I think we’re basically set for the move to www.Missyisms.com! I’m still tweaking things at that site, but it is up and running. Please check it out! Thank you for being patient the last few weeks (months?) as I’ve been moving things around. As long as the server-side stuff doesn’t kill me, I think www.Missyisms.com will be our new home!

If you have a feed reader or link to this blog: please, please, please change the URL to http://www.missyisms.com. Thank you, I don’t want to lose you!

Please look to Missyisms.com for all new posts! Thanks again, and see you there!!!

I went into the store today to buy a case for my iPod Nano (3rd gen, light blue, the fatty model). I figured since it's now a "previous" generation I better buy a case before they disappear and, to be perfectly honest, I assumed they'd be cheaper now than they used to be. Bingo, I was right!

Here's why I want a case…I'm begrudgingly sticking my toes into the Velcro world. Unlike my father, I detest using Velcro on commodities. My dad is an expert at slapping a little Velcro here and there (he's also a master at gluing things, which is fantastic…no kidding here). Pop has a cordless phone sitting on top of the little TV in his computer room. He has the phone sitting there because every other surface in reach of the phone line is covered with paperwork, books, important knick-knacks (is that an oxy-moron?), computer equipment (e.g., monitors, surge protectors, the tower, a fax machine, and a printer), and all his upstairs hi-fi equipment. He's a hi-fi nut, so that last grouping covers a lot of territory. That means the poor little cordless phone has no home other than on top of the TV. To make sure it stays on top of the TV, my father pulled out his adored Velcro and ta-da "nothing could be finer." I hate this. Now there's going to Velcro residue on top of that TV! It doesn't bother me about the bottom of the charger, but…ugh…Velcro stickiness on the TV for the rest of it's sad life.

I'd rather be careful and occasionally knock something over (or find it a new home if it's breakable) than stick Velcro to my commodities. You'll not find Velcro residue on my TVs, computers, chairs, dog, beds, phones, shower, mirrors, tables, photographs, lamps, remote controls, bulletin boards, etc. If it didn't arrive with Velcro, such as the Velcro sown on my Teva sandles and a few jackets, then there ain't no Velcro on me. (OK, I admit it, my father doesn't have velcro on most of those items either.) Simply put, if it don't come with Velcro, it don't get no Velcro. That's the creed.

Until today that is. I decided that since my car is dieing anyway, I might as well put a little snip of Velcro on the flat vertical part of the dashboard and stick my Nano to it. That way I can see the iPod and control it with greater ease and safety. However, with my aversion to residue of any type and, in this particular case, Velcro residue, I can't bring myself to stick Velcro to the back of my Nano. Don't bother to tell me I could probably scrub the residue off with nail polish remover…that might also ruin the Nano's bright shine (TL, I throw that word in just for you!).

This brings us back (whew) to my opening paragraph. I looked over the case selection at the store…they had a few leathers ones, a few with flaps covering the front of the Nano, silicone ones, and plastic ones. I decided to go with plastic because it's cheaper than leather and I'm afraid the silicone ones will eventually tear since I'll take the Nano off the dashboard and hide it whenever I get out of the car. In fact, I bought four plastic cases as they were all bundled together in one package for $.99. Can't beat that price very easily! The case even swings open, making it even easier to hide the Nano when departing the car. I was all set, except for buying the Velcro with it's mandatory residue.

Only once I got to the car and popped my Nano into the case, I discovered why those 99 cents weren't such a deal. Once you put the Nano in the case you cannot plug anything into the headphone jack! The case is too thick and close to the jack. How BRILLIANT is that? Nanos don't have speakers…you have to plug something into the headphone jack to listen to the device! But not with this case design, listening is not an option. I had to go through two lines to return the 99-cent package of cases (another brilliant design) and am back to the old method of having the Nano slide around on the console between the front seats, where I can't see or control it without picking it up.

It's always nice to be thwarted by another person's "brilliance." Maybe they should have used Velcro or at least tested their product!

Note to NBC: Bring on more CHUCK!!!!! Two seasons are just not enough!

Note to readers: WATCH CHUCK!!! You'll love it!

Reggie woke me up at 5:00 A.M. needing to go out. This was the first time since last Monday's crash that he did this. And, he was straining to have a bowel movement, which was a sign of problems last week. This made me nervous heading into his 10:00 A.M. vet appointment. Reggie is also not eating his regular dog food.

The vets did several blood tests and a biopsy on the lump on his chest/shoulder area. All his blood counts are better, and some are even within normal ranges, but a few are still high. Not high like they were last week…one count was over 6,000 and should have been below 1,800…but still too high. All good news. Also, the lump is a fatty deposit and benign, so nothing to worry about. Because Reggie had bowel problems and isn't eating properly, they switched him to canned food, which I am disappointed, but resigned, about. He's been eating better today.

