Saturday, December 5, 2009

Riding in cars, walking in snow

"I wanted to go for a ride, but I'm worried now because
Katie went in that door and hasn't come out."

We got up early today to get Katie to the SATs by 7:45 a.m., not early for some but the crack of dawn for others. I promised I would make breakfast and be ready on time. Not always known for my punctuality, and recently known for sleeping through my alarm, I was under extra pressure. It didn't help that I stayed up late again. The destination was Amherst Regional High School, around 15 or 20 minutes away.

I did, in fact, sleep through my alarm, which is set to NPR. I never even heard the people talking, and they were talking LOUD. I have tried obnoxious AM radio, and that is no better. I think the answer is to get more sleep, but anyway....

Katie woke me up and asked if I could still make breakfast. Yes indeedy. I got myself downstairs, stiff legs and all, made and served the scrambled eggs, toast and fruit, jumped in the car with Katie, got there around 7:42...and waited in the parking lot until the doors opened around 8.

Katie asked me to return around noon. They said the test would end between 12:30 and 1 p.m., but you never knew if it might be early. So I went back home, crawled into bed and slept until 10:30.

When I went to the door to leave, Maddie and I had a staring war. I told her she was staying home, but we'd go for a walk later. She stared back. I hesitated and studied her face. So-called conversation:

Dog: Just take me now and I'll ride in the car.
Me: No, it will be easier if I get you later.
Dog: I want to go now. It's better than sitting around the house.
Me: OK, OK, let's go.

I grabbed the leash and she happily hopped in the back seat.

Nearing town a little after noon, I thought I might get bagels at our favorite local spot, Bruegger's Bagels. Internal conversation:

Me: I think I'll just get the bagels first because she'll never be ready at noon.
Me: Yes but she asked you to be there around noon and she thinks you're always late. You should try your hardest to be on time.
Me: OK, I'll get the bagels later.

We got to the parking lot, pulled up in front, and waited about 45 minutes. Maddie looked anxiously out each window, whined a little and then curled up and went asleep. I read our latest book club book, "Olive Kitteridge," by Elizabeth Strout.

When Katie finally came out, she said the test had started an hour late, hence the late exit time. She wondered why Maddie was in the car, and I told her about the staring contest. Now Katie stared at me as though I am some crazy dog lady. "Maybe she was looking at you because she just didn't want to be left," Katie said. "No, I'm sure she was telling me she wanted to go for a ride," I said.

We circled around for the bagels and for a sandwich for Katie and finally headed home. It had gotten pretty cold and dark, even though it was only about 3. I felt like I owed the dog a walk, and that I needed to take one too. I haven't felt that well for most of the week. I have a stomach ache that comes and goes, and I am dragging. These are combining to keep me in a funk. I feel that if I keep taking walks, as opposed to lying on the couch, I will feel a little better.

So I headed off. Maddie dashed through the woods. I pushed myself. It was kind of snowing, but not pretty white flakes. They were thin little flakes, and when they landed they slapped me on the face and formed puddles on the ground. I kept on going, but I wasn't having any fun, plus my stomach hurt and my breath was short. I thought my symptoms were either due to A: a reaction to doubling up on the Prograf and Prednisone; B: I probably need blood and will feel better after I get some on Monday; or, C (crazy mode): My liver is about to explode or shut down.

Once you've started around the lake, you can't call for help, because there is no automobile access to the mile-long path.

I wondered if I should have Katie pick me up at the parking lot near the gym. This at least cuts off the walk home (it's between one-quarter mile and one-half mile.) Macho me said, "You haven't called for a ride in ages, and you don't need to start doing it now. You always walk home. It's just a little farther. Just go." Reasonable me thought about a comment on my blog saying I don't need to prove anything, and that if I'm tired I should act accordingly rather than push it.

So I called. The dog seemed happy to stop, jumping up on the drivers' side door. I felt pretty happy too. We stopped to get ginger ale and then went home. I had a sandwich and the ginger ale, finished this morning's New York Times, and was glad to be sitting inside. The stomach ache went away. I was still tired, but not tired enough to rest on the couch.


PJ said...

I've been getting a stomach ache a lot, too. I'm convinced that it means I need something to eat, because as soon as I do, I feel better. Dr. Antin thinks it might be transplant-related lactose intolerance so I'm trying to follow a lactose free diet.

Hope Katie did well on her test.

Susan C said...

Love those canine and covert conversations.

Glad you listened to the commenter who reminded you that you don't have anything to prove to anyone.

My daughter was chastising me for keeping a volunteer commitment last night, even though I was running a 102 degree fever that morning. I told her I went because, "I don't want my identity to be as a sick person." She said, "Mom, just because you're sick right now doesn't mean that's your identity." She's getting smart.

Nelle said...

This week my son took me shopping. He tried to insist I drive one of those motorized vehicles through the store. I insisted I could lean on the shopping cart. He lectured me about being stubborn. I kept thinking that people would look at me and think I looked fine and that I was lazy. I walked very slowly and at times breathing was hard. When I got home I walked a few houses over to a neighbors and she insisted she drive me back when she heard me huffing and puffing after getting there. Sometimes I have to accept that my breathing issues are going to be with me for awhile but like Susan,
I don't want to be identified as a sick person.
I LOVE that face in the picture. Oh I would have to take her too!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
donna said...

What is with these posts like the one by anonymous trying to sell investments!? Is this the new thing- find a popular blog and view it as free advertising space? How disgusting! Maddie is adorable!

Jonny said...

Ronni -- My son Jake has a black lab named "Maddie" aka "Madison" who will only walk with him and me (mostly him). She's part of the "Guiding Eyes for the Blind" program in our area.

However, if my daughter, the princess of "I love animals..but I don't want to take care of them" (I once returned her guppy to the pet shop due to her chronic neglect) tries to take her for a so called "walk" (like 5 steps down the driveway and back), she lies down on her side in the middle of the road like a sack of potatoes and refuses to be budged! It is utterly hilarious!

Dogs know who's "naughty or nice".

So, set that alarm clock at night and go to bed...spilkes be damned! (keep the a.m. one too for insurance).

anne said...

Dear Ronni,

I think of you every day as you move along this tough road!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary Margaret said...

Great pic! (Do you want to come over to play?)