Day 325-Jane's Face

It looks like she's begging to come in, but she was really just curious about the camera. It was her first snow, and she loved it! )

Yeah, so as you can see, we got snow for American Thanksgiving :) Which I hope was (and continues to be) a lovely and yummy holiday for you all down there in the States.

Mirabelle wasn't so keen to go outside, but Jane was hopping around out there like a little snow bunny. I finally had to go out and corral her and bring her back in. Crazy kitty :)

It was Sparky and Val's first major snow, too, but I didn't get any pictures of them, sadly. Sparky was having a grand ol' time out there, pronking about with Delilah. Cinnamon Girl came out to play, too, running around like she was a baby again. Valentino? Didn't want to get his lovely locks all snowy. Heh. The boy is a serious priss, as Dar would put it. I did see him out there a few hours later after most of the snow had stopped and all the rest of the youngsters pressured him into it. He seemed to like it, but he was nowhere as into it as Sparky and Delilah. She, especially, loves the snow. I think she's always going to be a little girl at heart.

Dar and I started cleaning in prep for the visitors coming this weekend. Per usual, Dar did most of the cleaning, but I got my licks in, so to speak. It will be comfy and welcoming in time for them, this we swear.

I have a craving for turkey and mashed potatoes. It's cracking me up :)
Morse aka Maalu

Doesn't he look happy and pampered? Morse's new name is Maalu, which I think really suits him what with his exotic good looks.

I should be sleeping. I need to be sleeping. But it's the bottom of the 8th (I think) and Colorado has come back so it's now just 4-3 Boston. Sew this up, guys! I have a wicked busy day tomorrow. Thanks.
That was one hell of a case of jet lag. I'm finally starting to wake up. Unfortunately it's almost midnight, but you can't ask for everything. Heh.

Whoops. It got long. Sorry about that. )
It was cloudy today, so I took the opportunity to walk around the property.

What's gray and white and orange? Autumn. )
Pixel is going through a period where she's stuck to me like glue. Mostly it's adorable and very much appreciated right now - except when I want to type and she's asleep on my lap. But being the adorable little psychic kitty that she is, she just rolled off my lap and onto the bed so I can type without going into mad contortions.

Chloe was inside for about an hour this afternoon. All in all it went pretty well. There was hissing by the house cats, and gigantic Holmes (Jabba the Cat, as [ profile] browncoat calls him) whacked her across the face with his ginormous paw, but she scampered away and disaster was averted.

I've decided to give the rest of the barn cats to a no-kill shelter. We're keeping Chloe, of course, and possibly Morse if [ profile] browncoat really wants him, but the mom and Jane will be moving on. We can't keep them all, as much as I wish we could, and the winter will be too harsh for them to stay in our small, uninsulated barns. I'm positive that the kitten(s) will be adopted straight away because . . . kitty! (And ours are particularly adorable.) I also think that Mirabelle will be better off there, because even if she isn't adopted, being an older cat, she'll be warm and dry and fed and loved for the rest of her days. The shelter was named one of the best Ontario volunteer organizations recently, so I think this is the best thing to do. It's not like we haven't tried to find them homes, but it still kills me, though.

I was going to talk about TV, wasn't I? All righty then. I am head over heels in love with Pushing Daisies. I finally got [ profile] darlong and [ profile] browncoat to watch it with me tonight, and they both loved it as well. At the point when the waitress was doing the little song-and-dance number with the Golden Retriever, Dar turned to me and said sadly, "This show is so doomed." Sigh. I hope that she's wrong. I know that the critics love it. And I know that I love it. And usually in the past that has indeed been the unshakable signs of imminent cancellation, but I'm holding out hope for this show.

On the other hand, I'm giving up on Heroes. That much eye rolling and sneering at the screen just isn't good for my health. I will give it props for one thing, though: casting spoiler for last night's ep ). Even given that, I just can't give any more hours out of my life to that show. I've also given up on Reaper and Chuck, although of those two, I'm more inclined to watch Chuck if it happens to be on when I'm channel browsing. Survivor is a let down this season, too. And it's in China! How is that possible? And yet - very bored.

So I guess I'm left with Dexter, L&O:CI, Pushing Daisies, America's Next Top Model, Brothers and Sisters, Supernatural, and Friday Night Lights. Speaking of FNL EEEEEEEE! ) A few more that I just can't remember because I really don't think that I'm down to just seven shows. Aaaand I'm eagerly awaiting the return of The Amazing Race, Project Runway, Jericho, Lost, and Battlestar Galactica.

