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17 April 2006
The day before Easter seems as good a time as any to be in the resurrection business...or at least working toward that goal.
I spoke with Bill's son, Liam, Saturday morning to get the latest report on Bill (no significant change). Liam said that he thought his mother might like to have a friend to visit with for a bit, so I got the puppies fed and then drove up to Roseville to the Kaiser Hospital there.
Of course neither Yahoo maps nor Yellowpages.com know that there IS a Kaiser Hospital in Roseville, but instead routed me to the Kaiser Medical Center--which has no hospital attached to it. But, thank god for cell phones. I was able to get some help from Liam and eventually pulled into the Kaiser parking lot and found my way to the ICU.
I think Bill had a good day. He opened his eyes several times while I was there. Whenever he opens his eyes, Jeri tries to get him to blink or squeeze her hand. He looks like he might be trying to talk...or not. Hard to tell. When they turned him, he groaned, very definitely showing that he wasn't happy about being moved.
Funny story. Bill comes from an "automotive
family." His father owned a gas station in Crockett, CA until he retired.
Bill grew up around cars, working on cars, buying cars, fixing cars, teaching people about
cars. He had a career with General Motors. Jeri was telling me that someone
in the room yesterday was talking about buying gas and mistakenly said that she had bought
it for $1.65 a gallon, when she meant $2.65. When they said $1.65 a gallon, Bill's
eyes popped open. No other response, but his eyes opened. He's in there all
right--he's just having a difficult time finding his way out.
I told them that I was sure that he would surprise them all and "rise again" on Easter morning. I hope it wasn't just a lame joke.
I left the hospital and rushed home to be here in time for the puppies' next feeding and, in fact, they woke up just 2 minutes before I arrived, Walt said. Before I left in the morning, I started them all on Albon, doggie medicine that helps in the treatment of infections. Bruno and Peanut have had diarrhea--Queenie a little bit, but not so much as the other two. I was concerned that Peanut in particular seemed to be not quite as lively as before, though he was still eating. But his stools were extremely liquidy and I called for someone to bring me meds when he had a stool that looked like the formula had gone in one end and out the other without being processed by anything.
Queenie and Bruno were setting up their usual howl about food, so I fed them first and they wolfed the food down right away. Peanut has always been the best eater. By "best" I mean that as soon as I pick him up, he knows he's going to eat and starts licking his lips. Then when he sees or feels the syringe, he opens his mouth and eats all his meal like a little bird, not spilling a drop, unlike the other two who literally bathe in formula in their eagerness to get it as quickly as possible.
When I got around to Peanut, he was more limp than usual, which I hoped was because he had been in Walt's lap and was still sleepy, but when I went to feed him, he had no interest in food and he was definitely "floppy." I also tested his skin for dehydration and it looked like giving him a hydration treatment would be a good idea. I could have waited until Sunday, but what with it being Easter and all, I wanted to get things squared away.
Stacy brought me some Lactated Ringers solution (since Ashley is with her family for Easter) and she administered the first dose, which consists of injecting him with fluid coming out of a bag hanging from above him. She wanted to give him 1.5 cc, but that was probably more than he weighs to begin with so we let the solution drip into his back until there was a sizeable "blister" of water under his skin, which would be absorbed by his system over the next half hour or so. She left the solution for me to do a follow-up injection when the first had been absorbed.
Well, that was another new thing for me. She had also told me to be sure he ate, even if I had to force feed him, so I tried that before doing the next hydration treatment. I managed to get about half of what he would usually take down him, making more of a mess than I make with the other two combined, then he clenched his teeth firmly and tried to back away whenever I approached him with food, so I decided to let go with just that amount.
Then I gave him more fluid. The hydration bag is hanging from the ceiling (I knew that bar the kids installed for our theatre lighting would come in handy some day!), so I put Peanut in my lap and slipped the needle into the nape of his neck and Walt started the drip going. The solution is cold, so it gives him chills and after the treatment was over, I let him crawl up behind my neck and I covered him up with a towel to keep the warmth in. I felt like that Snoopy cartoon, where Woodstock has fallen asleep on top of Snoopy's head and Snoopy is thinking "I can think of about a dozen other things I could be doing right now." But I felt it was better to let Peanut sleep where he got warmth from my body and the towel, and gradually he stopped shivering and went to sleep. I put him in the pen with the other two and, like saying goodbye to Bill today, hoped that morning would see a 4-legged "resurrection."
Sunday morning I awoke to a nest full of demanding puppies, Peanut
the loudest among them. His skin is tight again, no longer flaccid, he ate (most of)
his breakfast, his stool wasn't as firm as it should be, but much better than yesterday,
and I hope that the crisis has been averted.
PHOTO OF THE DAY