Friday 28 October 2011

Out of the Loop!

That’s where I feel I’ve been for the past few weeks. The world has passed me by. I’ve been trying to keep up with blogs and such, but my head has been elsewhere most of the time.

On the news I saw that wonderful moment when a baby was rescued from the rubble after the earthquake in Turkey. What a shining moment that was.

I have been watching Barbie DVDs. My four year old granddaughter loves them and brought them with her when she came to stay. Every night we watched one before bed and she fell asleep halfway through and I found myself sitting up to watch to the end.

I looked up the voice actors and the prince/leading man in the films is often played by the guy who is Joshua in V. I love bits of trivia like that. When I found out, I phoned my husband to tell him. He pretended to be suitably interested and amazed bless him.

When I was a child no one had Barbie dolls. It was Sindy or Tressy. Remember Tressy with the hair that grew? I had Sindy and Paul and they used to go round in Sindy’s red convertible which had a stone for a steering wheel. I’d broken the original plastic wheel and my honorary uncle said he’d have something in his shed to fix it and he emerged with a round flat yellow stone with a hole in the centre that fitted exactly on the steering column.

He had loads of stuff in that shed. He used to collect the silver paper off Kit-kats and make them into balls which I think used to go to Guide Dogs. He also kept rubber bands in a ball which was huge. He had the tidiest, most organised shed I have ever seen in my life.

And a new blog has been born. It is called The Pocketeers and is written by writers of Pocket Novels. A great resource with plenty of information for anyone interested in writing for My Weekly and The People’s Friend pocket novels.

Finally I want to thank everyone for all the messages about Tilly. Things change on a daily basis and one day I’m in despair and the next full of hope, but we can only do what we can do and keep hoping.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Tilly Update

We went back to the vet yesterday and saw Tom. I thought it would be a matter of yippee the steroids are working, have some more, but it doesn’t work that way.

To find out for sure what is wrong with Tilly requires a proper biopsy. She reacted badly when she had the minimum dose of sedation so a full anaesthetic would be very risky. And the chances are high that a biopsy wouldn’t be any help anyway.

So first decision – no biopsy. I cannot put her through the risk and the subsequent long stay at the surgery to recover after. Whatever time she has left, I want her to spend at home where she feels safe and happy.

We then had a talk about her quality of life. She is in no pain and is happy enough, sleeping, going for short walks, getting excited when visitors come. We had grandchildren staying from last Friday till yesterday so cuddles weren’t in short supply (and it also stopped me spending hours on the internet searching, obsessing and worrying).

Before any more medication could be issued, she had to have another blood test. Tom phoned later with the result. At her first blood test her liver enzymes were so high, they were off the scale and couldn’t be measured. This time they were very high, but measurable – so they have come down somewhat. Good, yes? The liver support pills are helping.

But – there is always a but – another enzyme has now risen as a result of the steroid. Bad.

She is still jaundiced so Tom has given her Destolit which he hopes will reduce that. He is also hopeful that it will improve her appetite – she went off eating again when the steroid injection ran out. Her protein levels are low too, so she needs more protein.

We are trying her on the Hills i/d which is the same food that Indy had to have 11 years ago when he was so very ill and close to starving to death. It smells and looks far more appetising than the liver diet which she wouldn’t touch (all this food is driving poor Indy mad – he’d eat it like a shot). But does she want to eat it? No. Warmed? No. We are trying to feed her little and often and this morning she had a small bowl of porridge which isn’t ideal, but was all I could tempt her with.

If she’s still not eating tomorrow, I have to start her on steroids.

The best case scenario is that something has damaged Tilly’s liver, but that whatever it was has gone and she now needs support to recover. At the moment all we can do is buy her time and hope it pays off and she comes through.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Good News and Bad News

Well the good news is that the bloods, scan and biopsy didn’t show up any cancer or infection. The bad news is – without a diagnosis where do we go from here?

Tilly can’t survive on a couple of dog biscuits a day. She had a bad night last night, but mid-morning she decided she wanted to go for a walk. Now! Hurry up! So off we went. Not far and she wore a woolly jumper as it was very cold, but she was very perky and waggy. She ate half a Markie and a Shape while we were out.

I made her some porridge, but she said no thanks.

