Another Urologist Appointment: Supplemental

I got a surprise call today from my urologist’s office. Mostly to change my appointment from December 27 to January 4. I don’t understand but it had something to do with insurance and shifting it to next year.

Oh, and incidentally, my PSA was 12.6. And my new drug is to be Firmagon.

I learned more from this phone call than I did from the doctor! Lol.

First the PSA. This is sharply higher but I expected that. PSA tests are notorious for lab variability and I had suspected the doctor’s lab yielded higher results. The 4.48 and 12.6 are results from the doctor’s office; the remainder were done by the Centura Lab Services.

This is higher than I expected. Even if this is 10% high and is really 11.4, it is going up faster than I liked.

Enter my new drug. This is a relatively new drug (2008) and works differently from Lupron. Firmagon is the brand name for Degarelix. This drug suppresses the production of testosterone at the source. So does Lupron but they work differently. Lupron causes “flare up” when it makes the patient’s body go crazy making the stuff until the organs give up and quit. That is why I take Casodex. This drug inhibits uptake by cells of testosterone and I may not be taking it with this new drug. This, BTW, is an expensive drug.

Firmagon works through the pituitary gland instead of directly. The side effects are similar to any lack of male hormones: hot flashes, impotence, low libido, weight gain etc. Much like what I am enjoying with my present drug. Kinda like one of the girls.

The bad news: this drug is given subcutaneously and apparently is oil based like an estrogen shot. I will get a lump (which they call a “depot”) which will dispense the drug for a month. I may get local irritation at the site injection. On my abdomen.

I have hopes this will make a difference in the progress of my parasite.

Another Urologist Appointment

This was my regular 3 month Lupron injection. But when the doctor saw my PSA results, he changed the plan! It was over 8!

Instead of getting three month’s injection, he gave me one month’s worth. Next month he will change to a different drug “for situations like mine”. But I don’t know the name. He has to order it and I will get it the 27th. That drug has to be given monthly. In my abdomen. sigh.

The curve of my PSA results shows it rising in a non-linear manner.

They took another blood sample to see what the increase in one month is. Based on this chart, I estimate the results will be near 9.5.

This was the thing he was talking about when I get to 9. But he assured me any talk of chemo will be when I get in higher (?) double digits.

So my adventure continues.

Lily’s Surgery

This turned out to be a better day than I expected. Her “blown out knee” got repaired. The trip to Colorado Springs went well. I got to visit with my kids and their families.

I got there about 45 minutes early so we (I) had time to relax. The staff was helpful and even got me a cup of [serious] coffee. Then we waited. Lily was glad to be out of the Escape (The receptionist helped me unload her.) but soon got bored and lay down.

She wouldn’t lay on the carpet or the dog bed in the corner. This is the door into the hallway where she could hear people going by. If the vet had come in, she woulda got smacked but she didn’t lay there long.

This facility does everything! In addition to the orthopedic surgery, they are THE pet trauma center for Colorado.

This is their ambulance! I have no idea how often it gets used but they have a fulltime ER. The rock formation in the background is Pulpit Rock which used to mark the north end of Colorado Springs until it grew beyond it by developing to the east.

I left her there, went to breakfast, drove over to Jeff’s house and helped him unload groceries, then we met Scott’s family at Ruby Tuesday. We had a nice visit with Scott and Jeff, my sons, Jackie, Scott’s wife, and Dillon, my grandson. And I got to spend time to bond with Jeff’s four cats. Well, three anyway; one of them doesn’t cotton to strangers.

While we were harassing the waiter at Ruby Tuesday, the hospital called saying Lily was out of surgery and would be ready to go in an hour! About two hours early! So we adjourned lunch and I took Jeff home; he was ready for bed (He works nights). Then I went to Scott’s house so they could give me our Christmas presents. I spent some time there then went up to get Lily.

I went over the after care instructions while they gave her an epidural morphine injection. Then one of the staff helped me take her to the car. She was pretty stoned but we made it. They had given us a sling to hold her back end up. The surgical wound is very delicate for a while and any weight can make the bone graft fail. So she carried her rear while I guided her. Later I learned how much work the helper was doing! She has a heavy ass!

