On Sunday I'd hurried out the door, running late for my art workshop. I'd been up almost all night--my RLS so agonizing that all through the night I'd taken more and more and more meds, also immersed myself in the bath two or three times, witnessed the night dissolve into the pink of day while soaking in the tub..
Evidently I'd taken so much nerve medication that the nerves in my legs were completely shut down. There I was -- in the bath tub--three of the five band members in the bedrooms just outside the bathroom door--and my legs are paralyzed, immoveable objects, dead weight. A whole new experience. Funny now. Horrible then. No way was I going to call out for help--naked and cripple and stuck like a beached manatee!
Later my spin on it was that I was like a mermaid washed ashore. My bottom half useless. The maneuver I had to make to get myself out of the bath was -- well imagine Jim Carrey in such a situation. Finally I had gotten a small chair and a small table pulled to the bath and used them as leverage to pitch my torso over the side of the tub, where I hung. Then with my hands I walked myself further and further out into the room until my legs flopped like dead fish onto the floor. I then crawled into my bedroom, hoping just begging the universe not to make things any worse, which would be if one of the band members suddenly emerged from his room to pee and found me crawling like that Beckett character--I can't remember his name, who pulled himself through miles of terrain.
So...... I'd not noticed that Amos was having his own transcendental magical mystery tour of his terrier brain.
Somehow I made it to the workshop the next day--four hours late. When I returned home at five, I was dead tired, beyond reason, so sleep deprived I have little memory of the whole day. For some reason I went into my studio instead of going in the house. I laid down on the daybed in the studio at five thirty, and fell into a coma-like sleep,
Two hours later I woke with a start--not sure where I was, what day it was, WHO I WAS. it is always unsettling to me to fall asleep when it's daylight and awake into the dark.
I thought about turning over and going back to sleep.
If I had, then more than likely Amos would have died.
I hauled my groggy, limping self into the house.
No dogs greeted me.
I walked into the living room where I found Amos curled on a foot stool. I took his head in my hands, lifted his chin, looked into his eyes.
He wasn't behind his eyes. They were vacant. I stood him up and he puked.
I called the poison center, certain that I'd spilled some pills on the floor, and he'd eaten them. Later the vet said that dogs don't really like pills, but at the time I was sure he'd eaten one, -- I gave the woman the names of the drugs I take for MS--she asked me to hold on while she consulted a doctor. She came back to the phone and said that even one tenth of one of the pills would give him neurological damage. She said to get him to the ER.
By this time, I'd also called Karen and she and her daughter had come over as well as Katherine. The closest emergency clinic was an hour away in Pittsfield.
Karen loaded the directions onto my iPhone. It was half past eleven. There was a storm coming in.
When I got to the outskirts of Pittsfield I stopped to get gas. I took Amos out to walk the perimeter of the gas station.
To my horror he could not figure out how to go from the paved section to the small rise of the curb where there was grass. The station floodlights made him have a shadow self side by side his "real" self and he began to try to leap away from his shadow as if it were another dog, an unfriendly dog! OMG My dog was growling at his shadow. And it was ALL my fault!
Back in the car we were directed (by the phone) to dark winding backroads.
Finally I pulled into the parking lot of the clinic where there was one car, a small red compact, belonging, I learned, to Morgan, who declared Amos to be adorable, but very, very stoned.
That's when it hit me. She'd meant he was just out of it--but now the memory of Saturday night, a friend rolling a joint, asking if it was ok to smoke in the house, me saying yes, then I'd asked if it was strong, and he'd said yes, it was--could he have said--killer weed? Or is this apocryphal? But still, I KNEW. I remembered the puke, the parsley looking fragments. I told her--it's marijuana!
He was taken in the back to be given IV fluids to flush out his system.
His heart rate was alarmingly low.
I'd just arrived back home when the vet called. She said he was certainly not "his terrier self."
The next morning she called to say he still hadn't come around, that his heart rate was still abnormal, and that he was still sound asleep. She said it was best to keep him another night.
BUT at six that evening I called--we missed his terrier self! She said, You must have read my mind. I was about to call you. She said she thought he would benefit from another night of fluids, but thought he'd benefit the most from being back home.
I was on my way before the conversation was over. Lola and I were on our way.
After I retrieved him, I took them both to Petco. Disneyland for Dogs. Lola systematically smelled each item as she waddled down one aisle after another. But Amos, he was running around so fast on the waxed floor that he was like a cartoon character, going nowhere really fast.
A woman bent down to pet them both and looked up at me and said, I don't think I've ever seen happier dogs.
In the parking lot, I snapped a photo of Amos as he sat on my lap, looking out the window, reflective. Thee was a seriousness in his expression I'd never seen before. Amos was enlightened!
Then this afternoon I showed the photo to my friend Karen Shepard, asking "Doesn't he look as if he's much wiser now?"
Not really, she said.
He just looks much less ambitious.