Peepers and Puppers

The top photo was two weeks ago. Bottom is yesterday. The swelling inside my eyeball is still coming down. I don’t have to go back to the retina specialist for a month. I started going every day, then every other day, then once a week, then every two weeks. This is the first time to wait for a month. I think that’s pretty damned cool!!!!!!!!!!! Still on two steroid drops four times per day but he says if the improvement continues he’ll start working me off them. My vision is at 20-60 and we don’t know if it’ll get better or not. Before my cataract surgery in August the surgeon told me they’d get me as close to 20-20 as possible. Four days later I was completely blind in that eye. Five months later and I’m still trying to get my vision back and I no longer go to that first doctor; in fact, he has resigned from the practice. I wonder if he messed up more patients than me.

This is what the right eyeball looks like inside. This is where I’m trying to get now.

Still working on getting Zoe’s digestion back to normal. Poor baby has had a lot of issues the past couple of months. We’ve changed food, put her on probiotics, 3 stomach medicines and now oils. Currently she is doing great; I hope she continues. She’s only at 3.5 pounds so it doesn’t take much for her to lose ground. The vet said not to let her lose any more weight.

Mimi is failing bit by bit. She will be 17 years old next month. She’s getting grayer, weaker. Her hearing is gone, eyesight dimmer and dementia shows its face occasionally. She has spells with her breathing where we’ve wondered if she’ll survive the hour. Still she comes to us for attention, gives back love and licks, and cuddles closer and closer. We carry her, cuddle back, whisper sweet nothings in her ears, take her on car rides, give her treats, and whatever else we can think of…or she can.

All our fur babies are aging; some more than others. (But so are we.) We know we can’t keep them forever, and, at times, think it’ll be better when we don’t have such a large pack to deal with in our advancing years. But I don’t want to hurry up the process. Each of them are their own dogs. Each has their own idiosyncrasies, foibles, personalities, auras. They’re all loved immensely, cared for distinctly and extremely, spoiled to the nth degree, and are parts of this family. This week we celebrated three of their birthdays; we were behind. Khandi’s birthday was December 4th, Dusty was October 1st, Gypsy was August 18th. So we made 2 trips to Petsmart, one ride down Seawall Blvd., trips through the Starbucks drive through, and ordered more toys from Chewy. I don’t know who had the best time: them or us??? It’s been a good week for all. Even in the midst of buying medications and going in for doctor visits and testing, there was fun to be had. That’s the excellent part of having pets. No matter what happens their love is unconditional.


Getting My Life Back

Today was Khandi’s first visit with the new vet. Now they all have been registered locally. All have been healthy lately except Zoe—again. She’s having digestive issues again and has lost 2 more ounces (she only weighs 3.6 pounds). Took her back to the last vet who treated her belly and they’ve put her back on probiotics and have gotten rid of the diarrhea. She’s still having cramping after dinner so we’re still working on fine-tuning her treatment. Otherwise, we have one dental and 3 flu shots for our canine babes, then we’re finished for another year. Even after everything that’s happened in our lives this year we’ve managed to keep up with the furbabies.

My eyes are definitely better than they were two weeks ago. I go back to the retina specialist this week and I have new glasses ordered (for both eyes!) so help is near.

I have started back decorating our new (to us) house and am able to drive, cook a little, clean a little and do laundry. I’m fully functional on the computer and looking forward to getting back to sewing when I get the new glasses. Yay!!!!!!!!

Vision Quest

Saw the retina specialist and the ophthalmologist this week. Got 2 more injections into my left eyeball. That makes 13 total (I hope that is the last of them), however, now that the infection is gone they are able to deaden it sufficiently that we don’t have to deaden the optic nerve first. You’ve never lived until you see this big, honking needle coming directly at your eye and stuck in under the eye to inject pain medicine. The injections this time were for pain during the injection then cortisone to assist healing. He put me on another anti-inflammatory drop 4 times per day for a total of two prescriptions and 8 drops per day and I go back in two weeks.

