Thursday, September 9, 2010
Yesterday I removed her e-collar while I could watch her because she got her bone and wanted to chew on it, she can't chew it with the collar on and looked pretty pitiful when she couldn't. Today in the time it took me to go to the bathroom she was barking at someone outside, I of course rushed to get her back inside. I am sure whoever it was, was terrified of the silly looking dog with the satellite dish on her head! I am hoping she can have her staples out this weekend after she has her recheck with her doctor.
I am much more optimistic that she will do well now and am only mildly nervous and worried as opposed to terrified for her well being.
Thanks to all who have offered their love and support.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Well Sunday night while I was at work Lily broke one of the rules; she was vomiting excessively. She vomited 8 times in a couple of hours. So she saw Dr. Turner, and had blood-work (normal) and radiographs (pretty normal), she got a couple of injections and instructions on oral meds and such. We went home and went to bed, I was exhausted after working all weekend and nervous about the Fall semester starting the next day. Monday morning I woke up and expected Lily to bounce out of the bed and come eat breakfast and be fine. None of that happened. She did not bounce and when I made her go outside, she just lay in front of the door and most alarming she had zero interest in eating anything. Worried, I headed off to my first day of school worried about my dog. I came home and she was very depressed, would hardly get up and as she came out of the office, she regurgitated water all over the floor at my feet.
Next step, back to the hospital. She saw Dr. Ramirez and at that time, had an elevated heart rate (180) and was showing a pain response upon abdominal palpation. Dr. Ramirez decided it was time to start her on IV fluids, anti-vomiting injections, acid reducers and antibiotics. She was also scheduled for a cardiac echo and abdominal ultrasound with Dr. Melmed on Tuesday. I helped get her started on all of this stuff and then went home to sleep as I had to start my clinical rotation at the hospital on Tuesday morning, (despite being very worried about Lily, I had a great time). I called and checked on her before I went to bed Monday night and she was basically the same if not more depressed. Tuesday morning before I went to clinic my phone inquiry turned up more of the same. As soon as I got home from clinic duty I called again, her echo had been done, her heart looked great however, her abdominal ultrasound was disturbingly inconclusive. Her stomach was dilated and had alot of fluid in it, she had an enlarged lymph node and several areas of her small intestines were dilated and had thick walls. Dr. Melmed didn't find any obvious tumors and no obvious foreign body. Lily was still very depressed but had not regurgitated anymore despite the manipulation during her ultrasound. Dr. Ramirez said that the next step was to do an abdominal exploratory (for the medically uninclined that is exactly what it sounds like, you open the abdomen and explore) or try conservative treatment for another 24 hours and see what happens. At this point she was worried about some kind of GI cancer that would be hard to see with the ultrasound or x-rays.
So here is what I was faced with at this point. Something had to be done, when I got to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon Lily was miserable. She would barely lift her head to say hello to me and was urinating where she lay. She was extremely depressed and painful. The last time Lily had general anesthesia she was unable to walk on her own for about 36 hours due to her myelopathy ( nerve disorder affecting her spinal cord, causing generalized weakness in her hind end that makes her gait awkward, lovingly so of course). Plus Lily is 11 years old, has chronic Ehrlichiosis that keeps her white blood cell (the cells that fix you when you are sick) count low, has had ACL repair (think football running backs) on both knees, back surgery and is allergic/sensitive to a bunch of drugs. Do I let her stay on treatment that isn't working so great and see what happens, leaving Lily to spend what could be her last day on this earth in a cage away from me? Do I cut her open, to see what is going on in her belly and possibly have to euthanize her on the surgery table if she has some sort of cancer? Do I let her go to surgery and if there is something bad wake her up and take her home and euthanize her there? This decision had to be made while I was hysterical with grief.
Luckily Dr. Turner was there for me to tell me what she would do if Lily were her dog (and also what Dr. Ramirez already told me she would do), and that was to take her to surgery, open her up and if there was something bad and unfix-able we would euthanize her on the table. So I took her into an exam room with her fluids, Suki and a bed for all of us. We lay there like three spoons in a drawer for 3 hours while we waited our turn for surgery saying goodbye to the best dog that ever was. Any dog owner will know how hard this is, and anyone who knows Lily and myself on a personal level knows how especially hard this was for me. I thought about all the times Lily was there for me when I was sad. I told her thank you for all the times she shared my joy and wallowed with me in misery, with her calm quiet wonderful demeanor.
