puppies

Puppies Make Everything Better

photo (2)This is Gracie, our latest foster. She’s about 3 months old, fearless, wriggly, happy, and absolutely determined to pounce Ragnar at every opportunity. She hides under the coffee table and waits for him to walk by so she can nip at his feet. At which point he, of course, flops down on his stomach and lets her chew on his ears and try to fit her mouth around his skull. She fails at that one, but they both seem delighted by it.

I… am feeling overwhelmed. Not by the puppy. A few weeks ago my primary care doc noticed something funny when I swallowed a sip of water. So she sent me to get an ultrasound of my neck. Which took a rather long time. The impression I got was that it was longer than it should have been, but I don’t know how long these things normally go. I knew better than to ask the technician what she saw; she wouldn’t be allowed to say, anyway. And the results came back. And I saw them before my doctor’s office called. Because I’m the kind of patient who *always* logs in to PAMF’s MyHealth Online service. And I saw that there were a lot of nodules. Which worried me.

But it wasn’t until the nurse called to tell me I needed to set up an appointment with endocrinology to get the nodules biopsied that I really started worrying. I think it was her tone of voice. She sounded very uncomfortable. Very solemn.

It could just be that she’s used to patients freaking out at all sorts of things. I don’t know. I’m not prone to freak outs when discussing medical things. I think my father would have disowned me if that were the case. Well, not really. But I’m his kid. I’m not afraid of needles, I want to see everything (like my tonsils once they were removed–they were each the size of a golf ball–or my intestine pictures after they did the celiac biopsy), and I don’t freak out at test results. Also…. I have a spreadsheet where I’ve kept all of my test results going back to 1984. Which, let me tell you, sure helps with getting a diagnosis. I’m the gal who, when the ER doc asked me, “I don’t suppose you happen to know what size your ovaries normally are?” said, “Oh, yeah. This is how big they were when I was 19, and this is how big they were when I was 25, and this is how big they were two months ago.” And I showed her my spreadsheet.

So I have a bunch of nodules in my thyroid. Both sides. Both have a large main nodule. One side also has a lot of smaller ones spread throughout. People can get nodules in all sorts of places. Most thyroid nodules are benign. Even most cancerous ones aren’t a huge concern when it comes to the thyroid. When I talked to my dad his mode of reassuring┬áme was to say, “If you have to get cancer, thyroid is the one you want.”

And maybe, at a different time in my life, it wouldn’t stress me so much. But in a year when Jay died of cancer, when my mother is still recovering from the chemo she got for her breast cancer… And I feel guilty for not doing enough for either of them… Some lizard brained part of me feels like that would be appropriate punishment.

I get that I shouldn’t be thinking that way. I get that it’s superstitious and counter-productive and my guilt has little basis in reality. But. Yeah.

I am stressed. A little scared. A lot overwhelmed. I go into shutdown mode when that happens. Kinda numb. Flat affect. I see the endocrinologist next Tuesday. It’s an hour long appointment and they’ll probably do the biopsy right then.

And I keep thinking about that Edna St. Vincent Millay line. “It’s not one damn thing after another, it’s one damn thing over and over.” And I’m very glad I have a puppy around.

And the angels sang…

PUPPY!

Ahem.

We adopted a dog.

Back at the end of March I predicted that it would take me six months of steady campaigning to convince Jason we should adopt a dog. In truth, it only took five months. We adopted Arthur/Ragnar at the end of August. He’s part mastiff, possibly part boxer or lab, and at the moment he’s snoring, crashed out on the floor by my feet.

He’s a smart pup, though a bit skittish. We’re working on that and seeing major improvements.

You know what the trick was? To convincing Jason? Finding a big enough dog. Which makes sense when you consider that the only dog he has ever liked is a friend’s Great Dane.

Meet Ragnar, named in honor of a Norse pirate-king:

Ragnar hiding behind the driver’s seat of my car.
Sprawled on the kitchen floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you were wondering, he’s at most 10 months old and weighs 75lbs. We’re hoping he’ll at least top 100lbs by the time he’s full grown.

Puppy love

I desperately want a dog.

J is not so sure about this.

In fact, J is sure he *doesn’t* want a dog. But he realizes that being with me may mean he has to have a dog. So we began talking about it last night. I brought it up (of course). I asked what things would have to happen or change within the next six months in order for him to be comfortable with me getting a dog. He’s not very good at articulating it; all he can really say is what he doesn’t want, which isn’t the same thing. But I’ve got him thinking along the right lines, I hope.

I pointed out that he could use it as incentive to get me cleaning more. My messiness drives him batshit, and we’ve been working on it since before we moved in together. “However,” I said, “if you do use it that way, that means we really do have to get a dog.”

“I know,” he said. “No bait and switch.”

And I’ve been looking up dog breeds. And today I looked up the local shelters. And I have, of course, already fallen in love with half a dozen puppies. None of which we’ll get. But this guy, this guy is the one I keep coming back to:

Isn’t he lovely? He’s at a shelter in San Jose.