Prince Midnight Shadow Loses a Paw…


Suppose I’ll share a strange, interesting story about my giant schnauzer, Prince Midnight Shadow. A few days ago, I noticed him limping on his front left paw. I phoned the vet early Wednesday and off to the vet we go. Shadow is a rescue, abandoned at an animal shelter in Georgia. Needless to say, he detests anything related to an animal hospital. The vet checked him, letting me know it could be a fracture or maybe he hydro-planed his foot. Later, after they gave him something to relax him, simply because he refused to sit still for X-rays, they discovered his left front paw toe was missing the first joint??? They showed me the X-rays, saying this had to happen recently. I found it interesting he just started limping. Now, he is on antibiotics.

The question at hand is — how and when did he amputate the first joint of his toe? Never did I see blood, nor did I hear him scream in pain. Only a limp. Today, he is putting weight on it a bit, so it is getting better. I suppose the morale of this story is – we must really watch our beloved family members.

My Shadow obviously has a strong pain tolerance, just like I do. I’m home with them daily since I work at home. Taking it one day…one step at a time!

Update today – Friday, February 8, 2019 — Shadow is now able to walk on all four paws. He is not limping nor is he favoring his paw. He thought he outsmarted me when he refused to take his meds willingly, so I placed his meds in his food, giving him less food than normally. When his bowl is empty, he looks at me, as if to say, is this all I’m getting? I’m still hungry!

Silly guy! I gave him more food each time. He returns to the vet next week to check his paw, then I will be able to get him groomed again.

My credit card aches from the money I spent. Shadow is worth every penny and dollars spent! So happy he is feeling better. He actually jumped up on me yesterday. Baby steps…One day at a time!

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And Now I Can See! The Adventures of Cataract Surgery


Dearest Readers:

Monday, January 14, 2019, I experienced my first cataract surgery on my left eye. If you’ve never had cataract surgery you might not understand the reasoning. From my observation, I believe eye surgeons prefer doing only one eye at a time. I’m thankful I followed these suggestions.

I remember my grandmother having cataract surgery many years ago. She was admitted to the hospital for a few days, simply because back in those days surgical centers did not exist. If someone needed surgery – into the hospital they went. I remember her cataracts were so large, I could hardly see the blue in her eyes – only a white cloud. I’m happy that now, it is such a quick procedure – something similar to in and out car washes – only of a different type!

Arriving at Physicians’ Eye Surgery Center, I was apprehensive, just like I always am with any surgical procedure. I subscribe to the “what if” club. What if the surgeon’s hand slips. What if there’s an accident and I lose my sight. You probably get the picture now. I worry much too much!

My eye surgery was scheduled for 8:30 am. I should arrive at the surgical center at 7:30 am, according to the person who scheduled my appointment.  We arrived at 7:10. The waiting room was populated with older adults and a few younger adults. Since I will not reveal my age, I was anxious to get this procedure over. My name was called at 7:20 or so, and by 7:30, all prep work was completed.

An IV was hooked up and now I have a gigantic black/red/yellow bruise covering my right wrist. My body does not like needles of any type and I bruise probably like a newborn baby. Inside the surgical area, music played – a soft, light rock from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – the classic music I so love to sing. Today was not a singing day, so I found myself listening , while knowing many of the songs. I was so thankful music played. It is so therapeutic for me. 

I met with several nurses and the anesthesia medical doctor, all assured me I would be fine. The procedure was explained. I was reassured I would not be asleep and I had to keep my left eye open. I was told to stare at the bright light. I probably mentioned I was a singer and whenever I am on stage, the bright lights bother my eyes, but today was different. I had to be still. Relaxed. And stare at a bright light. I could not go to sleep because when you sleep your eyes roll backwards and we don’t want that to happen. I really have no clue if I spoke or sang. Hopefully – not, although I am a talented singer!

Rolling me off to surgery, I reminded myself not to sleep. That isn’t a problem with me. SLEEPING is a problem. I have insomnia. The night prior to surgery I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight and I could not sleep! Understand, I’m not a midnight snacker, but I do like to sip water whenever I awaken.

Arriving in the surgical room, I noticed my doctor. “Ah…You’re waiting on me now,” I joked. I’ve never liked to wait on a doctor, although I do realize they have other patients, so I must be patient – even when I am a patient! Notice the word pun?

Within minutes, my left eye stared at a blue light. At least, I think it was blue. I chose to focus on music, so I do not remember the procedure at all. I was told prior by the nurses that it would take approximately 15 minutes. “Ah…” I laughed. “Welcome to In-and-Out Surgery, or maybe Drive-Thru Surgery.”

Minutes later, I was told I was the “Perfect Patient!” 

“That’s good to hear, I listened to music.”

Moments after my comment, I received a list of instructions called Post-Operative Instructions For Cataract Surgery.

