What are the odds of that?
My cat almost died this weekend. I blame myself because it’s my fault. She is at the vet undergoing diagnostic tests but that’s just a formality, she almost certainly has advanced diabetes. I won’t go there yet. This post is about life in the digital age, the building bricks of our modern revolution. How this technology is creating the democratization of all that is designed to keep us unequal, ignorant, dependent and enslaved to the rules of hierarchy.
By now it should be apparent: I haven’t slept in 3 days, not since I decided I couldn’t keep treating Angelbait for what I wanted to believe were behavioral issues. I hit the Web Saturday morning to get business-like with her symptoms, read non-stop, and by Sunday morning knew I’d fucked up beyond belief. By midday she was in catastrophic decline and it seemed the only answer was to kill myself and take both these sick cats with me. I have little money, no car, no infrastructure, no plan beyond the moment, no long-term goals and strategies, I’ve learned to live without these things, they elude me, they’re out of reach. I can always, always, always kill myself. That’s what keeps me going.
I kept seeing this support board referenced in the websites I was reading. Cat owners from around the world coming together to proactively regulate their pet’s chronic disease. I visited it a few times, unable to make heads or tails of the science and medical knowledge aeons beyond me, while knowing if my cat is going to make it I’m going to have to be someone who talks just like that a week from today. In 8 years living daily on the toobz, this is the hardest post I ever wrote:
And just like that they took it off my shoulders with the spirit and focus of a 1940’s auto mechanic, totally on it. Step up to the plate. They gave me an assessment, the data-based directives and they gave me hope.
Within two hours there was a person from that support group in my trailer with ketone strips and a glucose meter. She took the time and went the distance to show a complete stranger how to gain control again. Think of the risk, the sense of mission that begins with a keystroke. We’re not in MYSPACE anymore, but ahead of the curve, or even back on track, in a climate of consumer-directed, informed choice based on common standards, clear purpose and unconditional positive regard. I got information, lists, a vocabulary and instant connection with a hundred new friends and teachers. I was splitting off, crossing over to “I don’t care what happens anymore and this isn’t even happening really”, then smart nice people just talked to me on the Internet and everything shifted and I began to re-assimilate stimuli. I didn’t follow but I knew what they were telling me was relevant information I could present the emergency vet and be taken seriously rather than dissolve in a puddle on the floor.
At the end of the day I was able to rent a car, cry in public, snap back at the humiliating ER vet who seethed observations at me “This is advanced diabetes. Neuropathy doesn’t happen until they’re in late stage. This had to have taken at least six months.” Is there a question there? Not really, because that would mean talking to me, which to him would be slumming. No question, but the accusation, demand hanging in the air. It’s not like I was hysterical enough. What do you want me to say? I do not ignore my pets, I did not understand what was happening to her and was treating what I thought were behavioral issues. There is no way I could have talked back to him like that, no way I could have left my house or even know what’s going on without the help from the people at the FDMB message board. They are all about talking back to the veterinarian, which is going to be a whole new medical authority for me to resolve my shit against.
This pro-social use of the Internet comes as a revelation, that things get done here, and maybe I’m the only one who’s finally noticing that but I don’t know. It seems so much like words on a screen, disembodied, we are in chairs typing. It is a lot to overcome. There are risks to take and trust to assume. Right. Well. No wonder the Web looks like so much shit. It’s hard to be open and receptive, harder all the time. All intent is missing because it’s so random, how many tabs are open in your browser right now? Where are you going, where have you been, and when the computer crashes, you lose all the open websites and have to start all over from scratch, then you know, right? Where was I? Was there a pattern? And I am acclimated to this? I don’t know what I’m talking about but right now I have six tabs open, and yesterday one of them saved my cat’s life. There are visionaries. I want to tag along. Nothing stops anyone, this climate we create is the true great equalizer, open, everyday at our fingertips, clay to make of what we will. People out there will bow my head.