Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Bedside Manner of Dogs

Upper Respiratory Infection - 3   LB  - 0

Outside of actual injury, as  I have broken a small bone or two during my career in all manner of exciting ways. . .

Secret Ninja Hotel Dresser
metallurgy experiment and gravity

I almost never call in sick.   When I do, it's for a single day,  I try not and whine about it.

Not today, what was a dry cough yesterday during the afternoon turned into an attempt to circulate motor oil in my lungs throughout the night and I'll probably stay home tomorrow as well.

It reminded of a morning about 3 years ago.

That particular morning, I woke up wheezing, with this heavy weight on my chest, and the room full light.  The heavy weight was NOT congestion or heart issues.  (Since I kept a camera bedside for those often hilarious 4 a.m. "Barkley tries to wake Mom" moments, I snapped what was in my view).

It was a 90 pound lab laying on top of me and all the covers, with his face to mine, and an expression that said "are you OK?  are you OK?", for I know I coughed most of the night until I finally fell asleep with him laying on the floor by the bed instead of out on the couch where he normally sleeps.

By that evening I was sounding like a demented air compressor so while a girlfriend came over to watch Barkley I went to the ER for horse pill antibiotics and an inhaler.  I'd be good as new, until the next week.

The doctor in the ER on THAT day of course recognized me almost with a "you again?"

I wasn't in with the respiratory issue but something else.  For I had got a little puncture injury to a lower extremity while squirreling.  I cleaned it up, put a bandage on it, no muss, no fuss. Went back to squirreling. It hurt but it was hardly more than a sharp poke, though it was pretty tender and sore over the weekend. On the next Monday it was really sore. The day after that, it was swollen so much my foot looked like a sheep.
Is she making fun of us?

Sometimes I wish I'd majored in romance languages, I'd know less. But I didn't, so I went to the ER, explaining I believed I had complications from an injury.

It wasn't long before I was in an exam room.

How did the injury occur? - I tell her, one eyebrow goes up, she doesn't call people into the room to point or laugh, that's always good.

Are you diabetic?  No.

Have you used birth control pills long term?  No, bad Netflix choices and a limited bar at home always seemed to do the trick.

Are you on any medications? - Gummy vitamins in my desk on days I don't get to eat right.  I had a Fred and a Wilma yesterday.  Daily glucosamine and fish oil.
What is the pain scale on 1 - 10.?  Look, I gave birth to a ten pound six ounce baby the old fashioned way and set my own broken arm once.  My pain scale is not YOUR pain scale.  Call it a six.

I was told "we'll have a nurse practitioner in here in a minute" as I took my slipper off for her (there was no getting a shoe on it, even one of my post torn miniscus ones that look like something Mickey Mouse would wear.)  She didn't say anything but an MD quickly showed up.

The pathophysiology was not a surprise.  There was an intimal injury to a vein from trauma and a bacterial infection, which caused swelling, with the end result being a blood clot (thrombosis) inside the vein. So - I get to spend a few days doing something I do NOT do very well. Take it easy. With my foot elevated so that the clot didn't try and head north and throw a party in my lungs. A friend walked Barkley and the rest of the time he just sat there and gave me "the look".
I can't take you ANYWHERE Mom.

There was no fever but I was still a bit worried.  I know the signs of pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction and and cardiovascular accident, though, with the location away from the main sephenous vein, that helps. (Though when I keot telling myself "it's not close to the saphenofemoral junction", I couldn't get the Heywood Banks"Trauma to the Groin" song out of my head.)

I was good.  I went home and  took all of my medications.  I didn't play contact football or juggle knifes.  I did not dangle my legs off of a tall chair all afternoon playing Angry Birds. And I got better and haven't seen a doctor in the last three years since but for a yearly checkup and  mammogram.

So today - I am NOT going to complain - this is just a cold.

And besides, I have Abby who I know will be so concerned, she'll let me sit on the futon next to her like Barkley used to where she can keep an eye on me.
Or stretch out using every available inch so there's no room for Mom.

Stay safe and warm folks and we'll check back with you tomorrow.


  1. Hope the horse pills kick in soon for you. I'm laid up this week with another bout of the 'itis. Flagyl is NOT my friend, and it won't pick me up at the airport, though it will kill what ails me, or me...not sure which!

  2. Hari Om
    Ugggghhh... gotta watch these modern cold viruses though - lingering little lurgies; happy snuggling and be better at the right time! Huggies, YAM xx

    1. A story for you on the sheep picture. I was a keynote speaker in Dublin for a science-type event and took a few extra days of leave to go play tourist. It was February I think, and I drove up through the North - wandering off track a bit. At one point, I'd not seen a shop or a business in a couple of hours (making sure I kept a full tank) and I had to pee. In the middle of no where, I get out and am doing my business in this field when all the sheep walk down from the hill thinking I'm going to feed them. Hence the picture with my pocket camera.

  3. You have had some adventures in the ER! Hope you feel better soon.

  4. We are very familiar with blood clots in this family, my oldest daughter who is 9 months pregnant takes blood thinners cos pregancy always brings on blood clots, we hope you are feeling much better tomorrow. Snuggle and stay warm
    stella rose and momma

  5. BOL not to laugh at your pain but I really enjoyed the whole episodes of the ER. Hope you get to feeling better soon.

    Aroo to you,

  6. Take care of yourself. I'm fighting a sinus infection myself.

  7. I always ponder about this 1-10 pain-thing... no matter what I say, they never say anything about the number... and I've got the same pain killers for a simple 1 and for a 10 with 87 exclamation marks... a miracle. Hope the cold disappears soon...

  8. Don't exaggerate -- there's totally a few inches left for you on the futon! Now go snuggle up to Nurse Abby and feel better soon!


Welcome to The Book of Barkley. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab,who we adopted in 2014.

Stop in and say hello. 100% of book sales are donated to animal rescue organizations across the U.S. and Canada and Search Dog Foundation. If you have a non-profit animal organization and would like autographed copies of any of my three books for auction fundraisers or a blog post featuring your organization please contact me at cliodna58@gmail.com