I don’t know if I have good news or not.
I went to bed last . . . er . . . this morning at a little short of 7 a.m. Sic. But I wanted to get Chaos frelling stabilised and I knew I wasn’t going to sleep anyway if he wasn’t so I might as well go on playing stupid games on my iPad*.
But he actually had a long drink on his own four feet out of the water bowl at about 6:30 and I thought GREAT I am going to BED.**
About four and a half hours later ( . . . moan) when I came downstairs again he was glassy-eyed and limp, flopped in the dog bed like a piece of trash someone had thrown down. I hastily started the squirting protocol again thinking that the round the clock thing is a major ratbag for anyone who’s trying to do it alone . . . not that this is news, and I can hear hollow laughter from some of my readers, but stuff that is in your face right now is . . . well, it’s in your tired, heavy-lidded face right now.
Pretty much the first thing he did after the glint returned to his eye and he was inhabiting his body again was . . . go outdoors and geyser.
But he was still clearly better in himself than he’d been yesterday*** so I dithered for a while and eventually rang the vet. When she finally rang me back† she gave no impression of a woman in a hurry stooping to do an importunate client a favour, but talked me through exactly what was going on and agreeing that I could keep him home one more day . . . but if he is not SIGNIFICANTLY better tomorrow, he’s still going in to critter hospital.
He didn’t eat lunch of course but neither did Darkness (sigh). And he’ll still swallow when I squirt††, spoon or smear things into/on him†††. I’ve also settled on a couple of homeopathic remedies—one the basic for fluid loss, one pertaining to the specifics of the situation which I will spare you—which I’m pretty sure are helping.‡ But it’s more stuff to pry his mouth open for. Poor Chaos.
He was still geysering on his two-minute afternoon hurtle. The vet said that given how bad an episode he’s had it’s going to take at least several days to settle down but by the end of today there should be some thickening going on. Well. Um. Maybe. Minimally.
And then all suddenly . . . he wanted dinner. He came out of the dog bed and begged for scraps with Darkness. And when I gave him his stock-and-meat-mush he ate it right up. . . .
Darkness didn’t eat his dinner. MOAN. And while I’d be on tenterhooks anyway because this is the first (semi) solid food Chaos has had in three days . . . Peter and I have another overnight [human] guest and my mind was not totally on critters, and while I wasn’t looking he nailed most of Darkness’. I had NO intention of letting him eat that much, nor any kibble at all, till tomorrow earliest. MOOOOOOAAAAAAN.
So I’m waiting anxiously to see what happens. He has spent way too much of this evening awake—dogs are supposed to SLEEP after meals—and I fear what this may mean. We did go out for a geyser about an hour ago, but it was quite a little geyser, several hours after dinner, so that illegal food is not all rushing through him. I’m hoping that at least some of it is getting, you know, digested.
He’s crashed out now. Looking perfectly content, although the sticky-outness of those ribs belies this rather. And what the freaking hell is Darkness up to? He’s still losing weight, he’s just less acute, at the minute, than Chaos. Whimper. I have one meal left today with which hellhounds and I can torture each other. At least I seem to have an on-the-job vet.
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* I’ve tried a couple more unsatisfactory word games. There’s one that tells you what words you’re supposed to find on the grid and . . . why? Ugh. I know I’m playing games because I have no brain and I need distraction, but that’s a step too far into zombie territory for me. And then there’s one that keeps a little list of the words you do find and when your time runs out presents you with a much longer list of the words you could have found. First couple of games I thought, oh well, I’m generally no frelling good at games anyway, no big. And then I happened to let my eye linger on one of the lists and discovered (a) you CAN’T find all the words in the list because some of them require you to skip over grid squares in a way that playing the game specifically disallows and (b) they have a somewhat CREATIVE view of the English language.^
Has anyone played About Love, Hate and the other ones? I’m attracted to the notion of an ‘undo’ button.
^ Although even the satisfactory ones can be a trifle whimsical. Word Abacus mostly accepts proper names but it doesn’t take Gail. Or Doug. And it takes some pretty borderline non-English words like père. But it doesn’t take séance. What? I was really proud of séance.
