This month, the month of June, would be the anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer. I reminisced by reading through my posts during this time last year. I pondered at how different this one-year milestone was turning out.
Rather than life being back to normal, our normal, it was just as full of medical issues as the previous year, only difference is that last year, it was only my medical issues. This year, it was the dogs as well as my husband.
The month started out with my female Lab exhibiting incontinence and my male Lab having severe difficulty walking. In the first two weeks of the month, I had taken the female to the Vet three times and the male once. Buddy, my male Lab, was appearing to go lame, his left eye had also “drooped.” His entire stature seemed to be fading, withering away. I attributed this as another effect of the diabetes.
Dr. Wilson spent a good deal of time with us as he observed Buddy. I sensed an unsettling air as the doctor examined Buddy in silence. Finally, the prognosis was in – Buddy is literally withering away. His drooping eye is a result of palsy, an effect of diabetic neuropathy. His diminishing gait is also a result of diabetes. Diabetes affects the kidneys, which have something to do with stealing protein from the body, robbing the muscles, in Buddy’s case, deterioration of his hip and leg muscles. Nevertheless, I asked for a prescription of Minocycline just in case the lameness was related to a recurrence of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Dr. Wilson obliged with the prescription, however, he sadly forewarned me that Buddy would more than likely not survive this coming Winter. I cried for the next two days. My spirit was heavy with sadness.
The one good thing about numerous medical concerns is that time constraints demand attention be shared, leaving little time to dwell on one particular issue. Thus, Vayda’s incontinence problems screamed for attention, so did my back as I washed the floor daily where she slept. Dr. Wilson was kind enough at the first sign of Vayda’s problem by allowing me to bring in a sample of her urine and check for bacteria – we were hoping it was an infection, easily treatable with antibiotics. There did prove to be some indication of infection and an antibiotic was prescribed. I breathed a sigh of relief as the incontinence seemed to abate.
Meanwhile, my eyeball problem surfaced (macular hole) and its seriousness superseded everyone else’s problems. I put myself first, but not for long as Vayda’s antibiotics, which seemed to be working at the beginning, were no longer having any effect upon her incontinence. It was time to bring her in to the Vet for an in-office diagnosis.
June 19th, blood was drawn to first check her glucose levels. With diabetic dogs, so many medical issues are caused by diabetes. Vayda’s numbers came back in good shape. Really good shape. The next step was to try a hormone drug on her, Proin 50mg (phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride) to control the incontinence. Proin has a good reputation and I was looking forward to stellar results. My hopes were high.
Back at the homestead, my husband, who has a bad habit of playing rough with our cat right before bedtime, he teases her and she scratches him as she tries to hold on to him and more often than not, he will come to me, holding a tissue on a bleeding wound and declare that she is feisty. It is a ritual which highly irritates me but arguing with my husband is always pointless.
One of the scratches on his hand seemed to be growing in irritation and size. The site around the scratch was red and as the days passed, the area increased in size until finally, on June 22nd, Harry’s hand was swollen to more than double its normal size. It was bright red and he had a fever, which, according to a kitchen meat thermometer (my husband insisted on using a meat thermometer orally. In retrospect, I think he was delirious) was 300F! I needed an accurate reading and went to disinfect our one-and-only digital thermometer but accidentally dropped it into a bottle of rubbing alcohol, it died. It was time to find the authentic, old-fashioned, oral, mercury thermometer which reported 103F. “We need to get you to the ER,” I demanded.
In typical husband-like disagreement, Harry argued, “No, what are they gonna do for me? Let’s just wait ’til tomorrow.”
“NO! You are already in pain, you have a fever and it is only going to get worse. I do not want you waking me up at two o’clock in the morning saying that you need to go to the ER! You are going NOW!” And with that, he proceeded to dress and we were off to the ER.