Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van maart, 2017


There I went. Totally innocent, without having prepared myself for the possibility of having to strip down all of my cloths.

I went to the hospital to undergo two tests at the urology. For over a year now, I have been complaining of terrible stomach pains and way too many urinary infections. To exclude all kinds of possible causes, one of which my Crohn’s disease, months have passed, when finally in January my physician send me to the urologist. But because of the everlasting diarrhea, I had to postpone my appointment three times,  until yesterday. I could take an inhibitor for just one day, to undergo the tests.

Little did I know what would happen next.

I would only have to do a flowmetry, and get an ultrasound after. Usually I prepare myself to the teeth, if I know, or have even the slightest feeling I will have to undress myself. I will scrub me down till my skin hurts, I wear my granny panties, baggy clothes, and practical shoes that come of easy.

But not yesterday….

Yesterday after I had taken a normal shower, I randomly took one of panties out of the drawer. One that would sit comfortably under my Freddy Pants. In other words….as tiny as possible.

It would be a lovely warm spring day, so why not go for a tight t-shirt? I looked great, if I do say so myself.

Happy to empty my bladder when the nurse left me in the room to pee on a stool with a funnel hanging under it, I exhaled with great content. I was even proud of myself when I looked at the cup that stood underneath the funnel. It is rare for me to pee so much in one sit.

When the nurse came for me to do the ultrasound, the doctor had to be called immediately.

‘This isn’t good. Please undress yourself, panties too. We have to do a catheterization.’

Sweat dripped down my spine, right into my butt crack.


Then everything went so fast. The catheter was installed, and I was told I would have to wear it until Monday. A box was given, containing a larger night bag, a plug to install for when I would shower, and instructions of what and how to do things. And I had to get my blood drawn to monitor my kidneys.

So Monday I will have to return to the hospital, where  a new one will be installed, and they will teach me how to install the catheter myself.



I tried to put my Freddy Pants back on, and thanked Freddy for using so much Lycra. When I looked down, I wanted to send a picture to my dad, saying; ‘Look at my quads dad!!! It’s a-ma-zing! Freddy Pants really does make miracles come true  on your legs and butt.’  But my lady workshop hurt like hell, and I just wanted to get home.



I put on one of Ramon’s boxers once I got home. I didn’t want to wear anything that would press against it. When I walked into the living room after emptying the bag for the gazillionth time, I tried to make a bad ass move. ‘Look Ramon, doesn’t this make me look like Lara Croft from Tomb Raider? It’s just as if I’m wearing a leg holster.’ I made a few exiting arm movements like I had any fighting skill, and carefully sat down with my lips pressed so hard, all colour faded around my mouth.



‘Yes….. very impressive indeed. But it’s more like a Womb Raider with spasm than a bad ass Tomb Raider, if you don’t mind me saying.’

Hmmmm….. oh well, I’ll just hold on to my imagination. It keeps me distracted of how very uncomfortable this thing is. Hopefully it will get better over the weekend, and then we will see what next week will bring.



Last Thursday was payday. In my opinion the best day of the month. For just a moment, I feel so rich, especially when I can go shopping to restock our fridge. On Thursdays there is our local market. The weather was good, so I decided to celebrate this joyful day, to buy fresh herbs, vegetables, fish, fruit, and nuts at the local market, and take Malha with me.



I went early in the morning, after sharing my morning cappuccino with my best friend, so it wasn’t all that crowded yet. I loaded my mobility scooter with one after the other bag full of deliciousness. At the same time, my head was spinning with all kinds of ideas what to eat these coming days. I love these moments, where you can buy almost anything what comes to mind, without having to think sensible on each purchase.



So when I got home, I installed all my fresh groceries on the kitchen counter. The urge to start cooking became stronger with each thing I got out of the bags. I had all sorts of meat, fish, fresh herbs and almost every colour vegetable I could find. I made room to install my Kitchen Aid, and started to prepare to knead the dough for the lasagna I wanted to make.



