You know how they say your entire life flashes before your eyes before you die?  Well, if I was dying and my entire life flashed before my eyes, a replay of December 1st, 2010 would seriously make me reconsider rescinding that do not resuscitate order.

I woke up late this morning – and it was downhill from there.  Because I was dropping my pug, Jelly, off at the vet’s for her MRI, she was the only one who didn’t get breakfast this morning.  And, boy, did she remind me – barking, whining, looking up at my with those big pleading bug-eyes as if to ask: “Why?  What did I do?  Why have you – and Nature’s Variety Beef Formula – forsaken me?”.  I did my best to ignore her like a persistent panhandler or fellow producer Carl Binder suggesting we sit down to watch a producer’s edit.  I loaded Jelly into the car, said goodbye to the rest of the gang who would be cooling their paws until lunch, and headed off –

And directly into a traffic jam.  An early morning fire had shut down one of the city’s main streets, West Broadway, for two blocks in either direction.  Interestingly – one might even go so far as to say “annoyingly” – motorists were denied access to the street but there were no signs directing them around the blockage.  And so, I took a left, hoping to take my next right and run a parallel course to the one I’d planned, only to discover the next block was inaccessible as well, forcing me to take another left and travel down another two blocks before taking another right to travel twelve more blocks before taking a right and eventually finding my way back to civilization.  Seriously.  Would it have killed them to put up a simple Detour sign directing us to the quickest and most convenient way around the problem area?  Time and again, it seem as thought Vancouver’s city planners plan for everything, except for the possibility that cars may be on their roads.  They’re far too busy building cycling lanes in order to curry favor with the city’s powerful bike lobby.

I arrived at the vet clinic and dropped Jelly off.  After showing remarkable improvement following a stem cell procedure to treat her hip dysplasia and arthritic shoulders and elbows, she has deteriorated significantly over the past week and a half, leading her vet to suggest we investigate other potential causes for her condition.

I then headed to work where I spent the greater part of the morning, sitting in my office impatiently waiting for a certain individual to join us so we could watch the Day 1 Mix of Deliverance (The second part of the mid-season two-parter.  Last night’s episode, Resurgence, being the first.  Ohhhh.  So THAT’S how it turns out!).  Eventually, about a half an hour before lunch, said individual informed us that he would not be joining us and to go ahead without him.  So, we settled down and watched the music.  The verdict?  Music = awesome.  Sound effects = are going to need some work.   Not that they were bad; simply…wrong in so many ways, owing to the fact that they were all synced to temp visual effects.  Time and again, a frustrated Paul would pause the episode to remark “Okay, that’ll be totally different.” or “That’s gonna change,” or “Pay no attention to that!”.  Since we started so late, we took a break, then resumed after lunch, which allowed us to finish up well after the time I needed to head out and back into town for my dentist appointment.

I chipped a back tooth earlier this year (all that caramelized foie gras no doubt) and had gone in last week to get fitted for a crown.  Four needles, an aching jaw, and a numbened tongue that I ended up biting three times and so ended swelling up painfully making it difficult to either chew or talk for days on end later, they had an impression of my back tooth and I had an appointment to go back and finish up the procedure.  Unfortunately, it turns out the lab failed in their task of transforming my dental impression into a crown AND delivering it to my dentist.  I’m not sure what the hell happened.  Either they forgot, misplaced my file, lost my crown, or inadvertently shipped it to a loved one in Amsterdam along with a pair of hand-knit socks, an ugly Christmas sweater, and a ceramic scottie mug.  It doesn’t matter really because, in the end, it amounted to the same thing for me.  And so, four more needles, another aching jaw, and a second numbenened tongue that I will end up biting three more times so that it will swell up painfully making it difficult to either chew or talk for day on end later, they had a second impression of my back tooth and I had a second appointment to go back and finish up the procedure (tomorrow, unfortunately right before kick-off of the Texans-Eagles game I had planned to enjoy with friends).

