One of the things that is imperative for a happy, healthy dog and, as a result, a happy, healthy dog parent, is establishing a routine. In fact, it is probably the most important thing about a dog/human relationship in our modern times.
That is the one thing I did not have in San Diego. As a result, I had a dog who was utterly confused as to what was expected of him, and seemed hellbent on pissing in the house at every given opportunity. His habits degenerated from going out when he wished and doing his business outside, to going outside and just waiting to come back in, at which time he would then relieve himself. I had to invest in puppy pads every single month, and keep them all over the bedroom floor. It was a disgusting situation for everyone involved.
There were a number of factors as to why this was the case. First, the area in which we lived in San Diego was at the bottom of a series of canyons. With my health issues, walking in the neighbourhood was exceedingly difficult on the best of days. On top of that, with my depression out of control, I had zero motivation to step out of my room, much less the house. Matt had set up a very long leash system that allowed Toby access to the entire front yard, where he even had enough room to run to play fetch, which he did a lot of with Matt. (One thing I can say about Matt is, he is very good with animals for the most part. I don't agree with his hard-on for César Milan, but Matt has a huge heart when it comes to animals, and he and Toby were best buds for four years. I really believe there was a chance Toby would not have survived our time out there, had it not been for Matt.) If no one was out there with him, though, Toby would do nothing but sit by the door, waiting to come back inside. Matt would let him in and play with him out in the living room but, instead of letting him back out to use the bathroom before sending him back to me, he'd just put him in my room, where Toby would then relieve himself, since he hadn't been out in a while. Thanks to the humans around him, Toby developed horrible habits and appeared to delight in doing the exact opposite of what was expected of him at any given time. At some point, I just gave up and kept a puppy pad carpet on the bedroom floor, and let the unruly boys do whatever the fuck they wanted. None of it really mattered.
During the move, Toby was thrown into even more upheaval, and his behaviour got worse. Whenever critters are thrown into uncertain situations and unfamiliar environments, they do exactly what small children do - they act out. With dogs, their acting out often comes in the form of reprehensible bathroom behaviour. Toby was marking anything and everything, both outside and indoors. Nothing I did seemed to stop him, no matter how often I took him outside. When we were staying with Janice, I thought she was going to have to be committed there a couple of times, especially when Elvis - Blake's little Chihuahua - and Toby were together. Elvis wouldn't stop humping everyone, and Toby wouldn't stop marking to show his ownership of and dominance over all which he surveyed. Truly, it has been a nightmare.
The first day were were in the new pad, Toby had a couple of mishaps in the apartment. Thankfully, he chose the side of Smidgen's litter box. I cleaned it up easily, and thanked the Mighties that Toby didn't choose to soil the carpet! That very day, I started him on a schedule, taking him out every two hours the first couple of days. The landscape here at Stonesthrow is relatively level and a 100% improvement when it comes to being walkable. Plus, there's a dog park that allows Toby to freely roam as he chooses, instead of always being tethered to his crippled companion. By the time the first week was up, we had established a set schedule that works for us both. In the morning, we go out around 6:30 am, then 10:15, 2 PM, 6 PM, and sometime between 9 and 10 PM. Toby swiftly embraced the schedule, and has readily adopted it to his internal clock.
After four years of excremental horror, there have been no more bathroom incidences since we have settled into the new place. Plus, I'm getting more exercise than I have in ages, as well. The ability to move more without excessive pain, or the threat of blacking out from over-exertion in a landscape hostile to the mobility-challenged. I downloaded an exercise app the other day, because I was curious to see how much I'm walking with Toby each day. After using it these past few days, I'm pleased to report that I'm averaging between 2 and 3 miles each day. After storm season is over with, and there's not a threat of being drenched only moments after you were strolling under the sun, I intend to expand our wandering out to the main roads like Pleasantburg Drive. I don't really need to lose weight, but I do need to build back my muscle, and Toby definitely could slim down a little, after spending years being fed gobs of people food and living a sedentary lifestyle.
I am amazed that it took basically just a week to turn Toby around. His breakthroughs have also been my breakthroughs, because the increased activity has helped me manage my depression which, in turn, allowed me to stick to the new routine, and actually look forward to mine and Toby's times out of doors.
Coming back to the Southeast has been the wisest and healthiest decision I could have made for myself, Toby, and Smidgen. No regrets!
One of the things that is imperative for a happy, healthy dog and, as a result, a happy, healthy dog parent, is establishing a routine. In fact, it is probably the most important thing about a dog/human relationship in our modern times.
It’s been an interesting few days.
I’ve been trying to unpack and do laundry, but have been battling where to put what, because I’m having problems getting this chest of drawers and side table put together, and I’m unsure where to place the shelves until I get the couch and have it in the proper position. So I’m just sort of in a move-in suspended animation until tomorrow, when I’m scheduled to finally get the couch.
As I unpack and sort stuff, I learn of the things that I need and don’t yet have. Like a broom. I’ve already asked that someone revoke my Witch Card, because this shit is off the hook. Who has ever heard of a Witch without a broom? I was going to use the Swiffer one kind soul sent to me, but I forgot the sweeper needs batteries, so all I can do until I get to a store is just look at it, and look at the floors that won’t be getting cleaned for another couple of days. Oy vey!
On Wednesday, a maintenance dude came to refurbish my tub and sink. At first, I was told that Toby, Smidgen, and I would have to be gone for four hours after he had used the paint, but he seemed to think that the complex people were being overly-cautious. He did warn that the paint had a strong odour, but that was fine, because I liked it once he used it. Then again, I love the smell of gasoline, so I'm a bit of an olfactory mutant. He got to work sanding the tub down, as he waited for his boss to bring the paint he needed. She brought it after about two hours, but she brought the wrong paint, and what the dude needed was all the way in Simpsonville. He asked if he could return the following morning, and I said yes. He had to leave all his equipment in the apartment overnight, so I kept a couple of lights on, so I wouldn’t end up falling and breaking my face, or arse, or something else I might need. He returned the next day and finished the job shortly after Noon. Right now, I’m super-ripe and look atrocious, because I haven’t had a shower in over 48 hours now. It’s currently 11:30, so I have less than an hour to go until I can clean up my act.
