Monthly Archives: January 2009

Morgan’s home!

She was so tired and hungry!   It’s like she’s trying to make up for the eating she didn’t do since Friday.  Then she takes a nap.

I went into the bedroom to change out of work clothes, and she rolled in the bed, celebrating being back in it.  I tried to get a camera or at least my cell phone, but of course, then she follows me.  So I couldn’t get pictures or video of all the great moments.

I fed her and had to do the 15 minutes of sitting up. That is the toughest thing!  Elphie keeps hovering around her, and while Morgan was sitting there, she leaned into me and then kissed her little sister.  Elphie cuddled against her, thrilled with the attention!

When I went to bed, the 3 dogs laid down near each other, reassuring that they’re back together.

The dogs cuddled together -- after making the bed to suit them.

The dogs cuddled together -- after making the bed to suit them.

We’re still waiting for test results.  Keep your fingers crossed!

The dogs on the golf cart, heading for the dog park in Disneys Fort Wilderness Campground Resort

The dogs on the golf cart, heading for the dog park in Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground Resort

This morning, she seemed a little quiet.  I don’t know if that’s fatigue or not feeling well.  I fed her and gave her both antibiotics; hopefully that will help.

Her left front leg is shaved where her IV feed line was; it looks so strange to have this band of skin in the middle of her leg! John teased that she looked like a poodle with one of the weird haircuts.

Bill was better than we expected.  I contacted the airline, canceling my flight.  We’ll see if I get any refund.  I also have to call and put a tour in my sister’s name.  I know I won’t get my ticket money back on that, but it’s small in comparison.

I think I’m as tired as Morgan.  I feel exhausted, coming off the tension.  I have things due and I can’t get my brain to work.  Yesterday afternoon, I have script work to do (not to mention work at the job), but all I could think about was getting home, seeing how she was, and then going to sleep in the middle of my dogs.  For the first time in years, I’m thinking of taking a day and just crashing.  I wish I could do it tomorrow. 😉  But I don’t feel like I can take one at all.

Morgan update: Monday morning

I called the vet a little while ago: she has her appetite back and she started pill antibiotics.  If she keeps that down, she can come off the IV.  So they’ll let her come home tonight if everything’s okay.

Morgan at work with John, hanging out under his desk

Morgan at work with John, hanging out under his desk

But her thyroid tests may not be in until Wed.  I’m still praying that it’s not her thyroid, cancer, or anything else horrible that’s causing this esophagus problem.

I’m calling the airline today to see if there’s any chance of canceling my ticket.  I’m expecting the answer is ‘no’, and I’ll have to eat it.  But someone is using the rest of the trip, so that’s still a gain.

But Morgan’s coming home!  Now if the rest can be just as positive….

Morgan update

John and I visited Morgan who is doing better.  Her fever is gone and her cough is better; she ate food for the first time although she didn’t like eating sitting up and having to stay sitting for a few minutes after it, but maybe it worked, because she didn’t get sick.

We asked if we could take her home, but she still needs IV antibiotics.  They’re stronger than a pill form, and the vets want her getting the strong dosages for 48 hours to really nip that pneumonia.  The doctor today say we caught the pneumonia early.  That eased my guilt a bit; I felt terrible that I didn’t take her to the vet right away, but I thought she had a little stomach bug that just needed rest and careful with her food for a day. …. dammit.

The thyroid tests won’t in until tomorrow to see if that’s the esophagus problems.  I’m hoping for all of our sakes that it’s not thyroid or anything more serious.  That this is one of those cases where we won’t know the cause, but he new way of eating will be all that she needs to be healthy and happy for a long time to

Morgan on the beach at Barnegat lighthouse

Morgan on the beach at Barnegat lighthouse


Coincidentally, a woman at the shelter is a nurse, plus another woman Pam, both told me they know cases in humans for this mega esophagus, and eating differently was fine.  This is the first canine case they heard of and the vets said it is rare.

Elphie was looking for Morgan last night, sniffing at me when I came home without her, then running out to the back yard, looking out the fence to see if she was out there and maybe jumped out to go to the lake.  Elphie is actually sticking tighter to me, which I would never have thought was possible.