Monday and Tuesday of this week Reggie's energy levels had been increasing and he'd been very cheerful and sweet. Today, Reggie has slept and been devoid of energy.

So, mostly good news, with some concerns mixed in. But as the vet pointed out, last week Reggie almost died…he's definitely improved since then!

Oh, the vets decided to be cautious and gave me another week's worth of anti-biotics for Reggie. Reggie's pills are a little mind-boggling at the moment:

  • Two drugs Reggie takes the whole pill.
  • One drug he takes 3/4 of the pill.
  • Two drugs he takes half a pill.
  • One drug he takes 1/4 of the pill.
  • Two of the drugs I have to cut.
  • Two of the drugs the vets cut for me.
  • One drug Reggie only takes at night.
  • One drug Reggie only takes in the morning.
  • One drug has to be taken about 20 minutes after the others or he'll vomit.

How many drugs does Reggie take? Just kidding, this isn't a math test.

Since Reggie's illness last week I've been scrambling to get caught up. I don't know if I'll ever make it, but I'm trying. If I owe you an email or a call, I hope it will be coming soon.

Tomorrow morning Reggie and I go back to the vet's for follow-up blood work. Late last week Reggie's liver, kidney and pancreas counts were no longer off the charts, but they weren't very good either. (Reggie's liver counts haven't been good for years.) Also, Reggie's red-blood cell count had dropped since Monday's reading and his white blood cell count was elevated. Hopefully, the anti-biotic medications and the Prednisone will have helped improved these numbers.

Reggie's liver is so big it's pressing against his heart. This might, or might not, be caused by the Prednisone. Last Monday we lowered the Preds, but since then his red-blood cell count dropped…but that might be because we lowered the Preds or because of his infection…we don't know. He also has a lump near his elbow/chest. Since Reggie first got IMHA and started on Prednisone in November, his body mass has changed. So I don't know if this lump is new or just part of the way the steriods are affecting his body.

I don't know what Reggie's future holds, but I strongly suspect there will be a lot of monitoring via the vets.

Reggie is home and resting peacefully.

Wow! Just yesterday morning they were asking me how much effort I wanted to put into keeping him alive. That was when they suspected leukemia or cancer. Once those were eliminated, and the focus shifted to severe pancreatitis and bad infection, his chances improved, but they are still shocked at how much better he got today.

He's off the IV. I've been giving him about a teaspoon of food every half hour to see if he can hold down food since he hasn't eaten since Monday. He's taken a few of his medicines in pill form instead of via the IV. If he starts throwing up or gets worse again, he'll have to go back on the IV. Many of his liver, kidney and pancreas counts are still high, but not off the chart like they were earlier. He's been peppy and happy, and is now sound asleep.

He's pretty weak and can't jump into his favorite chairs, which annoys him. And more seriously, his liver is so swollen it is pressing against his heart. He'll be on anti-biotics for a while. They also noticed a lump near one of his shoulders, but we didn't get really get to explore that. And his voice is raspy.

I don't know the long-, or even, short-term effects of all of this, but right now he is miraculously better! Thanks for all your comments and emails!

In other news, the HVAC people were so late and I had to leave at 5:00, so they only installed the furnace and will have to come back to re-connect the humidifier and install the a/c. This is rather annoying. I've also noticed that there is a high pitched noise coming out of one of the cold air returns that was never there before. They'll have to fix that. It also makes a humming noise when it isn't running. You have to be in the utility room to hear this, but shouldn't it be completely silent when it isn't running? Does anybody have a similar issue?

I hope Reggie and I can sleep through the night. We're both exhausted. We need a quiet weekend…lately that hasn't happened, but maybe this time.

Reggie and I both are wiped out exhausted, but he's the only one smart enough to be in bed sleeping. Sigh.

A quick update. Reggie was not well this morning, so the vets changed his anti-biotic. This seemed to help. His temperature has dropped some…very good…and he looks better. His ultra sound showed an enlarged liver and pancreas, but the other organs, including the kidneys and spleen, looked good. No sign of leukemia or cancer…excellent news.

Right now the vets think Reggie has severe pancreatitis and an infection. And though he's better, he's not out of danger yet; the kidneys need to start working properly. He drank some water when we got home, which I think is a good sign. He's been sleeping ever since we got home, but I'll need to get him to go out soon.

Reggie will spend tomorrow at the vets again. This is good because tomorrow my new furnace and a/c are being installed and the house is going to get cold. My good buddy CP is coming over in the morning so I can leave the workers in the house and take Reggie to the vets. God bless her!!! Hopefully they'll be finished with the install by 5:00 PM so I can return to the vets and get Reggie before they close. I don't know what the weekend will hold for us.

Thanks for your prayers and well-wishes. Keep 'em going. (The IV bag is under a black bag because there is B12 in the fluid. Although why that means it has to be under a bag, I don't know!)