Yesterday, Micah was swung by to pick up some incense I had for them, and give me some quarters for bills, so I can do laundry. Stonesthrow has an on-site laundromat, but the machines only accept quarters, and they have no bill changer. I found a drink machine in the gym this morning, and thought that might be an option for when I don’t have quarters or a way to get quarters, but the drink machine won’t take my bills! Frustration is too weak a word for this situation…. Anyway, a few hours before Micah was to arrive, my phone died. I figured it just needed to be charged. But it wouldn’t come on, even after an hour of charging. Nothing I did would make it show any sign of life. I panicked. With my health issues, not having a phone is not an option.
Thankfully, Micah was kind enough to haul my butt to AT&T, where I was prepared to bite the bullet and sign a contract, so I could get a new phone. Everything was in order, until they asked for my identification, which I lost, along with my social security card, in the move across country. The only way I can get a new phone, the service agent said, was to order it online. Shiiiiiit! But she did try this one wee trick to see if there was any hope for the phone, and the battery symbol popped up on the screen. She explained that, sometimes, phones just get locked up and, if you press the power and home buttons at the same time, it can reboot them, and they are okay. She suggested I take the phone home, hook it up, and do the reboot.
So, it appears I don’t need a new phone after all. I just need to learn every clever tip and trick having to do with the iPhone 5s, and I need to do it as soon as fucking possible, before I find myself in a panicked state, simply because I’m ignunt.
Anyway, it was great meeting and hanging out with Micah, whom I initially met online through my friend Cameron. They are a delightful person, and I’m really looking forward to watching them perform in an outdoor production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which they play Puck! Cameron, Cindy, and I were originally scheduled to go to the Saturday production, but Cameron is now thinking it’ll be Sunday, instead, which works better for me, considering I’m supposed to be getting that couch on Saturday. Back to Micah, we share a fascination for the Arabic language and alphabet. They are learning Arabic in school and seemed pleased when I told them that my original Rhyllan alphabet was inspired by the Arabic alphabet. (I really need to turn Rhyllan and Tarmian Tarmi am Tynillim into digital fonts, but I’ll have to wait to get a printer/scanner for that.) Micah is a brilliant person, and exudes a deep kindness. Toby could not get close enough to them when they were here. When they found out I was a Witch, they expressed some interest in learning more about Wicca, since their brother had recently been talking about it as well. Once I have all my gear unpacked and have the apartment in order enough to where I can cast a Circle to my satisfaction, I'm going to invite Micah, and anyone else who might want to participate, to an open Esbat ritual. By then, I'll have furniture for people to sit on, and receptacles out of which they can eat and drink!
I find it telling that I have only been back in South Carolina a month, and I’ve already made a new friend in Micah, and a potential new friend and neighbour, whom I met a couple of days ago. Her name is Christa, and she stopped me as I was walking to the mail box, because she spotted my Pentagram pendant. She’s moving in later on this month, and she’s an herbalist/acupuncturist who has dabbled in Wicca in the past. She wants to get together once she’s settled. I spent four years in San Diego and only made a tiny handful of friends right at the end of my stay in the area. It isn’t that San Diegans aren’t friendly, this is about me. I have to admit I was unwilling to get out there and be proactively social. To be honest, I think that if I had remained in San Diego, I would have become a shut-in, because my social anxiety out there was out the roof. I don’t know why, but I intend to suss it out over time, because I think it’s important to know the reasons behind my inability to interact with others there, when I don’t seem to have a problem with it here. If I discover the roots of this behaviour, I can work to rectify it in the future.
Thanks to my Tribe, another very happy difficulty I’m having with getting unpacked and organised, is I keep getting more packages, which means I’m inundated with boxes, which are getting in the way of unpacking more boxes. I’m not complaining, I think it’s ironic and hilarious! For now, I’m holding on to the better-made boxes, and have put out the word that they are available to anyone who needs them, for whatever. If I haven’t heard anything by Saturday evening, I’m beginning the arduous task of breaking them all down and taking them to the recycling bin across the way.
Speaking of Tribe and new friends, I’ve also connected with a local artist, who has created a piece of art for the new pad. I’m looking forward to meeting Modesto and seeing the barn he has drawn. I had told him to make anything he felt would be good for me and, even though we’ve never met, he decided on a barn. I have a weakness for barns and, especially, lighthouses, so this was perfect. I’m thinking the barn will go in the dining room. I can’t wait to meet Modesto, with whom I hope to work in the future to create an all-inclusive artistic community for the Upstate of South Carolina. I’m in the market for other art, as well. I’m hoping Janice will paint me a lighthouse, when her life settles down enough to where she can get back to her painting. Also, I’ve found this print representing my patron Goddess, Lilith, that I’m keen on putting in the living room. I also want to get a Tolkien-focused piece of art for the living room. The other picture I want to put up is the picture of Jesus that Granny painted when I was just a baby. I grew up believing he was a hippie whose eyes followed me when I moved, and I would flash him the peace sign at least once a day and say, “Peace, brother!” I left the painting behind when I went to San Diego, because I was afraid it would be damaged in the move. Now that I’m back, I’m reclaiming it from all the stuff I still have stored in the old house. Of course, my Shriekback poster will eventually be gracing the bedroom wall. As for the hall and bathroom, I’m not sure yet what, if anything, I’ll do in the decor department. Despite my accrual of a shit=tonne of stuff in a very short period of time, I still consider myself a minimalist!
