Monday, April 16, 2012

Meatballs v. Slurry, Round One

So I made the switch from serving Riley a slurry several times a day to serving him little meatballs he theoretically swallows whole; the weight of which (when seated in the beg position) forces his nourishment to drop down his damaged esophagus right into his belly.

Over three months on the slurry diet and not a single regurge free day so we had nothing to lose. Besides, I could actually make these meals in advance and freeze them in individual serving size bags. Moreover, when he did regurge, it came out a whole lot ... tidier.

So after several days of trial and error I thought I had The Whole Meatball Diet System down to a science. I'm talking
  • The Right Size Meatball
  • The Right Number of Meatballs
  • The Right Amount of Feedings Per Day
  • The Right Amount of Time Between Feedings
  • The Right Amount of Time Spent Vertically After Feeding
Sure did.

And then he regurged.

Here. And there. And again on Miss Waffles.

Over five hours after the last time he ate, and no, he didn't get into anything he wasn't suppose to, and no, there was no excitement that would induce an episode. I'm talking all calm on the western front


Oooookay (*insert several expletives here*) 

So lets spend another 45 minutes in the beg position without excitement, without meatballs, without chicken broth knox, without the bottle of juice.

Oh yeah, that will do it. We have you down for the count now MotherF'er.

Several hours of all calm on the western front later and yep, you guessed it



"The. Hell." Question mark.

Damn you megaE; you slay me, you really really do.


I'm ready for round two, are you?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Guilt is Not a Virtue

When I first met my new GF a little over a month ago, she made a comment that hooked me and reeled me in, like a salmon being prepped for Wednesday night dinner.

"I was raised by Catholics, so yeah, I suffer from Catholic guilt."

::Perk:: Someone who understands the Power of Catholics? This was a first. A perk. A curse times two.

Catholic guilt would define our together weekends. AKA every weekend since we met.

A pack here you know; a pack there you see. Neither left to their own devices, but still both without their leaders.

Imagine the guilt. Times two.

Blame the Catholics for our suffering. They, after all, blame us for not suffering enough.

But then, suddenly, there was something concrete to seal us in our individual pools of guilt. Yes, this last time, 45 minutes before She arrived back home, you see, some three plus hours after leaving me, Ted bolted. Escaped. Ran. Fast, far, and who knows where. Away. Not knowing where She was or when She would be home.

She blamed herself, of course. I blamed myself, of course. The Catholics of course blamed us both.

The guilt ate away at our cores. For 20 some grueling hours before the power of FB (and countless Catholic prayers) brought him back to Her. Thank God.

What lessons did we learn? Plenty, I promise you. Regardless, the Catholics lay in wait. Ready and willing to pounce at the slightest provocation, the tiniest misstep, the littlest BeHappy moments that take us away from any responsibility whatsoever. And we have leftovers of all of  the above to feed them.

Yes, the table is set, the timer on the oven counts off the minutes. And those Catholics gather around the table, placing their napkins on their laps. Waiting to be served.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

When Hens Kill

Last night Mother Hen's school had a talent show so I packed up the whole pack (including Birds Dad and my GF Kat) and we packed into the small auditorium to cheer him on.

Oh My God. We had to sit through almost the whole show before it was his turn, but, and I am not biased, it was worth the wait. Mother Hen sang his rendition of Cold Play's The Scientist, a Capella mind you, and he blew the roof off!

Yes, it was judged, and yes, he won first place. And oh yeah, he is going to be a superstar.

Watch it. You will get goose bumps. I promise.

When Tears Fall Hard

It has been several weeks since I accepted the realization that mega-esophagus has not only been winning the battle with Riley and me, but will likely finish the war sooner rather than later. Well, I have been kidding myself. There is no way I can accept that we have lost. I will never be ready to make the decision much less be there, looking into his eyes, when his DVM puts him to forever sleep. The thought of never seeing him again.... ever. That world does not exist.