*For the first 24-hours after surgery, you should not drive or make important personal or business decisions. Gee, may I watch Lifetime or Hallmark today? I thought to myself anxious to get a cup of coffee now!

*Wear sunglasses provided when you are outside. That’s not a problem. I wear sunglasses on a cloudy day too, and when I walk outside – always. The bright sunshine hurts!

*Wear the clear plastic shield provided while sleeping tonight and continue as directed by surgeon. 

I must say, that plastic shield is not exactly comfortable. I tape it on, covering it with my sleeping mask! In the morning, I’m thankful the tape goes off so easily! One thing I’ve learned is you should not apply night creams before the plastic shield. It slides off if you do!

*Do not rub the operative eye for one week. Always wash your hands with soap and water prior to caring for your eyes. Doesn’t everyone wash their hands before touching their eyes?

I was discharged and back in the car (not driving of course) by 8:45 am! As stated, “In-and-Out Surgery!”

The day after my surgery, I had a doctor’s appointment at 8:45 for a follow up check up. My doctor discovered the eye pressure was high so he prescribed another eye drop to help bring the pressure down. He said he thought the pressure was high due to the steroids in the eye drops I used prior to surgery and afterwards. Yep. I agreed. No doubt! Steroids and I do not get along! I always have some type of side effect.

I mentioned how I could see out of the left eye ok; however, I saw a circular rainbow on Monday. On Tuesday, the eye was still a bit hazy — proud to say, today, I am seeing crystal clear out of that eye!

Today is Thursday; hopefully, my last day not to wear eye makeup. I confess, I did wear makeup yesterday – just no eye makeup! Not even a bit of eye shadow! I look dead without makeup! I feel as if I am naked, and that isn’t something I do. Every day I wear makeup, with exception of this week. My mascara must think I’ve abandoned them!

As you can detect, cataract surgery is an easy surgery for most patients. I am only one. No doubt, I’ll schedule the right eye – when my eye pressure decreases!

And tomorrow – you guessed it – I’m wearing my eye makeup once again! I can’t wait!

 

 

 

What Is It In the Sky Today?


Breaking News – Charleston, SC, January 5, 2019 — – Today, there is something bright in the sky. EVERYONE is shaking their heads saying, “What’s going on? It’s so bright? What can it be?”

We’ve researched several sources, and checked with meteorologists in the area. According to them: “there is a bright object in the sky today. It’s been missing for so long, people in Charleston have forgotten it. Please wear your sunglasses, if you go outside today.”

WHAT IS IT?

Looks like sunshine to me. Sunshine??? I’m hesitant to say the word, or to give an oral description.

When I awoke this morning, I noticed it and said to myself That can’t be sunshine? I haven’t seen it in such a long time. It’s hurting my eyes. That was over two hours ago. 

Now, the bright light is still dancing in the skyline. Can it be sunshine returning to Charleston?

I’m overjoyed if it is, and I pray it stays out. Such a beautiful day! At the moment it is 57 degrees outside, with gusty winds, but who cares? Looks like a beautiful sunshiny day!

Early Happy New Year 2019 Wishes


Dearest Readers:

Tomorrow is New Years Eve. I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a Happy and safe celebration for New Years Eve, 2019. Please, if you drink alcoholic beverages, remember to have a designated driver. I am always the designated driver for my hubby and for me.

Somewhere today I read that South Carolina has some of the most dangerous roads and accidents during the New Years Eve celebration. No surprise to me. We have way too many drivers tail-gating and rushing thru red lights. It’s no wonder we have so many accidents. Some people seem to be on a highway of Its all about me, and everyone else can just —!

Sad, isn’t it.

My wish for everyone is to embrace 2019 with your loved ones. We shall celebrate with good friends, and knowing me as I do, I will be snuggled up tight within my bed watching the apple drop. I feel safer at home.

Happy New Year, 2019. May we all be a little kinder, a little more considerate, and may we all give thanks to God for another year.

Please keep our Armed Forces in your prayers and if you are a member of the Armed Forces, please know, I thank you for your service. I remember our first New Year as a married couple – only my hubby was away in Vietnam. I remembered looking up towards the sky, gazing at the bright moon, imagining my soldier hubby watching the same moon while knowing I was thinking about him and praying for his safety.

Memories. Such wonderful memories. Happy New Year, 2019.

Christmas Eve


Dearest Readers:

Monday, December 24, 2018 — Christmas Eve. This year, after fighting another dreadful battle with bronchial asthma, I am able to give thanks for life, health and loved ones.

My wish for all of you is to keep Christ in Christmas. Never leave Christ out of Christmas when writing it. I’ve seen people writing Xmas. The only time I write this is to share with others how I keep Christ in Christmas. After all, if it wasn’t for the birth of Christ, we would not celebrate Christmas!

