and then I smiled.

It is really weird to genuinely be happy to hear such news. But now I can continue like I did those ten years. We don’t have to make difficult decisions, we really don’t even want to think about. And they already crossed my mind from time to time these last few weeks.

I can tell you, it didn’t make me a brightful gal.

It’s okay. Better yet, it is truly fine. Now I can really focus on our (hopefully to come) new fur-baby.

We had a sort of dress rehearsal last Friday with Kuzco and Maya. Maya wasn’t ready for it yet, but Kuzco made a good move in wooing her. I rather dread the actual mating, I really don’t want to see my puppy making puppies. But the whole impression making Kuzco was working on, in between his nervous behavior, was too adorable to see.

This week we are going to try again, with hopefully the results we are wishing for.

Already there are all kinds of potential stories emerging. I can’t wait to write them, and draw them.

Sunday we went to see Ramon’s brother and sister in law. They also had pear- and apple-trees in their garden, so we picked the last few from their trees.


kuzco apple tree


It was a lovely time. Almost even more so, then when we picked the apples and pears at the Olmenhorst. Kuzco was with us, and his reaction was priceless. His little head was bright and happy, and he couldn’t stop jumping and barking of happiness. He was amazed to see that balls grow on a tree and fall on the ground to play with. And you can even eat them!! They just kept on coming. It was like heaven on earth for doggies. And in my mind, I could see Kuzco tell his puppy the story where balls come from and how fun it is to play with them.


kuzco picking apples


I asked Ramon to take some pictures of Kuzco, which I most likely will use for a possible story in the future.




There is a weight of my shoulders. I feel I can breathe again, and I feel happy. This time it’s okay something in my body still is broken. This doesn’t need fixing as long as the rest is still broken too.

Just give a puppy.







I can’t sleep.

My mind is going like pigs in a mud bath. Most of them are happy thoughts, but even more than ever, my sad thoughts reappears.

We’re getting a baby!!!

Like a mantra I keep repeating those words. It’s becoming real now. Off course I’m talking about a puppy, but the butterflies in my stomach makes me feel like I’m getting a baby. And that makes me cry.

These last few months, the baby subject weigh heavily on my shoulders. My body is acting weird. I suddenly woke up one morning, and my boobless became boobies. And they didn’t stop growing… Ramon and I were totally in love with my ever growing boobs…. I could actually call them boobs by now, but because they hurt and didn’t stop growing, we went to see the doctor.

Off course the doctor was just as amazed as we were. I haven’t had a monthly cycle for over 10 years now. So I can’t get pregnant. A fact that made us both very sad at the time, because we fantasized about having children, and always dreamed it could be so, once I would get better. But three years down the road of my illness, I lost my virginity. We already had so many dreams being crushed along those three years, but this was a big one.

I sort of buried my grief over the loss, and it would only resurface when someone near me was pregnant, and I had to actively be happy for them and celebrate their joy with a babyshower, and then the worst thing of it all, go see the baby…. And be happy. I think I always succeeded the job. The only thing I really really couldn’t handle, was holding the baby, so I always declined.

Thank God, these baby thingy’s are occasional, because I am really messed up for a couple of days after a baby related intervention. It has always have been something I could burry deep, because there were so many other subjects in my life that were more pressing to work at.

Until, a few months ago. Now it can’t seem to leave my thoughts. And they are not happy thoughts. Only fear. A fear that goes beyond  ‘in a galaxy far far away’. Especially after some blood tests revealed that my hormones have decided to activate themselves again. Why???!!

For God’s sake….why???!! Some people told me I should be happy about it, because my body is finally getting ‘better’. But why should I be happy? I am not getting better. Not to be the pessimist here….those are the facts, it is what the doctors told us. So why then should I be happy, my hormones decide to be active after 10 years. We can’t have children anyway, with my illness. So it was always kind of convenient, my body decided to shut the whole baby-making-business down. It made it a little more bearable.

My monthly cycle still isn’t here, and my boobs, sadly enough, have deflated. So I’m back being my boobless self again, except for the hormones. We check my hormone levels monthly now, to see what the hell is going on. But for now, every day is the constant fear, what if…… what to do then? …….

