TWIP: Cats, ties, and random crap (long post to catch up!)

Some weeks in photos

Stupid medical shit and a dream about Loki

I’m actually only making this entry to describe the funny dream I recently woke up from, but since I am making it, I might as well talk about what’s going on while I’m at it. I’ll get to the dream in a minute here.

So last week (to coincide wonderfully with my deep sadness in regard to the decision I made), I was experiencing abdominal pain. Because I have multiple conditions that give me abdominal pain on a regular basis, I didn’t pay much attention, but I did notice it was getting worse. Eventually, on Friday, it had gotten bad enough (and had been increasing consistently enough) to give me some concern. So I went to the doctor, who referred me to a hospital for ultrasounds. And it turns out I have gall bladder stones and need to have the whole silly thing removed.

The doctor’s referral office set me up an appointment for today with a surgeon, and Friday to Wednesday seemed like a long time to wait — especially when they warned me very carefully what symptoms should send me to the emergency room over the weekend — but whatevs. I would wait. However, I wasn’t aware until Monday that I’d been misled by ‘appointment with a surgeon,’ and that this is just a consultation. I have no idea, as yet, when I can actually have this surgery, and an unknown period seems like an even longer time to wait. Because meanwhile, the pain continues to increase, and has with it that general feeling of ill health I hate so much and some nausea on the side, not to mention a lot of emotional distress that may have something to do with last week’s decision as well.

So I’m in too much pain to go to work, but not enough pain (yet) to go to the emergency room. I’m losing money every day, I don’t know how long this will continue, and Poe only knows how much I’m going to be out for the consultation visit (typically my specialist copay is $75) and the surgery itself (last year’s mass removal with no more than a local anesthetic ran me $500). I already had to pay $150 for the doctor’s appointment and the ultrasounds on Friday. Fucking gall bladder. I’m literally selling stocks in preparation for the next however long. AND MEANWHILE I’M STILL IN PAIN.

I was in no frame of mind to get any writing done over the weekend, though yesterday I wrote, like, four sentences on BC 22 (itself part of an entirely different emotional kettle of fish or maybe kettle of emotional fish). I’ve been working on my current RPG Maker project and a picture of two dogs, and watching a lot of Superman: The Animated Series. Just killing time, basically, until I can get this small and expensive bonfire removed from my side.

OK, but what I really came for. I had this dream:

These two minor gods were in some kind of trouble, and I was trying to get them out of it. But it was beyond my power, so I went to Loki for help — knowing full well it was a bad idea, but she was the only god I could actually communicate with. I explained the situation and asked if she would lend a hand.

As Loki replied, images appeared behind her as if she were running a slide show in the background illustrating everything she had to say. “I could help these two minor gods,” she said. “We could do such-and-such, and then talk to so-and-so, and get them out of their jam.” And the slide show demonstrated these potential actions.

Or…” she went on with a smirk, “I could turn them in for a bounty, and that would piss off…” And the slide show started scrolling rapidly through the images of every god in multiple pantheons, line after line after line of them, presumably listing all the many people who would be pissed off by Loki’s choice to betray these two minor gods. And it was pretty clear which option she was going to take.

The slide show thing and Loki’s smartassedness was so funny that I even laughed in the dream despite the situation having been made worse by my choice to go to her for help. I find it so funny in waking life that I had to write it down even though I haven’t logged a dream in a very long time.

And now back to my regularly scheduled suffering.

Edit: I have surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning. I’m so relieved to get it scheduled so soon, I haven’t been able to stop crying.

I didn’t really want to have to talk about this again

Long ago, the Saitou & Sano subfandom was full and active. There was ongoing conversation about the pairing, RK in general, and all the fanfiction we posted. For years and years I’ve been trying to get that back, and it hasn’t been working. These days there are almost no fans, there is almost no conversation, and my fics get almost no attention. I’ve long been aware that if I wanted something like that again, I would have to switch fandoms.

The idea never appealed to me, however. Nothing means as much to me as Saitou & Sano; nothing touches me like they do; nothing is as close to my heart. They’ve become such a part of my life that it’s been more than I could even imagine to give up writing about them, and where would I go then? No other fandom and no other characters come even close to making me feel what I feel (including the massive amounts of inspiration) for this pairing and this version of Saitou Hajime in particular; I can’t bend my fandom life around someone else.

But now the wicked behavior of Dead Author has struck what seems like a death blow to an already mostly dead subfandom, and I’m wondering: why go on at all? I guess I’ve always known I had to prepare myself for letting go at some point; why not now? I’ve only been writing about these guys for twenty years; they’re only my best friends; I only have Saitou’s motto tattooed on my back — no big deal, right? No, of course I’m not crying. Why should this be horrendously painful?

