Maggie has been home from her adventure at the emergency vet’s office for a little more than 24 hours now. She’s sleepy after a day of being poked and prodded on top of not feeling well – and I think she wishes Jorah would leave her alone to rest quietly, but she’s even putting up with his periodic efforts to annoy her. I think she’s reached the point in her recovery where the biggest issue is her obvious disgust at how little boiled chicken and rice is put in her bowl at meal time.
After loads of bloodwork, a few x-rays, and plenty of diagnostic back and forth with the vets, it seems the final reason for violent sickness is going to be “unknown.” Off the record, both the vets and I agree that the most likely cause is having found and devoured something tasty, but moderately toxic while patrolling the yard. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to live with a Labrador, you’ll understand that “she probably ate something” is a perfectly reasonable rationale for illness.
I never rest well when any of these fuzzy little bastards is sick, so hopefully this one is well and truly on the mend… again.
The morning feeding here starts most every morning at 5:30. It’s usually a completely uneventful part of the day. Today it wasn’t, of course. It was a bloodbath.
For the prior 24 hours Maggie had been growing a fearsome looking lump under her incision. It was worrying enough that I changed her follow up appointment to this afternoon rather than waiting for Thursday, when it was originally scheduled. We fell seven hours short of that appointment when she dove into her breakfast and the dam broke – leaving a trail of blood tinged fluid dripping down her shoulder and quickly spattering the floor.
“Not good,” my initial early morning response. Maggie didn’t seem bothered at all. She didn’t even slow up on inhaling her breakfast.
Over the next three hours, what I’ve now learned is a common post operative condition called a seroma, steadily grew smaller as the fluid continued to drain – mostly into the kitchen floor. I’ve mopped today. A lot.
Our vet assured me this is all fairly normal. He was happy enough with her progress to take her sutures out, and advising “just let it drain” while handing over another 10 days worth of antibiotics just to ward off any future issues.
So here we all are, confined once again to the kitchen in an effort to keep random canine bodily fluids from soaking in to more sensitive parts of the house. I can only hope this iteration won’t take nine months.
I’m happy my girl is on the mend… though I wish it would involve just a little less oozing.
1. Numbers. This blog is my own little catharsis and never really intended as clickbait, but sometimes I really do wonder what sorcery is behind the numbers. My view and visitor numbers have been all over the map for the last few weeks. There’s no seeming rhyme or reason for days that are up or down. Posts that I think should be a hit end up idle and those that I thought fairly bland rack up visits. After fourteen years of doing this, you might be tempted to think I’d have a clue. If you thought that, however, you’d be 100% wrong.
2. Incredulity. The number of times in the last six weeks that I’ve been asked some version of “Aren’t you starting to go stir crazy?” is telling… if only because it reveals how many people don’t really “get” me at all. I’ve got books, critters, ready access to food and liquor, the ability to have almost anything on earth delivered to my front door, and can leave at any time for goods and services that need to be sourced locally. I feel no fear of missing out. Staying home isn’t punishment for me. It’s the life I thought I was going to have to wait another 15 years to have for myself… and after sampling it, I can assure you going stir crazy is the very least of my worries.
3. Persistence. Maggie has been quite a trooper, never so much as attempting to lick or scratch her enormous incision. Keeping a certain white and brown young canine sibling from trying to lick it all the time has been my other full-time job this week. Seven days into healing and he’s mostly stopped – though not before a few full-blown screaming fits on my part. I can sense him still searching for an opportunity. I usually appreciate and even respect that kind if persistence, but in this one case, I’m going to need him to knock it the hell off.
A few days ago I got a notice from Google that one of my account passwords was compromised and the account was suspended. That’s annoying, yes, but should be pretty straightforward to correct. At least that’s what I thought when I started trying to recover my account. Now, of course, I know better.
The account I lost access was old. Very old. So old, in fact, that it dated back to the days when you had to be invited to sign up for a gmail account. It was my main email address until I unified everything under Google Apps a few years ago. Although now it’s mostly relegated to being a spam catcher, there are plenty of ancient messages archived there that I didn’t want to lose.
