Sunday, January 27, 2008

Miscellaneous Update

Last Wednesday and Thursday I was unable to access the blogger dashboard to do a post. Today I had more trouble and it turned out I needed to reset the Local Area Network. That seemed to work and here I am.

Last Monday (the 21st) I researched trigger finger treatments and discovered that what I have isn't tendonitis after all, it's some weird ailment that mostly affects older women starting in their 40s - 60s, and isn't a result of overuse after all. It just happens. They don't know why. You can have it in one finger or several. The doctor on the site I found said that he'd only seen one person have it in all ten fingers at one time and it was a handball player. He said that immobilization is ineffective, as are anti-inflammatory drugs, icing, and activity moderation. The first line of treatment is cortisone shots and if those fail, surgery. The longer you wait, the more likely surgery will be your only option. After either treatment, though, it might come back. Swell.

I made an appointment with the hand surgeon that day, but he was booked up for four weeks so it'll be awhile before I see him. Then a friend told me she'd had trigger finger and used chondroitin/glucosamine and it went away. So I decided to try that (since we have an abundant supply in the house) and see if it gets better before time for the appt. So far I haven't seen a lot of improvement, but at least I'm not trying to blame my actions for it, and have just gone back to doing whatever I need to do. The good news is, my shoulder is no longer giving me trouble, though that could partly be because I've still not been able to do much computer work with Quigley around.

Speaking of Quigley, he's been getting better in some areas and developing new problems in others -- like learning from the dog on the other side of the fence to join her in barking continuously at each other. And we had an incredible, two-hour, crating scream-fest last Friday night.

Today brought new troubles, however and the worst, yet: he threw up all his breakfast mostly undigested about six hours after he'd eaten it. Since at his age he is vulnerable to parvovirus, even when he's on the right schedule of shots, we were concerned he might have it and took him to emergency (why do these things so often seem to happen on Sundays?). Turns out they think it might be a blockage in the small intestine. X-rays showed no hard object like a rock or wood, but from the pattern of gas pockets the vet saw, she thought it could be some sort of thread or fabric blob. Or nothing but irritation from something he ate. Like orange and tangelo leaves, or dirt. Or cat poop. Or...??? She also said that she's had occasions when she's seen the pattern indicate an obstruction but upon cutting the animal open, finds nothing. Since Quigley eats everything, though we've been trying hard to keep him from doing so, it could any of the above.

Treatment options were 1) to give him subcutaneous fluids along with injections of antibiotics and famotidine and, assuming he doesn't vomit for 12 hours, see if he can then hold down food and water, 2) hospitalize him on IV fluids with possible barium drink/x-ray exploration to see if the blockage will pass with the increased hydration and 3) exploratory surgery.

We opted for treatment number 1, the least radical treatment of subQ fluids and wait the night out. Actually it was my husband's decision, because after the night I spent waiting with Bear during his acute kidney failure episode, I hate wait-the-night-out scenarios. But since I failed in that event so badly (spiritually speaking), evidently the Lord has decided to give me another shot at it. And what a surprise: that very principle was mentioned in Friday night's Bible class, which I actually didn't listen to until last night. If we fail a test, He'll graciously keep giving us another shot at passing it.

Hmm. Kind of gives you a little more motivation for passing it!