Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pinch me... I must be dreaming!!

My sweet baby girl slept through the night (well, just about).... I didn't hear her at all, but B said she stirred and was making noises about 2am, and he figured she'd probably fuss herself back to sleep, BUT since we're leaving this morning to go away for the weekend, he wanted to spend some time with her, so he got up to feed and rock her anyway... but when he put her back down, she slept until 5:30am, and probably would have slept longer if I hadn't been making noises getting ready to leave!! I can't believe that she's come so far in such a short time! From sleeping in our bed and getting up every few hours, to sleeping in her own room and nearly sleeping the entire night!! I'm so proud of her! (as if she's doing this consciously! LOL)

That being said, we're in Macon tonight... we came down (long, long drive, made even longer by the number of cops on the highways -- guess they were all trying to finish off their quotas, it being the end of the month and all -- and the construction zones) for the "North Georgia SMO Get Together" which was primarily Smurfs! It was so great to put a face to the names of the women that I've been chatting, emailing and exchanging things with for the better part of 2 years!! We're heading back home tomorrow morning, so it will be another day wasted in the car, but I am SO glad that we made the trip!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baby Girl slept in her own crib!!

in her own room, all night, for the first time since she was born!!

I put her down sometime around 8:30; she fussed and cried for a bit, and about 9p I nursed her to sleep - and that was that. She got up 3 times during the night, but each time went right back down in the crib and all was well!!

It's strange having our bed back after nearly 10 weeks, with no one to scratch me or pull my hair in the middle of the night!! But, I could get used to this again! Now, if she'll just sleep THROUGH the night! LOL

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just when I thought it was getting better...

The last 2 nights at work haven't been nearly as bad as Friday was - things have gone pretty smoothly and I was again in love with my job.

And then... (there's always a BUT or an AND THEN, isn't there??) - this older man brought in a blocked cat early this morning (after midnight but before 2am); I sent the tech up front (poor boy) to give him a ballpark figure on cost for treatment and to bring the cat back to me so that it could be treated immediately.... he came back with the cat and said that the owner cussed him... as I iinstructed him, my tech told the man that it would be $400-$600 to treat and the man's response was "what type of God-damned rip off is that?" My tech reminded him that he'd been "nothing but respectful" and the man DID apologize, but still... he asked to speak to me -- okay, fine.

I went up there and he was just RUDE - no other way to describe it. Come to find out - this cat has blocked before. He feeds him a low ash, low magnesium commercial diet because he says the cat won't eat what the vet prescribes- he didn't know the name of the food. He also told me that the cat was on some type of pill every other day, but he didn't know what it was. Again - okay, fine... he made it clear that he wasn't leaving the cat for treatment. He wanted me to just "squeeze him and get the urine out." I had to inform him that this would more likely rupture his bladder than anything else. I told him that I could empty the bladder, but that this wouldn't unblock him, but that it WOULD buy him some time and keep the bladder intact tonight, then he could take the cat to his regular veterinarian in the morning. He agreed to this, but nothing more.

So, we did a cysto... two of the techs held him down and I was able to get over 45cc out of his bladder before he went psycho on us. The remaining bladder was about the size of a golf ball, which I considered to be "safe", so we left it at that. He was told to be at his vet's office when they opened to have the cat treated.

This morning, my overnight tech told me that he called about 5am, and was (go figure) rude and accusing. He demanded to know if we even did anything to his cat; he said, "I thought you unblocked him!! He can't pee!" The tech had to explain what we HAD done because he had refused everything else, and then he accused us of lying about even doing THAT. He said that the cat looked like it was going to die... well, let's think about THAT one.... The cat hasn't been able to urinate in AT LEAST 24 hours, probably longer; the cat is just re-absorbing the toxins that would normally be excreted in the urine. He has had no fluids, he is still blocked; how is he SUPPOSED to feel??

Well, hopefully he'll get him to the veterinarian this morning, and it won't be too late... the world is full of idiots.

On the total flip side -- we had a couple bring in a cat with what I suspect was a saddle thrombus; despite the extremely poor prognosis, they opted to take him up to NCSU CVM just to see if he could be helped. And he was a vicious cat -- a huge orange guy named Wombatt -- but they love him!!

