Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Update on Carmella
On February 12th we had about 4 inches of snow here and I took some beautiful pictures of Carmella in it! She really had a great time running around in it. I'd been meaning to post these for awhile but have been so swamped making new products for my Etsy shop and working on getting Carmella's MRI arranged that I haven't had a chance until today.
I'm waiting for Dr. Norwood to get the necessary paperwork done because the clinic that has the MRI machine requires a referral to get an appointment with them. This MRI is way overdue, as I had wanted to have one done before she was treated for Distemper 16 months ago, then later to see if there was any documented healing of damage that was done to the CNS by the virus.
 Her stem cells have repaired some of the damage on their own (her back left leg) but since this is still new territory it is anybody's guess just how much damage will repair without help and when the endpoint is. Even Dr. Sears doesn't know what to expect. Like man's first walk on the moon, it seems Carmella's journey is a voyage of mystery.
I remain concerned about the awkward way she has had to hold her right, front leg for the past year to balance while it's constantly jerking, and the changes to the wrist that have taken place.
Seeing her run like a jackrabbit across the yard in the snow the other day made me realize just how precious that is and I don't want her to get to the point that she can't do that anymore. It would be a tragedy after all this if atrophy left her even more disabled than when she had Distemper.
In every other way she is healthy and robust.  It is hard to know until we look at the brain and spinal cord whether the problem is all demyelination, whether scar tissue has complicated the neural pathways (or both). I just wish that I had the appointment set up so that we'll have an answer soon. I'm going to call Dr. Norwood again today to see whether the wheels are in motion, and hopefully get that referral done today.
I'm finding it hard to think of anything else even while I'm working on other things. Sales have been at a standstill this month so far and I don't know why. Had I been making better sales her bill could have been paid off by now. I'm looking into the possibility of doing two indoor shows, but they're at least a month or so away, if I can arrange it. I'm also keeping my eyes peeled for new stores to carry my work.

I'm still collecting Carmella's fur for the miniature I'm making of her. I have the wire armature frame made and next I will add the core wool. Here is a picture;
My plan is to make a number of different miniatures of dogs who have been cured of distemper the way Carmella has.

Squirrels have taken up residence in my attic and they wake Carmella up as soon as it gets light outside, squeeking and chasing around above my bedroom like mischievous children with too much time on their hands.

There must be an overpopulation of squirrels in this area, as it almost seems like an infestation!

The first time I heard the noises they made in the attic I thought a nest of birds had hatched up there.

Carmella jumps off my bed about 6 times every morning until I drag myself out of bed to let her out so that I can rest.
More often than not she's more interested in looking out the window in the computer room at the front of the house than going outside, so I have to practically shove her out the door after she plays dead and limp on the livingroom rug. She looks up at me as if she thinks it's funny. I am not amused, trying to lift her up and out while a blast of cold air bursts into the house, her body like a sack of potatoes. It's way too early for these kinds of shennanigans.

All of this usually takes several minutes of coaxing and chasing her from room to room as she tears around the house like a greyhound on the racetrack before I can finally convince her to go outside.
Once out she seems to enjoy the crisp air and she runs over to the side where the neighbors are just getting into their cars to head off for work, barks a few times, then runs back across the expanse of the yard to nose around in the leaves and pinestraw that have dropped from the trees and chewing on fallen branches.
The snow is gone but it was fun while it lasted.


Southern Belle said...

Pretty doggy. Best of luck to her. I love the 3rd photo.

PussDaddy said...

She looks a lot better to me.


Giftbearer said...

Thanks! She has come a long way! These are the first action pictures I've been able to get of her that came out clear. I was surprised that I happened to catch her in mid air like that without blurring.

Missy-Ellen said...

Awe, I hope she is okay - she looks like she is having so much fun there! All the best for her ...

cabin + cub said...

Awww. she is so cute running in the snow! I hope she keeps getting better! ;)