|September 25, 2000
Where Was I?
Taken a few days ago, in the heart of the move.
|Cycle 10, Day 28, 13 DPO
Cervical Mucus: Nothing
Cervix: Low, closed, firm
Wow, it's been a long time. You'd think that I might have a ton of things to relate, but you'd be dead wrong. I've been moving a library! Once we boxed the old library building, we went to the new building and unboxed. Plans had to be rewritten to encompass such unforeseen events as giant electrical boxes in the middle of the children's room, and we hit delay after delay. We spent many frustrating hours sitting around with nothing to do while we waited for the movers to bring shelves for the books. I learned what a huge cart loaded full of books looks like when it disintegrates into many little pieces on its way down the ramp off the truck.
My back hurts. My feet hurt. I never want to look at another cardboard box, magic marker, or packing tape wand. At one point in the moving, a shelving unit fell completely off a wall, nearly breaking a mover's neck. Part of me thinks that he would have been well out of his misery.
Today was our first day of business in the new location, even though we were still unpacking while we worked. We were also operating sans the benefit of computers, telephones, or copy machines. I can't tell you what a pleasant evening I experienced. And just think, we'll be here for just a year, and then we get to repeat the whole process! Oh, utter ecstasy!
Tomorrow morning we get to attend a pep talk/staff meeting. We'll all get praises for all our hard work, along with doughnuts. That's just spiffy; I want a bonus.
Two weeks ago: I read an email on a listserv and learn that guinea pigs are prone to tumors. I tell Eric. His natural hypochondriac nature takes over, and he begins a regular routine of piggy examinations.
Last night: We begin preparations to clean the guinea pig hutch. I deliver one rodent to the temporary holding bin; Eric takes Oriana, his special favorite, into his hands for treats and another examination. Suddenly, he sighs. "We have a problem. I think Ori has a tumor."
I stepped over to the counter quickly and felt her throat where he was directing. Beneath my fingers was most definitely something - a large growth that hadn't been there a few days prior. While Eric petted her, I did the only thing I could think to do - I grabbed the phone and my address book. I handed the phone to Eric and read him the vet's number; remarkably for the late hour, the clinic was still open. Yes, they could see us. We cleaned the hutch, put Cressida back into her home, put Oriana in the bin, and left.
Ori hates car trips. Ori hates the vet, with all its loud animal noises and strange, probing hands.
The vet felt her throat, then said, "It's a tumor." I felt Eric wilt. The vet then gave us a referral to another veterinarian, one who "does surgery on pocket pets." Part of my brain begins to wonder exactly how expensive anesthesia could be for an animal who weighs less than four pounds; the rest of my brain suffers guilt by proxy. Eric paid the man for the less than five-minute appointment, and we left in silence, but for sounds of angry teeth-gritting from the patient.
I woke up early this morning and called the other vet. Ori and I drove to our second appointment (how much gritting can little teeth take?), where we were met by a female vet who was much more experienced with small animals. "Not necessarily a tumor," she said. "It could be an abscess. In guinea pigs, they feel different than in cats or dogs; they don't have the enzyme to liquefy the abscess. It would be almost like cottage cheese."
Just what I needed to picture.
"Anyway, she'll probably need surgery, but we'll start with a week of antibiotics. Twice a day, squirt about 1cc of it in her mouth. You'll need to follow it with yogurt, so she doesn't get diarrhea."
"Will yogurt drops work?"
"No, just regular yogurt. Some guinea pigs really like it. You can play around and find a flavor she won't mind."
"Will the bump go away?"
"I wouldn't count on it."
I paid and left with my antibiotic and syringes. Ori was even angrier than before; when Eric got home from work, she wouldn't let him anywhere near her, running about the hutch to escape any more touching, poking, or rubbing. When I got home, the two of us attempted to give her the first dose. She would have none of it, twisting and turning her head no matter how we swaddled her with dishtowels. At one point, she cranked her head around and bit Eric as hard as she could on his left nipple. He screamed, and the process had to be put on hold for a few minutes while we stopped the bleeding.
I called my parents to apologize for all the trouble I gave them over medicines when I was a child.
Finally she took the medicine and the yogurt, though we were lucky that she doesn't seem to realize that she can spit things out of her mouth. Thirteen more doses to go, and then she can go under the knife. I assume that she'll need more medicines after that as well...
I love my pets, but I rather wish that, for all this entertainment, they would live for more than a few years. It hardly seems worth the investment of blood.
Must get to bed; I'm exhausted, and that meeting will come sooner than I'd like. Like as not, I'll wake up to a brand new cycle, as well, which should make for a highly pleasant day. Nighty-night.