The guy told us that as a New Year's Resolution some years ago, he and his wife decided to save every $5 bill they came across - so he has stacks and stacks of the things at his house. He didn't even blink at the possibility of spending $3000 for the work up at NC State. Good for him!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bad boys, bad boys...

whatcha gonna do?? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?? (imagine a Jamaican accent here...) LOL

Middle Child came to work with me tonight - and Baby Girl as well, but she isn't party to this part of the story - we got here a little early, and fortunately I remember about G's TV debut... he grabbed the controller for the lobby TV and managed to find FOX in time - we got through the annoying intro and then, there was G... Middle Child and I stood in the lobby and laughed as my baby cousin broke bad on the truck thief!! You know, he's cocky all on his own, but having the cameras with him just made him that much worse!

All ribbing aside, I'm proud of him and what he does :)

Last night was horrid and something I hope not to repeat any time soon!!

I had to work last night, which normally isn't a bad thing; I was in my usual good mood... and then Rocco came in. Rocco was a very nearly 11 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback who had been diagnosed with LS disease several years ago, leaving him requiring assistance to walk, and with proprioceptive deficits in his hindlimbs. He had a 1 week or so incidence of anorexia, had been to the regular vet to have x-rays taken -- they had put him on antibiotics and some other GI meds, which his owners were having great difficulty getting into him. He had eaten and subsequently vomited up some plastic or packaging material. The owner's neighbor is an Army veterinarian, he happens to be the commander of the 248th at Bragg, and a board certified radiologist - he has ultrasounded Rocco at the owner's home today and felt there might be a blockage of some sort present.

He was dehydrated, pale and shocky, his temperature was sub-normal, and his white count was over 80k which was alarming. We delayed surgery for a short while to start fluids and IV antibiotics and then prepped him for an exploratory. He was doing great -- and then just arrested as I was pulling plastic and bits of rice, green beans and some other unidentified stuff out of his stomach. 3 injections of epinephrine - IV, IT and IC - cardiac massage, assisted ventilation -- none of it did any good. His old body was too tired and worn out - and he was gone.

About the same time that Rocco came in, there was an old cat - 17 years old - that came in for "weakness". She was unkempt and dehydrated, her gums were WHITE, her pupils mildly dilated and non-responsive to light, and she had a relatively large (larger than a tennis ball, and slightly football shaped) mass in her caudal abdomen. Her anemia was profound (PCV of 11%). The plan was to do a blood transfusion and try to stabilize the cat so that she could be transferred elsewhere for an ultrasound to determine the origin of the mass. Well, as we were prepping the donor cat for the blood draw, she collapsed and became agonal; the owner opted not to revive her, which was probably wise, given her condition.

And then, this morning... a man brought in a cat that he found some time yesterday; it was cold and unresponsive then, so he put it in his bathroom overnight. Guess what?? It was no better this morning so he brought it in at 6am. He was bradycardic and cyanotic and severely dehydrated with a sub-normal body temperature. We were attempting to stabilize him when he arrested, so quietly that Molly - who was standing right beside him - didn't notice. His "owner" also opted not to revive him.

So, while I don't really feel that any of the losses were my FAULT - they all looked horrible on entry - the night still has left me feeling wiped out and sad... this is the sucky part of what I do.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My cousin is going to be on TV...

I just got an email from G and T (and my mom also forwarded her copy to me) to let me know that G is going to be on an episode of COPS this weekend! How about that?? My crazy-ass baby cousin gets to be on TV! LOL

Hey everyone!

Well as most of you know, and some of you do not, back in late May to early June, I had a film crew from the TV show COPS riding along with me while on patrol. Well, in their producer’s infinite wisdom, he felt that one of my incidents of fighting crime and suppressing evil deserved some national air time on their show. On the same date, they will be showing another incident that I was involved in, but they were not riding with me on that particular night. They were riding with one of my close friends and co-worker, Raymond. My incident involved a short pursuit of a stolen truck, while Raymond’s involved the arrest of several juveniles that decided to run around and rob several people at gun point over a several hour period. The show will air on Saturday, January 24th at 7:00p.m. central time.

I don’t know everyone’s email that I would like to notify of this, so if I missed someone, please feel free to forward it along to those people you feel would like to see it. I have not had the opportunity to view the video, so hopefully I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself, but I guess that will give everyone new ammunition of things to jack with me about (as if I don’t give all of you enough cause already). My wife is already saying that my ego was big enough, now we will have to move iinto a bigger house!

Hope everyone is doing well!


So... one cousin wins the Ace Hardware nation-wide contest -

remember this??

Ace Hardware gives away $1 million store to veteran
May 2007

During its Spring Convention in Las Vegas, Ace Hardware Corp. announced that Gower Talley of Canby, Ore., is the grand prize winner of the Dream Ace[SM] Contest, awarding him the opportunity to own an Ace Hardware store in Houston valued at $1 million Following presentations by the two contest finalists, Talley and Frank Ali of Jackson, N.J., Ace retailers attending the annual Ace Hardware Convention in Las Vegas participated in a live vote to determine the winner. "We are thrilled to welcome Gower into our Ace family of entrepreneurs," said Ray Griffith, president and CEO of Ace Hardware Corp. "Each of our stores is independently owned and operated and the Dream Ace Contest has provided us the opportunity to shine a light on this fact as well as two qualities that are at the heart of Ace Hardware and our store owners--entrepreneurialism and helpfulness."

The whole article can be found here http://http//

now another cousin is on COPS... what's next for our family??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We're having a "Snow Day" here!!

Our manager called me yesterday to tell me that AUC was going onto an "inclement weather" schedule, (we were so busy this weekend that I hadn't kept up with any current events; had NO idea that a storm, much less SNOW, was coming!!); it just means that we'll be open during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday. Dr. S is out of town and she wanted to see if I could (and would) pick up either one or both of the shifts... of course, at 1.5 times "normal" shift rate, I'm coming in!! We're trying to come up with a huge down payment for the new house we want to build, so I'm all about making any money I can!

I got up early, because I was planning on leaving out early just in case the weather was bad (though last night they predicted that the snow would start this morning), and there was already between 2 and 3 inches on the ground on P'hurst!! The driving wasn't too bad though, because the plows had gotten started even earlier - they'd even plowed my street by the time I had to leave.

This county wasn't bad at all and I was able to drive an easy 40-45mph; they hadn't plowed over towards F'ville yet because the storm really hadn't hit and I encountered a few slippery patches on 690 going through the reservation, but nothing major -- I slowed down to 25 or 30mph until I passed through those areas and all was fine. I was never in danger of actually hitting anything or anyone, or even of going off the road into the ditches. All of the "accidents" that I saw -- including the upside-down Jeep -- were single car; e.g. idiots trying to go too fast. So, I just took it nice and slow.

Now, when I hit Bragg Blvd, just outside of Spring Lake, apparently the storm hit then too and visibility was reduced to about 1 block. Again, I would have been fine, except for the morons -- the roads were covered in new snow, so it wasn't slippery at all, and a speed of about 45mph was safe, but the fools driving 15mph caused the problems!! It took me nearly 2 hrs to get here, but I made it safely with only minimal sliding about... I'm working the day shift tomorrow as well, so I'm not going home; management is going to get me a hotel room right down the road.

Baby Girl is with me because I'd already decided not to come home between shifts (doesn't make any sense when you only have 11-12 hrs and the drive takes 2hrs each way...); she's currently crashed, sound asleep on the doctor's bed (her preferred "wake" time is about 10am these days)!! I also think she's still feeling the effects of her vaccinations from yesterday - hopefully she won't be TOO cranky!

I don't expect that we'll be too busy given the weather, though we have had a couple of animals already show up, especially as it's still snowing pretty hard -- and this IS North Carolina (we don't get enough snow here to know how to deal with it!); I have a feeling that, as the day wears on, it will take a pretty big emergency for people to actually come out, but that's fine. I brought Baby Girl, I brought books, I brought DVDs and a player -- I can amuse myself today!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I admit it.... I screwed up!!

I have had some dairy products these last few days -- albeit in what I thought were very small amounts -- and she has colicked now 2 nights in a row!! When her little voice rises up in that shrill scream, and her face is all pinched, I just want to cry because I'm positive that I have done this to her! I've also noticed, the last 3 days, that it's really stinky again when she passes gas... it HAS to be the dairy. So, now it's back to strict avoidance!

Of course, what makes me mad at myself is that dairy is the most likely culprit and I intended to leave it 'til last to try... but I am weak and had some cheese (bad mommy!) - well, I learned my lesson the hard way, and at the expense of my precious baby girl's tummy.... and dairy is now completely out of my diet until I stop breast feeding for good.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trying to get "back to normal"

This is the end of my first week at work, and I finished up with 2 day shifts this weekend - poor B nearly melted down Saturday as I left at 7am and got home about 10pm... Baby Girl has been terribly fussy and refuses to nap or be put down - and he is frustrated with the restrictions he felt yesterday. His rant last night, honestly, left me in tears and it broke my heart to think that he was less than totally in love with our baby girl. I reluctantly left this morning for work, and shortly after I arrived I got a text message from him that read "I apologize for making you unhappy--not my intent--just feeling a little frustration--it'll be alright--Doodles makes me happy--I love you." And that made me cry, again...

