27 April 2015

Puppy Update: Growing Like a Weed

That's what babies do, isn't it?  My baby doesn't look so much like a baby anymore.  She looks like a dog.  Well, that's her species, of course.

Sapphire's 5 month birthday is Sunday.  We've had her three months now.  I suppose things have settled down other than the nipping/biting and chasing Perky.  She is definitely Papa's pup.  I've never had a pet that didn't want me, first.  Oh, she'll sit and lie by me but when Papa's home...  her heart belongs to him.

And his to her.

With my mother-in-law in the hospital, I've had to get a puppy sitter every time I wanted to go visit her because Papa doesn't want her to be left in her crate for hours on end.  (Yeah, like 4-5, not 10-12 like he used to push for Buddy to be in his.) Fortunately, I have a friend who has a 18 year old son who is a dog whisperer (and on the Spectrum) and just loves to come over and play with her.  I think it's beneficial for both parties.  Sapphie has someone to play with her, he has someone to spend time with.

She goes to as many lacrosse games as the locations allow for dogs (stayed home this past Friday and spent the evening with her friend mentioned above because of pouring rain).  Papa can't bear to leave her home.  It's cute.  But hurts.

Her legs are so long!  She's also losing the puppy look.  I still get a whiff of the puppy smell every so often but it's fading as well.  She loves my furniture--I've told Papa that he owes me a new couch when she outgrows her puppiness.  She chases balls and kitties.  Barks at kitties, but that's about it.m Oh, she barks at other dogs when she can't play with them.  She's actually pretty well-behaved considering.  She can "play dead", "speak", and roll over.  The Caboose got her to "sing" last week but we haven't had a repeat performance.  She still coughs/gags every once in a while but she has an appointment with the vet on Saturday.

She is still the most popular pup every where we go.  People just love her and she loves the attention.

I love my Sapphie.

22 April 2015

Singing Sapphie

The Caboose sent me this video today.  He was playing with a squeaky toy she'd obliterated.  I hadn't heard her do this before.  Someone's been communicating with Ulanka, you think?


21 April 2015

Roller Coaster Ride

This week.  Oh.  This week.  I long to return to "normal".

Spring in Utah often involves snow.  We got it on Wednesday.  Quite a bit of it, actually.  At least a foot, if not two in many places--including my house.  But before it snowed, it blew.  Hard.  All over.  I read that there were 80 mph gusts in the valleys, 90 mph gusts in the mountains.

One of those gusts took over my in-law's garbage can on Tuesday afternoon.  Along with my mother-in-law, who was bringing it in from the street.  She faceplanted.  Broke her nose.

Along with her C1 & C2 vertebrae.

Otherwise known as a Jefferson fracture.  Also described as the Christopher Reeve injury.

We didn't find out until Tuesday night and didn't get to Ogden until Wednesday lunchtime after we picked my sister-in-law (the one who lives in Virginia) up at the airport.  LG (my MIL) was awake and talking when we got there.  But she was also unrecognizable because of the bruising and swelling.

It didn't look good.  The doctor who had been on call came in that evening and was pretty negative.  Dr Doom, as we called him, basically said the two outcomes were "death if she had the surgery and death if she doesn't have the surgery".  He also said if it were his mother, he wouldn't do the surgery.

Even though it's a "Christopher Reeve injury", she didn't have any paralysis.  She was drugged to help with the pain, but she still could move.  Unfortunately, if she didn't have the surgery, one wrong turn of the neck with the fragment up against her spinal cord could kill her.

The surgery would be to insert plates, rods, and screws into her skull and spine to stabilize her neck.  It would also mean she'd lose rotational movement in her neck for the rest of her life--if she'd even survive the surgery.  He doubted she'd even survive the surgery.  He flat out refused to do it.

The hope was to get her transferred to the University of Utah hospital ASAP where a neurosurgeon who does the surgery could evaluate her.  Days dragged by with Dr Doom saying it would be quite a while unless he discharged her and she was taken POV.

