Monday, November 29, 2010

Goodbye Bob/The SeaSprays in "Discussion"/Welcome Faith





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Bob

I actually wrote the middle of this post a couple of weeks ago and then put it into my drafts almost a week ago. It was going to be a Thanksgiving post about being grateful for our newest family member. It was originally just supposed to be about the "discussion" Mr SeaSpray and I had, but has evolved into much more as I began to tweak it for posting tonight. I am leaving it this way, because this one is important to me since it is about some family history with our pets. One of the print worthy ones for another journal.

I've been so busy lately, that I just couldn't get to writing a Thanksgiving post. But, I'd still like to wish you a belated Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoyed the holiday. :)
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First ..I will just say that last January, we had to put our dear German Shepherd, Bob down. It was so unexpected. He would've been 10 in May and was the perfect picture of health for his years. He was a great weight, white teeth, strong with lots of energy, shiny coat and no apparent arthritis ..something shepherds are prone too. And so it was a major shock when he took suddenly ill, couldn't get up onto hind feet and within minutes had a stroke. It turned out that he had a hemangiosarcoma , a canine cancer ( vet said that shepherds, retrievers and rottweilers are prone to this disease) that caused him to have a tumor the size of a volley ball off his spleen. The vet said there was no way we could've known and that the tumor was concealed because of how the German Shepherds ribcage is so long. (I think that was it. I know it was because of his internal structure) Our son first noticed that he was sluggish and thought it was the new food I had switched him to, but I knew it was still a quality food. I thought that he was getting up there for a large dog and maybe had arthritis starting. Then the weekend before, he seemed to have a fever and I thought maybe it was Lyme disease, because he had it when he was younger. I did not feel any sense of urgency and he was scheduled to be seen on Tuesday. But then everything happened on Monday.

We were all so upset. I was so devastated, I could not keep my afternoon uro appointment, nor could I follow through with surgery later in the week. And the office staff was so sweet. They gave me a Christmas ornament which was a German shepherd dog with angel wings. I've had it on my kitchen hutch all year and now it will soon have a prominent spot on our Christmas tree. :)In our family ..our pets are family members. Our other dogs were medium in size and he was the largest. You miss all your pets ..but I found that a large dog really has a presence in the house and it seemed even more obvious that he was no longer with us.

Needless to say, I felt guilt over not responding sooner, but the vet assured me that once this is diagnosed it is too late and they usually only have 8-12 weeks to live. Our son noticed he was sluggish in early December ..around then ..and so he had another 6 weeks from that point. And we would not have opted for chemo or any extraordinary treatment. I think with an animal ..it is about quality of life and I would not want them to suffer additionally with treatments and side effects if it would not have a good outcome. I think sometimes we people do it for us, because we don't want to let go. I went through that with another dog we had. I questioned his perfect checkup in May and he said that unless he did routine x-rays on every dog at risk for this disease ..there was no way to know.

And he was one strong and loyal dog. The Saturday night before he had the stroke ...he heard me running to something and concerned and he jumped right off son's bed and came all the way out to me. he was an awesome dog and so handsome too. We still miss him and sometimes still ..I expect to see him around the house.

Good ol' Bob ...you were an amazing dog that blessed our family in so many ways. It wasn't just that he was our dog ... we were truly his people. :)

I think sometime in the future, I will do a series on the different dogs we've had ..how they came into our lives and talk about them. I just need to gather some pictures. They all have a story. :)
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Anyway, about a month ago, I called a local pound telling her that I was interested in getting another dog. I told her about our dogs and what I we liked regarding looks and personality/traits. We would adopt an adult or a puppy. Whatever felt right for our family.

And not long after, she called, stating she had the perfect dog for us. She was found without identification, wandering around and they had kept her the required amount of time for someone to claim her. And she let us take her home for the weekend to see how she fit in. She is so well behaved, that she had to have been someone's pet and so I asked if they were sure they couldn't locate the owner. She said that so many people just abandon their pets, especially now with this economy.

