Sam’s Week: I’m Insane(er)


Originally uploaded by Big Blue Mess

It finally happened, Sam’s knee went out again and my stomach landed around my ankles. I called the surgeon’s office, had Jay drop her off the next day and then waited and waited to find out what happened. My work day ended with no news so I ended up calling the vet’s and asking if I could freak out over there. Fortunately, when I called the surgeon was out of her surgeries and was in the process of examining Sam.

I arrived and waited while listening to the sounds of Animal Planet on a big screen TV and wondering who the woman with the crazed looking poodle was in all the photographs and why this one photo warranted five gigantic copies spread throughout the lobby. Surely, someone else there has a pet? Dr. Caplan came out (bad sign – this is how the bad news always comes) while I was mid wall, floor, plant contemplation and calmly sat near me to break the news.

“I don’t see anything wrong with Sam.”

Great, another few thousand. How do we fix that?

“I performed all my tests and both knees are stable.”

So, I’ll drop her off Tuesday, they’ll keep Sam overnight to help her manage pain and I guess we’re back to isolating her for another 6-8 weeks. Wonderful.

“If anything, the left knee seems to be even more stable.”

I wonder what she’s talking about. And as the words settled in, I finally just let my crazy hang out there as I questioned away. Questions like: Are you sure? Her knee seems stable? The leg doesn’t look wobbly? You’re sure? When you say you performed your tests on each leg, did you mean you did this left one? Uh huh. And you looked at the left one? Are you sure? I think I’m crazy. Do you think I’m crazy? You don’t think I’m crazy? I really think this year has made me crazy. Yes. I’m crazy. I’ve really gone crazy.

At this point Sam came through the door, I looked up as I heard her familiar padding across their tile and we caught each other’s eyes at the same time. Sam let out the biggest wail – articulating beautifully what a horrible day it had been.

The vet’s assistant brought Sam over and I subtlely confirmed that she had examined this dog. What about the left leg? Maybe I’m crazy. You saw this dog right here?

Dr. Caplan said, and I think I may absolutely love her for this, “I don’t think you’re crazy. You may be seeing things I don’t see, you’re around her all the time so just monitor her. I’ll be happy to see her again whenever you need me to. One of the vets has offered to scope her knee for free and scrape off any meniscal tears or remove the knot if that’s causing her trouble. You’re not crazy.”

Wrapped in fresh reassurances, Sam and I headed home.

I’m pretty sure as the doors closed behind us, I could hear the staff saying, “wow, that woman was NUTS!” Sorry guys, I am.

11 thoughts on “Sam’s Week: I’m Insane(er)

  1. Roel says:

    Beth –

    First of all, I love big blue mess! I’m sorry if I have told you before, but love reading it! 🙂

    Secondly, you are not crazy. Clay and I have a 13 year old dachshund we adopted almost 3 years ago from Town Lake shelter – best dog EVER! Well, besides my other dog Sadie (cocker spaniel) and your Sam, of course. So Bobo, the dachshund, is old and has a few health issues, mainly spin and neck issues. He’s been getting a lot of attention lately, naturally, because he’s sick and all. My cocker spaniel, Sadie, is going on 7 years old, I’ve had her only 5 years. Anyway, she faked an injury recently. I had to take her in to the vet and she got a clean bill of health. She had been limping for a few days and I finally decided to take her in to get it checked out. The vet said there was nothing wrong with her. WTF!?!?! Sweetie, you’re not crazy! 🙂


  2. Beth says:

    Roel –

    Thank you!!! I’m really glad you like the blog.

    I’ve heard that about dachshunds – that they have issues with their spines – poor little guy, but he’s so lucky that he found you and Clay and that you guys rescued him from the shelter so he can have a great home. I sometimes wonder what would have happened to Sam if she had been rescued by someone else. I’d like to think that they’d do the same thing.

    Oh dear, Sadie – I wonder what was going on with her? I hope she’s back to normal.

  3. Anna says:

    Okay so this reminds me of when I was pregnant with Madelynn and the number of times I went to the OB just to make them listen to her heartbeat. Nevermind that I had my own real doppler device at home to check – I couldn’t find her and I couldn’t feel her and just check because MY BABY IS DEAD! She wasn’t dead. They assured me that I wasn’t crazy and that having two miscarriages would naturally make me more concerned but yeah, I’m sure the smiles I saw when I walked in were more like gritting teeth.

  4. Beth says:

    Ahn – I’m really really glad you were wrong. If there were no Maddie there wouldn’t be any pink, and I love pink! 🙂 And Maddie!!!

  5. DeAnne says:

    I’m so glad Sam’s knee is ok. We found out last week Porthos has arthritis in both shoulders, which explains why he doesn’t enjoy walkies like Scout does. He’s on anti-inflammatories now & seems to feel better, still trying to steal the cat’s food whenever he can.

    • Beth says:

      Poor Porthos!! (For those not in the know, Porthos is Sam’s cat food nabbin’ hound hero.) Sam has arthritis in both of her bum knees and takes a daily supplement (Dasuquin) to help with that. It’s tough being a hound!

  6. DeAnne says:

    The anti-inflammatory/pain meds are helping him a lot. We also found that he does not recognize raw carrots or raw green beans as noms. Cooked, he’ll eat all you can dish up. Raw, nothing. Funny dog. We moved his dog bed inside (from the back porch) but he still sneaks up onto the couch (not allowed by decree of Guy) at night to sleep.

  7. DeAnne says:

    Scout & I just returned from a walk in the neighborhood, where we saw a beagle-dachsund (sp?) mix. Think Sam but with 2″ legs. She was cute, in a funny-looking kind of way.

  8. Kevin; Portland, Maine says:

    Beth….I like your blog quite well. I was perusing through spinal fluid-related photos on Google and came across a photo of Sam from an Oct., 2007 post about her. Loving beagles (and esp. Sam’s photo there), I went to the blog and read on. I’ll keep reading, and keep warm thoughts for you and Sam.

  9. Beth says:

    Kevin, thank you! Sam needs all the warm thoughts she can get. 🙂 She’s kind of a mess, but one of the sweetest little messes I know. We love her dearly in all her goofiness; she brings us a lot of joy. Now, if she could only catch a break once in awhile.

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