As for the bill… we’re hoping we can pay them some tomorrow and get billed for the rest.  We’ll play a little book juggling for a bit as we get taxes and my bonus in.  I’m also cancelling my California trip; with my one web freelance job put on hold indefinitely and the other canceled, I just can’t do it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my head when it warned me to get trip insurance.  I’m going to have to find someone to take my plane and park ticket (I’m throwing the Walt tour in for free).  If I have to eat it all… I’ll have to, but at least I won’t be spending more.  But I can’t enjoy a trip by spending more money when my family needs me to be responsible.  [UPDATE ON TRIP: The thing that scares me now is: I don’t know if my plane ticket is transferable!  I forgot the whole 911 security measures now.  If I can’t sell that, I don’t know if I can sell any of the trip because that’s a lot for someone to take on.  I’m kicking myself for miles about that trip insurance.  I KNEW I should buy it and I got caught up with spending as little as possible.  What a f—ing idiot!!!!]

Of course, if the vet won’t let us pay the rest of the bill later…. I have no idea then.

But at least Morgan is getting better; she had more energy and was so glad to see us.  I’m beginning to feel that she is coming home; keep your fingers crossed that she’s okay — no thyroid, no cancer!

My dog Morgan is in the hospital

If you’re not a pet person, you don’t want to read any further.  I got nothing for you this time.

Morgan has been sick for a day; she couldn’t keep even water down.  Last night, if I kept her from eating or drinking a lot, but something small, it was okay, although not her normal health.  But this morning, Saturday, she kept coughing and was sick more.  I called the vet; our normal one couldn’t take us, but Hammonton was able to squeeze us in.

Keep in mind I was supposed to be at Deptford Petco with Oasis animal shelter.  I called the other volunteer who was working it with me and let her know I’d be late.  I figured go to the vet, get Morgan something for her stomach bug and go right to Petco, if Morgan was up to it.  So I had the shelter van; they dropped it off Friday night.

But at the vet, they said it wasn’t stomach, but thought it was pneumonia or cancer.  They took her for tests and I paced the tiny room for over half an hour.  In the end, they said she had mild pneumonia.  Trouble was: she was now dehydrated and couldn’t keep down a pill.  She had to be hospitalized for IVs.

But it didn’t stop there.

X-rays showed she had a rare condition called mega esophagus.  Her esophagus was sagging; the “muscles” couldn’t move her food down to her stomach anymore.  Water that she drank built up in the esophagus, like in a sac, and cold, I guess, led to the pneumonia.  She would have to eat mushy foods from now on and from a sitting position.  I can do that. BUT!  Thyroid might have caused it, or they may never discover it, or it might be cancer.  After going through the wringer, I agreed to hospitalize her, treat the pneumonia and let them test the thyroid.  She’d come home and we’d feed her the new way.  If she was able to keep food down and the thyroid was clear, it would probably be a cause we wouldn’t find.  Otherwise, she’d need testing at Penn or more likely, it was cancer.

Morgan enjoying a beautiful day in the convertible

Morgan enjoying a beautiful day in the convertible

The next kick came with: Hammonton is only open until 2; they suggested transferring to Egg Harbor that was open late Saturday and on Sunday. The vets could monitor her.  So off we go on another ride.

Meanwhile, it’s now ONE O’CLOCK.  I call the other volunteer, update her, and call Petco, apologizing to them.  I still had to pick up a cat for her new foster home and get the van back, but meanwhile, off to the hospital.

I had to wait around AGAIN until the finally agreed with the tests, but suggested perhaps more x-rays etc.  Generally, Morgan would be on IVs today and tonight to the morning.  Then they’d try a little water and food, and she could do that, oral antibiotics.   The thyroid tests probably wouldn’t get results until Monday.

To add to everything, the estimates and bills are HUGE!  I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do when I have to pick Morgan up and pay this bill.  I just don’t know.

Cathi had called me and found out what was going on.  She met me at Egg Harbor so I was going through this alone, and sat with Morgan petting her.  Morgan was so sweet this whole time.  She just wanted me close, cuddling, smiling and wagging….  They’d tell about the hospitalization or tests, and I’d see that sweet face, looking at me with perfect love and trust.

I’ve cried a lot today.

I was wearing a sweater with a tee underneath.  I went to the ladies room, got the tee off, and asked them to put it with her in her cage overnight.  Maybe it would help; maybe she’ll believe that I will come back for her.  At least, they’re no longer saying it’s an IF she comes home, but when she comes home.

So I keep going back from the fear of what’s happening to her and will she live and will she be well again, and then fear over coming up with this bill.