This year, I miss my dad terribly at Christmas. After Phil and I moved to Charleston, my father came to visit us every Christmas. We shared Christmas dinner and other festivities together.

During Christmas, 1997, my father was in the hospital, fighting for his life as esophageal cancer threatened to take him away. Our last Christmas together was the Christmas of 1998. I watched his body becoming so frail he needed a walker for strength. He detested that walker! Somehow I knew, this would be his last Christmas on earth. Now, he celebrates a joyous Christmas in heaven with his heavenly father, his parents, identical twin brother, sisters and another brother. Oh, how I miss him.

For reasons unknown, I have cried many times this Christmas season. Missing him, wishing I could reach out once more and hear his bellowing laughter. His Christmas prayer. His love. Christmas isn’t the same without him.

Tomorrow, I will celebrate Christmas dinner with my husband Phil and our Bratty Boys, our four-legged family members. We will dine on prime rib, baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, croissant rolls and sour cream pound cake. Missing will be my Dad, Walter W. Perkins, along with our son and his family. Never do they visit at Christmas. It’s their choice, not ours. Also missing, our sweet, precious Little Mr. Hanks, the Tank. We lost him the day before Thanksgiving.

Merry Christmas, Everyone. Please keep CHRIST in Christmas. After all, He is the reason for the season – not Santa Claus!

Little Things Mean So Much


Dear Readers:

Yes. I know. I’ve been a bit quiet. A bit too quiet. Why? Well, it’s the holidays. Yes. I got my flu shot. Yes, I wash my hands – seems like a thousand times a day. Apparently, during the holidays (between November – December) of each year I appear to get sick with a case of my infamous bronchial asthma. 

Last week, I awoke in the darkness of night coughing. I got up, used my inhaler and strolled back to bed. On Friday, I awoke feeling sluggish, having a bit of difficulty catching my breathing. I cancelled our Friday night date after dinner, telling Phil I felt weak and wanted to go home. He agreed. Saturday, I remained in bed or in the den, watching Hallmark Christmas movies. If you’re a woman and you have the two Hallmark channels, no doubt you understand what I watched. Girl cannot decide what she will do during the holidays. Will she go back home, or will she remain in New York, California, or maybe Georgia. She goes home. Meets an old flame. And blah. blah. blah. And off they go to a wonderful Christmas life. Really???

I suppose I’m a romantic. I LOVE those movies, and the oldies, but goodies. It’s A Wonderful Life. I imagine you have a few.

On Monday, I failed to clean the house. My coughing was almost non-stop. Early Tuesday morning I awoke to a strange growling, or was it roaring, noise inside the house. My body ached from head to toe, I was coughing, and coughing. Listening to the strange noise, I realized the squeaky roar was me. Every time I struggled to breathe, I heard roars of air struggling to get out. Phil called to check on me. At that time, I was OK. Later, as I fought to catch my breath, I realized I needed to make a doctor’s appointment. I went online to the Patient Portal, discovering I could book a late afternoon appointment, and so I did.

My doctor knows me well by now. He should. I’ve been a patient since the beginning of his practice now. Yesterday, I forgot to ask him how his daughter, Emily, was enjoying college life. When he knocked on the door and came inside, he looked at me. I suppose I must look like I’m knocking on death’s door. He asked how I was doing, and I muttered, “I’m sick.” He heard the rasping sound of my voice and when he listened to my chest he wanted to know how long I’d been sick. I replied: “Since the weekend.”

I should’ve made a bet with my friends, and on Facebook, simply because I knew I would win this bet, but –I’m not a better! I laughed at my doctor and I told him I knew what he would diagnose. Bronchial Asthma? Am I correct?

He laughed, letting me know it was a good thing that I made a doctor’s appointment. “You really are congested. Down. Deep.” He mentioned steroids. I nodded no. I can’t take Prednisone.

Today, I have an antibiotic I will take for 10 days. He gave me a shot, and prescribed something for my nebulizer. I can mix this prescription with the albuterol I take and I should get better. I certainly hope so.

Phil and I are supposed to go to a Christmas party tonight. Feeling the way I do at this moment, I doubt we’ll make it.

Why is it I always get sick at the holidays?

My husband knows how I detest dirty dishes left in the sink. I know I left a cereal bowl, coffee cup and spoons in the sink yesterday. He fed the dogs. Before going to bed, I went to the kitchen to wash all the dishes collected, but there weren’t any. Never did I ask him to wash them. Years ago, he let me know when we were out of clean glasses. I was pregnant at the time, with horrid morning and day sickness. Instead of starting a fight, I got up and washed every glass. Tonight, — poof – I suppose the magical fairy arrived to wash the dishes. It certainly wasn’t me, or — could it be — Phil? Would he actually wash dishes?

