Rules for Feeding the Stash

Monday, November 30, 2020

Trying to Get Back to Normal

Okay. This week we're trying to get back to normal. Lee Lee's mouth is still bugging her a little bit, but I let her out of her cone for a few hours yesterday, and I'll let her out of her cone for a bit today. I'm hoping to be able to get a look in her mouth at some point to see if there are any stitches still hanging on, but most, if not all, of them should have dissolved by now. We're finally back to sleeping through the night (well, my sleep's been a bit rough, but that's all on me and not on Lee Lee being miserable), and I scheduled a massage for this Friday as both a reward for getting through the last month and a half and also to fix my poor back, which has taken the brunt of all this stress.

I haven't been knitting much, but I'm hoping to get back into it this week. I have a couple projects I've been working on for several months now, including this shawl which is almost at the halfway point. I also need to start knitting for xmas—I'm only knitting one gift, but given how my knitting productivity has taken such a hit the past few months, there's a change it'll still be tight. 

I'm also in the last two weeks of the semester! I have three papers, a powerpoint presentation, a screencast and how-to guide, and a libguide due in the next two weeks, and I am feeling the crunch. I took most of last week off from school work, which made the weekend a bit rough as I scrambled to catch up, but it was definitely the right call, and I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm sitting now. It'll be busy, but I think I can do it. I hope. Once I get these assignments in, I'm on break from school until the end of January, which is sounding really nice right now.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Quickly on a Monday

 Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a restful weekend. I don't have class this week, so I took all weekend off from school. Saturday I did NOTHING, which was exactly the kind of break I needed, and yesterday I finished a comic book I'd been reading and did some picking up around my apartment. My bedroom's been a disaster for weeks, which is understandable, and I had a huge pile of boxes next to my dining room table that I needed to throw out. I feel so much better now, even though I still need to tidy up a couple small areas, so it was a weekend well spent.

Lee Lee is pretty much the same. She really hates not being able to scratch at her mouth, but I'm just as stubborn as she is, and she's only managed a couple quick scratches before I've caught her. We're seeing the vet for her post-surgery check on Wednesday, and hopefully her mouth will be healed by then and we can take the stitches out. I'm hoping that the stitches are what's really bugging her right now, but she did have quite a few sore spots in her mouth after surgery, so we'll see how she's doing. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Hanging In

 Lee Lee is doing...well, we're hanging in there. Her surgery went well on Tuesday—they cleared out some infection and closed the fistula—but she managed to tear her stitches out on Wednesday, so we had to do a quick vet run for that. Her mouth only needs one week to heal and our primary goal for this week is to keep her from touching her mouth. I've been alternating keeping her in a backpack with only her head free and letting her wander around in a cone, and so far it seems to be working. Fingers crossed.

I'm still a bit behind on school—nothing's late, but I haven't started a couple projects that are coming up, and I'm not quite where I'd hoped to be on some bigger projects that I've already started. It turns out it's really hard to focus on anything when you're trying to keep a very resourceful dog from ripping her stitches out. I don't have class at all next week, so hopefully I'll be able to get myself caught up.

I've also not really been doing much knitting. I do have a shawl sample finished, and I've started writing the pattern, but it's on the back burner for now. I'm also feeling pretty burnt out—I was handling working full time, school full time, and pandemic stress pretty well, but then we got slammed with election stress just as I was also getting slammed with this whole vet mess, and, understandably, I'm pretty fried. I'm focusing on taking care of Lee Lee and paying attention to my self-care plan, and then whatever I have left goes to making sure I'm not missing anything for school. 

So that's where we are right now. I'm hoping that by the end of the weekend Lee Lee is healed up enough that she doesn't want to scratch at her face and we can try going for walks again, but we'll see how it goes. Take care of yourselves, kittens.

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Pupdate

This has been, without exaggeration, one of the hardest months of my life. Easily in the top five. As you all know, Lee Lee had her last nine teeth removed on October 15th. They were in bad shape and really needed to go, and we'd planned that surgery for a few months. 

Unfortunately, it turns out that the vet messed up, and her mouth is still bothering her, and she’s cut up her paws really badly trying to scratch at her mouth/cone during her recovery. Since November 6th, we have gone to the emergency vet twice, the original vet who did the procedure once, and a brand new vet once. The original vet believes she is doing as expected, which the emergency vet and our new vet both disagree with.

The emergency vet and the new vet both discovered two oral-nasal fistulas, which aren't uncommon after dentals, but they do open a path for infection and can lead to pneumonia. There also should be no reason for her to still be scratching at her mouth, leading us to believe there are some roots or bone shards that were left behind in her gums during her original surgery. She needs the fistulas closed and dental radiographs to see what exactly is bothering her so we can fix it. We have her scheduled for her (hopefully final) mouth surgery tomorrow. 

