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.