Immediately following that appointment, I was in the car and driving all the way back to Burnaby to pick up Jelly and get the news on her MRI.  But not before waiting another thirty minutes in the waiting room for the doctor to free up.  So, here’s the deal with my gal: she’s got a disc extrusion, a disc rupture of the vertebrae, high up on her spinal cord (T11/T12/T13) which has seriously hampered her movement and made it impossible for her to walk, squat, pee, or poop in a dignified manner (well, as dignified as possible given that she is a pug).  Left untreated, there are number of ways things can go: 1) With rest, her condition may improve with time, 2) Her condition will stabilize and she’ll have to accustom herself to these latest hardships, 3) Her condition continues to deteriorate and full paralysis sets in.  Given the gradual turn in her physical condition, I don’t think #1 is even remotely likely.  Faced with the latter two scenarios, I asked the doctor about possible treatment.  Surgery is the other option, a two hour procedure that could go a number of ways: 1) It will improve her condition (and quality of life) to varying degree.  2) There will be no change in her condition, 3) The surgery will have the opposite effect and she may end up paralyzed.  Oh, and there’s always 4) She doesn’t survive the surgery either owing to her advanced age, pug-related breathing issues, or other complications. And so, I’m faced with a big decision.  Do I risk her life to attempt to improve her quality of life, or do I avoid the risk of surgery to run the risk of her succumbing to paralysis? Food for thought during my once highly anticipated Tokyo trip.

Oh, forgot to add – as I was receiving care instructions from the tech, Jelly, proceeded to relieve herself…while seated on my lap.  It was pretty damn impressive volume.  She must’ve been holding onto that all day.

Arrived home late tonight to discover that I’d misinterpreted the post-season scenario for the Stargate NFL Fantasy Football League and that, with Monday Night’s heartbreaking (and, apparently, hip-breaking) loss of Frank Gore, my Snow Monkeys were eliminated from playoff contention.

Would love to take refuge in a good book – if I could find one.  More misses than hits of late (although I owe you guys a write-up on Joe Abercrombie’s greatest latest and am, thus far, very impressed with Art Spiegelman’s Maus) so I’ve taken steps to rectify the situation by stopping by my local bookshop on the way home from dinner and ice cream tonight…

Read any of the above?  Recommendations?  Warnings?

Apologies.  I’ll be announcing the finalists of the “I Make the Best Whatever…” contest in tomorrow’s blog entry.

Promise.

[Addendum to tonight’s entry: I just went downstairs to check on my laundry and stepped in a huge puddle.  Apparently, my washer is leaking.]

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Belouchi
Belouchi

Dear Joe,

My prayers are for Jelly. I hope all will turn out well for that gal, she doesn’t deserve this hardship. I also would like to congratulate you on a verry fine episode, Resurgence. Liked it a lot .. cant wait for Paul’s eppy Deliverance.

Finally, Bon Voyage et Bon retour from Tokyo for I myself am traveling soon.. to Morocco…. Ever been there?

asms
asms

Hey Joe, all the best with Jelly.
It is a very hard decision and there is really no right or wrong way to go. It’s all about what you feel is best for Jel.
Unfortunately my wife (as a vet nurse) has to see people making that sort of decision every day. It’s never easy and every situation is different.

Good luck with it all.

Alan

asms
asms

Addendum to previous comment.

Is that a washing machine or a washer woman? If the latter I think you might have to have stern words with her!

Luvnjack
Luvnjack

Poor Joe! *huggles* What a NOT awesome day! sad Not much I can say to help, I’m afraid, except that we’ve all been on the wrong end of life’s a** kickings.

LJ

P.S. Lovedlovedlovedloved Resurgence! LOVED!

Chy Clayton
Chy Clayton

Feel for you.

On books: Benioff turned me off big time. It’s a sequel (25th Hour) and for me really didn’t stand alone – I started it not realizing there was a previous book, then got the first book and read it between chapter 4 and 5-ish.
It read a bit too much like Tarentino and not enough like real Russian if that makes sense.
-2cents

BMc
BMc

Oh, wow. Damn. Why can’t we call a Mulligan on a day like that… *gentle cuddles* to Jelly, heartfelt sympathy to the guy who has to make the hard decisions.

Beth

Rich S
Rich S

Ah, Joe, what a bad day.

Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you

Sorry to hear about Jelly, its always difficult when a pet has problems, easpecially as they get older. I remember when my 12 year old cat Pete got sick, he disappeared for two days, then when he came back had trouble breathing and wouldnt move or eat.