I thought about the first time I laid my eyes on Lily, she was the ugliest/cutest thing I had ever seen. She was 6 weeks old, and had a dog bite wound on her face which was how I ended up with her. She had a giant pot belly that was so round and pink and soft. Her foot pads were pink with adorable black freckles on them. The dog bite wound on her face was swollen but her red freckled nose was adorable. She looked like a soft pink and white piglet. As we lay there, I promised her I would always remember when she was new.
I thought about and reminded Lily of our many adventures, like the time we drove cross country with My friend Martin and his two rottweilers Buddy and Lady, we spent 24 hours in a car three fun filled days in St. Louis (Martin and I into trouble and drunk and Lily diving and swimming in the pool with Buddy) then the 24 hour drive back. Martin had to leave his dogs in St. Louis which was sad and consequently, the reason for the trip. Lily kept him company all the way home while he was grieving. We used to go to the dog beach pretty regularly and sometimes the nude beach where Lily would catch her Frisbee for hours and enjoy her favorite past time, sunbathing. She kept me protected on my 2 mile walks to work every morning in Long Beach California as well as keeping me company at work all day. She tolerated countless foster dogs and cats over the years without complaint. She moved with me to Texas in an over crowded, noisy moving van (another 24 hour marathon no stop trip) also without complaint.
When it was our time to go to surgery I held her in a giant hug and tried not to be too upset because that freaks her out. I was pretty unsuccessful at that. I went into the kitchen at the hospital to wait for Lily's fate. about 30 minutes later I was told that she had a foreign body in her pylorus (the end of the stomach before it enters the small intestine) that extended to her duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It was a piece of a stupid rope bone that was thrown away a month ago. That's right my crazy stoic pit bull has had a fairly large piece of a rope bone stuck in her stomach for a month. This was exceptionally good news considering the circumstances. We were still unsure as to weather she would be able to walk and the site where the surgery was performed was pretty bad, lots of ulcerations. It will probably heal but we are no where near out of the woods yet.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Anyway, I have started my RT program at school and am already learning quite a bit about how to take care of humans and how the giant bureaucratic hospitals work. In the Fall I will start going to the hospital from 7:30am until 4 pm on Tuesday and Thursday and getting hands on training, I was really nervous about this at first but now I am kind of excited. I can't wait to meet some new people and learn about my newly chosen profession.
The title of this is "Revised Academic Plan" so I guess I will get to it. Part of one of my classes is learning about what is available to us after we get through these classes and become licensed radiographers. Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls Texas offers an online program to receive a Bachelors of Radiologic Sciences(BSRS). I already have many of the classes needed to go towards this degree and have decided to finish this out instead of getting a BA in biology. Because the classes are online I will be able to do my new job and whatever hours go along with that and get these done at the same time. Of course while this is going on I will be pursuing additional licencing requirements for Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and possibly Cardiovascular Intervention (CV). MSU also offers a Master Degree in one of three disciplines that have to do with the Radiologic Sciences. Education, or the teaching of RT programs ,management of the RT's at a hospital (which I have no desire to do), and finally you can get a Master of Science in Radiologic Assistance, this is the one I want so I can become a Radiologist Assistant or RA. RA's get to do some really cool stuff like, perform fluoroscopic exams (this is real time x-ray), manage patients and make preliminary evaluations of images for the Radiologist. The coolest part of this plan? When I am done and I become "Cassandra Haskins M.S.R.A., RA, B.S.R.S. RT (R),(CT),(MR),(CV)" That is ALOT of letters behind my name, which in and of itself is pretty cool but the really great part is that RA's make on average 120,000 dollars a year. I could go for that.
The hard part is that the masters program for RA's is highly competitive and very limited. So I have to maintain my GPA as well as be a really good RT once I start and probably get on the good side of some of the Radiologists I will be working with so they can write letters of recommendation, and be a proctor for me if I do get in........should be a piece of cake right?
