Monday, March 30, 2009


A lot of you have asked how Brandy is doing...and I thank you for that,,it means you care...

In a nut shell, she is back to normal.. I won't say 100% but she is being herself with still some slight balance problems. But you know what... I'll take that!

When I started force feeding her, I really think she knew in her heart I wasn't going to just give up and let her die. She started eating on her own.. of course now she won't touch dog food... I have continued to feed her the gr. beef and rice mixture the vet recommended, but when you work out the cost..its cheaper than the crappy canned food so why not make it up for her?

She still has some problem with her bowels and I am seriously suspecting that her eating cat poop from the liter box the week before she got sick has something to do with it. I have been doing a lot of reading about our handy dandy "scoopable" litter and how dangerous it is for dogs if they ingest it and cats if they lick their paws. Luckily my cats aren't lickers,,so they have never gotten sick from it. But Brandy seems to be straining a lot and her bowels don't seem to be working properly so I am going to take her to the vet again, with my suspicions and see if there is some sort of "doggie internal cleanzing" that she can take to get rid of the scoopable litter blob that is sitting in her lower intestine or bowel.

She is hating Jacob again, getting into gnarling, teeth bashing fights with Mindy, begging at the table, whining when we don't let her sleep with us, frisky and wanting to play tug of war with her old sock (for about 10 wagging her tail, barking at things she "thinks" she hears with her old deaf ears... yep, like I said she is almost back to normal... and best of all, the spark is back in her eyes... and really, at her age....what more could I ask for?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Its over......

I woke up at 5:45 AM, not because I couldn't sleep but because it was "D day", that's right it was MRI day. I have been dreading this day for a month now. I had to be at the hospital for 7:30, so I got up , got ready and out the door by 6:55 not knowing what bridge traffic would be like at that time of morning. The whole drive in I did a lot of deep breathing. I knew I had to stay calm or I wouldn't be able to go through with it.

Traffic was light, I got to the hospital at 7:15 and after getting checked in, I went straight to the MRI department. The new wing they built for the new MRI machines was really nice, better than when I had my last one in 2006. Then they only had a change room and then you were lead out to a mobile trailer that housed the MRI Now back then, that did not do a thing for my

This time though, they have a reception area, waiting room and a separate change room, bathroom that I used twice in 20 minutes (nerves got the best of me) and another waiting room for after you put on the lovely johnny shirt and house coat. I had to wait 15 more minutes before they called me in, so the test actually didn't get started till 7:45.

The new MRI was smaller in diameter and luck would have it they didn't strap me in the Hannibal Lector mask this time! I had to lay down on a narrow table with my head wedged between two foam supports and then they placed large rubber ear cushions between the supports and my ears. They no longer use the large ear phones with music... just little foam ear plugs and these large rubber cushions that jam your head in and don't help one bit for someone who is claustrophobic! When I laid down and looked up there were 9 large panels that looked like you were looking up at a beautiful sunny sky with big fluffy clouds... it looked silly more than comforting, which I think is more the feeling they were trying to convey.

The two technicians then placed more confining rubber wedges beside my arms which meant they had to be folded across my chest and one technician then placed a rubber bulb call button in my hand patted it and said "if you need us to stop for any reason, press this". In my head I replied, "oh, you can be darn sure of that"... out loud I said "thank you". Knowing how claustrophobic I was they warned me before they made the table move in towards the MRI tube. I closed my eyes and tried to regulate my breathing which I noticed was becoming a tad to fast. Yeah, that's what I want to do, start hyperventilating inside the

The hum that was constant since I came into the room was suddenly very loud, followed by clicking noises.. I told myself I could do this and pressed my eyes tighter. I thought I was doing quite well till the Technician come over a loud speaker and informed me that they were ready to start. "start?!" what was all that noise then, if it hadn't even started yet? I had to talk myself down, I was getting anxious again! Sure enough the noise changed to a pounding ,noise, but not like the last MRI this was like someone in a welding shop hammering on a piece of metal. This noise went on for 5 minutes, followed by a low strong vibrating kind of noise that actually made my wrists hurt and the hair on my arms feel like it was standing up straight in the air. This came in waves and then 5 minutes later it was back to the loud metal hammering noise again. Half way through the test I made the mistake of lifting my hand, it was mearly a reaction to the pain the test was giving my hand hit the top of the machine. I didn't realize that it was THAT close, at that moment I felt like I was in a coffin. I had to talk to myself again, "stay calm, keep your eyes closed, its almost over, you can do this". To take my mind off the enclosed feeling, I tried to imagine what the metal tapping noise reminded me of.. and it came to me, it made me think of "woody the wood pecker tapping on a metal roof, really, really fast" I smiled at the thought. Ooops..keep my eyes shut! Whew.. that was close...

