the fantastic news:  dad go released from the hospital on tuesday.  very, very good news.  there was all kinds of last-minute stuff, and it took way longer for the releasing that they said it would,but they finally set him free later in the afternoon.

he’s doing remarkably well now.  my niece mercedes, a CNA, comes to the house for four hours every day.  they set him up with a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and i still don’t know what that person does but i assume they’re not going to be training him for some sort of new occupation.  it might have something to do with his upper-body strength.

they have this remarkable set up, too – they put a scale in dad’s extra bedroom, and a blood pressure monitor and oxygen level monitor, and there’s some alarm that goes off somewhere, which means it’s time for him to be weighed and checked.  this is all connected to the phone line, and all the information goes to…well, where does it go?  to some health place, obviously.  so they can monitor him every day.

we all want him to eat more because he was already very thin, and lost eight pounds during his 10-day hospital ordeal.  i know he must be totally sick of everybody constantly trying to get him to eat more.

Randy keeps saying WHY DON’T YOU GIVE YOUR DAD SOME MEAT?  plus he always wants to get dad a milkshake from steak-n-shake.  and a burger.

when dad doesn’t feel like eating, he doesn’t eat.  this, of course, is why he’s always been thin his whole life.  he told me he’s trying to make himself eat as much as he can.

anyway, last night when i stopped by, he looked better than he’s looked at least in the past month.  when he first got home he didn’t even want to try to walk with his wheelie chair.  last night, though, he described the physical therapy session – he said they just made him raise his legs while he was sitting.  mom chimed in, “they made you walk all the way down the hall, C.D.!”

dad looked at me with a wry grin and did a little “big whoop” gesture with his finger.

he’s way way better.

ok, so all is going well..

but then there’s mollie.

when we took her to the vet six months ago, the vet said her lymph nodes were slightly enlarged.  we took her again a few weeks ago, they were still enlarged, did we want to get x-rays to see what was going on, and then, if necessary, further tests?  of course we did.

tuesday, we took her in and she got x-rays and boy, she was so freaked out that they had to give her extra bits of tranquilizers to calm her down.  after basically forever, the vet, dr. armour, finally showed us the x-rays.

she kept showing us different shots that were good – her heart, good, her lungs, good for a dog that’s a few days away from her 13th birthday.

but as she kept showing us the good x-rays, i kept thinking, “where’s the bad news?” because it felt like that was coming.

yep, it came.

well, it’s not the worst news, not “she definitely has cancer and only one day to live.”

but not good news, not “she looks fantastic.”

there’s something going on there, down under her stomach.  either her spleen and liver are enlarged, or something is pressing on them.  it could be something bad, a cancerous tumor, or it could be something benign.

argh, one million times.

kevin took her back to the vet this morning at 6:45.  she’s getting an ultrasound, and then the vet has an opening at 4:10 to discuss the results.

so it’s going to be yet another long, anxious day.  plus, she’s drawing some kind of something from her, and that will be sent to the U of I medical center, and we don’t know how long it’ll take for them to diagnose it.

waiting, waiting, and more waiting.

mollie has to be OK.  she’s so healthy, she’s so active, she’s such a very, very good dog.

meanwhile, there’s shortie…i don’t think i mentioned it, but we brought shortie, dad’s beloved very very old pekinese, home with us on…saturday, i think?  mom is not a dog person in any way, and we decided that we could dote on shortie and keep him happy while dad was in the hospital.  but now, we are almost definitely going to be keeping him.

you might recall darling shadow, amy and jim’s sweet pomeranian – he spent the last year of his life with us, because one of their dogs started randomly attacking him.  we got really attached to shadow, and had to make the decision to have him put to sleep.

and now, another really old dog…shortie is almost completely blind, and deaf, and it seemed like he was doing a lot of going to the bathroom inside mom and dad’s house.

because we have been constantly letting him out, that has only happened once so far, really good.  he spends a good amount of time staggering around the fenced-in yard, and i think he likes it because he can walk around in the mulched area around the sides and get a good footing.  most of the little yard area is covered with vines, also good for the traction.

but last night at three in the morning, he suddenly BARKED really loudly, jumped up and went running into the hot tub room.  kevin got up and held him and he finally settled down, but his heart was still racing, so kevin let him outside for a while.

dad said that sometimes shortie does this kind of thing, and he did do it the first night we got him, but it was while we were still up.  three in the morning is a whole different deal.

normally he’d still be sleeping now, but he was shuffling around so i let him out.  i brought him back in and fed him and he clearly wanted to go out again.  i have to go to my workout class soon because i haven’t been there in TWO WEEKS.  kevin is gone right now, so i’m going to trust that when i bring shortie back in, he’ll just fall asleep.


yesterday, kevin was gone and i went to breakfast with randy and as i drove home, i worried that he’d have wrapped himself up in a cord or something and killed himself.


so…it’s been quite a couple of weeks.

i’m hoping for an at least somewhat nice weekend.  the only part of our taxes that hasn’t been done is my self-employment stuff.  i am really really running out of time now.  so that should be a fun way to spend some of the weekend.

amy took this picture of shortie on the morning we were waiting for them to release dad, so that would have been tuesday.  kevin said she took about a dozen pictures.  those two stuffed animals are the ones amy bought for dad in the hospital gift shop, so he could clutch them when he was still intubated, cause he was always trying to clutch onto something.  he doesn’t remember any of that, thank god.

one day when i was at the hospital, kevin took this picture of les.  les jumped up on kevin’s table and grabbed the wrist rest for the mouse and started playing with it, then jumped down and continued with the playing.

on our walk, one day last week, the daffodils finally started blooming.

even though flowers bloomed, there was still some snow left in places.  i’m pretty sure it must be all gone now, but on the other hand, those piles in the mall parking lot were pretty huge.

les paul and chester fighting on the table, shortie way back there in the corner of the yard, and big winnie on kevin’s lap.  when kevin first sent this to me i thought, “where did that raccoon come from???”  sleep deprivation.

les and chester always amuse themselves.

waiting patiently at the front door, hoping somebody will innocently open it so they can BREAK FREE.

one afternoon i baby sat numie and noodle while amy took a turn at the hospital. it was very great to see them.

finally, les up on kevin’s back, which he does periodically.

ok, it’s past time to start rushing around.  keep your fingers crossed for GOOD NEWS about mollie at 4:10 this afternoon.

ok then,