They called her Beulah. :)

On her paperwork it says German Shepherd/Rottweiler and they figure about 9 months old. I am not so sure about the Rottweiler part as she doesn't seem that she will be as large as either breed, unless she is younger than they are estimating. I see the shepherd markings though and her back is very similar to Bob's. She's pretty. Unlike a shepherd she has slightly droopy eyes, medium sizedfloppy ears and little wrinkles up on her forehead. She has a strong bark and when she gets insistent about what she wants ..she howls kind of like a hound dog. And so I wonder if she has hound in her or do some dogs just do that sometimes? She's both pretty and cute. :)

We called her Bella for a couple of days and then I decided on Faith. Faith because I think it is a positive name. A reminder to have faith that things will work out, faith in God or faith you can succeed. Faith is good to have in your life. Faith. :)

After calling her Faith for awhile, Mr SeaSpray said we should call her Annie for Little Orphan Annie since she was wandering alone out there. I think that would be a great name, Annie ..but we had already been calling her Faith and she was responding. Faith Annie. :)
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But it wasn't all smooth sailing on the home front.

Some of you know how I use pot roast to lull Mr SeaSpray into not contesting going out for the Christmas tree. Every year, he knows exactly the day we are going to get the tree and yet acts like I just sprung it on him and will be tearing him away from the Superbowl or something. So, I know he loves meat. And I also know that when he smells the aroma wafting through the house ..especially when he first comes in ..that he is likely to be more agreeable.

So before picking up the dog for the trial weekend, I ran into the store to buy a big pot roast and all the the other food to go with it. The house smelled really good, the roast was perfect ..and he didn't eat any of it. I think he is on to me. I guess it works for Christmas trees, but not living creatures to be responsible for.

And so when he came home from work the next day, he was still annoyed at me and so I apologized and clarified that I could take her back Monday. I told him I vaguely remembered him telling me not to bring a dog home, but maybe I had selective memory about that.

He responded with "Yeah ...I THINK so!"

But after that he seemed fine and it was obvious that he liked her and so on Monday ..I just went up to sign the papers and pay the pound fee. And so the SeaSprays frolicked with Faith all week.

And then this discussion ensued on Sunday morning:

I was surprised to see myself in a disagreement with Mr SeaSpray this morning over the dog.

I had planned to go to the 11 0'clock service, but he was also going to be at his mothers and so I casually asked, "What should we do about the dog?"

"I don't don't know. That's your problem."

"Well, I am going to get a couple of tension baby gates. We need them anyway for the baby."

"I told you I didn't want a dog. I don't want the responsibility."

"What?! We DISCUSSED it when we were in Chris' room last Saturday! Remember? I apologized and all the things I said?"

"I know you like a book. You're shrewd." (at least he didn't say I was a shrew. And I'm NOT.) "You knew bringing her here was getting her in the door and I couldn't say no."

Now we moved from the kitchen into the family room. Voices moderately escalated in response to each other.

"You KNEW I didn't want a dog!"

"But I told you she was a trial. I could have brought her back on Monday.!"

"You KNOW you wouldn't have wanted to!"

"Well yeah ..but I WOULD have!"

"And then I'd have to hear all about it!"

"Well yeah ..I'd be upset ..but I would've brought her back. And so now you see her with RESENTMENT?!"

"I told you I didn't want the responsibility. Now I have to get up and take her out. And clean up the yard."

"Well I am taking her out all the time. You don't have to. Just let me know if I don''t hear her." (I admit, I didn't offer help about the yard) "Besides ...all week ..you have been affectionate with her and coming to me,telling me all the funny things she's done ...like she's one of our KIDS when they were little! And when I tell you funny things, you smile. You LIKE her!"

No answer.

Now ...in the mean time ...as we are having this "discussion" ...I was hearing a gnawing sound. I knew it was her. I knew she was very close to me ..lying on the floor ...just to the left of me ...gnawing something ...really working it. But I was so engrossed in our "discussion", that I never looked to see what she was gnawing on.

Then, after Mr SeaSpray and I settled down, I reached for my cup of coffee and happened to look down at Faith ...and to my utter dismay ...the entire time we had been having said "discussion", she was gnawing on my rocking chair ..the part of the rocker that juts out in the front ..so it can rock.

Mr SeaSpray bought that chair for me when I was very pregnant with our first born son. I wanted to be able to rock him to sleep in his room. And I used it for our second son too. And our granddaughters. And very soon ... we will be have a baby boy as our newest addition into our family. :)

My girlfriend's daughter gnawed on the arm slightly when she was being held, while we were all busy talking. :) It has some other marks and needs a little wood glue on one of the rungs. It has acquired "character" since we gave it a home over thirty years ago. If this chair could talk ...oh the stories it could tell. If being the operative word here. If the chair was not discreet because we all know ..discreet rocking chairs ..don't tell stories. I'm just saying ..and digressing. ;)

I am very sentimental about the chair.