I know that this is all new to him; it's new *again* to me, but maybe women just handle it better. I get off work in another 90 minutes and don't have to work again until next weekend, so I will be spending the better part of this upcoming week working on getting Baby Girl on a schedule, for B's sake as well as my own. It's wearing me down, too; I just handle it better.

I ordered a couple of new books aimed at "teaching" babies to sleep at night; I got one that my friend Major Smurf says saved her in regards to her baby boy... I hope that it has some helpful hints as I'm not all that creative at this. I'm coming to believe that baby girls are just different from baby boys, as my sister and friends all seem to report that they were able to schedule their sons, but no so much their daughters... makes me wonder.

Regardless, I know that this will pass and, eventually, she will sleep in her own bed and she will sleep through the night - it's just a matter of whenthat will occur!!

On another front entirely, I hired TC as a personal trainer and have had 2 "sessions" with her so far. Today I hurt like hell and can't quite straighten my arms out completely!! I made the serious mistake of telling her that the last session didn't leave me feeling very "worked out"! I am making a concerted effort to make it to the gym now, focusing on cardio for weight loss, and doing a little strength training as well. I signed up for the "Biggest Winner" thing at the gym also - you pay $10 to join and there are weekly weigh-ins. For me, it's not about losing the most weight - I'm sure there are people who need to lose much more than the 20# that I aim to drop - it's about accountability... I don't want to weigh in and have GAINED weight, so I figure that this will help me to stick to the diet and exercise plan. First weigh in is Friday...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back to work, on the hunt, and a little good news

Last night was my first night back at work and, as much as I dreaded actually having to go in, I was in a fantastic mood when I pulled up into the parking lot. I had a great time, truth be told, though I was missing Baby Girl something fierce!! We were steady but not crazy busy, which was a relief because I've been out of this for a while! A nice re-introduction, if I do say so!

I told the girls that my New Year's Resolution was to be pleasant, cheery and helpful to everyone, regardless of how stupid they are or how much they may irritate me; I want every person to hang up the phone or leave the clinic thinking "Wow, she was really NICE!" Well, that sent the girls into regales of laughter and starting them taking bets as to when I was going to really 'be back' - to my usual bitchy self, that is!

I did have one client this morning at 2am who truly tested me, but I maintained and wasn't at all contemptous of her (except mildly, and primarily in my mind, when I compared her IQ to that of a box of rocks). The one time I answered the phone, I gave all sorts of free helpful advice which you know isn't the norm for me... but it made me feel good that she kept saying, "oh, THANK YOU so much! I never would have thought about that!" or "you've really helped me and I appreciate it so much!" Who knows?? Maybe I'll be able to pull this off after all!

On another front.... we're house hunting... hoping to be putting the house on the market pretty soon, I think. I feel a bit frantic about it all, because we HAVE to sell this house to move, but we really NEED to have somewhere to go before we sell this house - so how do you do that??

I went out looking at houses on Sunday; didn't really find anything to write home about. B and I had gone up to the Vanderbilt place on Saturday and worked out the modifications for the house we're interested in; that got me really fired up again about building... and I started really looking for land.

Then today I found a GORGEOUS house (brand new) in Foxfire and a wonderful historic place (build in 1850 I believe, currently being used as a B & B so it's been updated) in Carthage that I want to see.... now I feel wishy-washy again. I guess we're just going to have to keep looking at what's available, put our house on the market and just trust that the two event (selling and buying or selling and building) will fall into place. I do like to think that things work out the way they're supposed to - I figure if I find the "perfect" land first, then we're supposed to build; if I find the "perfect" house, then we're supposed to buy. That's the theory I'm operating under at any rate!!

So... my good news is that I have begun breast feeding again and (so far) Baby Girl is doing great! She hasn't had a single episode of colic since we took her off the breast milk last week. She was solely on formula for 2 days while I put myself on a strict diet, and she has done fine since I started nursing her again. My milk supply, however... well, it's pathetic, so now I'm working on increasing that. She has had a little gas, but it's pretty mild and doesn't have that horrible stink that she had developed, so I'm pleased thus far!! Now, if I can only produce more milk!!

