Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Never Ask, "What Else Can Happen?"

Last week was an eventful week of the not so great kind.


Sally, our Mini Schnauzer, threw up five times over the course of the day. She has a history of pancreatitis and this indicates that she’s getting a bout of it. I know from past experience to stop feeding her so I did. Pancreatitis can be very serious but overall she seems to be in pretty good spirits.

Over the course of the day and evening, Sally gags three more times but I still haven't fed her so that was about the extent of it. She seems to be her happy self even though she’s not really interested in food and is now gassy (another symptom). And boy is that quite the lovely aroma y'all!

Sally’s symptoms were not completely gone but she was better, and I felt she was on the down side of the pancreatitis.  She was acting like her usual perky self but just to be on the safe side, I thought maybe I should have the vet check her out.

I’m standing in the lobby telling the vet about the last couple of days with Sally by my side. She’s wagging her tail and pretty cheerful even though she knows where she is and would like to leave.

The vet immediately and firmly announces, "Okay, we're gonna put her in the hospital and she needs…" blah, blah, blah. She goes on and on about all they are going to do. I’m thinking gee whiz woman! Look at this happy little girl standing here! You haven't even examined her!

I ask how long in the hospital, and she tells me three days. This isn’t quite the medical attention I had in mind, nor is it what I think she needs at this time. She informs me that it’ll be a mere $700.00 for happy Sally standing next to me, wagging her tail, to be unnecessarily hospitalized for three days!  George and I decided that we'd let her stay that day, and overnight since she was already doing better before we got there.  I’ve been leery about this vet from the beginning and her approval rating has now hit rock bottom with me. 

I loved the vet we had before we moved. When Sally had pancreatitis (which was only a couple of times), she would:

~ Give me pills to give Sally at home, 
~ Recommend an over-the-counter, anti-diarrhea human med, 
~ Advise us to keep an eye on her, and 
~ Tell us to bring her back if she gets worse. 

She always tried to keep Sally with us.  She did not want to hospitalize her unless it was absolutely necessary.  She felt that it was best for the dog to be at home since there can be additional stress when they're not.  It always worked too. We never had to take her back to the vet.  Unfortunately, she’s 30 miles away and we want a vet that is closer.


Sally comes home from the hospital the next day just as happy as when she was admitted, and just as gassy. Basically, no change! I cannot see how the hospital stay, comprehensive exam, intravenous fluid, surgical fluid therapy, famotidine (calms the stomach), buprenex (pain med) and cefazonlin (anti-biotic) helped at all but I am due for an eye exam.

I was home for about 15 minutes when I decided to go buy Sally an over the counter anti-diarrhea medicine to ward off the gas turning into something ugly and making a big mess. After all, that was what the previous vet recommended.  I consulted with the pharmacist and he directed me to the medicine he thought would be appropriate. I gave Sally about ¼ of a tablet.

Later that day, George calls me on his way home from work. He wants me to come get him because his Miata bit the dust again! It’s a goner! (He plans to put a new engine in it.) I go get him in the pouring rain, hoping that I am going to the right place because my iPhone has bit the dust and I have no way to contact him. What did we do without cell phones in the past?


Linda calls me at about 4:15 and tells me that Chuck just called and Mom is at the hospital. She fell in the beauty shop and hurt her tailbone. He tells us to sit tight. Gwen is with her, and he’ll call back shortly.

When she fell, they wanted to call an ambulance and Mom wouldn't let them so they called Don who was at the VFW. He took her to the hospital and basically dropped her off! What a prince! He only stayed until she was called to do the paperwork. He then went back to the VFW because, after all, drinking is so much more important!

Coincidentally, my sister-in-law Gwen decided to go to the VFW that day after work for a beer. While there, Don wandered over and said, "You might want to go check on your mother-in-law because she's at the hospital." If Gwen wouldn’t have gone to the VFW, none of us would have even known Mom was at the hospital!

At first, we were told that she is badly bruised on the left side from her tailbone, down her butt and left leg.  It turned out that she has a fractured pelvis though. Gwen got her prescription filled and was taking her home. We are very thankful that nothing was broken!

