Monday, April 11, 2011

My Own Worst Enemy

Good Monday morning everyone. I have appointments all day today. So much for a day off!

Yesterday, while I thought I was going to be relaxing on my Sunday off, Pip had other plans for me. Well, in all fairness, he probably didn't actually know what was happening. Everyone remembers Pip, right?

He's the most aggravating dog in the world, remember? Has so much wrong with him he ought to be in a museum of medical misfits? That's Bart's dog, alright!

Among Pip's many malfunctions, besides his personality, is diabetes. It can't be normal diabetes though. No matter how consistent Bart is, the dog just swings from high blood sugar to low blood sugar. He was about to start singing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" yesterday. For those who aren't familiar with that ol' spiritual, it's about a chariot swinging low to take you to Heaven.

When Bart brought Pip over Saturday night, he said Pip had not been well all day. He described symptoms of high blood sugar. Pip had been restless, peeing everywhere, even peeing inside when Bart had been letting him out every two minutes. Gee I'm glad I missed that. I swear, I'll never marry Bart or live with him til Pip dies. And, I almost had my chance and I blew it!

By the time they got to my house, Pip had collapsed and was sound asleep. Whew! I was happy. Now, I could sleep through the night!

Pip wanders all night making noise and going outside, remember? He keeps me awake. I can't function without sleep. That's another reason Bart and I can't get married til this dog kicks the bucket. I would be psychotic from lack of REM sleep.

So, I didn't care if he was sick or tired or what was making the little beast sleep. I was just happy he was asleep. Bart put him in the bathroom overnight in case he whizzed in his sleep--which has actually happened before. Little pisser...literally!

By morning, the dog wasn't moving--at all. I couldn't really even see him breathing. He's a Boston Terrier with that pug nose. I can always hear him breathing, whether I want to or not. That dog breathes so loud, that even his breathing keeps me awake. That's loud snarfling breathing, friends.

I asked Bart if Pip had been moving at all that morning. He said,"Yes, I took him out at six." So, heck, it was still early, I went back to bed and didn't worry about it. I asked the obligatory question.

By 11:00 a.m., after we had Bart's homemade waffles for breakfast, Pip hadn't made any discernible noise from his post in the bathroom. That dog always smells food.

I suggested Bart might check on him. That's when I started becoming my own worst enemy.

He came back with Pip in his arms only semi-conscience. His eyes were glassy little slits. He just flopped over when Bart put him down.

I'd been feeding Spot treats to occupy him til I fed him breakfast. They were right there. So, I literally shoved one in Pip's mouth. Pip didn't stir. Then, he spit it out. Must have been an involuntary reaction.

That dog is a treat whore. He never spits out a treat, ever. Damn, something was really wrong with the beast.

Here's my next stupid move, I told Bart Pip was really sick. I knew what to do, too. I've discussed Pip with Doc many times hoping for guidance.

Bart insists on using his own vet, who in my opinion, has no idea what he's doing with Pip, the medical misfit. Doc's explanations make more sense. Doc also gave me some written information on managing dog diabetes. At this semi-conscience stage of hypoglycemia, you're suppose to give the dog pancake syrup. I couldn't remember exactly how much, so I thought I'd start small.

Bart is a man. Men don't know what to do in these situations. He started off with diet syrup on a spoon. First off, you need the real thing, not diet syrup. Second of all, the dog is semi-conscience. He won't be licking anything off a spoon.

I told Bart we had to pry his mouth open and just squirt the syrup in there. I'm being very calm. It's just that I'm very logical. You can't get syrup in a semi-conscience dog's mouth any other way.

Bart held him and pried his mouth open a little. Not enough. I took one hand and pulled his mouth open by the roof and squirted syrup in with the other. Pip smacked his lips.

Ok, Doc says wait 15 minutes and see what happens. If he doesn't improve, Doc's written instructions said to give him another shot of syrup.

You know what happened next? Pip had a seizure like I've never seen, and I've seen dog seizures. He opened his eyes wide, looked like he was stretching out on his side; kind'a rolled on his back a little; and whizzed everywhere. He was like a water spout! He whizzed straight up, well, actually at slight angle.

He was on a very expensive rug on loan to me from my parents at the time of this whizzing. Great! It's a five thousand dollar rug with a half gallon of dog pee on it now. I was not feeling sympathetic. Why'd I keep helping the beast then?

I grabbed him up by the scruff of his neck and started walking with him pointed straight forward and out the back door. I didn't know where he'd whiz next. It wasn't going to be on me. I'd kill him then. No, I wouldn't. Turns out I have some kind of involuntary reflex that makes me save animals I don't even like.

Doc's instructions say if the dog doesn't improve after the syrup or has a seizure, get him to immediate medical attention. This is gonna sound harsh folks, but Pip is so old and so sickly; immediate medical attention isn't going to do a thing but temporarily prolong the inevitable. All Bart would get from the emergency vet is a big bill.

Pip would be sick again in a week. Doc thinks Pip has some sort of endocrine tumor. It's the only explanation to what's wrong with him and why he never stabilizes--no matter how consistent Bart is with his food and meds.

The Emergency Vet hospital wasn't necessary. But somehow, I couldn't just let this little holy terror keel over, either. I don't know what was wrong with me. I have a compulsive need to do the right thing.

I brought him back in and said we needed to give him more syrup. Bart took him and the syrup back to the bathroom. Oh, Bart had cleaned-up the mess while I was outside with Pip. Good, I was going to resent cleaning it up, seizure or not. I am not a member of the Pip Fan Club.

I gave it a minute and went back there. "Did you give him more?" I asked.

"No, he doesn't like having his mouth pried open."

I thought to myself, "He's semi-conscience, had a seizure and is about to keel over (Doc told me that part, that's why the dash to the vet is advised in the written instructions). What else are you going to do?" But I didn't say it.

