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Dodged a bullet!

Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tuesday night I was feeling kind of "punk" and was lounging on the couch watching television with Rod. When I got up to go to the kitchen to mix my Flolan, I discovered that my t-shirt under my sweatshirt was wet. I laid the shirt back down and saw that the wet spot matched up with my catheter. I called for Rod and we both looked all up and down the tubing. I thought I spotted a pin-pick sized hole in the tubing, about an inch above where the Flolan tubing is inserted into the central line tubing. Neither one of us could actually see any fluid on the line or on the possible hole. But, Rod decided the best thing to do was to tape the tube at the spot we thought might have a hole and see what happens. I had no more "leaking" during the night or the next morning. So, we assumed we had the problem fixed. I know I should have called my PH doctor, but I have an appointment for next Wednesday and figured since everything seemed "OK" and we weren't even sure that there was a problem, I just kind of forgot about it. Then I talked to Nick yesterday (my 27 year old 2nd year surgery resident who has put in lots of central lines) and he was not at all happy with my decision. He told me to call my doc asap. I did and he responded in similar fashion to Nick. He said that I needed to come in and see him right away in the morning. (Thursday morning at 8:30 am)

Last night (Wednesday) I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom and I discovered that my pajama top was pretty wet. Again, it was in the area of the tubing. I felt perfectly fine so I put on a clean top and went back to bed. When I woke up in the morning my shirt was dry. Very odd. I was really glad that I had an appointment.

My PH doctor checked out the line and couldn't see anything. The tape was still in place so if I was having a leaky line, it wasn't coming from that spot. He checked the connections and just couldn't find anything wet or anything wrong.

So, I came home and put new claves on each line (I have a double lumen).

I taped tissue at the connection spot on both lines so if I have any more "leaks" we can have a better idea where it's coming from. In the meantime, my doctor is going to check with a surgeon and see if they can repair the line if I have any more problems, or to schedule to have a new line put in if it ends up that I actually have a line problem. Right now we're going with the theory that I might have had a couple of bad connections and hopefully things are just fine. I sure hope so. I really, really don't want to have a new line put in. I've had the same line for 4 1/2 years. Supposedly that's quite a long time for a line.

So, if you're the praying kind, I would really appreciate a prayer that I have no more "leaks" and I can keep my line and avoid having surgery.

Thanks for reading.

Not much going on...

Friday, January 23, 2009
Hello there. If it weren't for my lovely dogs and their shenanigans, I don't think I'd have much to write about!

I can tell you that I did get to volunteer on Tuesday morning! I worked with a group of first graders. It was mostly just a "getting to know you" time. I visited with each child in a one-on-one setting. I had them do a little sight word reading and spelling. I asked them a bit about their family. First graders are amazing! I don't know if my principal told the teacher that I use oxygen and if so, if she said anything to the kids. But, most of the kids didn't say a thing about the tubing or the machine. Those that did, just politely asked what it was or said that they know someone that uses "that stuff." Of course that "someone" was usually some "really old" grandma or grandpa! But, it didn't matter. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the old "teacher tricks" jumped out of my brain! There was this one beautiful little red-haired girl who didn't want to answer any questions. She announced to me that "I'm shy!" Well, having a first grader telling you that they're shy is like having a crazy person saying that they're sane! The trick is, to just get her talking before she remembers that she's suppose to be shy! She was blabbering away, giving me all kinds of correct answers before she "forgot" that she was shy and quieted down again! There was one thing that I had blocked out of my mind about first graders....the snot....so much snot...so few tissues!! As I was walking to the office after I was finished I spied a container of hand sanitizer sitting at a table. I lathered myself up to the point that I had a wavy vapor cloud following me down the hallway!

I mentioned "the dogs" in the first line. Guess what this was?