But….. coming back to ‘we’re getting a baby!!!’ …..

We have decided to try and get a puppy from Kuzco and his Cocker Spaniel girlfriend who lives around the corner. She’s not the one Kuzco strained his neck over, but he will, this upcoming week. So we fur mommies, have set a date. Next Thursday Kuzco and I will go to her house, and hopefully they like each other more than only play-friends. It is a nice way to focus on something Ramon and I wanted for quite some time now. I can’t bear the thought of losing Kuzco one day, but he is getting older. So how wonderful would it be, if there still is something left of him, once he’s gone.

And that great opportunity has arrived, with the sweetest and cutest Cocker Spaniel lady that lives just around the corner. And I am so exited!!

There are still no answers to my fear. Next Monday I meet the doctor again to discuss my latest blood results of my hormone levels. I really dread the consult, I am scared of what comes next. So to focus on actually getting a baby from my ‘baby’, makes all the fear and sadness go to the back of my head.

For a while at least.




Well…. That was something different…..

Because of the Crohn’s Disease, I am familiar with an endoscopy. The dreadful two days before, and the procedure itself. Although I had forgotten how terribly, terribly, gross the bowel prep actually was. I immediately understood why you have to finish it within an hour by taking little sips at a time. I started with three big gulps holding my breath in the meantime, because it was like I sucked the ink out of a chemical fruity scented ballpoint. Not even a little diluted from taste, even though I had to mix it with half a liter of water. But I really shouldn’t have done that, because within minutes my stomach felt like a shaken snow globe. To be sure I would keep it down, I sipped as told.

Phase two was at 03.30 hour. I was so tired, I had barely slept. Thousand little visits to the loo, a sore butt, and two rolls of toilet paper later, I settled myself on the couch, watching Castle, with a hot water bottle against my belly, plaid tucked all the way up to my nose, lit some candles for some ambiance, and chewed on a sandwich with some apple syrup after each sip, like it was chew tobacco, to get rid of that horrible taste. And then continued my runs to the loo.

Once in the hospital, everything felt the same as every other time I went through this, so I kind of felt like an old-timer. Seeing the familiar faces of the nurses again, catching up how everyone’s doing, following the routine, lying in the same bed with the same view outside. It was all ok.


I didn’t go completely under, when they gave me the anesthetic. This was something I hadn’t experienced before….and quite frankly, don’t ever want to again.

I felt everything, and it hurt like hell. Most likely because of that, I got three seizures during the procedure. The nurses were great. They calmly talked me through, and they got the job done, even though I most likely, didn’t make it easy on them. They took some tissue sample, and then they took me to the recovery room. I still couldn’t close my eyes, but half way through the day, I could certainly feel I was not myself. I was fuzzy and wobbly, and the seizures kept coming as participants of a marathon.

I finally fell into a deep sleep, when Ramon lay next to me. Covered with all my furry friends and Ramon beside me, I woke up with a smile.

My belly hurt like hell, I could barely move my head, but I was happy. I couldn’t wait to get a proper meal.

Ramon suggested to get a take out. Chinese. Off course that goes out, exactly 2 minutes after I finished it, but it is comfort food. And I could really use a big dose of that. I love Ramon so much for understanding. We snuggled on the couch together, watching a movie. I felt so pampered, so loved, so nurtured. This is the good part, of two horrible, horrible days.

Now I’ll just have to wait two more weeks for the end results.



Today is a horrible, horrible day.

I am only allowed to drink water, tea, or coffee, so no food. Tonight at 18.00 hours I have to start a Bowel prep, to cleanse the inside squeaky clean. Again at 04.30 in the morning tomorrow, and then I finally have the endoscopy tomorrow around 10-ish in the morning.

So my stomach hurts like hell, with the acid having a ball with its day off, not allowing anything to come through anymore, even a glass of water.

So it is two days already of mainly puking and pooping my guts out.

But…. I’m not alone in this feeling-sorry-for-myself-country-song, tune of the day.

