that fabled last gasp.

end of october.

san francisco bay area.

ninety. fuckin. six. degrees.

i shit you not.

it's the fabled last gasp of summer, but god fuckin dammit, what a last gasp it's been. this past week has been insane. before that it was steadily cooling down. 75. 70. 65 degrees, getting ready for fall. after today, it's going straight into the fifties. but for the past seven days, without fail, it's been 90 and above.

the streets are sizzling.

the inside of my car feels like an oven. and when i open the windows, it doesn't help too much - because it's just as hot outside. at night the frogs are singing again. the crickets are putting out mating calls. they think it's summer. i think it's summer. i'm dying of heat. i get home and i throw open the windows and i loiter on the balcony. i wait for the nightfall but sometimes even that doesn't help, because it stays hot until about midnight when finally the air temperature outside starts to have some bearing on the inside.

you take a hot shower, you steam up the bathroom, and then you walk out and miraculously, it's hotter outside.

winter's coming after this week. rain and grey skies all winter long. but for now?

it feels more like summer than summer itself, man.


been a long time since i've written here. suddenly there's so much i want to write, but one thing at a time, right?

lots of things happened in the interim. i worked my ass off, mostly, which is why i haven't had time to write. also some other stuff that'll i'll address. slowly. heh. in the next few entries. maybe.

watch, i'll probably go away for another 6 months.

anyway. just wanted to post this tonight. my dog got bitten by a rattlesnake at the beginning of august. he's all right now, thank god, but for a while it was bad. it was very fucking bad.

it's hard for me to put down what he is to me. we got him 12 years ago, just before i went to college. i had a year with him, and that was it, but it was enough, somehow, to make him a part of me. i love him. that's all i can say. i love him more than just about anything else on this earth, and if he'd died - like that - my grief would have torn me apart.

when he was so sick after getting bitten, when he couldn't even hold his head up and his eyes were sunken and he was dazed, barely even recognizing his family, i was a few thousand miles away and i couldn't do a fucking thing. i knew if this was it, i wouldn't even be able to say goodbye. and there was a night when it seemed like it was the end. he just kept downspiraling. they took lab readings every few hours, and he just kept going down and down, and even after they administered plasma and all - which was supposed to be something of a miracle cure - he still didn't improve.

he improved the next morning, as it turned out. but not then. and when i found out his numbers were still so bad, i couldn't deal with it. i have a double-room thing in my bathroom - the toilet and tub in one small room, the sinks in another. the small room is the most isolated, private, holed-away place in my apartment. that's where i went after i hung up w/ my parents. i put the toilet lid down and sat down and i was just going to think for a moment, just prepare myself somehow, and next thing i knew i was sobbing.

i couldn't help it. it wasn't something i had control over. i couldn't stop it, not by pinching the bridge of my nose, not by pressing my hands to my face. i couldn't even breathe evenly. it kept hitching in my lungs, and the tears just wouldn't stop. i hadn't cried like that since i was a child. in fact, i don't think i've ever cried like that, because i've never known that sort of pain and grief. all i could do was keep it silent and in the dark, and not come out until i was all right.

it took a fucking half-hour.

the lights were off because i didn't want my grief to be visible, or something. there's a window in that room, and through it i could see the moon that night. i think it was a half moon, waning; i remember looking at it and wondering how it could still float like that, normal.

i was hurting and i was furious. i was alternating between doubling over - like maybe that'd help the pain somehow - and cursing. cursing god, i guess. i kept saying "goddammit, saifur--" and i don't know why. i think i wanted him to fight it harder, or maybe i wanted him to be all right somehow, and i thought if i just asked him hard enough he would be.

this is something i wrote at the lowest point of it all, right after i got out of the bathroom. i didn't mean to keep it at the time, but it was an email to someone else. she wrote back, i wrote back, etc etc - and it was always down there, even after my dog had gotten better. so i thought i should save it. just so i remember what it was like.

i don't know why it's important for me to remember. maybe because my dog's old now, and i know he's old now. i know this won't last forever. but maybe it'll make it easier for me when it ends, if i can remember how bad it could have been, and the extra time i had afterwards.


my dog's not doing so good. he's so old, you know, and the fucking snake, it bit him like 2-3 times. piece of fucking SHIT. i swear, i've never wanted to kill anything before - i mean honestly, seriously, open-eyedly want something DEAD - but if i had half a chance i'd kill that snake if i could, and as slowly as i could.

i know it's horrible and utterly inhumane, but i can't help it. my DOG, goddammit, i got him when i was in high school. 12 fucking years, and every time i went to my parents' i felt like i'd gone home because that dog was there to welcome me. he never forgets a friend, and he never forgot me even though i was really only with him for one, fucking, precious year before college. i love that dog. 12 years of my life, he's been there for me, even if he lived somewhere else, and now i can't do SHIT when he's going through utter hell that no one should have to go through.

the venom is designed to do one thing, man. cause. destruction. it's not even to KILL. that's a fucking neurotoxin, where you go numb, lethargic and drop dead in 2 minutes, painlessly. this is just destruction. it's a venom designed to chew up the internal structure of the victim. it's designed to incapacitate by PAIN, and then DIGEST while the victim's still alive.