Smidgen vomited day before yesterday, and did so again overnight, but she seems to be doing well, other than those two incidences. Rene is insisting I stick with the plan of taking her back to Dr. Patch next week, so I’m going to swallow my pride to acquiesce. If it were me, or a situation that did not involve a living entity, I would just wait to address the issue when I could afford it, but that’s not the case, so off we go to the vet’s office one day next week! And, actually, as I was writing this, she vomited again. It was clear fluid with a light yellow tinge to it, so I’m a tad worried that her liver is not doing as well as I had initially hoped.
I’m out of milk and sugar, so I checked to see if the Instacart service was available in this area. It is! So I’m having my milk, sugar, and a couple of other items I needed, delivered in a couple of hours. Since I’m waiting on this, I’m postponing my shower until after s/he has come and gone.
She changes everything She touches, and everything She touches, changes.
This afternoon and evening, I am burning an anointed blue candle to try to bring myself a little bit of peace of mind, as much as can be mustered. The dance of the flame, along with the muskiness of my incense, allows me to still my mind, if only for a period of time.
Friday, it will have been two weeks since Janice got a lawyer to do a title check on the Mother Unit and me. He told Janice that it would be about two weeks to get her an answer. I did my own title search under my name, the address of the property in question, and of the Unit's name. The only thing that is coming up is from when I transferred the house to the Mother Unit right before I moved out here in 2013. So, that said, I'm trying to do something that is nearly impossible for me to do, and I am doing it to challenge my faith. Why? Especially at this unspeakably crucial life change.
Here's the thing: I am Mulder and Scully, all wrapped into one psychopathic fruit loop. I want to believe, but I can never quite surrender completely to what some might call faith. I worked diligently, leading up to the Full Moon, to draw upon ideas on how not to end up homeless, on how to swallow my pride and ask for help, if worse came to worse, and to light a little flame in my corner of existence to let the universe I'm here and I need help to get somewhere else, safely, with Smidgen and Toby.
But, I'm repeating myself, I know. It's just that it's a tad terrifying to think of the alternatives if I can't get us back home...ANYWAY, what I'm getting at is, there should be no reason any liens against the house would exist, and it clearly states the deed belongs to the Mother Unit, so I am putting my money where my mouth is, and I am not setting up a GoFundMe until I know for certain whether or not I need it. I'm being mindful of my roaming thoughts, of which I have too many, and I am redirecting the thoughts from "what if...________?" to "I am grateful for this moment's peace, and the many moments of happiness I know lie before."
Let me be clear here; I'm not talking about testing the gods, or trying to bribe anything in the other realms. It's about testing myself. It's about finally admitting to myself that being a combination defeatist/impatient tackhead is a horrible thing to be, for my own wellbeing, and that I am the only one who can change this panicky chaos. So I am almost constantly, even in the background when I'm multi-tasking, chanting Reclaiming's indomitable "Kore" Chant, which states, in part, "She changes everything she touches, and everything She touches changes." When I'm at home, and not repeatedly whispering the chant in my mind, I'm singing the Native American healing lullaby, "Nah Bvey Hi-Ay" to myself. When I'm at program, in between in group session, I walk the labyrinth and either chant "Kore" or sing "Nah Bvey Hi-Ay."
In this time of change, "Kore" is the one statement about the Goddess I have ever heard, and I've treasured it for such a long time, from the beginning of my Pagan journey way back in 1988 until present time, I even decided to have it embossed on an altar I'm getting. Before my computer died and demanded replacement, and then I was told that I'm going to have to move, I took some extra money I had in March and commissioned an oak altar I had always wanted. One of the options of the creation of the piece was to have phrases or names in the font of your choice (of what they have available), inscribed into the wood. It can take five weeks or longer for it to be ready to ship, so I don't even know right now what address to give them in place of the San Diego one I provided! That is, if I have an address at all! This time in my life is the most momentous one I've experienced, even more so than the 2013 move.
The moment I returned to Her, radical changes began to happen, and continue to. And it's to this I cling right now, for change indicates that all things and situations are transformable. But I have to have faith in this, not just know it. If I can't, I am lost, no matter where I end up living, or not.
I had been waiting to make an official announcement about our moving to Longview, Washington when I better knew more concrete details, such as when we were actually moving. I'm certain this is the first time 99% of you have gotten an inkling that we were leaving San Diego. The following account is extremely abridged, as I'm going to wait until the dust settles and make as full and accurate document as is possible.
The long and short of the reason for the move is that Matt's parents followed through on their ultimatum to Matt to clean up his hoard or get out. Everyone's lives are in an upheaval, yet Matt refuses even to admit he has a problem. You can't be a narcissist and successfully get treated for hoarding, because you can't take the necessary first step of confessing that you aren't fucking perfect. But I digress.
About a week ago, the Mother Unit informed me that I would have to pay more rent, but she would make no guarantees that I'd get any more than what I'm getting for my money now, like a bit more room in their refrigerator (I'm currently using one small produce drawer, which makes for more trips to the store, which exasperates the Unit. All that said, one of the reasons I've lost so much weight is that I would go hungry rather than bear the guilt of inconveniencing the Mother Unit to take me to the store.).
Anyway, my other option is to move back East. ...if I can afford it.
So, about a week ago, and a day after I was essentially invited not to move with the Mother Unit and Matt, I was informed that Matt's parents want us all out of the house by Bealtainne, the 1st of May. I had previously been given the vague impression that the move was going to happen in the late Summer. SURPRISE! Needless to say, I've been scrambling to figure out what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do it. If things go as hoped, planned, and ritualised, I'll be selling the Duncan house back to Aunt Janice and using the money to make the move, not back to Duncan, but home, to Asheville. If things don't go as hoped, Smidgen, Toby, and I could end up homeless and stranded in San Diego.