** Outrage among hellhounds that they weren’t allowed to come upstairs and sleep in my office while I take my bath. Which they usually do, except when I’m worried about what one of them may do all over the carpet when I’m running water and don’t hear him.
*** I’d run out of honey at the cottage—sacrilege, I know, but these things happen—so I’d lifted his lip and sprinkled a little of the Organic Raw Sugar^ that I use in my tea on his gum. That got him going, that I was insulting him with SUGAR.
^ It’s still bad for you, it’s just bad for you in a straightforward way with no dependent clauses.
† By which time I was out with Darkness, who took standing around twenty minutes on a street corner as all part of the current weirdness of being hurtled by himself.
†† Any of you in a position to have to squirt a critter: you know that you don’t literally squirt it down their throats, right? Because you run the risk of getting it in their lungs which can cause an extremely nasty infection. Cats’ faces are so much flatter, and they’re so much likelier to bite, I’ve found squirting them rather challenging upon occasion. But a dog is easy, so long as he swallows, you’ve got that little pouch of skin at the corners of dogs’ (comparatively) long narrow mouths. This would still be true of the hellterror. Dunno about the really crushed-in face dogs, like Pekes and pugs.
††† Darkness will clean up errors in honey aim
‡ But an acute like this, the ‘picture’ can change really fast—faster than I can keep up with.
Chaos was still geysering this morning. I had spent some time last night researching other local vet practises. I know a little about a couple of them already, and decided to try the one that runs its own 24-hour emergency service rather than banding together with other practises—which sounds to me more liable to error. They said they couldn’t see me today because they were still backed up after the holiday but listened when I said that Chaos was urgent and . . . found an appointment slot for us.
I have some hope of my new vet. She’s young—and has a fabulous regional-UK accent—and in that absent-minded way of true animal people was down on the floor with the hellhounds (I’d brought both, of course: Chaos is a clinger, and can use all the emotional support he can get) all the time we were talking, not just while she was trying to examine her patient. She told me a lot of stuff I already knew—that there is no guarantee that we aren’t looking at three different bad situations—or two anyway, the litter-brother hellhounds and the hellterror. And that the situation or situations are unlikely to be clear and distinct or to have clear, distinct answers. Hey, I have ME. I know all about blurry. But the thing is she is engaging. She is not blowing me off.
She spent over an hour with us—keeping her next patient waiting—and had a lot to say, most of which I’ve forgotten because I’m very tired and have extreme crumbliness of brain. But she has a Beginning Plan and she sent me home with a sack of stuff with Very Clear Instructions printed on each item, including the nine little plastic crap-sample containers, since part of the beginning plan is doing the faecal tests all over again rather more comprehensively, and with three samples from each hellcritter over three days. This is, in fact, what I had been expecting the idiot from my ex-practise to recommend.
Chaos is in a bad way. If he’s not significantly better tomorrow she wants him in hospital. I have the standard Thickening Agent paste for his bowels, and electrolytes for his water. He’s getting both of these because I’m squirting them into him. I’m not surprised I have to force the paste on him—horse wormers usually claim to be ‘palatable’ too but I’ve never seen a horse like the stuff—but he’s not interested in his water dish either. And while he’s clearly wretched, I also suspect he’s feebly liking the attention of having me squirt him. I’m smearing a little honey on his gums for the calories too—also, while this is a standard emergency treatment, even before CHALICE I’ve always believed in honey magic. I’d much rather have him at home, and he’ll be a lot less stressed if he can stay home too. Never mind that I’m forgetting how to do my work—remind me how I earn my living?*—I’d be no more able to concentrate if he were in a clinic kennel being ministered by veterinary nurses.
Thanks for all the support from blog readers—both on the forum and by email. Because I’ve been living with this for a long time, I know most of the stuff that everybody knows,** but particularly in my current state of unbrain, I don’t at all mind being reminded.*** And . . . I think I’m falling down the Ravine of Inarticulacy. I hope I’ll have a better update tomorrow. . . .
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* And vets are EXPENSIVE.