This is what I kept Asa from swallowing after I caught him chewing on this:

That WAS the remote control for the TIVO! It was 8:20 p.m. when I made this amazing discovery. I can't run our TV at all with the regular remote control. It's all set up to be run through the TIVO remote. So, I threw on some clothes and drove to Best Buy before they closed. (Rod was gone to a meeting for the night or I would have made him go!) Anyway, I walk into the store and tell them, "My dog ate my TIVO remote control. I need a new one." They didn't blink, smirk, smile, comment...nothing! This must happen to other people because they sure didn't act like it was the first time they've had this request!

Oh well! We're now back up and running.
Sorry about the short and none too exciting posting. Thanks for reading.


It was a beautiful and sunny Sunday!

Sunday, January 18, 2009
It's Sunday night, football is on (Baltimore vs. Pittsburg), Rod and I just got back from having a bowl of soup at Panera, Haver is laying on the floor licking "his blanket" and Asa has just literally tip-toed upstairs because he is all wacky again! ARG!!! The two have been on Prozac for 8 days now. Up until yesterday we were very excited with the improvement we were seeing in both Asa and Haver's behavior. Then yesterday, the stars must have been out of line or the doggy angels were busy watching some other household because Asa just went nuts! He even GROWLED AT ME!!! He's been just as bad today, GROWLING AT ROD! We'll see what tomorrow brings. I was planning on calling the vet to tell her about the positive progress. I'll ask her about this little "blip" in behavior and see if she thinks we need to increase Asa's dose. Of course, as I write this, Asa just came downstairs and is actually walking through the same room as Haver and he's not shaking or growling at all! He's just watching Haver destroy a tennis ball! So, who knows!

Speaking of destroying, do you remember this?

Well, I took it to the boot repair shop and now it looks like:

Look at the great job they did! If you look close you can see some of the damage. But, given the fact that Rod generally wears boots with pants and jeans and not shorts or swim trunks, most of the boot will be covered up anyway!


Asa has now grabbed a chew stick and is laying on the floor next to Haver and NO ONE IS WACKY OR GROWLING!!
Here is proof!

I don't know what happened...maybe the stars have lined up or the doggy angels are back to work, but, I'll take it!

In other news, Rod and I went to the movie "Valkyrie" on Friday night.

We went to the movie theater to see "Gran Torino" but unfortunately it was sold out. So, we saw Valkyrie instead. The film is based on an actually plot by German Army dissidents to kill Adolph Hitler. It was really interesting but a little anti-climatic since Hitler actually committed suicide. I honestly think we would have like "Gran Torino" better, but that will just have to wait for next week.

Yesterday my sister and her oldest daughter Katie came up to Omaha. We decided to go see the movie "The Reader." I'm sorry about the pictures. They are so stinking small! But, I couldn't find anything that worked any better. Sorry.

It is a movie set in post World War II Germany. I THOUGHT I knew what the movie was about (a woman who likes to be read to) but I had NO IDEA HOW this woman liked her reader to dress (or NOT dress). I'll just tell you that, at one point, Katie turned to her mother and said, "Yea, I'm REALLY happy to be watching this movie with MY MOTHER!" If you are feeling the need for an anatomy lesson, I would highly recommend "The Reader." If you are more mature than my sister and myself, you would probably enjoy the movie and the message.

Well, crap! Asa's growling and shaking again! I better go lock someone up for a time-out....maybe I'll just lock myself up, with the bottle of Prozac! ARG!!!

Thanks for reading.


A moment of calm...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
hopefully not before the storm! We've already had a schizophrenic morning! But, right now, they are in the same room, chewing on rawhide.



(I'm afraid he looks a little "chubby" in this picture!)

It's ridiculously cold today. The actual temperature right now is 4 degrees with a windchill of -10. It's days like today that I'm so happy that I don't have a job. Being able to stay home and inside on these horribly cold days is definitely a perk to being sick.

Now, if Wacky One and Wacky Two can just "keep the peace" for a little while longer, all will be right with the world.

Thanks for reading.


