Piper Update

  • Piper went to an emergency vet clinic at 4:00 Eastern Time. Although we knew Piper’s heart is enlarged, and has been for years, it does not look like he is in congestive heart failure. His liver is extremely large because of his heart problem. His liver is pushing all of his organs, including his stomach, down, causing the distension in his abdomen. His food was just sitting in his very full stomach. The food had nowhere to go since his intestines were also full. The dogtor did something called a rectal (don’t know and don’t want to know) to clear it out. That worked, and Piper went outside and pooped for five solid minutes. He felt much better, as we all would in that situation.

    He went home with instructions to go to his regular vet and have his insulin level checked. He is an insulin dependent diabetic. He seems to be out of the woods for right now. As funny as it sounds, the digestive issue would have been life-threatening if it hadn’t been resolved today. We just don’t know yet what can be done about the enlarged liver and the problems it is presenting. Many thank to everyone for their POTP, prayers, concern and comments.
    Piper was feeling much better, with a smile on his precious face even while his eyes were getting heavy on the way home.


  • From Bad to Worse by Lucy

    0123171610aThis morning Amy saw bloody liquid drizzling out of my owie. She put one of her T-shirts on me and took me back to the vet. It is a long ride and by the time we got there my her shirt was soaked in bloody wetness. I was happy to be at the vet doctor’s office because they are all so nice to me. Then Amy left me and the vet people irritated my owie with a saline salute. I mean regaed it. Or gated it. Or something like that. And they closed it back together with metal things. And I am on medicine so I don’t get an insect. Or something like that. It is all because of what I did to my owie with my tongue. All of you were right. I thought I was being clever when I didn’t let Amy see that I could still lick it, even with the pretty blue donut thingy around my neck. But it seems that I was a bad girl and now I am being punished with this horrible collar of shame. I can’t sniff the ground to figure out where I want to go potty, I can’t reach my water or food, and I get stuck places. I am on sick leave from work, too, but at least Jeff will be here with me and let me sleep in his office. *sigh* I have to go back to the vet doctor this Friday. Maybe if I am real good and do everything I am told, all they will do is pet me and give me treats and tell Amy to take the collar of shame off me.0123171609-1

    My Owie and No Prayerful Vision

    Hi, I’m Lucy. I know I said I wasn’t going to start blogging until after I had fully recovered from the cut the vetdoc made on my belly. But I think you, my new friends, need to know what has happened around here. First, I kept waking Amy up during the night with what she called my incest licking. Or something like that. I couldn’t help it, the glued-together cut on my belly has been bothering me. She punished me by going out all alone with Jeff to a place called church this morning. When they got back, Amy took one look at my red belly and put this thing on me. I don’t understand why she would put something on me that she said would interfere with my prayerful vision. Or something like that. I can only see what is right in front of me, and I am freaking out every time I get a glimpse of something off to the side. What if aliens are coming at me? Or squirrels?

    I have no prayerful vision.

                    I have no prayerful vision.

    I know there is a boat in the driveway, so I thought maybe this was my life vest and we were going boating. Nope, just a walk down the street and back, and not a very long one at that. I am being a very good girl. Can anyone help me get this off?

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      Doesn’t Amy know I can’t lick my owie now?

     

    Meet Lucy

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                     Lucy in my office at St. Luke

    This sweet girl is a rescued, dark brindle bullie mix. She came to live with us a week ago on Saturday, while I looked for a good home for her. I don’t get attached to dogs quickly, so no problem. Besides, she isn’t a schnauzer! We figured it was better to pick out a name to call her rather than keep referring to her as “the dog.” I came up with Lucy.  Monday afternoon I approached Jeff with tears in my eyes and asked if we could keep her. Without hesitation he nodded and said, “Of course.” WE HAVE A NEW DOG!

    Lucy makes the house feel alive again. She has also filled a little bit of the space in my heart that Lexi’s passing left desolately empty. I imagine that space will keep filling as we get to know and love each other even more.

    Lucy has been accepted as the new, permanent church dog. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her- staff, volunteers, parishioners, children. The pastor’s 10-year-old daughter comes after school and runs through the hall playing with Lucy, and sits or lays on the floor petting and hugging her, and saying, “I love you, Lucy.” Lucy has also been great with the few younger children she has chanced to meet over the last week.

    Lucy sitting

    Jeff called her “the perfect dog.” She has a temperament that can’t be beat, is playful without being obnoxious (you know what I mean), knows a few simple commands, barely sheds and has not had any accidents in the house. No, she waited to go to work with me to pee on the hallway runner. And to Petco to pee about 87 gallons on the floor while I sorted through new collars. So, maybe “almost perfect.”