It felt like forever before the test was done, in reality it was 25 minutes. The voice came over the speaker again " You're all done Sue, the table will move to bring you out". I could feel the table moving, then I felt the Technicians hand on mine trying to take the rubber bulb call button out of my grip. "Your out, you can open your eyes now", she said to me. "I'm all the way out" I asked. "Yes, your all the way out" she replied. You know how you can tell someone is smiling just by their voice... she was smiling. I opened my eyes. Relief doesn't even start to explain how I felt. "So, did you mind the new machine as much as the old one?" the Tech asked me. "Actually it wasn't as loud, the bang, bang noise sounded more like Woody the woodpecker on Crack" I replied. She burst out laughing.. "Well I've never had anyone describe it quite that way before" she stated still chuckling at me. "I'll have to remember that one" she said.

I sat up and swung my legs over the side of the table. I sat and got my bearings like she suggested for a couple of minutes and noticed that another side effect of the old MRI wasn't happening with this new one... I didn't have the explosive headache like last time. I hopped off the table and went to the changing room and got dressed. It was off to blood work next. I have come to the conclusion though that I have stretched my "I can do it" to the max.. if I am scheduled for another MRI,,, I am going to refuse... I really can't do this again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Help, I'm stuck !

I haven't gone out since I've been nursing Brandy back to health, so I decided to go to the mall today and look for an outfit to wear to a dinner mystery murder theater we are going to on Sat.

I went to Sears, cause they had a sale going on. I love dresses, but the last time I wore one was at my last wedding in 1992. I have horrible scars from the lupus on my arms and legs and a huge bulging vein on my left leg that takes away from any sexiness that might be present. But just the same, I had about 10 dresses in my arms and I make my way to the dressing room.

I took off my top and undid my belt and jeans and just let them fall to my ankles cause I didn't want to have to unlace my winter boots and take them off... so are you getting a picture now? I know your grinning!

I was on dress 8 , it was really cute, a slim cut, black on the bottom, white on the top with little ruffles along the very deep V neck and a tiny belt that would hit just below the bust line.

Now, as you all know I'm chunky..and have a very ample bust... but none the less I pulled this dress over my head and then the realization hits that its much to snug to fit over my bust line..but ohhh nooooo,,, I keep going and pull it all the way down.

Some people have the body dysmorphic thing where they think they look ugly when they look in the mirror...well I think I'm skinny like I was 15yrs ago until I look in the mirror and then its like "oh my gawd, who is that fat person?" lol

The dress looked really good, or let me rephrase that,,, it would of, if it was a size larger that But I had grabbed the largest on the rack already so I knew there was nothing larger out there. So I figured I may as well stop looking at it and take it off...

I tried to grab the bottom and lift it up over my head, it felt like I was choking myself and locked in a sleeping bag. I started to panic, literally. I pulled it back down again.

I tried to grab some material and slide an arm out,,nope that wouldn't work either! I stopped and tried to gain my composure. I couldn't get it off!!!...Should I rip the tags off put my top and coat on and go pay for it and hope I loose 15 pounds over night? lol

I could hear a sales lady up further in the dressing room helping a lady fit a bra. I bent down, pulled up my jeans, did up the belt, straightened out the dress a little and poked my head out the door. That fast the sales clerk was gone.

I waited a few minutes, which seem like an eternity when your standing there with a dress on that is starting to cut off the Still no sales clerk.

I went to the main door and stuck my head out looking around the store for a one. I waited 5 minutes then went back to my dressing room. I really didn't know what I was going to do!

I heard someone walking in, so I opened up the door and see a woman coming with an arm full of clothes, she is grinning as she looks at me on the way past. I spoke up "Hi, do you think you could PLEASE help me, I can't find a sales clerk".. I sounded really desperate.... "I can't get this dress off" I was almost pleading now.

Her grin got larger. She hung up her clothes and then grabbed the bottom of the dress and pulled with all her might. I was a little taller, so I scrunched down a bit so she would have more leverage. So here I am standing with my bra, jeans and boots in the middle of the dressing room with a complete stranger tugging at this dress.... Off it came!

I'm thanking her and babbling on about how cute it looked on the hanger, she is nervously talking about how we all do things like this once in a while in our lives..and then tell her that this was my "what was I thinking moment" and she totally cracks up laughing...

I go back in my room and sit on the bench and the whole thing makes me start laughing, out loud, quite loudly, and I can't stop, I just sit there laughing..and the poor woman in the next room must really think I am some sort of nut case !

I put on my top, zip up my coat, sling my purse over my body and leave the store and the dress behind me, thinking that if they had surveillance cameras in the dressing room the security person must be rolling around on the floor laughing and marking the tape to show at the next staff party.

I decided to wear the pantsuit hanging in my closet.....

Thursday, March 05, 2009

When your faithful friend gets sick

I have had Brandy for 15 years. I'm not even sure of her heritage.. she looks like a Jack Russell white with the brown circle around her eye and some small brown spots on her body. I do know her mother was a terrier/poodle mix, the father was some dog walking by. I never held that against

I know the terrier comes thru a lot in her. She will sit by the baseboards waiting for mice. She got that when we moved to Harvey when she was a puppy and we had field mice in the house and she would chase them and they would squeeze down between the baseboard and the wall. She could sit and wait for hours sometimes days. Almost obsessive, but thats the terrier for sure.
She never ever licked, I got one once..I think she forgot and just let her guard down that time.. she shows affection by snorting in your ear, wet, but its still affection and it is her way of letting me know she appreciates the love she gets from me, from us as a family.

