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

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Needles Suck; Glad it wasn't me.

August 19th 2008 10:19 am
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Tuesday, August 19th

Mom was up most of last night. She had read up on the procedure the doc is going to perform and has almost psyched herself out of it. Seems people either love it or hate it; the only agreement is that it hurts.

We finally went to bed about the time Dad's clock went off and we had just gotten really comfy when our clock went off. I napped in my chair while Mom showered, dressed, and packed "our" bag. She got Bretta out then got me dressed. I knew we were going to the hospital because Mom had packed my Eddie Bauer mini-crate. That means something painful is going to happen to Mom; something that will make me want to break a down/stay to get to her.

Mom tried listening to her MP3 player on the bus; anything to try to clear her mind, but it just wasn't happening today. I ended up in her lap so I could get her mind on me and get her breathing under control.

We checked in and it was soo busy Mom couldn't listen to music and hear them call us. I started "talking" to Mom which entertained some older man who was waiting. He told me I was "such a poor puppy. Soo unloved." He was joking, since I had given Mom a kiss and she had scritched one of my favorite spots on my back. I was just trying to let her know she was having an anxiety attack and that I was more than happy to climb in her lap.

Mom pulled out my mini-crate when we got into the exam room. I gave her a look and did a production number making sure to work the eyes and the big sighs. I did have a good view from under her chair. Doc came in and asked what happened to make us have 3 ER visits in 17 days.

When he brought out the syringe with the huge needle, I signed really loud. Doc looked down at me, "Oh really, Little Man." I gave him the "Don't hurt my Momma!" glare and started talking to him. I've gotten good at watching the volume. Doc knows; I'm not into him getting poke happy with the needles.

He did have to stop twice to give Mom a minute to remember to breathe. She ended up with both sides blocked. You could physically see the muscles spasm on the right side. So the back half of Mom's head is literally numb. She laughed when she put her sunglasses on; it felt funny. I got to sniff the back of her head before we left the office.

There was a line for the taxis so we walked down to the snack bar to get Mom a drink and to call Dad before walking to the bus stop. I heard Doc tell Mom to go home and ice down, so I was going to make sure that we went home. I was more than ready to get on the bus, except we had to sit through 3 buses before ours showed up. (Yes, I get happy to see the bus. I like to ride.) While we waited I saw what I MUST have my picture taken on/in. One of the choppers did a low level fly-over. I sat there wagging my tail and watching it. Someone asked Mom how she trained me to be soo calm about stuff like that. I got use to it when we lived in Florida and had both choppers and jets going overhead at any given time. Dad did say that if I get to pose with/on one, I must wear my Mutt Muffs and Doggles. That will be my favorite picture.

We got home and I sacked out in my chair while Mom rested. Dad ordered pizza (meat lovers - my favorite) and they discussed the "horse" business again. The girls are planning on checking out another stable. Mom has said she isn't going without me. Also, since she hasn't been able to find her knee brace she had to order another one. Dad didn't realize how expensive they are. Mom also ordered some new ice packs; her old ones are ancient and don't stay cold for very long.


Third trip this month...

August 18th 2008 7:07 am
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Wednesday, August 13th

Mom was grumpy...and feeling like crap. We hopped on the shuttle to go find some whiskey for Mom's sore throat. (You know the whiskey, lemon juice, and honey trick.) Mom almost forgot my vest, so Dad hopped off the elevator when it stopped on the 3rd floor and ran upstairs to grab it while I took care of business outside.

The bus driver tried to give Mom a hard time. Not the best thing he could do today. Dad and I thought her head was going to do a complete 360. This wasn't a new driver. It wasn't like Mom wasn't carrying my vest. Mom got me dressed on the ride over. We get on base and have to ride to the bus station. About half-way there (once on base) some kid gets on and he's at that age where his parents need to have the hygiene talk. He was a little ripe. Dad misunderstood Mom's gestures and thought she was referring to some ROK Marines that had gotten on. They were sweaty, but they weren't stinky. The kid, however, was about as bad (on the opposite end of the scale) as those who marinate in perfume/cologne. It was burning my nose and he made Mom sick to her stomach.

So we walked to the Four Seasons to the shoppette since they have a liqueur section. One of the employees yells "No dogs!" Mom pointed to my vest and we got back to trying to find the kind of whiskey Mom wanted. They didn't have it in what Mom calls a "snakebite" bottle (@250ml). They did have 6 pack of 50ml bottles (about 1.69oz). We picked one of those up and a small thing of Real Lemon.

On the way back, we decide to see if we could get a taxi at the bus station. The line was long. We jumped on the Post Run bus to the Dragon and waited in line there. We almost ended up getting on the shuttle, but we finally got a taxi. If it hadn't been soo hot out, we'd have walked out the gates and caught the public bus. Dad would have had his hands full though since he had the bag and a 12-pack of Pepsis.

