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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Colby the Dog

In November, Colby went to the vet for a routine teeth cleaning. A few hours after dropping him off, I got a call from the vet saying that they found something strange with his bloodwork. His white blood cell count was around 3.5 and this was too low. And everything has sucked since. Part of me wishes I never would have taken him for that cleaning and the other part of me is happy that I did.

When I picked him up that day the vet sent him home with a prescription for an antibiotic, hoping that maybe it was just an infection. After he was finished with the antibiotics, his WBC count was still low and we began talking about doing a bone marrow aspiration. The process sounded painful so I opted to try more medicine. We also did an x-ray and it showed a seemingly healthy dog. Colby got another round of antibiotics and prednisone. The prednisone brought his WBC count back up and I was thrilled. He was scheduled for an allergy shot and a recheck on his blood about 3 weeks later. I was hopeful that the WBC count would still be high but I knew it was too good to be true.

His WBC count, as of yesterday, is 1.15 in the neutrophils and he is scheduled for the bone marrow aspiration Monday. The vet also told me that his neutrophils looked odd under a microscope. He seems doomed but he energetic, happy, loves to eat still Good signs, right?

I'm not sure what to think at this point. Is he reacting to the allergy shots? Does he have cancer? I have no idea but I hope we get some answers. In the mean time, I am going to try to make him as comfortable as I can. The whole thing has me totally depressed though. I'm anxious for some answers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Got brass in pocket

A few days ago I dug out an old coat just for a change of pace. I never wore this coat very often so it is still in good condition. Once I slid my hands into the pocket, I found a treasure trove of old goodies to share with my dear readers.

1. Bath and Body Works Cucumber Melon lotion. If you have shopped at Bath and Body Works over the years then you know just how old this label is.
2. Laerdal Face Shield. I remember getting this from a fire fighter who taught a CPR class I took while working at a child care center. This face shield is supposed to prevent you from getting cooties if you have to perform CPR. I remember the fire fighter told us a good story about a stripper who tried to sue him because he had to cut her clothes when giving her CPR after the OD'd. She didn't win.
3. $3.47 I love finding money in my pockets!
4. Subway Club Card and 5. Subway Club Card Stamps. I'll have to see if Subway still does this promo. I have a feeling they don't.
6. Cough drops and 7. Cough drop wrapper. I bet I would find cough drops in every coat pocket I own. I always have a cold.
8. Three receipts. These receipts are the best part of the entire find. All three receipts are dated from 2003 and two of them are from Big Bear. If you're from around these parts then you know it's been a while since Big Bear has been around. It was a blast from the past to say the least!
9. Cryptic piece of paper with a license plate written down. No clue whose plate number this is or why I felt compelled to jot it down.
10. Postage stamps. I always hate getting 1 and 3 cent stamps. I know I'll never use them but I feel guilty throwing the away. So what do I do? Let them fester in my coat pockets.

There you have it, folks: the contents of an old coat. So go dig out an old coat and come back and tell us what's in your pocket.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You Suck

In 2 hours I see the surgeon for my first post-op follow up appointment. Rumor has it they are sucking the boogies out of my nose since I have not been allowed to blow them out myself for the last week. Having a tube stuck up my nostrils scares me to no end. In any event, things should feel better afterwards. I'm making Brian watch!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cuts like a knife

After years of sinus problems I final went under the knife and had surgery.

When I was a kid, I had horrible allergies that kept me sick most of the time. I remember the weekly allergy shots and frequently sitting out in gym class for fear of hacking up a lung. As I moved into my pre-teen and teen years, the allergies turned into sinus problems and I was sicker than ever.

Taking a job in a 100 year old school, in the basement was the last straw for my nose. I spent the entire school year plagued with sinus infections. After a visit to the ER in June with near-pneumonia, I finally made an appointment with an ENT. I had a CT scan done, at the height of my sinus infection and it showed a bent septum and sinuses that received no oxygen. Surgery for septoplasty, turbinate reduction, and sinuses was scheduled and after putting it off some, I had it done on January 7.

Brian and I arrived at the ENT hospital around 8 am and checked in. After waiting for a few minutes, I was taken to the pre-operating room and Brian was not able to come with me. I gave him a kiss then headed back with the nice nurse. I was weighed, given my lovely dressing gown and surgery cap, an IV was slapped in my hand, and I was good to go.

The surgeon's resident came by to answer my questions and had me sign a release form. He told me that he himself had a septoplasty done two weeks ago and that he was back at work the next day. I appreciate that he was trying to ease my nervousness but after having the surgery, I have to call BS on being at work the next day. I signed the form, promising not to sue and away Billy the Bad Ass resident went. A few more nurses visited me and the anetheseologist. Finally, the surgeon stopped by and let me know that surgery would be happening soon. My doctor was able to put me at ease by informing me that not only would there not be packing, but there would also be no splints. I was ready for surgery right then and there after hearing that.

The anetheseologist came back again with a new nurse. He pulled out two vials and said "here comes the good stuff!" I don't remember much after that. Apparently, the "good stuff" was the anethesia and the next thing I know, I'm waking up to a spinning room, about two hours later.

For whatever reason, the only time I run a fever is when I have surgery. When I woke up a nurse was rubbing a wet cloth over my face and chest. She gave me some ice chips and I prayed that I would not vomit. Not only does vomiting suck but it also keeps you in the hospital longer.

Eventually Brian got to come back and I was able to keep my Sprite down so they released me. I found out lots of things about my sinuses. One good thing was that the sinuses were not as bad as originally believed. However, I had two cysts that were removed. The major problems came from the septum. 90% of my airway was blocked by the septum, resulting in a lack of oxygen and a breeding ground for infections.

For the first few nights, sleeping was difficult. I needed a 45 degree angle and that just isn't comfortable. Not to mention the bloody nose. The doctor told me that by Saturday I will start feeling the pain so on Friday in anticipation, I took the prescribed pain killer. Lucky for me the pain never came. Instead of pain, I am mostly experiencing discomfort and extreme tiredness.

My nose is full of crusted over blood and shooting saline solution into my nose 30 times a day is helping with that. I'm dizzy and I have pressure on my forehead and sinuses. More or less, I feel like I have a bad sinus infection. But I'm not in pain, so I can handle one more "sinus infection". On Wednesday, I get my nose suctioned so we'll see how the pain is after that!

When I woke up in the hospital, I noticed right away that my breathing had already improved. My fear with this surgery was that I would go through all of this and experience no relief. I am already breathing better. I look forward to my progress over the next few months while I recover.