My vision is clearing though still blurry enough that it’s difficult to read the small letters or focus on facial features on the TV screen. However, night before last I could read them all so I’m assuming that it’s all trying to clear. I’m going to get some glasses in 7-10 days that will correct some of it and help the vision in my right eye cope with the load.

I am able to sleep in my bed now although I’m more comfortable in the recliner. I can drive, bend at the waist, pick up the dogs, do laundry, etc., normally. I am beginning to get my life back. Today I had the hope that perhaps with the glasses I’ll be able to sew again. Hope reigns!

Still Doing Eyes

This picture is the inside of my eyes today. Left photo is the undamaged right eye. Middle photo is the left eye. They say that shows inflammation. I don’t see my retina guy until next Wednesday but went to see the on-call guy today because I started having headaches that I was hoping weren’t related to the eye issues. He said the eye hadn’t changed; not to worry about it. Works for me.

I Survived (of course)

Surgery went well; there was no pain since they put me to sleep while they deadened my eye. The worst part was the IV which took two tries. LOL And I was so panic-stricken! We made the trip just fine, no complications. Stopped by Starbucks on the way home and picked up my coffee then went home and slept in the recliner.

When I went to the surgeon the next day for bandage removal it was like a scene from a movie. The patch came off and I could see!!!!!!!! OMG, so surprised and elated. I have a couple of stitches in the eyeball that are irritating and I’m still recovering/healing from the surgery but I have hope now which is something in short supply prior to this surgery.

I even drove myself to Starbucks one day. I can drive again but it really irritated my eye to do so, so I’ll keep driving to a minimum for the near future. It’s nice to know I could drive in case of emergency.

Now it’s eye drops all day, sleeping in the recliner, watching a whole lot of HGTV and trying not to move my eye. The more it moves the more irritated it feels but it’s getting better on a daily basis. I can’t lay down or bend at the waist or anything that would put any pressure against the eye. So I’m doing TV and Pokémon all day and into the night. Thank god for Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video.

Today I had an appointment with the cataract surgeon (first visit in 3 weeks). He said it looked good, was healing nicely and my vision was improving. That says it all.

Twas The Night Before Surgery

…and all through the house…  Wrong story.  Surgery in the morning to try to fix my eye.  Wasn’t really scared for the first eye surgery but very jittery about this one.  Will it hurt?  Will they be able to fix it?  Will I get my vision back or am I permanently blind?  (gods, what an awful thought!)

In the photo above the left side is the front of my eye.  The right side is the optical nerve and blood vessels.  The triangular spiderweb in the middle is what they’re going to remove tomorrow.  Right now I see the world through a cloud.  They’re also repairing a spot on the cornea where the new lens was installed in August so my eye opening to the world will be a regular circle.  The spiderweb has distorted it somewhat.  I’ve been dilating my eye with drops twice a day for 2 months to keep it from closing completely off.

They will stick 3 needles in my eye.  One to extract the cloud of spiderwebs from the inflammation of the healing infection.  One will be a light.  One will be putting liquid back into the eyeball.  This will be the 3rd time they’ve stuck needles in my eye.  The first one was so painful that I almost threw the doctor against the wall.  She recovered quickly, thankfully.  I, however, almost screamed.   The next day a different doctor from the same practice stuck a needle under my eye (he said I may have a black eye from it, but I didn’t) and deadened the optic nerve.  From there on out there was no pain, but I was scared the whole time.  I hate the thought of doing those a third time.  Makes me anxious just thinking about it.

We have to be in Houston (52 miles away) by 6:30 AM.  I’m not a morning person since I worked rotating shifts the majority of my life (and loved nights) so I probably won’t even try to sleep tonight.  Getting up at 4:30 AM sux!  I have all the paperwork printed, map printed, signed all the papers and picked up new meds at CVS.  Next is a shower and pack a change of clothing in case they keep me overnight (not likely but possible, they said).  Then, good ole TV until time to leave.

Don’t know what else to say but trying not to cry.  Wish me luck!