I am having a massive brain freeze. Gotta go.

My Chloe kitty.

Yeah, I think I have officially become the crazy cat lady. Although hopefully [ profile] dumbphilomel and her friend will appear tomorrow and her friend will waltz off with Jane and/or Morse - or even better, the Mommacat -, because even I realize that we can't add all of those new felines to our already burgeoning family of indoor cats.


(That thunderstorm is still rumbling and yet it never seems to get any nearer. Verra, verra strange.)
No tumor or lesions suggesting a stroke. How fucked up is it that I'm a bit disappointed? That's how anxious I am to get a diagnosis. OK, so I wasn't hoping for a tumor or a stroke; I just wanted something that would leap off the page and say "This is it! Here's your answer." And now that I've had the information for a couple of hours I can admit that the report does have value for what it can rule out thereby narrowing the avenues of investigation.

The only thing of note in the brain scan is that there is a "very mildly reduced perfusion involving the right posterior parietal region." In English that means that the blood flow to that portion of my brain is mildly impaired. I don't know, maybe it will add something to the overall picture. I believe that's the part of the brain responsible for language, and if so then there has to be some connection to the difficulty I have sometimes now. Today has just been nuts, btw. I'm OK speaking for the most part, but typing has been unusually troublesome. I'm mixing words and getting the sentence order all screwed up. I've read on various boards and communities that stuff like this happens so I'm not shocked or worried, but I gotta tell you that it makes typing a real adventure.

To completely change the subject, I went cat food shopping while I was out. (God only knows what I bought *g*) Along the way I spied some kitty toys on sale: 3 cloth mice for just $2. Three mice, three kittens - poifect! I gotta say, that was the best two dollars I've ever spent. The kittens loved them! Like craziness ensued. It was absolutely adorable, and unfortunately the action was happening so fast that I couldn't get a picture of any of it. I did get to stand there and laugh for a while, though, and that was priceless.

OK, off I go to do some more research. And for those keeping track, the actual brain scan was a TC-99m HMPAO SPECT. I actually know what all that stands for, too. If nothing else, by the time this is done I can probably submit a script to ER or House. Go, illness of unknown origin!
It was a better today, but then it almost had to be, eh? Thank you all again for the support and the putting up with of me. Ungrammatical but heartfelt.

I got out and ran a few errands with Dar. It was a beautiful day, and when we came back home I just wanted to do something, you know? Be outside, move around, accomplish something. So I grabbed a couple of clippers, slapped a huge sun hat on my head (fortunately I'd put the clippers down first, because . . . ow) and cut back the bushes along the front sidewalk. It took all of fifteen minutes. And then I came back inside and passed out for two hours. Sigh. But you know what? I'm extremely fortunate to be able to do that. Life could be a hell of a lot worse.

Dar got email from her friend who said that Miranda had a great first night; she was curled up on her friend's chest all night, purring away. Awwwww. They have a 3-year-old cat at home, too, named Joey. If Joey and Miranda don't become play buddies in another week, they'll be back to take Jane home to be Miranda's pal. That works.

I have an appointment with a urologist about the kidney stones that showed up in the CTscan. I thought I was going to see a renal specialist, so I'm a little disappointed. It will be good to get the stones taken care of, of course, and there's still a chance that the rheumatologist will get me a referral to a kindey specialist. Maybe he can set me up with a gall bladder doctor, too, because my clinic is having no luck with that. Because I refused their preferred doc (who, you may remember, did the botched surgery on Dar) they're having trouble finding a substitute.

I spent some time outside later this afternoon with the barn cat family. God, they're such funny kitties. I guess we're at the point where we have to decide what to do with them all now. Mirabelle (the mom) is much older than we thought, and to be honest I don't think she's up to spending another winter outside. She's very content just sleeping the day away curled up on the spare cushions for the lawn furniture; I can't see her out in the barn chasing down mice. She shows absolutely no interest in mating again, but I think we should have her spayed anyway just to be on the safe side.

I should wrangle the rest of the kittens out to the barn just to introduce them to the alpacas and vice versa. Maybe they can do light duty chasing down mice during the day and spend the nights in the house with us. I'd rather have them all inside all of the time, but I haven't run that by the rest of the humans here. I just remember how terribly cold it could get out there, and while the alpacas have all that fleece, I fear the poor kittens would turn into popsicles. Am I being a wimp? Don't know.

