A Dead Rat

On our way home from our morning bathroom session, Gable and I saw a big dead rat near the mailbox. I guess someone’s backyard is nasty enough to have one of these critters. once a year or so, I see a dead rat lying around.

Gable is continuing to deteriorate slowly every single day. Last night he was roaching against the wall and then started screaming because he rolled over and his leg got stuck in a folding chair I have folded up against the wall. I was terrified that he’d broken something or that this was it. Nope, just an easy extraction and he promptly went back to sleep. This morning, he didn’t want to walk much, and then came home, drank and entire bowl of water and then threw up bits of food from last night. Clearly, he’s not digesting much anymore. Then, I found a tick on him. It was dead, but there it was. He’s gotten to the point where he’ll attempt just the basement stairs, but refuse to do the rest and will just look at me so that I’ll carry him. This is saddening, because he was so adamant about going up them himself just last week. He’s stopped eating much, despite it being an amazingly appealing meal. He was scarfing stuff last night because it was so good, but literally halfway through, he just kind of screeched to a halt and refused to eat anymore, like it was making him very sick and he couldn’t keep eating. I could see in his eyes that he badly wanted to eat it, but couldn’t. He can’t hold it anymore, either, needing to pee. It’s literally every 3-5 hours when he’s always been super bladder. It’s close. It’s so close.

The other day, I made a decision regarding his final moments while I was driving home from work. I decided that in light of my last euthanasia being so awful in that Liana’s body was clearly ready, but her soul was not, that it is terrible to put them in car (that has always been a source of joy for them) and drive them to their doom. I tear up every time with guilt and regret that I did that to her. It’s not so bad to do that when they’re so pain-addled they don’t know anything anymore, but she was fully lucid and right now, so is he. On top of it all, he is fiercely loyal to this house and he loves his beds. I decided that I want him to die here as naturally as possible, unless that is unable to be done. Normally, I’d call the vet here, but with the pandemic, I don’t know if that’s even an option. I have to see them regardless when he’s dead, because by law I can’t just randomly bury him somewhere. He’s a loyal to the end kind of dog. I want him in this house if it’s at all possible. I’ll keep watch through the throes of death if that’s what it takes.

All I know is that it’s coming up soon and very soon. Perhaps the end of the this week or even the weekend. Work is on standby.

In other news, I splurged and went ahead with the wheels and tires I so desperately wanted. I am SO excited I can’t stand it. It’s crazy to know that I dropped that kind of cash, more than the amount for vacation this year which I was also looking at for later on this year. My OEM tires are absolute crap and I just can’t stand it anymore. I have no idea how they got such good reviews from other people. Then again, most people don’t drive idiotically like I do. Eh. Okay, fine, they’re OEM tires. They’re not amazing, but they do fine even if they’re ridiculously expensive for such low wear rating and they focus more on gas mileage than anything else. My problem with them is that they feel like mush. I like a stiffer ride. Turning is bad since I managed to rash them past the tread, they slip when I turn, and acceleration is terrible. It feels like an underinflated balloon even though they’re getting up to 40psi when I drive them. Well. I also just desperately want to achieve my poseur look.

Eventually I want to sell my old tires and wheels (5 of them!), but for the moment I’ll keep them around (where????) just in case something bad happens to what I have now. Plus, I got new TPMS sensors so that I can just switch out the wheels if necessary. I mean, I’m changing the wheel size, I’m going to have light off-roads on, the off-set is different. My fingers are crossed that I don’t need a lift kit. If it doesn’t work out, I have 2 sets of 5 tires (my car has a full-sized spare). I’m worried about the fitment, I’m worried about it messing with the car, I’m worried about someone stealing my wheels and tires if they know exactly how much they’re worth. The questions are, do I go with lock nuts? When do I sell the old ones? Should I just keep them around? Where do I keep them? FIVE wheels and tires?

WHY HAVEN’T I CLEANED OUT MY STORAGE UNIT YET?????