I can share this horrible day with my puppy, whom is feeling just like me at the moment.

He has probably strained his neck yesterday. There is a dog in heat, and she walking the same route as we do. So Kuzco his hormones are like raging bulls, and there is hardly any fun anymore in walking Kuzco. He is adamant in collecting all of her pheromones, so his nose is either stuck to the ground, or in the air, pointing its way to any which dog, who may be just the one who’s in heat. So when his nose told him, his friend was walking towards us from across the street, Kuzco yanked at his leash to sniff her butt, only to be disappointed she wasn’t the one in heat. But he probably yanked to hard. So now he is in lot of pain, making sad little howls when he moves his head. He got some painkillers to make it through the day, but he is just the most pitiful dog, and nothing can make him smile today. He just wants to be softly petted in his neck, and be cuddled nonstop.


sad puppy


sad puppy


So here we are, two miserable friends, cuddling nonstop, covering every inch of the bed, because we haven’t found the best spot to feel happily miserable together.


This is going to be a lo-ooooooong day……. (me, prowling my lips, and Kuzco making a deep sigh with a little howl at the end)



feel good inspirational cards


It is for a good cause. So I will shuffle my deck of Feel Good Inspirational Cards, and flip one at a time, for when the feeling-sorry-for-myself-country-song starts its tune again.

Mmmmm, let me count for a sec……..

Okay, there are 52 cards (didn’t have to count, it was written on the back of the box……. But….three minutes have passed, so positive attitude towards my brainless action here)

So 52 times to stop whining…….yep……that ought to do it.

Endoscopy…. Here I come!




picking pears


For two years now, around the months of September and October, I’ve been nagging Ramon to go pick apples and pears in the orchard of the Olmenhorst estate. So, it’s only logical I continued this becoming tradition, this year as well.

I almost gave up hope, until Ramon suggested we go this weekend.


Yoo-hoo! I bounced like Tigger, clapping my hands, and sprinkled kisses on Ramon’s cheek.

I immediately went through the house searching for my hat, and arm socks my mother in law knitted for me once. They would go perfectly with the outfit I had in mind for when I would go pick apples and pears. I mean, when go, go in style. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t find a wicker basket. That certainly would be a finishing touch. But Ramon managed to convince me, a shoulder bag would be cheaper in the end anyway, and would be a lot easier to carry the weight.

So off we went, without my hat, because I finally saw what Ramon was telling me for years….. it looked horrible on me.

We both had certain expectations of this expedition. Mine greatly romanticized off course, and Ramon mildly afraid there would only be 10 other people wearing goatshair socks with Birkenstocks preaching about macrobiotics…. Because who would in his right mind would pay more money for the same quantity you can buy in stores, and on top of that, you have to do the job yourself.

Both expectations turned out differently. It almost was like an amusement park. So many people from all over the world, and even more bouncing children.




But once in the orchard, it was exactly as I romanticized it. I loved every minute of it. Ramon took pictures of the scenery, and the weather was great. A little too great for the outfit I chose. But due to all the excitement, my energy ran low within moments, so it wasn’t all that bad.




We picked the most beautiful pears and apples. Ramon even lifted me up to reach the one we both agreed on, was the most perfect shape and color.


perfect shaped pear


We drank pear juice, and Ramon ate apple-pie, as we took a break between the pear and apple picking. Sitting in the sun, enjoying this moment to the fullest.


joyce and ramon


After two hours of strolling through the orchard, I had two bags filled with apples and pears, each weighing 10 pounds. My mind was running like pigs in a mud bath…. All the things I want to make, using the pears and apples. I could almost taste everything that passed through my mind.






Once we got home, the first thing I needed to do, was to defrost the freezer. So it would be clean and I can use it again to its full potential, because I will need all the space there is. And off course…. Make the first pear tarte, to celebrate our wonderful day of ‘hard work’.


pear tarte



Today was a beautiful day for a lo-ooooooong walk through the park with Kuzco.

And I mean almost three hours long.

Just as long to cover the hours of us missing Ramon, while he was at work.