Once she got settled in the Escape, she didn’t move the whole trip! And had an “Elizabethan collar” on. It turned out this was a problem.

I made a stop in Cañon for gas and eggs then went on up home.

It took a while to get her in the house. She still didn’t navigate well from the drugs and I could barely carry her back end! Once we got in the house, Donna helped me on the sling and it was much easier. We got her on her bed in the living room.

She looks so miserable. The blue and white thing is her sling. The dressing on her leg is the surgical wound. And the white thing on her neck pads the cone. She refused to drink or move until we removed the cone. Now we have a constant hassle to keep her from licking the wound. sigh. Traditionally, dogs always “licked their wounds” but now vets say they have unsanitary mouths and will infect themselves.

I guess we will see. One thing she does like is meals in bed!

Also she can’t go outside without a leash. She has NEVER been a house dog and this is not setting too well! We worked out the terms of going out to pee but tonight, Lily and Donna worked out the terms of doing a #2 (Her first since the surgery.). It involved NOT being on a leash!

We are all training each other. And learning how to give her all the pills the vet prescribed: three, three times a day for pain; one twice a day for pain; and two antibiotics twice a day. But wrapping them in margarine makes the medicine go down! Lol.

Meanwhile, the cats do not like our pet door being blocked to keep lily in! Donna has been getting up regularly at night to let them in but we modified the pet door so she can get some sleep!

It is gonna be a long three weeks!! But she is much happier now and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.

It makes me cringe that she is lying on her wounded leg! But at least she can’t lick it then! Lol.

Her incision runs the length of her thigh.

There are no stitches! I guess they glued it closed! This will not be over until next year.

Library Babies

When I went into the library Tuesday morning, I was a bit unnerved by babies everywhere! These are in the adjacent classroom.

Even in the librarian’s office!

Ms. Merrill had borrowed these from the Florence school district for a parenting class for girls. A few were still out because the girls “hadn’t finished”. Later one of the sisters of a girl in the class told me her sister hadn’t finished because she couldn’t make the baby quit crying and had hit it lightly. Then it began screaming!

They were really quiet while I was there! Lol.

New Microwave

We went several days without a microwave after our old one died and got this one on Tuesday.

As Joni Mitchell sang,
… you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone

1970

Donna used the microwave every morning for her tea; her “coffee pot” did not heat her water hot enough. OTOH, I used it for the first time tonight heating up T-day leftovers. It is so cool! Instead of the “food plate” our old one had, this has “reheat” then a menu for what you are reheating. But that menu is in numbers! I chose “1” for “a plate of food”.

It says “DINNER PLATE” scrolling acrooss the display but doesn’t give the time left. Until it has 1 and 1/2 minutes then it beeps (It loves to beep!) to notify you. I took it out then and I had a perfectly heated meal.

But this is the physically biggest microwave we have EVER owned! Donna rearranged the counter several times before she arrived at this arrangement for the appliances. Her first complaint was that it got things too hot! Lol. She used 80% power instead of reducing the time for her tea. Such a creature of habit! Followed by her having to search for workable locations for everything.

This is essentially where the old microwave was but I have to move the paper towel dispenser. The toaster used to be on the left of the microwave.

This is a keeper but we wanted it for her to prepare Thanksgiving dinner and it almost didn’t work out! The Sears appliance store in Cañon was insisting I needed to present the e-mail they would send when sears.com delivered the thing. And they wouldn’t send it until, the truck returned to wherever it came from (Denver? Kansas City? Trenton? Seattle?) and they confirmed the drop. sigh. Then the woman (with startling blue eyes) said she might be able to release it if I could copy the e-mail confirming the shipping. She never did understand about my using Thunderbird and could not access my old messages. Finally I got a copy of it that I had sent Donna and was on her webmail.

As she was loading the box, she said, “Oh, we have this model in stock.” sears.com does not play well with the retailers so I had no way of knowing this. 😦 She would match the price. And much less hassle.

I never have received that e-mail. My life is always interesting.

25 Worst Passwords

From the Canadian Broadcasting network. The article has tips for creating better passwrods as do some of the comments.