So, before bed, two cat pics. I think I could be quite happy spending my days taking pictures of cats and clouds.
Cut for those who would rather not. )
One of the poorer days. Depressed, distressed. I've spent the day feeling as if I were watching the world through someone else's eyes. I was terribly blue. Still am. Crying jags. Called jags no doubt because of the headaches they leave in their wake. Nausea. Muscle weakness. The whole stupid relentless schmear.

Dar's friend and her daughter came to visit. I stayed holed up in my room, venturing out only when I thought I could control myself enough not to break into sudden tears in front of them, then I'd scurry back. I miss my friends terribly; I didn't have enough inner resources today not to let that spill out all over their visit together. (And here I go again. Fuck.)

They took Miranda home with them when they left. Of course. She'll have a wonderful life with them, truly, but today just wasn't the day for it. Or maybe it was the perfect day for it. It's not as if they were ruining an otherwise glorious time. Woe, pain, melodrama, what the fuck ever.

I should be doing something about this but I don't know what. Making something positive out of this but I don't know how. I hate this. Hate my own complicity in this fucking disease. I should be able to beat it back, should be able to rise above it, something, anything other than this ridiculous pathetic state I'm in. It's like being held captive in my own body. No, it's not like, it is being held captive. Inside I'm alive and electric, but I no long have the capability to channel that into action. Walking the ten feet down the hallway is like traveling through knee-deep water in a dense fog; it's an effort not just to walk but to connect to the reality of walking.

I had a friend named Sharyn who would frequently say that we are all merely temporarily abled, all just one misstep, one accident, one weak blood vessel, one biological short circuit away from disability. I'd always nod my head in agreement, because I believed that was true. I just didn't really believe that it was true for me. None of us does. But here it is. And here I am.

This isn't a morality tale. There's no clearly defined lesson to be learned, no villain, certainly no hero. There's just now, and then tomorrow, and then whatever future proceeds to whatever conclusion. I suppose if there's any positive aspect to it, there is at least the fact that I no longer carry the illusion that I'm in control of my life's direction. I'm trying to think of it as an adventure, but I'm not quite there yet. On days like this one has been, there's no positive perspective to cling to. But today is almost over. I guess I'll cling to that.

And here's a last photo of Miranda.
Unhappy kitten. )
As Dar would say, Wendigo is here. The wind came roaring out of the north, off of the ice fields, and we had a sharp reminder that winter is just around the bend. Everyone by-passed the sweaters and went right for the coats. The temps are supposed to rise this week but not really supposed to get above the low 70s again. Bye-bye summer!

I went through my clothes and switched out most of the summer stuff for the fall and winter. I really thought that I had more cool weather shirts than I do. I sense a shopping trip in my future, because I really don't think that four turtlenecks and two crew necks are going to cut it. I'm good to go with the pants, though. I had to ditch two pair because they no longer fit which is always good for a small bout of depression. Just a small one :) It's weird that most of the pants still fit the same, but those other two are just way too small now. I think it's a cut issue. I haven't gained a lot of weight, but because I've had to stop exercising my body shape is changing a bit.

The kittens came to visit for a while this afternoon. They all ended up on the deck, running around, giving me a heart attack with their clueless "Look, Ma! No hands!" routines on the bannisters and lip of the deck. (I think that [ profile] browncoat will be posting some pics that he took of their shenanigans.) We opened up the screen door between the kitchen and the deck, and the girls wandered in; after a few minutes they started exploring the living room and dining room. Holmes would hiss every once in a while, but he did touch noses with Jane and Miranda. Pixel hissed once but then skulked around after them as they went room to room. Rocky just sat there with a look of shock on his face; if he'd had one of those cartoon bubbles above his head it would have read, "You're fucking kidding me, right?" Poor Rocky :) Mao slept through the whole thing, unfortunately, because the Maoser never met a kitten that he didn't love. He is, shall we say, very in touch with his nurturing side.

Dar went all Energizer Bunny with the vacuum. Her friend is coming to visit tomorrow and to take one (I'm pushing for two) of the kittens home with her. I hope it's not Miranda. I love that little girl to death. I mean I know that she'll have a perfectly wonderful home with J*, and I'm being selfish, but such is the truth of my heart.

