God and Gravol

I don’t travel well. Automobiles, planes, boats; as soon as I get on board any of them, I miraculously renew the faith that sometimes eludes me. I pray constantly. I talk to God, make deals with Jesus, and promise to return to church if only I can make it to my destination safely. So far, it has worked.

Last Monday, Feb. 11, Frank and I took Maple to see a surgeon at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Had to be done. Maple is only four years old and she was going lame. Didn’t matter that the anticipation of spending five hours, each way, in a vehicle during the Ontario/Michigan winter season is all it takes to make my bowels howl. Seriously. An indelicate subject to be sure, but reality nonetheless. My bowels are very vocal. Especially when it’s quiet.  I like to think they’re just friendly. Trying to communicate with anyone and everyone who happens to be close to me when I’m experiencing a panic attack.

Didn’t matter what the car ride would do to my insides; my dog needed me. So away we went. And, due to my incessant praying and Frank’s very capable driving skills, we made it safely there and back. The weather was snowy/rainy both ways, but it wasn’t accumulating on the roads, which made me very happy, but…whenever we passed a vehicle, especially transports…we were blinded by spray and slush. My poor husband. He is so patient with my paranoia. “Maybe you could use another Gravol,” he’d say, whenever I braced my feet against the floor boards, with one hand on the roof of the Jeep and the other against my door, in preparation for what I was sure was to be a vehicular blood bath that only I, and maybe Stephen King, could possibly envision.

Thing is, I really enjoy being in different places (as long as I’m behind locked doors when it gets dark), and I really enjoy meeting new people (you can’t beat American waitresses. They are the best). I just don’t like getting there.

The veterinarians and students at Michigan State were compassionate, informative and patient. Jeremy, the student vet, called me regularly to let me know what was going on with Maple and how she was doing. She was diagnosed with Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture and needed a procedure called Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy.

You can’t see the incision from this viewpoint, but you can see her eyes. The devotion. The trust. The “I hurt but I know you’ll take care of me”. Enough to break your heart.

So, bowels be damned. Put your trust in God and Gravol and get on with life.

I do love trains, though. Pity you have to be a freight car full of lumber to get a ride on one up here in Northern Ontario.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to God and Gravol

  1. Barb Taub says:

    This goes straight to my heart. There are people who have known us for quite some time and still don’t realize that the four-year-old we talk about so much actually has fur and likes to eat the occasional piece of underwear. Last month she started having non-stop grand mal seizures. Then she had a reaction to the tranquilizer they used to try to stop the seizures. For days she howled non-stop, while the voices in her head told her to eat everything (seatbelts, the furniture, her bed, her favorite toys…). We were sure it was the end and then she woke up one morning completely. totally. normal. And you’re right — there was no amount of money, no vet too far, and nothing we would not have done to help her. My heart goes out to you and your husband, and especially to Maple. I hope she will be okay.

    PS: I agree about trains. And American waitresses. Not sure about the Gravol though.

    • ajcap says:

      Holy Hannah, Barb, how heart-wrenching that must have been. Listening to your pup howl and not being able to help. Could the vet even tell you what bought the seizures on? What kind of dog is she? Did she stop eating everything as well?
      I believe Maple will be fine; she’s young and she is already trying to get on the bed and the couch. Cannot understand why I won’t let her. “I have three other perfectly good legs,” her eyes say to me.
      I love the trains in England. I will be visiting Mother in Stoke in May and probably travelling down to Exeter to visit my cousin which is always a nice train ride. But I will still take my Gravol (it’s an anti-naseau over-the-counter type of medication) because my cousin’s driving always makes me ill.

      • Barb Taub says:

        Holy Hannah? Too funny! (Daughter is named Hannah.) We think our dog is a mini Aussie, and the vet says that breed is prone to epilepsy. So she’ll be on meds for rest of her life, and you couldn’t ever ride in our (seatbelt-less) backseat without industrial strength Gravol, but we’re optimistic otherwise. We’re a long train-ride from Stoke or Exeter, but if you find yourself up for a trip to northern England, we’d love to have you visit. Plenty of room in the castle, and we have a fabulous ancient graveyard. You’d love it.

  2. Barb Taub says:

    Would I lie to you? Our flat occupies one of the towers of Brancepeth Castle. The Castle (built on earlier structure) is from 11th century, but people here say the church next to it (St. Brandons) is “really old” — definitely pre-Norman. Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brancepeth_Castle.

    • ajcap says:

      No, you would not lie to me, because you are a fine, honest, upstanding young woman and the epitome of feminine pulchritude. Seriously. I am not just angling for an invitation.

      You have done yourself in, by sending me that link. You are now on my bucket list of people I will stalk before I die. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

      But it won’t be any time soon. This visit to Mother in May is for two weeks and, during that short time, I will be travelling South instead of North. Rats.
      But one day…when you least expect it…

  3. S. J. Crown says:

    Now that you have confessed your travel woes, it’s clear to me that yes, you will most definitely enjoy “Whispers in Bedlam.” You’ll see what I mean.

    • ajcap says:

      Well, now you really have me intrigued, Stan. But I’m snowed in at the moment so no library visit for me today. Can I get it as an ebook? I’ll go look.

      • S. J. Crown says:

        I read the story in Short Stories: Five Decades which is available as a Kindle book on Amazon, although it’s a bit pricey at $9.99. A used paperback copy is available from abebooks and other online sellers for less than $4. The anthology actually entitled Whispers in Bedlam is more expensive. Hope your library has one of these.

  4. Linda MS says:

    Maple looks as though she’s doing all right. I’m so glad. The vets at Michigan State have always been excellent. When I was growing up on a farm in Michigan, my dad always used the vet school for the animals. And, as I got older, some of those students got cuter and cuter. I’m sure that the appeal of having free vet care for life had nothing to do with my interest in the students. Really.

    My cousin just took the train to California to visit family. She had a great time and really recommends it. Too bad there’s not a passenger train that goes from Ontario to Michigan. I’m against driving on roads with big rigs on them; the majority of those drivers have absolutely no consideration for regular vehicles. While I’m not grabbing the roof of the truck, I’m refusing to go out if I don’t have to in bad weather.

    I enjoyed your description of the drive. Your tale of bracing a hand against the window and the roof and then bracing your feet against the floor was so real. It brought back memories of more than a few emergency runs with rookie officers. I saw my life flash before my eyes more than a few times back in those days, and definitely tried to brake from the passsenger seat, slanmming my feet against the floor.

    Enjoying your posts.

    • ajcap says:

      If there is one thing I would change about my past, Linda, it would be my choice of men. Not all of them, I quite liked most of them. Which makes me sound like hussy. Really, there weren’t that many. All I’m trying to say is I admire your propensity to look into the future. Finding and marrying a vet would have been such a smart idea, especially when you love animals like we do. I wish I’d thought of that, but I wasn’t that bright back then.

      On my bucket list is a train ride across Canada but, damn, it’s expensive. My sister is going on a river boat cruise down the Danube. Would LOVE that. Need more money. Not for the trip but for the amount of Gravol I would need to get me there. Lots of plane rides, but once I was on the boat I think I would enjoy it. It’s not like an ocean liner where you see nothing but rolling waves for days (or the engines catch fire and you get stuck without toilets, or run aground); you can see shore the whole time on a river boat. I could handle that.

      I should have got the address to your new house so I could take a drive-by while I was there. I always think of things too late.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *