Archive for June, 2005

House of Ill Repute

So no sooner than Thunder is back on his furry feet, Nicole is now flat out with what we thought at first may be tonsilitis. She has had a fever and a really nasty cough for the last 4 days and even though she says she feels better, she is still lethargic and grumpy as most sick people are 🙂
For my part, I am sore all over from working out again, most notably my legs feel like spaghetti even though any normal person could have done my leg workout without a second thought. My legs don’t just get sore now, but they get that nerve sting down them where the muscles were compormised with my trapped spinal nerve. This means it is like having acid poured down inside your arteries spreading out to every tiny mscle fiber you have. It is incredibly excruciating. All this after a leg workout that was at most 15 minutes long. Oh well, I am not gonna complain knowing the places I have been with my body the past 3 years.

Thunder Stares Death in the Face

Sunday was a rough day for Thunder. He was sick after breakfast and for most of the day continued to throw up. This happens with cats some of the time if they eat something they shouldn’t or can’t get rid of a hairball. However by the early evening it was obvious that he wasn’t getting over it. We called the emergency clinic and took him in. He seemed OK, a little weary from barfing all day but otherwise not particularly sickly. The vet took a look at him and squeezed him, poked him and took his temperature which I am certain came as quite a shock to him. However, once she looked in his mouth, everything became clear. Right at the back of his mouth under his tongue she could see a small black thread.
Apparently Thunder had thought it would be a great idea to eat some of the sewing thread right off the sewing machine. He had managed to swallow enough of it to get entwined around his intestines and caught around his tongue. The Xrays showed lots of gas in his stomach and everything was over on one side of his body. The danger of releasing the thread was that in many cases, the thread is strong enough that it will rip through the small intestine and the animal can bleed to death. This is especially the case if the thread is long enough.
So we opted (not much choice here) to have him put out and for the vet to cut him open and find out what was going on. This was extremely difficult for us knowing his history of heart problems but really we had no choice. We sat nervously in the waiting room with a very nice lady whose cat had swallowed a NEEDLE!!! Tres bizarre if you ask me. Thunder was put on his drip and we were told that the surgery would be at about 2am and we could come back and pick him up the next morning to take him to the day clinic.
At 7 Monday morning we were at the clinic and were happy to learn that the surgery was a success but that there were 7 incisions in the lining of his intestines from where the vet had pulled about 2ft (24 inches!) of black sewing cotton thread. He had staples in his stomach which was a little comical because it made him look like a stuffed animal with a big zip down his tummy. Of course, he was less than thrilled to see us but everyone was cooing over him and saying what a handsome cat he is (he takes after his father…) and he definitely seemed a little better than when we had left him. His heart had not been an issue and he had no problems with the anaesthetic. We took him to the day hospital and the next 2 days were mostly Nicole and I driving him between the emergency clinic for overnights and the day clinic for monitoring.
By Wednesday lunchtime he was well enough to come home but now has to be separated from Lightning with his own bedroom with executive ensuite litter box. His recovery is going well and he is perking up more every day. The only remaining concern was to watch for his first trip to the litter box, but everything seemed normal and he is now back on track. He will need his staples out next week and he has poodle paws from the shaving for his IV but other than that he doesn’t seem much the worse for wear. I can’t say the same for my wallet however, his first night with the surgery etc came to a whopping $2011 and at an average of $250 a day since has easily topped the $3000 mark. Thank God we have insurance but with the limit and deductible it will still have cost us an arm and a leg to get him fixed.
It is a good thing he is so cute…

My reply…

Someone posted a question about their lingering back pain… This is a portion of my replies.


Well I think I am going to give the opposite advice since I am in a similar situation to you and am living it day to day. I am 2 1/2 years post op and have had some very painful days both right after the surgery and lately. However I have found that pain killers and passive healing just don’t work in the long run. For me, it was weight loss and stretching and gently increasing my overall strength (including core) to the point where I was able to feel healthy again. I still have pain every day, my back hurts when I get up in the morning, it hurts when I stand up from my computer (I work in an office in computers which is the kiss of death for soemone with back problems) and it hurts whenver I exercise HOWEVER it doesn’t hurt like it used to. I say be patient, try to exercise at least once a day (stretching counts) and if you are working then make sure you stand up and walk around every 15 to 20 minutes. I know you know how much it sucks being on pain killers and the withdrawal and depression they can bring so I would say do whatever is in your power to rehab yourself and be as active as possible all the time and I promise it will help. Be careful and be healthy, best of luck.