I am simultaneously elated and petrified, because I don't know on which side the coin will eventually rest. The thought of finally returning home brings tears of joy to my eyes, but the idea of being alone in a what is still to me a strange city, with no way to provide even shelter for my bebbies, freezes my heart with terror. At least I won't have to wait for very long to find out our fate. In the meantime, I'm composing a formal request for the GoFundMe account I'm going to set up. If the sale of the house is successful, I'll refund whatever money is given to me via that method. If it's not, then I can use whatever people give me to subsist until something more decisive is in place. Honestly, though, I think this is going to turn out remarkably well, and perhaps even better than I am dreaming. Since I'm usually steadfast in my assertion that the glass is always half empty, I'm taking this optimism as a very good omen indeed.
In a measley six days, my GoFundMe campaign of shameless begging for help so I can get through my upcoming surgery and post-op expenses, a merry band of do-gooders surpassed my goal of $500. Even though it doesn't appear to be so, I have just over $525 for the upcoming health and shelter gauntlet. A couple of folks opted to use PayPal instead of the GoFundMe site; thus, the difference.
As I said when I originally posted my campaign, $500 will prevent my going into any more deficit and will help set Toby and Smidgen up with their proper medications and food for the duration of my absence. It will also pay my portion of the surgery bill, which is $264, gas for Angie's car and any other expenses accrued by my presence in her home. It's still gonna be an uber-tight squeeze, so I'm keeping the campaign up until Monday morning, right before I head out to the surgery center.
To all of you who contributed to this cause, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I get distressed when I have to ask for help, especially financially. It stems from my childhood almost instantly after the parental units divorced.
Essentially homeless with nothing but the clothes on my back, I found myself, along with Aunt Tudi and Granny, at the mercy of others who openly resented the situation in which we all found ourselves. Because of that, self-suffiency was of the utmost importance to me. Having my health pack its bags and leave town irreparably damaged that self-suffiency.
But you guys didn't grouse at me or make me feel like Heel #1 for asking for help. You just helped, and that's a gift whose importance I can't properly express. All I can do is say thank you, and file this experience in my Why Tribe Is More Cherished Than Family.
So, with all that said, please enjoy the dancing Moss and Roy, as well as the inimitable James Stewart and Donna Reed dancing as though the cops are shooting at their feet. This is a perfect example of how y'all have made me feel the past few days.
Again, thank you. Someday, and I'd rather it be sooner than later, I hope I can help all of you in some capacity. It would be the very least I could do.
Making a List and Checking It Twice
Then I check it again. And again. And again and again and again. No, I am not the Ginosaji, but I think I may have discovered why my memory has become a cess pool of forgetfulness over the past few years.
Earlier today, I went to the Imaging Healthcare site to confirm my EEG w/Sleep Deprivation test for Tuesday morning. My neurologist wanted me to have the test before my surgery date. While I was on my portal at Imaging Healthcare, I found the test results for my many procedures, dating as far back as October, 2013. I clicked the report generated from my MRI of last year. According to the physician who examined the imagery, there is nothing that would indicate why I have seizures and migraines; however, he made note that I have "Mild Diffuse Cortical Atrophy." What exactly is that?
It means that a portion of my brain cells have dropped dead. It seems to be relatively common in people who suffer from migraines, which I have all my life, except for that nice extended break in my late 20s. The primary symptom of this condition is forgetfulness, because it is a form of dementia. To experts' knowledge, the condition does not cause seizures, but it can cause you to stand at the fridge with the door open, wondering why they hell you'd come into the kitchen in the first place. The thing is, though, is that cortical atrophy is mainly associated with elderly people.
It's a natural part of growing old; however, it can also indicate dementia and the beginnings of Alzheimers Disease. I just approached an online doctor about it. Hopefully, my questions will be answered, despite my not subscribing to the 'Ask a Doctor' website. If I had the money, I might, but people who are running GoFundMe campaigns because their medical situation is guaranteeing they won't make ends meet in any conceivable way tend not to shove their debit card in a virtual doctor's face and shriek TAKE MY MONEY!, especially when said persons are going back to their neurologist for the EEG results sooner rather than later. It would be frivolous and unresponsible to pay to have my question answered, when I can barely pay attention for being so broke. Then again, maybe I can't pay attention because my brain is dying in increments. Whatever. At any rate, here's what I wrote to the "Emergency Medical Hologram" (Geek points to those who get that):
Since 2008, I've been having grand mal seizures. I was 41 at the time. They're well under control with the dosage of Keppra I'm on, and my neurologist keeps a close eye on me, doing annual tests and having me keep a diary of my migraine headaches. I'm due to go for another EEG with sleep deprivation next week. As I was setting up my appointment for a bone density scan ordered by my OB/GYN, I noticed that I could access the results of my previous tests, one of which was the MRI my neurologist ordered last year. Everything appeared normal except that I exhibited "Mild Diffuse Cortical Atrophy." Is this normal for a 47-year-old? From what I have read, it's an age-related issue that could be nothing, especially if you are a senior citizen, although it could mean you might have the beginnings of Alzheimers. For the past four years, I have struggled with memory issues. It often takes me three times longer to do things because I keep forgetting what it is I need to do next to complete whatever project I'm working on. My longterm memory seems relatively okay, but I'm constantly having to retrace my steps to make certain I'm doing or have done what I need to at any given moment. Should I be especially concerned about this, or am I just well on my way to joining AARP?
For now, I'm going to try to not let that report worry me, since I need to focus what rudimentary mental ability I still have to the task of preparing for this surgery and the subsequent week or so of recovery. This next week is going to be busy, what with my pre-op visit and EEG, both of which are on Tuesday, then a surgery consult with my pain doctor, since she's the one who has to oversee the pain management after the procedure. Those are the only two days I need to leave the house, which is great, because I need to begin sorting what clothing I need to take to Angie and Cierra's, gather up any connectivity cords and my extra surge protector, and prepare my room for Matt and the Mother Unit. While I'm gone, they're going to clean up Syd & Nancy's cage and paint, among other things. I also need to write out instructions on what Smidgen and Toby need and are used to getting, as well as draw a diagram of puppy pad placement. Since Toby has been on Prednisone, he's become a peeing machine. Most of the time, I get him out in time enough, but there will always be incidents, so I keep the carpet covered with the protection, but there's a certain way it needs to be done to reduce the amount of pads used while still being a flawless barrier between the carpet and Toby's cho-cha. Thanks to the help I have so far received, I've been able to get another box of puppy pads, to ensure the Mother Unit does not run out of them.
