Saturday, July 26, 2008

Contents Of This Post Include Repeated References To Diarrhea

I will begin by gloating that it is currently 55 degrees outside. My California relatives would say that that is COLD. I say it's sweater weather and I LOVE it. Yes it's July and I'll say again, I live in New England for a reason. Well for several reasons but in this case because I like cool weather. Later today it should get up into to the lower eighties.

I will continue by saying that my dog has had diarrhea for a month. One up-side of this is that I now have no trouble spelling diarrhea. If pressed I could find another up-side which is that I feel kind of like a superhero in staying on top of the diarrhea in hand to butt combat. It's not an easy battle at all. It involves lots of laundry, as you might expect, and a fair amount of cooking, not to mention wiping, cleaning and hosing. Diarrhea doesn't care what time of day or night it is so sleep deprivation is also involved.

I guess some people would give up and put their dog to sleep rather than fight. I can't do that though. Fay is herself. She's fine except that the back of her doesn't work and she's extremely messy. The bottom line is that she has diarrhea because of some medication(s) she's on. If we can determine which one it is then this battle will be over.

Certain demoralizing complications have arisen in the last couple of weeks. The butt infection was bad. Now Fay's on an antibiotic to fight it and other potential infections. This antibiotic seems to be making her feel lousy though. Or else it's the shots of cytosar she had two weeks ago that make her feel lousy. In the morning after taking her medication she starts feeling low and uncomfortable and this behavior persists into the afternoon. That's when I think that life is becoming a burden to her. She isn't her bright, demanding self and she has no appetite. I think she can't go on feeling like that and having endless diarrhea. That's when I think I might have to put her down any day now.

Then I talk to the vet who convinces me that there are still things we can do to improve the situation. The latest is anti-diarrhea cat food because Fay now refuses to eat the dog version no matter what I cook for her to mask the taste. We're also eliminating or decreasing her medications one at a time. All of these changes take at least a week to show if they're working. We have had some success: no more blood. She has good days and bad days. Today is a messy day which goes to show that we haven't had much success.

So today I will drive from Vermont down to Jamaica Plain in Boston where the vet hospital is and pick up Fay's first rations of prescription cat food. If she won't eat that either or if (after a week to ten days) it just doesn't help then we'll try decreasing another medication. This will increase the possibility that her disease could spread forward to her forelegs or into her brain. You'll notice that this also implies at least another week of diarrhea as a best case scenario.

In the mean time the people in my life are losing patience with my patience. They don't see why I don't just put an end to this ordeal. Even if we solve the diarrhea problem Fay's still incontinent and I'll still be cleaning up after her. She'll still be paralyzed and her disease will progress eventually.

It's just that when she's herself and not uncomfortable she's my good friend who still enjoys life. I haven't yet met the line where what needs to be tried to make that happen is too much to ask. Everybody else seems to think I've crossed it. Everybody but the vet at least.

In the midst of all this sometimes (like when I take out the trash) I notice that it's nice outside. I've been very wrapped up in my new ideas and the ordinary things I have to do and in taking care of Fay's emergencies. Occasionally I wish I would just go outside and enjoy the lovely weather. As we know I don't love warm weather. But summer is reality and I should try to enjoy and participate in it.

Instead today I'll bundle Fay into the car with her diapers and Huggies wipes and drive down to Boston for the cat food. It seems to me better to deal with whatever "emerges" on two three-hour car rides than to leave her sitting in whatever piles in the kitchen all day long until I return. So that's what we'll do.

Fay's Uncle Kenny has come to our rescue. Kenny, my new favorite Weisstronaut, was supposed to come up here to VT today and join the other Weisstronauts to record and play a festival this weekend. He got a late start since he's got bronchitis and didn't sleep well last night. He's going to pick up the cat food for us. We'll have to think of something REALLY nice to do for Kenny. I wonder if he'll have a taste for cupcakes despite his bronchitis? Maybe chicken soup would be more appropriate?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Extended Engagement! Full Moon All Month Long!

I feel like the moon has been full all month.

A number of people I know are doing really stupid things that have me doubting their sanity.

Honestly with the thoughts that are going through my brain these days I'm questionting my sanity too. In my case I think I've discovered what my next major direction will be for my art work and it's radically different than anything I've tried before. It also incorporates everything I've done before. It's years worth of work and could involve a number of other people.

Unless I'm insane and this is some kind of waking dream.

My waking life definitely feels surreal right now. I'm sleep deprived and caffienated. It's so humid here in VT that I'm starting to feel like an aquatic mammal or perhaps an amphibian. My perception of reality is definitely not what it normally is. That's probably good since I'm an artist and we're supposed to be a little freaky.

Well, I have a lot of work to do. Better get going...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Some Down, Some Up

Rough night with Fay last night. She's really not feeling well.

Her butt infection is looking better but she's definitely having digestive problems. The vet thinks it's one of her meds but isn't sure which one so we're reducing or eliminating them one at a time. Of course this could mean her disease will progress.

You can see where this is headed.

The vet also said not to expect much improvement in under a week.

I just want her to feel better. It's been really hard seeing her uncomfortable.

On the up side my parents flew back to California yesterday and are now sleeping in their own beds. Well, they can be early risers so maybe they're awake now. I hope not though - they had a difficult journey themselves. They deserve a good sleep-in.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Challenge Me To A Duality - Ha ha ha - ugh.