There's no point in arguing with Bart. It's why we argue so rarely. He digs in if you argue with him. I always have to find a more subtle, yet convincing way.

But, why'd I want to convince him of anything now? I do not like that dog. I could shut-up; go watch tv; and let nature take it's course. I gave the proper information. Why was I being compelled to save this little beast? I can't stand him most of the time.

So, I went back to the kitchen and poured juice in a soup mug. I took that back to Bart and Pip. Pip wouldn't drink out of the soup mug, of course.

Bart suggested a saucer. I brought back the top of a cookie tin.

"The only saucers I have are Wedgewood. We're not using the good china. I don't care how sick he is." Apparently there are limits to my beast-saving compulsions. And, apparently, that limit is right in front of the china cabinet. Good. I was scaring myself with these involuntary reflexes to save the beast.

Pip drank the juice out of the lid. He didn't drink enough though. I suggested forcing the syrup down him again.

Bart vetoed forcing Pip to do anything. See, this is why Pip is so aggravating. Bart doesn't make him do anything he doesn't want to do. No training. No requirements. Life is Pip's Burger King and he can have it his way.

Bart was strict with his kids, but not with his dog. I asked Doc about that, too. He says that's how guys are.

He says women are consistent across species, though. Good to know, and obvious in my behavior at the farm. That's why my students and my animals are well behaved. I'm cross-species consistent.

Back to Pip not being forced to ingest syrup...

Fine. I thought I'd just go watch tv. Wrong. I couldn't stay gone for long. What was wrong with me?!

I went back. "Do you have one of his insulin syringes? You can take the needle off and squirt it in his mouth without forcing it open." Arrrrgh! I am my own worst enemy here.

Let Bart have his way! Let Pip drift into a coma, die, and wake-up in Milkbone Land! What are you doing Cowgirl Domino? You can't stand this dog.

Maybe God is trying to eliminate one of your aggravations? Leave it alone. No, I can't.

He gives me the syringe. I get the needle off and take it back to him. At least then, I can stop. Except, I can't.

I look it up on the Internet to see how much. Then, I look-up how many milliliters are in a tablespoon. I tell Bart how much to give him.

Even I can't believe myself. I'm telling Bart how to save a dog I don't even like. I'm finding a more subtle way to convince him when he doesn't want to force the little pre-comatose beast to do anything. I must be nuts after all!

Forget eccentric. I've moved on to bat shit crazy! In the very least, self-defeating.

I tell Bart about setting the timer for 15 minutes and then checking responsiveness. This goes on a while. Bart keeps giving the beast more syrup.

Little to no improvement. We discuss the emergency vet very cursory.

I agree. No need for the big bill that won't change anything in the foreseeable future. Finally, some reason out of me besides, "I'm not using Wedgewood china on him."

Eventually, Bart and Pip went home. He called me a few hours later to say he wasn't coming back for dinner. Pip wasn't any better.

In fact, he left him to go to the store briefly.When he returned, he was non-responsive again. I suggested more syrup. It met with the "I don't want to force him" argument again. It's a sick dog! Force him, dadgumit. But, I just thought it. No use to argue.

Maybe Bart is subconsciously ready for the dog to die? My mother and Elaine have suggested the same thing in the past few months. Pip keeps getting worse. Bart keeps taking him to his vet with no results.

He refuses to take him to Doc, the best vet in the state. He's attached to his vet. Maybe they are right?

But, my reflexes kicked in again. I did a decision making tree, coaching Bart along. I'll convince him with logic! Bart loves logic--most of the time.

Obviously, I took one too many logic courses in undergrad. I even exempted the final exam. Seriously. I excepted a college-level logic exam in a class taught by a tenured, full professor.

Bart finally says, "Well, maybe I'll give him some more syrup." Maybe he just wanted me to shut-up?

I called him two hours later to see how it was going. He did give the beast more syrup. But, he didn't want to force him.

I'm screaming inside, "He's a damn dog! He's sick! Force his damn mouth open!" I was nicer in reality. I think I'm beginning to see how vets feel on a regular basis.

Bart's solution? He took the needle off of a food injector and gave it to him that way. My way is so much easier. But, Bart is stubborn.

Pip had staggered to his bowl and actually ate some canned food after the syrup kicked in. He still looked bad, though, Bart said. Maybe he'd just put him in the laundry room for the night.

My reflexes were worn out. I just said,"Ok."

Sometimes, I'm my own worst enemy. Of course, I did say,"Don't give him more insulin if he still looks bad after eating. It'll bring his blood sugar down and crash him again. Wait til he starts acting more normal."
See, my own worst enemy.

I do think Pip has probably been having seizures all along; now that I saw one. A few months ago, I noticed Pip's white swath on his chest was yellow.

He looked like he'd been sleeping in his pee. I mentioned it to Bart back then.

"Well, sometimes the towels I put on the floor for him in the laundry room are wet."

Pip pees in the laundry room every day. I didn't think anything about it then. Now, I think Pip has probably been seizing out in the laundry room while Bart is at work. Just laying on his back whizzing in the air...and all over that white swath on his chest.

I mentioned it to Bart on the phone Sunday night. He agreed, but was unimpressed with my theory. Pip's health is so unstable anyway. I guess nothing surprises Bart at this point.

Well, maybe Pip will die in his sleep in the laundry room? Maybe he'll wake-up in the morning just as aggravating as ever? Who knows?

I'm going to work on overcoming my compulsive drive to do the right thing. I wonder if that will help with my involuntary reflexes to save Pip again? I'll probably fail at both! I am my own worst enemy sometimes.

Have a good day folks. I'll keep you posted on that little beast, Pip.

Thanks for reading!

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