Friday, April 02, 2010
Moose decides to go sledding...
I started out recording Dorian's hobby pursuit of digging up the Earth to find those fossils she keeps smelling, but what was happening over to my left turned out to be a lot more fun!
Friday, April 02, 2010
This is my wee dog, Dorian. She is about 8 months post-traumatic spinal cord injury. When she was first injured, she was able to run away from an attacking dog but quickly became paralyzed in her hind legs. Since there were no wounds or bruises or anything like that, there is no way to understand how the injury occured. The day was July 17, my brother's birthday.
Her vet acted quickly, but out here in mountain country, there aren't the sophisticated diagnostic tools, so I was steered to UCDavis, which has the most awesome veterinary teaching hospital in the universe. Dorian spent nearly 6 days in their neurology unit ICU, while the staff there daily monitored her condition and tried to determine if she was going to survive or not.
I visited her once during that time, and I think I caused a lot more stress all round than I relieved, but I was so worried and so distraught over the unknown, I really thought I was doing what was best. It's interesting how we get into this mode that we start convincing ourselves that we know how best to serve the ones we love. Even in the face of advanced science and technology, even though I work in the health care field, I believed that I was the best judge of how Dorian would find the most comfort and healing. And, of course, I couldn't have been more wrong.
Life doesn't have to hang in the balance for there to be a sense of helplessness over the outcome. I lived in dread that I would be told the best thing I can do is to give a loved one permission to let go, and consent for humane euthanasia.
And there was Dorian, in so much pain and anguish, depressed, yet fighting to hang on, hang on, hang on. I can not imagine a feeling more horrendous than watching a dog cry out, but her voice is too hoarse to make any sound. I caused that pain. I had to massage her belly in order to make her empty her bladder or bowels. From experience working with paralyzed humans, a full bladder or bowel can cause all kinds of muscle spasms and even if they can't feel those spasms, the body knows and reacts accordingly and it's a miserable time.
That was then.
Today, it's easier to forget those first few weeks. Dorian has made such a remarkable recovery, and I marvel at her spirit. You'd think that losing weight should be so much easier than rehabbing a disabled dog.
Her last visit with the neurologist at UCD was joyful. The Dr pronounced her as fit as can be, and that there was nothing he or his staff could do to hasten any more recovery she might experience. She's back to her normal weight, and active and sassy as ever. She's happier than ever before. One side benefit of her injury is that she learned to welcome all the loving and caring attention she received from everyone we encounter along this life's journey.
In the end, the question holds true as it has so many times already: Who rescued whom?
Whenever you are having a sad day or a downright bad one, remember this story of a little dog who didn't give up or give in. I hope you smiled to read this.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
... Sourdough! I can't help myself. I made a sourdough starter and I'm so proud of how lovely it is! It's been nearly 5 days and the yeasty smell is almost all gone, replaced by a pungent sourness that means it's almost ready to start baking from!
Of course, only half the challenge has been met. The other half is the actual creation of a good sourdough loaf. I've been obsessing over the myriad websites dedicated to the creation and utilization of sourdough sponge, and decided to just stop all that nonsense. K.I.S.S. is the name of the game, and I like that very much. After I have given away starters to those who requested them, I'll then keep it in the fridge and feed it once per week, and hopefully on those days I'll also schedule a baking session.
Next, I will do my own friendship cake starter.
This has nothing to do with anything insofar as my weight management program is going, and that usually means that no news is... well, no news. I'm in a bit of a ditch, but still eating good wholesome food, and keeping the binges to a minimum.
Okay! Now I lay me down to sleep, praying for a night of minimal sinus drainage and hacking and coughing and swearing.
Friday, March 12, 2010
If I wasn't planning to head out of town this evening and stay the night at a friend's house, I would be just loving this snow. I think I'll be okay though because the roads are still clear and there are no flash-flood warnings. It's supposed to be nice in Chico this weekend and I really want to go to the Farmer's Market and buy whatever fresh veggies I can find. I just love the scent of lavender and there's a kiosk there that sells a lot of lavender-scented products, and I think I'll splurge on an item or two.
I'm eating so-so... staying on the healthy food track. One of the locum docs brought in his weekly Entemann's coffee cake thing, and I just didn't find it that attractive, so I didn't eat any. I was munching on some red-cabbage slaw that I made, with granny smith apple, caraway and flax seed, some balsamic vinegar and mayo, and seasonings. Yum! It was much more enticing than the coffee cake thing.
I'm going to make spanakopita this weekend. I use olive oil instead of butter for the filo layers; I think it tastes so much better that way.
The good news is that my scrubs continue to feel roomier and roomier when I dress in the morning. It's getting so I feel like I have to hoist them up all day, but part of that is that my undies feel like they're sagging, too. I haven't weighed lately because I keep forgetting to do it before I have my morning coffee. It's time though.
I've got Vit. D supplement on my shopping list. Can't hurt to try it out. I used to use sam-e, and it was pretty effective, but I had a sense of not caring about anything while taking it, and right now I need very much to stay caring about life and work and my dogs. I've started again with Dorian's accupuncture treatments. She doesn't like them but they do help with her back leg strength. She will see the neuro vet next Thursday for a check-up. I think he'll be very impressed with her progress. She will probably always be an incomplete paraplegic, but she's happy, healthy, and active, and still quite the entertaining character she always has been!
She's my reason to keep getting up every morning.
Anyway, I'm struggling onward and upward. I've come a far piece, no sense in giving up at this point.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
I've been sort of floating along these last few weeks. It's the usual - after the glow of impending success, comes the reality of daily vigilance, and sometimes I can wish I didn't always have to be vigilant. Well, there ain't no one else out there who is going to do the job for me.
The scale hasn't budged, really. A notch up, a notch down, the pendulum stops in the same spot. I can do better.
Depression is that way. I can't ever wake up one morning and say, "I don't have to do anything about it because it's all done". Every day I have to remember to take my vitamins, get my 15 minutes of sunshine, be outside and breathe. I have to always remember that that bit of junk food is the start of a vicious spiral downwards, because it always leads to desire for more junk.
Every day that I am at work, I have to control my emotions and my mouth. No matter what happens, what is said, how my name is dragged into the discussion of every problem that comes up, I have to remain above it all, because I don't have a choice.
No matter how tired I am in the evening, I can't not plan out what I will eat the next day. When I don't, I run into problems with being on time, with figuring out how to feed myself in a healthy way.
And I really, truly, fervently hate having to take call. This must change. It means a change in jobs, and I'm dragging my feet on that, but it has to happen.
I'll get to where I need to go. It doesn't matter how long it takes, as long as I move forward.
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