Hanging In There

About all I can do right now is “hang in there”.  I had cataract surgery August 10th which developed an infection and made me blind in one eye three days later.  It sure wasn’t what I expected.  I thought in a few days I’d be able to see better and get back to sewing.  Instead I’m still trying to get my vision back.  I have great doctors who have been wonderful with me.  At first I saw nothing but now I have some light and movement again.  They said it may take 2 months to heal completely and get my vision back to normal.  Last week they both said I had healed about half way already, so I’m ahead of schedule.  Of course, it can’t be fast enough for me.  I have to content myself with the thought that it will all come back if I’m patient.

We’ve been working on the dogs’ health.  After Khandi’s injury, Zoe got sick.  It’s been one after the other and we’ve spent a lot of time at vets’ offices and bought a lot of medication.  Right now they’re all doing well and we’re trying to get them dental cleanings; we do them once a year for each pet.  Three down and three to go; next appointment is Tuesday.  Since we moved farther away from our last vet we’re moving each of them to one closer to home.  So it’s a process which will take another while to accomplish.

I thought I’d be sewing for Christmas now but with no vision and not a lot of depth perception there isn’t a lot I can do.  I have to sleep sitting up so I’m living in my recliner right now.  DH has had to do all the driving for everything; I’m sure he’d love to have his life back, as would I.  Just wanted to check in and say hello.  I’m going back to hanging in there.

Dogs And Houses

We sold our old house!  Yay!  Now we only have one to do upkeep on, insurance, taxes, etc.  And, like magic, our animals got our attention in a big way.  We were going on a “six-pack” car ride.  All the dogs run out to the car and get in; the littles are carried.  Everything was fine: beautiful Sunday afternoon and all was right with the world.  The dogs were happily excited and ready to go.  We got out of the house and into the car, counted to make sure the entire six-pack had made it.  All was well.  We rode to Starbucks for coffee and puppy whips; no problems.  We got home and unloaded the car.  Khandi was still in the back seat when I was getting out.  For some reason she didn’t get out of the car and her front legs were resting on the console.  I lifted her rear legs and put her down beside the car then continued into the house with Khandi beside/behind me.  No thought to any problems at all.  Got in my chair to drink my coffee and looked down to see Khandi trying to walk on the top of her left rear leg instead of the bottom of her foot.  Something was wrong!

I hollered at DH that we needed to watch Khandi because something was definitely wrong.  We watched her lose more and more control of her rear legs throughout the evening.  About 11 I was scared about her situation.  We loaded her up and went to the ER.  We called in to make sure they were there and could see her.  When we got there, there were 19 animals ahead of her.  It was hot; the mosquitos were too outrageous to keep the car windows down, and because of the pandemic we couldn’t go into the clinic.  We would start the car from time to time when the heat got too bad and Khandi was panting but after 2 hours I called in again.  They said it would probably be another hour or two.  It was 2:30 AM; we decided not to wait and went home.  First thing the next morning DH called a vet to get her in asap.

The vet had never seen her before so she had no idea of her normal state except for what we told her.  X-rays and assessments followed.  They ended up keeping her for several days for various treatments.  We finally got to bring her home but she is confined to a crate except for bathroom breaks that we carry her out to and in from.  She is better.  She’s gone back for treatments and medications and home now for 2 weeks to see how recovery goes.  We don’t know if she will heal completely.  She can stand and walk some; it’s easier for her in the grass than inside on the rugs, but she still falls over some especially as she tires.  She’s still on 3 meds twice a day and doesn’t seem to be in any pain at all.  But she’s getting spoiled…and she’s never been before.

She’d never barked at us in the entire 4 years since we rescued her.  On Sunday I was getting ready to make a coffee run and Khandi was in her crate.  All of a sudden she started barking (at the top of lungs!).  We turned around and looked at her in disbelief.  She was happy and excited; she wanted to go!  DH said he’d better put on his shoes because we were obviously going to take the six-pack again.  Since she spends the majority of her time in the crate and the rest of her time in DH’s arms/lap (she’s a Daddy’s girl), she gets crate crazy; that’s entirely understandable.  But she’s always been the dog that is quiet and demure and minds better than the rest even though she’s definitely the alpha dog.  It was so cute that she was excited to go.  After a week of feeling awful our girl was back even better.  We’re still hanging in there with her recuperation and doctor’s orders but we feel a little more secure that she’s not given up yet…neither have we.