We (Mom and I) had one of those weird moments where we realized something funny. If you tell most of the taxi drivers you want to go to Hannam Village, they get confused. You have to pronounce village "village-e" By the time we move back, Mom will be mispronouncing Village.

Thursday, August 14th
Mom's headache is massive. We did, however, watch the one South Korean archer chick kick some North Korean booty. Mom has a compound bow and loves to shoot. Dad has suggested that we see what venues are available over here and is ready to buy Mom an entry-level recurve bow. I think that would be cool. Mom has been looking for something constructive to do since we've been over here. She did get permission to bring me to the stables if she goes riding again, but she wasn't that impressed with the horses there. She and Dad have discussed leasing her a horse, but finding a place close by to board it is proving to be a challenge. So archery would be a good activity that she enjoys that I can go hang out at without getting in the way. I can hang out in my pop-up crate under Mom's chair while she will be almost like home, except I always just sat in Mom's chair.

Sunday, August 17th
UGGGG! Why do people have to marinade in perfume? If Mom can smell you twenty feet away then I think you more than need a bath. Mom tries to get us upwind when we get a whiff. I'm getting really good at letting her know someone reeks because I know it is a trigger for Mom and it burns MY nose. We got stuck in the elevator with a marinator today. I was worried that it was going to make Mom's headache rebound. She had just gotten back from the ER. It gave me a sneezing fit.

She left me home with Dad and went alone to the hospital. We hadn't slept in the last couple of days. I had stretched out on the couch with Dad and was napping when she got dressed. She figured it would just be easier to go alone...she had forgotten just how much she relies on me to ground herself when it gets bad...especially when the wait is long or when the meds make her antsy. She left at 11AM and didn't get home until nearly 6:30PM. They were busy. The good news was that they managed to get the IV in on the first try. She took the Post Run to a little used pedestrian gate and then caught the public bus home so she could get me dressed. She was feeling better and she and Dad wanted to see the new Mummy movie.

Poor Dad hurt his back Thursday. He offered to dress me and bring me and "our" bag and just meet Mom on base, but she told him she'd come home since she didn't figure he'd be able to carry the bag and take care of me. He's moving slow. He did manage to feed me and Bretta our supper.

We got there early, so we sat on the steps and waited. I was having fun sitting beside Mom and hanging out. When the doors opened, Mom and I went to find "our" seats and get me settled while Dad managed to get the snacks. I've got the whole standing for the National Anthem thing down now. I did ask to get into Mom's lap (so I could check her out) after the movie had been on for awhile. She was good. I caught sight of the Yeti, so I decided to sit there and watch most of the remainder of the movie. Mom elbowed Dad and pointed to me. He said, "That's my boy!". I was still in Mom's lap when the lights came back on. Several people commented that they didn't realize I was there until they saw me. That always makes the pawrents laugh. I was still wearing my Mutt Muffs. That attracts attention. Everyone asks if we had them especially made.

It was intermittently sprinkling on the walk to the Dragon and then it took about fifteen minutes to get a cab. Mom gave me plenty of time to potty before we headed to the elevator. We got the creaky one that I don't like. We fully expect it will be out of order shortly from the way it has been acting. Mom then got Bretta out to potty while Dad undressed me. Right now, I'm curled up between the pawrents. Dad is working on a book. He's discovered LuLu. So he's reprinting some really ancient beer/wine/mead type texts, but he's updating the terms and names for the various plants and spices. Too much cross-checking for me.

Monday, August 18th

We went to bed late because Dad took a nap while Mom was gone, then there was a vehicle out in the parking lot that had horn problems. It went off for more than 3 hours straight. It was late when Mom and I finally got to sleep; so we slept in until noon. We have to go to the hospital tomorrow so Mom can get something called an occipital nerve block.


Not Her Best Choice...

August 14th 2008 8:01 am
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Saturday August 9th

Sometimes Mom acts like a dumb blonde and reminds me that common sense is sometimes not soo common. She decided to "dope up" (or in medical jargon prophylaxis selective pre-medication) so that she could leave me and Bretta home while she went horseback riding with the girls. What she didn't know was that the riding venue was changed (to something even further out). Several other factors played in and her gamble did not pay off.

They were on their way back, on a public bus, when Mom had to bail off the bus so she could puke. She was sitting there and all of a sudden she felt "off" so she grabbed a prescription nausea tab and got it down. She had half a bottle of water on her. Less than 5 minutes later, she looked over at Susan and said "I've got to get off the bus. I'm going to be sick." They hit the "stop" button (which is for like the next stop available, they won't do an unscheduled stop, though I'm sure had Susan yelled up there in Korean that he had a choice, stop the bus or Mom would spew, he'd have let them off immediately). They hopped off and Mom frantically looked around for a place to let chunks fly. There was a beautiful rock wall with some shady Hosta type plants everywhere. Mom found a spot and cut loose.

