Saturday, January 23, 2010

Things Around Here

I've had a rather quiet few weeks. I've just been hanging out with my dogs, enjoying sleeping in, and not doing much. I've had a few job interviews, but no job yet- there's a ton of jobs here, but soooo many people that want them!

I had two interviews last week: one of them called me to tell me that so and so will be calling to schedule a second interview (I'm still waiting for that; I expect to hear on Monday) and the other one was just yesterday so I wouldn't hear anything yet, but I think the interview went really well.

I've been spending my time getting ready for the really exciting thing happening next month. Actually I spent all day doing that today. I had to drive to Tahoe City to do so. That was a nightmare. Absolutely no snow-seriously- none on the road, but the congestion caused from people pulling on and off the shoulder to put on their chains- for who knows what reason- made the trip take two hours longer (twice as long- took four, should have been two) than it should have! But, I'm super, duper excited. Hopefully just three weeks from today, but maybe 3.5!

Yesterday, I was feeling totally fine, had my good interview, etc. Got in the car to go home from my interview and on the way home, all of a sudden, I had a horrible, really intense pain in my side. Went home, downed four Tylenol immediately, laid on my bed and wished I was dead, vomited a few times, and then, finally, went to the ER. I had a kidney stone! I waited so long at the ER for them to evaluate, that by the time they got to me, I refused pain meds and had already passed it. I was proud of myself for not having to get drugs. But, I admit, that most people do not get and pass kidney stones that fast. I might have skipped the drugs, but the whole ordeal was only about eight hours. Eight horrible hours, but whatever.

No photos from any of this. Sorry! Nothing is photo worthy except my hospital band and its covered in personal info so I think, no.

Oh, no wait, one photo. My reading material for the rest of the weekend:

Hope everyone else is well and living a slightly more exciting life than I am right now.

Ya'll pray that I get a job soon, ya hear?

Oh, and PS- My birthday was last week too. Hence the background. But being new here, all I did was go to dinner with my Mom. I don't know anyone else here yet. But it was still good.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

So What's Happening Now?

Now that I'm all graduated, celebrated Christmas, and spent a fortune on my dog, I'm busy continuing to work on getting my room cleaned up and set up. I'm looking hard for a job. I'm training my dogs- you know helping them to remember everything I taught them years ago, cause my Mom certainly didn't keep things up while I was gone. I'm waiting to hear from graduate schools about whether or not I've been admitted. And I'm gearing up for something really exciting that's going to happen in February that I've been waiting twelve years for. And you're all going to have to wait (well most of you- a few of my blog readers already know) to find out what it is! But it is EXCITING!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Paid My Veterinarian's Mortgage This Month

On Wednesday, I took Jacoba to the vet. It was the first time either one of my dogs had seen a vet here in Sacramento, but thanks to some good recommendations from other puppy raisers, I had already picked one out, so when I needed one, I was ready. It was a standard visit, and she was given some antibiotics to treat conjunctivitis. We're good, right?

On Thursday night, I went to bed a little after midnight and got up at 9:30 am on Friday. Normally Jacoba rushes out to her food bowl, dances around, rushes to the pantry, gets mad when I make her go outside first, stands at the door staring at me, finally rushes and pees really fast so she can get in, runs back to her bowl and eats. Well, this day, she walked really slowly to the back door, went outside without an argument, and was out there for forever. I had finally stepped around the corner of the yard to see what was taking so long, when she came around it. She walked slowly back in, around her food bowl, to the living room. I had to call her back in to eat and she continued to be very slow. No sign of her usual exuberance over food. She even laid down while she was eating.

I went in to my mom and told her something was wrong with Jacoba. Jacoba walked in and sat down and proceeded to behave like it was very difficult for her to sit or move, almost like her back end was going out. I knew she could walk, however. She was acting very uncomfortable. Off to the vet we went.

We had to wait at the Emergency Vet for two hours. The whole time she was doing some weird little squirmy thing. She'd just be laying there and then all of a sudden she'd start to squirm around and adjust her position like she was very uncomfortable. It was really sad to watch. I suspected that something was wrong gastro-intestinal wise, but thought it could also-maybe- be an orthopedic issue. We finally saw the vet. She palpated her abdomen and her spine, her hips, etc. She was stumped. Jacoba was doing the weird squirmy thing but otherwise was acting relatively normal. She had shown some serious lack of energy in the morning at breakfast, but was very excited to see everyone at the ER, played, etc. She wasn't doing a very good job presenting her symptoms and letting us know what was up. The vet (who I love! I wish she wasn't an ER vet only) explained that she could feel some possible weakness and sensitivity in the spine, but nothing in her abdomen and nothing to indicate why she was doing this weird thing but behaving normally otherwise. She said she definitely has allergies and that maybe she was trying to scratch her stomach. She said she would give me a hypoallergenic shampoo and a prescription for a pretty hefty pain med, if Jacoba was still not doing well in a few hours. At that point, she felt like x-rays or further diagnosing tools were an expensive option considering that Jacoba was acting mostly normal.

I took her home, gave her benadryl and a bath and watched her get worse. I couldn't fill her pain meds because all the pharmacies were closed for the holiday, so I took her back to the hospital to fill the meds, with the idea in mind that I might want to see the vet again. That is what I decided to do. A technician managed to jump in and talk to the doctor for a moment (they were slammed) and let her know we were here, so they took her in back to do x-rays before we even saw the doctor. I had told the tech that I had taken a video of what Jacoba was doing at home (an army crawl type thing and refusing to walk), and since Jacoba was walking normally at the hospital, the tech took my camera to show the video to the Vet. We could hear her in the back go "Holy Crap! That is so weird!" That's my Jacoba.