And yet, the time. It draws closer.
And yet, already.... He is less and less... Himself.

How do I do this? How do I make the decision to let him go? I can't. I just... I don't know how to do that. I also don't know what to do anymore. Period.

Tears are streaming; but never more so than when I was with my GF, Kat, two nights ago.

[She, by the way, has been beyond wonderful. Supportive, helpful, caring, sweet, kind. She devised a way to try and feed him vertically, has sat up feeding him and holding him up several times, even brought me two calf sized bottle nipples so I can feed him vertically that way. This time she brought pet electrolyte solution and some stress potion seeing as he will most often regurge when excited.]

Two nights ago. We were together, but my thoughts were dwelling on Riley and this dreadful awful ugly disease that is slowly starving him. She held me close, tight, and told me I was safe; that I could let go now, that I could feel and mourn and damn-it-all-to-hell.

Suddenly, there in her arms, I opened my heart. Wide. I criedandcried. Hard. For Riley. For me. For the pack.

Friday, April 6, 2012

This Is My Pack

Bird - 17 year old two legged environmentalist with a passion for reading, conservation, and wrestling. The one and only lamb of my womb, she is the best thing I have ever created though I am not entirely sure how I did it. Endlessly interesting, fantastically inquisitive, boundless, hopeful, a sense of humor well beyond her years, protective, loyal, and open minded, she is a force to be reckoned with. But in a good way.

Mother Hen - My current host son from Malaysia, whom I have so nicknamed because he takes great care in ensuring I have taken my dinner. Which I wholeheartedly appreciate and believe demonstrates the great care he shows his pack. This kid is going to be a famous singer, and me? Well, I'll be his biggest fan of course.

Mr. Incredible - My previous host son from Germany, aptly named because, well, he is incredible. He  simultaneously pulls off his role as a Sith Lord and if you aren't careful, he will distract you from "work" in the most annoyingly irritating but most lovable way possible. I love this young man like he was my own son, though he is really my bestest friend - and I'm not just saying that because he is going to be a cruise ship captain and will take me to exotic locales in my gay old age.

Riley - four year old Australian Shepherd/German Shepherd mix diagnosed with megaesophogus January 2012. Quite literally responsible for saving me when betrayal and heartbreak struck me down in 2008, this blog is as much a tribute to him as it is a vehicle for the immutable consternation I feel knowing I must soon let him go to forever sleep. Routine wrestling with when that should be and how I will survive it will undoubtably occupy a huge presence of space here.

Luna - black cat paininmyass. Low cat on the cat pack totem pole, she manages to boss Riley, bitching at him and trying to intimidate whenever he tries to complain about her being on me, which is regularly. She is good for reminding me when I should be ringing the pack dinner bell and giving me the "I'm-covered-in-cat CanYouGrabMeAnOrgange" excuse when I am at my laziest, also a fairly regular occurance.

Miss - official name: Miss Waffles or some variation involving a lot of z's, aka the worst name possible when @ the dog park. Bird named her, so aptly (she thought) because her breath smelled like waffles when she was born. Enough said. She is a golden retriever, yellow lab mix who I watched being born. She is not real quick on the uptake, but she is loyal, playful (if not easily distracted), and very easy going. Except around strangers. Did I mention she was Bird's dog?

Pudgie - Tortoise shell obtained around the same time as Luna (2005 ish). Talk about a force to be reckoned with. She has zero tolerance for either dog and doesn't much care for her fellow felines either. She can be quite bitchy if you don't sit down when she is ready for you to sit down, and really, don't look at her wrong either. You've been warned.

Sully - The baby but trust me, he lives up to his name by being a real monster too. With blue eyes and the softest fur (despite being an outdoor cat) this little big guy smells really good (for some unknown reason), too. Known to gift us with wild birds, he is also very likely responsible for the untimely death of one of Bird's pet snakes, but the jury was hung. Sully's favorite pack animal is Miss Waffles, and he loves on her with great panache, to which she usually appreciates.