So what I’m saying here is that I’ll be tapering off. Obviously I’ll finish the in-progress fics I’m posting — you’d have to kill me to get me not to — and I’ll probably still work on the HoH stuff I’ve got going despite not having begun to post any of that yet… but the 30 other Saitou & Sano stories (and small handful of RK stories about other characters) in various states of startedness and finishedness I have sitting around on my hard drive will probably never be completed. I’ll convert what I can into original fiction (which obviously nobody reads, but at least then I’ll still be able to write it).

My heart is broken. I know it’s selfish to be focusing so much on the effect Dead Author’s inhumanity is having on my writing and my place in a community that already hasn’t existed for a decade rather than on the much greater and more life-destroying effect that type of behavior, on his part and that of others, has on its actual victims… but there it is. I’m not as hurt as the real victims, but I am very hurt by this. I’ve spent literally half my life on something I’m now feeling compelled to walk away from.

(Note: The next entry dealing with this contains less despair and more specific planning.)

Regarding Watsuki Nobuhiro and Rurouni Kenshin

I will continue to enjoy Rurouni Kenshin (and Busou Renkin). That version of Saitou, with his exceptional morality, will continue to be my favorite fictional character, and the romantic pairing of Saitou and Sano will continue to be one of my favorite things. I will continue to create and enjoy fanworks related to Rurouni Kenshin.

But to the pedophile Watsuki, who has contributed to one of the worst evils known to the world, who has put so many of my fandom siblings through hell, I have only this to say: お前 の 全て を 否定して やる.

And to those in the fandom that can’t bring themselves to separate the art from the reprehensible behavior and nature of the artist, and are forced to leave it behind, I understand. I’m sorry something like this has to take something you loved from you. Go well.

Ribbons and needs. I mean, arthritis and suck.

Although the neurologist referred me to yet another clinic for some radiographs trying to determine exactly what’s wrong with my hands/wrists, I haven’t actually done that yet because of Beeks’s surgery — I’m already in the hole at the moment, and don’t need to be dealing with more medical shit I can put off. The condition exists regardless of whether it’s tendonitis, bursitis, or arthritis.

And whatever its official name, it’s been flaring up hella bad lately, and I decided with extreme reluctance to try to avoid computer use this weekend to give my hands a rest. (My wrist braces help, so I’ll be wearing them as much as possible, but I’m in a lot of finger-joint-pain too, and at the moment I have nothing to help with that. I wish-listed some pressure gloves on Amazon, along with a speech-to-text engine, but I think I mentioned how much immediate debt I’m in.)

Yesterday I was foiled by a very busy (and subsequently very computer-intensive) day at work, but today and tomorrow I’m going to look for other shit to do besides working on stories and all the additional eight million things on the computer I have to work on. It would be a perfect time to get some recording done, but I have a cold with a sore throat, because of course I fucking do.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, it is depressing beyond words not to work on stories, and I am very sad right now.

I’ve been considering stepping away from the current HR chapter because it’s taking so long and a break from it might be helpful, and resuming work on that when I get back around to it in the rotation (meaning I would work on ASZz as soon as I’m off this hiatus). Nobody’s reading HR, whereas one person is reading ASZz and another is reading BC (which would come after that), so I think I’m safe to do this.

Meanwhile, wish me luck not being depressed and doing other things. This post is already counterproductively long.

Sad day

My little dog Hiko has swallowed a wire of some sort. He’s staying at the full-service vet overnight getting fluids in the hopes it will flush out of where it’s been sitting and pass through his digestive tract. A third set of radiographs in the morning will give a new perspective, and then I can decide whether or not he will have very expensive and scary abdominal surgery.

I am exceptionally sad and worried right now. Please to be keeping Little Man in your thoughts.

Here is a picture of him sadly hiding in the closet because he was in pain. Suffering was never so adorable T__T

EDIT 9:45 AM: The wire has not moved at all, despite the fluids and some food. He’s going to surgery.

EDIT 1:30 PM: He is out of surgery and doing well. The wire was embedded in his duodenum, which is why it wasn’t moving, but the doctor says there was very little inflammation at the spot and he’s confident of a good recovery.

I am so relieved I can’t even.

EDIT 7:30 PM: Home at last. So happy to have my Best Dog back. Poor little guy. $1,500.

EDIT DAYS AFTER THE FACT: I figure I’ll put down the actual sequence of events in greater detail so as to have a coherent record.

