Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bentley - Update

Meds started on Th.  Cipro in the morning, Zpac at night.  30 mg Pepcid 20 mins after giving the meds.

It's a bit better.  Less red, starting to dry up.  Maybe the meds will kill the pesky bacteria and my boy will be okay sooner, rather than later!  I'd like that and if you didn't know any better, you'd never know something was wrong with him.

He still "talks" to me each morning, and greets me with the same waggy tail.  What you see below is FAR better than it was.

Here's to hoping Sir Bentley keeps on, keeping on :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Here I Go Again - Bentley

Seems that in my life, things - humans, dogs, horses - have been the impetus for research all things medical.

Bentley - my almost 3 year old great dane and heartmender (see Storm story along left side bar for that long tale) - appears to have taken up the torch.

We moved to sunny, hot, humid FL last summer.  And for the most part, I have loved every day of living there - the sunshine is ALWAYS out, the rain comes and goes, and not a day goes by that I'm wearing jeans.

Two or three days after moving to FL, I took Sir Bentley outside, along the concrete walking path the circumnavigates our specific complex, and he was being him.  Sniffing, peeing - you know, dog things!  On one particular night, he spooked, or that is, he jumped and spun around on his leash.  I wondered what spooked him as he really is "bomb" proof.

The next day, or the day after that, I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone, petting Sir B, when I noticed the below.

Yeah.  Instant thought: snake bite.  Have I ever mentioned on here how utterly TERRIFIED I am of snakes?  I don't detest them, I like they eat mice, and keep other vermin out of my house.  But I am absolutely, pass-out terrified of them... no matter how harmless.

But there on my dog's paw was what looked like to me to be a snake bite.  No swelling, no bruising, no movement or discomfort from Bentley so my friend, looking at the picture via text message said not to worry.  It was not e-vet time.

Months passed.  The wound did not heal.  I took Bentley to the vet.  That vet wanted to run $1000 worth of tests.  I left with a prescription of Cephalexin (broad spectrum dermatologic antibiotic) and hoped for the best.

It didn't clear up.

I called back to talk to different vet, one more pragmatic with my money.  She ran a battery of tests.

Nothing unusual.

Bentley came with me back to my former home state.  I took him to my long time vet.  She took a look, said it seemed to be a lick granuloma and prescribed a higher dose of Cephalexin.  14 days, 2500 mg, 2x / day.

It didn't clear up.

I called my vet back.  What now?

Let's culture it.  Let's find out what it is susceptible to.  Or I can just prescribe a different antibiotic and hope for the best but the downside is that it may not cure it and then we're another 2 weeks out.

I asked, stupidly, if while culturing it if they would look for the "Really bad cells" (aka tumor cells).  No, the vet said, we would not,  We would have to aspirate for that.  We could take a cursory look but a surface scrub for culture would most likely not produce enough cells for us to see mast cells.

I said culture it.  Let's find out what it is and be done with it.

Let me say that Sir Bentley has been acting normal.  Dorky, goofy, happy, waggy tail, eager to please, happy to see me, NOTHING out of the ordinary.

Today, I got the call at noon.

"Well, the good news is that it is not tumor cells.  Also good news, I now understand why Cephalexin would not kill the bacteria.  He has pseudomonas,betahyloticstrep,andmethicillinresistentstaph.

I purposefully did not separate those words for that's how it appeared in my thinking.  Run together.  Pseudomonas.  I knew that word.  My own father almost died having it twice.  Extremely interesting little bugger if not infecting one of my loved ones.

My vet was talking.  I could not remember what she said about calling Target's pharmacy to get the script in.  She said something about Pepcid for his stomach so that he'd eat with the medications which would likely make him sick.  There was something in there about him being in good hands (mine, I think) and something about calling her if I had any questions.

The sun was shining for once.  I was dazed, confused, stunned ... and scared as I sat on the little bench outside my job.

Did she say MRSI?  Isn't that methicillin resistant staph?  I wondered.

Google is great... even if the information I found made my heart sink, and my eyes water.

My Sir Bentley was very sick.  And here I was again... with a very sick dog, worried... how much time I have left with my beloved.

Of course, I called the vet back and left a message.  "I'm a little freaked out.  Can you call me when you're free?  Thank you!"

About 1/2 hour later, she called.  We talked.  She tried to calm me down.  She tried to give me hope.

"What's his prognosis?" I asked.  She knew to lay it on.

"At this point, very good, you just have to stay fastidious with the meds.  Ad2b, in your hands, he has a great chance of making it.  You understand how serious, you understand about not missing a dose, you know how to handle these things.  Have faith in yourself."