And speaking of the furballs, here's a pic of three of them caught in the midst of a kitty rampage on the deck. And there's a shot of the gorgeously surreal skies we had this afternoon for good measure.

Kitten clouds )
Killer fatigue has stolen today from me. I wish I could accurately describe what it feels like, but words are never up to the task of replicating sensation. Probably the worst thing about it is the complete lack of control I have over it. There is no "working through it." There's only surrender. And apparently some melodrama on the retelling.

It rained most of the day but no complaints from me on that score. The pond is still extremely low, but at least most of the bottom is now under water. The frogs are sounding grateful. The weather cleared about two hours before sunset which was right about the time that I started to come out of my stupor. That may be a coincidence, may be not. Anyway I did make it outside long enough to feed the kittens, always the high point of my day. This is our last week as one big happy family; I don't know which two of the babies Dar's friends are taking, but I'll be missing whoever goes.

Cinnamon Girl is well and truly sick. Dar said she has a fever and an infection and some discharge. She's also constipated. Poor little thing has been through the wringer and that's the truth of it. Dar's been giving her various meds for her various ills, and she'll be calling the vet to come over tomorrow. I only got to see CG through the kitchen window, but it does seem as if she's a bit more lively lately even with the infection. The girl is a fighter.

And that was my day. Sleeping, staggering about, sleeping some more. Occasional forays into LJ and my other usual internet stops but not even much of that. I did come across an episode of Slings and Arrows while I was flipping through the channels, so that was fun. And one cable channel is doing a marathon showing of Last of the Mohicans (in fact I have it on in the background right now), and since that's one of my all time faves it's been a little safe harbor when I've been all at sixes and sevenses during my bouts of consciousness. Whatever happened to Daniel Day Lewis anyway? Haven't seen him around on the big screen in a while. Or Madeline Stowe for that matter.

There must have been quite a house party somewhere up the road from us; for the last fifteen minutes there's been a parade of carriages going by. I love the sound of horses' hooves on the pavement. I wonder what it's like to travel by horse and carriage at night? They all have lanterns on their carriages by law, but while they make the carriages visible to oncoming vehicles, they don't seem to really cast that much light. I doubt I'll ever get to find out the answer to that. I think the last of the carriages has gone by now. Wow, considering those guys get up with the chickens, they tend to keep late hours on Sunday. It's a little past midnight, and most of them have a ways to go to get home. I wonder if they sleep in the carriage and let the horses find their own way? Nah, too dangerous. And why am I blathering on about this?
Cinnamon Girl is craaaaaaaaaaawling toward giving birth. She was wide open at about 7PM, but then she started to shut down again. Poor [ profile] darlong is out there pretty much from sun up 'til sun down keeping an eye on her. She comes in to go to the bathroom, throw down some yogurt, and refill her water bottle, then back out to the paddock she goes. The up side is that she's getting some extraordinary research out of this. Part of our problem in dealing with CG's labor is that so very little is written about maiden births. It's uncharted territory to a very great extent. After burrowing deep into the internet, Dar found out that 75% of late afternoon/evening births are by maidens. What the average breeder is always told is that a birth that late in the day means trouble , but, it turns out, not if it's a maiden birth.

I'm so glad that we've called in the vet backup when we have. Well, outside of that clueless bastard who injured her, of course. But the other vets have confirmed that CG is progressing through her labor and she's not really in any trouble; she's just extremely slow about. Every procedure has its outliers, and Cinnamon Girl is the outest of the outliers, I guess. We'll just have to be optimistic about tomorrow.

Except I won't be here for most of the morning, so I'm trying to be extremely optimistic that it's going to be an unremarkable birth once it actually gets going. I have an appointment to get my OHIP card renewed. (That's my national health card for you non-Canucks out there.) I still haven't received any sort of confirmation from Immigration that my renewal is in the works, so that might put a fly in the proverbial ointment, but I do have the receipt for the renewal application that I sent in last month. Hopefully everything will go smoothly.