The past week and a half has been especially tough, with all the vet visits and learning just how badly my poor dog is doing, but I like the new vet so far, and we're both hopeful that by the end of the week she should be back to normal, apart from her paws needing to finish healing up. Honestly, none of this should have happened, and she should have recovered from her original surgery in a week with no need for follow-up care, never mind multiple visits to the emergency vet. 

The original vet maintains that she is doing fine, despite continuing to experience discomfort in her mouth almost a month post-surgery, and claims they cannot see any fistulas (which, even if they couldn’t see the holes in her gums, you can tell she has saliva coming out her nose). They also repeatedly did not respond to phone calls during her recovery and prescribed a too-large dose of pain medicine, causing my dog to be completely lethargic and soil herself, and it took over three weeks for her to be able to stand and walk around. The emergency vet and our new vet both agreed on a more appropriate dose for her, and she's almost been herself the past week, apart from the lingering discomfort.

So, that's where I've been. I'm tired, I'm burnt out, and I took the last week off from my day job because I was behind in school and just couldn't keep doing everything. I only just started being able to sleep through the night again the past couple days, as Lee Lee had been keeping me up with her discomfort, and while I hate to put her under surgery again, the new vet is confident that as long as there's not something severe hiding in her gums, like a broken bone, then she should be feeling some significant relief by the end of the week.

This all would have been so much harder without my communities on Twitter, Instagram, and Ravelry, and to all of you who have already heard all this and supported me, thank you so much. It's so good to know that there's a whole community out there that cares about us, and I hope to have a better pupdate for you all soon.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Shawls and Recovery

Happiest news first: I am just twenty rows from starting the border on this shawl. It's so soft, and it's been such a great knit. I'm hoping to get it finished by midmonth, but given everything in my life and in the world right now, no promises. You'll get the pattern as soon as I can get it finished.

Mixed news: the good news is that Lee Lee is healing enough that she has the energy to cause a lot of trouble. The bad news is, she's causing trouble, and she's still miserable. I got a cone for her on Friday, and she hates it. She vacillates between lying on her side like she can't move and furiously thrashing around trying to get the cone off—and I mean furiously. She's launched herself off the bed, essentially backflipped onto the hardwood floor (and the concrete outside), and if I try to hold her still then her little nails just dig in everywhere.

I'm back to having her on pain meds, because she's obviously not ready to be off them yet, and those keep her pretty stoned most of the time, which is a relief. The last few days have been especially rough—she's accidentally peed the bed a couple of times, and she also managed to absolutely cover herself in poop twice (once she got herself trapped under a chair and was stuck in it, the second time she was too busy trying to get the cone off to realize she was pooping and kept rolling around in it). I am exhausted. Hopefully we're almost done with all this. I promised her no more surgeries, because if she's this miserable for this long after dental surgery, I don't think she'd make it through a more invasive surgery.

At least focusing on Lee Lee takes up most of my energy so I don't have time to doom scroll and think too hard about the election. If you're able and you haven't done so already, please vote. Also make a plan to take care of yourself for the next couple days/weeks, because it looks like they're going to be stressful no matter what. My good friend Patricia rounded up some good tips in her newsletter.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday Numbers

 1. Lee Lee is recovering. We're both a little worse for wear. I wish she was doing better than she is—she's still quite uncomfortable and pretty stressed. I finally got a full night's sleep last night, for the first time since her dental.

2. Because watching your dog recover from getting all her teeth pulled out is super stressful, I got pretty much nothing done this weekend. Saturday I did my weekly grocery shop and then slept all afternoon. Yesterday I managed to get my homework done, but that's about it.

3. This week looks like it's going to be pretty school-heavy. I have one of my major assignments due this weekend, but we won't know how to do it until Tuesday, so it's going to be a busy few days towards the end of this week.

4. After some thought, I decided I'm not going to do NaKniSweMo this year. I always enjoy it, but I don't think I have time to knit a whole sweater this November, and I'd rather get some of my WIPs finished up. I will, however, be participating in NaKniMo, and setting a stitch goal, but mostly I'll be focused on trimming down my WIP pile.

5. I think that's it for now? Honestly, the past few days are just a blur of worrying about my dog and watching her be uncomfortable and wishing there was anything I could do about it. Hopefully I'll have a good update and some actual knitting content for y'all on Friday.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Vet Day

Yesterday was Vet Day for Lee Lee, who now has no teeth. I also brought Abby, who longtime readers might remember (she's a papillon and she lives with my mum) to cut down on trips out of town. I ended up waiting at the vet for six hours, and while I brought some knitting and a stack of readings for school, my focus was pretty shot. Fortunately, Lee Lee had her dental done first, and the vet let her come out to the waiting room to hang out with me while she came out of anesthesia. After both dogs were done, we all hung out at my mum's for a few hours.

