Holy Motherfucking Shit. The Battle of the Bulge in my Spine--Grover Edition: Part Two

Monday, July 10, 2017 | 1 Comment(s)

Grover's back-end was paralyzed following surgery. This fact was obscured by the staffs' practiced use of medical jargon that denoted immobility while purposely not using the "P-word." I don't think I fully comprehended his paralysis until a few days later, after he's regained some range of motion.

That said, some dogs regain full mobility (but not strength) immediately following surgery. Twenty percent become temporarily paralyzed. As we covered in part one, if there is a 20% change of a dog having a certain outcome, Grover will have it 100% of the time. He's one in a million, and he puts those odds to use when it comes to medical maladies. Not my favorite aspect of his uniqueness if were being honest. 

Holy Motherfucking Shit. The Battle of the Bulge in my Spine--Grover Edition: Part One

Thursday, May 25, 2017 | 0 Comment(s)

(If you go back in the archives to Sept. 1, 2010, you can read a number of pieces regarding my personal battle with back issues, the first of which shares its title with this post.

Today was the first day in a week that I didn't get woken up by the vet calling to give me an update on the status of Grover, my power animal and companion.

Hi, I'm Grover. This is me.

In truth, I was only woken up by the call the first morning.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a serious veterinary medical emergency in the greater (and I do mean greater) Massachusetts area, you will be directed to the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital. And, as hospitals go -- not animal hospitals mind you -- but all hospitals, this 24-hour facility is the bomb. It is the bee knees -- which, for the record, they could probably fix.  They have three staff neurosurgeons, an MRI machine, and surgical facilities. This is all comforting information to be told when your pup's back legs randomly stop functioning properly at 4pm on a Monday afternoon.

Once your pet is admitted to the Vet Hospital, the doctors assigned to your case calls you, religiously, both after morning rounds and again in the late afternoon/evening. In my experience, when your pet is gone for a week, as Grover was, these calls become your everything. These calls are the reason you set your alarm for wayyyyyy earlier than you need to wake up, in order to be cognizant when Dr. Silver calls and tells you that while the surgery went well, Grover is now paralyzed from the midsection back. She will tell you that, while frustrating, this is normal in about 20% of cases.

Of course, all you will be able to picture is your best friend (wife excluded) with a limp back end and those longing lonely eyes staring up at you confused. The puppy you promised you would take care of and love forever is paralyzed. You'll tell Dr. Silver that you are coming to visit, 5 hour trip be damned.

Dr. Silver will tell you in a calm knowing tone that while you can, of course, visit your pet at any time, they are trying to keep Grover as immobile as possible right now, and if I think he would get excited and wiggly seeing me, then it is probably best to just wait until he has gotten better before coming to see him.

Scratching the Burning Itch of Half-Ass'd Health Care

Thursday, January 5, 2017 | 0 Comment(s)

Friends. Let's just admit that it's been awhile since my last confession/post. Life, it appears, cycles. And like those bits of laundry that fall between your washer & dryer -- sometimes you miss a cycle or two.  I'm not going to apologize, because I'm a professor now. And being a professor means never having to say your sorry.  You instead say, "I've been working on a bunch of projects."

Ya'll, I've been working on a bunch of projects.

But, one issue above all has brought me back to the electronic typewriter: "Why do products like ass cream require the pharmacy to call your doctor for refills?"

It's fucking insane. I mean let's think of the logic here. First off, said person, let's call him Matt for simplicity's sake, has a burning ass, fiery enough to make a doctor's appointment. Then in said doctor's appointment with Matt's 50-year-old female PA, Matt proclaims his ass to be flammable. I will save you the details, but this fictional Matt character may have complained of blood and hemorrhoids. At least that's the word on the fictional street.  Then Matt, having declared his rectal pain, got to watch said PA search the internet for the best creams for said issue.

*It is here, I must add, that Matt lost a bit of faith in his PA. I mean, he can google his symptoms to find the recommended cures. He can also look at the doctors' reviews of said products and corresponding side effects. Sitting there for 5-10 minutes watching her search on the computer felt a bit bush league to Matt. But I digress.

So, with no inspection of the area of said problem (I can't be sure if that was a good or bad thing -- probably bad in terms of treatment, good in terms of emotional comfort), Matt was sent on his way with a prescription for the most commonly used product for such an ailment that also had the fewest  reported negative side-effects.  In summary, the process of procuring my prescription was awkward and uncomfortable on a variety of levels.  But, this isn't even where my real issue lies.