I took him to the vet where they kept him in overnight for tests and such. Got a phone call in the morning, they had removed half a pint of fluid from his lungs and I should come in and see him as the prognosis wasn’t good. When I got there he didn’t even recognise me, was very sad and I had to make that big decision…

So I hope you can make Jelly happy and comfy because you sure do get attached to them…

Rich

ganymede
ganymede

Oooooooow…Joe… What did you do? Cut in front of some Gypsy in Traffic without signalling? Or, has Ashleigh been making Voodoo Dolls as Holiday Gifts…?

Tough choice with Jelly… If it’s a disc prob, she’s gotta be in a LOT of pain! I know from personal experience – and not even to the point of a rupture – that disc pain feels like a knife in there! And, considering her history, shy of outright having her put down [my sister went thru a similar situation last year], try the surgery… Who knows, it might work…

And, get a discount from your dentist!

for the love of Beckett

Yikes,.,.,The quicker you can get to bed, the sooner today will be over! Hide under the covers with Jelly and maybe it will go away. (You have waterproof covers on the mattress, right?) grin

Smiling w/ you, because I’ve been there with my dog. The whole spinal stenosis, incontinence, quality-of-life decisions ball of wax. Or is it a ball of tar? Ultimately, you know your Jelly grrrl – and yourself – better than anyone else. *gives Miss Jelly a smooch on the cheek* Don’t worry, honey. Daddy will take good care of you.

Joe, know that in our hearts we’re walking alongside you through all of this. You’re both in our prayers.

If it weren’t for the very real worries about Jelly, today would make a pretty good comedy, complete with pathos. Whenever I had a bad day like that, one thing going wrong after another…all day, it would begin to dawn on me what the deal was. “OK. I get it. I’m stuck in a sit-com and I can’t get out. Anything that happens from here on out is pure comedy.” And then I’d be waiting to laugh at whatever happened next, and it wouldn’t be so bad. And yes! A great book and ice cream are the perfect antidote. smile

Kristina

Wow that was a bad day….Hugs

As to Jelly I have no idea what to suggest I have had pets and had to make the decision on 4 occasions always hard as what to do…

Kriss smile

cherluvya

Hey Joe,

Poor thing…you and Jelly. I am so sorry to hear of your “not so wonderful” day. *sad face*

These are the days that try us most. The Jelly thoughts are probably what made everything else seem so bad. I hope you like the attached. I read it every time I feel sad about an animal that I love or have loved.

http://www.mytammy.co.uk/printbridge.html

Japan is so close..but I am sure your thoughts will wander back to Jelly in those quiet moments. *Teddy Bear Hugs* for you both.

Best to you and Jelly,
Always,
Cheryl

Annie from Fremantle
Annie from Fremantle

Oh poor lil girl Jelly – give her a hug from me

I’m a big believer in signs and I think that the disaster in your travels and your dental situation relates to the decisions to what to do with Jelly.

I reckon leave her be without the surgery. It may just aggravate the situation. She looks a bit weak to handle it also.

Just try to make her as comfortable as possible.

Just my opinion .. xx

jojo
jojo

I’m so sorry to hear about your bad day. I could say that I had a bad day as well, but that doesn’t help you any, does it? Let me say instead that I feel for you, and hope that tommorrow is better. Maybe if you go take a good whack at the washer, it might help!

german_2

Hi Joe,
What does the name ‘Resurgence’?

Sean D.

Re: possible surgery for Jelly – what kind of track record do those vets have with that type of surgery, similar surgeries, and surgeries in general? Generally a positive turn-out? Perhaps the surgery is a good idea for Jelly. Of course they won’t tell you that there’s a general negative turn-out from the surgeries that they do, so it’d make sense to do some digging/research, asking around… then there’s figuring out how to find out who to ask. Ugh. Tricky situation. Whatever you decide, I wish the best for Jelly!

Sean D.

Jovanna

Sounds like you’ve been having a bad day or is that an understatement/overstatement?

Glad I’m not the only one. The pool got set on fire and we got locked in at the hospital for 15minutes after home time because of it – don’t ask me how, I don’t get it either. We only got to go after the fire trucks arrived and then, they moved very slowly. And then I’ve been told that I’m a failure but not quite so nicely – by a supervisor who doesn’t think I will manage at my next job. Talk about nice… perhaps not so bad as your day though.

