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» Monday, January 20, 2014The Intruder from 2013
Face it, 2013 wasn't one of our sterling years. Oh, it had its positive points: we discovered the joys of Anachrocon, Timegate was nice, so was DragonCon, did see some nice things on vacation, and, best of all, summer was relatively cool. Except for the weekend of DragonCon. Of course.
But then there was the reorganization at work, having to pack up and move from one building to the other (twice!), getting the flu (on Valentines Day, nonetheless), a deluge during Atomicon, Schuyler's death, being sick on vacation and Thanksgiving, missing the only Thanskgivukkah for the next 7,000 years, and Willow being so sick, and, the most frightening thing, almost losing Juanita.
Started out well enough: Friday was my compressed day off, and I used the afternoon to do errands: Stopped at Home Depot to get a new bottom pivot for the bifold door (left bifold door in spare room came off, we bought top pivot to fix it, turned out bottom pivot was broken as well), then drove into Buckhead to check on some clearance items, came back by Bed, Bath & Beyond to use two coupons, and stopped at Barnes & Noble to use another. At home I took as many of the Christmas items downstairs as possible, but there was still one box too large, one too heavy, and the tree. Then we had a yummy turkey dinner at the West Cobb Diner.
Saturday morning we slept in, then James replaced the bottom pivot and got the bifold door back in place before heading off to his club meeting. I worked on a project for my Lassie web site most of the afternoon. When James got home, we brought the last two Christmas boxes downstairs and put them all up in the closet, and then James tackled the very last chore, bringing the tree downstairs. Even after eight years of managing it, it's not his favorite task. It's six feet tall and awkward, and from the top of the stairs down to the landing, I held on to the top in hopes of helping him balance.
When he got to the landing he had to pivot 90 degrees and was trying to shift the tree so it didn't brush the wall. I saw the tree turn, then start to split in half...no problem...
...and James went with it.
In the old days in the movies a crisis situation always went in slow motion; today they do it as a series of freeze frames, each several frames ahead of the next. That's what I saw as he fell over backward, a series of freeze frames: him losing his balance, and tipping, and tipping, and finally the landing, and his head hitting the wall of the foyer, knocking the bench down two stairs and the tree skittering down the stairway to the ground floor. And then I screamed.
He let out a couple of unintelligible moans, then as I slid to my knees next to him he tried to get up saying he was okay and me telling him to lie flat until we found out if he had a back injury. I had him move his feet and his toes and his arms and his fingers, and when he had his breath back cognitive questions. And then because of his bad leg it took him a while to get up, and his back was in pretty bad shape, but he finally made his way upstairs to a massive dose of Aleve. Once a half hour I would ask him cognitive questions, and in the meantime I went downstairs to clean up the mess.
Whereupon I pulled all the lights off the tree, which made it fall apart, and I stomped on at least one part and tossed it all in the garage to go into the trash. Stupid tree. Always hated it anyway.
Needless to say, we ordered dinner in.
I spent the night crying. I didn't seem to be able to stop. James sat and hurt a lot, even after a hot shower, and we went to bed early, and I cried and he hurt, and eventually we fell asleep until the dog barked.
Sunday James stoked up on ibuprofin and naproxin. My eyes still hurt and I didn't particularly feel like going out, but groceries need to be bought no matter what, so I went to Publix for twofers and Kroger for the usual. I would have made it in record time if I hadn't had to wait for the nice Kroger employee to get me more yogurt from the back. Later I went to Belk on Dallas Highway because they had bedsheets on sale—$40 any size, 400 threadcount. Lucked out because the Kroger next door had gas for six cents a gallon less than the ones nearest our house. We had quick and easy Hormel beef tips over spaetzle for supper, and I made Willow some chicken breast, veggies, and brown rice. She wolfed it down and then promptly regurgitated it. Apparently she takes the metaphor "wolf down" seriously.
This morning Willow started to bark and James was able to move a bit better and take her out, but she kept barking. We weren't certain why, so got up. Since she didn't eat much yesterday, James warmed her up some food. She drank water, didn't want the food. In fact, she started the ceaseless pacing that marked the days before she had to go to the vet in December. I gave her a pain pill, but it didn't seem to help very much. So she paced, so I tried to feed her, so I took her out a couple of times. About noon I went to Costco to pick up more omeprazole (it's a good sale) and ended up finding a light jacket, which I've needed for several years now. All I had were two fleece ones.
Wil seemed to shake off her torpor at suppertime and was actively mooching food, but she couldn't have our portions (Italian sausage and scampi-flavored noodles) and didn't seem to be interested in either her chicken mix or the beef broth I put out. She did eat five small dog biscuits and some watermelon. Not sure what happened. All she's eaten is the grain-free dry food or the chicken mixture for weeks now. No leftovers of our food, no goodies besides plain dog biscuits, except for the one fortune cookie she had last night. She's been sleeping most of the evening while we watched a whiz-bang cliffhanger on Sleepy Hollow and Alexis finally coming to her senses on Castle.
Please send 2013 away! I'm ready for a new year.