    I took her to the vet on Tuesday, where I found out she is a little over a year old and 58 pounds. While there, I was able to observe her interacting with two smaller dogs. I saw tail wags and friendly nose touches. That is also where I realized  – while the vet was searching her abdomen for a scar indicating she had been spayed – that she had gone into heat. She went back yesterday for an ovario-hysterectomy. She is home now, resting at my feet, and obviously not feeling her best after major surgery.

    Lucy asked me to let everyone know that she looks forward to blogging with all of you and making new friends, and hopes to be accepted and loved in this community as well. She indicated that she will start blogging after she has had time to recover from her surgery.

    An aside to all who might be wondering if this means I am no longer looking for a schnauzer. Not as obsessively. Not as actively. But there is always room in our home and hearts for a second dog if the right one comes along.

    Renal Failure Update

    Lexi asked me to update all her friends in Blogville as to her condition while she is at the vet’s this morning getting another – and possibly final – kidney treatment.

    After her second treatment yesterday, more b/w was done. Her kidneys are responding somewhat. But not enough. The vet said the key is if she will eat and also keep it down. All I could get her to eat yesterday was some goat cheese we were having with supper. Her little cousin Piper was here and she perked up enough to beg at the table. All my tricks and coaxing couldn’t get her to eat anything else though. She has gotten very thin, and she has started shivering. I don’t know if it is from pain or what, but Jeff suggested that her body isn’t getting enough fuel to keep her warm.

    We should know withing the next few days if she is going to recover enough from the kidney failure to continue with any kind of quality of life. Wow, this is a hard one to write. I think it will soon be time to call in her family and friends to say their last goodbyes.

    I don’t have any brave Lexi or Mom pictures to show you today. I think we are both feeling pretty scared. Lexi has never been a snuggler or lap sitter, and now she wants me to hold and snuggle her most of the time. I will give her anything she wants.

    I want to thank everyone so much for their prayers and support. 13 is a good, long life, and she has already lived 3 months longer than the 30 days the oncologists gave her. I am so grateful for these past three month.

    Lexi or I will keep you informed. It’s almost time for me to go pick her up from the vet, where the techs all love her and where they are all doing everything possible to help her have more good time left.  So I will say good bye for now.

    Amy, Lexi’s faithful servant

    Hospital Stay Today

    And Tomorrow, I am told.

    I haven’t been feeling so great. I haven’t said anything ’cause I thought it would pass. Kinda’ like all my food has been passing the wrong direction at 5:00 in the morning the last two days. I not only gave it all back this morning at that hour when Mom and I both wish we were asleep, but I continued to puke at work. I haven’t been eating much, either, ’cause my tummy has been upset. I did eat some peanut butter treats and cheese last night. And lost it all this morning.

    So Mom cancelled her lunch with the boss lady today and took me to the vet. First they did x-rays, just pictures, really, of my chest and neck. I got to go back and sit with Mom while Dogtor Rob looked at them (Dogtor Rob is Dogtor Karen’s husband – Dogtor Karen was out of town today.). Then I sat with the nice tech while Mommy went back and looked on the computer to compare my x-rays from May with the new ones. The big tumors on my neck aren’t bothering anything – that’s the good news. Now for the not good news: the tumors in my lung have gotten really big, too. Mom and the dogtor also looked over my blood work from May. Dogtor Rob said he wanted to steal my blood again to see what was going on, especially with liver and kidney functions. He said that could be causing me to puke.

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    Waiting on Mom’s lap

    Mom promised she would not leave, not even to get lunch, so that made it better when the tech carried me back for the vampire to suck my blood. I waited with Mom while they processed it, or whatever it is they do. The dogtor came back in the room to show Mom the results. He said if I was a person, I would be on dialysis right now. He said they needed to keep me all day to do a “slow drip” of fluids and give me some kind of shot that makes my intestines do things like a dialysis machine would do. Weird, huh? So they take my blood and are giving me back water. What a jip.

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    There’s your purse Mom. Let’s make a run for it.

    If that wasn’t bad enough, Mom left. That was the worst part, not being with my Mom. She came back and got me before they all went home because she insisted she wasn’t leaving me there all night. They left a needle called a catheter in my leg and have it all bandaged up with gauze so I won’t pull it out. I have been quite successful in getting sympathy by holding up and limping on that leg.  I have to go back tomorrow and have the same thing done, then they will steal more blood either tomorrow night or Saturday morning.

    For tonight, Dogtor Rob sent home some new swill food called k/d for kidney diet. I think I will turn my nose up at it like I have at the i/d Mom bought yesterday. Wait, what’s that you are waving under my nose, Mom? Wait, I want some…sorry folks gotta go!

     

    Catching Up

    My BFF Piper left me.

                  I’m Ella.   My BFF Piper left me.

    You may remember that Mom took me and Piper on a road trip over the Fourth of July weekend. We went Up North to Pee Yay to see my bestest friend Rhonda. Ella had to stay at our house with my Dad, who also had to stay at our house. I don’t know why, so don’t ask.