Anyway, Faith (our new dog ..well older puppy), had chewed down into the middle, and splinters of wood were lying all around the the damaged part of the rocker. I can't believe I didn't look down at her even one time. *Sigh!* And I think MrSeaSpray was secretly amused. I saw the glint in his eye.

Then he said "It's old anyway."

"Old?"! I then proceeded to tell him why it is important to me.

I think I can sand it ..not sure. And put some kind of stain on it, but I won't be able to get it to look as good or match. It won't be the same as the other side. I suppose it will be a funny story someday, that I will tell with the same fondness I have occasionally told people how my dear friend's daughter chewed on the arm of the chair. Heck ..I already am with this post! :)

So ...instead of getting into the shower, I was caught up in this "discussion" and now there would not be time to go to church. I walked back into the kitchen to get a second cup of coffee. MrSeaSpray came in and asked, "Aren't you going to church?"

"Church? After our fight, I don't have time to get ready to go to church."

"We didn't fight."

"What?! YES we did!"

No answer.

So ...we did our separate things for the next few minutes. Then, before he left ..he gave me an extra hug before he totally let go of me.

I am going to bake him some Thanksgiving Pumpkin cookies, so he can snack on them during football or whenever if he wants too. I actually made up a basket of them for church Friday afternoon and he was disappointed I wasn't leaving any for home too. I usually do, but I wanted to fill the basket I was using.
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Update - 18:00:- he was absolutely enjoying the dog when she jumped up on the couch with him and was cracking up when she kept trying to lick his face. He likes her. She has this amazing personality. :)

Update -November 29th: We are all in love with this wonderful dog ...including Mr SeaSpray. Son's friends, our relatives and my friends ..all really take to her. And we even let her on our furniture and bed. We just don't do that, but there is something about her that just wins us over ..completely ...almost like sI think she would be a good therapy dog to bring into the nursing homes. And she is s-o-o-o playful. She lives to play. She takes your hand in her mouth and gently mouths it. Not sure why she does that. But she never bites down hard. She does the funniest things and even seems to talk to us when she wants us to play and we don't want to at the moment. Faith is also cute, pretty, gentle, smart, obedient and just so many things that most people would want in a dog. Not the chewing though. She got MrSeaSpray's slipper and one of my shoes, a baby rattle, cat toys and other things. I constantly have to take things from her.

But, she also loves to play with her toys. She's hilarious when she tossed things in the air for herself and runs around with them. She's brought a lot of joy and laughter into our home. And healing too.

Faith is so special ..it feels like she was hand picked by God just for us. :)

P.S. And this past weekend ... Mr SeaSpray put a furry cat ears headband on her to show me. He has never done that with any other pet. He laughs at all of her of her antics.

Need I say more?

I rest my case.


He LIKES her. I bet he already loves her. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why It Would be Fun to Work in a Urology Office - Best Word Ever! :)

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Ha ha! As I was reading through the material about the psoas hitch surgery, it occurred to me why it would be fun to work in a urology office.

Forget the fact that most people hope to work with great co-workers, docs and staff, that it could be in an aesthetically pleasing work environment, the work would be interesting, salary competitive and appreciated and I could be a support and encouragement to the patients, because I have been through a few things myself. Forget all that.

This SeaSpray has priorities.

Ureteroureterostomy!

Okay ...admittedly, I don't even know what a ureteroureterostomy is ...not exactly anyway. And I don't care. That was the skim through part. besides ..it's not a prerequisite to know the meaning of the word in order to like it ...and like it.. I do. I was so taken with the word, that the meaning pales by comparison. :)

In reading the material ..it hit me ... THE REAL reason I would enjoy working in a urology office is that I would get to say words like:

URETEROURETEROSTOMY and URETEROCYSTOSTOMY and URETERONEOCYSTOSTOMY! :)

I saw a longer uro word once, but don't recall what it was.

But I especially love URETEROURETEROSTOMY. :)

Go ahead ..you say it.

Say it out loud. Try whispering "ureterouretrostomy." Fun huh? It's fun ...like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. (sp?) Its fun like reading a Dr Seuss book out loud ..especially the ABC Dr Seuss book. You can read or sing or read AND sing that book. I do both. I do so love Dr Seuss ...I do ..I do ..I do ...love Dr Seuss ...I DO! But not as much as saying ... ... ...

URETEROURETEROSTOMY!! :)

After first hearing the word, ureteroureterostomy ...I imagined naming a new dog URETEROURETEROSTOMY... just so I could say the word often. Ha!

