24 Hours Ago…

This time yesterday I was in my comfy pajamas, getting ready for bedtime. I took my medications drank some cool water and slid into my blankets. My body craved sleep like a long-lost friend. My mind didn’t get the memo because my thoughts were racing.

I started coughing as a pain started in my throat. As my mind drifted to think about work and the cat purring on my feet the pain began to spread. It drifted down my throat as is there was a hot pill I was swallowing at a snail’s pace.

The pain radiated from my chest and seemed to leech the energy from the rest of the muscles in my upper body. Giving up on sleep and growing more concerned about the strange pain; I got up to go get some water and sit on the couch. Suddenly, I was nauseous and dizzy.  I had no clue what was happening to me.

I sat on the couch for an hour, waiting for the pain to go away. It did the opposite.

My partner, Kanoe, drove us to the closest emergency room in Dallas, Oregon. The lobby was empty and we were seen after I filled out some paperwork and was questioned by a nurse. It felt like an interrogation and I was up for it. Why did they need to know so much information? Couldn’t they just help me?

A few minutes a nurse dressed in black scrubs [notable to me at the time because I had never seen black scrubs] took me back to a different room with four beds. The bed was so comfortable, I really wanted to sleep.

After questioning from the nurse in black scrubs the doctor came in to see me. After more questions, she prescribed an EKG and some numbing medicine to my itchy throat.

Apparently, I have a very healthy heart.

The doctor sent me home with a Motrin, an itchy wrist band, and an informational packet about nonspecific acute chest pain and the direction to follow-up with my doctor if anything like this happens again.

Finally, at 5 in the morning, we arrived back home. I had successfully [and unhappily] pulled my first all-nighter since 2014. Sleep came at 6 after I emailed my boss to request a sick day.

13+ hours of sleep later I am still in pain, and I still don’t know why.

All I can say is that I am grateful to have health insurance [and that my sleep schedule is officially ruined].



Meet Marmalade. 13 years old, orange, sleeps a lot.

Today I would like to introduce Marmalade. Everyone, meet Marmalade.

She is beauty ♡ She is grace ♡ She sheds all over the place

A post shared by Madison (@madiharner) on Jun 19, 2017 at 5:06pm PDT


We adopted Marm (as she is affectionately called) in June from the Willamette Humane Society in Salem, Oregon. For Carolyn’s 21st birthday Kanoe and I went out to dinner to celebrate with Carolyn. That evening we found ourselves at WHS, because playing with kittens is a great way to celebrate. (right?)

We met many cats and a few newly spayed kittens. Marm, along with a handful of other elderly cats, was separated from the rest in a special  room for those cats that were exposed to “the kitty cold.” Meaning we had to meet everyone else before we could enter the room. The volunteers were happy to help introduce us to everyone there, giving insight on their personalities and preferences.

She was sleeping peacefully in the corner, one of her favorite past times. The volunteers said that she had been found abandoned on the street and an elderly couple had brought her to WHS. Her vibrant orange fur immediately caught our attention. I had always wanted an orange cat. Her fur was soft and she sleepily started purring as soon as she was petted on the head.

Her vibrant orange fur immediately caught my attention. (I had always wanted an orange cat) Her fur was soft and she sleepily started purring as soon as she was petted on the head.

Love at first sight.

One hour, two packets of paperwork, and a cardboard cat carrier later, we emerged from WHS with a new family member in arms. Now Marm sleeps peacefully on the couch or in her “cat cave” under my desk most days. She has spent her first 13 years of life on an adventure and I’m happy that we get to spend the next few years of our life with her.

More about the Willamette Humane Society here.