At the same time, I grinded the chicken liver to make a huge batch of cookies for Kuzco and Malha, and covered a damp tea towel over some extra dough I made for the pizza crusts. The chicken was simmering in its stock on the stove, and I was starting to make the white and red sauce for the lasagna.



The kitchen smelled lovely. Kuzco and Malha took their place on the kitchen floor, hoping I would drop something….. at any time.

Late in the afternoon everything was finished and stocked in the freezer and the fridge, or stand to cool on the kitchen counter.



To honour my Italian dishes, we held a Italian movie marathon. Three days of Italian food and wine, together with watching the Godfather trilogy. I loved it.



I was so glad I prepared so many dishes. After my visit yesterday at the dentist, to repair a tooth I broke because of the seizures, I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to do anything more than lie in bed and let every seizure pass safely on a soft surface. The Godfather trilogy made its impression, because after every seizure, my dentist came to mind, and immediately the ominous sound of the Godfather Waltz played in my head. Not that he did a terrible job, or that he is a horrible, horrible man…. I just hate what his tools are doing to my head…. And he masters the tools…..

So naturally …. it was only fitting to get the last lasagna dish out of the freezer.





Something you will never hear me say, is that I am good at improvising, just as I really cannot multi task.

But somehow these last few days went wonderfully, even though nothing turned out as I planned. It almost seemed like I am starting to get good at it… almost…..

I still want to have everything completed at the end of the day, and though I would definitely want to try, I know I will have to keep little Miss Eagerton inside.

Sunday I went to the gym again. My expectations were limited. If I was lucky, I would train at the same rate as last week, and I had no remote feeling of being able to score an PR, even though they are very easy to gain at the moment. But to be sensible…. again, no showing of little Miss Eagerton.



And even though I kept her tucked in the box, I kind of amazed myself, and my father, how easy some of the exercises were accomplished. So I opened the box, and grabbed a finger of Miss Eagerton, and felt like Wonder woman herself. When my dad prepared a cable exercise, I smiled my biggest smile when my eye spotted the Superhero logo of Wonder woman in the gym equipment. This must be a sign….

Too bad Monday was a severe recovery day. Not what I had in mind at all. I had so many plans. But the only thing I was able to do was to rest, and go to the vet in the evening to get Malha her last vaccine, and get Kuzco his forgotten stich removed. I must say I was a little disappointed when there was no red carpet rolled out, and no petals thrown at us when we entered the vet’s doorway. We have donated our whole month’s salary by now, for Pete’s sake!



Tuesday Ramon was home for Kuzco his grooming date. Again, I had all sorts of plans what to do when we dropped Kuzco off, but nothing of a sort came to it. Instead, we had a wonderful busy but fun time.



First Malha got her little introduction to the scissors, and the grooming table, before it was Kuzco’s turn.



Then we went shopping at some garden centers with Malha to socialize her with new things, especially not to eat every leaf or flower at her height, and see the bunnies and all the other small animals. Just like Kuzco, she had her first ‘cappuccino’ at the coffee bar, which she loved off course.



And when we picked up Kuzco again, we went to the park to play some ‘Rugby’ with Kuzco,



and practice some basic commands with Malha. It felt like a Sunday Funday.





That feeling simmered until the next morning, and I had all sorts of wonderful plans what to do that day. But it brutally ended when I spotted a tiny little flea having a jolly good time on Malha her leg. I totally freaked out. Everything started to itch immediately, and I jumped up to give everybody their flea and tick treatment, even though it was a little early than necessary, and rushed to the vet to get Malha her first one as well. Again, no petals….

Thank God I could only find the one, but like a manic I cleaned the entire house, and washed everything that had even the tiniest piece of fabric. I said little prayers to San Superman, and petted our dryer and whispered words of love so he wouldn’t fail on me as he is breathing his almost final breath. But he made it through! At the end of the day, everybody had their bath and flea treatment done, the house sparkled, everything was clean, smelled lovely, was washed, dried and ironed or otherwise thrown away. I don’t want to risk having a family of fleas, thank you very much.