** Remember—the hellhounds are cereal-allergic, so things like rice and ginger biscuits are not options. And I think cheese, which is popular with hellhounds, gave Darkness one of his terrifying geysering fits, and at the moment it’s not something I want to experiment with. It has seemed to me yogurt has made them worse too, which—since you DON’T KNOW what aspect of something is causing the problem—makes me twitchy about probiotics, although the James Wellbeloved cereal-free kibble I use has prebiotics in it which some experts, or ‘experts’, on and off the internet, say are easier on touchy digestions. And yes—the big thing is that I want to FIX THIS. I don’t want to go on struggling more, or sometimes disastrously less, successfully, with the symptoms day to day. To day to day to day to . . .
Shared bacteria: yeah. I’ve worried about this for years too, since with my several decades of IBS I’ve been interested in guts for a long time, and totally believe in the mood and behavioural aspect and the ‘second brain’ theory. But in current circumstances it just makes me feel like Typhoid Mary, since I’m no more of a mess than usual. Less, considering that I’m totally stressed out by hellcritters.
. . . Snork. I like liver. It is, indeed, one of the Keeping McKinley on the Road therapies, so it’s a good thing I like it. I know I need meat, and specifically red meat, but I literally notice Lack of Liver if more than about a week goes by I don’t have an injection. And hellhounds adore it. They’ll eat it if they’ll eat anything. But sometimes they won’t eat it either. And they also get brewer’s yeast. It’s good for what ails you—including repelling fleas.
Southdowner says there aren’t vet teaching hospitals over here the way there are in America—that’s what I thought of too, because in my early horse days that was what you did with intractable critter problems. There is nothing better than a good one. There are some fancy trusts and things that do a similar job over here—one that Southdowner can recommend, and the specialist within my driving distance according to my new vet is indeed very good and they send their complex cases on there. So that’s still on the radar, but I talked to the specialist before I rang the new local people and felt that going from Mr Idiot to the specialist was a bit like going from a tricycle to a Ferrari—I’d like to try a bicycle and maybe a VW Golf in between.
*** But I’d be grateful if you didn’t remind me of the whole ‘environmental illness’ thing any more. I went through a huge amount of this when I was first trying to find management strategies for the ME. There’s a monster environmental-illness implication with all us mysterious-auto-immune-illness people . . . and the bottom line is that there’s mostly freak-all you can do about it, except not buy a house next a mobile phone mast. Turn my wireless off? Sure. I could do that. What for? All three of my houses are bathed in other people’s wireless. Turn your laptop on and ask for available servers and a list of at least half a dozen unscrolls. I don’t deny this is an issue, but I prefer to expend my limited energy on something I have some hope of making headway on.
Except it isn’t, because the roses aren’t out yet. It was really interesting to be there when it’s not covered in roses. COVERED. IN. ROSES. I mean, is there any other reason to go to Mottisfont?* Ahem.
But my cousin is here** and . . . and . . . and we had to do something. I did think Mottisfont’s roses would be beginning to come out—mine are—but it’s been such a cold, wet, nasty, uninviting spring and things are still kind of hunkered down waiting to be encouraged to grow.*** And Wolfgang knows the way to Mottisfont. There are other big romantic National Trust properties technically within my driving range, but the only one I go to with anything like regularity is Mottisfont, and when in the ME is being unkind† I want to keep my adventures small and manageable.
And they’ve opened an old book shop next to the standard National Trust shop††. Which contains not a single knitting book. Not even one.†††
Oh WordPress you angel, you adorable one. You’ve eaten the caption. It said something like: A ROSE!!!! Probably hugonis. But I’m not sure about the foliage and I forgot to check while I was there.
FORTUNATELY I HAD SAVED RECENTLY WHEN FRELLING WORDPRESS REFUSED TO LOAD THIS PHOTO BECAUSE, IT SAID, I WASN’T CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH.
Aaaaaaaaaaand . . . that one took almost ten minutes to load because WordPress ingests long-dead gopher guts and craps yellow. I’M TIRED AND I WANT TO GO TO BED. I’ll post the last few photos some other day.
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* http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont/ National collection of old roses. And some other stuff.
** News flash: McKinley has relatives. Yes, but not very many. My cousin is an only child, I’m an only child, my mother had only the one brother, my father had one brother whom I never met. My cousin married another only child . . . both of whose parents were one of twelve. And I thought the Dickinsons were a terrifying clan.