I call Mom and she is sitting in the car at Walmart waiting for Gwen to come out with her prescription. She doesn’t want me to come get her and she doesn’t want to go to Gwen and Chuck’s house. She just wants to go home, relax, and get some sleep so I told her that Linda and I will come get her tomorrow.

Around 8:00 that evening, Linda calls, “Are you watching this?”

I thought she was talking about American Idol but she was referring to the weather updates on TV. She tells me there are tornadoes along Hwy 82. They’re following the highway, and going straight toward Mom’s house. They’re still 15 – 20 miles away but the storm is consistently moving east and following the highway.

For those of you who do not know, Mom’s house was hit by a tornado in the past—April 26, 1994 at 3:50 PM to be exact. LOL. I know those exact details because I found that information in Mom’s stuff recently.

Anyway, Mom is very scared to death of storms ever since then. Even little storms. She’s been living in a very tiny apartment in a metal building out back of Don’s son’s house and the building scares her even more!

Linda and I debate whether or not to call Mom and tell her about the storms and decide to do so because she might need to take cover (although we had no idea where cover would be). Linda calls Mom and calls me back saying, “Big mistake. She’s scared to death now.”

Mom is also developing dementia so she doesn’t always think clearly which is worrisome too. We both keep watching for weather updates, calling each other, and calling Mom to keep her calm.

In between our calls, Michael calls and tells me their satellite is out. He’s wanting to know what the radar is looking like and what’s going on. He tells me it only sounds like a thunder storm but just as soon as the words come out of his mouth, it starts to hail. Within minutes, the tornado sirens go off. (They’re in Thackerville, Oklahoma which is just across the Texas border and about six miles north of Hwy 82, the road the storms are following.)

Linda and I watch the storm get closer to Mom’s area. Tornadoes are on the north side of Hwy 82. Mom is a couple miles south of it where there is currently a wall cloud with a lot of rotation following the highway heading right about where she is. Linda and I are both stressing out.

Michael calls back and says they are at the school because it has a shelter. Good news there!

I call Mom as this activity is getting closer to her. She is downstairs on the daybed with the TV on but the sound is down because she wants to hear the storm. She’s scared and trying to listen.  Don is upstairs trying to sleep and ignoring her.  My conversation with Mom goes like this:

Mom: I hear something.

Me: What?

Mom: It sounds like thunder but it’s probably a tornado.

Me: Mom, if you think you hear a tornado, get up under the edge of the bar there.

Mom: What do I do with the barstools?

Me: Pull them out of the way and just grab some pillows and get under there. And grab your cell phone too.

Mom: My cell phone! My cell phone! I don’t even know where my cell phone is! It’s not in my purse.

Me: Mom, you’re talking on it! (It’s the only phone she has.)

Mom: Oh yeah.

It was all over about 15 minutes later (at 9:30) and she was in the clear to lay there the rest of the night and enjoy the pain from her falling injury. What a relief!


After giving Sally ¼ to ½ of the anti-D tablet each morning and night, Sally is completely back to normal! No signs of pancreatitis at all. Yay! I should have done that instead of taking her to that loony vet!  Let’s hope she stays pancreatitis free.

I call Mom to let her know that Linda and I are heading that way soon. She says she’s going to try to get up and go to the bathroom and I tell her to take it slowly. When Linda and I start to Gainesville, we call Mom to let her know we’re on our way and to check on her. No answer.

We call about 30 minutes later. No answer. We wonder if her phone is dead or if she can’t hear it, and hope that she hasn’t fallen. We’re really starting to worry.

We stop by Chuck & Gwen’s to get Mom’s car keys and Gwen’s Mom’s old walker. We call Mom again. No answer. Now we’re really worried.

We get Mom’s car and go straight out to the house. She’s laying on the daybed but tells us that she’s been on the kitchen floor for the last two hours. She fell halfway down and couldn’t stop so she decided she had to go all the way to floor. It took her two hours to get up and back to the daybed which is just around the other side of the bar/counter.

I drove Mom and me down here in her car and she will be living between our house, and Linda and David’s house permanently. I don’t see any bruising anywhere so I’m guessing it’s all on the inside. She’s in a lot of pain, especially when she moves certain ways. Getting up and down is hard but we’re trying to keep her moving around so she won’t get stiff. It’s still a slow go but she is doing better each day so that’s good.

