Thursday, July 31, 2008

Small update

The phone rang at about 8:30 this morning. I was in the bathroom drying my hair and Bob was just getting up. He peered at the caller i.d. -- who would be calling so early? It was the vet. I was only hearing Bob's side of the conversation, of course, and he was mostly just listening, of course, and I was trying to just go about my business and not hover over him, but it was hard.

Then he said, "So if you have to do the tests again, is that going to cost me another $350?"

The vet said that there was some indication from the tests that the problem might be something other than lymphoma -- he said it's possible that it's an infection, and he hadn't yet ruled out a thyroid condition --but that the tests were inconclusive, and they wanted to re-do them. I'm not sure whether he didn't get a good sample of the mass, or whether they didn't process it correctly, or what, but whatever it was, they want to do it again.

I called back to the vet's office and asked the technician if I should just go ahead and bring her in, and she said that Pye needed to be in a fasting state, something that we hadn't known, or done, the first time, since we didn't know what they were going to do. I'm not sure what, if any, effect that would have had, but at least we'll do it right this time. I said I could bring her in tomorrow morning, so we're not to let her have any food after midnight tonight, and I'll take her in before I go to work.

So it'll be a few more days before we know.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More waiting

A week or so ago Bob felt a small mass in Pyewacket's throat underneath her jaw. If he's home, she's basically always on his lap, so as he says, he "knows every inch of her." I had already made an appointment with the vet to take Dinah in on Saturday, and if I had wanted to take both of them in at the same time, I would have had to take them at 7:00, because that was the only opening they had available. So I made an appointment to take Pye in next Saturday.

But Bob was worried about her, and didn't want to wait, so I called yesterday to see if I could bring her in sooner. Bob is off on Wednesday, so he asked me to see if I could get her in on Wednesday, and he'd take her. But they had an opening today, so we took her in first thing this morning. Bob didn't have to go to work until 2:00, so we both went.

Our usual vet isn't taking regular appointments anymore, he only does dental cases, so we saw a new vet. He took some blood and aspirated the lump, and came back to say that from his initial look, he thinks it's probably lymphoma. He said that the lump was a swollen lymph node, and that he could feel the lymph nodes on other parts of her body, nodes that you normally can't feel, which means that it's probably spread.

He sent the samples off for tests, which will be back in a couple of days (they ordered a full spectrum of tests in case it's something else, like thyroid), and he'll call and let me know what they find. Bob has already decided that we're not spending a fortune on her; just the tests today were over $300.

I suppose there's a possibility that it's something else; we'll just have to wait and see.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I went to the hand doctor this morning. She said my diagnosis was correct, I have "trigger thumb." She said we could try splinting it, but she said unless I had a real aversion to a steroid injection, she didn't think there was much point in trying any kind of non-invasive therapy. I told her my only aversion was that I knew it would hurt, and she said, well, it only hurts for a minute.

It did hurt, a lot, but she was right, only for a minute, because then it was numb. Kind of like going to the dentist. My thumb was numb for a couple of hours, but now it feels mostly like it did before. She had said that if it doesn't help, I can have a second injection, then we could consider surgery. I asked her how long to wait before we tried a second one, and she said if it wasn't better in 3-4 weeks, to come back.

I was kind of disappointed to hear that it might take that long to see an improvement, but hopefully it will be quicker than that. I asked if there was anything I should avoid doing, and she said not to pick up anything heavy or do anything really strenuous with it (like opening a pickle jar) for a couple of days, but other than that, they don't really know what causes it. I had assumed it was a repetitive stress injury, but she said probably not.

So anyway, now I just wait, I guess.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Opposable thumb

There's something wrong with my right thumb, which I have self-diagnosed with the help of the internet as trigger thumb. The diagnosis seems pretty sound; I've got all the symptoms. It seems the worst in the middle of the night, when waking up and flexing my thumb makes me gasp with pain, but that may just be because it is the middle of the night, when most everything seems more dire, and there aren't any other distractions.

By morning, it doesn't seem too bad, but it gets progressively worse during the day. Yesterday it was awful, but it's a little better today. Last weekend it didn't bother me much at all. It must be a repetitive stress-type injury, and it must be mouse-related; I don't exactly know how to improve that situation.

Hm. I just realized that with the desktop computer not working at home, I'm using the laptop exclusively, and with the trackpad, and not having to hold or move a mouse, I'm only using my thumb for the spacebar. Last week when I was complaining, Bob said, "Well, what do you use your thumb for anyway? The spacebar? Just use your left one, you only need one."

I've discovered that thumbs are pretty important. Shaking hands, when I met some new clients last week, was very painful. Writing is sometimes difficult. Dave suggested I take a pain pill yesterday, which I somehow always forget -- I only think to take them when I have a headache, for some reason. I had a bottle of Advil in my purse, but it had one of those caps that you have to push down and turn, and I couldn't open it and had to take it in for him to open. In my defense, it was a pretty tight lid, and he had a little trouble with it, too.

