My life is never boring. In fact, I do not know first hand what that word really means. To me, boredom is a technical term, without personal application. I have been yearning for more, longing for Selfness, in the midst of subjugation by the Colonial Other. However, I have not known boredom. For this, I feel eternally grateful.
This does not mean that I don’t wish away some of the exciting things that happen to me – the physical limitations, the suffering, the straightened financial situation of a scholar’s life are all things I endure, rather than enjoy. I find myself far too inundated with exciting activity not of my own choosing, that I have not the time and energy to embark on half the wonderful things that flood and thrill my mind and soul.
Nevertheless, my life is not boring, whichever way one looks at it.
Still wobbling from the aftermath of the exhibition, trying to tidy the home, anxious to organise and systemise my living environment in order to facilitate a better living, working and creative environment, I’ve been suddenly flung into an unstable jiggling cart flying through the air on a bumpy roller coaster track.
Last Thursday, while on our way to the city for a meeting, Lucy fell trying to get into the taxi. My poor baby girl suffered a small cut to her right back thigh, but she did not complain. She was skittish throughout the meeting, though, which was unlike her usual spunky placidity. The heat was oppressive on Friday, reaching 38C at its peak, and so we stayed home. I pointed our one and only tiny little fan at Lucy, while I sweltered and went about valiantly organising and cleaning the home.
On Saturday, another shock presented itself. After a busy morning, we returned home and crashed into bed for a cuddly-nap. I woke up at 3.30pm and went into the kitchen to make myself a bacon and tomato sandwich. Lucy followed and lay down beside me, watching me and expecting a treat (of course). When I had finished making my sandwich, I reached out to offer Lucy her treat. She got up, and suddenly began to wobble and shake. She held up her front right paw to me for a split second, then all four legs began sliding outwards, splaying in four different directions! I tried to get her to lie down but she refused, insisting on trying to stand. I was afraid she would collapse, so I held her waist up with my right hand and grabbed the phone to call her vet with the left. Her vet walked me through a few things to test for: I waved her treat around to see if eyes would follow, and they did. She was still alert. Not a seizure then. I checked all over for ticks, because Australia has the dreaded paralysis tick which can cause death. Nope. No tick. After about ten minutes or maybe less, she regained strength in her limbs and wobbled slowly back into the bedroom. She ate her treat and then went to sleep. I booked her in to see her vet first thing Sunday morning anyway.
The vet couldn’t advise on the cause behind that incident, since I did not take a video and it was impossible to ascertain without a visual representation. However, he did say that all her limbs seem to be in some measure of pain. I decided to start the Zydax injections, rather than placing her on painkillers.
Monday morning is fresh beef brisket bone day. That is when new batches arrive at the local butchers. I went to the store, and the butcher took out a giant length of brisket, then cut it to my specified size. I gave Lucy one, after trimming away the fat, put the rest in separate plastic storage bags and into the freezer. At 2.30am, Tuesday morning, Lucy woke me and asked to go outside. She did a little poop. I put it down to the brisket bone but didn’t think it was serious. Then during our morning walk, she began a series of watery poop. Not good. I took a photo and took her to the vet immediately. Once there, she was all bouncy and overjoyed to see her vet, who she adores. He prescribed Ensal and a bland diet. A friend came and took us home in his car, because the temperature was climbing and the weather forecast indicated it would reach 40C by midday. I gave Lucy the awful stuff through a large syringe, after which we cuddled for a nap. Then the nightmare began.
From 8pm, through the whole night, till 7am, we were going in and out of the flat, up and down the two storeys of stairs, and round and round the neighbourhood in a desperate frenzied watery poop marathon. By 3-ish, Lucy was in pain from the effort and whining while crouched over trying to excrete. I tried to persuade her to do it all at home, laying out old bathmats for her, but she refused. She is such a clean and neat girl. However, she was becoming weaker and weaker, and at 7am, she could not longer hold it, and although she tried hard to run to the balcony, she was unable to reach the balcony on time on a few occasions, and became very distressed at creating a mess inside. She also began to vomit. My poor baby, it was terrible to see her in such pain and distress. Her legs were shaky by then, and I knew she would not make the walk to the vet clinic. I called her vet at 9am, and he very kindly came to pick us up.
Once at the clinic, she was placed on the IV drip. I stayed till past 1pm to help and watch over her. The vet ran a few blood tests but all came back normal. He couldn’t be sure what caused this but he said it could be gastroenteritis. I suspect the beef brisket, of course, though the vet said it could also be something she picked up that was left behind by another dog, when she was sniffing around in the grass patches. By half past one, my body was breaking down too, and I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since the home made peanut butter on toast the night before. I left Lucy in the care of her vet, and went to Bond Junction buy a larger fan for her and a takeaway lunch. Once home, I gobbled up the rather awful lunch in a hungry hurry, caught up with a few emails and crashed into bed. I was late picking her up but it was thankfully still light at 7pm. She was well enough for a slow walk home, but very stressed and on edge, not her usual elegantly placid self at all. A few times, she tried to pull away from the leash, which was quite frightening, especially when it happened while we were crossing the road. We made it home safely, and both went to bed without dinner. Thankfully, she slept through the night without further incident.
This morning, she was prescribed antibiotics during our follow up appointment, and I was instructed to give her electrolytes in her water. I cooked chicken broth rice congee for her, and added some tuna. She will have boiled basa fish tomorrow with her rice congee. I’m substituting fish for chicken because she doesn’t do well on boiled chicken. She has not yet regained her full foodie appetite, but she is on the mend now.
I am relieved. It is horrible enough to be sick at all, especially gastric flu or food poisoning, but for a dog, it can be even more terrifying, because they cannot verbalise and do not understand what is happening to them. My poor baby is so brave.
We are both still weak and wobbly, especially the poor little girl, but we are a spunky duo, and we will survive this together!