Saturday, April 8, 2017


I'm going through another one of those phases where I made the mistake of setting up one appointment and that quickly exploded into a dozen more.  I keep promising myself that I won't allow anything to take my riding time away from me, especially during periods of pleasant weather and temperatures.  Then something comes up and I say, "Okay, I will make time for just this one appointment," and next thing I know I'm double-booked.

In this case, I caved in and set up an appointment with the vet to get Midge and Scrappy their vaccines and to see what the vet recommends for their various health issues.  Shortly after that, I found out that I had already set up a dental appointment in that time slot six months ago, so I had to change the dental appointment.  Then I agreed to attend a recreational event that's turning out to be something completely different from what I was told, and I'm having to do a lot of work to prepare for it.

Also, I had asked a friend of mine to help me explore some new bridle trails, and she got back to me about the time my calendar was filling up, so we fit each other in where we could.  Immediately after that, the tax accountant called and wanted me to come in on the same day and time I arranged to meet my friend on the trails.  I figured it would be harder to get my friend to change the date and time, so I postponed seeing the tax accountant.  Then I realized that this one appointment with the tax accountant really needed to be two appointments.

I told myself that once I make it through the next few days, I'll be home free.  However, things didn't go so well with the dentist and the vet.  I was assuming that I'd have one appointment with each and be done with it.  However, they have a new dentist in the office who claims to have found cavities in almost every one of my teeth.  That was kind of hard for me to believe.  I've been consistent in my dental hygiene my entire life, and haven't had a single cavity since childhood.  How can I suddenly be riddled with cavities when nothing has changed?  I questioned in my mind whether this new dentist was a con artist.  That's a problem we have here in the Phoenix area.  A lot of business people will lie to you in order for them to make more money.  They are notorious for fixing things that aren't broken.  Fortunately, the dentist decided to just put me on a "watch" list, so I don't have to have any work done immediately, but will have to get my entire mouth overhauled eventually.  Nothing pisses me off more than being told I have to fix a problem that doesn't affect me.  In other words, if I'm not in pain and my teeth work just fine, let me spend my money on more pressing matters... like my dogs.

The vet wouldn't even give them their vaccinations because their health was too unstable.  You see, every time that I bring Midge in to see a vet, the vet lectures me about giving her too much insulin.  Then I lower her dose, and she starts urinating sticky sugar water all over the house and waking us up throughout the night to take her outside.  Then my husband asks me to increase her insulin dose because he has to get his sleep in order to function at work.

So, this time, even though I had brought her in for vaccinations and to treat an open sore on her back, the vet immediately took her into the back room to test her blood sugar, even though I hadn't agreed to pay for that.  I was expecting to go through the same rigmarole regarding the vet telling me I'm giving her too much insulin, however this time I got a lecture because I wasn't giving her enough insulin.  That's a new one.

I agreed to give her more insulin, but also tried to bring the subject back to the open sore she has had for several months.  This is the second time I've brought her to this vet to have that sore treated, and all she's had me do is clean it, but it's not healing.  She also still has that tumor in her teat.  So, I have to bring her back in a week to have her blood sugar level tested, and if she is stable, then the doctor will perform surgery and remove both the tumor that's causing the sore on her back, the tumor in her teat, and she'll pull a fractured tooth.  In the meantime, I have to give her antibiotics, slowly increase her insulin dose, and keep clothing on her so that Stewie won't lick her open sore.  The vet said that Stewie could get sick ingesting Midge's pus.

I also have to stay on point at meal times and make sure that Midge does not get a hold of the other dogs' food, which is easier said than done.  If I put the dogs in separate rooms, they won't eat.  They just sit at the doors crying.  I can play food police and stand over them, but my mind isn't what it used to be and I get easily distracted.  I tell myself I'll just give one of the dogs his or her medication while I'm waiting for the others to finish eating, and next thing I know, I've lost track of who ate what.

