Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cement shoes, razor blades, damp cotton wool, and an update on Lucy Le Pew.

After years of good health, no sicknesses other than the occasional sniffle - which was quickly vanquished with a few applications of Emergen-C, I was totally unprepared for the major virus that slammed me last week.  Starting Tuesday night, and still in place today I have been clad in cement shoes, feel like I swallowed razor blades, my head is swathed in damp cotton wool, and I whine alot.  The upside is that it is not strep as my doctor originally thought - which means no antibiotics.  I am anti-antibiotics.  But I am frustrated that it won't just go away.  I have drunk gallons of tea - I had one of those 'aha' moments a couple of days ago, when I remembered I had won a dry quart of herbal 'sick' tea mix in a blog giveaway.  I figured out would still be good and rummaged around until I found it. Coincidence or not, after slugging down a quart of the stuff, heavily laced with raw honey, my throat pain eased substantially.  Hooray!  Now I am left with the cement body suit and cotton wool.  I am not a good patient.  I am also glad that I have a long weekend in which to get myself back up to normal strength.  I did, however, take Friday off.  My doctor threatened me, good-naturedly, and I didn't argue.

Lucy had her vet appointment Saturday, so off we slogged the hour and fifteen minutes to their vet.  They are very nice and Lucy is amazing in the car.  No pacing, no panting, no trying to get in the front seat.  She just settles in and enjoys the ride.  (Another upside of this now-head cold is that I cannot smell anything.  Even stinky dog.)  They gave her a once over, took blood, cleaned and medicated her ears (both are infected) and then fired off the info to the rescue.  I was pretty disappointed with their response.  They said to hold off running the blood test for another two weeks (which means I have schlep out there AGAIN), don't want to deal with her ulcerated skin tumor just yet, and generally made the whole trip unnecessary.  Except for the ear treatment.  I don't know if they are holding out for me to step up and adopt her - which I can't afford to do in any conceivable way - hoping that I will be caught between wanting to do the best for her and knowing that it is highly unlikely that anyone would adopt her in her present state.  I am aware of the costs of testing, biopsies, etc.  All to well.  But I don't think that a wait-and-see attitude is necessarily the best - especially when dealing with an unknown tumor and obvious symptoms that something is not working.  Nope, I am not a happy camper.  I'll have to do the best I can for her and enjoy my temporary, but very welcomed lack of smell.  Lucy seems to be settling in just fine.  The cats are still horrified - she still seems to be way too interested in them - Scrappy is stoic.  She's getting close to mastering the steps, she walks on a lead way better and she counter surfs.  This last bit of info is not great - I am not used to a dog that is large enough to cruise the counters.  I have to be diligent about putting things away and out of reach.  Being diligent is difficult when one's brain is swathed in damp cotton wool. I'm lucky I can put one cement-shod foot in front of the other.

Lucy and I walked out of our vet appointment into a heavy snowfall.  It was pretty exciting on the way home.  For me, at least.  She was sacked out in the backseat.  I had just enough time to drop her off before I had to head up to meet a delightful young man who is in the process of building a working farm.  He raises Old Spot pigs, chickens, vegetables and is brimming full of good ideas.  He's just the type of new farmer this country needs, and I sure hope he does well.  I am going to promote his CSA (he does both a Vege and Meat CSA) as much as I can.  Being pretty self-sufficient, I am not in the market for either membership, but I would sure jump on the wagon if I decided to give up gardening and raising my own meat chickens.  He's also a talented web designer - take a look:  Hill Hollow Farm.  We schlepped all over the farm as he gave me the overview of his big plans.  I'm sold.  I was very happy that I had all wheel drive for the trip back down the mountain.  It just made me long for spring even more.  Is it April yet?


  1. You poor dear! I can relate somewhat as i have caught something too. The first cold/Grip/flu? I have had in almost three years so I guess I was due. Ralph let the Dr convince hi he should have a flu shot and then we both got sick within 5 days [incubation period?] We must have got our shoes from the same shoe store!

    I am surprised at the Rescue people not wanting to get poor Lucy on the way to healing. Delay is not good in this kind of health situation! You obviously know that, odd they are not moving quickly? Anyway I am drinking tea laced with honey and my biggest feeling sick sin a shot of brandy. Take care of yourself and get better!

  2. I can't believe you worked every day last week up until Friday being as sick as you are! You need to be spanked and put to bed for a week, young lady! (If only Scrappy could step up to the plate and take care of you for that period, eh?)

    I'm sure the rescue agency is not rolling in $$, but doggone it, seems they should be able/willing to take better care of their dogs. Wish the long trip to and from the vet's had been more rewarding.

    If you could possibly stay home from work this coming week, you'd get better a LOT faster. Because of all your responsibilities, you need to give your body a chance to recover fully don't you don't end up in a compromised state for the rest of the winter. Because of your responsible nature, though, you most likely feel you have to go into work. :o( I sure would help out if we lived close.

  3. Being sick is so tough when you have other living creatures depending on you.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear you've been sick. Sounds like you really got the worst of it! Our natural antibiotic is garlic. A clove or two of raw garlic whirred up in the blender with tomato juice and a teaspoon of ginger (for the tummy) once or twice a day really seems to do the trick.

    Lucy sounds like a really good dog. I hope she's healthy again soon.

  5. Hope you feel better! I'd raise the issue to the rescue group that if they won't pay the bills they should find another foster person. And that you won't foster any more. That's just irresponsible IMO....

  6. Goodness Susan, that sounds like more than just a head cold! I hope you are feeling better today. {{HUGS}}
    That is too bad about the rescue groups response to Lucy's care. I certainly hope some kind of resolution can be reached.
    Hill Hollow Farm sounds like my kinda place! I really respect what they are doing! On a separate note, there is a show on GAC (channel 326 on DIRECTV) called Farm Kings about a family in PA who are running a market farm to include Farmers Markets, a store, a CSA and now growing cattle, pigs and chickens. I have gotten hooked!

  7. Sorry to hear you have the death rattles! I hear it has been slamming people all across the country. Glad I am so isolated!

  8. Oh I am so sorry you are sick it is tough enough dealing with this crazy cold weather. Take care of yourself and Lucy. Take care Hug B

  9. I have 4 rescue dogs, one of which is named Lucy. I'm really surprised the shelter isn't paying for better vet care. The vet should be offering them a discount and a payment plan. My dogs eat Blue Buffalo brand dog food, which is super nutritious and may help heal your Lucy, too. If her skin is flaky, add cooked egg to her diet. It will really help her skin. She looks like she's part flat coated retriever but I wouldn't rule out black Lab, either.

    All of my dogs are mutts. My Lucy is a beagle/lab/basset mix. She's the low rider of the Lab world. I also have a beagle/golden retriever/?? mix and a doxie/corgi mix that's built like a tank. Good luck!