The complete top 25 worst passwords on the web are:

password
123456
12345678
qwerty
abc123
monkey
1234567
letmein
trustno1
dragon
baseball
111111
iloveyou
master
sunshine
ashley
bailey
passw0rd
shadow
123123
654321
superman
qazwsx
michael
football

Personally, I use a spreadsheet on my computer to list all my passwords. It is 62 lines long but a lot of sites on it are rarely used and even defunct. None of the passwords are on this list! Lol.

Thanksgiving Meal Problems

Weather has not been kind to our traditional meal.

Details here which are more legible and has links to the original articles.

Walking through doorways causes forgetting

They don’t address if this gets more noticeable with age.

From Science Blog:

New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses. “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains.

“Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”

The study was published recently in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

A detailed explanation is at the link above. Maybe I should remove all doorways in my house; I would save a lot of time! Of course that would mean no walls and I’m not sure of that idea!

Box Wine

I like my wine and find that wine in boxes are the best value. Now they are marketing wine in paper bottles.

Will Purists Drink Wine from a Cardboard Bottle?

GreenBottle has already invented the world’s first paper milk bottle, featured in TreeHugger last January and already hitting the 100,000 sale mark.

Now they are expanding into wine bottles, based on the same green principles. GreenBottle has developed a prototype paper bottle for wine that is theirs alone and is currently in talks with supermarkets and wine producers to make it available to the British public as early as next year.

This company in Great Britain already markets milk in a similar container to plastic milk jugs called a GreenBottle. It is similar to a box wine container but with a pour spout instead of a spigot.

Box wine containers were developed in Australia and now this from the UK. I guess we just don’t get it in the US! Except for Franzia who went all in!

Dead Microwave

This morning our microwave broke: the door latch would not let us open the door. Some kind of link seemed to have broken. We have had it about three years and were never satisfied with it. We use our microwave a LOT! And Donna had to have a replacement for Thanksgiving! Lol.

So I went shopping on the internet for a new one that met our specifications: white, larger, not GE, and available! Oh, yeah, as I shopped a new requirement arose: as close to $100 as possible.

I found an Amana I really liked on Amazon but it didn’t qualify for free shipping (even tho it said there was) so the total price would be near $200! Donna vetoed it!

This machine would have lasted longer than we would!

None of the local outlets, included those in Pueblo, stocked anything we wanted (The white color really narrowed the choices down!). I finally found one from Sears, a Kenmore, for $130 with free shipping to the local Sears store. And it will be here for Thanksgiving.

It looks very like our old Galaxy (famous brand there!) but much larger and more powerful.

This has become our unexpected Yule present!

Oh, Come On!

Really. WTF?

Parents upset over crotchless panties sold in kid’s store

GREELEY – The store is called Kids N Teen, and it is located in the Greeley Mall. That’s where some parents say they are outraged to have found crotchless panties sold near items clearly targeted for young kids.

The perfect gift for pedophiles to give! Was the brand name “Precocious Patty”? Click the link for more details and a video.

They have been removed from the store. After some complaints from the Mall management. At least someone had some good sense.

The School Board Officer Election

I left for the November meeting of the Fremont RE-3 (Cotopaxi) Board of Education meeting early so I could: pick up the mail; buy some gallon jugs of drinking water at the Cotopaxi Store; and get a box of wine at Bighorn Liquor, a block west. After my errands in town, I went up CoRd12 to school.

I got there early but so did many others! So instead of reading on my Kindle, I chatted. This was a special meeting since Dan Ogden, an 8 year veteran, was leaving, being term limited, and a new Board member, Tony Reid would be sworn in. Actually two other Board members would be sworn also as they were filling partial terms before the non-election. None of the positions were contested so the school cancelled the election to save money.

After the swearing in ceremony, we broke for brownies and tea. And Dan was awarded a gavel with an inscription of his service and I made a speech which embarrassed him (“Sure getting deep in here.”)!

When we reconvened, the Board then “reorganized” by electing new officers. And I began my new adventure: being President of our Board of Education. I did NOT campaign for this job but had it thrust upon me! Last month Dan was unable to be there so I filled in as President for the very first time! It was good training for my new job. Lol.