So today I thought I would do the things I wanted to do yesterday before mister flea showed his beloved circus-act. I was well on my way, until I decided to go to the park with Kuzco and Malha to exhaust them, so I could do some quick groceries before I would settle myself to draw. I walked into the lady who owns the Tearoom in the park. I joined her in her walk to feed the birds, and together with her two German Sheppard’s we strolled along.



She asked me to join her for a cup of coffee on her terrace. And while the dogs played with Malha, and Kuzco was being his handsome self, waiting in a bed of flowers when I would be done so I could play with him, I had the most lovely afternoon. I have decided to draw her dogs, so I made some pictures while we talked and drank our coffee. Again, it was a day not as planned, but I loved it none the less. I was exhausted. So the rest of the afternoon I rested with my furry babies.



And while I rested, I couldn’t help but think back on Sunday. The W shape of the cable grip curl bar that made me think of Wonder woman, was a sign! A sign I would have a wonderful couple of days feeling happy while nothing went as it should be, and that it reminded me I would wear my Wonder woman t-shirt today, so I could make a selfie with my little sleepy superhero girl.



I wonder if I can stick to my plan tomorrow, and go draw. Maybe the two German Sheppard’s first, and then finish my story drawings. Who know’s….


I love it when I am waked by the rays of sunlight that gently kisses my sleepy face.

Then, when I open my eyes, and see our room covered with the most wonderful warm yellow light, and already hear the birds tweeting their song, I don’t mind to get up and run outside with little Malha to empty her tiny puppy bladder.

When the morning dew was making our feet wet, and I simply felt the softness of the still cold morning air touching my skin, telling that this is going to be a beautiful spring day; all kinds of ideas are starting to emerge what I wanted to do today.

And the immediate feeling of wanting to draw arose. I couldn’t wait to eat my warm bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, accompanied by a large cup of hot coffee to start my day.

I called my mom to have our weekly chat, and when we hang up, I prepared my puppies for their first joined ride in my mobility scooter to go the park.



It was the most lovely time, sitting on our favourite bench watching Kuzco and Malha play together.



I could already imagine the upcoming warm sunny days spend together with Ramon and our puppies, lounging with a bottle of wine and some divine snacks, to watch the day goes by, and our puppies becoming tired.



When I got home, my body hurts as usual after an activity, so I rested for a while. When I woke up, I still felt the wonderful happy feeling inside as I felt this morning when I woke up. And I still felt the urge to draw.

There is nothing more wonderful then the first moments of preparing myself to draw.



I install my place at the table where there is the best natural lighting. I place my sketchbook and my wooden box of drawing materials in front of me. I open the box and smell the faint scent of pencils and aquarelle paint which I so love. I select my brushes I want to use, and fill my favourite glass with water to thin my paint.



And then I am ready to start.



I always  feel happy and so loved, when Kuzco acts as my muse, and keeps me company while I draw. But this time I felt double the joy, when I saw two doggies act as my muse and stayed very close to me to channel their energy. I felt so serene, and happy, and I knew this was going to be a successful working moment.



I had to stop when my hands didn’t want to hold my pencil steady anymore. But it didn’t mind. When I looked at what I had completed, I was satisfied. It really was a successful time of drawing. I was glad I finally got draw, and feel this good about it.




Something has changed.

My mindset. I feel happier, lighthearted even.

And all it took was our very first fight. Ramon and I are together for 17 years now, and never ever have we had a serious fight. Sure, we have been angry with each other once in a while, but it always cleared up in an instant. So it never felt like an argument or something even remotely close to it.

But now we can finally scratch it down from our bucket list. Been there, done that….never gonna do it again. Nothing fun about it what so ever. I almost even lost my self-control. In my mind I had killed him in 50 different ways all in 1 second, but thank God the only thing that came out was a smashing of my key-chain to the wooden floor. I never know my true strength, so it left a significant dent,  but it gets lost next to all the other dents in the floor, made from high heels. So it doesn’t mind much.