This man amazes me now when I’m sick. He actually is doing some of the things I do. You know…those Little Things! Fluffing the couch pillows where the dogs were resting. Picking up doggie toys. Washing dishes??? Maybe he’s learning a thing or two while watching Hallmark Christmas movies???

Perhaps I’ll continue watching Hallmark at Christmas time!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Missing Mr. Hanks


Dearest Readers:

It has been a tough, sad week for me. Losing my little Hanks the Tank, as I called him when he first arrived at our home, I’ve found myself looking for him this week, realizing he was not here anymore. Others knew him as Hank, but I called him Mr. Hanks. He rushed to me, happy with a personal name from me.

Hanks, the Tank…At Last, he has a happy home!

Mr. Hanks was protective of me, from the beginning. If my husband crossed his path, Hanks rushed to stop him. Now, I ask you, just how can a small mini-schnauzer manage to bite my husband like he did so often. We tried scolding him – never spanking him, just letting him know his behavior of biting was not acceptable. Occasionally, when I could, I grabbed Hanks harness, holding him back. Never did he bite anyone else, not even the pet sitters. Two years ago, he stopped biting. If Phil startled him, he rushed to grab his pant leg or shoe, only to place his mouth on Phil’s leg or foot, but he didn’t chop down on it like before. I suppose he finally realized my husband was not like the Phil who owned him previously. 

When I became the foster for “Hank” I was told he did not like to be crated. At our home, we do not use crates. We have a gated area for all of the pups. It seems to work well. I purchased dog beds, placing them on the floors so they would not sleep or play on the cold tile floors. They were demolished within a week! 

Finding a stack of old pillows, I washed them, placing each inside a pillow case or pillow sham. Mr. Hanks crawled up on two of them and that is where he slept when he did not sleep with me. All of our dogs enjoy the pillows. I suppose because they must contain hair particles or our scents. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve washed those pillows, and none of them shred them. I suppose they realize these pillows are for them, our four-legged family members. Each of our pups has a special place where they sleep. Now, Sandy Bear sleeps on Mr. Hanks pillows. Sandy Bear and Hanks were close buddies.

Mr. Hanks was an interesting character. How I wish I could’ve heard the stories he held within his heart. Stories of ill treatment. Stories of fear. Stories of how he felt when his family members took him to a kill shelter to have him euthanized over seven years ago. He still had life to live, and with us, he did. Fortunately, Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas saved him, contacting me to see if I could open my heart to a special needs rescue. 

When I served as Hanks foster, he was adopted; however, I had dreams about him. I’ve never had dreams from other fosters I kept. One night, I awoke hearing a bark at the front door. You must understand, my grandmother gave me the gift of visions when she went to Heaven. On the night I was having a vision about Hank, I opened the front door, but he wasn’t there. I contacted the person who adopted him, wanting to know how he was. At the time, he was ok.

I realized Hanks was communicating with me, and so, I listened to every dream I had about him. One dream told me he wasn’t happy where he was, and when I contacted the owner, I discovered why. 

Later, I drove to rescue Hanks from the owner and we adopted him. When he saw us, he recognized us. Rushing into the house, he ran to the toy box, picking out a tennis ball, Mr. Hanks was home!

Mr. Hanks loved the treadmill. Every morning when I stepped to get on it, I had someone behind me, ready to walk. Mr. Hanks. I have no idea how he knew how to work a treadmill, but that was Mr. Hanks! He observed life with excitement and happiness with us. I stepped off, and let Mr. Hanks walk. He was such a delight!

Mr. Hanks stopped playing with the treadmill and tennis balls last year. His legs hurt him. There were times we still played our little game, “I’m gonna get you Mr. Hanks,” and I rushed near him. He barked his happy bark, attempting to rush at me. His little, tender legs made him squeal. 

Last week, he decided it was time to go. On Monday, he ate and drank. Then, his tired body rested. Tuesday morning, he didn’t want me to pick him up to go outside. He growled that mean growl he knew so well.  He refused to eat or drink. The lights in his eyes were dark. I held him close telling him to fight. He turned his head away. No food. No drink – all day.

Wednesday morning, I called the vet, asking for an emergency check-up even though Thanksgiving was the next day. Arriving at the vets office, I had Mr. Hanks bundled up in a blanket, holding him close to me. They examined him telling me it was time. And so, I leaned into Mr. Hanks asking him if he was ready to go see Shamus and Shakespeare. He did not respond. His body was shutting down. My vet said it was only a matter of time, and the only humane thing to do was to grant him peace. I whispered sweet love words to him, while rubbing him. Minutes later, he took his last breath and I cried so hard.

Now, I must adjust to my life without Mr. Hanks. I am crying while writing this. How does one learn to stop grieving and move forward? Rest in peace, Mr. Hanks. I pray you will communicate with me once again soon.

I love you and miss you. I hope you send me a vision soon. My love to you always, “Mr. Hanks, the Tank!”