March 30, 2005


I have found the dental drill I've been waiting for my whole life for, and that drill is called Waterlase.

I don't like dentists--haven't been in 7 years--and the primary reason is different than most people. Most people either don't like the sound of the drill, or don't like the novocaine shot. Me? I hate the actual feel of the drill on my teeth. I hate it so much that I cannot even file my nails because it reminds me of the dentist drill.

Then someone on an online bulletin board suggested I look into Waterlase. Waterlase is a laser that shoots, well, laser light and water as a drill instead of a regular drill. Waterlase treats the decayed section of the tooth and instead of digging around with the drill going through cavity and healthy tooth at the same time. For those of you who care about these kinds of things, Waterlase does not require any novocaine because the design eliminates heat and vibration (which are apparently what make teeth hurt with a regular drill).

Waterlase also eliminates the horrible sound and feel of the drill. It makes a pulsating sound that is actually pretty close to a muffled Waterpik (anyone remember those?), and of course it never touches your tooth at all.

I had two cavities filled today, and on the first one I didn't feel a thing! The only sensation was that of having water shot at your teeth and then sucked out by the suction thing (which I hate, but that's a different story). Cavity #2 was a little deeper, so I did have some sensation with that. The feeling was very much like one you get when you have a cavity and bite into an ice cream. Noticeable, but not excrutiating. I made an "Ahhhhh" sound and he offered to numb me with novocaine, but that he was almost done so I went without.

Unfortunately I then had to have a tooth prepped for a crown and get a temporary crown. I had this root canal done 7 years ago and got a temporary crown then. They told me all kinds of horror stories of what might happen if I didn't get a permanent crown, but I was all pissed off (it's a long story) so I never went to get one (I also lacked dental insurance at the time). So in short, I've been walking around with a temporary crown for 7 years. Because I'd already had the root canal, I didn't need novocaine. I did, however, need the drill because the Waterlase doesn't go into teeth (he said, not sure if that's entirely right) and I needed the tooth ground down a little to prepare for the real crown. So I did have to suck it up and deal with the regular drill. Fortunately he was right--there wasn't any pain, and I was able to endure the grinding as it went quickly.

Now I go back in 2 weeks to get my other two cavities filled and the real crown put back. Unfortunately one of the remaining cavities is underneath a metal filling and has to be drilled the old fashioned way since Waterlase can't penetrate metal. Oh well.

And we found out our insurance is much better than we'd anticipated. We're paying less that $20 for a regular cavity to be filled.

And yes, in case you're counting, I have 4 cavities and 1 crown. But before you tsk-tsk me you should know that Kevin has 4 cavities, 1 root canal, 1 cavity that may turn into a root canal, and 1 crown. So there.

Posted by Shelby at 05:31 PM | Comments (2)

March 29, 2005

Earning Money From Your Writing

Well here's one way to do it...

Special thanks to Query Letters I Love

Posted by Shelby at 11:15 PM

March 28, 2005

What's My Name?

Another meme!

1. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandmother's/father's first name + favorite snack):
Rita Wings--sounds a little like a 1940's war propoganda/Rosie the Riveter type thing.

2. YOUR FASHION DESIGNER NAME: (first word you see on your left + favorite restaurant):
Budman Chez Melange--Oooo, I think this one is good (Budman being my doctor, whose name I happen to have sitting here)

3. YOUR SOCIALITE NAME: (silliest childhood nickname + first town where you partied):
Shebly Lafayette (Or you could spell Shebly the way it's pronounced--Chablis, which makes for a GREAT socialite name.)

4. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial + first three letters of your last name):
Shog (this one isn't all that flattering)

5. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite animal + name of high school):
Dog South (or to get technical, Dog South Torrance)

6. YOUR BARFLY NAME: (last snack food you ate + your favorite drink):
Granola Pinot

7. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name + street where you first lived):
Lynn Zakon (this one never works for me because Zakon is such a bizarre name)

8. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (favorite candy + favorite musicians last name):
Chocolate Talan

9. YOUR OPPOSITE SEX NAME: (name of [opposite sex] friend + cell phone company you use):
Kevin Cingular

10. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: ( first 3 letters of your last name+ last 3 letters of mothers middle name /+/ first 3 letters of your pets name + first 3 letters of the town you live in):
Hogise Scoana (or Hogise Digana--I think Digana definitely has a Star Wars lean to it, but Hogan doesn't lend itself to playing these games very well

Thanks Staz!