"Good Ureteroureterostomy! Bad Ureteroureterostomy! Come Ureteroureterostomy! Her name is Ureterureterostomy. Oh ..you spell Ureterureterostomy this way..."U-r-e-t-e-r-o-s-t-o-m-y - URETEROURETEROSTOMY!", Go get it Ureteroureterostomy! Bring it back Ureteroureterostomy!, Drop it Ureteroureterostomy!! I love you Ureteroureterostomy. Ureteroureterostomy is a GOOD girl! URETEROURETERO-S-T-O-M-Y-Y-Y-Y... come back here!"

Of course it might be hard to fit on her name tag, food dish or Christmas stocking.

It would be so much fun at work being able to say the uro words. So much fun that I would think I should pay THEM!

"I'm calling to precert for the upcoming ureteroureterostomy." "Mr Smith, here is the paperwork for your ureteroureterostomy." "Hey Mr Smith ..how do you feel since the ureteroureterostomy?" "Do you need help spelling ureterureterostomy?" And for the big guns ..pluralizing the word .."Hey Doc ..how did your ureteroureterostomies go?" "How many ureteroureterostomies are scheduled this week?"

"Oh ..I see, this patient is having a ureteroureterostomy."

"Code for ureteroureterostomy - 50760.

Even better, code for
ureteroenterostomy with ureteroureterostomy or ureteroneocystostomy - 50830."

"God forbid, the patient has complications s/p ureteroureterostomy."

I ask you ...could coding possibly be any more fun? Especially while perusing the uro codes? :)

Coding for the emergency department and outpatients wasn't THIS much fun!

And speaking of fun..."I'm thinking of a 19 letter urology word that begins with a "u" and ends with a "y". Any guesses? Good for you! URETEROURETEROSTOMY!

Also, it occurs to this SeaSpray ...that team players are considered to be valuable assets to the corporation. Well what better way to demonstrate being a team player then rallying the staff should things become a bit dull around the office ..perhaps for both employee and patient inspiration (participation encouraged :) :

"Give me a U, give me an R, give me an E, give me a T,E! Give me an R, give me an O, give me a U, give me an R,E! Give me T, give me an E, Give me an R, give me an O,S! Give me a T, Give me an O, give me an M-M-M, Y!"

To office staff: "What does that spell?!"

"URETEROURETEROSTOMY!"

To waiting room patients: "What does that spell?! "

"URETEROURETEROSTOMY!!
"

To staff and patients: "What does that spell?! "

"
URETEROURETEROSTOMY!!

"All together now!"

"G-O-O-O URETEROURETEROSTOMY!!"

You know ... there really is nothing like a hearty cheer to encourage team spirit, get the blood going, which is particularly invigorating for that late afternoon slump time a-n-d with the added benefit of conveying to the patients that the medical staff is on their team ...cheering them on to victoriously overcoming their medical obstacles. Power of suggestion, can do spirit and all. I'm just saying. :)

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photo credit

And as some of you already know ...I have been avoiding the reconstructive ureteral repair surgery. But ...if urodoc tells me that it includes the ureteroureterostomy ...well then I certainly will reconsider ..because ..well ..just imagine ...for the rest of my life ..I could say "And when they did the ureteroureterostomy... Back in the day when they did the ureteroureterostomy. Or I know how you feel about having the ureteroureterostomy ...but I have found that once you have the ureteroureterostomy, you will feel so much better and for the rest of your life ..if you want to ..you will have a good reason to say ..ureteroureterostomy." Now ..THAT might tip the scales - pro surgery. :)

As you can see ...any excuse to say the word ...ureteroureterostomy, would suffice.

Conversely, I wouldn't want to work in a gastro office. I always meant to do a post on that. I have a partial anti-gastroenterology post sitting in drafts. And I really appreciate gastroenterologists everywhere - thank God for them!

***I have a really nice gastroenterologist I've used for the dreaded "C" ending in "PY" word ...but like I said ..that is another post. :)

However, for this post ..just saying the word "GASTROENTEROLOGY" ...well ..WHERE ...I ask you ...WHERE is the FUN in saying THAT?! "Gastroenterology." ?? Need I say more?