*** Although I did get my broad beans planted before they actually fell over. I even got them staked. I know you don’t believe me. I wouldn’t believe me either. I’ll try to take a photo before they grow up past the string and fall over anyway.
† And I’m stressed out of my freaking mind with the domestic wildlife. Hellhounds didn’t eat for two days . . . they’ve eaten a little today, with expressions clearly indicating that they are only doing this because I am a big mean hysterical bully. I have the joy of trying to feed them again as soon as I get this post organized. La la la la la la. One of the reasons I keep getting to bed so late lately is the putting off of the miserable depressing business of trying to feed hellhounds. Hellterror has had another wild bout of geysering, which she is getting over—again—but it’ll be back. At least she eats. Oh, dear heaven, may the lab find something. And may they find it TOMORROW.
Meanwhile, I wonder how much hellterror’s heat is aggravating everything else, including her bowels and the hellhounds’ extreme disinterest in food. And while this is the least of all these issues, I’m also kind of tired of mopping the floor every time she’s been out of her crate, washing the floor of her crate every time she’s out sprinting around causing more mopping elsewhere, and washing frelling bloody bedding. I’ve just ordered half a dozen more cheapest-I-can-find fleece blankets so I don’t run out, although fortunately el cheapo acrylic fleece dries really fast once you’ve banged it through the washing machine the second time this week.. And this coming in season thing happens EVERY SIX MONTHS? Maybe I’ll be lucky and she’ll only do it once a year.
Hellhounds are obviously a little wired by this performance but the situation is still supportable. Just about. I could put up with almost anything else if hellhounds would eat.
†† And on the other side of the giftee shoppe is an excellent ice cream shop—so I’m told, my ice cream days being behind me—but today I discovered that they also sell excellent chocolate biscuits. The kind that are both gooey-chewy and crunchy.
††† F&SF is almost as bad, there being a Brian Jacques, a Tad Williams, and three Stephen Kings. Sigh.
The hellhounds have stopped eating again.
I had another four-hours-of-sleep night last night.
The vets had only had some of the lab results back today, not including campylobacter, which is the miscreant both the senior vets like the best.*
It is now the weekend. It is, furthermore, another bank holiday weekend. This means we won’t have the rest of the info till Tuesday earliest, and since stuff always backs up over a long weekend, Wednesday is likelier. Or Thursday.
You’ll forgive me if I don’t feel like writing a proper blog entry tonight.
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* Note that I don’t think it will be this easy. We tested for all the usual suspects six years ago and came up negative. And then I took them off cereals, which improved the situation sufficiently that it was possible to believe that what remained was a combination of the notorious sighthound bad attitude toward food and the damage done to their guts from having spent most of their first two years eating something they were fearfully allergic to.
Nothing from the vets yet. If I haven’t heard from them by tomorrow afternoon I’ll go round and do the Haggard and Hysterical Hellgoddess* at them, just to make sure (a) they haven’t forgotten to tell me because they’re having a busy day and (b) if they haven’t heard from the lab maybe they should do a modicum of checking up. They could say that their client is a haggard and hysterical hellgoddess** and they’d be grateful to have something to tell her. That noise in the background, they could say, is the client under discussion gnawing holes in the clinic’s window frames.
Hellhounds have eaten four and three-quarters meals in a row—NOT WITHOUT EFFORT FROM YOURS TRULY—and there was a certain falling-off from Chaos on the subject of dinner, but I am hoping this is just a blip and not the return of a recent much-feared trend. Crap production is not finest kind either—not that they ever produce finest-kind but what’s happening now is a trifle ominous. . . . I really hope there are lab results tomorrow and that they are, while probably guaranteed non-definitive, at least suggestive.
Hellterror seems as normal—although ‘normal’ applied to a bullie is a bit of a non sequitur—aside from the continued manifestation of hellhound-type un-finest-kind crap. I’m telling myself that this is, in its perverse way, a good thing. It proves there’s something wrong that we can seek till we find.
And I’m basically so tired I could die. I did finally get some sleep last night, but not enough—‘enough’ at this point would probably be into triple figures—and we didn’t have lunch till teatime*** partly because I let myself lie down for a moment† after breakfast and someone stole two hours like picking my pocket.
Not that the day has been a day anyone would want more of than they could help. It’s the 23rd of May in the south of England and we’re having sleet and hail. Okay, you can get hail any time†† but SLEET? Sleet on the 23rd of May in the south of England is rude.
I have indeed spent most of the day playing stupid word games on Astarte. This is all Rima’s fault. Everybody is cooler than I am so I tend to ask visitors what they’re reading/doing/watching/playing. She has an iPad too††† so I didn’t even have the minor protection of noncompatibility. She got me started on Moxie, which I’m not too bad at‡, and What’s My Word? which I’m terrible at, and I discovered Word Abacus for myself which I’m reasonably good at except for the fact that it keeps frelling crashing. This is less annoying than it might be since it tends to crash at about the point that I’m thinking that I’m tired of being dragged up through the levels just because I have a reasonably good vocabulary and keep failing to fail. YAAY. I’VE JUST CRASHED. I GET TO START OVER. I am so not a games player. But the constant pop-up windows asking if I want to SHARE WITH MY FRIENDS make me nuts. NO. I’M TIRED AND STRESSED AND BRAIN DEAD AND WASTING TIME. THE LAST THING I WANT TO DO IS WASTE MY FRIENDS’ TIME TOO.
But the thing that really freaks me out is that Abacus says Hi hellgoddess! every time I open it up again. Where did it pick hellgoddess up from? I sure didn’t invite it to share that particular joke. I do use ‘hellgoddess’ when some blasted impertinent site‡‡ wants a user name other than my email address and I actually am planning on hanging around long enough that it’s not an unreasonable request. ‡‡‡ But some frelling games company? Arrrgh. The permeability of the loose information out there in internet land seriously squicks me out.
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* with optional thunderbolts. Hunderbolts. Hmmm. I think I like hunderbolts. That would be what a hellgoddess hurls.
** with hunderbolts
*** We literally fell through the door at the mews as Peter was making himself a cuppa, the ginger biscuits already out on the table.
† Note to self: when very tired, don’t get dressed in the bedroom. Where the bed is.
†† As any gardener who has ever opened their private garden to the public the day after a major hailstorm will have no trouble remembering forever. You’re scheduled in the Yellow Book^, it’s not like you can say, tra la la, I’ve changed my mind. Delphiniums? What delphiniums? Roses put up with being thrashed better than most so we had some garden left. It’s still horrible.
^ http://www.ngs.org.uk/ There are plenty of other private-garden-openings for charity, but this is the big famous organization. We used to open at the old house.
††† Although her cover for hers is orange. With mine in blistering pink on the same table it was kind of War of the Kindergarten Colours. Anybody out there with a lime-green cover for their iPad? Come play with us.
‡ Also I like it when it says twaddle which is a trifle counterproductive since this costs you thirty points.
‡‡ I was trying to buy cheap fleece blankets on line tonight—during breaks from Word Abacus—because with three hellcritters I find I run out of bedding as soon as there is any extra strain on the system—a hellterror bitch in heat, say.^ This frelling site wanted my birth date ‘for added security’. What the bleep does that mean? They lost that sale. Now I need an alternative source of cheap fleece blankets for critter bedding.
^ Ref Diane in MN’s comment on the forum, you have Great Danes. I’m not expecting to need to put pants on something that weighs less than thirty pounds and presumably has appropriately teeny ooze-producing female parts. Ask me next autumn or thereabouts when she comes in season again. At the moment I couldn’t keep pants on her if I wanted to: she’d chew them off. She’s still in a collar rather than a harness because she still doesn’t sit particularly still for having same put on, and I therefore leave it on all day (it comes off after the last brief night hurtle). She can’t reach the collar. She’d chew the body band of a harness off with great dispatch. Which is another reason—aside from her present interesting condition—that I’m not pursuing my experiments in having her clipped into the seatbelt next to the hellhound box in Wolfgang.
‡‡‡ Ravelry, for example, as some of you know. Also the Rowan yarn site. This for some reason amuses me. Probably because Rowan is so earnestly fashionable. Did I tell you that my Big Wool arrived, for my heart jumper? It is very pretty. And the yarn is deliciously soft. If any of you are considering a similar purchase.