So far, this week is less eventful and that's fine with me!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Boys and Some Dogs

Michael and Crystal went to Las Vegas for several days, and Preston & Triston visited us. As usual, it was fun! I didn't take too many photos so I didn't have a lot to choose from.
Can you tell I took
this one during lunch?

Lulu (also known as Lucy) came too. 
She's a 9 pound sweet little Maltese.
We had a windy day so Pa-Paw
and the boys flew kites.

Spiderman kite!

Triston & Lulu

Isn't this cute?
Mitzi, Sally & Daisy all looking out the window.

This is our neighbor Michelle showing us their new puppy named Jenna.  She's a two-month old Brussels Griffon.
Preston wanted to hold her.
She has a really soft coat.

This is Charlie, our neighbor's other Brussels Griffon. He's such a nice shy little guy.
Yesterday when Michael and Crystal came to get the kids, we were outside and Charlie came across the yard toward me. I called him so I could pet him and Daisy jumped the fence and attacked him! I guess she was jealous and trying to protect me.

I couldn't break them up because they kept moving. Poor Charlie was squealing and trying to get away but Daisy was being major aggressive! Jon (Michelle's husband) was walking in our direction with puppy Jenna. He saw I couldn't stop them and helped out.

He told me, "Here hold her!" and handed Jenna the puppy off to me. Then, he reached down, got Daisy by the lower back portion of her neck, picked her right up and put her back over the fence. Poor sweet Charlie was okay but terrified.
Sally and Daisy got into it about three times when she first got here but they're buddies now. Daisy doesn't draw blood (as far as I know) when she attacks but you'd never know it to see or hear it! I don't like it! Overall, Daisy is a sweet and very smart dog. If I tell her no, she immediately stops whatever she's doing. I'll tell her, "Go get on the chair," and she immediately goes to her little blanket on the end of the couch. She listens well except for when I'm screaming "Daisy No!" like a maniac while trying to break up her fight. LOL.  The Dog Whisperer says to be calm and I haven't been.

My sister Linda says if I wasn't calling Charlie, she probably would have jumped the fence and sniffed Charlie instead of attacking. I agree. In fact, I'm not so sure she would have even jumped the fence. She has seen Charlie two other times and didn't do a thing. As far as I know, that's only the second time she jumped the fence.

The first time was the other day when the boys and I were leaving. We were sitting in the driveway and I saw Daisy looking up at the top of the fence. She flexed her legs two or three times and hopped right up over it!

Preston told me, "She smoked that fence Mimi!"

"Yes, she sure did!"

I jumped out of the truck as she came around it, and she tried to jump in. She didn't want me leaving. I put her in the house and blocked the doggie door. I'm keeping it blocked for now and taking the dogs out on leashes to go to the bathroom until we figure out what to do.
George was planning on moving the dog pen anyway, and making it taller but I don't think he was ready to tackle that project just yet.

Daisy is Mom's dog and a permanent member of our family now. Mom would never agree to getting rid of her and I really don't want to do that either. For those of you who don't know, Mom is developing dementia and is here a lot. She will be living full time between our house and Linda's house in the near future. When Mom is here, she's always talking about how Daisy is her girlfriend and how much she loves her. I love her too. What am I going to do?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

She's Baaaaack!

The Dirt Girl!
At long last, she covered the trenches!

George and the dirt girl discuss moving the little cement slab to the back of this slab which is for a garden shed. A door will be in that spot, and we'll drive the riding lawnmower out of the garden shed onto the little cement slab.

She also smoothed the ground to prepare it for more dirt which she'll make slope to the opposite side of the yard for better drainage.

The above pictures were yesterday.
This is what it looks like today.
Rain and yuck but no trenches!  Yahoo!
We now await a truck load of dirt but it
has to quit raining and dry up first.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Perfect Day

~ The sun is shining.
~ It's 62 degrees at 9:00 in the morning.
~ The Bradford Pears are blooming.
~ Spring is in the air.
~ And Terrell Owens is no longer with the Dallas Cowboys!YAY!