On the Tuesday that was my last day off work before returning after my own surgery, at around noon I noticed that Beeks was declining treats and hiding a lot (as pictured above). My immediate concern was foreign body, and I started watching carefully for signs of intestinal obstruction. There were no such signs, however, so I was a bit puzzled. I thought maybe he had a little bug, and resolved to wait and watch. (Later, since my “guess” {intuition} turned out to be correct, I regretted not taking him to a full-service vet that day when I was free.)

Overnight, I noticed he couldn’t seem to get comfortable, and one time he actually got up and went to hide in the closet again, though I put him back on the bed. On Wednesday, before work, I was noticing kyphosis and apparent discomfort in general but especially when sitting down. He was still defecating normally, so I was still at a bit of a loss, and in any case I had to go to work.

At work, however, I received a text from my mom (Hiko takes a nap on her bed from the time I leave to the time she gets up) saying that she’d reached over to pet him and he’d snapped at her. Now, Heeks is the sweetest and friendliest dog in the world, so this was the final sign that something was very wrong. Since dad was working from home that day (THANK FUCKING TOLKIEN, since mom’s MS would have made this very difficult for her), I requested he take Little Man to a full-service vet.

(Of course at this point mom wondered why one of the doctors at my clinic couldn’t look at him, which surprised me a little — I’ve been there almost three years; surely she must understand by now how limited a clinic we are? Most pertinently, we don’t have an x-ray machine.)

I’ve actually had no need whatsoever of a full-service vet… um, ever… because I’ve never had an animal sick or injured before, and my own clinic suffices for the things we do (vaccines and spays/neuters). Which means I wasn’t on file anywhere in town, and had to choose a clinic to send Leeko to. I chose the place I did my internship at, because I liked them so much, and I was pleased to find that some of them there actually remembered me even after three years! How cool is that!

Anyway, dad took Teeks in there, and after a while texted me the images from the first set of radiographs:


I knew instantly what that was. I have these bead curtains on my bedroom door that are composed of long wooden beads held together with stiff wires. I’ve caught Beeks chewing on fallen beads before, but I didn’t think he’d be silly enough to swallow one of the wires. More fool me -__-

Anyway, they kept him at the clinic giving him fluids and planning to take more images at around four in the afternoon. If the wire had moved at that point, they thought he might be able to be sent home in the hopes that it would pass. If it had not moved, surgery might have to happen. So I got to fret all day about that.

In the evening, the new radiographs revealed that the wire had not budged. The doctor I spoke to said that it was still possible it might move, but that surgery then and there was an option. I chose the middle ground, having him stay overnight (so I could fret more) and receive more fluids, then see how a third set of images looked in the morning.

In only tangential news, I’m trying a new sleep medication, and it had proven remarkably ineffectual up until this point. The doctor had told me I could go to two pills a night if just the one wasn’t working, and I thought this particular night — extremely worried and without my little dog to cuddle — was a perfect time to give that a try. And I’m cautiously hopeful about the outcome; I seemed to sleep OK that night and on subsequent nights with the double dose.

On Friday morning, a different vet from the full-service clinic called me (he was the one that specifically remembered me from my internship) at around 8:00. In fact I had a client in my exam room, and she was very understanding about my need to take a phone call in the middle of getting her dog checked in. The vet said that the wire had once again not moved at all, and he thought surgery was the next step. So I gave the go-ahead, and then could not stop absolutely freaking out for the next three hours or so.

When he called back, it was with the information I mentioned above: the wire had lodged in Hiko’s duodenum, allowing for the flow of fluids and even food through his digestive tract but causing him constant discomfort. It was removed with no problem and only a small incision into the duodenum, and he was all closed up and waking up from anesthesia with no complications. I cried and cried of relief and joy, and texted everybody.

My thoughtful supervisor and head doctor had been just about to allow me a long lunch to go visit Little Man, but the vet on the phone specified that I could pick him up that afternoon, so there was no need for that. It’s not impossible that my co-workers just wanted me to go see him because I was so completely useless while I so worried about him XD

That evening, when I went to the full-service clinic, I found a very groggy Beeks that nevertheless wagged his tail at me the entire way home. Also they’d saved part of the wire for me to look at, and I was confirmed in my assessment of its origin. I love my bead curtains, but I love my dog more, and they’re getting thrown away as soon as there’s space for them in the garage trash cans (we forgot to take the trash out, so those are all full XD). For now they’re still hanging up, because hanging up seems safer than lying down somewhere.

So that’s about the whole story. As I mentioned about, it cost me $1,500, which is very inconvenient right after I had surgery, but still about a thousand dollars less than I expected and pretty reasonable for the services he received. Poor little guy. I’ll only add at this point that Peeks has always been extremely difficult to pill, and with two antibiotics, an anti-inflammatory, and a pain med, we have a little rigmarole every twelve hours now. Pill Pockets worked exactly once :\

I love my dog.