Poor Aunt Sharon had to take a walk and Aunt Susan sorta went back and forth between them. Aunt Sharon also had some really nasty pina colada gum that got the taste out of Mom's mouth. The gum must have been potent, Mom said the flavor lasted forever and I could still smell it when Mom got home. At that point, her head was pounding. Mom got another nausea tab down and they sat down to catch the next bus.

By the time Mom got home, she was pretty sick. They rode a bus to Seoul Station, then caught the subway. Dad had to get her boots off of her while I gave her the once over. Then Bretta had to check her out. Bretta was more interested in the horse smell once she got past Mom's head. Mom then got a cool shower, choked down more drugs, and we laid down with ice packs.

Sunday August 10

Today was a bust. Mom was up and down a bit. Dad did fix some chicken creole and made Mom eat, but she had gotten off schedule on the Reglan and got sick to her stomach. She had to worship the porcelin God "Rolf". Seems that for proper worship you must call his name correctly with lots of splashing of the water (without using your hands) and ritualistic spitting. I laid against her legs while she knelt at the alter.

Mom slept fitfully from about 6PM until 12:30AM. I get up when she gets up. She downed some pedialite and had the shakes. I think we stayed up for about thirty minutes. I got in her face at 3:30. I was hungry; I had eaten RAW for supper. Mom would have given me a snack if she had been thinking right, but with the headache (and not knowing when I had been out to potty last), she just took me out and gave me some freeze dried salmon as a snack.

Monday, August 11

I got in Mom's face at 5:30 for breakfast. She wasn't asleep. Just laying there trying to breathe through the pain. She fed me and laid back down. When Dad's clock went off, Mom got Bretta out (wearing sunglasses before the sun was really up), got Bretta fed, me dressed, and herself dressed and managed to brush her hair without screaming. We rode the bus with Dad and got off at the hospital and went to the ER.

That was fun! (No, not really, for Mom, but the doctor and nurses there were great, as usual. The one nurse on duty got Mom's IV started on the first stick (which after the last visit was better than great. When we finally left, we had found the recipe to treat her dual headaches....Mom walked out with neither side hurting...completely headache free.

We took a taxi to the Quiznos on base so Mom could get some lunch (it was 11AM), then walked a little, got on the Post Run, got off at the Dragon, and caught a taxi home. I sacked out. I figured Mom would too, but she didn't. She ended up rather wired. Dad did have a surprise for her when he came home. He had bought her a Wii from ToysRUs and it had arrived.


Ringo the Rhino PSB, "Blue" has shed, and finding EVO in- Seoul

August 7th 2008 7:50 am
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Thursday, August 7th

Mom wanted to get a "same day" appointment yesterday, but it was a no go since the Prez was coming to visit. Normally, they don't do them on Thursdays, but decided to just switch the days this week, so we got one for today. Mom had thought about attending the "town hall" meeting, but knew it would be crowded and hot. She wasn't feeling well anyway. Bretta has been staying on her about her BP bottoming out. You know Mom is sick if she passes up the opportunity to go to the mall...and the mall in question is one she hasn't had the chance to explore.

So, we napped until time to get showered and dressed (ok, she showered; I got brushed and spritzed). Our appointment is at 1:20; the shuttle leaves at 12:15. It wouldn't crank. They guy calls for another bus, but time is ticking and Mom is feeling worse by the minute because it is HOT outside. It doesn't help that her nausea med is one that has the whole warning advisory about being out in the sun and Mom has forgotten her hat. She realized she forgot her cheat sheet that gives both the Hangul and phonetic spelling of how to get home or to the different gates for the base. We managed to get to the gate by the commissary and walk over to it. It was only several hundred yards, but it was scortching outside. As we hit a little patch of shade, Dad returns Mom's phone call (she needed to know how to ask to get to the gate closer to the hospital, but by that point she no longer needed his help). There are no cabs in sight. We see a shuttle marked "Yongsan" so we hop on it. Instead of going down by the hospital, it turns. We hop off at the elementary/middle school and cross the road to wait for the post run.

The Post Run finally gets there at a little after 1PM and it is packed. Mom asks a nicely dressed young Korean woman if she minds if Mom sits there (the shuttles are sorta like school buses, but the seats are made for 2 with individual cushions and lap belts. I lay on Mom's leg and am very still. We were almost late for our appointment.