We both looked startled at each other after I smashed the keys to the floor, and I burst into a very ugly cry. I never quite understood when couples say they love to fight and then make up. I always believed a fight only exists when two people stop communicating with each other. So how can a fight be good, when it is an escalating manner of bad emotion?

And that’s exactly what was wrong with us. There are so many things crossing both our paths, and too much of them are things we need to learn to deal with, because they are not going to change or go away. But somewhere down the line, we just kept swallowing everything down, without really talking about what it actually does to one another. Something we’ve always done so well, suddenly took a pause. As if we wanted to try out the stupid way of having a relationship.

Yep…not working well on us.

We laughed afterwards how we even manage to do the stupid relationship thing all wrong. Where normal stupid people take children to heal their relationship, we had our second fur-baby and thén started to fight each other.

So we have decided we don’t like each other very much when angry, so not doing that anymore. You have to have tried everything in your life in order to say you either like, or dislike something…. It took a long time for us until we’ve tried this one, but now we know.

The next morning we both woke up happy. We cuddled each other as best as we could, with two puppies fighting who is first to give morning kisses. I haven’t felt this good and peaceful in my mind since a very long time. We’ve had a great weekend.



We’ve had our first day of puppy school with Malha, together with her sister Kae.



And then a lovely family time afterwards at the beach. Also Malha’s first.



Kuzco’s stitches were removed, and could finally walk around without having to wear his cone, making him a very happy doggy again.



Sunday morning Ramon took Kuzco and Malha out on d-daddy day. ( d-daddy because Kuzco is Malha’s daddy, but Ramon is Kuzco and Malha’s human daddy)



They dropped me off with my dad at the gym before they went on their adventure.  Even though I still am losing weight, feeling so much pain through my entire body, my mind was clear and happy. And I wanted to boost that happy feeling.



It was hard, but I felt great. After the thousands of ego boosting compliments my dad made while lifting, I even saw past all the gains I have lost, and felt proud of myself.



The rest of our Sunday was spend sleeping, and lounging on the couch with our puppies. We were all tired but happy.







I am still blown away by an amazing compliment ever given to me.

It’s funny how things cross your path to make you feel good about yourself, when you have the hardest time to keep being self-encouraging. Like life is saying; ‘Joyce, you’re still on the right track. You see? Keep your head up high. You still matter in life, even when you feel you can accomplish so little in life compared to all the healthy people around you.’

When I am drowning in this kind of mindset, mostly when the physical pain becomes almost unbearable, and life (I) still expect so much of me, my mind can’t put up the pace anymore.

So when little sparks of love are thrown my way, by the time they pierce through my aura, they feel like lightning balls. And oddly enough I am being struck by one after the other lately.

A good friend of mine her daughter, called me to ask if she could use me as a subject for a presentation she had to do at school. I wore the biggest frown on my face when I asked her why?

She told me, she received an assignment to talk about a writer/artist and its life. And I came to mind. So she asked if she could interview me with a few questions, and perhaps use my website with stories and drawings to complement her presentation.


A writer/artist…me??? And me being a main subject for a presentation, by a 15 year old? Really???

For a moment I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It made me feel so good about myself. A smile on my face appeared from ear to ear. To be admired by someone…. A 15 year old girl even….. at that age there are so many well-known people they think of first to admire. And she choose me….

A few day later she texted me, she had done her presentation. And received an A+.

I feel so humble and proud even.



And to top it all off, I had such a wonderful contact through mail with the people from the shop we visited in London, Artisans and Adventurers, where we bought our amazing leash and collars of Hiro and Wolf. I was madly in love with the shop and all the goods they sold, especially the cats and dogs department. When I left the shop bouncing of joy, the woman who helped us gave me a card and told me to send a picture of our pooches wearing their new gear. Of course I did, and to my great surprise, I received an answer saying they loved the photo I send. If I would just answer some questions, they would use it together with my photo, so Kuzco and Malha would be dogs of the week.