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Several months ago I noticed something amiss in my kitchen. The floor right in front of my sink had a little rise in it as it came up to the cabinet. I checked under the sink supposing there may be a leak….there wasn't. I being very busy and not all that savvy about things like this thought it was just the house shifting, my house was built in 1951 and on Texas soil, which moves around a lot. So I went about my busy life and ignored the floor in the kitchen until the corner in front of the cabinets became squishy and obviously full of water….damn, now what? I called the company that holds my home warranty out and the guy thinks that it is the aerator on my bathroom sink which just so happened to be shooting water down the back of the faucet, where I couldn't see it (brilliant design) he decided that was the leak that was going under my bathroom wall and kitchen cabinets ultimately causing the problem…I myself thought that was a long shot but went along with it anyway.
A couple of days later I talked my dear wonderful friend Jeff into coming over and taking a look at my floor that was by now badly damaged. He pulled up the linoleum to reveal 3 layers of linoleum and the actual wood floor underneath were all wet. He also pulled up the back board inside the cabinet to reveal that in fact the water was coming from across the wall from the bathroom and perhaps over quite a long time the water could have been coming from the sink faucet.
It stayed like this for about a month. I put a fan on it to start drying it out so that the floor could get repaired and checked it every time I came and went to work. All was well for 2 days and then I came home and found that the floor that had been getting dry was in fact soaking wet again. I called the plumbers out again and the guy Joey is his name and he works for Recue Rooter Fort Worth, came turned on all the faucets in my bathroom at the same time and stood looking at the wall and inside the cabinet and decided that the water was coming from one of the things he had running in the bathroom and that the entire kitchen wall would have to be torn up to find out where the problem was coming from. Oh and they don't pay for access so not only was I going to have to pay to have my kitchen torn up so they could fix one little leak in the wall I was also going to have to replace my irreplaceable 1950's excellent condition cabinets and tile counter top. I asked if he would be able to better tell exactly where it was coming from if he took a look under the house. In the same "you're an idiot girl" tone he had been using for the entire conversation he told me that it didn't work that way and you can't see, I would have to tear up my kitchen.
After panicking for about 15 minutes I screwed my head on straight and decided to get a second opinion. I called Ernie's plumbing and Terry came out. Terry did something strange, he actually turned on the faucets in the bathroom one at a time and decided pretty quickly, after getting on his knees and actually looking that the water was coming from the faucet in the tub….now we were getting somewhere! He decided that it was the valve behind the hot water knob, since hot water was coming out in the kitchen. He gave me an estimate and then went to work fixing it. As soon as he took the faucet apart he realized that it wasn't the knob that was leaking. Then he did another strange thing. He put on some coveralls and actually crawled under my house, had me turn the water on and determined that the leak was coming from my tub spout. Terry then told me that he would have to knock out some of the tile in my bathroom to get to the tub spout to fix it but then he did another strange thing, when I suggested cutting a hole in the wall inside my kitchen cabinets where no one would see it he instantly told me how smart I was and what a good idea! Now he would have better access to the problem and wouldn't have to tear up my bathroom in the process. Terry fixed the leaking faucet, and after 586$ was on his way. He was an awesome nice guy and did a great job! Thanks Terry from Ernie's Plumbing!
So back went the fan to dry out the mess. After a month of drying out, the floor was ready to be replaced. So, I called Jeff and we talked about the plan. We decided that Spring Break was the time to do it. I was off of school for 3 days and we could tear up the floor and get it back down. I was optimistic Jeff however, has done things like this before and knows the kind of problems you run into along the way especially in 60 year old houses. We made the first of what was to be many trips to the Lowes to get the supplies we would need for the floor. I had to order the vinyl squares that I wanted online because apparently black and white checker board is not in style in Texas. When we went to Lowes we talked to some guy that I have now decided to call jerk face, and he said that we should use what he called floor leveler but what ultimately turned out to be concrete patch(more on this later in the story).
Monday the 15th of March we started on the journey. Jeff went to work tearing up the old wood floor that was damaged and I went about carrying it all outside. There was cutting, sawing and carrying of the wood outside. Then we had to go to Lowes again to get new tar paper to put between the subfloor and the new wood that the floor would go on eventually.