The lupus has zigged from its usual routine over the past week or so. The pain is much more manageable (yahoo!), but now I'm hit with extreme fatigue. It's insane. I've been tired; we've all been tired. But this is like someone has turned off a switch and shut me down. I literally have to find someplace to lay down or else I'll just fall where I stand. Along with the fatigue I'm getting nausea and upset stomach, very stiff joints, and that lovely malar rash that my doctor believes I'm making up. As you can see, most of that list is no big deal, but the fatigue is the show stopper. Today during one of the four fatigue attacks, I realized that I was dreaming about Rip van Winkle. Heh. I believe that I'm more than a little concerned that I'm sleeping my life away :) The appointment with the rheumatologist is two weeks away; I can do two weeks no sweat.

The kittens are huge and funny and getting way too adventurous for their own good. Well, that last part there mostly pertains to Chloe. She's taken to wandering around to the front of the house and crawling under the cars. Uh, no. When I was a kid our family dog got killed that way; now way is Chloe going out like that. Plus, we get heavy farm machinery up and down our road all hours of the day and night. Not a day goes by that we don't drive by some poor kitty dead on one of the roads around here. We've been wanting to wait until Mirabelle (the momma cat) goes in to be spayed before we brought the kitties inside, but everything to do with the cats has been on hold until CG has her baby. We may have to force the separation between mom and kittens a lot more dramatically than we'd hoped.

I also want to introduce Mirabelle to the barn and the alpacas, but again that's off until CG has her cria. The alpacas are bound to get ten kinds of freaked out by a cat on the premises, and the last thing we need is an even more freaked out CG. C'mon Cinnamon Girl - just please have that cria. Please.
[edited because I'm sick of whining]

Did anyone get a chance to check out the moon last night? It was breathtakingly beautiful. I had to go in to Kitchener to pick Mark up, and it turned out to be a great drive. The kind I remember from years ago, when I'd just hop in my car for the hell of it on a lovely summer night, crank up the radio, open all the windows, and just zoom. I watched the moon change color from deep orange to pale gold to silver. The wonderful thing about living in the country is the lack of lights. Especially here in Mennonite central :) Not much was posing competition for that gorgeous globe up there in the dark. I opened up the moon roof and let the cool night air shush around me while I listened to station that was playing swing music from the 40s. All in all, one of the better drives in a long time. I just wish that I'd had my camera with me.

And speaking of cameras, what a perfect segue to bring you a picture of one of the kitties. It's Miranda doing her very best vampire imitation.

I can bite ur neck pleze? )

I'll be back tomorrow with those results which will probably be something like "Some slight damage of unknown origin. Check again in six months." I can deal with that :)
It's been simply gorgeous weather here for the last two days, and I've been venturing outside off and on to do things like driving, poo clean-up, mowing with the lawn tractor, and visiting with the alpacas and the kittens. Which was great and invigorating and now has left me pretty exhausted because that's the way this stupid disease works.

My test results have been in my doctor's hands for over a week now, and she never did call me back to discuss them. It says right on the report that she should talk to me about the possible kidney necrosis, but has she? She has not. I'm beginning to think that she never even read it. So today I called the clinic and asked the clerk to ask the doctor to schedule a kidney ultrasound for me. (The previous ultrasound that found all of this was actually for my abdomen.) It would be nice to know if I have some cancer brewing there, don't you think?

I'm too tired to rewrite the Paddock-a-looza report, so I'll just copy what I wrote about it to [ profile] sparky77 and leave it at that:

I broke up a veritable orgy of alpaca sexin' outside earlier this afternoon. Delilah was kushed next to the fence by Hannibal. Val comes trotting over and throws himself on top of her. (He's two months old! Like he could do anything.) Next Adama comes running over and shags Val off her, then he climbs on top and starts orgling like mad. Meanwhile Hannibal is on his side of the fence making with the orgling and pretending to cover her. Pantomime alpaca sex! Then Val and Sparky both come running over and they both jump on top of Adama and Delilah because it looks like the funnest game in the world. Of course that gets the three orglers all pissed so they start making loud fussing noises which brings the three moms running over to get into the fray. I was watching this from the kitchen, and by the time I decided I needed to step in and restore order the only one not actively involved was Cinnamon Girl - who was under a tree deciding whether or not to give birth to her cria right then. (She decided not to, as of a few minutes ago.)

When I made it out to the paddock, the moms had shooed away the crias; I shooed Adama off of Delilah and Satine took over herding Delilah away from the fenceline and Hannibal.

So. That's how I am. Alpaca Sex Patrol Warden.

And I leave you with some kitty pics.
Because they are to die from the cuteness of. (Is so grammatical. Sort of.) )
1. I have a bunch of new icons. This is by [ profile] antiprose, and I love the whimsy.

