One of my good friends in online gaming plays a character whose headgear generates luminous streaks that extend upward from the back of his skull. “It’s my brains leaking out,” he says. That’s the way I feel as I turn the last corner of summer into the stretch before school starts, and I’m vexed at myself for not having been more productive.
Yesterday I devoted a lot of time to an email message. I’m known for agonizing over the words I choose and the syntax I adopt in emails and memos; yesterday was just another example. The pains I took over casual correspondence in the morning, though, drained me of energy on into the afternoon, and soon I noticed that it was time to get ready to go to the memorial service for my friend Richard Kieckhefer’s father.
Meanwhile, as I was at church and Si was away visiting Laura, Beatrice got into Si’s backpack, extracting and eating two packages of McDonald’s animal-cracker style cookies and — unbeknownst to me — a chunk of Mexican chocolate (the kind for drinking).
The chocolate part wasn’t obvious because she didn’t start upchucking until late in the evening. Once it became clear that she had in fact gotten into some chocolate, but had thrown up twice, Josiah and I figured that she had cleared her system and went off to bed. At about three in the morning, though, young Si awoke to the sounds of a very agitated dog. He went downstairs, walked her around the yard to comfort her, but nothing seemed to settle her down. He then looked online for symptoms of chocolate poisoning, and when he read about the relative proportions of chocolate and dog-weight, he called Animal 911 and, in short order, we were rolling down to Skokie to have the vets handle the rest of Bea’s night.
Bedraggled and concerned, we were instructed to pick her up at 8:00 to receive further instructions (since the overnight clinic closes during the day). When we returned, they indicated that Bea was doing better after treatment with Valium and activated charcoal, and they instrucgted us to take her to her regular vets at Bramer Animal Hospital for observation for the rest of the day. She seemed closer to normal when we picked her up at the overnight clinic — that is, apart from wooziness from the Valium, and messiness from throwing up charcoal slurry on my feet and the vet’s floor — but after I spent most of the day restlessly waiting for the phone to ring, at the end of the day she’s mostly all right. She’s home to sleep here, and we’ll take her in for continued observation tomorrow, but the vets don’t seem apprehensive about her recovery. And with some sleep and the re-centering that my conferences this weekend will entail, I expect I’ll be all right too.