Any kind of jar is pretty much impossible. I've found that I sometimes have to use my right hand to change gears in the car when it's particularly bad--thankfully, I don't drive a stick shift. (And just to be clear, it usually only comes up when I'm either putting the car in park to, well, park, or putting it in drive to pull out of a parking space, it's not like I'm shifting while I'm driving.)

I have an appointment with a hand specialist on Tuesday, so hopefully she'll have some advice for me.

New sets of prayers beads in the shop.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008


Bob was upstairs this morning getting ready for work, and I was in the kitchen making his lunch -- a ham sandwich on rye bread, Fritos, and a little container of pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges. When he came downstairs to get coffee, he said, "I read your journal entry. Sabrina wants to know what you've been eating." I laughed, and said yeah, I had seen that. He said, "I always enjoy the ones about what's in your purse." I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm, although he said not.

As far as what I've been eating, for lunch I've been taking a sandwich--Gouda or Cheddar cheese on rye bread with Dijon mustard--and potato chips (the Target brand (Archer Farms?) ones, the thicker-cut, crunchy kind. Sometimes I just want something that's really normal. Another favorite is "Vigo" brand saffron (yellow) rice with green onions olives. My friend Anna at work told me about that, and she also gave me a recipe for something else I've been eating lately--a black bean salad/dip that is similar to recipes for "Texas caviar" (black beans, vinaigrette, tomatoes and onions) with tortilla chips.

And as far as what's in my purse, well, maybe it's the purse itself that's a little more interesting. This summer I've been carrying a Vera Bradley tote bag, and using my matching accessories. I don't usually do the "matching" thing, but with Vera Bradley things, it seems to work.

"My" pattern is Emily. I remember buying my first bag several years ago with some birthday money, and thinking a long time before I chose a pattern. I picked "Emily" because I thought it was pretty classic, and would go with a lot of things, particularly jeans, given that it's a lovely medium blue, with red. I also liked the lining fabric, which is a very pretty red, blue, and yellow plaid. The one I bought was the "Miller" bag -- a medium-size tote bag with a zipper, long straps and inside pockets.

Over the next couple of years, I bought a few more pieces--a smaller bag ("Betsy") that is very similar to the Miller bag, just smaller, and an open tote bag ("Toggle Tote"), which I'm currently using to carry my Franklin Planner, handily combining two obsessions into one.

Then, of course, the pattern was discontinued.

Up until then I'd never really been a particular Vera Bradley fan or collector. I liked the bags, I thought they were exceptionally well made, and for whatever reason I just really liked them a lot. The Vera Bradley company is pretty smart. They retire the fabric patterns every couple of years or so, so if you start buying a particular pattern and want more pieces, you'd better buy them, because they won't be available forever. I hadn't bought any of the accessory items, but once I knew the pattern was discontinued, I started paying attention, seeing which things I wanted to own before they disappeared.

There's always eBay, though, of course. So over the last year or so I've been buying accessories--a wallet, cosmetic bags, an eyeglass case, and a coin purse. I also have a couple of "wristlets" in the two different sizes, one of which I use as a case for my digital camera, and another that I use to hold knitting odds and ends when I carry the toggle tote as a knitting bag. I'd love to have a cellphone case, but unfortunately, they discontinued the Emily pattern before they started making that piece, so there won't be an Emily cell phone case.

I purchased a laptop bag on eBay, but decided that it was too expensive to justify for the amount of good I would get out of it, so I put it back on eBay and resold it. I never did buy any of the huge luggage-type bags or totes, and I kind of wish I had, but it's too late now.

The only things I seem to find now on eBay are wallets, and I don't buy used stuff, so unless someone has a secret cache somewhere, I think I have all I'm going to get. My bags are still in really good shape--even though they're cotton, they seem to last a long time, and I take good care of them, being sure not to get them wet or dirty, or anything like that. But they won't last forever. And then what? I would have to choose another pattern, and I'm just not ready for that. It seems like a big commitment--oh, Bob will laugh at that, I'm sure, although I just remembered that he has a favorite camo pattern, and anytime he buys a new piece of camo clothing or accessory, it has to be that pattern, and you just don't mix and match unless you absolutely can't help it. So he should understand.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday, a terribly unoriginal title

I put three sets of prayer beads up on my Etsy shop just now. There will be more posted once I photograph them, write up the descriptions, and get them up there.

I'm having computer issues -- my eMac has apparently bit the dust, so I'm working on the laptop. Not to go into any great detail, I can't connect to our wifi network with the wireless card in the laptop, so right now I'm tethered to the eMac's ethernet cord with the laptop balanced on my knees. So not terribly comfortable. But usable, just barely.

But I wanted to let you know they were there -- several people asked me to let them know when I had posted some. If you wanted some and missed out, don't worry, there will be more.

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