Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Guess I Could Go As Darth Vader for Halloween...

So apparently I have moderate sleep apnea. I like the use of the word "moderate"--not "severe", not "acute", just "moderate"--which almost makes it seem okay that my sleep is interrupted anywhere from 18 to 47 times an hour! How does that happen without me being even a little aware of it? It's amazing really, and very scary at the same time. Here I am, gasping for breath "moderately" frequently during the night and I have no clue.

Last night I did a second sleep over at the clinic but this time they hooked me up to a CPAP machine. It was definitely a little strange having one of these strapped to my face, but I actually fell asleep pretty quickly and slept very well through the night, all things considered.

If the results from the test indicate that my sleep was improved by the machine, I get to take one home for a test drive for 30 days before buying one. And at prices starting at about $1000 one wants to be sure one is happy with the machine! OHIP covers just about $800 and I'm hoping my group benefits from work will cover the rest (haven't actually looked into this yet...guess I'd better get on that.)

Went to the gym again Sunday and last night, but I'm giving myself a break tonight--I'm feeling pretty tired after my unusual sleep situation last night. But I'll be hittin' 'er again tomorrow! I think maybe I'm gonna try for 40 minutes of cardio instead of my usual 30...ooooh big excitement! What's even more exciting is I'm actually developing arm muscles! I have biceps! Well, more biceps than I had at any rate. And some triceps, too! It's only been a week and a half and I already can see some small glimmerings of results which is exactly the kind of positive reinforcement I need to keep myself motivated. That and Kiki's foot firmly planted in my ass.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Breaking News: Hell Has Frozen Over!

I've got some news that may shock some of you. It may cause you to gasp, rub your eyes and blink repeatedly in wonder. But I assure you what you are about to read is absolutely real.

I joined a gym.

Not only that, but since my first visit on Saturday, I have been every day except Sunday and Wednesday.

Now I know what you're thinking and I swear "gym" is not a euphemism for anything like "shopping club" or "lazy slacker club". I really have joined a gym and I really have been there 5 times in the last 7 days and here's the most unbelievable part--I'm actually enjoying it.

There's no way I would have had the nerve to join on my own and it just so happens that a certain friend (Kiki) of mine is marrying a certain other friend (Randy) of mine in about a year's time and she might have been slightly motivated to get in better shape for the occasion. I might have mentioned to her that a certain someone close to me (my Honey) was worried about my health and that this person (gotta love him) had mentioned that joining a gym might be a good way to get in shape. So one thing led to another and now I find myself sweating on the treadmill next to Kiki and doing abdominal crunches on an excercise ball in front of a bank of mirrors.

Yeah, I know I said I'm enjoying it but maybe not that part.

It's great having a gym buddy, though. We help each other with the weight machines and since she's in better shape than I am, it makes me push myself harder to keep up with her. I need someone to constantly bug me to go ("We're going to the gym tonight/Meet you at the gym after work, etc") and she needs someone who won't make her feel like she's being judged for not being athletic so it's really a sybiotic relationship we've got going here--neither one of us would have done this on our own but together we had the nerve to face our fears and take the plunge.

My goal is not measured in pounds or inches lost--success for me will mean being able to climb a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, lowering my blood pressure and improving my overall quality of life. I'm not getting any younger and already I have signs of arthritis in my knees and hips. Hopefully it's not too late for me to turn back the clock and repair some of the damage my partying lifestyle has inflicted on my poor carcass. I'm surprised at how much I've improved my stamina just over the last week. Who knows, maybe there's still hope for me!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Speedy 1993-2008

Passed away in her sleep at home after a brief illness on Saturday October 18th at the age of 15. She will be missed by her Mommy and Daddy, roommate Jax and long-time companion Zippy. Speedy will be remembered for her patient disposition, bright green and yellow markings and her brave battle in the face of insurmountable health challenges. Her remains were interred at Guy Hosenpeter’s backyard on Sunday October 19th after a brief moment of silence and a lot of digging. Her family would like to thank the wonderful doctors at the Ontario Veterinary College Small Animals Clinic for their efforts to save Speedy’s life and for making her final days more enjoyable and comfortable. In honour of Speedy we ask that you take a moment to appreciate the small wonders of life and tell someone you love how special they are.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Speedy News

The news is good--she pooped! I know you're thinking "so what?" but it's a big deal for a turtle who hasn't eaten in over a month. This means the internal engine is working and soon ready to take on solid food again. Also she's getting feisty again and has on several occasions tried to bite people! This is great news! They've been giving her the "turtle Gatorade" and she's been keeping that down so last night they graduated to soup. As of this morning that's been working as well so tonight they might try her on a sort of gruel.

Her blood work results were mixed and not very definitive. Either she doesn't have a systemic infection (which would be great) or she's so sick her immune system has given up (which would be not so great). Since she's perking up and it seems she's responding to the treatment, it would seem to be the former and not the latter but they're not jumping to any conclusions just yet. Also there was a high level of uric acid in her blood which could just be because of her dehydration but it could also indicate kidney failure which would really suck 'cause you can't give a turtle a kidney replacement and they don't do turtle dialysis (I checked. I lie, I didn't really check.)

So we are cautiously optimistic that she's gonna be okay--everybody at the clinic is pulling for her and they're really excited that she's doing so well. If she can keep down solid food and if her blood work looks better tomorrow I might be able to take her home as early as Tuesday or Wednesday! Zippy's testing out the water heater I bought yesterday at the aquarium store and it's already made a difference in her energy level so I'm sure it'll do the trick for Speedy when she gets home. I'm holding off buying two of everything until I know for sure she's going to actually be coming home. I also measured for a UV light and I should get some sort of heat lamp...I guess I'll be heading back to the aquarium store soon if the news continues to be good.

I might get my baby back after all!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Speedy Update

I finally took Speedy to the vet. It was long overdue, but I had really hoped she'd somehow miraculously turn a corner and everything would work out. Last weekend I came to the realization that that wasn't going to happen so Monday morning I took her to the vet and they admitted her for treatment. She was severely dehydrated which is ironic since she lives in water. She was also too cold so they kept her in an incubator for a couple of days to warm her up. They gave her antibiotics because she had developed an upper respiratory infection in addition to the infected injury she sustained to her nose. All in all, she's a very sick little turtle and I feel like a horrible mommy.

She did show some small amount of improvement Tuesday, but by Wednesday the vet felt the improvement wasn't enough so she had me take Speedy to the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph for further treatment. They've been giving her a "turtle Gatorade" which contains electrolytes and vitamins and they've also been giving her a stronger antibiotic for the infection. They're concerned she may have some organ damage or failure as a result of the dehydration so they've taken a blood sample and we should have the results sometime tomorrow. She has improved since arriving in Guelph--her colour has improved and she's moving around a little--but they're saying she's not out of the woods yet.

I know you're all wondering but too polite to ask, so I'll let you off the hook--yes, this is costing a fortune. Last count was almost $1000. Fortunately, my wonderful Honey has offered to foot the bill and it's a good thing 'cause there's no way I could afford that on my own. In addition to the cost of her care, I now know I have to make a greater investment in her living space. When she comes home she's gonna need a warmer environment and a UV light to support her rehabilitation so it's off to the aquarium shop tomorrow to price that out. I guess I should get one for Zippy too while I'm at it...

This isn't a particularly witty post, but I'm really not up to it today. I really just wanted to let you all know what's going on and get this off my chest. Hopefully my next post will bring good news--I'm not giving up on this little turtle yet!