That sounds pretty typical from what I have read. I am the same way even now 2 1/2 years post op. I find that the more I do, the better I feel but if I lay around one day and watch TV then the next day I am a wreck. In a way I do feel worse after the surgery because I never feel “normal” like I used to. However, I also have not had an episode since the surgery which used to happen at least once every 6 months. I know for myself though that a large part of the problem is my weight, being 260lbs even though it is mostly muscle carries with it a great deal of spinal stress.
I also work in computers and have to stand and walk around, arch and stretch at least every 15 minutes during the day in order that my back doesn’t tighten up. You have to be religious about this or you will find your back will always be painful when getting up.
Does this suck? Well, I could be philosophical about it and say that it has taught me a great deal about myself, about my physical tolerances and about keeping my physical ego in check but in reality when I have to lay on my floor some days just to be able to walk properly I would say yes, it sucks big time. However, I am coaching gymnastics, I am going to the gym again and for the most part regardless of the lingering pain my life is somewhat back to ‘normal’.
I guess the bottom line is that we all, post op, need to come to terms with our new realities and face them the best we can. I still am optimistic that at some point I will start to have days where I don’t feel pain. Whether that is in the next 6 months or the next 5 years only time will tell.

Down Under?

We also got what could potentially be life changing news this week, that my parents are planning to go to Australia again. In an ideal world, we would be able to go, find jobs, come back here and liquidate our lives and emigrate to Australia kissing Canada goodbye forever. The real kicker is that for whatever reason, we BOTH now meet the standards for immigration according to the Immigration Australia website and LIVEINAUSTRALIA.COM . So I am dusting off my resume and preparing myself to write some letters to companies in the Gold Coast area to see if there is any interest. The good thing is that the Australian websites are filled with Tech job openings and frankly I am so excited I can hardly even write this… I will say more later since this is only really a hint of what might be but lets be honest, at the very least the chance to go back to Oz healthy so I can swim in the ocean again is just awesome!!

Candy Floss and Sunburn

We went out to the Aurora Street Fair this past weekend which was a really interesting time. Apart from the fact that we had to walk about 6 km from one ond to the other and back which was difficult at times it was really enjoyable. There were all sorts of vendors, tons of people supporting the new beading craze with necklaces and anklets and bracelets and earrings, lots of local stores selling various dips and sauces which was unfortunate since it was over 30 degrees and appetites were waning… The highlight for me though was real candy floss on a stick which I haven’t had since my years back in England at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. All the memories of childhood came flooding back with each huge fluffy pink wad of sugar that I shoved into my mouth.. It was truly heaven!
Since the sun was shining we decided that we would also get to the gym early on Sunday morning for our second official workout at our new gym. I have to say it is looking promising as far as numbers of people since every time we have been there so far it has been virtually deserted. Oddly enough, when we were there after work on Monday it was full of Western students sending me into another time warp as they discussed their final exams and their prospects for employment over the summer. After the gym we detoured to breakfast for our next stop in our search for Aurora’s best breakfast. This place was called Daybreak but unfortunately was boiling hot when we got there. Nevertheless we ordered our omlette and scrambled eggs and were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. The service was great, however they opted for the little cubed home fries instead of making their own which is never going to be the sign of a truly great breakfast place. However, this was the best so far and I think we are going to try Wimpys at some point for our next stop.

Happy June!

Finally, the weather is cooperating and it is starting to feel a little like summer. This means that it is time to get the roof off the Jeep, something which my trusty coworkers have in the past been a big part of but who this year are too far afield to assist. Being as it is that we moved out of the city there is only one person close enough to help, and I haven’t sprung the question on him yet… But I will, oh yes.
We went to a fitness club around the corner from our new place last week, a little place called Timberlane which was nice, and coincidentally was a place I had been to in order to set up a coffee account which must be 12 years ago now. Even though we have managed to set up a gym in our basement with padded floors and the whole nine yards, we still feel theneed to go to organized fitness classes and to have access to hardcore equipment. At $249 for 4 months, the deal seemed too good to pass up so we are going to set up our memberships this week.
In the more money out of the pot category I am also looking for a new computer since the one we have currently will not allow me to do any of the digital capturing necessary to offer still pictures of the Gym competitions to our girls. Seems that Dell is the best all around deal but only because I am bowing to peer presssure and not going with TigerDirect since some people have had bad experiences with them… Far be it from me to follow the crowd, but we are talking a substatial sum here…
Speaking of Gym, we had our last competition of the year this past weekend and the girls actually did quite well with the exception of our most senior girl who had what some would call an ‘off day’ but what I would call a poor showing. The best thing to come out of the meet was that one of our girls who will not be returning next year and who is notoriously bad at competitions did very well (FINALLY!!!) and got what I feel she deserved for her years of effort. Once the results were in I did some number crunching and it seems that throughout the year most of the girls have steadily improved which means that Nicole and I must have been doing something right.
It is the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation Lottery drawing this morning and on Brekfast Television they were touring the $2.35 million home that they are giving away, fully furnished in the part of town we recently moved from. The place was enourmous and quite spectacular but I still thought that even if we won the thing, we would probably sell it and find another place up near us since the appeal of the country seems to have us firmly in it’s grip. I was standing on the balcony last night in the fading light of dusk listening to the frogs calling to each other, grilling some steaks on the barbeque and wondering why we didn’t get out of the city before now. It is so peaceful in the evening, of course because the mosquitoes aren’t about yet, but even if they were, our Citronella Surivoresque laps would protect us, surely?