Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wow, what a week this has been! And today was the doozy. First off, Griffin's lymph nodes, the ones on one side of his neck, have been noticeable since he was about one year old. Well, they seem to get bigger and smaller at various times, but last night I noticed that there seemed to be two (rather hard) lumps instead of just one, and the whole side of his neck seemed to be swollen. Then this morning he woke up complaining that when he swallowed, his throat hurt, so I made an appointment for a few hours later to get it checked out. I had looked online last night, and pretty much read that it could be anything from strep throat to leukemia. Yikes!

Anyway, before Griffin went to the doctor, Mike went to the doctor. He has been fighting a "cold" for the past two weeks, and his boss told him yesterday that it sounded like sinusitis, and that he should probably see a doctor or take Mucinex or something, so he did go in, and, guess what, he has sinusitis and is now on an antibiotic and a decongestant. He slept for almost 5 hours this afternoon, and seems to be feeling better this evening.

So at Griffin's appointment, Dr. S (his pediatrician) checked him over, and they ruled out strep and pretty much any other type of throat ailment. Of course, Griffin HATED the strep test. It took three of us to hold him down. I think the nurse was scared of him, after he blatantly refused to step up on the scale for her so she could weigh him. Well, she kept telling him it was like being on stage! And HOW many people in the world have stage fright?! Okay, so he probably doesn't even know what a "stage" is, unless you are referring to a stage of life that he or Sammy will hopefully soon outgrow; he has probably heard us talking about that kind of stage quite frequently. So anyway, the nurse thought she would need a little help, and when they all trooped into the room to do the strep test, I think he freaked out just a little. I know I would have! So we're all laying on top of him and she's making him gag, and he was talking about her shoving the Q-tip down his throat for the rest of the day.

So anyway, Dr. S decided that it is probably one of three things. Cat Scratch Disease, which doesn't have too many symptoms except for swollen lymph nodes that go away after a few months, or Mono, which she said seems highly unlikely given his "activity level"... yeah, he was misbehaving in the doctor's office, but he had just been lain on and gagged; I think I would have been a bit feisty too... or leukemia, which I hope and pray they will rule out with the blood test they did at the lab they sent us to after leaving the doctor's office.

Dr. S said she felt about 6 or 7 swollen lymph nodes in one side of his neck alone, and the muscle on the side of his neck was being pushed out by the lymph nodes behind it. It sounds painful to me, but Griffin said it didn't hurt.

She looked down his throat and said it really wasn't that red at all, and then she didn't say too much else about his throat, we mostly talked about the swollen nodes.

So now I have this to worry about for the next week until we get the results of the blood tests back. I was thinking about all of the possibilities, and hoping it was nothing life-threatening, and as we were leaving the doctor's office, Griffin turns to me and says, "Mom, my throat still hurts, did they give us some medicine?"

He was absolutely wonderful at the lab. I held him on my lap, and held his little arms down, and he sat so still, except for one minor kicking thing, but the nurse knew how to use her stern voice, and he stopped quite quickly. He loved his Donald Duck band-aid, and the little eagle finger puppet she gave him, and the sucker the lady down the hall gave him as we left the building. He was pretty proud of himself, too, as I told him over and over what a good boy he had been and how brave he was.

Okay, so that's Griffin. And Mike. Who else? Oh, yes. The animals.

ALL of the animals.

Cleo has worms that need to be treated. Yuck. Makes me shiver just to think about them! I wonder if there is an over-the-counter product that is effective enough to get rid of them completely... hmmm... or a natural remedy.

Miles looks like a prize fighter who just lost a fight to someone wearing brass knuckles with spurs on them. Seriously. Do cats do this to each other? It wasn't Cleo (although she does enjoy batting his face around with her claw-free paws), it was probably an animal (cat or possum or raccoon or squirrel) he encountered in one of his not-quite-so-frequent-since-he-got-torn-up outdoor escape episodes. He lost all of the hair on the front and sides of his face, half of his whiskers, and has scratches above his eyes and under his chin. He looks like he has a Roman nose, too. His fur is finally starting to grow back, and the skin is healing -- which makes him look like an alien cat with a pink, wrinkly face and whiskers that need ironing -- all in all, he still looks quite frightful. I'm sure he'll scare away plenty of kids on Halloween.

And then there is Gordon. Just tonight, as I was trying to get his mind off of his growling belly (yeah, we ran out of dog food yesterday, so the poor dog hadn't eaten yet today, but Mike was at the store buying some for him at that very moment), I sat petting him, and of course I reached for my favorite part of the dog-- his soft, silky ears. Well, they are still soft, but in a whole other way. They are both filled with fluid and feel like they have little pillows in them. We were told that this could happen with Great Danes if you don't have their ears cropped. Really, any dog with floppy ears. If they get liquid in their ears, the liquid has a hard time drying up because the big ears are blocking it from evaporating, and the dog shakes their head to get rid of the water, which causes the ears to hit the sides of the head with such force that it breaks blood vessels and causes swelling. It looks like he'll have to have surgery. I am wondering if there is another alternative. The websites I read said that if you leave it alone, the swelling will eventually go down, but the ears will be left looking like raisins. Yikes!

I just can't wait for the vet bill from this one. We'll be taking him and both cats in tomorrow. Griffin's swollen lymph nodes and Miles' face... are they connected? I don't know. I'm hoping I'll find that out tomorrow too.

Well, good night. I need some rest!

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