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I am NOT a snack....Scooter's Adventures in South Korea

2009 Recap

March 11th 2010 10:53 am
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Ok, Mom has really been slipping so here is a recap of 2009

End of January did a 3 day hospital stay with tons of IV meds trying to stop the current headache cycle. I stayed with Mom. She brought my pop up crate, but I spent the majority of the time in bed with her. I really helped with grounding and finding a “happy place” as the nausea meds they were giving her literally burn the vein. She was being given these meds every 8 hours. We didn't have an internet connection, but Mom had brought plenty of stuff to watch. We got hooked on True Blood.

Dad extended our stay by a year, so now we won't go back home until 2011. He also passed his tests and made the promotion list. Unfortunately, due to the crappy way they did things, Mom and I didn't get to pin him. That really bummed Mom out. Chances are slim Dad will get promoted again. The next rank requires more than just passing tests, you also have to have certain endorsements made by a 1-star General or above, plus the number of slots is very small.

Our good neurologist rotated out. His replacement lacks migraine experience and bedside manners. He has no idea how to act around me, nor any idea of how I actually work. At our first encounter, Mom put down my mat and sent me under the chair. He was like, “he can wonder around.” I'm insulted that I was referred to in EFMP paperwork as a “migraine dog” instead of as a Medical Alert/Response SD. Then again, Mom and I get the distinct impression that he doesn't approve, but then this guy doesn't approve of much. Mom went into the appointment prepared. Including a very long list of preventative meds that she has tried. (Ok, Mom cheated. She copied off the list of known preventatives and then highlighted the ones she's tried. That is the best way to show that she's tried something from each category.) From the way things went, he didn't know half the stuff on the list was being used in that fashion. Yikes.

Evidentially, keeping up with the current medical trends concerning ones condition is threatening to some docs and treatment options that have been FDA approved for off-label use since 2001/2002 are “too new” to attempt. It's a muscle relaxer; either it works or it doesn't. He also doesn't “believe” in scripts for pain meds.

Mom happened to get a copy of what he put in after her first appointment. He thinks Mom is addicted and needs rehab. He also doesn't know what to do with her as far as her headaches go. He wants to say they are all medication overuse headaches, even though Mom has explained that those are quite different than what she's experiencing. There were several instances in which what he said at the appointment and what he entered were two different things. Mom complained to the patient advocate.

Dad went with us to the second appointment. Things didn't go much better. Mom took the patient advocate to her third appointment; butter wouldn't have melted in his mouth then. That also got Mom a referral to a pain management clinic. Unfortunately, those are at one of the Korean hospitals, so I can't go.

In August, we had an interesting encounter, though I missed most of it because Mom didn't take me with her. It was early on a Saturday morning when the doorbell rang. I had to wake Mom up. It was a little girl (@3yrs old) who was soo sure she had the right apartment that she just walked in the door the minute Mom unlocked it. Mom started questioning her; she told Mom that her parents were at work and the babysitter didn't show up. Mom wasn't sure which apartment she was trying to find and wasn't about to go knocking on doors that early in the morning.

Mom threw on some shorts and took her to the MP station. The 2 on duty seemed pretty lost as to what to do. When they would ask her questions, she wouldn't answer. If Mom asked them, she would. Mom finally decided that to move things along, she would have the kid show them where she lived. Turns out, she had snuck out of the house. Her dad came downstairs to 2 guys in his living room and Mom holding the door open.

We made it to the Air Force Ball again. I looked spiffy in my “Dress Mess”. Instead of guys with swords, it was Korean archers. It looked cool. A lot of people wanted either pics of me or pics with me. We had professional pics made of the three of us together and then Mom and Dad had a set made .without me.

We discovered the fabric building at Dongdaemun. The aisles are narrow and the places is generally pretty crowded, but they have everything you could ever want or need when it comes to sewing. Mom got some stuff to make me a leash to match the dress she planned to wear to the Navy Ball. We also went in search of some 5-in-1 test strips for our aquariums. The only place that had them wanted 50,000 won (@$50) for a box of 25. We ended up ordering the exact same product from Petsmart for $14.99/box.

Mom finally got a pic of the huge white butterfly koi. The guy who owns the store didn't want her taking pics of it. He claims he's in the import/export business and that people only want pics so they can get someone else to import one for them. Yes, Mom wants one. However, we have to wait until Dad retires so we can have a place big enough for one. That fish is as large as I am.

The Navy Ball was held at the Hyatt which is on top of a huge hill. The foyer for the grand ballroom is all black marble; very slippery and very cold stuff. So Mom and Dad are holding a conversation with an Air Force Colonel and his wife when this guy comes walking up demanding to know why there is a dog at “his” ball. We found out he was the event coordinator. He had an attitude problem and kept calling me a pet. Dad corrected him and told him I was “medically necessary”. He then asked what I do. Mom gave him the generic “I have a neurological condition” info. He later came up to us and apologized.

I got to meet the current MCPON (Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy). He's the highest ranking enlisted man in the navy. There is only 1 of them at a time. MCPON West loves Beagles. He and Mom talked dogs for a bit before the whistle was blown for dinner. Turns out, he was the key speaker for the night. The Navy Ball has a lot more pomp than the Air Force one.

We ended up seated with a lot of the same people from the Air Force ball. I was happy to see Chief Wallace again. He's a big teddy bear and his soon-to-be wife wants to take me home.

Mom's first trip to the pain management specialist ended up with her getting facet joint injections. It didn't go well. First, she hates needles. Second, she has trust issues. Third, she had to lay face down with this heavy blanket thing over her head which made it hard to breathe. They used a fluoroscope to see where they were putting the needles. She is becoming sensitive to numbing agents. So no more lidocaine for her unless it is the dentist.

They replaced the elevators in our building. I was a little weirded out at first – it speaks to you in Korean.

The SUSLAK Christmas party was interesting. Unfortunately, Mom didn't get down to Osan to pick up my pimp suits before the big day. So I wore a collar cover that matched Mom's dress.

We celebrated Christmas early since Dad had to actually work on Christmas day. He had Christmas eve off. Mom had been sick with the crud so we hadn't been out much. We finally made it to the mail room to pick up my Snoops Secret Santa present. The Essig clan sent me a gift certificate for my favorite online supply company. Jeffers was out of the toy I really wanted, so I got a new pair of thermal pjs and a pair of boots.

The pawrents got me some cool stuff. I love the hide a bird plush set. Mom also had picked up one of the replacement packs of squirrels because they looked to be the right size for me to play fetch. They stuff into the birdhouse too. My other pressies were my “skinned” fox hide (it's longer than me), a nice plaid windbreaker, a selection of yummy liver treats, a box of turkey hearts, and another heavy coat (so I can put patches on it). The heavy coat is on back order.

I spent most of New Year's Eve locked in the bedroom. Mom had gotten up to go grab something from the bedroom when she hit a wet spot on the floor. She had one of those fleeting WTF moments and wondered if I had an accident then she hit another wet spot. The hall light revealed that it definitely wasn't me. She finally figured out it was coming from the spare room. She was trying to look up the maintenance number on-line when the doorbell rang. The downstairs neighbor had called it in.

I was placed in the bedroom due to the sheer number of people going in and out and the door being propped open. Mom had broke out her little bissle to get started on sucking up the water. They finally brought in an industrial strength one. All of the hall rugs ended up in the bathtub while Mom had a load of towels in the washer. Mom called Dad about the drama and asked him to grab some laundry supplies. Unfortunately, he was unable to grab her a sub sandwich, everything had closed early due to the holiday.


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