A few days ago Pawley started coughing. At first, I assumed she’d swallowed something and it was stuck in her throat because, well, Pawley eats everything. My mom suggested that I ask around to see if anyone was missing a cat because there was a solid chance Pawley had eaten a cat and was dealing with a fur ball.
The coughing continued though and after some amateur vet work (i.e. googling symptoms and watching youtube videos) I determined that she had “Kennel Cough.” I’m guessing she picked it up at daycare. You know how they say there are lots of germs at daycare. Anyway, so after being up all night on Monday night with a coughing dog (have I mentioned that I’m a single parent?), I made a vet appointment for last night.
Pawley has extremely high levels of energy all the time. But those levels get even higher when she’s around people. And if she’s around people AND dogs? Well, we’re talking about so much bouncing it looks like Pawley is actually on a trampoline everywhere she runs.
So, when we walked into the vets office last night, Pawley immediately caused mass insanity. An otherwise calm waiting room suddenly turned into cataclysmic chaos as Pawley sailed over a pair of cocker spaniels, began licking the face of a puggle, and got her leash tangled up in that of a German shepherd mix. This all happened in a matter of about eight seconds. Then, she began her honking cough as she knocked over one of the waiting room chairs. The woman behind the counter jumped up screaming, “IS THAT THE DOG THAT MIGHT HAVE KENNEL COUGH?! GET HER OUT OF HERE! GET OUT! GET OUT!”
It was as if I’d brought a leper to the vet. The expressions of the other dog owners were horrified. The guy with the puggle who’d just full on frenched Pawley grabbed his dog and held its head against his chest as if protecting him from the horror of that crazy-eared dog who had the dreaded disease. I scooped up all 70 pounds of ostracized pup and went to sit in the dark outside to wait. Kennel Cough is contagious, but I’m pretty confident that was only 50% of the reason we were asked to wait outside.
Anyway, Pawley is on meds now. She did have Kennel Cough. One of her medications are antihistamines, which make Pawley drowsy. Pawley drowsy is like most animals on a normal day. I may be enjoying her on drugs too much.
You guys have been awfully nice about asking after my health so I’d like to say thank you and that I’m doing much, much better. No one is still quite sure what happened because for a while there my life felt like something out of an episode of House.
My personal favorite moment was when an ER doctor asked me to start at the beginning and tell him everything so he might be able to determine what was wrong. I was like “So, two months ago I was diagnosed with a parasite, went on meds, moved two states away, traveled to Panama, cut my foot while hiking barefoot in manure, got food poisoning, returned to the US, became so violently ill I had to be admitted to a hospital, went on four different kinds of antibiotics, was bitten by a dog, cut open my foot on a piece of metal, passed out while driving, and am now dealing with some intense dizziness, blurred vision, and abdominal pain.”
He nodded his head calmly, looked up from his notes, and asked, “Would you say you’re experiencing any stress?”
That’s probably the fastest I’ve ever decided someone was stupid.
Anyway, things have drastically improved. And keep improving. In general, I don’t really talk much about it because you know what stops a convo super fast? Talking about vomiting and potential parasites. Like screeching record kind of halt to a conversation. So, that said I’m going to stop typing now. And thanks again for all your well wishes.
First, let me say that one day soon this blog will return strictly to crazy dog lady posts and stories about funny life happenings. But, for now, I give you another update on the ridiculous state of my health.
Tuesday was my best day in a week and a half. I ate normal foods. Had relatively normal energy levels. And felt, in general, like a normal person. Then, Tuesday night I cut my foot really badly. There was a lot of blood involved and I found myself on my kitchen floor holding my foot up and applying pressure while Jenn cleaned up the blood I’d tracked across the house. Then, for no apparent reason, Pawley attacked Rosie. And in my attempt to break them up, she tore up my hand pretty badly. So, Rosie was bleeding on her ears and neck, I was bleeding on my foot and hand, and Jenn was wondering how awkward it would be if she just packed up her bags and left right then. (I say this in jest. Jenn couldn’t have been more helpful and supportive.)
When I woke up Wednesday morning, I felt sick again. I attributed it to having had the worst night’s sleep of all time and tried to pull myself together for work. Unable to walk to the metro on my cut foot, I decided to drive. As I pulled onto 395, crossing the Potomac into DC in the middle of rush hour traffic I felt nauseated. And then, all of the sudden, I realized I was going to pass out.
I’m not sure if you ever been in five lanes of bumper to bumper traffic on a bridge and realized you were about to be unconscious, but it’s pretty much the worst feeling ever. My vision became cloudy and my hands and feet started tingling. I managed to make it across the bridge and pull onto the shoulder before everything went totally black.
A city worker had pulled up behind me and he called 911. So, as of a week ago I’d never even been in a hospital. Now, I’ve been in the ER three times and in an ambulance once. (Random side note: Riding through the streets of DC in the back of an ambulance really feels like the scene from a movie.)
Anyway, no one seems to know what’s wrong with me. Every time I end up in a hospital, they give me a different diagnosis. At GW they had a few too many gunshot victims to spend much time figuring out what was going on with the girl who passes out while driving and complains of abdominal pain. I also had what they diagnosed as a panic attack while at GW because my heart rate jacked up and my vision became blurry. So, they pretty much just thought I was crazy.
My mom is here now. And despite me still feeling sick today, she drove me into work today. My boss actually told me to stay home, but my mom said I was going. This feels eerily reminiscent of my childhood when sick days really weren’t an option.
So yeah. Because I like to look for the silver lining, I would like to say that if you ever need a good post-vacation diet, I really can’t recommend enough the whole being sick for a week and a half straight. I put on a pair of jeans this morning that fit better than they had in months. Small victories.