Posted by Shelby at 08:18 AM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2005

Hoppy Easter!

A very happy Easter to all of you who celebrate, and for those who don't, a very happy Candy Day brought to you by some sort of vaguely terrifying 6 foot rabbit (a' la Donnie Darko or Harvey).

Our dinner last night was a smashing success. Lessons learned:
We need one more set of dinner plates/bowls/cereal bowls/dessert plates (they come in a set of 6--perfect)
We need about 18 or so bread plates
We need a more complete set of our fancy silverware (or should I say stainless steelware--I'm not polishing anything, believe me)
We need some kind of matching, fancy drinking glasses.
We need some kind of serving platter

But hey, we're fledgling hosts, so we'll get there! Everything turned out very well, except the ham didn't get as warm on the inside as we wanted. That's was okay, we just cut off a bunch of slices at a time and zapped 'em in the microwave and they were great. I have to say, I love ham from other places, but brand-name Honeybaked is the best.

(Warning: Disturbing Easter image below. Not for the faint of heart!)

Posted by Shelby at 10:37 AM | Comments (1)

March 26, 2005

Our First Major Holiday

We've hosted 2 parties so far, but today is the first time hosting the family for an Easter dinner. We've been busy all morning, but luckily got an earlier start for our other parties. The Honeybaked ham is defrosting, the twice baked potatoes are clean, my world famous artichoke dip is done and waiting in the fridge to be reheated (I finally sat down and typed out my recipe so I won't forget it next time), and Kevin's making the apple pie. Other family members are bringing some extra dishes and I think we'll have a good time. We only own 12 plates, and we think 12 people will make it, so that was cutting it close. We do need to buy more dishes anyway, so yesterday we headed to Williams-Sonoma to look for them. Of course as it turns out, the set is catalog only *sigh*.

What's really unfortunate is that my aunt and her SO, Tom, won't be able to make it. Tom has esophageal cancer and just had a week of 24 hours of chemo and a buttload of radiation. He's not feeling well so he's unable to make it to the dinner. We'll really miss them. The good news is that his doctors have upped his survival rate (it had looked dismal at the beginning) so we're thrilled about that. Kevin and I plan to visit at the end of this coming week or next--of course dependent on how Tom is faring. I certainly know how it feels to be feeling well and then not well within the course of a few hours, so we're going to keep our schedules open. Luckily since we both work from home we have a lot of flexibility.

Otherwise I think we're going to have a great party. Happy [early] Easter everyone!

Posted by Shelby at 12:31 PM

March 25, 2005

I Survived the Dentist!

So both of us went to the dentist this morning. For me, it was the first time in 7 years, and it had been 5 years for Kevin. The dentist himself did my cleaning and he was very gentle. He scraped my gums in a nonaggressive manner. Plus he didn't use the suction thingy. I hate that. I would much rather the doctor take a break every now and then to let me swish and spit than to have that thing running and suck and stick itself to my tongue all the time. And the best part was that when he found a cavity, he didn't jam the poker into it and wiggle it around saying, "Does this hurt?" which always makes me want to scream "Yes, it f---ing hurts!" Anyway, he didn't do that. And he also didn't lecture me on flossing and whatnot after he's already made my gums bleed by forcing string down into them and saying that it's bleeding because I don't floss. No, it's bleeding because you're jamming that stuff into my gums!

Anyway, I got cleaned, and as for cavities? Let's just say that Kevin fared much worse than me on that end. Although, suffice to say, I will be going back for another appointment or 2. I also need a crown, since I had a root canal 7 years ago and never got a permanent crown for it (long story) so I've been walking around with a temporary crown all this time. Which is apparently a bad thing--heh.

Well it was much easier than I thought it was going to be, that's for sure. I think I like this guy. And he's about 10 blocks away from us too, so he's convenient.

Posted by Shelby at 10:55 PM

March 24, 2005

A Little Easter Humor

Posted by Shelby at 09:52 PM

March 23, 2005

I Did It!

I did it! For the first time in *coughsevencough* years I've made a dentist appointment. Friday morning Kevin and I will both be heading in.

Okay Pop, you can stop nagging me now.

Posted by Shelby at 09:28 AM | Comments (1)

March 22, 2005

Now I Know My ABCs

Accent – Oh my God, like Southern California to the max!
Bra size – bigger than it used to be
Chore I hate – most of them
Dad's name – Pop
Essential make-up – None
Favorite perfume – None, I use smelly soaps and stuff. I do like a couple of body splashes but I'm too lazy to look right now
Gold or Silver - Gold
Hometown – Torrance, CA
Interesting fact - I'm wearing a Breathe-Right strip right now
Job title – Writer
Kids -- Scout and Digory
Living arrangements – Kevin, Scout, Digory, and I own our own house!
Mom's Birthplace – Chicago
Number of apples eaten in last week – Not so crazy about apples
Overnight hospital stays – Too numerous to count. I have a heart condition, people
Phobia – Clowns
Question you ask yourself a lot - Is Scout upset that we adopted Digory?
Religious affiliation – Still searching
Siblings – One brother
Time I wake up – Much later than you do
Unnatural hair color – Used to dye my hair blonde (or I guess you don't dye blonde, you bleach blonde). Since I was blonde as a child it really fit in with my coloring. I've had people ask me if I'm dying my hair brown now (assuming that the former blonde was my natural color). Really--who would dye their hair this color brown?
Vegetable I refuse to eat – Celery, unless it's well hidden
Worst habit – Wasting time on the Internet
X-rays – Are you kidding me? I'm practically glowing by now.
Yummy food I make – Cornish Game Hens
Zodiac sign – Gemini

Thanks Annastazia!

Posted by Shelby at 10:15 PM | Comments (2)

Time To See the Doctor

I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday to discuss the allergy issue, but I'm afraid that's not going to be soon enough. About 10-14 days ago my allergies turned into a full-blown cold, which turned into a persistent cough. It's weird because I almost never get a cough. Well this time it's stuck around, and I make an evil chesty noise when I do cough. I'm not coughing up anything, but there's no doubt there's something wrong. Robitussin has been keeping it more or less under control (emphasis on the less rather than the more), but today I finished the bottle. Which was full when I started. Kevin has been nagging me to go to the doctor for a couple of days now, and he pointed out that there IS a warning on the bottle that basically says "if you finish this bottle, you should see a doctor." He has a point there.

Then to complicate things, I awoke this morning with the most bizarre back and neck pain. The pain seems to occur both in my neck, making it painful to turn my head and look down (looking up is fine) and in my lower right back, which hurts when I walk and I can't bend down. I can't think of anything different that I did to bring this on. I think perhaps I did something weird in my sleep (which is not unheard of for me), so maybe it's just a kink somewhere that will subside with the Advil I've taken. If not, I may need Kevin to drive me to the doctor.

Well the back pain went away with Advil--phew! Saw the doctor and he felt the cough was the result of allergies, and asthma. So I'm getting a nose spray (which is what I was going to ask my doctor about on Thursday), an emergency inhaler (which I needed anyway), a daily inhaler, and a cough syrup (unfortunately not with codeine--hee hee). This should knock it out, but just in case I still have my regular doctor (I went to urgent care this time) on Thursday who could prescribe antibiotics if needed.

Posted by Shelby at 11:25 AM | Comments (2)

March 20, 2005

World's Most Beautiful Beagles

Be sure to catch the pictures of the hounds over on Kevin's blog!

Posted by Shelby at 11:10 AM

March 17, 2005

Good News About Scout!

Just got back from the vet's and it's good news...


The ultrasound was nearly normal (more in a sec.) and didn't find any tumors or masses. They did find that her GI tract was inflamed, and the doctor diagnosed colitis. This could explain the weight loss.

The treatment for colitis is a diet food--Hills z/d. Unfortunately, Scout tried that once before (for skin allergies) and absolutely, positively would NOT eat it. We would mix it in with her regular food and she would literally go through the bowl, pick up the bad kibble pieces in her mouth, and drop them in a neat little pile next to the bowl. So the z/d diet isn't going to work.

Instead, and I think this is really cool, the vet is calling a canine nutrition specialist to get some food recommendations. We should hear from the nutritionist either later today or tomorrow. I'm really hoping that they recommend some kind of dry food that comes in a bag because that would be so much easier than preparing a whole thing, but whatever we have to do for her of course we will. I suspect, however, that our future holds a lot of boiled chicken and pureed veggies.

Unfortunately, we haven't uncovered the mystery of the lymph nodes. They didn't need to take a second biopsy because the ultrasound showed that the first one got good cells (and the results on that came back negative for lymphoma). THe good news is that none of the rest of her lymph nodes are swollen, it's just these two in the neck. The vet thinks it might just be a false alarm. We're doing another round of antibiotics--a different one than she had last time--just to cover the bases.

We are to watch her and if she loses any more weight, to bring her back in. Otherwise we go back in 3 weeks for another weighing and checking of the lymph nodes and see where we go from there. The next step in diagnostic testing would be a tissue biopsy--actual surgery. That's not something we want to pursue right now because the needle biopsy was clear and the rest of her lymph nodes aren't swollen. I think a more conservative approach is best at this time.

The best news is that she's happy and playing as if nothing were wrong at all. Her appetite is good and she's as active as ever, taking on Digory and occasionally doing the WWF Smackdown (where she flips him over on his back--I think she doesn't realize that he really allows that to happen). So this wait and see approach feels right. I have a good feeling about it though. I think everything is going to be just fine.

Posted by Shelby at 11:29 AM | Comments (4)

March 16, 2005

Scouter Update

They shaved her little tummy, so her pink skin is showing through. It's so cute! I think they got all the goop off, but whatever they missed, she got it off herself by rubbing herself on the carpet. Nice.

No results yet. Apparently either the ultrasound vet or the regular vet had an emergency and Scout's ultrasound was put off until the end of the day. No time to discuss the results. So we go in tomorrow at 10:15 to find out. Waiting is the worst!

Posted by Shelby at 08:22 PM

Raise Your Hand Or Paw If You're Getting An Ultrasound Today

I count two!

Like mother, like daughter, both Scout and I are getting ultrasounds today. Actually mine is already done. Just a quick, routine echocardiogram to see if anything's changed in the last year. I would be surprised if anything had changed for the worst, as I'm feeling better than ever. But it would be super cool to have it change for the better.

Scouter's is not so routine. We're still trying to pinpoint the cause of the swollen lymph nodes. As I talked about in this post, we had a lot of options as to how to proceed. When I asked the vet if it were his dog, what would he do, he said he'd go for the full body ultrasound and needle biopsy (guided by the ultrasound to make sure they get the right cells). So that's what she's getting done today. We should have the ultrasound report immediately, but the biopsy may not be done until tomorrow. So...more anxious waiting.

Poor Digory was positively agonized when Scout and Kevin left. The vet is literally 2 blocks away, so we walk. Digory was getting all worked up when Scout was getting leashed and he was being left behind, but when they left, he got up on the love seat, parted the front curtains with his snout, watched Kevin and Scout walk down the street, and positively howled. And let me tell you, this boy has a VOICE! It was heart-wrenching. And it didn't help that about 5 minutes later, I put him in his crate and left myself. He was so confused, although not confused enough to not be distracted by the 2 cookies I gave him, which he wolfed down. He's really gullible sometimes.

Anyway, we're not sure when we'll be able to pick the Scouter up. I'm also not sure how they are going to do the ultrasound. On humans they use this gel goopy stuff. Are they going to slather it all over Scout, and then give her a bath? Or are we going to have to give her a bath? Or are they going to shave her? I guess we'll know soon.

Posted by Shelby at 12:56 PM

March 15, 2005

98% On Wine, What Did I Miss???

Congratulations! You're 130 proof, with specific scores in beer (100) , wine (133), and liquor (78).
Screw all that namby-pamby chick stuff, you're going straight for the bottle and a shot glass! It'll take more than a few shots of Wild Turkey or 99 Bananas before you start seeing pink elephants. You know how to handle your alcohol, and yourself at parties.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 61% on proof

You scored higher than 94% on beer index

You scored higher than 98% on wine index

You scored higher than 91% on liquor index
Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid

I guess all of that drinking in college paid off, but the assessment is wrong--give me a glass of Pinot over any hard liquor any day.

Thanks Dave!

Posted by Shelby at 04:59 PM | Comments (1)

Happy Birthday Scout!

Today is Scout's 9th birthday (which interestingly makes her exactly as old as Corie, my niece). As anyone who knows us knows, Scout is a huge part of our lives. I adopted Scout when she was 5 months old and I was in graduate school. Since then she's lived in Missouri, California, and Hamburg, Germany. She's done more travel than many Americans have. All throughout she's been my constant companion. She's such a wonderful, loving Small Dog. We're really lucky to share our lives with her.

Unfortunately this birthday is shadowed by the possibility of her being sick. I'm both looking forward to and dreading her ultrasound and biopsy tomorrow. I hope we can figure out or rule out everything.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Scouter!

Posted by Shelby at 02:36 PM | Comments (2)


What’s your favorite dessert? Dutch apple pie
Have you ever had a professional massage? yes, and I'd do it again in a second.
Turtlenecks: love ‘em or help, I’m being strangled? Used to hate 'em when I had hair long enough to keep my neck warm. Now that I have short hair I like them.
How many pillows are on your bed? two, one for me, one for Kevin.
What word best describes your smile? genuine
Do you see yourself moving to another city or state within the next 5 years? good God, I just moved here! Nope.
What kind of calendar do you use most? the old-fashioned kind that hangs on the wall. It's the easiest way to coordinate both of our activities (like we really have that many activities!)
Do you look at the keyboard when you type? Occasionally, for numbers.
What’s your favorite joke? I have several, but I always like my favorite knock-knock joke:

Me: "Here's my favorite knock-knock joke. You start."
You: "Knock knock"
Me: "Who's there?" [big old grin]

What would be your ideal 2-week vacation? Right now, I'd love to either go somewhere tropical and lay on the beach decompressing with nothing to do all day (not that the weather is bad here, it's just not beach weather). Alternately, I'd like to do the same at a cabin in the mountains, with the dogs in the snow. Which is strange because we DO have access to a cabin in the mountains and we keep talking about going up there.

Thanks to Dave Tepper.

Posted by Shelby at 02:22 PM

March 14, 2005

Not Out of the Woods Yet

We just got back from the vet, taking Scouter in for her re-check. The good news is that she's gained 1 pound back. The bad news is that her lymph nodes are still very swollen, and the antibiotics should have cleared that up but didn't. The vet discussed several options--abdominal ultrasound, full body ultrasound, ultrasound of the lymph node area (neck), another needle aspiration and biopsy, tissue biopsy, wait and see. Finally I said, "If this was your dog, what would you do?" He said he would do the full body ultrasound, plus neck ultrasound, plus another needle aspiration and biopsy guided by the ultrasound. So that's what we're going with. She's acting fine, but I really want to get to the bottom of this--and more importantly, if it is something serious, I don't want to regret down the line that we had the opportunity to catch and treat it sooner but we didn't. This is going to cost us a fortune, unfortunately, but I think it's worth it for the peace of mind of finding out what's going on with the Small Dog.

Posted by Shelby at 02:46 PM | Comments (1)

In The Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room...

Stopped by Disneyland tonight. This year is their special 50th anniversary and they're making the entire park all nice and pretty for it. They just re-opened the Tiki Room and we saw the show, which I hadn't seen in probably 15 years. Just as fun as I remembered it. We also watched Fantasmic. I always think of that as the "new" evening entertainment (the "old" one being the Main Street Electrical Light Parade) but I guess it's probably 10 years old or so by now. Anyway, I've only seen it once, so tonight was fun. It's a great show. I happened to be the wrong height to see through some sort of horizontal pole, which hindered my enjoyment, but it was still great. Also the Buzz Lightyear ride, which officially opens on March 17, was open tonight but we didn't even go over there thinking it would be too crowded. And Kevin found out that Space Mountain is supposed to re-open in July. Hooray!