2. We did not go into the bank today after all. Two reasons. One: the bank requires that all problems concerning transactions be initiated online, so Dar was all over that this morning. I have no idea when we'll actually hear anything back from them. Two: I had a down day. Legs not working. Brain not working. Poor Dar did everything while I lazed about in bed having what the cats considered to be one hell of a great pajama party.

3. Iceman has gone back to our friend's farm to live out his days until we can sell him. He was miserable here. Truly unhappy. He nearly broke my heart with his constant and frantic racing back and forth along the fence line when the rest of the herd was in their barn and he was alone in his paddock. Dar felt the same, of course, so we decided that even though we weren't crazy about the level of care he had received there, he was still much better off being in the company of a number of other males about his age. First and foremost alpacas are herd animals; they simply do not thrive on their own.

4. We're going to sell him because he's related to half of our girls, and of the two he can be bred to, one is Conchita who nearly died from the last cria he sired because the cria was so large. (That would be Spartacus.) We don't want to risk doing that again. The other possibility would be to breed him to Gertie, but since she and he are both white (he's solid, she has some fawn on her head and sides), we'd most probably end up with white crias, and we're hoping to breed mostly for color. So, Iceman will be someone else's herdsire, and we'll continue looking for a suitable herdsire for our girls.

5. Once we bring in some outside bloodlines, we can think about breeding Hannibal and Adama to the resultant progeny, because the relationships will be diffuse enough not to have to worry so much about inbreeding/linebreeding. But that's going to be a few years yet down the road.

6. The kittens are beautiful and healthy and insanely funny, and we've found a home for them with a friend of Dar's. So if anyone who's seen them already wants to put a claim in on one of them, she should speak up pretty soon. SF. Otherwise they'll be adopted out from right under your nose.

7. I'd really like it to be autumn, please.
Well it's a safe bet that there's kidney damage. The ultrasound took an hour, most of which was devoted to taking pictures of my right kidney. Either there's something medically wrong there or else the kidney is now imprinted with a likeness of (choose one: a)Mother Teresa b)Virgin Mary c)Jesus d)Stephen Colbert) and the tech is going to sell the photos to a tabloid. In which case I demand a cut of the profits, and you'll all be getting invites to the freakin' huge bash I'll be throwing.

I'm going with something being medically wrong. She started off assuming that it was a simple stomach complaint, but that lasted about 90 seconds. Of course professionally she had to be circumspect, but she was fairly easy to read. I told her I was being tested for lupus; after hitting my right side she asked rather pointedly, "And when did you say all this started?" So it's a safe bet what she was seeing has been going on for a while. And later, when it was obvious that she was concentrating on the right kidney, I told her that my latest blood work showed a high probability of kidney involvement. She asked if the blood test was done there, because she'd like to see the report because she was sure it was going to be "interesting." Uh-huh.

Next was the chest x-ray, which I'm almost positive is going to be unremarkable. Except for the spot on my lung that always shows up and has been determined by the doctors in MA to be scar tissue from past pneumonia. Of course these guys don't know that, so I expect a call about it.

Then came the upper GI test. The good news is that it's not an ulcer. And my pouch is still really small. (I've been wondering if I'd expanded it over the years.) The bad news is that there's a blockage or something that's stopping the food from flowing smoothly between the pouch and the intestines,and that's most probably what's causing the pain and nausea. I'll have to be referred to a GI specialist for further work.

The radiologist was very funny, because he thought this was the most interesting thing he'd seen in ages. I was still standing on the pedestal on the x-ray machine in my lab gown, waiting for them to give me the OK to get dressed when I see the radiologist waving me over to his little room. "Come here and look at this. It's fascinating!" Who am I to say no to a chance to see a movie of my innards? So I pad over to him, and he starts reviewing the scans and explaining everything to me - except he's using very technical terms. You know that Gary Larson cartoon about a dog listening to her owners talking to her, and what she's hearing is "Blah blah blah blah blah blah, Ginger."? Well, that was me. But I still got the gist if not the jargon, and it was wild to see my little pouch and all of the other working (or not) parts. Hurrah for high disclosure radiologists! Hee. I just wished that I could have dragged [ profile] darlong out of the waiting room to interpret for me.