Good News! Exciting News! Nothing about the Dogs News!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I received a fabulous phone call today! My former principal moved to a different school this year. He felt he needed a change and a challenge. He had been at my old school for 9 years. He decided to take a position as the principal at an "at-risk" elementary school. He called me this afternoon to see if I would be willing, able, interested in working with some first graders who really needed help with their reading! I said, "YES!!!" The really great part of this is that Kevin was my principal for the year I taught after I was diagnosed and was learning to live with Flolan. He understands the disease and my limitations. So, if I don't feel well, or am over-doing it, he will completely "get it!" I'm going to start out by "working" on Tuesday mornings for a couple of hours. Depending on how it goes I might increase my time, maybe add a day, or, if it's too much, I'll back off a bit. Plus, there is handicap parking right at the front door! I'm going to start next Tuesday, so, please pray for nice (at least normal) weather.

So, good news, good news, doing a little happy dance, good news!!
Thanks for reading.

GIVE ME A "P"....... GIVE ME AN "R".......

Sunday, January 11, 2009
GIVE ME AN "O-Z-A-C!" What does that spell? PROZAC!! What does it mean? RELIEF!! CALMNESS!! POTENTIAL NORMALCY!!!

We started Asa and Haver on Prozac last night. After numerous phone calls and discussions with our vet, it was decided that our boys needed some help. We've spent months doing behavior modification with both of them with only minor improvement. The bottom line is that Asa has an anxiety disorder and is sending mixed messages to Haver. Whenever he sees Haver, he starts growling, shaking, stiffens his tail, curling it over his back and shakes like he's having a seizure. Haver, being confused thinks that Asa is being aggressive and so he starts growling and takes a fighting stance, staring down Asa. Sometimes it escalates to a real dog fight, not dog playing, a dog fight with blood, flying fur, etc. This situation has also made Haver more aggressive with other dogs. Since he is basically fighting for "lead dog" and getting nowhere, he tries to fight for dominance with any other dogs that happen to come around. Try to imagine what it was like when Deeoge was here for two weeks over Christmas! Not a day went by when I didn't scream, "I want drugs and I want them NOW!!" I'm sure if someone would have overheard me they would have thought I was some junkie going through withdrawal!

We'll have to keep doing the behavior modification stuff with both of them. In fact, the vet might have someone come to the house to do some additional stuff with them. But, just like when a child started on behavior medication at school, we still had to work on the behavior, drugs alone won't fix the problem.

And if this wasn't complicated enough, this behavior only happens inside! When they are outside, they get along perfectly! Now, we're not looking for a miracle here, just a little bit of sanity. We're hoping and praying that this is going to help.

After their second dose, we actually had a few moments of "normal" brotherly love behavior tonight!!!

This shows the boys actually playing, inside!! Asa is on his back, wagging his tail which is doggy talk for "You are the man, I am the mouse and I'm having fun!" And Haver has his front legs down and his rear end up which is doggy talk for "I'm playing, this is fun!"

And, here they are both following Rod into the kitchen, tails wagging! But, FIVE MINUTES AFTER I TOOK THESE PICTURES ASA STARTED GROWLING AND SHAKING AGAIN!! ARG!!!

Oh well, progress is progress!
I've got to get going. It's 10:00 and I haven't even started mixing my Flolan!
I'll try to get back on the "blogging ball." Thank you for your patience and thank you for reading.


So many stories, so little time, so little energy...

Thursday, January 8, 2009
Perhaps it would be easier to start with a recent story...

This morning I let the Asa and Haver inside and they were all happy and jumpy and tail waggy...they were playing "together" in that they each had a side of Haver's blanket (yes, he has a blanket that he sleeps with) and they were running around the house together with the blanket in their mouths. I heard a loud R-I-I-I-P! I hollered to not "rip your blanket, Haver!" I took a peek into the family room so I could grab his blanket if they didn't stop and imagine my surprise when I discover that at some point, they had dropped Haver's blanket and picked up one of Rod's good boots....R-I-I-I-P!

More to come.

Thanks for reading.


I'm here...I'm fine...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Chris and Deeoje drove back to Chicago today.

one 125 pound dominant yellow lab
+ one 90 pound yellow lab with an anxiety disorder
+ one 70 pound American Bulldog
+ 2 weeks = a migraine

I'll start back up blogging tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.