This is gonna be an ugly term for the Board with money being so tight. But I feel up to the job since John McCleary, the new Superintendent, and I work together well. He has a good grip on our finances and I know the last few years of the school’s financial history. And I bought a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order!

I meant to get a picture of the new Board and had the camera on the table in front of me but with all the stuff going on, I spaced it!

I was hoping the power was on when I got back home but it wasn’t. I knew three miles from the house as I passed one dark home after another. Donna had been busy with setting up the handwashing station and putting all the stuff in the fridge on some shelves in our Water House where it hovers just above freezing.

The shelves are near the back steps. The water in the tanks help stabilize the temperature. These shelves were filled with food!

I forgot my cell phone which I had taken to charge. Super John had called her that he had it. She was glad he called because she knew I was on my way home. They apparently had a good conversation and he said the next day she is a very nice woman. I told him she had to be to put up with me. Lol.

While I was sitting with her and babbling about the meeting, I wound down some. She kept saying she was going to bed when I ran down. But at 10:30 she suddenly yelled “The power tried to come on!”. I didn’t see anything but she had seen an LED nightlight flash. Then it did it again. One more time and it stayed on while lots of stuff in our house came on: the furnace, the water pump, and the refrigerator. For almost a minute! Lol. She headed for bed; they had their chance to impress her and failed. I had to stay up after this hope was raised. There were two more tries after a half hour while they fixed something. Then it came on and stayed on! Yay!!

The heat came on and the fridge got up and cooling. I sent some e-mails before I went to bed.

And I got to sleep with my CPAP on! That was soo sweet!

While the refrigerator was empty, she took all the shelves out and washed them. It hasn’t been this clean since we moved in! Usually only one shelf at a time gets washed! While I was at school Tuesday doping my library duty, she moved the stuff back in the cooler.

Everything is so neat, in lines and all sorted! And, with all the spoiled/dated food gone, roomy!

What a long, busy weekend.

Living Without Electricity and Water

As I mentioned in a previous post, our power went out at 1:15 AM on Sunday. I sleep using a CPAP machine for my sleep apnea. My apnea is bad enough, I awaken shortly after the machine turns off due to a feeling of suffocating. So I knew right away when the power was off long enough to wake me. I checked the time by my cell phone.

The most notable change was how dark the house was! It was also very quiet with nothing running like the fridge. After the power went off, I slept fitfully. And probably noisily! I am a world class snorer without my CPAP; I call it my snorer blower.

By morning the house was cooler and the furnace didn’t come on. 😦 And I knew there was little water in the pressure tank but we had 1000 gallons of water in the storage tanks we could dip out. The wind was still howling around the house but was above freezing. With no internet, I used my cell to text my friends and see what was going on in the world. Lol. We have one princess phone for just these situations; it uses phone line power to operate, not outlet electricity like our cordless phones.

We used to have lots of short outages but the power has gotten more reliable so we haven’t gotten a generator. I kept trying to call the REA but the line was always busy. When I finally connected, I learned that a pole on the high voltage line had snapped! Up in the Wet Mountains in “rugged country”. And it may take days to repair. My estimate, from my days working in a powerplant was two days. Assuming there were no setbacks like rolling a truck off a cliff!

The map has some information in the IPTC which is part of the image that won’t let me crop the map!

Here is a map/image of the Wet Mountains. The powerplant is in Cañon City at the top right and somehow power gets to Westcliffe on the lower middle (A and H) at the intersection of CO69 and CO96. The power lines do not follow CO96 because the summit of the pass is too rugged. The road past G on it is Copper Gulch Road to our place; it doesn’t come down that way either. I suspect (Satellite images don’t show powerlines.) it parallels Oak Creek Grade from south Cañon to the east side of Westcliffe (the diagonal road across the mountains) . Then the powerline runs up Copper Gulch road NE of Westcliffe and ends at our neighborhood.

So both towns, Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, were also without power! I am sure all the stores were closed as well as the school.