I’ve been looking for a Subaru Baja Turbo for a while. They’re rare and just awesome. I was randomly looking the other day and an independent dealer up in MD has one. I’ve spent the last 2 nights mulling it over and over and over. The car is priced $1k under what it’s worth, but it’s got 200,000 miles on it. But that doesn’t matter to me because it’s super rare. The engine specs are amazing for that old of a car, and even if you factor in age and performance decline, it’s still stronger and faster than most of the new cars today. Then again, it’d be a money drop and it’s only a want (and very very very much want) not a need and there are just so many cons: where do I garage it? Maintenance moving forward is going to be a pain. MD does not require a state inspection. Who knows what state it’s in. Transferring the title to VA after purchase is going to be a HUGE PITA because with the pandemic, and dealing with the DMV….. UGH. That alone is a huge buzzkill. Then insurance taxes and overall, it sounds like a huge money pit. However, like I said, it’s ultra rare. It runs. It would be the perfect tinker car. I went so far as to message the dealer and yeah, no. It’s just a bad decision right now. Thank goodness they’re not offering to deliver it here or do online transactions, because I’d be out a few grand right now. Not that I’m not out a few thousand already with the wheels and tires, mind you. MAN. I tells you, doh: If I had my own property, I’d snatch that puppy up in a heartbeat. Sucks. I’m going to regret not buying that car.

The only other consideration right now is vacation. I tried really hard to book something for the week the office is off, but I can’t. I can’t go to a different beach than Topsail. Despite not having my greyhounds. I just can’t give up that beach yet. We tried looking in North Myrtle since we know it’s cheaper, but as it turns out, it’s really not that much cheaper after all. On top of it, Elliot Realty doesn’t have a very nice travel insurance plan. After reading through the disclaimers and rules, it sounds like a huge hassle if something happens like a hurricane or COVID-19 strikes again or someone gets sick. We’ve just been spoiled with Topsail. Elliot just seems like a step backwards. They don’t even offer electronic entry. I’m just going to have to tell work that I’m sorry about it. Hopefully by that time we’ll have more hygienists anyways.

I made it through my first week back at work! I only hyperventilated the first day. It got easier and easier after that, even if everything takes so long now and my hand is going to die. The idea behind all these big expenditures is that I’m going to start working more hours after Gable and it should help recoup my costs and go a long way in helping me save up money for my future as well as helping out with work. My body is already yelling at me about working again and I can feel my hand being slowly destroyed once more.

Sacrifices!

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day I go back to work. It seems surreal, really. I’ve been not working for so long that I’m perfectly happy not working anymore. My bank account can’t say the same, but I’ve certainly explored never working my job again. I mean, think about it: since I have no real obligations after Gable and I have no debt, I can just work some random job and bum off my mom. It seems that dental school is out of the question right now, considering the whole pandemic thing and even worse, the whole racial looting/protesting that seemed to spiral out of the ground overnight alongside the other looting of Walmart and Target stores. I am really, very glad that I am in this area and not back in Richmond. The reason I got thinking about the possibility of just bumming around is that work is never going to be the same. Neither one of the normal hygienists are coming back until further notice, the only other somewhat normal one did everything in her power to quit working here (just digging for that reason to take a different job over this one) and now I’m stuck working alongside my nemesis. Alone. I’m not really even doing this for the money (though that’s nice) or even the patients so much as I’m continuing to work for my bosses. They need me, they need the money as they’ve taken a major blow, having to take out loans to keep the business floating. Lol…going in the completely opposite direction, after Gable, I’ll be free to work 40 hours a week…though doing so without a Cavitron is asking for an early retirement. What I can do is maybe see if I can work S’s hours. I also have my grandparents to think about, as my grandpa is also nearing the end of his life, not just Gable. I might have to start ferrying my mom there when I go to work and then picking her up when I come home.

Moneywise, working 40 hours is a massive increase in income. My savings will skyrocket, to make up for the money I couldn’t save being laid off the last 1.5 months (and the SPENDING I did. Yowza!). Wow. 1.5 months. It feels like 6 months to me. I mean, that was the whole point of selling my house: to sit and save money for my questionable future until the moment arrives that will dictate which path I will take. The faster I save, the faster things will come to fruition. I still have the big 2 expenditures I planned on that haven’t happened yet. I’m still eager to do them, though the one won’t be until the end of the year. I definitely plan on doing the other within the next 2 months.

This time tomorrow, I’ll be preparing for work, as I need to leave early. Then again, a quick peek at Google Maps tells me that I don’t need to worry as much as I think. Without the federal government or schools in my way, the commute at least won’t be a disaster. There’s one silver lining.

