Archive | February, 2013

The Famous Hemidactyl

28 Feb

Okay.  So I know that I have been slacking on my posts for the past few weeks and I mentioned on Monday that I was handling issues with Hemi and I would let you know later.  So here it is.

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Before I left for vacation at the beginning of the month, I told my mom that I thought Hemi looked skinnier.  It was like all of a sudden one day I noticed it out of nowhere.  We thought that maybe it was because she was getting a little bit more exercise now that we are letting her roam the whole house while we are at home.  I asked my mom to try to watch how much food she was eating and just keep an eye on her while I was gone on vacation.

When I returned home, mom let me know that she noticed that she wasn’t eating very much and at the beginning of the week she thought maybe it was just due to Hemi being weird because I left.  Then Thursday of my vacation, she threw up her food by her food bowl, which she never does…she has a designated spot in my room where she gets sick.  So Mom made a vet appointment just to be cautious.  Our vet’s first opening was Monday afternoon so by then I was back in town.  We took her to Dr. Hartke and she ran blood tests and a urinalysis and, unfortunately, we did not get good news.

Hemi had issues with her kidneys and they were not functioning properly.  Dr. Hartke couldn’t give us much information without an ultrasound but she said that nothing concerning kidney issues in cats is ever good news.  So the next step?  Ultrasound.

We took her back to the vet and dropped her off Tuesday morning to have an ultrasound by a technician because Dr. Hartke did not do them at her office but had someone come by one day a week if she needed ultrasounds done.  They saw that her kidneys were inflamed and usually that means infection.  Infection was the best of the bad scenarios that we could hope for so Dr. Hartke was going to do a urine culture to test to see if it was for sure an infection but that would take a day or so to see if cultures appeared (meaning it was an infection) so she wanted to start pumping her with fluids and antibiotics to get a head start if it turned out to be an infection.  So Hemi had to stay at the vet clinic for a few days.  Luckily they let me visit whenever I wanted so I got to see her everyday.

Visitation Wednesday

Visitation Wednesday – Buried under a towel (because she loves being covered) and with her IV in

Now, apparently Hemi is not the best patient…imagine that.  She ripped out her IV 3 times from Tuesday through Thursday night, and hissed and swatted at the vet and her assistants.  I don’t think she has ever hissed at me.  Swatted, yes, but not hissed.  So that means she was super stressed out.  On Thursday Dr. Hartke told me that Hemi was also not eating and had thrown up her oral medication that they tried giving her earlier in the day.  I went up there on Thursday after work and noticed she had just pulled out her IV. Again.  She was also laying in her litter box because she threw up on her bed and the IV leaked everywhere in the litter box, causing litter to stick to her and everything else in her cage.

Poor Hem hunkered down in her litter box (don't worry, it was clean at the time)

Poor Hem hunkered down in her litter box (don’t worry, it was clean at the time)

So we had to get her out of her cage to clean it, which meant I got the chance to hold her so I wasn’t too upset with Hemi that she was being difficult. 🙂  They had a wet food can in her cage and I told them that she doesn’t really like wet food and asked if they had any crunchy treats because she loves those.  Dr. Hartke brought me a small bowl of about 15 treats.  I grabbed a few while holding her and she ate them from me so the vet said she would walk away (because Hemi was tense with her around) to see if Hemi would eat the rest.  I put her back in her freshly cleaned cage and hand-fed her a couple more then pushed the bowl to her and she practically inhaled them.  They said it was a good sign that she ate with me because it meant she was just stressed rather than not eating for medical reasons.  She kept that food down and Dr. Hartke decided that she wanted to send her home with all of her oral medications because Hemi only behaved with me and she thought she would do better at home.

So we scheduled a check-up for Monday to run her blood work again to see if any of the medication was helping and I took her home for the weekend.  She immediately relaxed once we got home.

Hemi cuddled up with me on the bed and was happy to be home

Hemi cuddled up with me on the bed and was happy to be home

It wasn’t too difficult to give her the medicine at first (She started getting smarter later though).

Monday I took her back to the vet and we got more bad news.  Her renal levels weren’t dropping and no cultures appeared in her urine sample meaning she wasn’t getting better but it wasn’t due to an infection.  She was getting to the point of chronic kidney disease which leads to kidney failure if the levels can’t be dropped.  Dr. Hartke recommended I take her to a vet specialist in Spring so that’s exactly what I did yesterday.

I left work early because the specialist told me the quicker I got her there, the better.  We waited for the internalist (fancy vet specializing in internal medicine) for a while because she was the only one there yesterday due to the other one being out for the day.  The assistant was very friendly and loved on Hemi when she was in our exam room while we waited for the vet.  She even wrapped her up in a towel because she thought she would like it, which she did.  Hemi was surprisingly calm for being somewhere other than at home.  She even fell asleep at one point.