Aunt Sharon had an appointment as well, so when we got done, we went to see if she was still in the building. She gets "greeting privileges" as Mom calls it. She dropped down on one knee and I put my feet on her thigh and gave her a kiss. We then wondered down to the pharmacy so she could get something filled and they can discuss this coming weekend's "Girls' Day Out" for Saturday. Susan is booking them for horseback riding at some place they haven't scoped out. Mom has decided to pre-medicate and let me have the day off. The decision didn't come lightly, but since she hasn't been to the location, she doesn't know if there is a safe place to crate me while she rides. Pre-medding doesn't always work, but she won't be alone and it will give me some one on one time with Dad, plus I can sleep in. They also discussed us all going out to dinner (us, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Clint, and Susan and her fiance).

Mom and I caught a cab home. I got focused on wanting to get into the cab that I ignored Aunt Sharon when she told me bye. She understood; I was just ready to get home and plop - the heat was brutal today. He didn't want to pick us up. He started with the "I'm allergic to dogs" crap. Mom says crap because I'm pretty hypoallergenic due to my puppy hair (plus, I have a grooming ritual before I get dressed for work). Mom told him that he would get in huge trouble for refusing us and pointed out that I wasn't the pet he first thought I was (he asked if I could ride in the trunk...Mom wasn't amused; that was when she pointed out my vest and ID).

BTW, Pahln-sag (Blue) shed. At first, Mom thought he had kicked the bucket because she saw his shed laying there and she sorta freaked. So she went to get the net and when she came back (and turned on the tank light) he was on top of it eating it. He looks like he has doubled in size. Mom still wants to get a few neon/cardinal tetras to put in the tank just so it doesn't look soo empty.

We also had a fatality among the beetles. Since Dad never specifically said who was who (other than Mom grabbing the name Ringo for the male she messes with), we just went with the obvious choice. John died. Dad put the two females in the same tank (they were supposed to get along; it is the males that fight). Mom joked and said that the other female is Paul.

Mom jokingly sent out a post on one of her SD Yahoo groups about "Ringo the Rhino PSB. He assists by stimulating conversation, yet buffers his handler since most people don't want to get too close. He loves tactile stimulation. Unfortunately since he hasn't shown the ability to alert, he is unable to fully assist me at this time." (That was part of Mom's little goes along with an older joke about a service lobster.

We also got kibble today. Mom had e-mailed Innova because the info about a local retailer had outdated contact info. One of the local reps contacted Mom. We can get the Evo chicken, but not the RM. (A whole big mess about the government just now restarting to import US beef and they haven't lifted the restriction on dog food; there has been protests here like crazy because they think the US is full of Mad Cow disease. The US rates higher/safer than they do. It is a pain.) Anyway, Bretta has a bit of a chicken allergy, but it isn't too bad. Mom expects a bit of dry skin; nothing we won't watch and work around with some supplements. Mom is expecting some TOTW in the mail soon and it beats what is available in the commissary and PX; Bretta had to eat some nasty stuff last week (and go back to partial raw) because Mom ran out. I was ok since going RAW has been easier for me.

The cool thing was that this place delivers the same say you place the order. Mom is trying to get a handle on how much food we eat a month. She's been on Dad about using a level measuring cup when it comes to Bretta's food (he occassionally feeds her, but unless something is really wrong, he never feeds me). So, other than our TOTW and our freeze dried treats, we are set. They even threw in one of the big cans of the turkey/chicken Evo food. The 13# bags were 33,000 won (roughly $33 each). Since everything has to be shipped to us USPS, we can't beat the price. Dad had to meet them at the gate to pay and pick up, but that wasn't a problem and the rep speaks really good English, so Mom can communicate with her.


Is there a 12-step program for a D&B addict?

August 7th 2008 6:57 am
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Sunday, August 3rd

Mom sorta feels better. She thinks her BP keeps bottoming out because she keeps getting dizzy when she stands up. She decided that she needed a distraction, so we decided to go to the movies. We caught an early bus and went to the PX. She told Dad that she felt "spacey", but that she wanted to stay out. I stayed velcro'd to her side. She found some shorts at the PX that she liked, so I went into the dressing room with her. When we came out, she didn't see Dad so she asked me to find him. He had moved off to the side and was sitting down. She was feeling rather "craptastic" when we caught the taxi to the theater. Oh and Dad told her she needs a 12-step program for purse buying....she was looking at the D&B wristlets. He forgets that they are great for her to put her cell phone in, so it is easier for me to bring it to her.

There wasn't a line and we got what we now jokingly refer to as "our" seats. The 2-seat row off to the side. Dad went to get snacks while Mom got me settled (mat laid out, Mutt Muffs on, and my leash unhooked from my collar and folded on top of her purse in case we need to grab it). Just as Mom predicted, I've got the whole "everyone is going to stand up and then sit back down after a few minutes" thing down pat. I sat there nicely during the National Anthem.