Until then, I had hoped for electricity by nightfall. Wasn’t gonna happen. So we went to plan B. I brought over the Coleman lantern which hadn’t been used for many years. It had hung from the rafters of what we call the Shelter, a semienclosed porch on one of our cabins one of us used to live in. The cabin is now Donna’s sewing/hobby room. I wasn’t sure it would even work but did still have fuel in it (It is a two mantle, gasoline model). And I found the half full can of fuel!

We could cook on the stovetop if we manually lit the burners. They could also be used to help heat the house. We also heated any water on the stovetop, both for coffee/tea and for washing. The longer the outage went on, the more things we used to use in the “good, old days” were put back in service. One thing Donna really missed was running water. I was content with using hand sanitizer but she wanted to wash her hands. So our “handwashing station” was set up.

This is a 7 gallon container and works quite well. This is our third container since we have been coming up here. When it was outdoors, the water just ran on the ground but that isn’t a good plan indoors!

This is a flash picture of Donna “cooking” dinner. She is actually gonna heat the two containers on the left of chili she had made before the outage. This is what it actually looked like without the flash.

After dinner we played rummy at the kitchen table by lantern light! Kind of romantic!

Monday night I went to my School Board meeting (where they had lights and heat!) leaving Donna in the dark. My next post will be about that meeting and the evening afterward.

The School Play

Donna and I went to the second (and last) performance of the play our school Drama Club put on on Thursday and Friday nights. I had mentioned to Misty, the producer, that I might take one of the minor parts when I heard she was asking for cameos by adults. But the schedule for the play fell just after my eye treatment so I could not commit to being there.

The play was named “A Deadly Medley”, a collection of dramatic scenes from Shakespeare. Everyone ended up dead on the stage! 35 of our students were in it and it garnered a lot of money ($600) for the dramatists. It was obvious the kids enjoyed it; it was very fast paced and I was amazed everyone came out the right doors on cue! I am glad I went since we haven’t attended many events at the school.

This is the cast at curtain call.

Our Weekend Winds

Our weekend was set by the terrific winds we had. The forecast was 50 MPH on Saturday and 55 MPH on Sunday. I feel sure they achieved that! This is the strongest sustained winds I can recall. Our damage was less than it could be, some roofing that needed replacing anyway ending up in the yard. The Air Force Academy in the Springs recorded 89 MPH winds!

None of our trees were blown over either; the neighbor across the street had two tall trees near their house get uprooted. Fortunately they fell away from the house!

This tree is on the neighboring lot south of us. This apparently healthy tree blew over into the road. I go this way to our mailbox and nearly ran into it because I was looking at a nearby dead tree which had blown over!

I am sure the roots have become weakened from the years of drought we have enjoyed.

Other wind events include blowing our dumpster and parcel box over.

These are at the end of our drive along our “street”.

I tried to right the dumpster but learned this is one heavy box! Lol. I put the trash in it lying down; it was on its “face”. I just hoped coyotes or dogs wouldn’t pull a lid open and spread our trash around. (They didn’t.)

I was most surprised to see the parcel box, with all three concrete blocks, laying on its side. I had to disassemble them to set it back upright. The trees blocked a lot of the wind from our house but our driveway works like a wind tunnel for west winds.

Our power was going on and off Saturday evening as we went to bed but came back on every time. I am sure this was due to powerlines swinging into each other. I recall watching this one night when I lived in the Springs; I stayed up a while watching the big orange fireballs from the arcs!

But at 1:30 AM Sunday, the power went off and stayed. So we were left powerless until 10:30 Monday night; no internet, lights, furnace, or water. We knew how to set things for living like pioneers from our days before we had a house! Kinda like camping in a house! I will give the details in another blog entry.

Stepparent Child Custody

This is about an incident in the life of a FB friend, Crystal, in NC. Heartbreaking and applies to any non-blood kin caregiver.

This was posted on Wednesday, 11/9/11:

MY FRIENDS: I am asking for prayer for my family. Im sure most of you know I havent been on here much lately. Going through a very difficult time. Not only has my marriage hit an end apparently now I will be losing lil’ man come thanksgiving. He will be going to live with his great grandma (his dad works out of state and has for 3 yrs.). Unfortunately as a step parent I have no legal rights even though I have been his only caretaker for years now. He has came so far and advanced so much. This is so devastating and seems like a nightmare for me. I cant explain my sadness and all of it has and continues to be difficult. Its all in Gods hands as I know my lil man will be. But I and we need and would appreciate your prayers. Thaks and love you all♥

I could not believe the state was doing this to her and posted this:

That is a stupid law. I am sorry you are getting the short end of the stick about YOUR son. Get a lawyer.

