I love how affectionate my dog is. He always has to be close to me. Sometimes he’s okay being across the room, but most of the time, he has to be as close as he can be. As soon as I get up from my spot on the couch, he immediately claims it for his own — even if I’ve just gone to the restroom or to refill my water glass. Right now he’s sitting at my feet, and I have my foot gently resting on his bottom. He’s so content, he’s nearly purring.
How can you not love a dog like that? And I am not much of a dog person. But boy, do I love this dog. I know he’s not long for this world; he’s already twelve years old. I will be so sad when it’s his time to go to the Big Doggy Park in the sky.
Koolit stands at the window, wondering what the heck I am doing outside and why I didn’t take him with me.
He can no longer sleep with me in the bed; I’m not sure he can make it up on top of my high bed. It used to be that once Kurt left for work in the mornings, Koolit would immediately jump up and snuggle next to me. He knew where his spot on the bed was, and he would claim it. Now he still sleeps into our bedroom, but he has his own bed next to ours.
But he does anything he can to be next to me. How you resist that kind of love and devotion?
And then we have a bit of excitement just to spice things up a bit.
Last night I was sitting here, watching tv, playing on the computer, and Twittering away at 11:15pm when I heard Gracie start to whimper. Because she’s sick, I was concerned maybe she’d thrown up since that’s sort of the whimper she makes when that happens. I immediately got up and went to check on her.
She hadn’t gotten sick (yay!), but she wasn’t feeling well at all. She went from whimpering to full-on crying as I held her in my arms. She would cry, and her throat would hurt more, which would cause her to cry even harder. It was a vicious cycle. Finally she calmed down enough to want to go back to bed, but as soon as her head hit the pillow, she began screaming in agony.
I picked her right back up and peered at her neck. She had an enormously swollen gland, just in front of and slightly below her ear. And she wouldn’t stop crying! It frightened me so much because the swelling was so large and so painful for her that the only thing I could think to do was to take her to the ER.
And it was to the ER we went.
By the time we got there, she was already starting to act better. I looked at her neck in the waiting room, and some of the swelling had already gone down. When we were seen about an hour later by the ER doctor, it was hard to see, though it was easy to feel still.
The doctor kept palpating her neck, trying to ascertain which gland was so very swollen. She never could figure it out. When the test for strep throat came back negative, the ER doctor told me it could possibly be mumps, even though Grace is current on her shots. She told me that if she does have mumps, about the only thing I could do for her is to give Tylenol for pain and to keep her away from other people for seven to ten days.
Yeeeesh. Seven days of quarantine when Kurt’s just left on a business trip?? Of course, I would do so without complaint, since I am her mother and that is my job, but it wasn’t something I was looking forward to.
The ER doctor wanted us to follow up with our family doctor today, so at 1:30pm today we headed in. The corpsmen (basically nurse’s assistants) who examined Grace felt that it was probably allergies. I wanted to smack the female corpsman upside the head when she said that. Don’t be giving me diagnoses when you’ve been in the Navy a whopping three years. She probably hasn’t even finished all of her schooling yet. Sheesh.
The family doctor took one look at Grace and said there was no way she was suffering from mumps. She herself had had mumps as a kid, and Grace had no symptoms whatsoever. She thinks possibly that there was some kind of blockage in her salivary gland (which is why the swelling occurred in front of and slightly below the ear on the jawline, instead of under the jawline where the lymph glands are) which caused the sudden swelling. Once that blockage had cleared, the salivary glands could drain properly, accounting for the rapid decrease in the swelling.
Basically her gland issue has nothing to do with the viral whatever-it-is that she has, and is just a random occurrence.
Whatever, folks. As long as Grace will heal quickly and easily on her own, I’m thrilled. And not having to be under quarantine was a bonus as well.
I told the doctor I had given Gracie a few Ricola cough drops, since they’re all natural and they seemed to help with her sore throat, and the doctor said that was a fine idea, especially if I could get hold of some lemon-flavored ones to allow the citric acid to stimulate her saliva production. She even suggested I get some orange juice, which is going to wait till tomorrow because I don’t care to spend $6.14 on a gallon of orange juice (Tropicana brand; I’m picky about my OJ and will only buy the not-from-concentrate brands) at Wal-Mart when I can get the very same thing at the commissary for $3.99. I need bean sprouts anyhow for a recipe.
So that was our excitement for the evening. I’m just glad that we live so close to the hospital. It took less than ten minutes to get there from here, especially so late at night when there was no one else on the roads. That’s a reassuring thing when you consider that is the very same hospital at which I should be delivering Baby #2.
Good to know.