About ten minutes into the movie (Step Brothers), I needed to check Mom out. I ended up alerting, so she fumbled in her bag (in the dark) for her meds and I laid in her lap for the rest of the movie. I was being very careful not to touch her "ouchies" on her forearm.

When the movie let out, Mom wasn't up to the walk to the Dragon (and the possible wait for a cab), so we headed over to the bus stop. We saw several people out walking their dogs (they are allowed to have them on South Post, except in the one set of tower apartments). We actually saw a pair of Beagles; a lemon and white and a saddle back. The L&W was OBESE and the other wasn't too far behind. We aren't talking about a little bit fat, but Fat Bastard from Austin Powers fat.

The bus ride was uneventful. Mom has been giving me the opportunity to do a little off-lead work once we are on the veranda of our building. I strutted to the elevators like I owned the place. I walked in and did my little turn around and waited until she told me I could get off (after the doors opened). I then strutted down the hall to our door. Sometimes I give her the look, my way of asking if I can run to our door. If she says yes, I do it, then poke my head out so I can watch her come towards me (our door has about a 5-6 foot mini hall directly in front of it). I'm more than happy to stand back while they unlock the door. I understand that in a way, these are little tests for me.

Monday, August 4th
I woke Mom up when her clock went off. Bretta sniffed her and went off on an alert tangent that was weird. I had alerted earlier, but Bretta was being whiny, not the alert that has been shaped. Mom's BP was bottoming out again. I did give her a more insistent alert (since the first line meds weren't working) so Mom doped up. She got really light headed when she took me out to potty, so we laid down when we got back upstairs.


Our ER Visit...OR how Mom got the lovely "track marks"

August 5th 2008 1:09 am
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Friday August 1

It all went downhill. Mom did manage to keep a protein bar down. By 11:30AM, she had taken everything she could and had a full blown dual headache. Bretta was being loud and trying to lay on Mom. We (Mom and I) laid down, but had set a clock. She was laying there still trying to find her zone when it went off. We got dressed, caught the shuttle, and went to the ER.

The bus ride was rough. Mom ended up grabbing her MP3 player out of her bag to tune out the kids. We got to the ER and had a bit of a wait. We get seen by reception and Mom's BP was pretty much off. 113/49. We are handed a cup and sent to the restroom. We get called back a few minutes later and speak to one of the nurses.

Male nurse #1 comes in to start an IV. One try in each arm with no luck. Female nurse #2 is the one who took care of Mom last time (and is a really good stick). She tried twice in the left arm and got one in the right. We are all thinking it is because Mom is dehydrated that the veins aren't popping like they should. Fluids are started. I'm allowed on the bed. We spoon. The doctor comes in. Checks Mom's eyes, pulls out the stethoscope, asks a few questions, tells Mom what the game plan is. Mom is laying there and notices the IV is hurting (and it is in a spot that shouldn't hurt). She's knew it was a "good stick" because of the metallic taste when the flush was applied and she's had one go through a vein where it started swelling because the fluids were building up SubQ. She mentions it to Female nurse #1. It still looks good, so we decide to just watch it. She starts giving Mom the nausea meds and it starts burning bad enough that Mom had to concentrate on petting me and breathing. She let the IV fluids flush through in the hopes that maybe it was just a strange reaction to the nausea meds (Mom has had then before).

Mom and the nurse watch as Mom's arm starts streaking red up the vein. At first it was faint and Mom was all for getting the meds on board. They got part of the pain meds in when they had to quit. They had to pull the IV out. Female nurse #2 comes in and tries. She gets one in Mom's left arm (about the same spot as the one they just pulled). It is a good stick, but it immediately starts burning like it is on fire. (in case you are counting, that is the 6th stick.)

Dad showed up at this point. I was happy to see him because Mom was soo sick. They started getting all sorts of needles and caths together, along with a light thing to show the veins so Mom asked Dad to get me off the bed and hold me when it gets to the point they are going to try it again. I understand I need to be out of the way while they do what they needed to do.

It is right at shift change and the lab people are gone for the day (Mom mentions this because in the past, if the ER staff couldn't get a good stick, the phelobotimists in the lab generally can since they do that all day long). The good news is that one of the RNs coming on duty use to be a one and had success with hard sticks. Before he started Female #1 and Mom discuss that we could do IM shots, but since Mom generally needs enough drugs to fall an elephant, it might not work and it wouldn't help the dehydration.

It is time to try again; Dad takes me as everyone converges on the room. Mom has Female #4 looking for a vein on her left arm/hand while Male #2 is looking on her right. There is some off and on with the overhead lights as they use the little contraption that focuses light into the skin and makes veins show up. The right hand is looking more promising than the left. He tries one in the back of the hand that almost makes Mom pass out and puke. (It hit something when he told Mom to open her hand.) Then tries one more on the side of the wrist (which was pretty good, but it must have collapsed because he lost it). He finally gets on in about an inch and a half from the first one that got all red. I'm allowed back on the bed and I "had" to lay as close to Mom as possible. I crawled up her body to lay on her chest (full body contact) and stuck my head on her shoulder with my nose behind her ear. Then I checked out her new "ouchies" and sniffed the new line. I was worried about her. She told me to spoon, so I got off her chest so she could lay on her side.

