Sunday, July 28, 2013

More Tales of Woe

My summer bucket list has taken a back seat as I start week 7 of recovering from whatever it was that took me down during my horrible vacation week.  The last month or so has consisted almost entirely of resting/tending to my body, going to doctor appointments, working and doing what is minimally necessary to keep my life going.  In the last month I have visited my primary care doctor, my acupuncturist (numerous times), an allergist and a dermatologist.  I am throwing everything I can at this illness! I am happy to report that I have seen steady improvement over the last week, so I am really hopeful that I am going to be back to my old self very soon.  Today is the first day I have felt vibrant, alive and relatively comfortable in my body in far too long!  It was glorious, productive and extremely restorative.

In addition to my health problems, we also had a scary health situation with Tchazo.  Apparently, I needed to add some more stress to my life because being swollen, covered in rashes and itching like mad 24-7 isn't enough stress!

Two weeks ago, after spending some time in the backyard with us, we noticed Tchazo was acting strangely.  He was falling down a lot, having trouble standing back up on his own and one of his feet was swollen.  We thought he might have gotten it stuck somewhere and hurt it, but it didn't seem broken.  We thought maybe he had encountered a bug/bee, but we couldn't find a sting or a bite.  We decided to let him rest through the night and planned to see what it looked like in the morning before making any decisions.  By the morning, it had swelled to 3 times the size of his other feet and had become red and nasty looking.  Paul took him to the vet, thus beginning what was to be a full week of almost daily vet visits, lots and lots of drugs and tests, a plethora of blood/pus drainage and necrosis.

In the end, the vet was pretty confident that he had been bitten by a poisonous spider.  I didn't even know we had poisonous spiders in Minnesota!

Paul has been an excellent nurse to Tchazo.  Tchazo's foot had a sizable patch of necrosis which the vet had to cut away.  The wound was too large to stitch closed, so Paul was taught how to perform sterile wound care and bandage changes.

I think Tchazo knows Paul is helping him out because he is very patient during the daily bandaging sessions.  We have been taking pictures of his wound to monitor it and make sure there is no infection.  I am sparing you those pictures (and the pictures of my rashes, too!).  So far he is healing on his own, which means we can avoid surgery.  Considering his other health issues, surgery might not have been a viable option for him anyway, so we are really relieved his foot is healing.  There were a few days where his system was so overrun with toxins from the bite that he wasn't moving, drinking, eating or really able to do anything other than lay there in glassy-eyed misery.  I know people always say that cats are the ones with 9 lives but I am starting to think that this dog of ours was blessed with that same quality!

It feel like I have been that person who always seems to have a dramatic story to tell lately.  In addition to the major stories I've shared with you here, there have been some more minor incidences as well.  Like that night last week when I was home by myself trying to fall asleep and heard a strange noise.  When I got up to look outside, I saw a strange man crouching down in my fenced in backyard.  For the record, a call to Paul who was 20-30 minutes away yielded a response time 45 minutes faster than a call to the police did.  Yep, the police took 1 hour and 15 minutes to get here and when they did, they didn't even look around my yard beyond skimming with a flashlight from their car.  After I originally saw Intruder Man, he disappeared, leaving the gate open so I knew I hadn't imagined it.  After about 30 minutes, he came back and was walking around the yard.  When Paul pulled up, Intruder Man walked out of the yard towards the car.  Paul confronted him and questioned him.  His story was that he was "waiting for somebody" and he willingly obliged Paul's aggressive order to vacate the premise.  Good luck resting well after that!

Then, there was that other night where I was having trouble sleeping because I had read a gruesome description of civil war amputations right before trying to fall asleep and it was haunting my dreams.  In my half asleep state of mind, I kept becoming aware of sirens and then drifting out of it again, only to awake to more sirens.  This was the first night in many weeks that we had turned off the air conditioning and I was thinking, "Man!  It is so much louder when we have the windows open.  I don't remember there being this many sirens usually."  That cycle continued for a while longer before I realized that the sirens were all stopping close to our house.  When I got up to look out front, I realized that someone else was having a far worse night than I was.

The street was closed and full of emergency vehicles.  A shop on the block had caught on fire.  The firefighters were using axes to break the windows and saws (for what, I am not sure), which was a surreal thing to see and hear at 1:30 AM and also served as further fuel for my gruesome civil war dreams.

And then, on Paul's birthday, we came home after having been gone all day.  While unlocking the door, we heard Tchazo making non-Tchazo type shrieking barks.  We were freaked out thinking that Tchazo, who was already wounded, had had something else horrible happen to him while we were gone.  It took us a minute to find him once we got inside.  He had managed to lock himself in the bathroom and was totally scared out of his mind.  He must have gone into the bathroom and in the process of turning around, his giant cone must have snagged the door and closed it.  He, having not had bathroom issues since he was a puppy, was so scared that he peed and then managed to knock down everything in the bathroom that wasn't secured into place in his frantic twirling about.  After we cleaned up the mess and calmed him down, we had a laugh about the ridiculousness of this scenario!

I am a frequent listener of The Moth podcast, which ends with a sign-off to the effect of, "May you have a story-worthy week."  After the last few months, I am not sure that is a very nice thing to wish for someone!  At this point, I would cherish a humdrum, uneventful, story-free week!

I've been away from the blog for a while and for the most part, have been laying low, trying to get better.  I have managed a few fun events here and there, so I am going to try to catch up on those posts this week.  Paul had a birthday!  I picked and preserved over 10 pounds of blueberries! I got a new camera!  More to come...sans woes.

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