I was so happy, I immediately went to write down the answers. But in my exuberance I wrote much to many words in comparison to others whom have been dogs of the week, and Ramon told me I shouldn’t expect a reply. But I did!

She adored my drawing and stories of Kuzco. She too was an illustrator and wrote poems, which I on my end  loved so much after reading. She was going to use my picture of Kuzco and Malha along with my answers, and even put in a link to my website on her blog.

And again, I felt a lightning bolt.






I was sulking when I stood on the scale this morning. I had gained four pounds last week, and today it was clear I have lost six again, which makes it 26 pounds all together now.

These last few weeks I have been so very sick. I had a terrible case of thin stool containing lots of blood. Nothing could made it stop. First I thought the flu, but this was different. Maybe my Crohn’s acting up then, I thought….

After some tests, it appeared to be caused by a nasty bacteria that made his residence in my bowels. I lost 24 pounds in four weeks’ time. And after a heavy course of antibiotics it seemed to have left the building. But within a day or two, it started all over again. That was last week. I’ve just send another test to the lab, to see if something else is overdue their stay in hotel Bowels. I will hear within three weeks….

But I rather have it just stop now. Because this is what’s making me weak, and thus unable to do even the simplest thing like housekeeping, together with our newest edition finally at home.



I struggled through the last two weeks with sharing the care for the puppies whom were still at Marja’s. And I really thought once Malha finally would be home with us, and not having to run around like a crazy woman, everything would be much easier and calm down. So I could finally do some writing, and maybe even draw, and slowly go the gym again to regain some strength and energy.

But it has not.

Even though there were so many other things happening which I badly wanted to write about, I just didn’t have the energy.



Such as our trip to London, which made an even more divine experience thanks to my brother in law. I could have write about it days without end.

We were only able to go on a very tight budget, with a pack of Swedish crackers and peanut butter and jelly and a six-pack of water which we would refill along the way, to keep us sustained. Just to finally see the exposition of 150 years of Beatrice Potter, and buy a stuffed animal of Peter Rabbit for Malha. But my brother in law surprised us with a wonderful gift to enjoy London to the fullest. So we did!



We’ve gone out for dinner twice, with one of them being at Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant.



We’ve visited Westminster Abbey, visited almost every dog boutique London’s got, and even bought a beautiful leash and matching collars for Kuzco and Malha in the most amazing little shop that felt like heaven on earth for dog owners.



And off course we bought a Peter Rabbit after visiting the Beatrix Potter exposition in the V&A museum. I got so emotional seeing all of her work and documents for real.



I could even buy a wonderful book, telling her life story with the most amazing photos and illustrations, which is a nice keep sake of our amazing trip. It was like walking on clouds, when I left the museum. And all of that feeling like crap (literally)….but happy crap.



And that’s exactly how I still feel. Like happy crap.

I still am losing weight, still have thin stool containing blood, tired as hell, feeling terribly weak, aching head, but so very happy. Malha is a bright little sunbeam, doing so unbelievably well, and Kuzco, even though he has had surgery last Wednesday to remove a benign lump on his lower eye lid, is handling Malha with such great care and sweetness. Even while he wears his cone to keep his stitches in place, which makes him very grumpy, he condones more of Malha then he ever would do of any of us.



It’s been three weeks since Malha came home. And today is the second day I can finally say I am convinced I can do this. Even when feeling like this. Malha is getting used to her environment and all of us, and I am getting used to Malha her energy and rhythm, and getting to understand her very own language.



This is the first day I can finally sit down, and take a moment for myself without the need to only sleep.

So I write. Something that was way overdue.

And I love it!

Maybe soon I can even draw a bit…. That would be awesome too.


Instagram requires authorization to view a user profile. Use autorized account in widget settings


Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress