Jake was better over the weekend, thank you all for your kind wishes and comments. I took the cone off on Saturday, and he was one happy puppy chasing his ball and licking his wound. However, I put the cone back on him Sunday morning because it looked like pus was coming out of his scar. I sterilized some tongs, put some cotton balls in rubbing alcohol, picked them up with the tongs and very gingerly dabbed them on the scar for about one second before he reared his head in pain. It seemed to do the trick though. I kept the cone on him all today but then thought he might be OK to have it off again. After 20 minutes, I inspected the scar. Part of it was red-raw-looking so back on with the cone. I'm too chicken to try the rubbing alcohol again so I am taking him to the vet tomorrow and ordering a BiteNot collar as well. No more fooling around. He may not realize what an infection could do to him but I do.
Yesterday hubby and I spent quite a bit of time working in the garden, weeding, digging, cleaning up. Hubby said to me, "Don't do any heavy lifting or digging. I'll do it for you. Remember your back." Famous last words. As I struggled with digging up a kniphophia that had grown out of control, I felt my back go. I quickly went inside and did a bunch of exercises designed to stretch the lower back, but too late.
Of course, that made it even more difficult for me when I tried to coax Jake to climb up his ramp to get in the car today. I thought I'd take him for a walk somewhere different, but he didn't want to go. Eventually, I got him up, and I do believe he was quite pleased to have a change of scenery. Still, I struggled to get him back in the car again. Somehow, my phone managed to call hubby at work (he's still there; they just keep prolonging his agony by not releasing him) while this struggle was going on. He had quite a laugh listening to me try various methods to get Jake up the ramp. From "C'mon sweetheart" to "Jake! Get up the ramp now!" Imagine if this had happened in a different scenario! Wouldn't be so funny then.
I am trying to look on the bright side as much as possible. In the mornings I find myself waking up with damp eyes. These are tears escaping when I'm at my most vulnerable. I am going next week to my mother's for two weeks. She phoned Saturday night while I was out with my daughter at a dance competition (her team didn't win anything) and seemed a bit distraught. I called her back. Seems no one from Florida, not my brother, my sister, or her four children, can spare the time to go see my mother. So I am going. This will not be easy. I will fly from Manchester to Salt Lake City via Newark, spend the night, then drive five hours. It is a journey I have made every summer for many years now, but this will be the first time I do it on my own. This will not be cheap either. While hubby has a few job possibilities, nothing is definite. My mother sent my sister $1,000 recently to keep in case she or one of her children needed to fly out to my mother in an emergency. I don't know what's happened to the money. Maybe my sister doesn't think this is an emergency.
I'm actually disgusted with my sister. While my mother was hospitalized with atrial fibrillation, her heart rate went as high as 200 at one point. She said she thought she was going to die. My sister told her people don't die of atrial fibrillation. Well, I checked, and yes, they most certainly can die of that. They can also get embolisms from it. Since my mother's been home from the hospital, she's asked every one of my sister's children if they could come out and see her. Nope, not one of them can spare the time. My sister told my mother there are people in this world who are much worse off than her. I can't believe she was so heartless and unsympathetic. Since January my mother has had a biopsy on a lump on her breast, pneumonia, blood found in her stool, and atrial fibrillation. Her doctor took her off the medication she takes for her tremor (age-related, not Parkinson's) so she's shaking a lot. She feels very weak and obviously needs family around her to lift her spirits.
This means I will miss Jake's follow-up appointment with the surgeon. Hubby has not been to the referral center. I will have to show him how to get there before I go. I will have to give him a list of things to do and ask. I will have to get Jake used to the ramp again (I don't want hubby manhandling Jake). The house and people in it will cope while I am gone, but I bet the ironing will be left till I get home (and I hope it is because hubby hasn't a clue how to use a steam iron. Seems his mother still used the Victorian kind you heated on the fire).
I haven't felt this stressed in many years. Sunday morning after I discovered the pus on Jake's scar, I could feel the stress building inside me. The tight chest, the pins and needles feeling in my fingers, the tense muscles. My back went because I was doing heavy lifting, but it also went because that's what it does when I feel stressed. Which makes me even more stressed. I will get through all this. I hope my mother gets better and Jakey gets better and hubby gets another job and no more horrible things happen. But if they do I will have to cope because there's no other choice.