    Piper totally under blanket at Rhondas

    He, he, they can’t find me.

    While we were there, Piper invented a new game of hide and seek. Mom watched the whole thing, but my friend Rhonda suddenly saw something moving around under the blanket, and out popped Piper’s head!

     

     

     

     

     

    Bed rest is prescribed for my knee.

    Bed rest is prescribed for my knee.

    Also while we were Up North, I fell down the stairs going up to the bedroom. You see, I was following Mom up these wooden stairs and my left leg sort of gave out on me because of the hip dysplasia. I slid backwards down 3 steps. When I tried to stop myself with my right back leg, I twisted my knee. *sigh* This week Dr. Karen checked my knee and it is sprained. I am supposed to try to stay off it as much as possible, take my pain pills and ice it several times a day.  I get 3 pain pills, which makes me sleep a lot, which keeps me off my leg! Brilliant!

     

    Why are we here?

    Why are we here?

    After returning home, Piper cried and fussed and drove Dad crazy hid behind the toilet when me and Mom went to work. Mom said she would try taking him to work with us the next day. Daddy cried with joy and kissed Mommy’s feet. Dad thought that was a good idea. Piper is not a working dog like me. He doesn’t know how to behave in an office. He kept running down the office hallway and barking at the nice man fixing our air conditioning. He tried to leave with some people that we didn’t know. And someone  left a puddle in our boss’ office. What Mom? No, why would you think I was jealous and acted out because the pastor held Piper in her lap?  I guess no one will ever know “who done it”!

     

     

    This is a good place to eat my lunch.

    This is a good place to eat my lunch.

    Since then, Mom has been taking only me to work, which is as it should be. She has to carry me up and down the stairs to protect my knee. We go upstairs to the big hall to eat our lunch because 99 degrees is too hot to sit outside. Mommy does take me outside a couple of times a day, though, to roll in the grass and soak up some of that wonderful sun.

    I'm a good boy riding in the car.

    I’m a good boy riding in the car.

    Piper has always hated riding in the car because it made him feel sick to his tummy. He would run and hide if he suspected a ride was imminent. Not anymore! Now he wants to go everywhere we go. As a treat, Mom took him for a ride to Walgreen’s to get my pain medicine. Mom apologizes for the bad picture. She said it was hard to get while driving idling at a red light. You can see he is sitting up on the back seat. His normal riding position used to be as low as he could get on the floor of the back seat. Mom says we have made a breakthrough!

    I think that gets us all caught up. I had better go and put ice on my knee now. Oh wait! Be sure to come back for a visit on Tuesday. Us Mayoral Candy Dates have HUGE announcements to make, and I don’t want you to miss it. We will all be linking to each other’s blogs so everyone knows everything!   I can’t wait!

    Health, Friends and Flowers

    First, an update on my health, because inquiring minds want to know, right?

    Saturday Mommy and I went to see Dr. Smith, who is another dogtor where my beloved Dr. Karen works. I’ve developed another tumor under my left ear. It’s odd, almost like a cyst, but not. It doesn’t bother me any, though, and the decision was to leave it alone unless it gets much bigger or starts seeping anything. Then there was the matter of the strange, splinter-like thing sticking out right next to one of my front toenails. Dr. Smith said it was like a hangnail on a person, and that it can be cut short and it wouldn’t hurt me. I think Mom forgot ’cause she hasn’t done that yet. Finally, Mom told Dr. Smith I had kept her up most of Friday night with the squirts. He got me some of that paste medicine that Mom squirts in my mouth to soothe my gut. I am glad it doesn’t taste too bad.

    Unfortunately for all of us, the paste didn’t work. Mommy says Saturday and Sunday nights were an exercise in patience and stamina for her. When Mom called back on Monday and said the paste wasn’t working, Dr. Smith said to give me Imodium. It is mint flavored and not too bad to swallow. After it started working, I noticed that my tummy was upset, so I needed to go out a lot during the night to eat clover. Mommy is walking around looking kind of like those zombie things you see on TV. I can’t help it if it all happens for about 12 hours, starting at bedtime. I heard I am to sleep in our bedroom with Dad tonight and Mom is sleeping by herself in the guest room. I don’t guess Dad is going to get much sleep tonight. He will be zombie daddy tomorrow.

    Oh, I almost forgot. On the way home from the dogtor on Saturday, just as Mommy was driving over the Chickamauga Dam, I went into a seizure. There wasn’t anything she could do without risking having a car accident, so she just reached over and stroked me to help me stay calm. It didn’t last more than a few minutes and really wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t scared, but I was kinda’ ticked off that my right side went all weird. My right legs got stiff and my head kept pulling to the right. As soon as possible, Mom pulled off the road and held me and within a couple of minutes I was ok and ready to help navigate us back home. When Mom told the dogtor, he confirmed what she thought. The melanoma tumors have probably moved to my brain. I don’t really understand what that means. Mom said to not worry about it, just try to eat what I like and enjoy my life.

