Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Starting the day off with Vitamin Booze...

So... I woke up this morning after sleeping relatively well on freshly laundered sheets.  I went down to the kitchen to get some coffee.  Bill couldn't find half and half at the store, so he bought some weird Chinese "whipping cream".  I'm not sure where he found this product.  I can't imagine he bought it at the local store, but whatever.  I go to pour the "cream" and nothing comes out.  It's supposed to be good until February, but it appears to be solid.  ETA: Actually, it expired in November.  It was packed in February.  Perhaps it's been shaken so much it turned into butter?  I don't know.  But I ended up using Bailey's Irish Cream instead of my usual cream and sugar.

Yesterday, I took Zane to the vet.  Arran came along for moral support.  The vet was puzzled as to why I was there.  I told her I wanted to talk to her about something.  I think she was surprised when I explained that I worried about Zane having picked up a tickborne illness.  I told her about how he'd had ehrlichiosis five years ago and was treated for it.  But over the past few months, he's seemed to have slowed down somewhat.  He still likes his walks, but sleeps more and almost seems a little bit lame at times.  He doesn't want to go down the stairs unless he has to.  Shifting lameness can be a sign of Lyme Disease.

The vet agreed, and also said it could be his thyroid.  I had another dog years ago who had a bum thyroid gland.  Zane doesn't act exactly like she did, but he does have some of the symptoms for hypothyroidism, too.  So she drew some blood and will do a full panel on him to see if he has any issues we can address with medication.  I showed her the small lump in Zane's flank.  She said it was under muscle and I should watch it.  Then she expressed amazement at how I'm able to find these things.  She also asked if I was a nurse.

No... I just happen to have advanced degrees in public health and social work, a background in epidemiology, and way too much time on my hands.  I wish I were less attentive because worrying over Zane is starting to cause me a lot of really serious anxiety that is manifesting in a physical way.

I mean it.  Yesterday, I started dry heaving upon waking.  My heart was racing for most of the afternoon.  I could barely eat, not that that's a serious problem.  I felt like crying but couldn't.  My back was all knotted with tension so bad it radiated to my right breast.  I used to experience these panic signs more often than I do now.  I can't say I'm glad to have them return.

Even as I was enduring these symptoms, I kept telling myself in my head that Zane isn't MacGregor and does not seem to be at death's door.  He's basically happy, eats well, sleeps well, poops and pees, and takes his walks, even if he's a bit slower than he was a few months ago.  And I am doing what I can to help him.  I still can't help but think about the other dogs I've had who have gotten sick and not with things that were easily taken care of.  Bill and I have had bad luck with relatively young dogs getting rare and devastating diseases, so now I'm on high alert.

I told the vet that I was sorry to be so neurotic.  She said it was okay.  I think it must be hard to be a vet sometimes.  I read a blog post yesterday by a vet who hated his work and finally quit.  It's scary to think about how much money people put into their educations only to find out that they hate what they do.  This guy sounded absolutely miserable as a veterinarian.  He even said he hates horses!  I can't even imagine that.

It's probably a good thing I never had any children.  I am the opposite of my mother, who was pretty much what I'd call "underprotective".  She pretty much let me do what I wanted and never really cared where I was or what I was doing.  I remember she'd take me to the doctor only if I had some annoying symptom like coughing for days.  I would see her worry about things, but it wasn't usually me who caused her to worry.  She worried more about my dad and their finances.

Honestly, as helpful as Facebook groups about mast cell cancer and holistic methods can be, I probably need to stop reading posts on them on a daily basis.  Every day, I see pictures of dogs with horrible tumors that are nothing like what my dogs have had.  I read horror stories from other people and think that maybe this is what's in store for us.  But it's not necessarily, and I need to stop freaking myself out with what might happen and live for today.  Also, there are some very opinionated people in those groups, as well as some that are so into supplements and essential oils that my head spins in confusion.  I have to keep things simple for my sanity's sake.

Yesterday, I also got a private message from an old friend of mine who is a minister.  My mother-in-law had been attending his church for awhile, but then abruptly stopped when he made an unfortunate comment about getting his numbers up for when his boss visited.  Mother-in-law was not amused, even if it's a fact that my friend's job depends on keeping butts in the pews.  She also said his church was a little more contemporary than what she likes.  He wanted to know if she was okay.  I told him she was and I'd pass his message to her the next time we Skype.  It was a little awkward, though.  I didn't tell him why she quit attending because I didn't figure it was my place.

Since I have nothing of import to do today, I think I might finish reading Carly Simon's book.  It will give me something to post about besides my dogs and anxiety.

Oh, and by the way... RIP Alan Thicke.


  1. Alan Thicke died? Tha childhood father of my dreams, even if his character was an MD? My heart is crushed! I thought his first wife, Gloria l=Loring, had (perhaps still does have) an awesome voice. RIP, Alan Thicke.

    1. Yes, he died very suddenly yesterday. Had a heart attack. :(


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