Then there's Scrappy.  He has a tumor on his toe that has been causing his toe to twist to the side.  I figured it was just another fatty tumor that dogs get all the time, but the vet said that was a symptom of Valley Fever, and given that Scrappy has a few other symptoms of Valley Fever as well, we have to test his blood for that.  She said she can treat the Valley Fever, but if he's negative for that, he probably has cancer, and I'll have to decide between euthanizing him or amputating his toe.  Also, she found some issues with his digestive tract, and since he's been wearing diapers for several months now due to his incontinence, she thinks his pancreas may be shutting down.  His heart murmur has also gotten worse.  She verified that Scrappy is totally blind in one eye and almost blind in the other, which explains why he walks into walls and my legs all the time.  I've been having to carry him to his food and outside a lot more lately.

Knowing all that, it's easy for people to say he should just be put to sleep, but he has a good appetite and has good days where he plays chase with Stewie all over the house.  Stewie seems to understand that Scrappy is blind, so he kind of guides him on where to go when they play chase.  I think Scrappy follows Stewie's disturbance of the air.  I don't think he's ready to go just yet.

I'm now giving him anti-inflammatories for the pain and antibiotics while waiting for the results of the blood test.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I guess I figured all of Midge and Scrappy's problems were related to old age, and the vet would just give them their vaccines and I'd bring them home to keep on keeping on, but we weren't so lucky.  So, it looks like I'll be investing a lot more time into the dogs' health care and my own dental care these next few months.

The dental hygienist mentioned that my hair is getting long, and I sighed.  That's one more thing among many I need to take care of, but I just don't have room for anymore appointments right now.  In addition to needing a hair cut, I don't have the flexibility to trim my own toes anymore because of my arthritis, so I need a pedicure.  Then there's that surgery I promised my doctor I would do once horseback riding seasons ends.  I suspect my own needs will have to be postponed a little longer until we work through the dogs' issues.

Oh yeah, and while all this was going on, our ice maker on our relatively new refrigerator broke.  I had to stop at the market to pick up a bag of ice, and had to try to make it through the self-checkout without my reading glasses.  I postponed calling a repairman since I couldn't spare a 4 to 6 hour window to wait at home for him to show, and both my husband and I kept working on the ice maker in between our appointments.  We woke up this morning and it was finally making ice again!  That's one thing that went our way.  Here's a tip:  If your ice maker stops producing ice, run a hair dryer over it.  Chances are that some mechanical parts are just frozen.


Mrs Shoes said...

The parts to the ice-maker are frozen, that's kind of funny but I won't laugh because I know that fridge is nearly new so I'd be super pissed off.
I'm sorry about Midge & Scrappy; it's so hard to deal with all the problems of old age & I know you love them dearly by how well you take care of them. <3

Grey Horse Matters said...

You've certainly got a lot going on. I'm sure the dogs will let you know what to do. For now they seem to be dealing with their problems ok. As for the dentist it seems unlikely you have that many cavities all of a sudden. Try a new dentist if anything starts hurting. On the plus side your fridge is better and you'll be heading out for a nice trail ride with your friend.

ellie k said...

When my ice maker went out that is what the repair man did. He took out the bottom shelf where the water line runs up behind the shelves and held the hair dryer over it until he could hear the water start to move. The ice tray filled and soon I had ice again. He said if it happened. Again just try thawing out the water lines.

Crystal said...

I wish we had an ice maker, stupid house lady just decided we live out of town we don't want one. Glad your is working again thou, simple fix.
And good for not replanning a trail ride, I hate making appointments and I don't even have a couple old dogs. Speaking of that gotta get the horses vaccinated soon I guess, at least I can do my own.

Linda said...

I can't read a thing without my reading glasses. I'm like Mr Magoo. I will remember that about the ice maker.

I do think dentists sometimes overreact to our soft spots. At least he came around to waiting. And I can't imagine dealing with all the health issues you're faced with with your dogs. But it sounds like they still have quality of life and a will to live. Not easy for you though, no matter what choices you make.

Hang in there!