Sunday, December 23, 2007

The holiday season is never very easy for me. It brings with it a horrible feeling of discomfort and impending doom that I have yet to find the words to adequately describe. I was handling it better this year. No Christmas tree - that was good. But, I did hang the stockings and a bit of garland. Anyway, a couple of days ago my (now our) dog of almost 9 years began crying out in pain uncontrollably. We went to our regular vet yesterday but being a Saturday with Christmas coming up, the staff was less than a skeleton crew. The vet couldn't figure out what was going on and radiology services would not be available until the 27th. So, we came home with a prayer. Things seemed to be going better ... until this morning at 2:00 when our sweet dog began yelping from downstairs. We spent an hour on the floor with and heat. Eventually, we went upstairs. She wouldn't climb them. It took both of us, but we carried her up the stairs and on to our bed. She didn't seem to want to be alone. At about 8 this morning we went to the 24/365 emergency vet. The people were nice, but it was a horribly heartbreaking place. Two people were having their pets euthanized and were sobbing. My husband, the hospital chaplain, said it reminded him of work. To make a long story short, we spent 5 hours there and found out that our dog has a problem with disk between her C2 and C3. What do we do? This is serious. Surgery? So many cons. Manage it medically? Will it work? She is confined to a small area (I am talking 18 sq. ft.) because there are not crates large enough to contain her. We will visit with the vet later this week. In the meantime, she is loaded up on all kinds of drugs. It is horrible seeing her like this. She is obviously miserable. I am not ready to let her go yet. I never will be, but I know that one day I will have to. When that will be may or not be soon. I just want to be sure that we are not selfish about it. Hopefully, the medications will take hold soon and bring her some relief.

I know that some people don't put much value on animals. I do. This dog has saved my life more than once. I have been through the hardest times and the most joyous times in my life with her. How do you forget that?

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Sadly, it seems that every time something happens to someone else, my motivation for medicine gets renewed. What a horrible thought. But, that is the way it is. Hopefully, I am not as distorted as that seems superficially. This morning, the choir (of which I am a member) was performing the annual Christmas Cantata. It was warm..especially when layered with polyester choir robes. I became quite warm and left for a brief time to get some air and a drink. I missed a song, but returned. As soon as I walked back in and took an empty place on the end as we were standing during the performance, I heard a big thump. One of our sopranos had passed out and fallen over an amplifier. Thankfully, our choirmaster saw her coming down and put his hand between her head and the piano. That would have been a bad injury...his hand was still red about 45 minutes later. I hurried over and helped her out of the sanctuary where another friend of mine (a nurse currently studying for her NP) met us. We took her robe off of her and underneath she had a wool sweater and lined wool pants. Her skin was burning up! I felt so badly for her. She was so embarrassed. When we left the sanctuary, the pastor (who was also singing in the Cantata) announced to the congregation that it was hot and asked if someone would turn off the heat. Of course, standing for and extending period of time is not good either as people have a tendency to lock their knees.

Anyway, I have mentioned in the past that fainting is my biggest fear. I am no longer afraid of other people fainting. I am not keen on the idea of me fainting, simply because I don't like feeling bad and mainly because I never have. This paragraph makes me seem like it is fine for others to experience bad things but not me. That's not it at all. My point is that I got over a fear today. I have been on a high all day. Not to mention, I got to be helpful. That was cool.

I just finished my workout and my arms are exhausted. Out of here for now.

Dr. Underdog

P.S. Good news! Kate was doing so well that her oncologist gave the ok to drop the remaining 2 rounds of chemo...did I already mention that?