So close

Just as I feared, Gable has timed his End Day to coincide with me going back to work. There have been some days where I was sure this was it, then others where I was convinced it’d be another month. Starting yesterday, however, it looks like it will happen sooner rather than later. A conservative estimate would be within 2 weeks, an aggressive date would be Monday or Tuesday, but I’m thinking by next Friday-ish. The week is going to be hell, however, as he can now no longer hold it longer than maximum 5 hours. We left yesterday in a last scramble to arm my grandparents with their new phone, vacuum their house and cut their hair before I can no longer visit them having been exposed to work pathogens. With all that needed to be done, we were gone around 10:30-2pm. By the time we got back, he had run downstairs and had an accident. As I followed the pee trail, it was apparent that he was trying his hardest to make it to the door to the backyard, but didn’t make it. At the same time, he didn’t empty his bladder, because Gable is a super pee-er and that wasn’t near enough pee. His legs are very weak now, and I hate that we have so many stairs because it’s tough for him to navigate 2 to 3 flights. On top of it all, he doesn’t want my help. I’ve been having to carry him despite his wishes, which brings a stress of its own. After walks and stair travels he’s gasping–GASPING–for breath for at least 10 minutes. I’m terrified that he’ll have a heart attack while navigating stairs. What a terrible way to die. I keep begging him to die in his sleep for me, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen given that nighttime is rife with his running about, panting heavily and gassing me to death. Last night was so toxically horrible it was making me quite angry.

I don’t really want to think about how it’s going to affect my return to work next week. Not only am I going to be exhausted from lack of sleep, but I’ll be depressed out of my mind with worry or grief. It’s going to happen regardless of how I feel. I just know it.

I dunno, perhaps there’s a reason for suffering at the end of life: taking care of the dying and elderly is so taxing that selfishly, when they die, you’re sad but relieved. When Liana was taken from me, part of me was relieved, but she left so quickly that it was more a shock than anything else. She had been declining, but Gable’s is a much more natural progression that’s left me much more prepared. I’ve been dealing with my grief in small doses. Either that or her death has prepped me more than I realize.

I’d been wrestling with what to tell my bosses, but they told me yesterday that I’ve been fully booked for this next week. There’s not much I can do now. Oh Gable. I knew. I JUST KNEW that you’d choose the most inopportune time to leave. You’ve always had a knack for doing that.

So, I’m thinking that maybe I’m going to start having to sleep on the couch at night and blocking the access upstairs. That way the trip to the backyard will be shorter, he’ll have steady access to the water bowl, and if he decides to gas me out then the room will be much bigger.

Yesterday was crazy tiring, but made me happy. Not only was I able to make my grandma happy with her new phone (we tried for 2 years to give them something touchscreen, but they cant do it, so I finally found that my carrier offers 1 flip phone that they’re used to), but my mom was able to cut their hair which turned out to be extremely long. Furthermore, I vacuumed their house with my super vacuum. They were in dire need of a good cleaning. I’ll never get over how it makes worn down carpet feel so fluffy. Then when I was already sweating, they sent me outside to do battle with some bamboo and that sent me back to my childhood except that these bamboo were MASSIVE comparatively. I whacked and cut and feared ticks, but it was so satisfying. My grandparents keep their house so horribly hot that I was fully of sweat and ended up with mild heat exhaustion. That’s what contributed to my crankiness overnight.

My grandpa is extremely frail now, exactly like Gable. It’s only going to be a matter of time for him too.

In One Week

In one week, I will be returning to work. It’s bittersweet, though mostly bitter. I was on the phone with my boss for almost an hour on Saturday (I forgot how loud she is) and the office is going to be quite different right now. The bottom line is that they have zero money and that nothing will be able to be back to normal. My coworkers are not even going to be the same. I my worries regarding Gable to her and she seems to not only understand but to be quite understanding. Without him to worry about, there’s nothing left to hold me back, and really, they’d probably want me working the LONG shifts. Then again, without him, why would I not? Be paid for 40 hours a week, nothing really else but my depression to wallow in? It might be a good distraction for me. When Liana died, I was depressed for so long that it took Gable getting horribly sick to snap me out of it. Even my brother mentioned that fact the other day.

In truth, I just don’t want to work in general. HAHA. But this girl needs money to continue to buy things she wants. Like video games.

Gable is actually doing very well. The only thing that he’s having issues with are the stairs, currently. I never thought he’d make it this long, but there he is, still kicking. More of a brat now than ever, but I’ve spent 2 days in the basement and outside, leaving him upstairs by himself. Perhaps it is a good exercise for him for when I go back to work. I’m still really worried about it all, but like I said, he’s doing really well. The vet thought he’d croak like 3 weeks ago, given the numbers, I guess. He IS a walking skeleton, but as I saw in the last few days with my neighbors, his beautiful brindling makes that fact hard to see, especially when the sun is shining on him. How much of it is my pampering and being home with him? I don’t know. Feeding him has been much harder in the sense that he refuses to come into the kitchen on his own until he thinks that I’m not going to feed him, but on the flip side, it’s been easier since I devised a new feeding strategy to get him to eat (food choices and feeding with a spoon). He eats lying down now that his legs are so weak, but he EATS! He’s hungry! I’m ever aware of the propensity towards vomiting with his renal disease, plus the fact that he refuses to get up and drink on his own. The vet had mentioned those already. However, as I was downstairs all of yesterday, he had gotten up and gotten his own drink (I’ve been bringing his bowl to his bed for him) as evidenced by the lake that had appeared around the water bowl. So is he just lazy and spoiled?