When Jeff arrived the next morning, the stuff wasn't dry….at all. So after discovering that the blow dryer made it dry faster we decided we needed a giant floor heater. We went to Lowes, got a few more things we discovered we needed and then went to Home Depot at the advice of the Lowes guy to rent a floor heater. Home Depot didn't have any floor heaters and sent us to Sunbelt rental to get one. We were in Luck they had one. We rented it and headed back to the House with our huge kerosene torpedo in tow. We got it going and got the kitchen up to about 100 degrees in 10 minutes and the floor dry in about 45 minutes.
We coated the floor with some kind of latex goo that was supposed to help the vinyl stick better, whatever I guess it did. Once that was dry we started putting the floor tiles down. That was fun in and of itself and seemed to be pretty satisfying after all of the toiling we did on the last two days. By the end of that day we realized that we were not going to be finished and that I would have to take a day off of work to get it done. So I called and got my shift covered and went to bed knowing that we were on the home stretch.
Picture of the moulding /floor goes here.
Jeff slept in, and brought Lisa and Ava with him at about 3 pm.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
So I am off from school for spring break and thought I would do a web logging! Lucky you. School is going great this semester! I have A's in all of my classes so far and can forsee another 4.0 semester in my future. I love my Biology class and my Biology teacher Dr. Vise…she loves Biology as much as I do and makes it fun to learn, I will for sure take her for Bio II for Majors in the fall. My Comp class sis going great and I have finished 2 papers so far one of them is posted here for you to read and the other is just an annotated Bibliography, kind of a glorified works cited page. Pretty boring to write so I am sure it would be pretty boring to read. My philosophy class is pretty boring which just compounds my idea that I am a biologist and not a philosopher. My American Lit. class is really fun and my professor is great! I am learning a lot about one of my favorite subjects and that is history…I am getting excited about taking my history classes in the summer. I have submitted my application for the radiologic technology program and am nervously waiting to hear whether I got in. The cut off last year was 5.13…this is a weird point system they have where they take your GPA and add bonus points on top of it. As far as I can figure I have a little over 5 points but I am not sure if I am doing it right. I don't know what my competition will be this year so I am trying not to stress on it too much. I will have to just wait and see. I will hear at the end of March whether or not I made it. They choose the top 50 applicants, 30 get in and then the other 20 are alternates, so if someone decides they don't want to go or fail their drug test or background check they put alternates in. I hope I make it in and not on the alternates list. If I don't make it I will just keep plugging along at my AA degree and the core classes for my bachelors degree, get my GPA up through the fall and try again next year. I guess that is it for now, I hope you are all doing well and I will keep you posted on my progress.
Friday, March 5, 2010
You may be wondering what the hell is going on there at the end well, funny thing, I found this unfinished blog while I was going through and organizing and decided to publish it just like it is. The first part is done and quite fabulously fantastic so I left it but the end is still in the beginning phases. I thought I would leave it alone so you could see how this happens, how I put these together. Most are not done this way, those ones about just regular stuff that don't need all that much creativity or thinking just get typed out, checked for errors and then published. The rest however, the good stuff, the ones that make you laugh or cry are done in this fashion. It starts with random thoughts blurted out on the computer screen, kind of like a list. Then I go through the list and put it in a more orderly fashion, then I write a paragraph about each list item, and then revise, leave and go do something else, come back revise, revise, revise, sleep for a night, come back revise and then publish it when I am satisfied. Apparently I slept and then forgot about this one, which is too bad because it looks like I was on a pretty good role...I make myself laugh anyway. Hope you enjoy it!
This is my first essay written for my Composition class. We were asked to take any short story from our text book and wind our own personal narrative in with relevant quotes from the authors story, as well as provide a summary. This seemed impossible when I started but once I got going it turned out to be pretty great. I am proud of this piece of writing as it is very personal and took some guts to get it out and onto paper. I am providing a link to the short story if you want to read it first. I highly recommend it, it is funny and wonderfully sarcastic.