After that it was more blood work and a urine sample. Easy peasy. Or eesy peesy, as it were. The tech, who was a delightful young woman, told me that the ultrasound, x-ray, and GI results would be on a disk and on their way to my doctor's office by tomorrow afternoon. Which means I'll start hounding my doctor Friday morning. I'm very anxious to see those ultrasound results, as you might imagine.

Along with all of the medical nonsense, I also had to bring my car into the shop today. It's been in bad shape for weeks now and getting worse every time I took it on the road. Yesterday coming back from the vet's office was so bad that Dar and I were pretty sure that we weren't going to make it home. I have no idea what's going on with it. So far the guesses are tie rods, bearings, transaxle, and exhaust system. All I know is it makes a horrible, loud, scary grinding noise - off and on. So since Mark stayed home today to shepherd me to and from the hospital, we took the opportunity to have him follow me to the garage so I could drop the car off out there in the middle of nowhere down a gravelly country road. Seriously. The mechanic is the brother-in-law of one of our alpaca friends, and he has a great reputation. He's just a bit off the beaten path. And the paved road.

So that was our day. Never a dull moment, eh? Oh, and Dar found a growth on Chloe Kitty's stomach. So we'll be hauling her furry butt into the vet for sure.

But for now, I sleep.
1. [ profile] longshadowsfall called from NY this afternoon to check in with her mom. She and her friend had spent some time walking around Times Square, and tonight they're going to their first Broadway play. I couldn't help but grin when Dar told me. I remember the first time my cousins and I were off on our own walking around Manhattan. I was a few years younger than M*, but my cousins were a bit older so it was OK. When you're young, you come from a small town, and you hit NYC for the first time, it's like having an IV of adrenaline pumping full blast into your veins. I don't think she's ever going to forget this week in NY.

2. Dar and I ran some errands during the day, which was fun. Unfortunately the sun got to me even just driving the car, and the afternoon and evening were not so great. I used to avoid the sun as if it were a plague carrier; I was starting to like being outside when it was sunny and I could work around the yard and the fields. Now it looks as if I'm back to my vampiric lifestyle of old. I was hoping that once this is under control, sunlight wouldn't be a problem, but the folks in the lupus community online assured me that getting too much sun would just bring on another flare-up. Now the trick is to come up with some way to work around this particular problem. Night mowing, perhaps? The lawn tractor does have headlights. And I could wear some kind of miner's hat. It might work.

3. I tried watching The Lady in the Water the other night. Ohmygod, boring doesn't begin to describe it. I finally turned it off after about 30 minutes. On the other hand, I really liked Silent Hill. And not just because it starred The Bean. It was visually stunning, if occasionally ewwww-inducing. The production crew did a great job.

4. Dar's son will not be taking Chloe the Ninja Kitty. I'm working on her to get her to agree to keeping Chloe along with Miranda. They're absolutely devoted to each other, and what with Miranda having some severe vision problems I think it would ease her passage into being the new cat in the house if she had her best friend to help her along. Please to be putting pressure on the Darster to agree with this plan. Thank you very much.

5. Tomorrow (today) we'll be taking the four kittens and their mom into the vet's office for shots and deworming and a general health check. This should be fun.

6. Wednesday I have a buttload of tests scheduled at the not-so-local hospital. Chest x-ray, abdominal ultrasound, upper GI test, a whole slew of blood work, and a 24-hour urine test. As my brother said upon hearing of that last one: "That's a long time to sit on the toilet. Bring a lot of magazines." Hee. Apparently it's more a matter of collecting all of my urine output over a 24 hour period, which is weird enough. But it should give a very good window into the workings of my kidneys.

I'm most concerned about the upper GI test. It's a barium swallow, and that gets pretty complicated once you've had gastric bypass surgery. For one thing, I don't have a stomach; I have a pouch. And it fills up rapidly. For the other thing, part of the bypass surgery is the reduction in the size of the stoma (the opening into the stomach). It's very small; I can't swallow anything larger than the size of a pencil's eraser and I can't chug anything liquid without a lot of pain followed by some vomiting. So yeah, this should get interesting.

7. I miss hanging with the alpacas. They're going to forget who I am. Plus this is massively unfair to Dar, who's stuck doing almost all of the work out there. I know that it's no one's fault, and she's being immensely supportive and understanding, but still . . . it's unfair. Here's to a quick resolution and me getting out there with the furballs.

August 2015

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