Hemi all swaddled up in the towel

Hemi all swaddled up in the towel

The vet came in to check her out and after looking over her charts said we can do one of two things:

1) leave her there under their care for a few days while they pump her with fluids to basically detox her kidneys in hopes that it lowers the renal levels and keep pumping her with fluids until she hits a plateau which would mean her levels are as low as they would go.  If they plateau low enough, we could try to control them by putting her on a special diet and she could live up to years but if they didn’t lower very much we were talking about weeks to months depending on how much they lowered, if they even lowered.

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2) send her home with me and keep her on the oral medications she was already on but add an appetite stimulant and nausea medication to see if she would eat more and if her renal levels could lower that way.

The first one was exceptionally more expensive but also a lot more effective than the latter method.  It was a tough decision because I had already spent quite a bit of money on her the prior week but I also wanted to do everything I could to try to save her because she is my baby.  After talking to my mom and Joseph, I decided that Hemi was worth more to me than my money and that after this I would know if there was something we could do to save her and prolong her life or if we would just have to make her comfortable for the rest of her time with us.  So I went ahead and selected the first treatment and left her there with the specialist.

Last night on my way home, I was talking to my friend Gina.  She had to go through very tragic times a while back with her dog Baron that she adopted.  I told y’all a little bit of her story in this “…pure randomness.” post.  She made a very good point last night when we were talking about how expensive it was getting.  She told me, “You either love your animals or you love money.  You can’t love both.”  And it’s so true because I know I would pay whatever I could in order to help my pets.  It definitely helped me feel confident that I had made the right decision to leave her there even though it was pretty costly.

I will keep y’all updated on what I find out.  Hopefully, the specialist can lower her levels with this method and we can save her.  I just can’t imagine my life without her.  I mean, just look at how precious she is…

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Last Night in California

26 Feb

I know I haven’t been great about posting lately but I have been busy dealing with some things with Hemi which I will tell y’all about later this week but I wanted to finish my California posts before I forgot everything that we did!

Friday after we left the campsite, we went back to the house, showered and napped to prepare ourselves for a night out on the town!

We decided to go out to a Dueling Piano bar in downtown San Diego.  Joshua and Lori got a babysitter for the night so the two of them, Joseph, and I all went out.

On the way, guess who we picked up to join us for the night??

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JESSICA!!!  It is completely pathetic that we have to go to a completely different state to actually hang out, even though we both live in Texas?? Or is it completely awesome?  I like to think completely awesome.  She was in San Diego with a friend that was in a wedding so they made a vacation out of it.  So while her friend was at the rehearsal dinner, we stole her for the night 🙂

Apparently there was a slight mix-up with our plans though because Lori said she told Joshua Dueling Pianos at the House of Blues and all Joshua heard was House of Blues.  We parked a few blocks away from House of Blues and when we walked up Lori said, “This isn’t where they have the Dueling Pianos…”  and Joshua said, “No that’s at Shout.”  Turns out Shout was about 10 blocks away but since we had already paid for parking we just decided to walk rather than move the car.  All three girls are in high heels so it was super fun to walk all that way but we finally made it to Shout and it was standing room only.  We’d come all that way so we weren’t going to go somewhere else so we went in, ordered drinks and stood by the bar.  Luckily Lori has eyes like a hawk because she saw some people stand up and before they could even fully push their chairs back, she was over there asking if they were leaving.  Turns out they were so we were able to take their table!  Definitely perked up the night for us!  That is until I knocked over Jessica’s half-full (I’m optimistic) drink at one point but luckily our waiter felt bad for her and only charged half price for her next one…probably because she’s cute.

At our table (Jessica was at our table too but I used that picture already)

At our table (Jessica was at our table too but I used that picture already)

I had never been to a Dueling Piano bar before and it was awesome!  There were two older guys that played the newer songs and two younger guys that played the older songs.  They were crazy talented.  They played everything from Journey to Gangnam Style.

Left: Young guys on pianos, old guys on guitar and drumsRight: Wait staff dancing to Gangnam Style

Left: Young guys on pianos, old guys on guitar and drums
Right: Wait staff dancing to Gangnam Style

The crowd was very diverse and it was interesting because I’m used to going to College Station bars that really aren’t all that different from my age, ethnicity, and style.    I had a blast and I definitely want to go to more Dueling Piano bars in Houston!

When we were ready to leave the bar, we walked out and saw a pedicab guy waiting.  His bike and carriage were both decked out in neon lights and he had a radio jamming loudly for everyone to hear.  Joshua asked him something and they guy held up his hand and said, “5” so I figured it was $5 per person because everyone started piling in for a ride back to the vehicle.