Posted by Shelby at 12:09 AM

March 12, 2005

Only In LA

The other day I found myself in West Hollywood trying to come home in the middle of rush hour. It takes about an hour to get to Weho from Anaheim when the traffic is moderate. Without traffic it took us (correct me if I'm wrong Kevin) about 35-40 minutes. So mile-wise, it's not far.

The first thing you should know is that Southern Californians refer to freeways as "THE [freeway]" (this is not the case in No. CA like San Jose).

Our house is located in between the 5 and the 91. Personally I prefer the 91 because I like the East Street exit the best, however you can also take the Lincoln exit or the Harbor Blvd. exit (the one right next to Disneyland) from the 5 to reach our house.

So the way to Weho is going straight up the 5, joining the 10 for a few short miles, then getting off. The problem is that in the Norwalk area, the 5 is only 3 lanes wide, so it gets really crowded and is a big pain in the butt.

So here I am in Weho sitting on the 10 in traffic thinking about how long I'm going to wait on the 5. Last time it took me 2 and a half hours to get home. So this time I decided to be creative, and I did something you can only do in Los Angeles. I took a little detour.

Rather than taking the 5, I took the 10 to the 710 South to shortly hook up with the 105 East. Followed the 105 until it ended at the 605, at which point I hopped on the 605 South to meet up with the 91. The advantage of all of these freeways is that they are all a minimum of 4 lanes wide (some 5 or 6 lanes wide). By taking 4 freeways instead of 1, I shaved a half hour off of my time. Go me!

Posted by Shelby at 02:02 PM | Comments (1)

March 09, 2005

Dr. Marc Komori Stager

It is with great pride that I announce that one of my closest friends, Marc, is now Dr. Marc Komori Stager! Marc has been working on his doctoral dissertation for some time now and I've been working with him, doing some editing and helping him improve his writing (he's a great student--nary a passive sentence to be found in that bigass document!). Like any doctoral degree, this is a huge accomplishment and we are SO thrilled for him! At the end of May we'll be heading up to San Francisco for Marc's official graduation and celebration. Congratulations Marc!

(in this picture, Marc is the one in the white t-shirt, not the one with the floppy ears)

Posted by Shelby at 11:50 PM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2005

This Morning Is Brought To You By The Letter B

B for:
Bad Dog

Thanks to Scout, we're all up and at it at 7:00 am. Which for me is not even a legitimate hour of the day. Oh don't worry, I'll go back to bed as soon as I'm tired again. It's Sunday, after all.

Posted by Shelby at 07:29 AM | Comments (2)

March 04, 2005

Book Game

Post your answers in the comments. If you're a blogger, pass it on!

Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

"If used, it is made up of a single scene, or two or three scene fragments. Its sole intention is to establish an immediate threat, aura of violence, sense of drama or romance, or whatever will intrigue and hook the reader. It should not exceed four or five manuscript pages, maximum."
From Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham. The "it" that he's talking about here is writing a Prologue to your novel.

Borrowed from Mr. Hassle's Long Underpants.

Posted by Shelby at 08:46 PM | Comments (2)

Happy First Birthday, Digory!

Today is Digory's very first birthday! He got some special treats from PetSmart and is getting lots of love. Here's to 18 or 19 more!

Posted by Shelby at 07:16 PM | Comments (3)

I'm Advanced!

Well, I'd better be!


You scored 100% Beginner, 93% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 72% Expert!

You have an extremely good understanding of beginner, intermediate, and advanced level commonly confused English words, getting at least 75% of each of these three levels' questions correct. This is an exceptional score. Remember, these are commonly confused English words, which means most people don't use them properly. You got an extremely respectable score.

Click here to find out your own score on Commonly Confused English Words!

Posted by Shelby at 12:53 PM | Comments (3)

March 03, 2005


Kevin has written a little bit about our situation in his blog here and here but I haven't addressed it until now.