I called Pam at the animal shelter and she completely understood.  The kitty I was supposed to pick up actually got a home!  So I just dropped the van off when I got home.  Pam came out of her house and just enveloped me in a hug.  She offered her help in any way.  Her total understanding so helped.

By the time they took Morgan back to her crate, we were both exhausted, slumped on the floor. Now I’m in bed even though it’s 7.  I’m just done.

She’s got to come home and be well.  I can’t lose her…. not my hugging dog.  Not that sweet smile.  Not the big sister that Elphie adores and the partner that alternately competes and loves older sister Casey.

She’s too sweet not to have more time in this world.  And we need her too much.

I’m Gonna Always Love You! by Muppet Babies

Who else remembers this?  The ony good thing about Muppets Take Manhattan!  When this movie came on cable when I was a kid, I’d forward to this part and just watch it over and over.  Did I post this already?  Who cares, it’s that good!

Baby Rowlf was my favorite!  They’re all cute, but he just cracks me up!

Twenty-five things about me

A friend sent me this: you read their 25 things and then write your own.  Here was my response.

1. I was named after the country of Ireland. That means I’m named after 4,109,086 people. Nobody can top that except that wrestler, China!
2. My favorite cut of meat is Hugh Jackman.
3. I have 2 children if you count myself and my husband.
4. I have never killed anyone… with my bare hands.
5. My least favorite thing about myself is how introspective and shy I am.
6. When asked who do I miss the most, I answer “My slim thighs”.
7. My favorite sport to watch is The Drama Bowl, which is my husband rolling his eyes and flinging his arms up in the air when I didn’t do something he wanted.
8. I’ve never been to paradise, but I’ve been to me. It was terrifying: there was no gift shop.
9. These kinds of questionnaires always ask where were you born, so I’ll tell you that I was born on a hospital bed, in close approximation to my mom.
10. I didn’t shoot the sheriff, let alone the deputy.
11. The last time I cried was this past Thursday after seeing my paycheck.
12. I have climbed the highest mountains, just to get a better view.
13. I’ve been a Brownie, a Junior Forest Ranger, and a Junior Birdman.
14. My favorite sound is the host’s voice saying I won the Publishing Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. I haven’t heard it yet, but in my dreams, it’s fantastic.
15. I have asked my husband not to bring a date to my funeral. He answered that he can’t make any promises.
16. I plead the fifth on whether I’d sell some of my friends and family into white slavery for a batch of good homemade chocolate chip cookies with nuts.
17. I am not made of sugar and spice and everything nice; at least, not according to my x-rays.
18. I have done research to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.
19. I live in my own world, which is okay because they know me here.
20. I don’t say if the glass is half empty or half full. I say to the waiter, where’s the other half of my drink?
21. I have tuned in at the same Bat time, on the same Bat channel.
22. The bell rings for me as it does for all those who believe.
23. I know all the lyrics to the song “Tequila” by The Champs.
24. I have been a soldier in the Cookie Pushers Corps (aka the Girl Scouts)
25. I can imagine how proud my husband will be when he reads this.

Funny dog cartoon video from the Simon’s Cat creator!

The fantastic animator Simon Tofield, who makes the great the Simon’s Cat series, has a brand new cartoon!

Simon’s Sister’s Dog ‘Fed Up’

Elphie and Casey looked up a few times during this: they must have recognized their own tricks!

And John & I do make sure that a little treat is just that, and not something that’ll threaten their health.

Wonderfully funny job, Simon!  Keep ’em coming!

We’re taking names and kicking–

I finally had enough and went to the doctor’s last night.  Making the appointment ended up being perfect timing because on top of the congestion and coughing, my sinuses crashed on the way home, making me dizzy and extremely tired.  I had to put the window down so I didn’t fall asleep.

Apparently I have that guy from the Mucinex commercials moved into my chest along with his family and friends.   Also apparently, they’re not practicing protection and escalated everything to an infection.

And I was even taking Mucinex this whole time!  I suspect some kind of duplicity here: I take Mucinex…. Blobby and his friends almost go away, but come back in force so I take more Mucinex, sales skyrocket.

Yes, skyrocket!  I’ve been fighting this thing since December 17th!

But I am not known for my ninja skills for nothing!

I’m getting armed with antiobiotics and some heavy duty cough medicine (sorry DayQuil, I won’t be buying more of you.  Blame Mucinex for signing a long term lease with the Green Blobby family.)