Zoe and Farts

Sunday our 4 pound canine baby took her first trip to the animal ER.  She had an abscessed anal gland and was in a lot of pain.  We spent almost 6 hours there since there were a lot of other critters in worse shape than her even though she was in too much pain to rest or sit on her bottom.  We finally got in and before they could lance it, it ruptured (which immediately relieved some of the pain for her).  They kept her almost another 2 hours in order to put her to sleep and flush it.  We came home with 3 medications and a sleepy baby.  But we did bring her home.  The last time we were there we lost Bandit and came home alone in tears.  All those memories came back throughout the day but it all came out well anyway.  Maybe this will give us better memories now.  The farts?  Zoe scares herself every time she farts.  I don’t know why that bothers her but it will wake her from a dead sleep and she immediately runs away.  It’s really cute as long as she doesn’t hurt herself before she is fully awake.  As is everything else she does, it’s precious.

We are sheltering-in-place like the rest of the citizens of the United States.  It’s not too bad for me because I was never a people person anyway; staying home is my personal preference.  We’ve enjoyed it, really.  We’ve sat on the patio, played with our plants, watched TV and gone about our merry daily routine.  Alexa is playing soft music right now, DH is playing in the garage, and I’m playing on backing up my computer.  Soon it will be time for all of us to eat.  Other than not being able to buy paper products and a few extra staples, quarantine hasn’t been too bad so far.  I feel bad for all those families who’ve lost loved ones to this disease; so far our family has been spared.  We have too many who are self-quarantined due to age or health issues. DH and I are both well over 60 and I have asthma, so we’re in for the duration.  They’ve canceled our eye doctor appointments, my dental appointment, etc.  I did get to go to the hairdresser and ZsaZsa will get groomed in the morning.  It’s a toss up whether I’ll get my nails done on time.  Time will tell, but those are all small things.  Luckily we don’t have any major things going on.

Be safe, America.  We’re with you!


Cooking Beans

… and various other activities at the new house.  I just ordered what I hope to be the last drapes for the new house.  The new mattress is to be delivered today.  The patio furniture starts today and finishes Monday. The new windows are installed except for one that will be installed in another week.  We’ve both been to the eye doctor…and will never go back to them again.  DH went to an ophthalmologist yesterday and both of us have scheduled new eye exams with another doctor.  DH had his dental; mine is soon.  We’re definitely catching up.

The new floors will be installed in the old house as soon as the supplies are received.  Still remaining is a punch list and some plants to give a little more curb appeal.  Then it can go on the market.  (I hope it sells soon!!!!!!!!!!!)  Just about everything that was lost in the move has been replaced.  Most of the valuable keepsakes have been found.  A LOT has been donated to various places and the garage remains full of yet-to-be-sorted variables.  The guest room is set up per se, except for the piles of boxes yet to be emptied and organized.  My sewing room is pretty much complete as of today.  My machines are clean and working; they all have electrical cords again and all of the dog pee has been removed once again.  We have to put the miniblinds back in the windows; the drapes are back up already.  We’ll have to do the same when they come back to replace the last window next Friday.  It’s a pain and windows are expensive but I don’t regret it at all.  The change in external sounds and the loss of air leaks is palpable already.  Once the patio door is replaced we should save a lot on our energy bills in this house.

It’s all been an uphill battle but we’re finally coming over the hill and see the sun again.  I never realized how much work and expense this endeavor would entail and if I had to do it again I don’t think I would.  But from this angle I’m glad it’s done.  It’s pretty cool having a “custom” home again.  The dogs are ever so happy and content in this house.  They have a bigger, nicer yard and they seem more settled for some reason.  Since they all grew up in the other house this surprises us.  Two days into this house it was like they all just relaxed and that was it.  It wasn’t that easy an adjustment for us but it’s become home now.  I lived in the last house 26 years so moving was a big change for me; I never thought I’d feel comfortable here but thankfully that’s changed as I’ve put more of myself into decorating it.  Cool beans….which is where I came in.


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