Anyhow, they took a couple x-rays, ran a full blood panel, and did a pancreatitis snap test. We waited forever. Poor Dr. Stein. She was so busy. Finally, after her shift was supposed to be over, she came and talked to us (my mom had gone with me this time) and said that Jacoba's snap test was abnormal (one value was one number above the normal range) but that it explained some calcifications she saw in the region or her gallbladder, pancreas, and liver. She couldn't tell for sure where they were or what they meant, and so we needed to come back in the next day for an ultrasound, if the ultrasound doctor could come in. We took her home-late!-fed her a bland diet and gave her some heavy duty pain pills. It was a long uncomfortable night for her, and a sleepless one for me because of that.

Saturday we had to wait to hear from the hospital to let us know if the radiology vet would be coming in. Thank heavens, he could, and thank heavens he did. The wait wasn't as bad that day.

Turns out, she does have pancreatitis, which is extremely painful. Normally it is caused by eating foods high in fat- like people food- but my dogs very rarely eat people food and hadn't had any in quite some time. So her's just happened. She has to be on a bland diet for a week, pepcid ac for a week, and was on pain meds for a few days until I could tell she didn't need them any longer. She has to be on a prescription low-fat diet for the rest of her life as she cannot eat high fat foods and can never have people food again-ever! So of course I had to go buy her low-fat treats as my mom has taught both dogs not to sleep until they get their night-time snack!

Thank heavens it was something so minor. We left on Friday night thinking she may have to her her gallbladder removed, or even worse, it could have been a problem with her liver, so pancreatitis was welcome news.

She cost me and arm and a leg this week in vet bills. We may have not bought the vet a new house but we definitely paid her mortgage for the month. And I don't have a lot of money- I just graduated and don't have a job yet! But she is worth it. She's doing fine now. She has to have her bloodwork checked in a month and every six months after that to make sure that the liver/pancreas levels stay low.

In addition we also learned about the allergies (the vet says every dog in Sacramento has allergies) and she has arthritis in her spine as well (seen in the x-rays). Both will need regular treatment.

I've included the video here of her weird army crawl.

video

Good times, good times.

I love her though.

Christmas

We flew to Sacramento from Hawaii on Tuesday, Dec. 22, about 10:30 pm. I had an appointment to get a California Drivers License (everyone here wants you to have a CDL in order to get a job; apparently my ODL wasn't good enough for them) on Wednesday, so we left for Oregon for Christmas on Thursday. We got in way to late to go to my grandparents house, but my brother and his girlfriend (they live with my grandparents and take care of my grandma who had a stroke last New Years Day) came over to the motel for few minutes to visit. They told us that if we wanted to be there before the kids started opening presents, we should be there at 5:30 am. We didn't actually get there till 6:30 am, and EVERYONE was still in bed. They had to wake Ryan up and he cried for 20 minutes before we could actually do anything (he hates to get up).

Irene

Ryan
On Saturday, Lyndsey and I were going to take Irene and Ryan to lunch and a movie but the movie we had planned on wasn't playing so we took them to Wildlife Safari instead. They had fun. Lynz and I had both been a few times (both of us worked there as animal ambassadors as teenagers, me for five years, so it was old news, though they have built quite a few new enclosures since I've been there last).
Ryan disguised as a sheepIrene disguised as a sheepMe disguised as a fox

That night we got take-out from my favorite Chinese place. That kinda sucked because almost immediately after I started feeling the signs of the stomach flu. I threw up (and other nasty stuff) all night. We were supposed to leave on Sunday but since I was sick, my mom and I stayed one more night. Lynz still took the bus home, from Roseburg to Bend on Sunday.

We got back to Sacramento late Tuesday night and I had a pretty uneventful week, cleaning my room and the house, taking care of my dogs and other things, until Friday. . . story to follow.

I Graduated!

And while I may look young, I do mean from college.


On Friday, December 18, I graduated with Honors from Brigham Young University Hawaii.


The Tuesday before my mom, sister, and friend flew out to enjoy a week in Hawaii and my graduation. It was mostly a fun trip.


Following, in no particular order (you all know how much blogger hates particular orders) are some pictures of the trip. There are hundreds and hundreds more. I'll have them up on Facebook soon.

Me and my "longest living" roommate, Carrie, after graduation

Me and Steph at Cheeseburgers in Paradise
Me and my sister, Lyndsey, at the Dole Plantation A smoothie during the Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center


My mom and me on the cruise back from the Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial


Mine and Steph's feet in the booties we had to wear to tour Iolani Palace Pretty

The Christus statue in the Laie Hawaii Temple Visitor's Center

The Laie Temple through a side window in the visitor's center

View through same window


All the visitor's centers around the world have little "houses" like this that have tvs like windows that show the short famous LDS commercials. The houses are designed like those in the area, a very cute touch. These are all little beach cottages. Front of the Laie Temple.

Two elephants during the Twilight Tour at the Honolulu Zoo.

Two of my roommates at graduation. The graduate is my actual (shared a bedroom) roommate, Leilani

Me and Leilani

Flag at USS Arizona Memorial


Hanauma Bay. Hopefully I'll be able to eventually post pictures of our actual snorkeling to prove I did it. If you know me, you know that is quite an accomplishment because I have an irrational fear of fish. Me walking across the stage at graduation

Kanehohe Bay/Valley, a volcano crater

Me, Lynz, and Steph next to a fountain at Iolani Palace



I miss Hawaii already. Not the weather. But everything else. Aloha oe.

I'm a Failure

But at least I'm okay with that. I totally did a bad job with my Christmas thought everyday but I tried. And a lot has happened that has received no attention on my blog. I updated the layout and playlist; post updates in the works and to come.

Happy New Year!