Mom needed more nausea meds by this time. So she was given a sublingual tab instead. A fresh bag and tubing were hung (just in case). Mom ended up with 2 full doses of morphine and a big dose of valium. They got the migraine knocked out, but only knocked the other side down to about a 5.

We had a male nurse come in and he had the wrong room. I didn't like him. He then showed up again. I made my disapproval known and Mom reminded me that it was neither the time nor the place for that sort of behavior. I also growled when the male doctor came in. Mom corrected me and apologized. He said he understood, that as many times as it took them to stick me (and the emotions that were running around the room) it was no wonder I was on edge. I did hush and let the doc pet me once I could tell he wasn't all "emotional" (for lack of a better word). He gives a good chin scratch. I also let the male nurse who got the IV started pet me. He apologized to both of us.

Mom also thinks that Dad's mental status at that point may have made things much, much worse. He was concerned and felt helpless, we were all a bit frustrated (ok, that is an understatement), the one guy was under some pressure, and Mom was hurting bad enough to want to kill herself at that point. Plus Mom has some major anxiety when it comes to needles. In the end, it took 9 different pokes (where most of them felt like they were digging trying to get it into the vein, not straight in stuff). That was a lot going on in the room. I had been fine up until she asked Dad to hold me.

We didn't get home until midnight. Mom ate a little and we conked out. Her arms look like someone has been driving railroad spikes into her veins. They hurt. I'm being very careful to not touch them, though I did very gently lick them after she got out of the shower. The good news is that her PB finally went back to something closer to normal.

We have to watch to make sure her "track marks" don't streak and that there is no fever. Yep, Mom looks like a junkie right now. She had Dad take some pics. She may post them later.

Saturday, August2

We were going to try to just get out of the house, but Mom needed some recovery time. Headaches like these leave her with short term memory type problems. She will forget simple words. She also has some other neurological stuff that happens. Stuff that Bretta can help with (bracing). She gets frustrated when she can't find the word she wants. Her neck is still right on the edge (of going out again), so a rebound headache is a possibility. She said if it happens, Dad can stay home until time to pick us up.

There is a movie playing this weekend that Mom wants to go see. We may try to go depending on how she feels; mainly if she can deal with the noise.


Osan...Mom needs a 12-step programs when it comes to buying- purses

August 5th 2008 12:14 am
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Thursday, July31

We missed orientation. Mom's head wasn't cooperating. It wasn't a good week. She did have a few good hours where we all went down to play fetch, but even that wore her out. The side effects from the Botox haven't been quite as bad this time, but the muscle spasming has been about the same.

Mom hasn't really blogged about it yet (she was going to do it on Bretta's blog), but she came across a local forum where someone was talking about us. The usual crap about rules being bent and such. This person (who really needs a refresher in operational and personal security) thinks that getting a therapy dog would get her around the housing rules. She then ended her last post saying she was going to try to talk to us to find out how we did it.

She has never spoken to either Mom nor Dad. We know this because her avatar on that forum is a picture of her and her husband. (Nice when people use their whole name, can see his rank, ect. ect. ect.) One day this week, she got into the elevator with us (me and Mom). Mom was holding me because she was pretty sick and I was trying to comfort her (and tell her to go lay down). She didn't say anything to us. Mom was waiting on her to ask...because she had plenty she wanted to say.

So, Mom decided to push through the left side stuff and get out of the house. "Aunt" Sharon needed some stuff that our PX didn't have and Mom wanted to go purse shopping. Osan, here we come! The weather looked pretty nasty. It was spitting rain. We got on the shuttle and a kid made the "Doggy" comment, which then made a mom start with "What is a dog doing on the bus?" Except they never ask Mom. We don't understand it. If you have a question about us; ASK US. Someone who was sitting close to the loud mom (and that happens to know about us) quickly explained that I am a service dog; not a pet. We aren't unapproachable. Quite the opposite.

The bus ride from the Bus station to Osan was uneventful. I like those buses; they are bigger and the seats are more comfy.

We took a cab to the front gate, and Mom did some shopping. She bought four new purses (that are big enough for "our" stuff and 2 new wallets that match. Mom had fun with the haggling. We walked a bunch (though Mom carried me a lot since the ground was nasty and it was still spitting rain).

