last night i spent 2.5 hours shaving barnum down with betsy. he looks surprisingly sleek; we didn’t do as bad a job as usual! (pictures to come.)
I went to sleep at 3:30 a.m.
woke at 6 a.m.
rushed around to get out the door with betsy and barnum by 8 a.m. and with loads of stuff for our long day.
dropped barnum off at the vet for neutering (more on this soon), a soft rag that I slept with against my skin to make his overnight stay easier, instructions for x-rays of his hips and elbows while he “under” as well as a request for trimming matted fur between toes (he has thickets of fur everyeveryeverywhere!).
betsy and i drove 2 hrs to dave, the guy who built my pchair (more on him and his organization, later, too), for repairs. dave’s workers never showed, so we spent The Entire Day waiting for various people to be able to do various things on the chair: betsy and dave and dave’s wife debbie, and dave’s neighbor, and whomever else he could cobble together, to help work on repairs. since the chair was out of the van, i spent almost the whole day sitting in the van being exposed to eau du city chemical exposures: smoke, diesel fumes (commuter rail and cargo trains went by every twenty minutes or so), some sort of horrible burning smell, very nice-but-fragranced people, etc. i used up my entire supply of oxygen tanks (four!).
at noon, i called the vet to check on barnum and was told he was recovering nicely.
at a certain point, i had to get very creative about how to relieve my bladder in the van. post for another time.
all this free time sitting in the car gave me a chance to clean up the debris, learn how to use my cell phone, and learn how to use my gps (which i’ve had over a year and never tried before; it was extremely useful for finding places to eat and then getting home).
at 4:30 i called the vet again to check on barnum, ask how he was doing, did he behave well, was he resting calmly, was he cooperative at the beginning, was he on pain meds, did he seem comfortable? yes, yes, yes. ok. wanted to ask her to tell him i loved him, but didn’t think that’d go over.
around 6 or 7 or 8 pm (who can keep track anymore?) dave’s brother (sorry, can’t remember his name) was able to do some of the finishing work on the chair repairs, then i tested it, then betsy and dave’s brother tweaked it more, based on my body/positioning needs. i tested the chair. we packed up.
we had to stop for another bathroom break and a snack (whole foods market) because, silly me, i had only packed lunch for us, not lunch, snack, and dinner.
all day long i longed to go home and see barnum, then remembered there would be no barnum at home. such a strange, lonely, wrong feeling to think of coming home to no dog.
we finally arrived home at 11 p.m. we had been on the road for 15 hours. i’ve had 2.5 hours of sleep.
betsy helped me bathe and change — to get all the chemical residues off me. i have a migraine, but we were both impressed that it took until about 8 p.m. for the migraine to hit. i started writing this blog to unwind so i can sleep. i keep dozing off before i can hit “publish.”
i’ve been up now — and “going” — for 20 hours. i think today was the first time i’ve been in a grocery store in years? definitely first time in this new chair. found out whole foods does not carry adult diapers (story for another time).
don’t know yet if the chair is entirely fixed, because it will need some field testing, but several things were discovered that were wrong with it and repaired, so that’s definitely a good sign.
betsy had been adamant that if she spent the whole day out with me doing things, things needed to get accomplished, although neither of us ever thought that “the whole day” would really be the entire whole completely full day, like it was.
but here are some things we definitely got accomplished:
– barnum is “fixed” (neutered)
– the pchair leg rests have been readjusted to fit me better (fixed?)
– various chair wiring issues were discovered and repaired (fixed?)
these are all accomplishments!
hidden background: for the past couple of weeks, betsy and i have been discussing if we are breaking up. we have felt like we don’t want to, yet there are certain needs we cannot meet for each other, which has been true for many ears. this has been another major heartbreak i have not been blogging about, mostly to protect betsy’s privacy.
but two things became very clear to me today:
1. all day i was missing barnum and looking forward to seeing him when i got home, then realizing he would not be here when i came home, and when i arrived home and he wasn’t here, i just knew that no matter what, i cannot live without a dog in my life. it’s just wrong. i love barnum. he is my dog. whatever else happens, that is True.
2. no matter what happens with betsy, i love her, she loves me, and we must continue to be family and be in each other’s lives, whatever form that takes. we belong together. i need her in my life like i need a dog, and she understands that’s the best thing i can say about a person. i am leaning toward some unconventional definition of relationship, partner, family, etc. we will have to see what we can come up with that works.
i told her this on our way home — that we just have to stay together, in some form — after making her laugh so hard for so long that her driving was erratically unsafe. the humor primarily involved a gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cupcake i bought her as a thank-you gift for the day.
i also told her that i had realized we had to be together, one way or another, when i was in the whole foods bathroom. we have decided i should go to whole foods bathrooms for all my major relationship thinking and decision-making.
i have no idea when or how i will recover from this day.
blogs to come, eventually, on the continuing decision-making process about barnum’s future as my SD, the neutering (these are related!), how the chair handles now that it’s been tinkered with, all with pictures and videos, hopefully, when i am functional again.
or, what passes for functional, in my life.
please please please please may i sleep, long, hard and undisturbed by migraine-induced nightmares and the dogless house.
sharon, the muse of gadget, and barnum (sdit?) now a few ounces lighter