Lee Lee is pretty miserable today. She had a lot of bleeding from her mouth through yesterday evening, and it was a rough night for both of us. I ended up opening the futon and covering it with an old stained blanket so she wouldn't have to be alone in the kitchen. She's still in a lot of pain, but I did manage to get a painkiller into her this morning (at least, I'm 90% sure I got it in her).

The plan for this weekend is lots of homework. Usually I get a bunch done on Thursday nights, but clearly I wasn't in any shape to do anything last night. I'm hoping that since I got that first pain pill in Lee Lee this morning that I'll be able to stay on top of it and keep her drugged up until she's not so sore anymore. It turns out it's really hard to focus when you know your best pal is hurting. She's getting spoiled with as many gentle pets as she wants, and eggs and rice for every meal, and hopefully by the end of the weekend she'll be feeling more like herself again.

Monday, October 12, 2020


Kind of a weird weekend here. The vet called late on Thursday needing to reschedule Lee Lee's dental, which kind of threw off all my plans. Her appointment is now scheduled for this Thursday, and hopefully there's not another scheduling issue. I ended up spending most of Friday with my mum, which was the plan for after the dental anyway. We watched some Diagnosis Murder and I got two mum-cooked meals, so it was overall a good day. I had some homework to do this weekend too, and while it only took a few hours all together I had the hardest time actually sitting down and focusing long enough to do it. 

I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that I'm just not knitting a whole lot right now. I try to knit during class, but otherwise I'm not really touching it. I'm wondering if part of it is because most of my WIPs right now are samples and I don't really feel like working after doing my day job and classes, or if I'm just more tired in general from adding school into my regular schedule. Also, it's a weird year, and we're all really tired. The good news is that my knitting is here when I want it.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

A Thursday Post

I don't usually post on Thursdays, but I really want to get back in the habit of posting twice a week, and tomorrow morning I'll be out bringing Lee Lee to the vet for her dental, so here we are. Her teeth really are in bad shape, and I think they'll be removing four or five of the eight or nine she has left (I think only her canines are safe, but we'll have to wait for the x-rays to be sure). 

Yesterday was ROUGH. I woke up several times during the night in pain and when I finally got up in the morning I was sore and achy all over. It took me a couple hours to remember that I'd gotten my flu shot on Tuesday, and that flu shots can cause some achiness for the next day or two. I brought my laptop out to my comfy chair to work, I loaded up on ibuprofen, and I took two epsom salt baths throughout the day and today I'm feeling much better. I've never reacted to a flu shot before, and while the aches yesterday sucked, they certainly sucked a lot less than the actual flu would. 

Knitting: today's photo is garter stitch, which I for some reason really disliked when I first started knitting but now it is one of my greatest loves. This is the start of what will eventually be one of the samples for a fingering-weight version of Easy A, which I am really looking forward to, but it's going to take months before they're finished and ready for publication. Right now, it's great class knitting, and I'll probably bring it to the vet tomorrow to work on while Lee Lee's under. 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Day 206

For the past several days I've had a string of stress dreams and nightmares, but last night I finally got a break, and I hope that whatever's going on in my brain at night is done with. It's not surprising: I'm closing in on seven months of being limited to my apartment, my mum's apartment, and weekly grocery shops. The only person I see a lot of is my mum, and while I love her to bits and am so glad I get her in my bubble, I'm missing a lot of the people that I usually see at least weekly.

I've broken my collection of candles back out and I'm really enjoying having one lit almost constantly. I cleared a little space on my desk so I can have one going while I work and attend class, and I put a couple candles in my bedroom as well. I've also been looking up new candles online (I have a particular weakness for ones incorporating tobacco scent) but I'm not buying any yet, because Lee Lee has a dental on Friday and I owe over a thousand dollars to my diabetic supply company, so we're not really buying anything that's not strictly necessary right now. 

Okay, the knitting—that's what you're all really here for, I know. This is a super soft, super cozy shawl sample I'm working up. It's about a quarter finished (it's gonna be BIG) and it's done with a strand of worsted weight held together with a laceweight mohair. I'm using Ecola Worsted and Pinnacle Lace from The Dye Project, so there's some silk in there too, making this just a joy to work up. I don't know when it will be finished or written up (I've given up on having knitting deadlines while I'm in school), but I'm hoping it's relatively soon.