    Speaking of enjoying, my cousins Piper and Ella came to stay with me.

    That's me in the front.

    That’s me in the front. I’m the boss.

    AND I found out today that Mommy is driving up to Pee A this Friday and she is taking me and Piper with her!  Yay! I will get to visit my friend Rhonda and my friends Pai and Claud.  It will take 10 or 11 hours each way, but I don’t mind the drive. Ella is staying home with my Dad.

    Finally, lookie what Dad surprised Mommy with. He also bought her sweets, but they didn’t last long enough to take any pictures, BOL. Can you believe she didn’t share her cream horn tonight?

    roses

    Unresponsive

    NOW what?

    NOW what?

    Unresponsive. Yep, that’s what this Big C is to the poison they pumped into my system up at UTK. Even after making me “sick as a dog” (excuse the pun) it only poisoned ME, not the C. There are more tumors growing in my upper gums. So no more chemo. The nice Dr. Karen has now put me on an herbal and another medicine to try to slow down the advance of the C.

    How much longer, Mom? You forgot my breakfast!

    How much longer, Mom? You forgot my breakfast!

    After that news, we moved to my favorite room at the animal hospital – the one where I get my acupuncture! My appointment wasn’t for about 87 hours, but nice Dr. Karen said there was no sense me going home and coming right back, so she would get to me in a little while if we could wait. Mom agreed, but no one remembered I had not had my breakfast. All ended well, as the treat dispenser named Angela came in before I died of hunger and started feeding Wellness Treats into my mouth while Dr. Karen made me a pincushion. My hip does feel better, and we stopped at Mickey D’s on the way home!

    Pee S, I overheard Mom talking to my other bestest friend named Sky about getting me another massage! Umm, I think it was for me, anyhow. I will let you know.

    Back to Work, Back to Vet, Get Well Cards

    It’s been a rough kind of week. As many of you know, I had my first chemo treatment last Thursday. Being the good employee that I am (and not eligible for sick pay) I went on in to work at St. Luke last Friday. Here is me getting everything done so I can go home when Mom is ready:

    Some of my friends sent me get well cards. First, Noodle, Macy and Molly e-mailed me the cutest cards.

    emailed card piZap_1463748051558 piZap_1463748306138

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My boyfriend Noodle also sent me a video card:

    Then I got some real live cards  from the mail person. They were actually from Noodle and his family (he wrote he loves me on the back of the envelope!) as well as the beautiful goldens,  Bonny, Belle and Bess and their family. They both had slips of paper in them that made Mom get all teary-eyed. I wonder what they were…

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    I like my cards, but where are the treats?

    I have been taking two different pill for nausea, a pill to stimulate my appetite, and a pill to stop the squirts. I’ve been getting up lots during the night ’cause I keep feeling like I have to go out, but all I do is strain and dribble from the back end. All I want to eat is steak and sometimes chicken, and sometimes I can’t even eat that. Today I ate chicken, and Mom made me pumpkin and oatmeal cookies from a healthy dog cookie cook book. I ate most of one.

    sick Lexi in car

    I don’t feel good, Mommy.

    Then, a little later, everything  I ate came up all at once. I felt like I was going to die! Obviously, I didn’t. Mom called the oncology vet at UTK, Dr. Walters, and she said I had to go to the hospital here in Chattanooga, and that she was going to call the doctor there herself. Mom took me right away, and of course they stuck a glass stick up my poor patootie. The vet tech took my pulse, too. It was odd, no one has ever taken my pulse before. At least it wasn’t invasive like that awful stick. She said my temp and my pulse were normal. Dr. Smith came in and checked me and did what Dr Walters had suggested. He stuck another needle in me (this is really getting old) and started fluid running sub q. That is short for under my skin. Then he gave me a shot to help with the nausea. Mommy told me I was going to get that shot and that it would burn a lot and that I had to be brave. The dogtor said I keep having the squirts because my intestines are very irritated from the chemo and it makes me feel like I have to go potty all the time. I now have more medicine to take with all the other medicine I have. This one is to sooth my intestines and help with that almost constant feeling of urgency, if you know what I mean.

    After they were all done and had finished taking all Mom’s money Mom had paid them, I got to go home. I was sooo glad to see Mom! I felt some better when we got home, so I helped Mom eat her pan fried hamburger, then I ate some more of that store broiled chicken, then some of my homemade cookies. I have still been running outside with the feeling that I have to “go” but all my food has stayed down. That is very important to me.

    Hoping for a more restful night and no more urgent potty misery!

    I am Lexi the miserable with the tired Mommy.