Reggie had been doing pretty well; except needing to go out more often because of his new dog food. But then…powie.

Reg woke me up at 3:17 AM Monday morning to go out. He seemed fine, but when we went in for his already scheduled vet appoinment at 10 AM Monday morning I warned the vet that sometimes Reggie's nightly calls were the beginning of something bad. The vet gave Reggie a quick physical check and tested his red-blood cell (RBC) count. The RBC was about the same as it was the last time, so we lowered his Prednisone dosage.

Everything seemed fine, but Monday evening Reggie started vomiting. A lot. I actually put him in bed with me and covered him up, something he usually never allows, because he was shivering so bad. He eventually got over the vomiting, but was fretful and uncomfortable the rest of the night. Neither of us got much sleep that night. I went to the vets to get more anti-vomiting medication and they decided to also give me an anti-biotic for him. Since Reggie had been in the morning before, the vets didn't check him at this point, which was fine with me.

Only, Reggie got worse. He didn't want to move around, at my parents' house he found a door to hide behind and sleep…something else he never does…and he was straining to go to the bathroom. They said to call if he got worse…so I did and we went in this morning. Reggie went from 15.4 pounds Monday morning to 14.6 pounds Wednesday morning and he was getting listless. They did a full blood panel and discovered several of his pancreas, liver and kidney counts were off the chart. (But his RBC was actually up a bit.) Reggie's liver counts are usually off, but this was much, much worse. X-rays showed that his pancreas is inflamed/swollen and his liver is enlarged. We're hoping his pancreatitis is the cause of all this.

He's home now, but on an IV drip. I've never operated an IV drip before and it's both very easy and very difficult. Reggie is exhausted and has only left his open crate when I've carried him outside. When I go to bed I'll close up the crate just to be safe and will get up every few hours.

Well, I'm thankful we caught this before it got even worse. I wish I knew what caused it, because it hit so fast. I don't know what this means long term for Reggie.

The last few weeks have been really difficult. So before heading to bed, I decided to start listing the things I'm thankful for. Or as Irving Berlin put it: "counting my blessings, instead of sheep."

  1. I'm thankful for the roof over my head…even if there are squirrels (and maybe a raccoon) in the attic, and a trap on my roof that is slowly and expensively capturing the critters.
  2. I'm thankful I don't own a shotgun like the old woman in Ratatouille…otherwise, I might remove the critters in a personally harmful way. (You know I'm kidding…right? I wouldn't actually fire a gun!)
  3. I'm thankful for a warm house…even if the furnace, which is only 13-14 years, is dying and must be replaced.
  4. I'm thankful I should be able to replace the furnace before it completely dies…I'm praying.
  5. I'm thankful my father taught me to be fiscally cautious and I'm in a house I can afford. (And, I'm praying the economy doesn't get worse and worse.)
  6. I'm thankful my parents were not hurt tonight when my father's wallet was stolen in Chicago…and I'm praying that we've taken care of everything and that there will be NO long term issues.
  7. I'm thankful for the Chicago police officer that filed our police report and then realized she grew up two blocks from where my parents live and that her parents are still there.
  8. I'm thankful the police are going to catch the thief that took my father's wallet…I'm praying.
  9. I'm thankful that my car is still running…and might re-name it Amen2.
  10. I'm thankful only vendors, service people, and a few neighbors are coming over to my house recently…because my vacuum cleaner is not working. (Honestly, any excuse to avoid cleaning!!!)
  11. I'm thankful that the toilet is working better, and that the second one works even better.
  12. I'm thankful that taxes are not due until April 15…because I'm still trying to get them ready to go to the accountant.
  13. I'm thankful for a comfy bed that I plan to snooze on shortly.
  14. I'm thankful for my family and friends.
  15. I'm thankful for my family and friends who love me even if I have been whining lately.
  16. I'm thankful for their help and patience.
  17. I'm thankful for Reggie and his bright, perky eyes.
  18. I'm thankful for my vicarious trip to Australia (via TL) and my vicarious trip to Europe (via CG).
  19. I'm thankful the weather is supposed to be nicer tomorrow!
  20. I'm thankful I'm too tired to proofread this and fix all the typos. "Tomorrow is another day."
  21. I'm thankful for tomorrow.
  22. I'm thankful I'll think of more things to be thankful for when I wake up tomorrow.
  23. I'm thankful there are lots of things to be thankful for even if I can't list them all here.
  24. I'm thankful a few people are still reading this and will smile.
  25. I'm thankful that Jesus is taking care of me and loving me…even when I'm whining.

I'm thankful. (If you leave a comment, focus on what you are thankful for, not on me and my list.)

Since you couldn't really get the full effect of Reggie's haircut in yesterday's picture, here's another photo. In this Reggie demonstrates his eating style: snarfing, not savoring.


Don't you wish you had a Reggie too?