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Tuesday Update: 04/04/06

The Good, the Not-So-Good, and the Other Tid-Bits of Info!

The Good:
Buddy is home safe and sound! Over the weekend the vet had him on IV fluids and drugs to treat his pancreatitis, but he made very sure I knew that Buddy was dangerously ill. Each day he would check in with me and update me on his progress, and each day he seemed fairly surprised at how well Buddy was bouncing back. On Friday I went up to see him for a bit and already I could see he was feeling a lot more like himself. He had pulled his IV out, so the girls put a bandage on it and let me take him for a stroll out in their back yard. He was so happy to see me, to walk outside, and sniff all the wonderful smells in the air. He had a big cone on his neck to keep him from messing with his IV and of course he kept running in to everything with it…including my leg SEVERAL times! It was so good to see him feeling so much better and running around with his usual good spirits and curiosity. It did my heart a lot of good to spend some time with him that day. By Sunday, the vet was pretty sure he’d get to come home on Monday if the upward trend continued. All of his blood work came back good and he was sent home yesterday afternoon. He will have to be on a special prescription diet for the rest of his life to try and keep his pancreas and liver producing the proper amount of enzymes etc…to try and prevent another attack. So, we are in the process of Buddy-proofing the house. He is still very fragile right now, medically. His Lipase level is still a little elevated, but the vet could tell he was feeling better and wanted to save us some money so he sent him home. I have strict instructions to watch him and call the vet immediately if he starts to show signs he’s in distress again. The doctor was so wonderful to us, especially this being the first time we’ve taken a pet there. He was very thorough in discussing Buddy’s condition with me and took a lot of time to be sure my questions were answered. He gave me his card with his home and cell phone numbers on it, to call anytime night or day. It is good to know we have a doctor we can trust right here in town.

The Not-So-Good:
Well, we got a call from the Neurosurgeon regarding Matt’s Angiogram. They were able to confirm that Matt does have an AVM. However, he said that Matt may not be a suitable candidate for Cyberknife treatment after all. The reason being, the Cyberknife technology uses the results of a CT Angiogram to interface with its computer and to program the treatment. Well, the AVM did not show up clearly on the CT Angiogram. The doctor wants to send Matt’s test results to 2 doctors in IA City for consultation. One Dr is a Radiation Oncologist who performs radiosurgeries similar to the Cyberknife, but they use different technologies and may be able to do the treatment based off of the Angiogram instead of the CT Angiogram. The other Dr is a Neuro-Interventionalist who is one of five very renown doctors in the US who specialize in embolization. This treatment option who consist of occluding the vessels with a substance (glue or alcohol) to fill up the vessel and prevent blood from going through it, again reducing the risk of re-bleed. Our Neurosurgeon here will be forwarding all the info to these IA City doctors to see if they think they can provide a better solution for treatment. If not, we will likely repeat the CT Angiogram and see if they get better results to use with Cyberknife. So…we are back to the waiting game again. Initially, Matt and I were disappointed and frustrated that there is an AVM and that we have to wait longer to treat it. But, we’ve both accepted the hand we’ve been given and are putting our faith in God to point us in the right direction.

· Matt has officially been ‘separated’ from his job. We knew this was coming, but it’s still a bummer that he won’t be able to pick up where he left off when he’s ready to go back to work. They did want to make sure he checked in when he was ready to go back, to see if they had openings, and said they would reinstate his senority if they rehired him. However, the likelihood of Matt getting his old territory back is pretty slim. He does know he likes that business though, so I’m sure he’ll want to continue in that career path when he’s able. We are both grateful for the opportunity he had in that job. He got to meet a lot of great people, who I know are keeping up on how Matt is doing through this blog. We want you to know, how much he enjoyed working with you…and how much he’s going to miss it.

· Yesterday I realized that instead of getting a nice tax REFUND, that we actually OWE federal taxes!!!! How this misunderstanding happened, I’m not quite sure. I know when we met with the accountant, and he went over things, I never once heard that we’d need to pay in. I think he read things off to us wrong, but who knows. I went over all the paperwork yesterday, as I was wondering where the refund was, and discovered that we owe. What a pain. But, thanks to the good fortune we had last year (which might be the reason we owe), we have the savings to cover the unexpected expense. Still, a pain!

· Last weekend, thanks to the help of some wonderful friends and family, we got the yard all spruced up and ready for spring! Thank YOU to everyone who helped! It was very touching to see everyone working so hard to help us out. You FAR exceeded my expectations! I could not have imagined that we’d get the whole yard raked (front and WAAAY back there), the gutters checked, those branches picked up AND hauled away, and nearly 20 bags of stuff waiting for the garbage man on Monday!!! It is good to know that I can enter the season in maintenance mode, with the big cleaning behind me. Now, who wants to come and wash windows!? HA!!! Just kidding!

Over all, things aren’t too bad. It’s been a little rocky lately, with Buddy being sick and the unexpected expenses we incurred with his treatment and those pesky taxes…but through it all we hold on to each other and our faith that God is going to see us through this and that in the end…it will all be ok. I think of the poem Footprints (which by the way…did I ever thank you Aunt Linda!?!?....if not, I apologize. Thank you for the reminder you left at Christmas.) Anyway, I think of that poem and try to take comfort in knowing that God is carrying us right now.


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