and the fucking piece of SHIT snake hit my dog 3 times with it.

i forgave the shit one bite. i know my dog must've bothered it. he's a curious dog, and tends to totally ignore all danger and all attempts to call him off when he's hellbent on investigating something. he's a rough dog too, who likes to chew up little animals. i know that. i know the snake's entitled to self defense. but three fucking strikes, man. three fucking strikes. that's fucking malice, and i don't care if it's irrational to think that about a fucking idiot reptile who can't even MOVE if it drops below 40 degrees.


anyway, so he went in with decent vitals. his hematocrit was 45%, and that's stayed pretty steady, but that's not a real big deal. his protein levels has been going up and down, and has been steadily a bit low. went in 5.2 (normal is 6-8), went down to 4.0 at his lowest last night around 9pm, which had us scared bad.

but it's the fucking clotting time that's shit right now. that's what the venom does, partially - it chews up muscle, and it also fucks the blood up. it kills RBCs to some extent, and it kills off clotting factors so the blood just flows. he went in with 90 sec clotting time, which is a bit high, but still okay. it shot up to fucking 130 at 9pm. went back to 80 at 12 midnight, which we thought meant he was outta the woods. but then at 6am he was back up to 110, and then he spiked to like 180-190, which is fucking AWFUL.

so they put him on plasma transfusions at about 2pm, which is supposed to help a lot. at 8pm though, he was still at his proteins went from 5.0 at 6am to 4.4.

i'm so fucking scared. i know he's old. i know everyone has his time to die. but not like THIS, goddammit. not like this. i want him to die at home, peaceful, in his sleep, old and comfortable and warm. i want to be there even though i know it'll tear me to pieces. but then this fucking rattler bites him three fucking times and he's SUFFERING in the hospital and he hates the fucking hospital, but he's too damn weak to even put up a fight now. he's just lying there with strangers in a cage, alone, and i'm just so scared to death that he might just give up.

goddammit. i was so hoping that the 8pm readngs would be good. when i heard they hadn't improved nearly as much as the doctors had hoped i fell to pieces. i didn't even know wtf hit me. i sat on the fucking toilet lid and bawled for half an hour. i couldn't stop. he's my DOG. i love him, and now he's in a fucking hospital fighting for his life and i can't even talk coherently because i'm so fucking scared for him.

and i wish i could have more faith in the vets. it's hypocritical of me. this is the shit i complain about in my own patients. but i can't help but wonder how much they really give a fuck about my dog, and how much of this is them looking at dollar signs. it's been $5000 so far. it'll be indefinitely more. i just wish i could have some TRUST in them, that they're doing all they can. that they're not doing more than they should and making it worse. that they're not letting him linger even if there's no hope just for the money. that, if it really comes down to it, they'll be able to ignore the $200/bag price tag on the plasma transfusion, the $1000-$2000/day on drugs and hospitalization and transfusions and all that shit, and tell us, honestly, that my dog has suffered more than his share, and it's time to let him go rather than stake it out to the bitter fucking end.

i'm thinking so negatively. i can't help it. i don't know wtf to do. i'm scared that they're not doing enough. i'm scared that my dog is just going to give up even though i KNOW he won't. i'm scared that they're doing too much. i'm scared that he's scared and isn't going to rest properly. i'm scared to death and back that he's going to lose this battle and it's going to be horrible for him.

i want him to go home. i want to believe that he will, and keep a positive attitude, but right now it's so fucking hard.

failing that, i want him to not suffer anymore. but i know that'll just shred me to pieces. i can't even think of him not being there anymore, leaving like THIS, without crying. it's not fucking fair. he's never been anything but good and brave and loyal and too damn smart for his own good. it's not fucking fair that he should have to go through this, you know? and if he doesn't pull through, it's just... christ.

i know if it happens people would comfort me by saying he's lived a good long life with my parents and me, and that we've loved him more than anyone, but STILL. goddammit. NOT LIKE THIS. nothing is worth this.

i would honestly, happily, give years off my life to save my fucking dog. even if it's just to get him out of the hospital, stabilized again, if only for a month so he can pass away peacefully the way he should. i don't care. i want him to live, but if it's his time to go, i just want him to go with some dignity, and where he feels safe.

just not like this.


i gotta stop thinking so fucking negatively. part of me wants to delete everything i've written because i'm so fucking scared right now i'll grab for any straws, and i'm afraid i'll jinx it or something. at the same time if i don't say it, somewhere, i'm going to explode, and i can't even say it IRL because i could never be able to get all this out without falling to pieces.

i just need someone to tell me it'll all be okay. more than that, i need it to all be okay, but that's too much to ask of anyone. i wish the fucking doctors would tell us SOMETHING definite. they just say "okay let's put on some more plasma" and there's never a distinct call on anything. and i understand that on one hand. you don't want to get their hopes up just to crush them. you don't want to get them so down that they'll give up. so you hover in the fucking middle.



christ, i can't handle it. i cannot deal with this. i've been preparing myself ever since he turned 12 for the day that my parents are going to call to say he passed away peacefully in his sleep on his favorite bed after taking a walk and eating his favorite steak dinner.

but not this. goddammit. it's just not fucking fair.

....i gotta get some sleep. heh. i'm just talking myself into another fall-apart.