M did mention something last week that I think might be the root of my problem... fairly early on, when Baby Girl was only 10-12 days old, she wasn't getting enough from me, so we started supplementing, which made sense at the time, right?? I mean, your baby is hungry, you aren't making enough milk, you give her a bottle.... seems logical, BUT... what that does is take away from stimulation (a hungry baby nurses more often), virtually telling your body that it's producing enough. So, it's a viscious cycle... the baby needs more, so you supplement more and thus produce less.

My plan now is to nurse her whenever she wants to feed, even if I have to follow up with a bottle - just to get the frequent stimulation. If she is sleeping, or if I'm working, then every 1-2 hrs I am going to pump for 5 mins or so, just (again) for the stimulation. We'll see if that helps. The lactation consultant I met with back before I started the induction told me that it's not important to empty the breasts every time and that frequency is more important than length of time. She ought to know, right?? Well, keep you fingers crossed for me! I knew I wanted to breast feed Baby Girl, but didn't realize how badly I wanted it until it was taken away from me!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The end of the breast feeding

It was disappointing enough when I realized that all my work towards lacatation wasn't going to produce enough milk to sustain our daughter; then an additional insult when I had to add formula to supplement her... now it seems that we are going to have to take her off breast milk entirely as she appears to be reacting negatively to it.

Yesterday we decided to go solely with the lactose-free formula; lo and behold, there was no more gas and that terrible odor that accompanied her passing gas (she rivaled her brothers on that!) was also completely gone. I also noticed that she was hardly spitting up at all after her feedings, which was another pretty remarkable change. For only the 3rd night in the last month, she did NOT colic last night -- UNTIL I nursed her.

She is still pretty congested and was fussy (though not colicky) and restless yesterday evening; she woke up about 5pm and maybe B just kept her up too long, but she would not go down for another nap. After multiple crying bouts in the crib, we turned to holding her, even fed her again as it had been over 2 hrs from her last feeding - she would fall asleep in our arms, but wake up crying again soon after she was laid down.

I finally decided to go ahead and nurse her - and she fell right asleep, though again she woke up shortly after I put her down! And to add insult to injury... about 30 mins after I nursed her, she had an episode of colic that made both of us cry!! She was also much more gassy throughout the night!

The only conclusion that I can draw from this is that she IS lactose-intolerant, or reacting otherwise to some component of the breast milk... she does it every time she gets breast milk, whether it's mine or M's (though she does spit up much more with M's). M volunteered to keep a food journal and track Baby Girl's reactions, but... unless there is something that she eats ALL the time, thus meaning it's unlikely that she'd give it up just to be able to pump... I think maybe it's a basic component of the breast milk that won't be eliminated by simply changing diet - like lactose...

So, today it's back to strictly lactose-free formula and we'll see how she does. She's fussy this morning, but she had a rough night and woke with a nose full of mucous!! Hopefully her day will improve!

I start with my trainer at the gym this morning; first thing is an evaluation to see just how much weight I've really gained (and thus how much I need to lose)! I've been doing really good so far... I've been to the gym 3 of the last 4 days and have been eating pretty clean (except for the ice cream last night- the boys and I made chocolate ice cream and I did have a small amount - but only about 1/3 of what I might have "normally" eaten!). I feel like I've gained more weight - which makes no sense - but I don't know what to do to get rid of it!! Being 40 makes it SO much more difficult!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Facing reality

I guess I finally need to admit that this induction of lactation hasn't gone exactly as desired.... yes, I managed to produce a fair amount of milk, but nowhere near the amount needed to sustain Baby Girl. And, post birth, I have reached levels of exhaustion and stress that I haven't experienced in a very long time - two factors that exert a very negative effect on production of breast milk - so that my supply has actually decreased since her birth. My breasts hardly ever feel "full" anymore, though they will leak a little if I go too long without nursing or pumping...

Anyway, she's been so gassy and has been colicking every single night; we're using lactose-free formula mixed with breast milk and it's made no difference whatsoever. Today we're on formula alone to see if the breast milk is the contributing factor - in another day or so, we'll reevaluate and make a decision. I want to keep her on breast milk, but if it's going to affect her negatively, then... we have to do what's best for her.

Today she did well, napping in her crib for good lengths of time; tonight she is "fussy" or cranky - guess this is "her time" to be fussy... she is tired but absolutely refusing to go to sleep. Hopefully she'll give up soon... I hate to hear her cry.

The cold seems to be going away; not nearly as much mucous as the last few days, so that's a good thing. We'll get through this one way or the other...