We went into the McDonalds in "town". The ladies wanted to see if the fries tasted different. Silly girls. Then we looked in some stores that sold "breakables". I'm careful with my tail, so no problems. We finally went back inside the gate and got a cab back to the PX. Since it doesn't make sense for them to have two buggys, they shared and took turns pushing. Sharon didn't know Mom could walk me and push a buggy; she thinks that it cool. At one point, we got separated, so Mom asked me to "Find Aunt Sharon". I did. Mom filed that info away for future use.

Poor Daddy didn't get a PS3; they were out of stock. He did get a book so he can study for his next promotion test. (Mom says WE get to pin him when he gets promoted. That will be cool.)

The bus station was full of small children. Let's just say there was a lot of blocking going on by both Mom and her friend. Between them, their bags, and me laying under Mom's seat. Then we had to put up with one of the kids screaming most of the ride back to Yongsan. I curled up and went to sleep. Mom would have dozed if the kid would have shut up. Then some dummy in a car pulled out in front of the bus (as we are going down the bus-only lane at high speed).

We were happy to get back. We said our good-byes and Mom and I went to grab a cab (since we missed the shuttle and didn't feel like waiting another hour).

I got a nice cornish hen thigh and my feet cleaned up. I then alerted on Mom and Bretta went on Defcon V. She wasn't going to be pacified. Mom took some meds and laid down early. I woke her up in the middle of the night to let her know it was going to get worse. She took more meds, then puked. She had to pull out her last-line nausea stuff then try to take other meds after it kicked in.


Dark Knight, New Friends, and a Trip to the Track

August 2nd 2008 3:53 am
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Tuesday, July 22

We went to the Navy club so Dad could play poker. We sat in the other room and hung out with Mom's friend (her hubby played) and once he went broke, Mom and I watched people shoot pool. It started getting a bit loud (between the pool and the jukebox) so I got to wear my Mutt Muffs. Dad finished 11th.

The shuttle buses weren't running, so we walked out and tried to catch a regular cab, but none would stop. We ended up walking to a reglar public bus stop and caught it home (there is a stop outside the front compound gate). We used one of the subway underpasses to get across the street. It was funny, Dad ended up carrying Mom's purse so I could ride in my sling. The buses tend to be crowded and Mom worries about me getting stepped on. Anyway, this was only my second trip on a public bus.

Wednesday, July 23rd

We had to be on base early. Mom had her second Botox series.

Saturday, July 26th

It was raining. Mom just wanted to get out of the house. She's been having some problems from the Botox, but she's also just tired of it all. We were going to go to E-mart (sorta like Wally World), but Dad gave the driver wrong directions. Mom got upset with Dad. They ended up walking to the nearest on post bus stop (I rode). We did ride the Post Run and decided to go to the Mexican place at the Dragon.

Mom and Dad wanted to see the 5PM showing of Dark Knight. We had time to kill so we thought we'd go walk through the furniture store. There was already a line at the threater. So we went ahead and got in it. My head got soaked but the rest of me was nice and dry thanks to Mom and Dad.

Once we got inside, Dad went for the snacks while Mom grabbed the seats. We opted to sit on the side in a two seater. Mom laid out my mat and put our bag where I could lay against it or with my back against the carpeted wall and went ahead and put my headset on.

I sat there like an angel while the National Anthem played, then calmly laid back down when Mom sat down. I slept through most of the movie. At one point, it did vibrate the wall. I took the opportunity to let her know I needed to check her. She let me in her lap. She was borderline, so I laid down then rechecked her again and alerted. I then sat there and watched the last 10 minutes of the movie.

The line for the next showing was even longer. Mom e-mailed her friend so she could tell her Hubby to go early and to see what time we were all supposed to meet up for Sunday.

Sunday July 27

Mom repacked my bag and we headed out the gate to grab a taxi to one of the hotels in Itaewon. Sharon was there and introduced us to Susan. We headed over to Quiznos to eat and Susan's friend Trish joined us. Our quest was simple: take the subway to the racetrack to check out the rumors of horseback riding for the general public. We made a quick stop at a convienance store. Mom needed to put additional money on her T-Money fob and Sharon needed one. (You use it to pay for the subway, buses, and taxis; it beats carrying a bunch of change for the first two.)

The station we used was busy, so Mom slinged me. By the time we got off, it was pretty dead, so I could walk. For some reason, there was no races going on. The infield is really cool. There are areas for kids to play, various flower gardens (roses and other stuff) with areas to attract butterflies and dragonflies. It also had a nice koi pond. There was also an area where they had a horse that for a price the kids could ride him around a small paddock (supervised). We walked up to the fence to look at him. He gave me the hairy eyeball, so I turned my butt to him. Horses are no big deal to me.