Um, with a C1 & C2 fracture?  (insert a lot of impolite swear words by the family)

Long story short:  There was a lot of miscommunication and arrogance (on the doctor's part) but it all got straightened out on Saturday and she was on her way to the U via ambulance Sunday afternoon, thanks to a new doctor who wasn't so arrogant or pessimistic.

The specialist took one look at her on Sunday and said "we have to do the surgery.  She's going under the knife tomorrow."

At the time, she was in a c-collar, unable to eat anything other than pureed food and ice chips.  She was in a lot of pain and couldn't breathe very well.  She'd desat often and would say she felt like she was smothering to death.

It was very painful to watch.

We spent the afternoon at the hospital yesterday as she was in surgery and GB wanted to be there if anything happened.  The surgeon said it would take 3-5 hours from start to finish.

It took just over two.  Though she did take several hours to come out of the anesthesia.  There was worry there.

We went back up to the U at lunch time today.  She was in the Neuro critical care unit after her surgery.  We walked into her room as she was eating lunch.  A full blown Thanksgiving dinner.

While she's still horribly bruised, the difference was amazing.  Utterly amazing.  She's been up and walking, feeling so much better.  She can breathe even better, she says, than before she fell.  Go figure.  I couldn't help but leak happy tears.  *wry chuckle*  Even the surgeon, who stopped by while we were there, was amazed at how well she's doing.

Dr Doom was wrong.  Dead wrong.

What a miracle.  A pure and simple miracle.  Prayers, faith, Priesthood blessings (See James 5:14-15).  They all played an important part.  But in the end it all depends on the Father's will.

She transferred out of the NCCU and back to the Neuro Acute Care floor this afternoon.  She still has a long road ahead.  Life won't be the same for her but she will live.  She'll have to adapt to her new reality but it's really been a wake up call for her.  She's said multiple times that she will be treating my sweet father-in-law so much better.  His reply?  "Promise?"  It was a bitter sweet moment to witness.  She's expected to spend a couple days in the hospital before being transferred to a rehab facility for up to two weeks.  Then she'll be home with her husband.

It's been a long week.  A very long week.  Lots of emotions.  Lots of seeing the true colors of people as they deal with the trauma of the potential death of a parent.  Some has been good, some not so good.  Family drama happens in every family.

In the end, though, I witnessed miracle upon miracle happen.  God still lives.  He helps us--as long as it is His will.  But He protected LG and continues to help her recover.

14 April 2015

First Dance

Al likes to play with Photoshop so I asked him to experiment with one of my favorite photos of G2's wedding.  It was over exposed and I was very sad.

I like it.

10 April 2015

Puppy Pow--*cough cough*

Little miss "Pup-Pup" had her four month birthday last Friday.  She's been a busy beaver, I mean, puppy.  She's gone to several lacrosse games (driven me crazy), had her first puppy play date with Murphy last week, learned some new tricks ("Speak!" is really cute, I'll have to upload it.), and destroyed my computer mouse.  She also hid one of my shoes.  *sigh*  And she's chasing cats.  Oh, and learned to get up on the table.

I've been spending time with her in the living room the past couple weeks.  She has more room to play after we decided to use the puppy play pen as a fence to keep her out of the rest of the house. She likes to sit next to me and chew things:  my fingers, hair, clothes, hands, arms, oh, and her toys! She has her food and water, access to all her toys (and cats), and I am somewhat comfortable sitting on the couch with my laptop, indexing.  And setting it down to let her out.  And let her back in.  Let her out, in, out, in... Out...  in...  Ugh.

And then picking the orange tabby and Calico up from the other side of the fence and carrying them over to their food.  She's pretty jealous of that.  But she's happy with the set up, even if I miss sitting in my comfortable office chair with my huge monitor and wireless keyboard.

But she started coughing and gagging too.  Not a lot, just enough that I started questioning whether I should take her to the vet over it.  After consulting with GB, I made the appointment.

Yup, Kennel Cough.  Well, the vet said kennel cough is an umbrella of sorts, like the common cold in humans.  And she has it.  The x-ray showed that there was nothing in her lungs (or in her digestive system) and he put her on antibiotics and a cough tablet.  The cough suppressant doesn't seem to be working.  She's still gagging/coughing way too much for my preference.

