Thursday, February 26, 2009

old man liver

Irony is served in double scoops with sprinkles these days.

Nothing I heard from my doctor on Tuesday surprised me. I knew that I had gained an unseemly amount of weight the last few months. And I need to do something about it.

But I thought I was in much better shape than the poor almost-hobbled Professor Jiggs.

I took him into the vet last week. I try to hold off taking him in for another cortisone shot until he absolutely needs it. The vet has made clear that the shots are essentially hospice treatment -- and they will eventually have a toll on his liver and kidneys.

On this visit, the vet told me he had met with his partners to discuss whether the shots should continue or whether I should consider putting Jiggs down. He wanted to run a series of tests to see what effect one years' worth of cortisone has had on Jiggs's system.

I got the call on the results earlier this week. Other than some elevated values in his liver unrelated to the cortisone, all of his systems are operating well. He could go on for some time.

If I read the results of my diagnosis correctly, I could keel over tomorrow from a stroke. Jiggs, on the other hand, appears to be pulling a George Burns.

He tells me regularly that he is going to outlive me. He just may be correct.


Anonymous said...

That's great news about Prof Jiggs! As for his favorite human, don't worry about the weight gain, living in Barra in the summer will take care of that amigo!
Detroit, Mi.

Michael Dickson said...

Steve, what was it you gained over the Christmas season? Thirty pounds or so, I believe. Incredible.

Weight issues, especially of this magnitude, more often than not reflect emotional stress.

You, amiguito, as your Mexican adventure draws near, have not just butterflies circling inside you, but bats. Big spooky ones.

Fret not. All will end well and beautiful.

Congrats on the Professor´s good news.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Looks like life is handing you just the change you need to get your health on track! Opportunity.

Good News about P Jiggs!

Larry Lambert, Mazatlan said...

Man, he is one good looking guy! But tell me, what is all of that white stuff I see?

I think dogs down here learn to settle into the life style just like people. The yellow Lab, Talli, who came south with us is now in her teens and has had both knees rebuilt (TPLO). But you'd never know it. You should see her play in the surf. Not with the gusto of a puppy, but she obviously enjoys the life. Sometimes she breaks off play to trot up and give me a big smooch, as if to say thank you. Jiggs is going to love it too.

And her health really improved down here. The alergy problems have all gone away and her breathing is much improved. But she does enjoy her siesta! So does dad.


Babs said...

I DO NOT want to hear you talk like that - although my kids say I'm going to outlive them just to spite them.......ha.
You'll be amazed when you get to Mexico and get out of your car and walk everywhere (hopefully) how the pounds melt off......
Lovin' Jiggs.....GREAT photo.

glorv1 said...

Yay for Jiggs!! All right! I am glad he is doing good and as for you, you'll be fine, just moderate and you will be better for it. I am just elated that Jiggs is doing well. I mean look at him standing so proudly and with a smile. Why I could just run over there and grab him, hug him, and kiss him. Would you please do that for me. Thanks a lot and have a great Thursday. That snow looks awesome, but Jiggs looks better.

ken kushnir said...

Having lost one of our dogs last year, and one the year before, I know the importance animals make in our daily lives. Thankfully we still have two left ( miniature dachshunds), but one is very arthritic now and probably in the same point as your beloved Jiggs.
Coming to Mexico may be a good time to think about getting Jiggs a new friend so that when he is not around you will still have someone. We used a medicine that made a big difference for our dogs, it is Flexicose. You might read up on it and see if that may help in the joint problem.

Steve Cotton said...

Frank -- As several people have mentioned, I suspect my pounds will be gone quickly when I head to Mexico. Just getting rid of the truck will make a difference. Walking is easy in Melaque.

Michael -- I could have predicted the weight gain. Since October I have taken to eating desserts, and I usually avoid them simply because I do not like them. But I have noticed that my dinner portions have increased, as well. I suspect you are correct about the stress -- most of which is related to work, but some is self-imposed. I look forward to being ensonced in the Mexico house.

AMM -- In this case, all change is good.

Larry -- I took the picture of Jiggs in January. But it reflects his current attitude. (Ironically, we had snow last night, and we are getting another layer this morning.) Jiggs has always loved the beach. The only difficulty will be the instabiliity of his back legs. You are correct: he is going to love it.

Babs -- If my experience in the past is any indication, I will start losing weight the week I arrive. I do not use prepared foods very often. But their scarcity in Melaque causes me to use fresh produce for everything. That alone should improve my diet.

Gloria -- I thought we were done with the snow. Huge flakes are falling at the moment -- and sticking. I gave Jiggs his hug.

Ken -- Thanks for the suggestion. Jiggs's problem is related to a cracked vertebrae. The only thing that has helped him has been the cortisone. And he is not suffereing bad results from it. As for another dog, he would prefer that I buy an 8-year old boy. Kids he loves; dogs not so much. I tend to be the other way around.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

What a beautiful pic! You should frame it and hang it in your new home. Stay dry today!

Brenda said...

Glad the professor is doing so well. As for you, quit stressing and relax, it will all fall into place eventually.

Steve Cotton said...

Cynthia -- I am going to have the pleasure of seeing him like that every day - even though he is more content right now to be asleep on the floor, rather than out in the snow.

Brenda -- Fortunately, most of the stress is external from work, and that is about to go away.

Islagringo said...

Well, that's certainly good news! About Jiggs I mean!

BoBo's Mom said...

That's great news about Jiggs. Looks like he's determined to accompany you down south for your retirement. We often take better care of our dogs than we do of ourselves. I take BoBo for health checks twice a year. As for me, my last "annual" was over 2 years ago.

Cory said...

So The Professor might outlive you ... but is he learning his Spanish? Y tu?

Steve Cotton said...

His Spanish is far better than mine.