Now she is partially deaf, her teeth are bad and her breath is even worse.. but she still makes me laugh. She was a sweet dog when she was younger, but like the rest of she has gotten on in years she got cranky. Well you could almost say darn right nasty, but not with me. She was my dog from the start, and she doesnt' like strangers, men in particular (which I think just shows good taste) lol
She got that from my brother D who decided it would be cute to bark at her when she was she can here his voice (even over the phone) and she will bark franticly!

She also doesn't like children, which can be a challange when you have 4 grandchildren all under the age of 7. lol It took her months to warm up to Norm, now though after all these years she will sit and cuddle with him and bring him her old worn sock to throw for her.

I remember bringing her home as a puppy, tucked into the front pouch pocket on my jacket. Her sticking her nose out and the girls squeeling with delight. I liter box trained her because we werent' allowed to have dogs in the mini home park. When we moved into a house later that year, she got to go outside and pee like normal dog. But she is smart, and if she has to go and no one is home, she will go back to the litter box instead of peeing on the floor.

The past three days she has been sick. Tuesday it was just her not eating, walking very slowly and thowing up. She was drinking more water, but couldn't even keep that down. Wednesday it was worse, her balance is off.. she tried to shake like they will when they are all soaped up and in the tub.. but she fell over on her side and I had to pick her up and set her on her feet again. Her depth perception is off, she walked into the door. She still hasn't eaten, her eyes are doing this back and forth kind of twitchy freaky thing. The worse part is her eyes,,,they are sad... she looks at you like she wants to know whats wrong with her... and I can't tell her.

Its so sad to think that this may be her exit time. That 15 is old for a dog just doesn't seem fair. I know that she has more to teach me and more joy to give. She has always been my friend, never lying to me, cheating on me, hurting me or making me regret getting her. She has been a constant, a loyal and wonderful companion. At times sharing my bed, crawling down under the covers when it gets cold and lying on my legs... she loved the old water bed when I had that because it was always warm in the winter and she would always take her naps on it.

I got Brandy to the vet tonight, three hours later, we are all back home. Normally just pulling out her leash and saying the word "car", would have her so excited she would have a stroke.. tonite she didn't even wag her tail and I had to pick her up and carry her. I sat with her in my lap, her head resting on my arm as she looked out the window, and Norm drove.

Normally she wouldn't let Jacob near her, tonite she let him pet her head and never once did her Elvis impersonation....(you know, the curled up lip on one side) She did manage to try to bite the good Dr when she came over to examine her though..

Her heart and lungs are good, she noticed right away that she was holding her head to one side and I put her down so she could see her try to walk... which reminds me of an ex husband I had (he was always drunk) The Dr. "thinks" that her balance and eye problems are due to a tumor pressing on something in her head without doing a very, very, very expensive scan of her head, its her best diagnosis. She checked her ears because of the possibility that it might be something as simple as a bad ear infection that was making her sick cause of the inner ear...but says here ears look normal too. She ran some blood tests to make sure is wasn't kidney,liver or diabetes, all were within normal range. She gave her a shot of some new antibiotic that would be easier than trying to get a pill into a dog that can't eat and is barely drinking at this point... the needle would stay in her body and work for 2wks. She did this as a precaution in case its some sort of infection... but she doesn't hold much hope at her age, she has seen more of these symptoms in elderly dogs with brain tumors.

Over the next couple of days, I'm suppose to try to get her to drink small amounts of water and hopefully keep it down so she doesn't get dehydrated. When she is able to do that, I have to try to get her to start eating a couple of tablespoons of rice and cottage cheese or rice and cooked lean ground beef. I have to continue to keep the stairs blocked off so she doesn't fall and hurt herself, and to help her go outside to pee and come back in safely, put some drops in her eyes 3-4 times a day to keep them lubricated because she isn't blinking properly. If she gets worse over the next couple of weeks,,,,well then I have to make the decision to put her to sleep. In the mean time,,,she is my baby and I have to keep her safe as possible and make sure that she isn't suffering.. right now the Dr says she isn't,, no signs of pain, just being very sick at this point. Make her comfortable, keep her company, make her feel safe and loved.. and most of all hope for some miracle. I"m hoping for the latter.

Brandy was actually able to keep her water down today, she only threw up once over night and once when she woke up again at 8 am. during the day she drank and as the Vet suggested I only gave her a little at a time. She is still very unsteady on her feet and I help her in and out of the house to go pee. She squats to have a bowl movement, but of course she hasn't eaten in 4 days now so there is nothing to come out. I got groceries this morning and picked up a couple containers of that expensive "ceasers" dog food. I was trying to spoil her, bribe her into eating. It didn't work, she only sniffed at it and laid back down. Dora the cat loved it

What makes me know that she is still feeling really sick is her eyes , they are still so sad. I pick her up and sit her on my lap and rub her neck ,,if I stop she sticks her nose under my hand telling me to continue..of course I do. She is sleeping alot more than usual, even for a 15 yr old dog.. but there is still a piece of me that is hoping she will snap out of this.

Thanks to everyone for your support and hugs,, greatly needed and appreciated..