After I have the instructions written out to my satisfaction, I need to write out some semblance of a will. I want to make certain that I am not intubated or put on life support of any kind, should something go wrong during the surgery. Also, I'm keen on bequeathing certain things to certain people. Nothing I have is of any monetary worth, but there are some things that mean more than mere money. I also want to have some sort of arrangements made for Toby and Smidgen, should I die, and I'm going to request that my ashes be taken to Craggy Dome on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. I doubt my wishes will be adhered to, but I have to state it, just in case. Getting my document witnessed and notarised has already been made possible, thanks to your generosity.
Later on in the week, I plan on zipping up to Oceanside to spend the day with Angie and Cierra. San Diego transit isn't just for the city proper, but for the entire county, so I can take various buses and trolleys to make it up there to them. I'm looking forward to the journey and to seeing those crazy Oceanside chicks. What I'm planning is to go up and go shopping for some of the heavier items, that Angie and Cierra can store for when I arrive from the hospital. It will cut down on having to haul the stuff from the store to the house, then from the house to the car, then from the car to the apartment, and so on. Right now, I can carry bottled water and large bottles of juice, both of which I'll need post-op. After the surgery, lifting things like that won't be an option. Wiser to get anything I can do beforehand done, so things will be easier post-op, right? Again, thanks to your kindness, I'll be able to buy these supplies this next week, and have one less worry clinging like a funky monkey on my back.
So that's where we are for now. I want you all to know how humbled and amazed I am by your outpouring of fundages I know you can ill afford. Despite my misanthropy, I am always awestricken by how people can pull together when any sort of shit hits the fan. Religious, racial, and cultural differences are swiftly ignored and reviled by folks as each person does what s/he can with the seemingly impenetrable hope that things can and will get better. That's a testament to the goodness within us, despite our fatal flaws. If I had not known this before I launched my GoFundMe campaign, I would have been smacked by the Clue-by-Four of Kindness within just a few hours afterward. Thankfully, I didn't need the Clue-by-Four, because I have always had faith in my friends...my tribe.
Again, thank you from the bottom of my shriveled little heart.
I'll be back with more updates as they come.
Does anyone else remember that movie from the 70s, Thank God It's Friday!? It featured Donna Summer singing her absolute best song, in my opinion, 'Last Dance' and co-starred a very young, very Elfin Jeff Goldblum.
What does this have to do with my fundraiser? Nothing, really. I do know, though, if I evergot to compete on Jeopardy, I wouldn't have to have a fundraiser, because I have so much useless information in my head, I would rival Ken Jennings *and* Watson. My mad useless trivia skillz would send me home with all kinds fundage, I promise you that.
We're a little over 1/5 of the way to my goal, which not only gives me a 1/5th more peace of mind than I had starting this up, but also confirms for me that, even though our species collectively sucks, we do have the potential to incline toward helping one another and our fellow Earthlings, if we are capable of doing so. The world needs more people like you guys and fewer like Pat Robertson. I went yesterday to get my prescription refills, supplies for Smidgen and Toby, yoghurt for the antibiotic I'm currently taking,enough food and beverage (juice and water) to hopefully do me 'til the 14th, and some cleaning supplies. I paid the mother unit the money I owed her and also paid my rent. All of it came to more than I'd hoped, so what you guys have sent me so far is already a couple of deep breaths of relief.
As it stands right now, I have three appointments next week. One is for an EEG with sleep deprivation on Tuesday morning. Later that afternoon, I have my pre-op appointment with Dr. Hess, at which time I will learn more about any supplies I need to have to help with a swift recovery. I then have an appointment with my pain management doctor, who has to be the one to handle my after-care pain program. You can't have two doctors throwing such meds at you. You could end up in a jail cell with your doctors for committing such a heinous crime.
My bus pass is good until the 24th of the month, so that's one less worry, since I don't think I'll be physically able to deal with transit until at least a month after the surgery. The friend I'm staying with is gonna take me to post-op doc visits, then the mother unit will take over that task when I return to the house. I have no other health-related activities in which I must participate for the rest of the month. So, I guess that's it for now. Again, thank you generous souls who have contributed so far. I don't deserve the friends I have and I hope to someday return your kindness in the best way I can, to help make your lives better in some important way. Please pass my fundraiser on to all your pals. Once you have to resort to setting up a GoFundMe in order to scrape by, pride goes out the window, so it will not bother me at all if you spread the news around like butter on bread. As I said, the $500 is the bare minimum I need to just get by without being a further burden to the mother unit or placing Smidgen and Toby in a situation where they don't have the food or medications they need. It's not a financial cushion, but I don't think you should use a site like this as a cushion. It should be a legitimate barebones need. With just this, I expect to be in another deficit long before September ends, but it will be a deficit that I can feasibly claw myself out of. Without the help, the hole will just get bigger and deeper which, in turn, will put me in the position of feeling more like a leech and useless person than I already do, by individuals who have no right or reason to impose their feelings on the matter. You're helping lift me, Smidge, and Toby up instead of watching us be torn down. I'll never forget your generosity and friendship. I'll update again soon.
If you're wondering what the heck this is all about, click the eyeballs you see in provided widget below. Should you choose to help me out, just know I really appreciate it, as does Smidgen and Toby. Ta!
Ever wonder what pre-surgery stress looks like when you know you won't have enough money to cover surgery-related expenses after you wake up? It looks like this screen-cap of Ren Höek from the old show Ren & Stimpy.
On September 14th, I'm going to be having a pretty major surgery that dictates I have at least 10 days of recovery without a steroid-bloated dog and a 14 pound monster cat vying for top spot on my abdomen, which is the surgery site.
As a result, I'm having to spend my recovery time away from home, which means I'll essentially be trying to maintain two homes for at least 1/3 of the month. Since May, I have been fighting my way through the red tape of student loan disability discharge after my monthly fixed income started getting garnished over $200 a month, leaving me in a deficit every month since.
That, combined with the extra expenses I am facing with co-pays, surgery-related medications and extra doctor visits, pulling my weight with my friend and her daughter, who are letting me camp out at their home during the recovery process, and providing proper finances to my mother and roommate, so they can take care of my cat and dog in my absence, means I'm probably going to run out of money very shortly after the 14th. If that happens, I will probably end up doing without medicines and any after-care therapies I might need to successfully recover, which will only add to my health and financial problems in the future.
I've done the calculations and I'm figuring at the bare minimum, I could scrape by and not be a burden to anyone with my transportation, food, an pet maintenance needs, if I could raise $500. Whatever you can do to help with this would be appreciated beyond my ability to properly express.
Even if I don't reach my $500 goal, anything will help at this point, so please give it some thought and, if you think I'm worth the gamble, click the appropriate buttons.
Thanks for reading!
dprescott just reminded me of something that happened yesterday. He had posted a picture of his dinner, captioning it as "Grilled Cobia." I read it as "grilled cobra," because I am fucking blind. With his unintentional PS on Facebook, I'm almost certain the story I'm about to tell would easily earn me the money I need for glasses, if I decided to tell it on a site like GoFundMe.com. Here's the skinny. Try not to laugh too hard at me. I got enough of that from the Mother Unit and Matt.
Mid-morning, yesterday, I began to develop a migraine headache. With the aid of darkness and Simpson oil, it subsided enough to where I thought I could go to the drum circle in Balboa Park, get a little fresh air, and hope it went away altogether.
Taking Toby, we headed out around 3:30. As soon as we arrived, Toby took a huge dump right on the edge of the circle. As I was trying to pick up the mess, the plastic bag broke, and I ended up with shit all over my hand, even under my fingernails. Channeling the cursed spirit of Sal Vulcano, I freaked the fuck out, and had to go into a park restroom that looked more like an unlit stone prison cell used by the Spanish Inquisition, to scrub the flesh off my fingers.
After that, I went back to the circle, but the drums seemed to just echo in my skull. It was excruciating, so I took Toby, who was threatening to mark people's drums, and wandered away to try to drain his pipes and quiet the brain ache. About an hour later, I was seeing auras again, and couldn't bring myself to go back to the circle, so I settled in near where we parked, and apologised to passersby at whom Toby thought it was his sworn duty to bark.
On occasion, I would gaze longingly up at the drum circle and, honestly, I was nursing a pretty sour "poor me" attitude, until I saw something really odd. On the edge of the circle, I saw what looked like two dogs getting it on, in time with the drummers. To me, it looked like a dark brown boy dog with lighter fur on his inner thighs, just going at with his girl, legs off the ground and everything, and no one seemed to notice what was going on! If they did, they just didn't care. Now, I wasn't scandalized by the public boning; I was more amazed that they were doing it to the beat.
I kept staring at this, agog at how no one was witnessing this awesome moment of natural symmetry, until...the boy dog lifted his head a little, and I saw that it was actually a long-haired Hippie (this was the Rainbow Family drum circle, after all), who had been bent over his drum. What I thought were the boy dog's back legs were actually the guy's arms as he kept time with everyone else.
See, this is what happens when a half-blind fucktard with a migraine headache decides it's a good idea to take an asshole dog to a drum circle. I'll inform everyone when I have my GoFundMe page ready to accept merciful donations for my prescription glasses.
Dear god, dear god...
So, let's get this party started, shall we?
This was inspired by something the Mother Unit said a while back. I thought she was going to wet herself when she saw it. Made me damned happy! It also almost drove me batshit crazy, because my Photoshop skills leave a lot to be desired. It took me half a day to make it, and it still is pretty bad, despite efforts to the contrary.
Okay, freaks, there will be more to come!
Can we say "screwed," boys and girls? I thought so!
I just talked to the vet and got the good/bad news. The good news is that he has no parasites and no current lung or heart issues. There was evidence that he did have pneumonia at some point, but that is not the issue causing Toby's coughing. The doc suggested it may be allergies, since she couldn't get him to cough at all when he stayed the day at the office last week. She asked about what part of the house he spent most of his time in, and what contact he had with other animals. I told her Smidgen was with him almost all the time, but he'd never had any allergic reaction to her before. When I mentioned Syd and Nancy, though, she seemed pretty certain we'd found the allergy culprit.
The problem is, he can't be kept away from Syd & Nancy, since they live in my room with Toby, Smidgen, and me, and there are other birds throughout the house, so it wouldn't matter where he is.
She suggested that Syd and Nancy be moved to a different part of the house. That isn't an option in the current situation. She then suggested that I get a Hepa filter for the room. It occurred to me, then, that Toby didn't start the chronic coughing until I turned the A/C off for the season. I asked if I should at least turn that on the fan function until I could get the filter, and she said that would probably help immensely. So the A/C fan is on, despite Matt informing me that the electric bill went down $300 the month the Mother Unit and I turned off our A/C units.
Not only am I going to have to purchase an expensive filter, I'm going to have to pay at least $200 for electricity. Either that, or be made to feel like the dead beat I obviously am.
Toby's boot-scooting, which has not diminished since the vet visit, is not due to any parasites, nor the bump the doc treated. She asked if I had changed his food, which I had, because he has a problem tooth, and I was trying to make it easier for him to eat. As of today, though, I have to give him the food he had been eating for a couple of years and, when it comes in the mail from Amazon, add the vitamin-enriched flavour enhancing gravy to let it soften a little. That means the food I've bought for him for the month can't be given to him.
Not even a third of the month has passed and I'm already broke as fuck. I don't know what I'm going to do... The one thing I can not do is fail to be a proper guardian to my little man. If I have to go hungry to make sure he's okay, then so be it. I throw up half of what I eat anyway, so why bother? Waste not, want not.
On a lighter, but related, note, I never thought I'd have an asthma hound chihuahua in my life, but sometimes - most of the time - life can prove you wrong.
Well, holy moly...
Toby had his second visit with the doc today, this time to take chest x-rays and see why he's boot-scooting. It turned out he had some kind of scabby bump on his butt that is obviously itchy. They cleaned that out and double-checked his anal glands, but they were good to go, since I express them myself. I took a stool sample to be tested to rule out any parasites. I doubt he has any, but it's always best to be sure.
The doc said that the x-rays looked good and prescribed Toby a cough suppressant to help him. It won't be completely ruled out that he has a lung or heart issue, though, until the radiologist looks at the images. Hopefully it'll be okay, because I'm pretty close to being wiped out for the month, and it's only day six.
Veterinary care in Southern California is insane. It does not pay to have ill beasties in your care.
Earlier this week, I called Presidio Veterinary Hospital and set up an appointment for Smidgen and Toby to get their shots and establish them with a new doctor. I'm running three months behind on the vaccinations, thanks to health and financial issues. But, I finally was able to get the ball rolling on it today.
Mama carted the asshole (Toby), the stoner (Smidgen), and the sourpuss (me) up to the vet's office. Everyone there was super friendly, and very helpful.
It was a good thing I took them, too, because Toby had started coughing pretty badly a couple of days ago. It turns out he has bordetella! How the hell did that happen? I know I was late with the bordetella vaccine, but he hasn't been around any other animals, except for Smidgen. I got him some medicine for that.
What's really distressing right now, though, is the doc found a tiny cyst or tumour in the corner of Smidgen's eye. It's going to cost out the arse to have it removed, so I'm gonna have to put that off for at least another month, and probably have to go crying to the Mother Unit to help me. If the growth is malignant, I'm going to lose my shit, I swear to Christ. Smidgen is like my child. The only good quality I have is Smidgen. I'm terrified.
Dr. Heather Loveland is a wonderful doctor, from all I witnessed today. Her assistant, Nick, is also fantastic. I could tell that they both deeply love our furred fellow Earthlings. Even though I miss Dr. Patch and his crazy crew like mad, I'm confident that Dr. Loveland can handle my bebbehs. It's just a matter of drudging up the fundage from somewhere, somehow.
But this made Toby insecure, so he started pee all the places in the house where the duo had done their deed.
At one point, Jeannie was in the kitchen and happened to see Toby squeeze a few drops on the planter nearby.
She started yelling and heading toward Toby. Understandably, Toby ran to me, jumping up in my arms. He was trembling. Jeannie stood in front of me, screaming that he needed to be reprimaned for wetting in the house. Her friend tried to explain that he was just being a dog, an insecure one at that, and he didn't mind. It wasn't a big deal. Of course, I cleaned up the mess.
Toby didn't like her from the time they came to pick us up to the time I hustled him into the new digs. The trip was pretty much unimpressive because of the rift, and because I will always side with my asshole dog. So, that said, I hope you accept my apology. So I'm ranting about all of it yesterday on Facebook.
My current short-tern dream is to to find that card-carrying bitch (yes, she has a card that permits her to be a bitch) jz drop her into a condom-infested area of the Pacific Ocean, where tons of dogs suddenly deside to join her, nipping at her prophylactic scrawny-ass body.
Yes, I'm still a Sith. I will always be a Sith.
This walk was hopefully going to find me at a bus stop, but my plans failed miserably. When I reached Linbrook Drive and saw no sign, I turned Toby around and headed back to the house. When I got back, I checked how far I had walked. It calculated in at just under 2 miles. Not to shabby for a chick with no right knee, who's not used to walking like she used to.
In other news, I've made an appointment with a potential family doctor for Monday. I'm hoping we get along okay, and I don't have to doctor shop. I hate doing that. The only thing I dread about going to the doctor is all the talking I'll have to do. I've become painfully aware of my accent, even though it's not nearly as thick as those around me in the South. I'm afraid that the more I talk, the more people will think I'm some kind of brainless Redneck. And I'm not. But I know I'll have to talk to the doctor extensively about my medical history, my knee issues, my medications, blah blah blah - and I am going to be so self-conscious.
I'm gonna try not to worry about it. I'm going to try to enjoy this glorious cloudy day, as they're rare in these parts. And I'm going to work on this Cadmus/Orphaeus short I've been dabbling in for a while. ::firm nods::
So now I have a walking area, and lots of it, and Toby loves walking. Even though some people seem to alarm him, he's invariably always friendly with those he encounters, and he's just soaking up all the love.
I've actually walked so much, so far, that I've walked a godawful blister on the ball of my right foot. It hurts, but I've padded it nicely and I'm keeping on with the walking, despite the wonky knee on top of all that. If I keep this up, with the dinky amount of food I'm taking in, I'm going to be a freakin' bone by January. A muscular bone. With no knees. And callouses.
But it feels good to be able to walk, and to have a place to walk, and to have a dog that loves doing it. This neighbourhood reminds me of the quintessential Steven Spielberg movie 'hood. I expect a herd of kids on bikes with ET to round the corner when I'm out walking. It's all just so...Californian.
The Mother Unit has been gone for the majority of the day, off swimming I'm assuming with Jeanne, so I've spent the day chit-chatting with Matt, who seems to be a diehard conspiracy theorist. I do appreciate that! After a day of conspiracy, the Unit topped it off by coming home holding a gigantic cherry Slurpee, all for me. That was pretty damned spiffy of her.
