Friday, October 9, 2009

Now the Good News

Today I had the follow-up appointment with my hematologist. I went with trepidation, since last time I saw him it seemed I was facing a bone marrow test. I've heard this is a hellaciously painful test. I also know the the diseases they're looking for are bad and worse. There is no good thing that they are likely to find when taking bone marrow, since what they're looking for are mostly autoimmune diseases that range from bad to dire.

Today they had the results of my abdominal ultrasound which showed normal spleen and liver. The only problem they found was several gall stones. I have no symptoms of gall stones--no pain, no nausea, no vomiting. And even better than that news, was the news that my platelet count is up. It's not normal yet, but it's better than it was two weeks ago.

From now on I will have an appointment with Dr Frame, my sweet, cute, friendly hematologist every three months to monitor my platelet count. This means between my once a month appointment with my internist to check my clotting factor as well as the four appointments a year with the charming Dr Frame I'll be getting the best possible care. If he ever decides I have to have my bone marrow looked at, I'll know it will be an early diagnosis and that he will make sure it hurts as little as possible.

Hooray for Medicare, the best health insurance in this country! This is the public option I hope all of you get. I have never had any test or referral challenged by Medicare.

Big Cyrus

Cyrus came to me from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. I'm one of the few people who prefers an adult dog to a puppy, so when Best Friends found Cyrus in dire straits and on very shaky ground they called me. He'd been kept for nine years in a "shelter" in the desert outside of Tucson. The woman who was collecting unwanted animals had Cyrus since he was a puppy. For nine years she fed and watered him, but did not address his health problems. Then she died, suddenly, of a heart attack, leaving 93 animals unattended until a family member of the woman couldn't reach her by phone and called the authorities. The police called Best Friends to come deal with all the animals. Cyrus was the biggest of the lot and had some of the biggest problems. His teeth were a mess, he knees were shot, his thyroid was in need of medicine, and he was in serious pain due to arthritis. Best Friends did all the work they could to improve Cyrus' chances. His teeth were cleaned and the worst of them extracted. He was put on pain medication and thyroid medicine. Then they needed to find him the right home. I feel very lucky to have been the one they chose to take him. He is a saintly, sweet, loving soul and I've loved every minute with him.

Due to Cyrus' joint problems he's only able to hobble outside a couple of times a day to do his business. He isn't comfortable outside. He's very sensitive to loud noises and will cut off a pee mid-stream if a walnut falls from the neighbor's walnut tree and hits the ground with a soft thud. I know there will come a day when he can't rise. That will be the day I call The House Call Vet to come give him the easy way out. Too bad our doctors aren't allowed to ease our way out of a bad end. How is it we are more compassionate to our pets than we are with our fellow humans?

Yesterday The House Call Vet came by to check on a sore on Cyrus' muzzle, close to his nose that flared up and required antibiotics. Turns out it might be a tumor. It's in a very bad place for surgery and even if it could be treated it would take a forklift to get him out of here. He weighs 170 pounds. I weigh 145 pounds. If Cyrus doesn't want to budge from his bed beside my bed, I can't make him. He's had two good years with me. More than Best Friends thought he'd live. So I will cherish every second I have with him.