I got this on the thread on her FB:

Nothing I can do Charlie….I hhave had one. Main priority of the courts and s.s. is to keep them with a biological parent and would have to have consent from his 5 year missing uterus donor. His dad has custody and she has visitation. But I (and I mean I) have had him for the past 4 and a half years. He was in a special class then….today e tied for first in his regular 7 th grade class. It sickens me how someone can think its ok just to jerk a child out of their home…..after so long when he is going to be 7 hours away anyway. I just hope if nothing gets changed he remembers what I taught him. Thank you everyone<

I asked if I could share this story and she consented. I find it incredible that HE wasn’t asked where he wanted to live. But every state sets their own criteria for child protection.

There was much outpouring of support for her on FaceBook.

I am unsure of the point for us in my posting this except as a cautionary tale. If she had adopted the boy, I am sure the outcome would have been different.

Generic Drug Pricing

I never knew this until I saw it here. I had learned that Safeway’s $4 deals are often cheaper than my insurance negotiated price, for both me and the pharmacy since they don’t have to deal with insurance paperwork.

_______________

Cash Can Be Cheaper Than Insurance For Prescriptions
Generic Prescription Drug Costs Vary Widely Across Stores
By Dayle Cedars, 7NEWS Reporter

DENVER — Sometimes paying cash for prescriptions can be cheaper than using your insurance.

That’s what Denver resident Gaylene Garbizo discovered recently.

Garbizo knows a thing or two about paying for prescription drugs — both her aging parents take several.

“Fortunately, I am savvy on my mother’s and father’s behalf,” said Garbizo.

So she knew pretty quickly that something wasn’t right when she went to fill her mother’s Alzheimer’s medication and saw the cost.

“It was $276,” said Garbizo.

The prescription was for the generic medication of Aricept. She was trying to fill it at the Rite Aid store in Cherry Creek by the mall.

Garbizo said when she went to work later that day she started searching the cost of the drug online. That’s when she said she almost went into shock when she discovered she could get the same medication for about $15 at Costco.

7NEWS reporter Dayle Cedars asked her how she reacted when she learned of the difference in cost.

“(I was) somewhere between livid and my heart just really broke for those people that don’t have an advocate on their behalf,” said Garbizo.

The $15 cost she found was Costco’s non-member price. She said it was around $8 for members. Non-members can use Costco’s pharmacy, but not other parts of the warehouse.

“We price our prescriptions off of the cost of the medication, versus taking a discount off of the brand name medication,” said Kally Haag, pharmacist at the Costco in Arvada.

Haag said many drug stores give customers 20 percent off the brand name cost on generics.

“(If) a medication costs $100, (another store) would give a 20 percent discount off the brand name (so it would) charge $80 for the generic,” said Haag.

However, Costco base its cost on the actual cost of the generic.

A spokeswoman for Rite Aid wouldn’t discuss how it sets its prescription prices, other than to say, “It’s proprietary.”

The store does offer 400 generic medicines at a flat rate of $8.99 or $15.99 based on a 30 or 90 day prescription. Sometimes that cost can be cheaper than what a person would pay with insurance.

Haag said it’s the same for her customers.

“Say their co-pay is $15 for 30 days, but our cost is $9.99 for 100 days,” said Haag. “We will let them know what their cheapest option is.”

Lily’s Surgery Schedule

While I was in town, we made a lot of progress on Lily’s surgery. I got her med history and X-rays from the vet; the vet made her referral to the surgeons; then Donna got Lily scheduled in the most efficient way. My appointment with my Urologist got moved down to the next week and Lily got November 23.

The other choice required me to do the admission interview one day and the surgery the next. That meant I had to find a place to spend the night with a lame dog somewhere. Jeff has cats; Scott has cats and a dog who has had a confrontation with Lily because she was intimidated by Lily’s size. sigh. So I opted for the 23rd date.