For what it’s worth, the account recover process Google has put in place is only slightly less cumbersome that assisting Dr. Jones in recovering the Holy Grail. Just now I appear to be stuck at the part where Google sends my temporary password to a secondary email account so I can register a new password and get back to business as usual. The catch here, because you know there has to be a catch, is that they have successfully sent this temporary password to a Hotmail account that I opened back at the dawn of the internet and in all likelihood no longer exists.
What I’m left with at this point is unlimited access to the Google “self help” forums and no way to talk to a real person in order to prove that I’m me. I’m not willing to consider all lost just yet, but the prognosis is looking awfully grim. Not optimal in any way, but it finally did encourage me to break down and back up everything Google is storing on my current accounts. Don’t tell me I can’t make the most of a day off.
For the final offering of this six-post series, you might think I would have planned to end on a high note. Given that the week just past featured all manner of goodness and joy in the spirit of the Christmas season, the list of likely targets is extraordinarily large. However, since this is me we’re talking about and not some nancy-boy, cry at the drop of a hat, sensitive, new age man, all I can tell you is this: What I like this week is mostly the fact that I’m back at the rental house, two dogs are happily snoring in their beds, and that I am fully in control of the television, thermostat, and meal preperation.
Be it every so humble, temporary, ill designed, and poorly insulated, there’s no place like wherever it is you happen to hang your hat. It may not be “home” but it’s at least filled will all your own stuff and sometimes that’s just as good.
Note: This is the 6th and final entry in a six-part series appearing on jeffreytharp.com by request.
Sitting here after scarfing up entirely too much dinner, I remembered that I promised an update on how Winston is making out in his third week post-surgery. The short version: after three weeks and three days, you wouldn’t know that he just had his leg broken in two places and a respectable size chunk of steel jammed in there. He’s not limping, and has once again started pulling hard when we’re out on the leash. So far he’s tolerated his old puppy pen set up in the middle of the living room, but judging from the amount of snorting and general malcontentery, it’s only a matter of time before he puts his shoulder into it and drags the whole pen to whatever part of the room he wants to be in at any given time. I’m not sure exactly how we’re going to address that when the time comes.
As of right now, the way ahead looks alot like the past three weeks: Strict confinement for the next nine weeks at a minimum, no steps, no running, no playing, no time off leash, and three to four 15 minute walks every day to keep up as mush muscle mass as possible. He’s due back at the surgeon’s office at the end of the month for his six week checkup and x-rays, but unless something blows up between now and then, I’m expecting a good report. So far, everything has been good news, but because every cloud has a lead lining, I’m going to spend the rest of his natural life worrying myself sick that he’s going to blow out the other one or do something to undo what’s already been fixed.
It’s a case of now you see it, now you don’t. After five weeks of haranguing the property manager about getting the junk Expedition out of the driveway, I was forced to demonstrate my level of resolve. I guess most people gripe and complain initially, but then accept whatever is happening and quiet down. I’m not wired that way. Never have been. I start off complaining, ratchet up the noise level, and then, when I’ve pretty much exhausted every other option I can think of, come out swinging. Today was pretty much that day. And was really the first major improvement/repair project around here that went exactly by the numbers. I called the towing company, they sent out a truck, and the POS Expedition that had been mocking me by its very presence for the last 32 days was gone before I got back to the house this evening. Getting my belongings delivered felt good. Getting them unboxed felt better. But getting rid of this eyesore is the first time in a month that I feel like I’ve really accomplished something. Plus I know it’ll piss off the property manager to no end since he says he wanted to part it out to recoup someone of the money they lost on the last tenant. I guess putting that thumb in his eye makes it $200 well spent.
Hey gang… I just wanted to post a quick thank you to everyone for your thoughts and comments over the last few days. It has meant a lot to me. I’m happy to say dad is doing well and expects to be discharged from Hopkins on Monday. With his imminent recovery, I am back in Memphis for a week getting ready for my next trip and trying to catch up the odds and ends of life. I owe a lot of you a call back from this week and I promise, I’ll be getting around to that this weekend at some point. I’m hoping to get back to my traditional ranting posts in the near future, so be sure to stay tuned.