On January 15th I started keeping track of everything I eat on a website one of my friends showed me. It is called Livestrong and they have a feature on it called The Daily Plate. On this thing you input your age, height, activity level and how much weight you want to lose per week. It then calculates how many calories you need to achieve this goal. So I started it and have lost 12 pounds! I have been struggling with my weight my whole life and have never found anything so easy to stick to. The magic of it is you can eat whatever you want as long as you stay in your calorie goal. The other night I ate Girl Scout cookies, ice cream and Doritos for dinner. The program doesn't judge it doesn't say "are you supposed to be eating that?" or "that isn't diet food" I am pretty optimistic at this point that I will be able to stick to this program. Another great thing about it is it also keeps track of your fat, fiber and protein consumption among other things. I realized pretty quickly when I started logging that I was eating too much fat (a remnant from the low carb diets I have been trying to stick to for years) and not nearly enough fiber. I have adjusted and seemed to have made some great changes that have helped me not only lose weight but also be healthier. Of course now there are groupies that want to be healthy as well. I have started looking better and so people at work are asking me what I am doing so I explain the site and they are trying it too. It is pretty awesome I have to say. I decided to include some food pictures in this blog for you guys. I love to take pictures of my food and haven't really had an occasion to share them but now seems like a good time. I will also include a link to the website in case any of you want to check it out. Until later bon appétit!
The Site, www.livestrong.com/dailyplate
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Several months ago I noticed the linoleum in front of the sink was bowed slightly, fearing that water was leaking under the sink I checked under the cabinets expecting to find water.....there wasn't any so I just chalked it up to the house shifting. It is an old house, built in 1951, it has a pier and beam foundation and is sitting on North Texas soil so it moves a bunch all the time.
And so it was ignored for a long time. Then this last month during my cleaning frenzy I noticed that there was a ton of water under the bathroom vanity after I was running water during cleaning. I called a plumber and when he came to investigate the problem he discovered that the areator on my faucet was clogged with "old pipe junk" and was shooting water out the back of the faucet under the sink. Apparently this had been going on for some time unbeknownst to me. Well I guess the water had been leaking through the wall and under the cabinet in the kitchen and then under the floor. So lucky for me I have a good friend with the handiest husband on the earth. He came over and after tearing up a bunch of stuff with tools, discovered this mess.
I am currently working towards getting into the Radiologic Technology program at the community college I am currently attending. I will be applying to the program next month and hopefully will get in. I have one more hurdle to jump before that can happen. I have to pass the Math portion of the placement testing to apply. I am currently stressing on this quite a bit. I have procrastinated and have one chance to take it and pass it. If I do get in I will receive an associates of applied sciences in Radiologic Technology. Once I have this degree then I take my state examination. Once I pass that then I will be able to work in hospitals taking xrays. Eventually I want to get certified to run the CT and MRI.
In addition to that degree I am also going to finish my Associates of Science at TCC. This should give me a seamless transition into the four year college. I am planning on going to University of Texas at Arlington to get a bachelors of Arts in Biology and then hopefully be accepted into their graduate program to get a masters in biology as well. Once I do that I want to go on to get a PhD. in some biology concentration (as yet to be decided) so that I can teach college biology when I am really old.
Well there you have it. I have a long road ahead of me but I can't think of doing anything better than learning stuff for the next 8 years or so.
Monday, January 25, 2010
"Hills Like White Elephants" By Ernest Hemingway
I promise it is short, and you will enjoy it. I have read it several times!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Anyway moving on. On Tuesday and Thursday I have Biology for Science Majors at 11am. This class will be great fun this time (see dropping biology blog April 2009) because I have an instructor who cares about whether or not we learn, and I am taking this class with a coworker/friend that is also super smart. After Biology on Tuesday I have my American Literature up to 1865....this would be really boring if it wern't for my super cool ex-hippie cigarette smoking professor! She is really cool and I think she will make this class super fun. Also on Tuesday I have my Biology lab with the same caring instructor as for lecture and my same super smart friend. So tuesday is the long day...starts at 11am and doesn't end until almost 5pm. It is Okay I will take snacks.
So far I think this semester will be great fun and possibly even relaxing. I think I will learn a fair amount of history in my Lit class and I get to write which is my favorite thing ever. I will post anything I write here for you guys to read...but I warn you it will be about Literature so you may have to do some reading of Lit to understand or care about it.
The only thing that I do not like so far is the parking.....but most of them will be weeded out by the next month and closer to the end of the semester I can pretty much park where I want.
As always thanks for reading.
Monday, January 18, 2010
And so it begins.
We are boarding a bus to head off to fisherman's wharf. And this is where I leave you this time. I have tons more photos and will share them with you another time..hopefully in better shape than these are. I had an awesome time and San Fransisco comes highly recommended. Make sure you bring a back pack and good walking shoes!