There is only one thing left to try. Tomorrow she is going to have a steroid injection which may stimulate her appetite and if we can get decent food into her, well who knows. It is a controversial treatment in liver disorders for obvious reasons, but in some cases it can work wonders. Jo thinks as there is no sign of infection it’s worth a try and we should know in five days or less if it has worked.

Thank you for all your kind thoughts and wishes and messages of support. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means.

Tuesday 18 October 2011


Nearly two weeks ago Tilly refused her breakfast and alarm bells began to ring because of what happened when my last dog, Sweep stopped eating.

We got an appointment the same day to see the vet. Becky checked her over and couldn’t find anything amiss. We came away with some tablets to settle her stomach as she’d been sick a few days before and Becky thought it might be a virus.

When we went out for a walk, Tilly kept asking for Shapes which is something I take out on walks with me. I’d tried her with chicken and rice, eggs and that expensive dog food that comes in posh little cartons, but all she wanted was Shapes, Markies – and the occasional hot dog sausage.

I normally feed her on Burns dry food, but I got some of their moist food as it is good quality too, but no, she didn’t want that either.

Clearly she wasn’t eating properly and she threw up a load of water she’d just drunk. So back we went and this time we saw Jo. She took some blood and when she shaved her, she noticed her skin was yellow. I knew that meant liver problems and jaundice is not good news.

Later she rang to say that Tilly’s liver enzymes were the highest she’d ever seen. We needed to take her for a scan and that would be at one of their other branches, a 40 minute drive away. But first they had to check her blood was clotting as they might want to take a needle biopsy. Back we went for more blood tests.

I asked if I should give her special food. I had the Hills special diet, but Tilly didn’t want to know. At this stage anything you can get into her is good, Jo said.

The blood clotting result came back fine, so her scan was booked for yesterday.

While all this was going on, Tilly was being sick a lot more and her wee was bright orange and by Sunday she wouldn’t eat anything at all. The only way I could get water into her was with a little dropper in the side of her mouth. At least she didn’t spit it out.

Sunday night she was restless. She threw up twice and we ended up sleeping downstairs with her from 3am Monday as she seemed to want to be there rather than on the bed.

Yesterday we took her in for the scan. They didn’t plan to sedate her because of her liver problems, but she got too stressed and they had to give her sedation. We should have picked her up yesterday afternoon, but she was too woozy from the sedation so we had to leave her in overnight and they put her on a drip to boost her up a bit.

When we took Sweep in, our last vet kept him in overnight and he died. Later the vet told us he’d been almost certain that would happen. That weighed heavily on my mind. What if the same thing happened to Tilly? But I’d changed to these vets a few years ago because I trusted them and I had to do just that.

She follows me everywhere. I can’t move from one room to another without my little shadow. She’s next to me now, curled up in her chair. I ached for her every moment she was away.

This morning we waited for the phone call. I was sure it would be bad news.

My husband answered the phone at 8.20. The nurse said she could come home. He said we’d be over right away. She seemed pleased. “That’s good,” she said. “She’s barking quite a lot. I think she’s ready to leave.”

Indy was very pleased to see her. He sniffed her all over and he’s been with her ever since. He’s here too, on the floor draped over the bottom of my chair. He’s been giving up the chair for Tilly since she got sick.

We are in a lull at the moment. Waiting for the results of the biopsy and other blood tests. The scan didn’t show anything untoward on her liver, but that could simply mean that the whole thing is compromised. Jo has yet to examine the scans. She may be able to see something. We just don’t know.

Since she’s been home she’s had about a third of a hot dog sausage and a drink and she’s been sleeping.

I haven’t been able to do anything for the past few days. The internet, which is such a distraction when I’m trying to write, has been no distraction at all – unless you count all the hours I’ve spent looking up various liver problems in dogs. I know that some conditions are manageable with the right medication. I know that some conditions are fatal.

She’s been mostly asleep since we got home which is hardly surprising after the sedation and the fact she was probably awake early barking! She doesn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort at all and I know if I put my dog walking stuff on, she’ll come to life and be keen to go out.

Her fur is as thick and beautiful as it ever was. The only obvious signs of her illness are the fact she won’t eat and that she throws up occasionally.

I haven’t even been able to write any of this down until now. My diary has just a few sad scribbles in it.

I am just hoping they can do something to make her better.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Friendly Bloggers

Thank you so much, Rosemary and Patsy (two of the friendliest bloggers I know) for passing on this lovely Friendly Blogger Award.

When I first started blogging I was extremely nervous about posting comments on other blogs and I still dither and worry and think I've nothing of any interest or relevance to say, but everyone in Blogland is so kind and most of all friendly!

First of all I'd say that all the bloggers I follow deserve this award. You're all lovely! If you're reading this and I'm reading you, then please take a Friendly Blogger Award. Go on - you know you deserve one!

But that's just being lazy, so here are some friendly bloggers I am passing the Friendly Blogger Award to, Eileen, Penny (oh and Gary), Karen, Maria, Joanne and Suzanne.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

If You're Going To Make Notes...

Yesterday I had one of those flashes of inspiration. Yes that would make a great idea for a story thought I. But I was too busy to make a start on it so I did the next best thing and wrote a line down to remind me.

Today when I was ready to write, I reached for my notebook. I must confess here to feeling rather smug. I’d completely forgotten my idea, but I still had that feeling that it - whatever it was – would make a great story.

Unfortunately the good feeling was all I had.

The smug was on the other side of my face when I looked at the illegible ink splat on my notebook. Normally a few words are all I need to revive an idea, but for them to do that I need to be able to read them.

What I can read is “Maybe the scrawl is the scribble

I have absolutely no idea….

Scrawl may begin with the letter "d" and scribble may start with an "s", but apart from that I'm clueless.

So if you are going to make notes, make them legible. It helps.

I also had an idea for a blog post about writing. Where is it? Well it went the same way as my story idea except I didn't bother to write it down. If you should see either of them knocking around on your travels, direct them this way, ta!

And you know where this is leading don’t you? I know I’m not the only one who fails to write things down sometimes, but please tell me I’m not the only person who can’t read their own writing!

Saturday 1 October 2011

Happy October

I want to put the record straight. I am not the helpless blind little bat that Indy makes me out to be and I’m not the only one who spends a lot of time in bed.

So there Indiana!

I rest my case – rather like he’s always resting his head – on a pillow!

I am getting along fine. They’ve solved the problem of me falling off the end of the bed by putting a huge bean bag on the floor so now instead of landing with a thud, I land with a rustle.

And they’ve been taking me to new places which used to scare me, but now I love it. I can’t see or hear danger (hearing’s gone a bit) and so I trot along in my dim little world and feel safe. Unless she lets me off the lead. Then I do panic a bit. Well a lot actually, so it’s the extendable lead for me and I love it.

But as far as that narrow log bridge goes, let’s not even go there. In fact I hope I don’t ever have to go there again. We only went there because they managed to get lost in the woods and went down the wrong path. Took a wrong turn at Albuquerque apparently. Indy went crazy, rushing about chasing leaves, squirrels and falling chestnuts – fool.

They’ve tried buddy strapping me to the dopey one, but frankly I don’t want to go in the sort of places he goes and I certainly don’t want to be there when he’s rolling around in dead stuff waving his legs in the air like an idiot.

They tell me it’s October and hot. And they talk about my eyesight being poor, but herself sat there this morning gazing out the window and admiring the misty view before realising the mist was on the window and beyond it the sun was shining.

Before I go, I must just tell you about the monster in the garden. The other night Indy went out and before I knew what was happening, this ball of fur was flying through the air. I’m told he leapt all four feet off the ground, spun round in mid-air and landed in a heap before running off and hiding behind the bushes.

Well I don’t pay much heed to his silliness so I got on with having a wee and had a little sniff at the same time – as you do – and suddenly my nose touched something prickly. Did I leap up in the air? Of course not. I carried on and just stopped sniffing the prickly thing.

It lives in our garden and from my investigative sniffing I’d say it’s the size of a small melon but not quite as round. Indy tells me it’s as big as the house, has huge pointy teeth and claws of steel. Well I tell him he’s been listening to the Gruffalo too much and he goes off and sulks.

Look at me posing here, note the raised paw - classy eh?

Herself is in a good mood today. She’s turned all her calendars over and says there’s nothing like a new month for a new start. And now she’s telling me to get off the computer so she can get started on her new start. How many times have I heard that one before?

Happy October and may the muse be with you (don’t know what that means, but herself likes it when people say it to her).