Now because sitting in a doctor’s waiting room is enough of a bore that a simple case of congestion infection…

(Now I have Conjunction Junction running through my head.   No wonder my ears are stuffed up. )….

anyway, since congestion is not enough to make the wait worth it, my body decided to shove a rib out of place in my back.  From the coughing.  Yippee.

It’s nothing major; it’s just a bit of alignment and doesn’t bother a lot.  Mostly it’s when  I cough….

but I’m armed with PRESCRIPTION drugs now!  Blobby’s days are numbered. 

By the way, John was a sweetheart.  He took me to the doctor’s last night so I didn’t have to drive when I was feeling so cruddy.  And the other day when I had forgotten something in the car and he saw me having to go out into the bitter cold, aching with a headache & small fever, coughing … even though he was already comfy in bed, when I said:

Me: Here I go, out into the cold!

He immediately called out:  Wear a coat!

Here we go again….

My stepfather is giving us our mom’s things on Sunday. There’s a few interesting points.

First off, my sister Cheryl arranged this and told the family about it so they could be there on Sunday — except me.  Cathi had to forward all the email because I wasn’t included.  We’re guessing Cheryl thinks I’m still fighting with Ralph — despite me doing everything to go clear things up and all the times I’ve said I’ve talked to him.  Go figure.  She didn’t call my sister Mary by the right name either, so I’m probably ahead of the game.

Second, her husband Art suggested this system to avoid cries of being unfair.

He wants to put every thing in boxes, and number them.  We each get a number, and put it in a drawing for each box.  The number is drawn, and winner gets that box.  Losers (if more than one) can then put in another box.

Weird, but okay.   I don’t know what happens if you would rather something other than what you get — my Mom was going to give me her wedding band, as an example, from when she was married to my dad.

I had mentioned to Terry and Cathi that we needed to think of a way to delicately ask about something that belonged to the family but wasn’t in the boxes.  And if someone got one thing that didn’t mean as much to them as another, how we could act like mature people and peacefully handle it.

This morning, when nothing had been said about these things, I asked everyone again.  Gerry started with “let’s not lose the family over this” and how it’s Mom’s fault that Ralph and his kids may screw us over.  Then Cathi said I was wrong on some things, and when I replied that I was only repeating what she and Ralph had said, she sent me a very nasty email.that message topic.

I’m tired of this whole thing.  Ugh.

Feliz Navidad!

Since my friend Maria celebrates Christmas on the Epiphany —

— actually, I’ll back up here.  The Hispanic cultures do it right: when they celebrate, they CELEBRATE! For example, in Spain where Maria lives, they start small on Christmas Eve with different things to do each day on the 12 days of Christmas until the final big celebration of the holiday on the Epiphany.  Now that’s a festival of love, family, friends, and celebration!

Anyway, a while ago, she and I said we would time our gifts for each other to be around that big day of Christmas-Epiphany.  It’s her actual Christmas celebration (because it’s the day young Jesus received his gifts) and I like having the holiday spread out.  It reminds me of being a kid and my parents celebrating for the 12 days, reminding me that it was “Little Christmas”.

So while I didn’t get 12 drummers drumming or anything like that — and where would put them anyway? — I got…


Excuse me a second.

… I got a beautiful scarf that is so soft and warm on my neck!  She probably got me it because I keep talking about this   cold-congestion won’t go away!  And she also sent me — excuse me one more second…

… candy.  We try to send each other different treats from our countries and/or regions that the other person can’t get.   This year, she gave me small chocolate candies that look like Goobers (I haven’t translated the bag yet), and an almond in vanilla cream candy — like a peanut brittle, but not THAT hard to chew — which I didn’t bother to translate but tore into like a tornado in a trailor park.  (I’ve seen the film, remember?  I just hope those people reached the ditch in time.)

Can you believe I forgot I had that smiley when I did the post on the tornado film?  Neither can I.

So Feliz Navidad, everyone!  The wise men brought me goodies!

PS:  I like discussing our different traditions with her (with anyone for that matter), especially moments like this:

Maria: We don’t have a Santa Claus.  The three wise men bring our gifts.  We put a pair of our shoes out and they fill them with the gifts.   What we really do is pile the gifts around the shoes.

Me:  I understand why you have the Wise Men bring the gifts, but why do you put out the shoes?  Why shoes?

Maria: I have no idea.

Fair is fair.  I’ve given her that answer for some American traditions.