Given the way he’s faring, he’ll last at least another month, though that’s provided this isn’t the last hurrah right now. Plus, once I go back to work, he might decline again. At least my mom and brother are always here in some pattern.

I was just thinking that if I lived on my own and I had a senior dog like this, how I’d handle it. It’s hard.

In other news, my brother and I have been hard at work once we finally got the new outdoor shed. It was a sudden onslaught of desire from me to do it right then and there as we were going to wait until the next day, but I’m glad we decided to do it. Laying down pavers is hard work, but I did it and my brother put it together. Initially, we were disappointed because since I destroyed my Yard Stash tent thing, the bikes were a big issue, so we literally only were able to remove the lawnmower from the basement. The idea with the outdoor shed was to make it possible to set up a workshop in the basement and make it look presentable. That night, I ordered a cover for the bikes and yesterday, it came. As soon as it came, Phase 2 of the plan came to fruition. It took me most of the rest of the day to do it, but we dismantled the punching bag, I reorganized things, we cleaned things up (shop vacs are extremely useful), found spider eggs on my olympic weights, and VOILA it looked SO MUCH BETTER. Took a break for dinner and then afterwards we spent more time planning out Phase 3. Memorial day is a great time to buy things, but given the shed already cost me a pretty penny and that the last 2 or 3 days had already pushed my old body to its limit (I also cut the itty bitty lawn yesterday and was so tired, I could barely do it), I decided that any savings we could have will be there around July 4 too. Plus, I decided that going to the store to physically look again is always a good idea when buying big items and planning big happenings. Phase 3 requires even more moving around, and my body needs rest right now especially before going to work. Not only that, but it gives me something else to look forward to.

Vietnam Vets are going to have another round of nice donation items soon.

Man, my brother and I are super stoked about finally getting a real workshop after all these years. It’s been since the Seabright that we wanted a nice one. Even in my own house, there was always something else taking my financial attention away from creating a dream garage workspace. This townhouse is certainly constrained by space, but hey, adaptability it important here.

In fact, my whole plan was to work after selling the house and use all that extra money I save to bettering this house. Well, since some of the big stuff will have to wait given the laid off situation, I’m still eager to get back on track with not only the home improvement stuff, but my laptop and my car. The list for the house keeps going:

  1. Thermostat upgrade
  2. Porch lighting replacement
  3. New gas range (making it the very last appliance to be replaced in the house)
  4. Drywall fix
  5. Painting and repairing the front of the house
  6. New windows (and doors?)
  7. 2 new toilets
  8. Tiling in my bathroom
  9. Something about the carpet upstairs.
  10. Squirrel damage
  11. Kitchen lighting

I’m sure there are more, but I can’t remember right now. Before the end of the year, my tires need replacing. Even my mom noticed it slipping on a turn. OEM tires are just not good especially with how doggone expensive they are.

Games that I am currently addicted to: My Time in Portia (Nintendo Switch), Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)

 

Ignorance

I’ve been ignoring my phone for the past 2 days, just morning and nighttime check-ins, and wow I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my soul. Specifically, I’ve been letting social media alone. There’s an anxiety that exists there. The dumb part is that I come to these “epiphanies” at least once a year, but I never seem to learn.

Just as life is going relatively smoothly (all things considered) and I spend these last 2 weeks enjoying the little time Gable has left in this world before risking my life to go back to work, calamity strikes in the form of plumbing. AGAIN. Of course, I figure all of this out at night when no one is around to fix it and the issue will eat at me during dream time. So I fired off my email and now I have to wait until morning to hear back from them. Ugh. I mean, I guess I’m not working now which is nice for availability, but it’s bothersome because of Gable who is super old/dying and I constantly have that knowledge that he will go at any time. Meaning, the least convenient time possible as has been his MO his whole life.

We haven’t had my nephew over for a few weeks now. Gable has been completely lacking in care for anything for a few weeks now. He can barely stand up and eats and drinks at his bed (bedside service sure is nice). Today, my nephew came while his mom went somewhere and Gable apparently followed him around like a shadow. Note, this is the dog who literally now only gets up for pee time and walkies.