We had looked at a map and found where there was some stables with a riding area (obviously not for race horses). So we headed that way. I got to walk through there with the ladies. One of the trainers came to talk to us. He was impressed with me and asked Susan a lot of questions (since Mom couldn't answer him). Several of the stable hands/exercise riders came over to see me. The trainer showed us some of the show jumpers. They are higher strung than the regular horses, but I was my usual quiet self. We did walk into one barn and Mom thought I had growled, so she corrected me. Turns out, it was a JRT locked in a stall. My non-reaction was noticed. Mom was glad that the trainer was impressed with me because there is a chance we might try to go volunteer or work out there.

Mom let me walk into the subway terminal by myself. I didn't freak out when a train went by really fast. I did step a bit closer to Mom. She let me walk onto our train by myself. She did remind me to watch the gap. I stood between her feet until there were enough seats open for our group. The seats aren't made where I can lay under it. I can lay parallel, but that means that someone who Mom knows needs to be sitting beside her. None of the ladies mind sharing space with me.

We left Susan and Trish in the subway station and we got off and walked to base so Sharon could walk home (since she lives on South Post) and we caught a shuttle.

Mom had called Dad to have him thaw me out some chicken. She likes for me to eat something moisture heavy when I've been out in the heat all day.

We are thinking about going to a volunteer orientation tomorrow.


Movies and Monsoon season....Tropical Storms=NBD

August 2nd 2008 3:14 am
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Saturday, July 12th

It rained. All day. Monsoon season sucks.

Sunday July 13th

Finally a sunny day. We went to the movies. I don't understand why we sit there then suddenly everyone stands up, only to sit down again a few minutes later. Mom and Dad discussed it over supper. I can't hear the music (National Anthem) with my Mutt Muffs on. Mom figures I should get the idea after a couple more visits.

Speaking of being in the theater, some woman did a "drive by" petting on her way past me. The theater had been pretty full, but they had gotten to keep an empty seat between them. They left it folded and laid my mat in the space. It keeps me out of the line of foot traffic.

We got another new driver for the ride home. He thought it was funny that I refused to look at the gate guard even though he was trying his best to get my attention.

Saturday, July 19th

I can now officially say I've been in a Korean tropical storm/Typhoon. Mom finds it funny that some people freak out over the thought of just the TS. We are accustomed to hurricanes. Mom gets tired of hearing people whining over the simple stuff. Silly people, we rode out all of the bad Florida storms of 2004 in an old wooden shotgun style house.

We did make it to base. Mom had to carry me most of the way because it was soo wet.


Bomb sniffing Mals, cute robots, and "mushroom man" suits OR- our trip to Osan

August 2nd 2008 3:01 am
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Tuesday, July 8th (my time, still the 7th US time)

Mr. Pippin the Pug paw mailed me that I'm a diary of the day pick.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day. We are meeting one of Mom's e-mail friends who is also an Air Force wife. We are heading down to Osan for shopping.

Wednesday, July 9th

We got up early to catch the bus and had to put up with a screaming kid. Temper tantrum screaming. The type of screaming that needs to be addressed by making an attempt at shutting the kid up!

We met Sharon at the Dragon. She and Mom have a ton of stuff in common. They walked and talked down to the bus station only to find that there was tape across the drive, MPs and fire trucks everywhere, and they were told they had to walk around and go in the back entrance. All of this thanks to a "suspicious package". We got our tickets and sat down so we could watch the drama.

First, one of the Mals did their thing sniffing everything. Evidentially, he hit on something. Next, the x-ray truck pulled up, then the robot went rolling by. Finally, the 'mushroom man' as Dad calls him (looks more like the staypuff marshmellow man, if you ask me).

We did get to catch our bus. Had an escort out the back door and down the street to catch the bus from the sidewalk, only to have the driver run over a curb when he attemtped to do a three point turn around on one of the "hills". He finally got the bus turned around and we ended up having to change buses near the gate.

The remainder of the trip to Osan was uneventful. I napped, which was good, because it was a hot with a lot of walking. We hit the BX. No dremmel, but Mom found some Sketchers that she liked. We then walked out to the main front gate and browsed the stores. It was hot, but I had my cooler.

We saw a harnessed kitty and a couple of dogs, including one that Mom was 99% sure belonged to someone who posts quite frequently on several boards Mom reads. Her owner is a Drama Queen with a capital DQ.

You would know that when we got back through the gates all of the cabs would be gone. When we finally got back to Chili's, I plopped down on the tile floor in a very undignified manner. We had a minor "Dogs aren't allowed in here" moment, but it was barely a blip.

I did have a captive audience when it came time to get back on the bus. Some of the guys just couldn't believe I was soo ready to load up. I slept most of the ride home.

We had a wait to catch a cab while Sharon just walked back to the Dragon. We ended up with a new driver who didn't know about the compound. That was fun.

Mom ended up getting sick; too much heat with not enough liquid intake. She's obsessive about making sure I get enough to drink.

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