It’s wonderful how good he is doing, and how smooth going-back-to –life is going. But boy… Kuzco and I miss him terribly. Almost two months we’ve been together……. We, the three amigo’s……

the three musketeers……. the dynamic trio…….. the fantastic three……. the three stooges…….

Okay-okay already, they catch the drift Joyce….

Pull yourself together woman!!!

So Kuzco and I were killing time while walking and playing in the park. When Kuzco almost hitched a ride on another mobility scooter that passed us by, I knew we would have to sit for a moment to let Kuzco catch his breath.




While I enjoyed the warmth of the sun, I noticed the dragonflies around us.

And immediately my imagination started working. I counted seven or eight dragonflies, flying from one blade of grass to the other. As if they were little airplanes, going from destination a to b, unloading and picking up passengers. Some of them waited a little longer on their flight stop. And as I followed them a while longer, I understood the order of things. The ones that waited a little longer before taking off again, were long distant flights. I could imagine all the tiny little bugs and ants, carrying their suitcases to go to a business-meeting, or go visit distant relatives. Those fields of green are just as wide for them, as the world going round for us, I imagine. Never thought of that really, until just now.

When I saw a little mouse passing by, my imagination was complete. She was super-fast, because I couldn’t see where she ran off to. This was definitely Bianca. With style and grace she scurried through the field. I tried to find more of them, or at least Bernard off course. But it was just the one little mouse. She probably ran to the creek to catch the boat-leave pushed by Evinrude the dragonfly, to hurry on her rescue mission.



sat a while longer, hoping to catch the busy dragonflies carrying their cargo on my camera. I think I snapped almost 50 photos or so, never sure if I even cached one of them, until I was probably moving in their flight path. I almost had a collision with a fully loaded dragonfly.

I know,

because I could hear the passengers scream, seeing their life flashing before their eyes, fearing this would be the end. But thank God for the evasive maneuver the dragonfly made just in the nick of time.

And thank God for the  swift movement of my finger to snap this terribly exciting moment on camera. Because I know you wouldn’t believe this story, if I hadn’t this snapshot to proof it.


dragonfly close up


If you look rea-aaaaaal closely, you can see tiny little arms waving in terror on the back of the dragonfly.

If you can’t…… well…….

Then it’s is probably a good time to see an optician…..

Just saying.





A rant I had to write in the middle of the night, to be able to put it behind me, and sleep.


I answered a phone call. Quite nice actually. Asking what has happened to Ramon, and how things are going with me. I told what was happening in our lives, and was asked how our dog was doing, hoping it would break the ‘negative’ accumulation.


Yes, he is doing quite fine, thank you for asking…. but so are we! The things that are happening in our lives does not mean we are doing horrible. We are making the best out of a bad situation. And we are working hard, dare I say damn hard, staying positive.

But what if I just told what was happening, would that by itself mean we are only focusing on the negative? What the fuck?!


I find it hard to read into people’s mind. (It’s a bad habit of mine for even wanting to.) But what do you expect to hear when you call for an update midst crisis?

I let myself be criticized by people’s opinions, and make a verdict upon myself that isn’t helping at all. It is making me doubt the way I handle things. Which by itself us the most idiotic thing ever! I know when I am not doing well. And I act accordingly. I seek for help, so I can make the most out of it. Why do people then give you the feeling you don’t handle it well, and that you need to answer the question in a way, that supposedly is focused on only good things, I clearly need to see?


For fuck sake…. I am not blind!!!


I believe we are allowed to be in a grieving time. That is necessary to get to the point of healing and moving on. Why are people so adamant in only hearing good things. Why then bother asking how we are doing?




I hate myself for doubting me, after letting myself be influenced by other people’s inadequacy, and downright rudeness.

Be convinced of yourself Joyce!

People only judge by their own experiences in live. So why do I let it hurt me, even though it is without a doubt with the best intentions.


I’m doing the best I can….

I’m doing the best I can!!!!


When I know better, I will act accordingly. But to give someone the impression you’re not working hard enough, is downright the most insulting way to show some interest.


Rant complete.


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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress