05 May 2005

I Need a Vet Who Knows How to Write

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons." -- James Grover Thurber (1894-1961), American writer, cartoonist, illustrator, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

My dog is still at the vet's office. I went by yesterday afternoon to deliver some dog food because, predictably, The Mighty Tusk won't eat the dog food. Well, he didn't eat what I brought him, either. The vet came in and told me she wasn't very hopeful about his chances of survival. Liver enzymes very, very high. Glucose level very high. She gives me a hard time about it. Every time I've ever talked with her about his diabetes, she's always said, "He can't have insulin if he's not eating." Well, he wasn't eating, bitch. I told you that on the phone, goddamn it.

I said he might not be eating because he's had painful diarrhea and vomiting. Would you feel like eating? No, I wouldn't either. She noted that when she examined his stomach, he cried out in pain. Maybe I'm right, she said. She then asks me for the FIFTH time how much insulin he should be taking. She asked if it was 20 cc's. No...31. If I weren't so distraught, I'd have had a meltdown. I told her I'd come by first thing in the morning with cooked chicken; maybe he'd like to eat that. I sat with him for about 20 minutes and he kept almost falling asleep as I rubbed his head. Then he'd rouse himself and focus, remembering I was there. I finally left and cried all the way home.

When I got there, I told hubby that Mr. T. might not be coming home. I cried; he held me. I bucked up, as usual. Then hubby cried. Off and on all evening. I was numbed out, one of the few advantages of being abused as a child. I can stop feeling automatically when it all gets too overwhelming. I pondered the seizures he's had, the arthritis, the possibility of pain from his liver. Maybe I should stop being selfish and get myself prepared for the end. No. Not yet. I was terrified that, when I went back in the morning, he'd already be dead.

I got up early, cooked some chicken breasts, woke up hubby and asked if he'd like to come with me. He was up for it. I was still so afraid I'd arrive and they'd say, "Oh. Didn't someone call you? He died in his sleep." But there he was, looking better than yesterday. He was immediately interested in the chicken. (Yay!) I started feeding it to him and noticed that he'd eaten the muffin I brought for him last night. (He loves muffins. I was very distressed when he wouldn't eat it yesterday.) He actually sat up and looked around, had some water. We stayed and gave lots of love for a while. He lay back down and we left, telling the receptionist I would bring more chicken over on my way to work.

Went home, called the office, bathed and washed hair. I blew dry my hair; no time today for curls. The only makeup I put on was mascara. I wore sneakers to work, a thing I've only done twice before. I dropped off the chicken. By the time I got to work, the cats were all waiting for me outside the gate, wondering where I was and when I was going to get here to feed them.

I got the kitties taken care of and commenced the day. Around one this afternoon, I called the vet's office and was told Dr. B. was off today. Would I like to talk with Dr. W. instead? Well yes, duh. She was too busy to talk just then, so the receptionist related that Dr. W. thought he should spend the night in the emergency hospital. He won't eat the food they've given him. No, he won't eat the food they give him even when he's feeling great. He doesn't like prescription dog food. She says, "Oh, I see you brought some chicken for him. We'll give that to him a little later."

I was furious. I'm thinking about how much better he seemed this morning and wondering why the hell they think he should be in the hospital. I called my mom and the more I talked about it, the angrier I became. Just as I hung up the phone, Dr. W. called.

She said that he's doing 100% better than yesterday and he finally ate (if they just would have given him his chicken in the first place....). She wanted to start his insulin again and thought he'd be better off with someone monitoring him, which is why she thought the hospital was a good idea. I told her that's a huge expense, on top of the meter currently running at her office. Unfortunately, I have to eat or I can't work to pay the bill, you know. She agreed that I could take him home and monitor him myself. Bring him back tomorrow morning.

I really like that solution. I start wondering where she works regularly, because I'm ready to ditch the woman who can't write his fucking medication level on his chart. The upshot is that I'm gong to get him and take him back tomorrow morning. I think he might do better at home, anyway. People generally do; that's one of the reasons they hustle your ass right out of the hospital as soon as you can pee by yourself.

America held hostage day 1510
Bushism of the day:
# "We hold dear what our Declaration of Independence says, that all have got uninalienable rights, endowed by a Creator."
Source: The New York Times, "Reporter's Notebook; Skipping Borders, Tripping Diction," David E. Sanger, May 28, 2002

Website of the day; The People's Paths in History

Koan of the Day: A Philosopher Asks Buddha

A philosopher asked Buddha: `Without words, without the wordless, will you you tell me truth?'

The Buddha kept silence.

The philosopher bowed and thanked the Buddha, saying: `With your loving kindness I have cleared away my delusions and entered the true path.'

After the philosopher had gone, Ananda asked the Buddha what he had attained.

The Buddha replied, `A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.'

Mumon's Comment: Ananda was the disciple of the Buddha. Even so, his opinion did not surpass that of outsiders. I want to ask you monks: How much difference is there between disciples and outsiders?

To tread the sharp edge of a sword
To run on smooth-frozen ice,
One needs no footsteps to follow.
Walk over the cliffs with hands free.

04 May 2005

Pesonal Resposibility

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. ~ Voltaire

My therapist and I talked about personal responsibility last week. I told her that the willingness to take responsibility for one's own actions is probably one of the greatest predictors of the type of relationship I have with someone.

Everything that ever happened in my dad's life was somebody else's fault. He beat up his first wife and got sent to the brig? That was her fault for giving their son a name he expressly forbade her to give him. He beat up my mom? Well, he was just trying to teach her. I could go on, but it would just make me angry.

The point is that, for me, being an adult requires accountability. I acknowledge that I may sometimes take that position too far. Whenever anything goes wrong, I take stock of my behavior in the situation and, if I can identify even a scintilla of responsibility, I own it. To everyone. Sometimes that gets me in some difficult situations because the people who are primarily responsible for some catastrophe are often quite willing to allow me to take the blame.

I worked with a woman several years ago who betrayed my trust and confidence. I was willing to continue to be her friend, but only if she apologized and accepted responsibility for her behavior. Unfortunately, she was unwilling to even consider that she might have behaved badly. Not only that, but she was too cowardly to talk to me about it directly. She sent me an email and then left for a two week vacation. We continued to work together and I continued to be cordial (in a professional, non-personal way) to her, but we could never be friends again.

Several people who worked with me at the same time knew that would be my position on the matter. Some of them acted like they thought I was Mussolini. I often encounter people who think it's an unreasonable position to take, despite the fact that they are more than willing to allow me to be accountable. I don't get it.

America held hostage day 1309
Bushism of the day:
"These people don't have tanks. They don't have ships. They hide in caves. They send suiciders out."
Source: Federal News Service, "Remarks by President George W. Bush At Welcome Rally," Nov. 1, 2002

Website of the day: Addicted to Hate

03 May 2005


The past is malleable and flexible, changing as our recollection interprets and re-explains what has happened. ~ Peter Berger

My mom's family and early life are as much a mystery as my father's. There are 7 (I think) siblings, of which I have met only one. I liked him, though. When I was three, he took me for a ride on his motorcycle. That clinched it for me, apparently. Well, that and the fact that he never tried to sexually abuse me like the othe uncle I knew. I only met my maternal grandmother and grandfather once in my life and I don't even remember it because it was during one of those times in my life when holding onto sanity was pretty much the only thing I could focus on.

Neither my mom nor her older sister lived with their mom and dad for much of their lives. My mother was shipped off to live with her grandmother until she died when my mom was 14. I think she was around 5 when she stopped living with her family. Mother's sister lived with an aunt and I know even less about that than I do about my mom.

My great grandmother's name was Mamie. She required all of her grandchildren to call her by her name. I think that's just charming and so very southern. My mother was assigned chores to do, for which she earned a small allowance. None of her brothers and sisters had an allowance. Mamie made my mother attend church every Wednesday and Sunday. That included Sunday school. My mom has had very little inclination to show up at any churches since then. She really hates it when people get wrapped up in their religion or when they have a penchant for proselytizing. That caused some friction between my mother and one of my paternal aunts, who converted to Jehovah Witness-dom. It became apparent pretty quickly that my aunt's interest in the Witnesses was more opportunistic and self-serving than a spiritual calling. That's another story.

My mother took care of Mamie after she was diagnosed with cancer and, when she died, my mother was inconsolable. After that, she moved back in with mom and dad.

I know my maternal grandmother was a redhead with the proverbial fiery temper. She wasn't a very good cook. My grandfather was a butcher and an alcoholic. My mother has never used that word, but she said that her dad would come home from work and sit at the kitchen table, drinking all evening. Sounds like an alcoholic to me. She didn't get along with her dad. I have no details regarding why or when things went bad between them.

That's pretty much the sum total of all I know about my mother's history. I think I'm the least informed about family matters of anyone I know. I don't exactly know why that's so. With my dad's family, you could get stories, but it was anybody's guess as to whether the stories were true. They most definitely would be contradicted by other members of the family. I just always chalked it up to psychosis, but I think they were just a narcissistic and self-serving lot. I've asked my mom to tell me about her life numerous times, but these several paragraphs are the only information I've been able to cull.

I think my mother was probably sexually abused by someone. Why? Because she refused to let go of my dad when anyone in their right minds would have left him or killed him. There are other reasons why I think she was abused, but I'm not really comfortable with relating them.

Is it any wonder that I used to imagine myself to be like Athena, sprung from my parents thoughts instead of their loins. They made me up in their heads and it took more than twenty years for me to discern who I might be as an individual.

America held hostage day 1308
Bushism of the day:
"I used the expression 'ride herd.' I don't know if anybody understood the meaning. It's a little informal in diplomatic terms. I said, we're going to put a guy on the ground to ride herd on the process. See them all scratching their heads."
—Bush, realizing few people understand him when he speaks
Source: New York Times, "The President's Trip, In the President's Words: 'A Mutual Desire to Work Toward the Vision," June 5, 2003

Website of the day: Test Your Moral Intuitions