Riding the Shark into the New Normal

I can’t find a picture to post without possible copyright infringement issues, but if you do a search for “bear with machine gun riding a shark” it should tell you about this week.

A little over a week ago, I noticed that Oakley’s right eye was drifting off to the right for no good reason. Consulted Dr. Google; likely age related. OK…and then there was the discharge and showing of teeth when I tried to clean the corners of his eyes. Infection? Yes. Vet time. Make appointment with usual vet.

She, with the help of a couple of techs, examined his eyes. Not an infection, but something was amiss with the blood vessels in his right eye. Not sure what it was. Pretty sure not cancer. Referred to veterinary ophthalmologist.

Doctor V. looks like Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Her exam room sports purple walls and eye charts for dogs and cats (consisting of species appropriate words arranged as one would find on a chart intended for humans). As if that wasn’t cool enough, she assured Oakley that she didn’t have a thermometer or nail clippers. We both liked her immediately.

Ear rubs, pokes, peeks, prods.  Not an infection.

Then what?

Autoimmune. Inflammation in his right eye probably feels like a charley horse. The abnormal new vascular formation resembled a curtain dropping from the top of Oakley’s right eye. It’s how the immune system prepares to send T-cells to fight the perceived enemy.

(insert silent f-bomb)

OK, what do we do?

Eye drops to “slap the immune system in the face.” Do blood panel to see if the illness back in May was tick born–that might have triggered it. Showed me how to put the drops and ointment in his eyes.

Get him home. My efforts to instill the drops and ointment lead to snarls, snapping, and me on the floor in tears. Tried treats. Tried everything. No matter what, he went into defensive posturing.

Damn whoever mishandled Oakley between his biological mother’s side and the day I adopted him.

What to do? I don’t want him to go blind or be in pain.  However, I don’t want to be bitten or to lose his trust in me.

The medicines can be administered orally.  Yes, there is a researched and acknowledged risk of side effects. Yes, blood work for monitoring  may become part of our routine. I understand that.

I called Dr. V’s office. Oh, no–sorry that he’s not cooperating. No, don’t apologize. We understand. CBC and blood chemistry (due for that anyway). What’s the number for the pharmacy? Will call back with that.

So we leave in an hour for the blood draw, then go to day care.

Except for the blood draw, it’s a normal day. Isn’t it?



Last Week and Other Long Strange Trips

So last week launched with a rip-roaring start. At 1 AM last Sunday, Oakley had to go out. Bad. And at 1:45, then 2 something, then I quit checking on time. After a total of six outings in the yard between then and about 5 AM, he was empty, or so I thought. 

I tried to write after grabbing a nap, but the cursor began jumping around. It was not some sleep-deprivation-induced hallucination; the little sucker was bouncing all over the page. Wrote it off as a fluke, shut down, and stared at the TV as a focal point. 

Monday brought another round of follow the bouncing cursor. Oakley seemed OK. I gave the bad dream that was Sunday morning no more thought. Tuesday was OK in the canine GI department, but the cursor still bounced. I Googled the cursor issue. Most likely causes: moisture or some schmutz caught in the keys or, more ominously, a swollen battery pushing into the track pad assembly. Oh, and the minor inconvenience of a possible fire.  Ok, get it looked at while Oakley is at day care on Wednesday. The nearest Apple store is not too far off my errand route, so I thought that I could swing by and get it fixed.

Not so much. Oaks woke up at 1 AM Wednesday with tummy cramps and diarrhea. He barfed sometime during the night as well. Day care was out of the question. The only way I could get him to settle down was to sit on the sofa with him and turn on the TV.  When a decent hour arrived, I called his day care teacher, then the vet’s office. Could I get there at 9? Yes. By 11, the meds had kicked in and we both were resting comfortably.

Still, I didn’t know when or how I’d get to the Apple store. It’s 20 miles one way, and in order to save gas, I avoid making willy-nilly runs as much as possible. I made good use of my iPad, my phone. And strung a lot of beads. Many beads.

In the middle of this, Hubby came home from a business trip a day early. I was able to suck it up and do a very rudimentary tidying. He arrived just as I spritzed the house with the sage and cedar spray.

So today, he saw just how much the battery bulged. We made the 20 miles both way trip into deepest downtown Naperville, had the battery replaced posthaste by the Apple Geniuses, started salivating over the next MacBook, and stopped at an Indian restaurant to boot.

Mango custard is a sign of a better week to come, isn’t it?