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Archive for October, 2006

No-Spend Day

October 22nd, 2006 at 03:56 pm

It's been a while since I had one of these, I think. Most expenses have been related to the dog and his surgery, but a smaller subset (eating out/buying prepared meals and renting videos) have been devoted to keeping me together and sane while being his nursemaid and working full-time-plus.

Henry is mostly feeling back to himself, though he's still having the occasional bout of the digestive problem that led him to surgery in the first place. That was diagnosed by biopsy and on Wednesday we'll get the details and get him put on the right medications to hopefully stop the episodes altogether. I'll also be looking for the right diet to keep him on now that he's been diagnosed with a chronic digestive ailment. This means additional expense because we'll end up doing some combination of an ultra-premium food and home cooking, I suspect. My buying food in 40 pound bags and stockpiling bisquits when they went on sale means only that I have about $100 worth of food to donate to the local shelter. But anything to keep my baby healthy!

Not yet ready to do the bills and face all the damages--I'll map out a plan by the end of the month for the additional $4000+ in unplanned expenses Henry's illness has cost me.

One step forward, two steps back

October 15th, 2006 at 07:55 pm

After a week devoted mostly to my dog Henry and his surgery (and incidentally to work), I finally stopped and tallied the week's and the month's expenses. My usual monthly outflow is 2400, and that was the price of Henry's surgery, so I doubled expenses there. Then there have been ancillary costs--things like additional meds or things to keep Henry from scratching at his stitches, plus stuff for me--a bit of money eating out because between the dog and my cold, I've not been cooking; money renting DVDs since sleep has been erratic and sporadic, etc.

Henry is finally done with the post-surgical pain, but he is beginning to lick and scratch a bit at his stitches, which is a no-no. Still have yet to get the biopsy results but so far he's only had about one minute of one of his digestive "episodes" since the surgery. Since I've been sick, I stayed at home all weekend monitoring Hen, catching naps when I could, doing a bit of prep work for the week, and finishing going through the second season of Grey's Anatomy (a show I hadn't even heard of 10 days ago, which I've now seen two complete seasons of).

Life has been "abnormal" in many ways since Hen's illness (not least of which has been that I've been sleeping on the living room floor to keep an eye on him). Hoping things move back towards normal and the high level of spending normalize this week.

Henry's out of Surgery

October 10th, 2006 at 09:59 am

The surgeon called himself just now to say that things went well and that Henry (basset hound) is already awake. The biopsy results will take 3-4 days. Henry will stay overnight in the hospital and I'll be calling to check on him every few hours.

I can tell I've been stressed because I'm developing a cold. My throat has been getting scratchier thoughout the day. I was going to ask my boyfriend to stay over tonight to comfort me but I don't want to make him sick too.

I'll get to bring Henry home tomorrow after work. Praying for a quick recovery, not too much discomfort, and good news from the biopsies!

Henry Basset Hound is having surgery today

October 10th, 2006 at 05:18 am

My Henry is going in for surgery this morning. Hes going to have two large bladder stones removed, biopsies done on his G.I. tract because of repeated bouts of tummy ache/nausea, and a gastropexy (tacking the stomach to the abdominal wall so that if he starts going into bloat, he wont torsion). Hes otherwise in good health so should pull through the surgery well, but its a pretty big operation (10 incision). Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Hopefully the surgery will fix things but at least it will give us a better idea of what steps might be next if the initial pre-bloat symptoms continue and will prevent the symptoms from becoming life-threatening.

The surgery is costing $2400--on top of the $1300 I've already spent on diagnosis, medicines, foods and vet visits for this problem. My mom is loaning me some money (and giving me a bit) so that I don't have to put this on a credit card--which is the only real option given that I wiped out the emergency fund over the summer and have only had one paycheck from my full-time job so far, which has gone towards paying off accumulated credit card bills.

I have $3600 in debts between what remains on the credit card bills and what I'll owe to my mom that I want to wipe out by the end of the year. I was looking at a nice winter coat in the Lands End catalog, but I think that's just going to have to get put on hold. The living room rug (because the floor is cold) and a new pair of walking shoes are other expenses that I'm going to move forward with. And hopefully the surgery will mean an end to the big vet bills.

Off to go rub that wonderful belly of Henry's since he'll be too sore for belly rubs for the next couple of weeks (he's a dog who flops over for a belly rub almost as soon as he's getting attention from someone--it's funny taking a walk with a dog who spends a portion of that walk rolled over on his back on the sidewalk when he meets someone who offers a pet!)

Quick Entry: Dog Health Woes

October 6th, 2006 at 05:22 am

My Henry (basset hound) has been sick and that's been taking most of my free time, so I haven't been here much. We have a surgical consult on Monday. The surgery should help but by itself won't stop the initial symptoms, which could be due to diet or pesticide exposure (not at MY house but while walking). Bills are adding up: so far have spent about $1300 on this illness; the surgery will probably double that. Also Henry woke up one morning with a bad limp--it's gone now but I also invested in a child's wagon so I can get him out to the car (it's a ways and I felt horrible making him walk it when he was in pain) and a set of portable carpeted dog steps so that he doesn't have to jump up onto the sofa and risk injuring his joints. This is SO like me: I'm generally conservative with my money and then my dog gets sick and all thoughts of thrift are out the window. So the credit card bill is back up again, and that's still before the surgery.