We are currently waiting for the results of a biopsy to tell us if our beloved little Scouter has cancer.

She's been visibly losing weight for about 4 weeks now. Other than the weight loss she's been acting totally normal--no loss of appetite or anything different. We upped her food, but it hasn't helped, so we decided to take her in.

She'd lost almost 2 pounds, which doesn't sound like much but is really 10% of her body weight. The vet found swollen lymph nodes and some pain when palpating her tummy. He did a bunch of tests--urinalysis, x-rays, complete blood panel. This was Tuesday. Yesterday (Wednesday) morning we went in to discuss her test results. X-rays were basically inconclusive--nothing showed up, but that doesn't really rule anything out. Blood tests came back good--no liver, kidney, or thyroid problems. She was dehydrated and had blood in her urine, so he thinks she has a bladder infection.

She spent the day at the clinic yesterday getting IV fluids and an antibiotic shot. The vet also dewormed her, just in case. And he did a needle biopsy of her lymph node to test for lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). He thought he might have the biopsy results today but it doesn't look like that's going to happen (it's already 4:45), so we should have them for sure tomorrow.

Scout was fine last night. They had shaved her arm where the IV was and she had a bandage on it. As soon as I got home she had to "show Mommy" her wounded paw. She looked up at me imploringly while holding her paw up. A couple hours later we took the tape off and she was a brave patient, although I think she would have preferred to chew the tape off herself rather than my pulling it off. Now she looks a little funny with her shaved arm.

It looks like if the biopsy comes back as a "no" or "inconclusive" that the next step is an ultrasound to try to figure out why she's losing weight.

Of course we are worried sick. We made the mistake of looking up doggie lymphoma in the Internet. I won't go into details, but if that's what she has the outlook is not good. I've spent the day trying not to panic, although it's been pretty productive--I did some laundry, stripped the bed, and scrubbed the bathtub.

Will keep you all posted as we know more. Please remember Scout in your thoughts and prayers. I don't know what we would do if we lost her.

Update: We called the vet and he will be calling us back around 5:45 or 6:00. Hopefully we'll get an answer tonight.

Update: The biopsy is NEGATIVE!!!!!! Just got off the phone with the vet and the biopsy is definitely negative. We are supposed to continue her on the antibiotics for the UTI and keep an eye on her weight. If her weight decreases, we need to bring her in immediately. Otherwise we go back for a recheck in 10-14 days. I cannot tell you how relieved I am. The past two days have been pure torture, worrying about our little baby. Thank God it's going to be okay.

Posted by Shelby at 04:51 PM | Comments (3)

March 01, 2005

What's My Name?

On Sunday I went to pick up a prescription and when I got to the counter I said, "I need a prescription for Shelby Rosiak." Hunh? I haven't been Shelby Rosiak in over 3 years! And aside from a few slip-ups the first couple of months, my transition to Shelby Hogan has been virtually seamless. I have no idea where this Rosiak thing came from on Sunday.

Yesterday I did grocery shopping (for those of you who know me, please pick your jaws up off the floor). I decided to give my unbelievably stressed husband a break and "make" dinner for 3 nights (last night: ready-packed salad and garlic bread; tonight, Tuna Helper; tomorrow, pasta with an Alfredo Pesto sauce, from a package--I didn't claim I'd do a LOT of actual cooking). I go to pay and whip out my trusty debit card. Oops, doesn't go through, must have swiped it wrong. Still doesn't go through. I blush. The people behind me start getting impatient. The checker is passive--she's seen it all before. I say "let me try another card."

So I pull out one of my two credit cards, swipe it, and it goes through. I get to the signature--it's my maiden name. Once again I'm reminded that I haven't gotten around to changing the name on my credit cards yet. It's not really a problem because I added my maiden name as a second middle name, so all of my IDs have it on there, it's just something I should eventually take care of. It's because I never use my credit cards. I could count on two hands the number of times I've used them in the last 3 years (after a period of financial irresponsibility I have moved to a cash/debit card only system). Still, it's a little embarrassing.

Posted by Shelby at 11:46 AM