Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Oy ve!

feeling: Stressed to the gills

What a stressful 24 hours it's been.

Last night some friends and I decided to go out to Perkins, which is one of the few restaurants open late at night and is famous for it's breakfast food. We got there to witness an altercation in the parking lot (which fortunately didn't escalate). The place was filling up fast as Lexington's blue laws prohibit alcohol sales after 1 am, so people tend to hit Perkins after the bars close. I have problems being around lots of people, especially noisy people--it makes me very anxious, and it's difficult to concentrate on, say, our own discussion. Frankly if I had been the manager I would have ejected the people behind us, who were yelling, using lots of profanity, etc. At one point I had a guy gyrating in front of our table and for a moment we thought he was going to sit down next to me to talk to his buddies. I don't actually think they'd been drinking, they were just oblivious and obnoxious. Of course, no one did put an end to this frenetic display, probably as they'd risk being labelled racist, as the people at the table happened to be black. I think their age rather than race was actually more of a factor. But let me tell you, if I was a mom who caught my son or daughter acting like that in public, I'd pull them out by the earlobe and we'd be having quite a talk. We finally escaped after tracking down our bill--the waitress was so frazzled she didn't bring it with the to-go box--and I remember looking over at the smoking session and its blissful quiet and wishing that I could tolerate cigarette smoke enough to have eaten there. That room was utterly quiet, where people were talking in low voices and having real conversations. Of course, in general, they were older folks. I suppose it's good, at least, that the kids at the table behind us--all in their teens or maybe 21 at the oldest) weren't smoking. But I don't think I've ever seen such concentrated and totally unaware rudeness in my life--and it wasn't just at that table, but a great many others. I used to say I was raised by wolves, but there really is no comparison. I'm sure this sounds like I'm prudish and old and just not into fun. That's not quite true (although I realise I have a prudish streak). It's just when you can't hear the other people at your table and can barely hear yourself think, things are way too loud.

I went home aiming to get some much-needed sleep (fortunately I'd napped that evening). When I woke up this morning for a bathroom break, I was planning to go back to sleep for another hour but when I went to cuddle with my dog I realised she was shivering/trembling whenever she breathed in. My house stays at about 76 degrees, so she shouldn't have been cold. I checked her over and it was definitely constant.

My dog is nearly 13, so of course there's a natural tendency to go, oh, no! in your head. Since my vet was open I went ahead and made arrangements to go in. Cerys was acting strange...barely walking very far before sitting down. She didn't recognise someone who she's known since she was 8 months old. She lost control of her bladder as soon as we got into the vet's office--and unless she's sick, that's unheard of. She wouldn't eat the treat the doctor gave her. So they checked her over and ran some of the blood panel there at the office.

The good news is her blood screen (except for the CBC, which had to be sent away and we'll get back Monday) was well within norms and actually read like a 2-year-old. She's got some issues with her teeth (my fault--I used to be terribly phobic of anaesthesia, which is why I've never gotten my own wisdom teeth out or had her teeth cleaned properly; now that I'm being treated for the anxiety issues, I'm better, but at her age it is a big risk to do the procedure) and some fatty tumours, but otherwise seems to be doing well. Her lungs were clear, so she isn't having trouble breathing, her ears are great and her kidney, liver, and intestines all seem to be doing their jobs right. She does have cataracts, which have been getting worse lately, and the doctor said her pupils weren't reacting well, so her eyesight is probably poor, which may be why she didn't recognise things or could explain why she urinated--she may have been afraid of unfamiliar surroundings. Cerys has never had much of a nose on her to help out. It's also possible she's having some senility setting in, in which case they do have drugs to help treat the confusion, etc., so I'll keep an eye on that. At some point she did suddenly seem to recognise him, so it wasn't continual.

The trembling can be a pain response, and the doctor thought she may be having arthritic pain or maybe strained something getting up or off the bed, etc. So they gave me some pills that are anti-inflammatory/pain relief. If that helps we may put her on a joint supplement. If it doesn't, then I'll bring her back on Monday for X-Rays, at which point we'd probably be looking for a tumour.

We gave her the medicine and kept her warm and comfy this afternoon, and she seems a lot better now. She's stopped trembling and she's drinking and is interested in her food and mine...like back to normal. She seemed a little confused when I went to bring her back home...she obviously knew it was time to go home and was practically leading me out the door, but she didn't seem to recognise him again when we went to say goodbye. If it isn't senility, then it may be that her eyesight and hearing are going.

Poor old puppy. It's so hard when they've been so vibrant all their lives and then they start to sort of fade. But the important thing is she doesn't seem to be in pain now and is comfortable. That's the main thing. If I were to find out she had cancer, for example, I'd try to make her comfortable and, if it came to it, put her down rather than let her suffer or prolong it with drastic treatments that might or might not work. Obviously money is an issue--I can't afford chemo for my pets--but also, I think it's in the best interest of the animal to be made comfortable and not allowed to suffer.

Still, I'm glad she seems better. Hopefully this medicine will work...despite a generally depressed day today, she still fought being pilled, so it's good to know that getting that pill down her throat was worth the aggravation to us both. :) In the meantime, I'm going to try to stay positive. I'd appreciate any thoughts or prayers...I'm still worried we'll find something serious. With four animals, all over 12, it's a realistic dread, but a dread nonetheless.

While she's been resting I've been working on a project that involves much typing, and my hands are a little numb--I think I've hunched my shoulders too much today. Certainly I panicked a little this morning and tensed up, so that didn't help. So, I think I'll sign off for now. I hope tomorrow goes a lot smoother. :)

Of course, this is probably nothing compared to how the next few days are going to be for Dwana. She's got to take a really painful shot tonight so that 34 hours from then they can go retrieve some 23 eggs from her ovaries--which are the size of grapefruit at the moment!--fertilise them with her husband's sperm, then turn around and put some of the embryos back in, in the hopes for a pregnancy. She's been miserable the last few days and her abdomen is very tender. They actually have to do surgery for the egg retrieval, so she'll be put under. So, if you don't mind, she can use some happy thoughts and prayers, too.


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