I have to be in Colorado Springs by 8:30. That is about 3 hours away. [yawn] Donna has decided to stay home. Hmph! Coward. I have my conference and then turn Lily over to the veterinarians. At 4 PM, I can pick her up. It’ll be a long day.

Poor Lily

We took Lily to the vet today because she had been limping on her left rear leg since about noon yesterday. She had gone outside then came in injured. She avoided using that leg last night but the pain was obviously worse as the evening went on.

I called the vet early and was told, “Can you bring her in NOW?”. Sigh. That was unexpected but there were no appointments before 10 AM on the vet’s calendar! So . . .

Since we were planning on a relaxing morning before we went, we started jumping through our butts to get ready to go, stuff like skipping breakfast and having to dress! I had told the veterinarian’s office it took us an hour to get there so we had agreed on a 9:30 appointment. We barely made it!

Lily couldn’t help get in the Escape (We choose that over the Montero since the back door opens easily and it is slightly lower to the ground). It still took both of us to lift her in, one on each end!

It took three of us to get her weighed; she hates vet scales! She weighed 83#!

The vet and her vet tech took her vitals and palpitated her leg. She was very tender just above the knee. Next was X-rays but she was so tender, the vet was going to sedate her before the X-rays due to having to extend the leg. We went to breakfast.

We ate, shopped, and mailed a letter and still hadn’t heard from them so I drove back up the her office which is way up on the north end of Cañon City. I had expected to sit and read while we waited but my timing was good and we were told to come in for a conference.

She has Anterior Cruciate Ligament rupture. Dog knees are complicated and highly stressed. Their structure is good for short-lived animals who have to chase game but wasn’t “designed” for long-lived pets.

Not counting euthanasia, we had three choices: longterm drug use to relieve pain, a half assed repair using heavy duty sutures to keep the two bones kind of aligned, and reconstructing the whole joint and installing a steel reinforcing. The problem is the two bones move back and forth across each other. Painfully. There is a cost issue involved. The best solution, the joint reconstructive surgery, is $3000 and permanent; the suture anchor is about $1700 and may fail and will also cause arthritis; and the drug control would be about $45/MO which doesn’t heal the problem at all. Pick one.

Since Lily is part of our family, the choice was no contest. Fix it and figure out to pay for it. The surgery is called Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO). Lots of Dremel work. Three weeks recovery time. And a payment plan. Poor baby.

Donna is working on the payment plan which has come to involve her 401(k). This in turn involved our taxes since these accounts involve taxable income when withdrawn.

A long and eventful day. Poor Lily is also having her usual nausea from the pain killer. sigh. Donna gave her some Pepsid AC so she was able to eat my steak trimmings and keep them down. 🙂

And now it is snowing . . .

The Falcon

Donna and I were preparing our lunch yesterday. The front door was open at the time to catch all the sun we could before it went away again. It was very windy and had sprinkled earlier. Suddenly there was loud bang at the front door!

I assumed something had blown into the glass but, since I didn’t hear tinkling noises, was sure the door hadn’t broken. Everyone but Stubbs (He was asleep somewhere.) rushed to the door. What to my wondering eyes did appear but a very stunned Peregrine Falcon! It was wandering around on the front porch, a bit dazed. It was a young one and it amazed me by flying away before I could got my camera. 😦

This picture looks similar to the little guy on my porch. In 2001 we had lots of these around eating our Siskins at the feeders when they were reintroduced into the Royal Gorge. Birds are a staple of their diet. They have become less numerous the last few years. The adults are about the size of a crow.

I assume this one was hungry, saw our window as an opening, and decided to come in to see what was for lunch. I am glad it was cold and they were closed!

As I watched him in his disorientation, I was hoping he would recover and we would not have to nurse it back to health. We do that by putting the injured bird in the cat carrier until it recovers. Or dies. Often they have serious brain damage and don’t survive. But this guy obviously has a hard head!

One wag, when I texted about it, thought it would make a great pet! I could wear it on my shoulder in my pirate outfit. So badass!