Pedicab

We were dancing and singing to the music while Mr. Bicycle guy started sweating a bit and we were starting to fill bad for him.  I say starting to feel bad for him because I never completely felt bad because he pulled over about 2 blocks from the vehicle and kicked us off because he was panting and sweating.  I couldn’t tell if his difficulty breathing was for show or not but then he told us it was $15…PER PERSON!!!  We all freaked out and were mad because we thought he said it was $5 but apparently he said he could take 5 people…It was $75 for all of us to take that stupid bicycle carriage about 8 blocks!  We could have taken an actual cab all the way back to their house (which was about 45 minutes to an hour away) for that price!!! We were all just really pissed after that because we felt like we were robbed by that stupid guy.  But with that being said, I may take up pedicabbing in Houston because he made $75 in less than 15 minutes…a work out and major payout?  Yes please.

The next day, Joseph and I had to be at the airport for our flight, which left San Diego at 2pm.  We decided to go to brunch at Hash House A Go Go which is basically a restaurant with brunch food at ridiculous proportions.  The wait was about 45 minutes so we decided to take Chloe to the park, which was about 4 blocks down and 2 blocks over, while we waited.

Park

We played at the park for a little while then walked back to the restaurant and after about 20 more minutes, we were finally seated.  It didn’t take long to order and get our food.  I ordered the Tractor Driver combo which was a pancake, 2 scrambled eggs, and 2 pieces of bacon.  This is what I got…

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That pancake was bigger than 3 of my hands and I’m almost positive that had to be more than two scrambled eggs.  Either way, it was pretty tasty but I barely put a dent in that massive pancake!

After brunch Joshua, Lori, and Chloe dropped us off at the airport and it was sad to leave because it’s nice seeing them and it was fun out in California…but we unfortunately had to get back to reality.  Bright side: we had a layover in Las Vegas scheduled for about 2 hours.  I crossed my fingers for David, the rapping flight attendant again but sadly he wasn’t on our flight.  We did have a funny lady from San Diego to Vegas though.  When she was talking about the air masks that fall down and how you are supposed to secure yours before your kids she said if you have more than one kid, put the mask on the most promising kid first.  It made me chuckle.  When we landed in Vegas and were waiting to get off the plane, Joseph looks behind us and says, “Oh man!  Who is that guy?!  He’s on TV.”  And I said, which guy?  And he says, “Don’t look right now but I think he is on something…is it Pawn Stars??” And I’m like, “I don’t know!! You told me not to look!!”  He says, “I think it’s that guy that does the restorations.”  I say, “Restoration Rick?” and proceed to Google image search Restoration Rick and show Joseph a picture and he says, “I’m pretty sure that’s him!”  So I stand up like I am anxious to get off the plane and hold my phone to snap a sneaky picture of him…

Restoration Rick

And what do you know?? It IS Restoration Rick!!  I told Joseph I was going to ask him to take a picture with me but Joseph said no because he was all embarrassed…I tend to embarrass him a lot.  But we got off the plane and got a better look and it was definitely him.  He was limping and was with some young, good-looking lady.  When he was walking through the airport a few people were staring and he waved at some people and then people murmured around him so at least we aren’t the only Americans to watch the History Channel 🙂  It was exciting to see a celebrity…even if it was just Restoration Rick.

Since we had some time stuck in Vegas I decided it was time for me to try out a little gambling.  I’d never gambled legally before so since I was in Vegas, it was a must.  I got $20 out of the ATM to use and gave Joseph $10 and kept $10 for myself.  We started off at a $1 machine and tried it once before bailing on that because it went by too quickly.

Joseph at Slots

Then I went to a quarter machine and played a few dollars, winning some then losing all of it.  Then I gave up on those and decided to do the penny slots because we still had plenty of time to burn.  I put in $2 and won a bit then lost it then put in my last $5 and randomly selected the 3x my bid on 20 lines (which was a whopping 60 cents for that spin) and ended up hitting some BAR symbols and a light that was 3X my winnings!  I had no idea what I won so I just waited and watched the machine as it lit up with pretty lights and played lots of fun money sounds and music.  Joseph was about 3 slots down and after about a solid minute of the music he asked, “Is that thing still going?!”

Slots

Turns out I won $39.97!!  Not too shabby for a penny slot!  So I immediately cashed out because I didn’t want to press my luck and this way I left Vegas a winner! haha

We boarded our next flight and finally made it back to Houston around 10pm.

We had such a great time in California and I was sad when it was over but I definitely want to go back soon because it is GORGEOUS out there!  If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it!

Happy Birthday Daddy!!

23 Feb

I know I don’t normally post on Saturdays but I had to make an exception for my wonderful father.

Today is his birthday!

He is getting the best birthday present ever…getting to come back home from Amarillo! For good! Whoop!!! Dad, we are all so excited that you will be home again with us in just a few days!

I have the best dad in the whole wide world. I have no idea where I would be without him and I am so thankful to have him in my life!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!

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I love you so much!! Now hurry home so we can actually celebrate with you!

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