Fay's recovery is NOT going smoothly. You can read about it on my other blog. I"m not sure how much longer we'll have her with us.

I'm toying with making this blog here, the one you're reading now, the "Light" blog and the other the "Dark" blog. Maybe. Maybe it's better to incorporate all sides of one's personality? And then I don't want this blog to be nothing but flowers, sunshine and marshmallows. We'll see what develops.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Quick Update Update

I have always been disappointed in chocolate chip rice krispie treats. Chocolate ganache covered rice krispie treats are another thing altogether. That is how to mix chocolate and rice krispie treats.

And that is a hint that I did make ganache to put over the marshmallow topped cupcakes. I'm waiting till tomorrow to post a photo because I want to do them justice. Not that anyone but me and Pete will be able to taste them (and Pete will find them to be too much)

Quick Update

This moth came to visit yesterday. He/she stayed on our kitchen window all day. I think he/she looks very anime monster. I think he/she is really cute but I don't want to be condescending.

The day before yesterday I was bent on making marshmallows and cupcakes. Chocolate chocolate cupcakes and cherry Chambord marshmallows. I was going to pipe the marshmallows in shapes kind of like the ones I make in my paintings. The marshmallow batter didn't come out as stiff as I would have liked but they did make interesting looking, good tasting marshmallows. I ran out of time and energy to make the chocolate ganache for the cupcakes. My friend Michaela suggested I put marshmallow on the cupcakes instead. Great idea. Here's a photo of them that Pete took:

If we don't eat them all first I'm still going to make ganache and put it over the marshmallow.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What You Get When You Ask For Mayhem

Yesterday was difficult.

If you look on my other blog you can see that Fay has had some messy health problems lately, one being an infected rear end. Her back half is mostly paralyzed but even she could tell that her butt had turned into a lava-spewing volcano. She was obviously hurting.

Twenty-four hours, a trip to the vet and a few stepped-in turds later I have devised Fay's Buttcare System. Figuring out the system was stressful and confusing. It involves antibiotics, anti-fungal ointment, astringent compresses and keeping her from sitting on her butt. Keeping a dog from sitting on her butt is not an easy task. Fay's neurologist was kind (and handy) enough to make Fay some "donuts" to wear around her legs that raise her back business-end off the ground enough to prevent chafing.

Fay's wheelchair also keeps her off her butt quite handily and makes the compress and ointment part of her treatment possible.

That's the compress. You can also see that her wheelchair accomodates her donuts in this photo.

She's seeing much more chair time than ever before. This is doubly good because when I let her out she's really tired and doesn't want to drag herself around on her butt.

Even though I hadn't worked the bugs out of The System last night Fay's feeling much better today and her rear looks much better too.

One thing has become very clear from this week: it is crucial to avoid Fay having diarrhea.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yesterday I Made Another Blog

Born out of my rage at the heat and humidity of Summer, my new blog is called "Mel Disagrees" although I'm considering changing the name to "Summer Sucks."

I've already posted on it four times.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


It's too disgusting and vile here in Brookline! In the 90's and over 90% humidity. I'm getting the hell out of here the first chance I get and I'm taking Fay with me! Blecccch!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hot Again

I want to be doing some baking but it's WAY too hot for it in Brookline. Instead I made a pan of Rice Krispie Treats.

Recently I thought that I could eat an entire pan of the things all by myself. I tried and it turns out that I can't.

Here are some books that I got recently that I'm really excited about:

Exotic marshmallow recipes:

Exotic dessert recipes:

Exotic hotels:

How to draw Manga:

What one's body language can tell an observer:

Like how I took's images? I guess I'll make a special effort to link them to the pages on the Amazon site.

This group looks to me like a new direction for work in my studio. Why paint marshmallows when you can make marshmallows? I have made marshmallows before but this book really ups the ante on them. There are also certain elements of mayhem, lust and greed to these selections. We'll see in time where this all goes.

In other news, Dad's getting out of the hospital tomorrow morning. Yay! Mom and Dad are staying at a Las Vegas Marriott for a while so he can build up the strength to fly back to California. Thanks everyone who sent us good wishes - whether you told me about it or not.

Fay and I spent two deliciously air-conditioned hours at the vet today. She got some tests, some new meds and some treats. I paid a big bill and accidentally sprayed the vet with cytarabine. Cytarabine is the drug that Fay gets as a shot and that comes in this lovely yellow bag:

Just what you want to spray on someone whose hands control the fate of a loved-one. The vet was really nice about it though. Lordy!

Hi Sarah!!!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Two Days Late

My 4th of July running foot look. I went out in public with these socks on.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hey, Where Am I And What Am I Doing In This Handbasket?

I got that title from a "Far Side" cartoon.

Two days after my last post I was on a plane to Vegas. Not for fun unfortunately. My parents were visitng my brother there when my dad had a heart attack. When I got to town Dad was in the middle of a triple-bypass. A few hours later we met with the surgeon who said the proceedure had gone beautifully and things were looking good.

The surgery went well but the recovery is having some problems. Dad's still in the hospital and Mom's still in Vegas. They'll be there for at least another week and a half. It's making me nervous.

Meanwhile, Fay's disease is progressing. She's not drastically worse but she is worse.

We're at my parents' beach house in Long Island now. The plan was (back in early June) that Mom and Dad would be here too. It's not as fun without them and knowing where they are and what they're doing. Also, since no one has been here since Pete, Marc and I in November, things are a bit entropic here. Pete and I are working on it though.