But ...URETEROURETEROSTOMY ...well ...that just FLOWS right out. (Pun intended. ;)

While looking for a photo, I found an interesting link regarding ureteral robotic surgery- NYU Langone Medical Ctr

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My 4th Blogaversary (November 13th) - Past, Present and Future

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Yesterday was my 4th blogaversary already. Wow ..time does fly when you're having fun. :)

That being said ...I am having a hard time blogging lately. I find myself second guessing what I write. I wonder if it's interesting to others or funny? I wonder if my writing about reality ...but shifting gears into what I think is humorous fiction is as funny to you as it is to me? Or do y'all think, "That girl needs to talk to someone!" ??? ;)

Aside from the fact that I have enjoyed writing as far back as second grade, this blog has been cathartic for me in dealing with some medical issues ..more specifically ..the urology issues. Although ..I've vented about the other appointments, procedures too.

And speaking of venting ...sometimes the crazier the fantasy ...the more I am blowing off steam regarding something else. Hey some people get high or drunk ...I write a story. Or maybe it is an undiagnosed ADHD kicking in. ?? ;) Okay and I do have a zany imagination sometimes.

Like JD in Scrubs ...he is always imagining crazy scenarios ...well, sometimes I am like that when I write. And then I worry because I have mentioned Bajingoland and turquoise glitter, Throckmortons - okay the Throckmorton salad bar test(Thank you Trench Doc) is forever one of the funniest things ever :) and the girls and things like that and lots of urine posts, that maybe it gives the wrong impression and I certainly do not mean to do that. Although ...I really do have pretty sparkling whizzie winkles ...just ask my urologists. ;) See ..I can't help it - it just comes out ..not the pretty whizzie winkles (well they do too when the plumbing is working right ..hmmm and um when it's not.), but my goofy humor. It just ties into some crazy thing that happened or I was influenced by.

I was 15 years old the first time I wrote something humorous. It was for my sophomore English class. True to form -my being a last minute ..under the wire girl and all ...I was writing it the night before the short story was due. And actually ...it was one of the saddest days in my teenage life because a boy had broken up with me that afternoon and I was crushed. No explanation. But he was 4 yrs older ...already in college and had to come up on the weekends from Queens to the Lake to see me. I say that with adult insight and maybe a couple of other thoughts about it too. He wanted to stay friends and we did.

I was inconsolable. Again ..with adult insight looking back ...I think I was also crushed because my Mom had sent me away ..to live up here with her brother only 10 months earlier and no doubt that rejection triggered what was a monumental sense of rejection and loss deep within me ...even though I wasn't aware of any of the psychological implications. No Phil Donahue/Oprah or Dr Phils to enlighten in 1970.

I cried all day. I also went to a friends house in another lake and then stayed to have dinner with them. Afterward, I decided to write my English assignment. So there I was at their dining room table with the family activities all around me and a broken heart.

I wrote a comedy.

I wish I could remember it all.

It was called "The L.A.D.S."

That was the acronym for the "Life After Death Society", and the story took place in heaven. I remember there was a heavy set angel named Horace and there were also people. Food was non caloric. And there was a banquet table set up and there was humorous conversation between the angels and humans - new arrivals to heaven. And they were eating.

Unfortunately, I don't remember most of it.

We all had to read our stories for the class. I read mine. The teacher laughed. The class laughed. And I was happy they liked it. After I finished, the teacher enthusiastically told me I got an A on it and that she really liked it. Then she asked me if she could have it. I never saw it again. I wish I had thought to ask for it back or at least for her to make a copy and give it back. She never told me what she did with it and I didn't even think to ask. I forgot about it.

That was the last time I wrote anything humorous until I wrote a long ..but funny poem for our anniversary one year back in the late 70s. And then not until I began blogging in 2006. But, over the years ...I have written in journals, notebooks and on napkins or anything that would allow me to write a thought down. I am slowly but surely getting things cleaned out as I do this major cleaning out and organizing task and it has been interesting to read things I wrote years ago and to see how things have changed ..or haven't.

And it really helped me to write about my mother ...when she became ill and then declined while in the nursing home and even after her death. It was truly cathartic. And many of you were supportive either in the comments or and/or e-mail and it meant a lot to me.

Blogging has been a most positive experience and I have grown through it as well. I've also enjoyed reading and commenting in your blogs, although I have am behind in that right now too.

I don't know why I keep second guessing myself regarding the posts I write lately ...but here I am already thinking of not posting this one. Maybe it is a sign that I should take a major break from it. And I do have some personal distractions right now.

Anyway ...four years ...a lot has happened in these last four years.

Blogging is here to stay with me. I do love it. And in the end ...I guess we bloggers are really writing for ourselves. But is is fun to know other people enjoy your writing too. Actually ..I think it's amazing! Thank you to those of you who have followed my blog. Welcome to the new readers.

May we all have many more blogoversaries to come. :)