At least I’m sleepy tonight.

On a lighter note, I highly recommend the game: My Time in Portia to those who enjoy games like Stardew Valley. I’ve been completely hooked.

A snap and a pop

I almost didn’t exercise today (again) but Gable’s everlasting concern encouraged me to do so. He made the effort to get up and stand in front of me so I knew I just had to do it. He tends to remind me like that when I get off my exercise routine and am starting to feel fat.

Well, I’m glad he did. Even though I did relatively little cardio compared to what I’ve been doing more recently, I did a little of everything while spending the most time today on legs. One problem I’d noticed lately is that my back flexibility is strangley diminishing, so since I was down there working out, I figure I’d address it. The best way to stretch my back is to do the bridge. The superman and a few others weren’t cutting it. My gut was telling me to take it easy and to utilize the myriad of pillows available for use. So I did. Thank GOD. I piled up 3 fluffy pillows and then lay on them just to stretch my back out. Still not enough to dispel that strange discomfort in my back. So I pushed up into the bridge.

*SNAPCRACKLEPOP*

My eyes flew wide open and a gasp died in my throat. My muscles and ligaments were stretched in ways they hadn’t been stretched in a LONG period of time. I paused, waiting for some pain to radiate from my spine. It never came. Just that tightness from flexing seldom used muscles. Okay…so far so good. No spinal paralysis. The next problem was that I was a tad stuck and terrified to lower myself down. I willed myself to and carefully descended onto my pillow stack. Still no pain, just a liberating feeling. I snagged my grippy gloves and tried again. No popping this time but I did notice that the left side of my back is less in shape than my right.

I did a few more stretches right before ending the exactly 30 min session. That’s when the usual self loathing kicked in. After the cooldown period, I realized that I now have so much more flexibility in my back than before. That uncomfortable, irritating feeling is gone. I can reach to scrub my back again.

That’s scary and extremely depressing. I guess my spine was totally out of whack from too much lying around. There is much gratefulness in me that I didn’t seriously injure myself and that my body is still relatively healthy.

Thank you my old, deteriorating man, for worrying about my health when yours is failing by the day. Maybe he can smell the unhealthiness in me. May he always be my health angel.

Birds

New thing happening now is that there’s a robin attacking the windows. It started yesterday when I was awoken from a nap by knocking on the glass. An investigation turned up the young American robin peering in through the windows. At first, I thought it was hungry, but when I chased it away an then it went downstairs to peck at those windows, then I realized it was being, well, a bird. Today, it has started attacking the windows. I just went down to soap it up in an attempt to prevent it from doing that, but it’s resumed its attacking anyways. Looks like I’ll be taping cutout shapes of things there instead. *Bonk bonk bonk* This is the first time in years that this has happened. The young feather tail is just very aggressive.

Our mask making attempts have been met with a halt as available material is difficult to come by. I’m sure all the shipping companies have been feeling the squeeze and pressure. Nothing is coming fast anymore and there’s not much out there to even buy. With the shortage of meat coming, I was on the search for a chest freezer, but they are literally. All. Gone. With a 2 month backlog. I’ve started hoarding meat, too, because I know it’s coming. My mom keeps preventing me from buying things and twice now it’s caused me to miss out on high demand products. The freezer (I would’ve bought it right away. In the time it took me to put it in my cart and then check out the specifications, it went out of stock), and then there was something else. Next time, I’m just going to get it.

In other news, Gable has become extremely difficult to feed. He literally will not get out of bed unless forced and then it’s like he has forgotten how to eat. He just pushes stuff around in the bowl, bites the feeder and licks things. I can actually force feed him, but I’m wondering if he just doesn’t want to eat anymore and I’m just prolonging the inevitable. He eats treats fine and he loves his daily dose of raw chicken wings. Hasn’t forgotten how to eat that. This is all too familiar. Liana was just like this except without the ability to force feed her. He filled his diaper 100% last night. In fact, I heard it happen. I don’t know how long he will be around.

Liana’s death anniversary is today. A year ago, I was preparing to go to the vet so that I could put her down. Her body was ready, but she wasn’t. I knew how angry with me she was. That dog’s soul and heart was so strong. It’s hard to think about.

That’s why it’s even harder to think about losing Gable too. I know it’s going to happen, but that means I’ll have to live without either one. It’s selfish. But it hurts.

Gonna light some candles for Liana today.

I hope my packages make it, what with the places I ordered stuff from staging a walkout on Friday and all.