Wednesday, January 20, 2010
In Which I Worry a Lot, and Read a Little
Mr. Big has had an on-again, off-again limp on his left hind leg since May 2009. I got him over that initial damage, but then he re-injured it over the summer, then again in September. He's had multiple blood work results (no valley fever, which can cause limping and is endemic around here), multiple x-rays, multiple doctors and specialists look at him. The only thing one x-ray revealed was a growth of bony material on the back of his fibula, indicating a repetitive stress injury. Then in December he had the bad reaction to his new Chinese herbal medicine prescription, so I've been keeping him quiet just because he wasn't his usual silly self. Last week I noticed that while he wasn't limping, he was standing with more weight on his right leg. I thought perhaps he'd just pulled it slightly, as he had no trouble getting up, which has been characteristic of every other limping episode.
Then last night, after I let him back in the house for dinner, he stood waiting for me. As I walked up behind him, his back two legs suddenly splayed, and he had to lurch to regain his balance. Then he started hopping on that foot. He was very quiet for the remainder of the evening, not interested in going out one last time; in other words, he didn't feel good.
This morning, he's not hopping, but he's limping much more strongly. I've made an appointment to see Dr. P.M., the acupuncturist/Chinese medicine specialist, next Tuesday. Dr. M, his 'g.p.' vet, would automatically want to put him on Rimadyl, something I'm just not comfortable with (that was his response to the first limping episode, after he decided immediately it had to be valley fever; it wasn't, though; no bone lesions, no blood indications of valley fever). Dr. Shields, the surgeon who looked at him last summer, thought it was just the repetitive stress injury re-injured and put him on Metacam. She even asked Dr. Boulay, with his extensive familiarity with valley fever, to check Mr. Big's x-rays, and he agreed it was not valley fever. I'm simply tired of pumping him full of high-powered drugs, and hope acupuncture can make him more comfortable. He's 10, for pity's sake, and I'm not risking his liver for some pain mitigation.
Meanwhile, I am going to have to severely restrict his movement, which will make him depressed and me sad.
A little reading:
I finished "Knitting America" by Susan Strawn yesterday morning. It was a fast and interesting read, although honestly, I got a little tired of the large number of repetitive paragraphs that named the kinds of yarns and patterns available in the first half of the twentieth century. Clearly she did an exhaustive amount of research, finding old catalogues and pamphlets to amass that information for that era, but it wasn't matched by her discussion of post-1960s knitting and yarn. How many times can you tell your reader that yarn companies offered patterns for baby bonnets, sweaters, and soakers, and not expect them to skip that paragraph? The post-Debbie Stoller knitting phenomenon received about 2 sentences. The book was published in 2007; surely enough time had elasped for her to address this modern history in a little more depth.
A little baking:
I made a lemon sponge custard with the fresh lemons from Lady Scientist B's tree, which she gave me on Saturday. Unfortunately, some of my egg yolks got into the egg whites during separation, so it's a very flllaaaattttt sponge custard. But it is full of springtime lemon zesty, tart goodness. And I don't need my food to be culinary magazine photo worthy for me to enjoy it.