Another few questions to ease my overly worried mind:

Would the test results from a month ago have been enough to show any advanced stage of MRSI?

"Yes.  If the disease had advanced beyond his skin, the tests from April would have shown signs."

A little sigh of relief.

"How much time should elapse before I see some improvement in his paw?

"48 to 72 hours.  If you don't see any improvement, or marked improvement, call me back and we'll add another drug.  Ad2b, we have several options to treat him, we're just starting with the most conservative and working our way to the most expensive, hoping the ones I prescribed are enough."

A little more relief.

"So if the zpac doesn't work, we'll do something else?"

"Yes.  Vancomycin, gentomycin, and sporins, we have others.  Some you have to be very careful because they are harmful to humans so you have to wear gloves, another is IV only which is a pain but we'll go that route if we have to."

Okay, breathing now.  Watery eyes drying up.  She and I will help Bentley to better health.

We have to.

He's my heartmender.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

61st Anniversary

Of my parents!  I have been traveling a lot lately from my home in the south to the old home in the north.  My project has been awesome - the people are kind and hard working, which is great because the weather has been beyond abysmal.

However, on the occasion of their 61st wedding anniversary, I took my parents out to dinner.

Anywhere they wanted.  All they had to do is name it.  Fancy?  Sure!  Really fancy?  Sure!

What they wanted?

Olive Garden.

Below is the picture of my 80+ year old parents, married 61 years.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's Been A Long, Long Time

And I finally decided that I never wrote here for the readers, although I did hope perhaps part of my posts might be helpful - back in the day - I wrote here for me.  Sort of as a journal of sorts of how the hell I got through the last 5 years.

Sometimes I read here and am slightly bemused that the physician whom I fell very, very hard for got me so very, very far onto the medical school path at such at late age. About that point when I think about him, I think about the really nice golf clubs he bought me "just because"... (yes, you can insert an "awww" here).  Damn he was good with the flowers, and the theater, and the... man, I did adore him.  (he's got a dating profile active on a site for wealthy men - oh, and he got married in 2010).

Eventually, I started dating someone else.  It took sometime for me to really like the new guy, but eventually did.  Love?  I suppose, but very differently.  More cerebral, more adventurous (insert skydiving), more outgoing.  Anyway, we'd gone golfing once.  Starting to put those clubs in my car, "just let me take them back to my house for you.  Safe keeping."

Those golf clubs ended up, of course, at a person I pseudonamed Sir Hawtsalot... which should probably be better repenned as Sir Cheatsalot but, whatever.

When I figured out his primary characteristics were charismatic, charming, cheat, liar, and thief, I bailed on him... he called me fickle.  For the record, fickle is someone who cheats... not someone who is trying to understand the big roaring red flags that wave and every woman I know, ignores.  Except me.  I just didn't want to believe them at first.

I mean he's on the board for a charity.  He has some really great connections (hee hee - think about that...).  And everyone I know, that doesn't date him, just thinks the world of him.  But... cheat he is.  And thief.

See, I'd dumped him and moved on.  Going so far as to block his phone calls at the vendor if he tried.  I deleted his email address (the corporate, and AOL.com ones) and banned those at the provider as well.  I discarded my thoughts of him (mostly - thanks Olivia for talking me off the bridge once in awhile when I meandered on it).

I'd moved on.  Really well.  Kind of found a new individual, with charm, wit, and some common interests somewhat inspiring if not interesting.  Top that, I was in my final semester before MCAT.  I was seriously, done.  Red flags were listened to.

Until he figured out a means around my email block and wrote me saying he missed me and thought about me a lot.

Apparently, he'd read something I'd written and felt compelled to write.

From India.  While on a trade mission.

Dumb me responded with nothing until I went to Galapagos.  I sent him a postcard from the outpost almost parroting his email above.

Apparently, he forgot to mention his engagement.

The engagement he entered into 4 days before writing me the original email above.

Apparently, he also forgot to mention that he was keeping my golf clubs.

When he finally did feel the need to tell me he was getting married (6 months after meeting the woman), I wrote him back saying, "good luck and best wishes" adding that I deserved better than what I got from him (like not being led on or strung along or purposefully misguided by him), but that as someone (the "devil") once told me, I don't have to like it, I just have to accept.

The idiot wrote me again and offered to pay the concert tickets back as a donation to his MARITAL charity of choice.

Seriously.  Cheating dolt.

Where that brings me is this letter, now very viral on interwebs :D, that I wish I'd had the kohonas to write myself 2 years ago.  How much more fun would that have been???

(very, if you have to ask!)


(and yes, I think Taylor Swift and I could have a running friendship; boys be damned anyway!  :D)