I’d be worried about Jelly if I was going overseas… all the best, sir!

Lisa R
Lisa R

I’ve had days like that, Joe, and I agree with a previous poster–a great book and ice cream are the perfect antidote.

Hope things get better and I’m praying for Jelly.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Whatever you decide, I’m sure you will have her best interest at heart. Sending prayer vibes your way…..

Gen
Gen

Sorry about your day, Joe. I hope today is much better on all fronts.

Having owned my share of older dogs (and even a younger dog who developed cancer), I can empathize with your situation with Jelly. From my own experience, I can say that often it is the dog who will let you know — in some way — what is best. smile

Gary
Gary

Tough decision for you in regards to your dog.

Personally I would risk the surgery, I think its a very human-centric position to place so much value on simply living whereas a dog is living in the moment and is surely more concerned about their immediate happiness.

If the unthinkable happens and she doesn’t make it through the surgery I still think you can be sure you did the right thing and despite losing a friend the inevitable hardship she would have to live with is the greater evil.

Whatever you decide I hope it all works out.

DP
DP

Here’s hoping today doesn’t turn out like this.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/05/sneaky-hate-spiral.html

Etagrats
Etagrats

It’s seems that destiny had originally 3 Shuttles based on the picture bellow! Although the crew only found two of them, So will we ever know what happen to the missing one if no, have you some theory about that ?

comment image

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

“…as I was receiving care instructions from the tech, Jelly, proceeded to relieve herself…while seated on my lap.” Okay, now that I got that out of my system, it’s really all I can laugh about. You had a seriously lousy day. Lousy, and, I’m sure, a bit emotional. Dealing with pet health issues can be so stressful, heartbreaking, even. It’s a gamble, either way. Jelly can’t tell you what she wants, and – if you’re anything like me – you fear living with the guilt if you make the wrong decision. Whatever you decide to do, we all know that you’ve been one hell of a doggy daddy, always wanting the best for your babies. I think in their own furry way, they know that, too. The washing machine thing: We had a similar problem a few years ago. Had the pump replaced, and all has been well since. For us, it was worth the $150 bucks for parts and labor – better than going out and buying a new machine, or worse, a new washer and dryer pair. Not sure if that’s your problem (you might have a leaky barrel, or loose hose, or something else), but – depending on age – a service call may be better than shopping for new appliances right now. Your call, of course. I can’t really suggest any reading material. If you’re not into this Preston/Child Pendergast series I’m reading, the only other things I’ve heard about lately are The Passage, by Justin Cronin (a vampire story I keep asking if you’ve heard about, but you haven’t said), and a graphic novel series that I’m getting this week – Planetary, by Warren Ellis. Have you read Planetary? Here’s a quickiwiki: Planetary is an organization billing themselves as “Archaeologists of the Impossible”, tracking down the world’s secret history. Funded by the mysterious Fourth Man, who it is said could be anyone from Bill Gates to Adolf Hitler, the field team consists of three superhumans: Jakita Wagner, who is strong, fast and nearly invulnerable; The Drummer, who can detect and manipulate nearby information streams, most commonly used to manipulate computers and other electronics; the new recruit Elijah Snow, who can extract heat from nearby substances at will, freezing them; and the former third man Ambrose Chase, who has a “selective physics-distortion field”. The series is set in the Wildstorm Universe…Planetary rarely crosses over with other Wildstorm series, although references are made to characters in other series, such as Henry Bendix from Stormwatch. Planetary’s field team travels the world investigating strange phenomena: monsters and other beings, unusual relics, other superhumans, and powerful secrets which certain individuals are trying to keep hidden from the rest of the world. Their purpose in doing this is partly curiosity, and partly to use what they learn for the betterment of mankind. There are, however, groups who oppose their goals, and the organization has a substantial history which is gradually revealed during the series. Since I’m reading books right now that… Read more »

noelm
noelm

Man, that IS a bad day. Hope today is better and makes up for it.

JimFromJersey
JimFromJersey

I’m late to the party. I’ve been battling a stomach virus for the last week or so. I missed Thanksgiving, and missed the food entry because let’s face it: food was the furthest thing from my mind. Hopefully you’ll hold another. =)

I wanted to say how great and powerful the scene was between Chloe and Greer in Visitation. Great. Just great!