Matt has built Toby a dog house. It's gorgeous. I think he was expecting the Tobes to stay out at night, too, but that's not gonna happen anytime soon, if I can help it. Once my room is set up, he'll definitely be in with me at night. Right now, though, the poor pooch is still too traumatised to be separate from me 24/7, so he's going to be in with me at least at night. I explained to Matt that Toby is a problem child who just went through a seriously horrid experience getting across country. So I think we have that settled for now. And it'll all be good, once the room is ready.
Anyway, when I haven't been walking, I've been zoned out in a like this half-sleep state. I called it Road Lag over on Facebook. I'm sure, once I've gotten used to the difference in time, I'll be back to my old insomniac self. Oh joy.
But I'm not complaining, not even about the inevitable insomnia. I'm just glad to have some company. I'm glad to have noise around me that isn't produced by me. I'm glad to not be haunted.
I haven't had a moment of homesickness. But you have to have had a feeling of home in order to experience homesickness, but I've essentially been homeless for two years, so the transition has been seamless. Hopefully, I'll have my room ready this week, and can stop feeling like a barnacle on the household's arse. I am not fond of being in the way and, even though the Mother Unit says that's not the case, I can't help but feel like a bit of a transient, sacked out on the living room floor with my cat in a pen next to me, and my dog hiding underneath the covers.
If I heard correctly, Matt is making pasta for supper. That sounds munchalicious. He is an excellent chef.
The Mother Unit, Jeanne, and I hit the road just before 3 PM. I’m sitting in the back of the truck with Toby resting on my blown-out knee, and Smidgen chillaxin’ beside me in her travel case. The door is open so she can come and go as she pleases; she’s just more comfortable with the case right now.
I ended up packing more than I expected I would. Most of what I have are DVDs and electronics. Of course, the computer is taking up residence on my other knee. So far, I’ve been able to tap into two sources of free wi-fi. I’ll be posting what I’ve written when I come into another wi-fi spot.
That said, some of what I’m writing won’t be in synch with the time I post.
Right now, we’re in Anderson County in SC. Jeanne and the Mother Unit wanted to stop at Arby’s and grab a bite. I’m not eating. I’ve been nauseated and haven’t been able to eat anything but about a half cup of chicken & rice, courtesy of Janice. I’m nursing a frozen peach drink along with some water, so it’s all good.
I know I meant to write more about how the roles in the Vampire Relics changed over time, but I just haven’t had the time and capacity of thought to engage in such shenanigans. Maybe tonight, once we’re settled in a hotel room, I can finish that up in short order.
So here we are in Bessemer, Alabama. Toby is trying to illicit pity and a bite of the Mother Unit’s sandwich, and Smidgen is chilling out in the bathroom. We’re waiting for her to finally venture out of her case, but she seems relatively unconcerned about that at the mo. She’ll change her arrangements when she’s ready.
As for me, I’m freakin’ POOPED. I’m hoping all the packing and travelling will help me get at least a little bit of sleep. We’ll see.
I’ve got some pictures to upload, but my connection here at the hotel isn’t the best in the world, so maybe I’ll get to share them tomorrow.
I don't know how old Toby is, but Smidgen now eight years old, and Seedling is just over a year old. I think Toby is pretty young 'cos he still has a lot of puppy characteristics, wanting to play, and causing all manner of chaos. Chester has finally had enough of him and goes Mediaeval on his arse now. I don't try to stop him unless it gets too out of hand. Toby needs to learn to stop bullying the other animals. I think he's realising that you don't bully a terrier...ever. Chester may be as cute as an Ewok, but he's related to freakin' pit bulls. In a really bad fight, Chester would flatten Toby.
Toby, doing his best Joker impersonation.
"You look nervous. Is it the scar? Wanna know how I got it? My roommate is a Dachshund...and a fiend. And one day, he goes off craaaazier than normal. I, being a bit of an idiot, decide to get in his face. Riley doesn't like that...not-t..one..bit-t. So, Tin watching, he uses his abnormally quick reflexes and sharp white teeth aaaaaand...."
Here's the real story, which isn't far from Toby's Jokerized account above. The day after my service to Dr. Patch ended, Toby decides to get all up in Riley's grill. Now, Riley, being a Dachshund, and a demented one at that, didn't like that. Not one bit. So he bit Toby right on the nose. I was freaked right out. The puncture was deep, bloody, and generally unpleasant. And Toby was in a great deal of pain, obviously. Since I no longer had the employee discount, there was no way I could take him to the vet, so I did what I had to do. I put the buster collar we used on Toby when he got neutered back on him, pulled out the Polysporin and applied copious amounts to the bite after thoroughly washing the area, and I began dosing him with leftover antibiotics from when Chester had his dental. They're essentially the same weight, so I knew the dosage would be right. For about a week I did this, rubbing the Polysporin into the wound at least three times a day. It was difficult because the wound had settled tremendously sore and Toby didn't want to be touched there at all. After a week, he looked like Rocky Balboa. It wasn't just swelling; there was infection building up in there, despite the regimen of Polysporin and Clindamyacin. So I had to step up the treatment, which I knew would be unpleasant for us both. I had to squeeze the puss out of the bite and boil it out with peroxide before the wound became abscessed. I did it with Aunt Tudi's help. For two days, I held Toby between my knees, gripped his little head with one hand, and I'd squeeze the wound with the other. Then I'd boil it out and rub in the Polysporin. I had some leftover Clavamox, which I started giving Toby instead of the Clindamyacin. The dosage was a little on the strong side for a dog his weight, but it was a chance we needed to take to get the infection under control.
Three days ago, I was able to remove Toby's buster collar. He's all healed up except for the scar on his nose. As for his relationship with Riley, Toby is inclined to not get all up in Riley's grill now for, verily, Riley is a Dachshund and a fiend.
Now you know how Toby got that scar.