You can tell she's not feeling very well because she's sleeping more than normal during the day.

At least she's not gasping for air.

We've also had to work around her old favorite chewy water bottles.  They're just too fragile for her teeth.  We've moved on to Gatorade and gallon water bottles.  They seem to be working for now.
When I started writing this entry, she was sitting on my lap going to town on a rawhide.  Better than my hands/fingers!

 Yes, that's Zoey within a foot of her, watching the chow-down.

But by the time I uploaded the photos, she'd stopped chewing and crashed.

She's still crashed.

I love my little Pup-Pup but she's one exhausting pooch!

07 April 2015


Two and a half months.  It's been nearly two and a half months since I visited my dentist and found out that I had not one, but two cracks in a back molar.

Finally!  Today, after two and a half months, I got the permanent crown.  It's been a long and painful road but I made it.  I suffered through how many needle pokes, how many drillings, how many "open your jaw as far as it will go, please", how many chewed up tongue thanks to, well, everything...

I made it.  My porcelain crown is very smooth and fit perfectly.


And the best part about it is that my jaw doesn't hurt anymore, like it did all the time before I started this journey.

This is one "journey" I'm glad is over!

06 April 2015

Improvement! With a Little Help

As my back started getting better last week, thanks to my cousin-in-law once removed high school friend chiropractor, my right calf muscle started acting up.  Again.

It's been bugging me for a couple months now.  I've done stretches, taken anti-inflammatory medication, put my "voodoo oils" on it, and nothing has helped.  It had gotten to the point where I could barely walk on it it hurt so bad.

As I was visiting the previously mentioned this past Friday, he expressed a concern that maybe it could be a blood clot and if I was really worried about it, I should get an ultrasound to rule out the clot.

Well, with that bit of information, I left his office and went to InstaCare, where I spent most of my Friday waiting for the results of a couple blood tests to see if I did really have a blood clot in my leg.  My leg apparently presented in a manner that it needed to be ruled out, hence the blood test.  I found out that IHC now uses Chloroprep instead of alcohol swabs to sterilize blood draws.  Not good as I found out the hard way I'm allergic to Chloroprep.  The phlebotomist forgot to ask me if I was and she used it...  I guess we'll see if I have as ugly as a reaction as I did seven years ago.  It took a week or so to show up back then...

At least I brought a book.  And finished it, within about an hour or so.  I read fast.  Should have brought more than one--or my charger.

Finally, after about three hours of waiting, I got an answer back on the bloodwork.  No clot.  *phew*  But that still didn't explain why my calf hurt so much.  The doctor was convinced it was related to my herniated L5 but thought it best that we experiment before I get another image of my back.  Not too keen on a CT myself and he was concerned about radiation.  Never heard a doctor be concerned about it before...

So the plan was a steroid "push" of prednisone along with a muscle relaxer.  If it worked, wonderful!  If not, onward to the imaging of the back.  He figures it's gotten worse in the two years since my, um, incident and consequent CT scan.

I admit I was a little leery of the prednisone.  The prescription reads three tablets for three days, then two tablets for three days, one tablet for three days, then a half tablet for three days.    I started the prescription Friday night and thought I was going to die.  I got so dizzy I wanted to die.  Any movement sent me into a tailspin.  Was it worth dealing with the dizziness?

Yes!!!  I woke up Saturday morning with absolutely no pain in my calf.  It hadn't been pain free in I don't know how long.

When I took the second dose of three tablets Saturday night, I have to admit I was concerned.  I took them right as I was going to bed in hopes that I'd be asleep when/if the dizziness hit.

It worked.  Last night, same thing.  I was either not awake for the dizziness or it's not happening.

My calf is still not hurting, though other parts of my body are.  My lower back is tons better, Wade says he can see the improvement.

But my "appetite" has increased.  I'm hungry all the time but I'm not hungry...  I feel like I need to eat yet when I look for something to eat, I don't want anything.  *sigh*

I will be so happy in a week when I'm off the prednisone.

But hey, it worked!  For now.