Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2015 was a little bit of the year of suck, and when 2016 finally came around, I was ecstatic for a new beginning.  Last year Andy wound up changing jobs twice within a very short period of time.  One is stressful enough (the first one wasn't by choice, the company he worked for was sold), but compounding that with a second change to a brand new company, which has turned out to be a change for the better overall,  added a little bit of a strain to our daily lives for the first few months he was there.  In the midst of the job changes we found out that Andy's dad has cancer and then a short time later that his mom also has cancer.  They have both had surgery and seem to be doing as well as can be expected.  His dad is just finishing up his radiation and we are hoping for the best.

I had talked to my grandmother at Christmas and knew she wasn't doing well.  I tried to prepare myself for what was inevitable, but her death still came as a great shock and I am still recovering from it.  She was such an influential part of my life that it's strange to think of her not being here anymore.  I feel really lucky that I knew her for so long and know that most people don't have their grandparents when they reach midlife. 

The day after my grandma passed away, Jasper our rescue pug, was scheduled for surgery to remove his anal glands.  I considered rescheduling the surgery because of the timing, but his glands had been leaking multiple times a day and really needed to be taken care of.  We had tried every other option that our vet offered before choosing to have them removed.  The surgery seemed to go well, but then there were complications.  Jasper wound up being allergic to the antibiotic the vet gave him which caused projectile dirarreah that was like something from a nightmare.  His stitches blew out on both sides, the diarrhea lasted for two weeks, then suddenly he couldn't go to the bathroom properly.  We rushed him to the on call vet who did an exam and x-rays.  She sent us home with advice to give him probiotics and an anti inflammatory medication.  He condition got worse and I brought him back to see the vet who did the surgery.  She found a stricture from the surgery which is a scarring that gets progressively tighter over time. She said she wasn't going to do surgery on it again because it wouldn't help and to just bring him in once a month and have it stretched and to feed him Metamucil and stool softeners for the next six months. Yes, six freaking months of watching our poor dog try to go to the bathroom with extreme pain.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and started researching rectal strictures, which can be corrected with a procedure called Balloon Dilation.  On the recommendation of our pet sitter who is a vet tech I called another vet in the area who thankfully talked to me on the phone and asked to see Jasper.  While he was in the process of trying to locate a larger dilator than what was available here, Jaspers butt completely closed up.  We wound up going in for emergency surgery last Friday with the possibility of taking Jasper to VA Tech for additional surgery on Monday.  Thankfully the vet was able to remove the strictures and stretch things out a bit which means Jasper is comfortable and so far doesn't have to go to Tech.  Our new vet is very hopeful that this will be a long term fix. 

There is a lot more to the Jasper story and what has been going on in my personal life, but it's really too much to write about publicly.  I wanted to share with you why I haven't been posting as often and haven't been on social media as often as I usually am.  Of course I'm still designing and have a new hat pattern that was released last week: Windbranch.  If you have a chance, please check it out.  It's an easy knit and works up quickly and the pattern is only $2.99!  I have a few releases planned for early spring - just in time for fiber festival season!

I am taking a temporary break from making bags for Michelle's aka Berry Colorful Yarnings, clubs, but she does have a couple of bag makers who are filling in.  Michelle has been really supportive with everything that has been going on, and I really appreciate it :)

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