I cut back on some of my new medication and the diarrhoea returned – briefly – the day before I went to see the GI specialist at Siriraj hospital last Thursday. He told me that I must continue with the full dose of all my medication until the anti-depressants started to do their job, which he reckons will take at least a month. I told him that the anti-depressants were making me so sleepy and groggy in the mornings and he suggested the solution may be to take them earlier in the evening….
Since I last saw him, he has reviewed the DVD of the MRCP that was carried out at Phya Thai Hospital and told me that he has no idea why the specialist there had diagnosed chronic pancreatitis as there is no sign of anything untoward in my pancreas, both from the MRCP and subsequently the EUS.
It is very upsetting and disconcerting that a so-called specialist could get it so wrong and cause me so much worry (and expense) yet there is absolutely no come back. Ah well, such is life in the Land of Smiles…
I will see the new guy again in just over a month to review progress. I am not out of the woods yet, but there has been a very substantial improvement and I am now able to broaden my diet a little.
Apart from the day spent driving along the roads of Chon Buri and Bangkok, (3 hours there and nearly 4 hours back for a 20 minute consultation), the week has been dominated by the health of my dogs.
Cookie, my 8 year old golden retriever, has not been at all well and can hardly walk, so we took her to a new vet who did a blood tests and told us she had a blood parasite that had attacked her liver. She had a high fever and the vet kept her in overnight and put her on an IV.
We then had to bring our three other dogs to him to have their blood checked and found that they too were carrying the parasite. The two shih tzus also have liver damage but Mickey our 3 year old Labrador was fine, (except for the parasite).
The parasite is picked up through ticks, and although we dose our dogs every month and try to keep them tick-free, they still sometimes pick up the odd one. The vet told us that these ticks are like the mosquitoes that give humans dengue fever – very deadly. So anyone in Thailand with dogs, be warned.
They shaved off Cookie’s beautiful, shaggy golden coat to help her keep cool and she came home the next day, looking just like Mickey, our Labrador. At first she seemed much better but was still limping badly and she had to be hand-fed. Yesterday, her condition deteriorated. Her fever returned and she was shivering, so we rushed her back to the vet to be cooled down and given some more meds. She seems more comfortable now, and is eating a little, but still only from Noo’s hand.
Tomorrow we have to take all the dogs back to the vet for more blood tests to see if the meds have worked.
There is only one thing that is more distressing than Mobi being ill and that is when our dogs are ill, especially Cookie, who is moving into old age, just like her disintegrating master.
Cookie has been with me since she was a young 6 month old puppy, back in 2005, and apart from one year when I left my wife for a year and I had to leave the dogs with her, she has been with me for the nine odd years I have been in Pattaya.
In 2010, when I went to collect Cookie and teh 2 shih tzus back from my wife after a year’s absence, Cookie went absolutely ballistic and now, when I am home, she is rarely far from wherever I happen to be in the house.
At night she sleeps on the floor, right next to me on my side of the bed and whenever I come back home from even the briefest of absences – maybe only an hour or so – she welcomes me as though she hasn’t seen me in months.
She is the only dog who hasn’t transferred most of her affections from me to Noo, my girlfriend. This is hardly surprising, as Noo loves them all to death and she is the main person who takes care of them, feeds them, and tends to them when they are sick, and so on.
The other three dogs, while still treating me as a member of their family, will always give precedence to Noo and they follow her everywhere. When she goes out, they sit in the doorway or out on the porch, waiting for her to come back home. All, save Cookie, who always remains with me.
I guess me and Cookie have just been through too much together, one way or another.
Those of you who have read Mobi’s Story might recall me writing about Cookie in that piece. Here is a particularly poignant extract which recounts an occasion when I returned home, after failing – yet again – to leave my wife for good.
I returned home yesterday afternoon.
Cookie, my golden retriever, was waiting for me – straggly hair everywhere, (nobody had brushed her), looking a bit thin, but otherwise healthy enough. She wouldn’t leave me alone. The maid cried again from happiness to see me and told me that Cookie would sit by the front gate every night looking to see if I was coming home. She then told me that Dang had been very upset when she came home last week and found I had taken all my clothes.
Dang returned home about an hour later.
We had a very long chat, and she has promised faithfully that she will never hurt me again. She has admitted that she was completely in the wrong and was very sorry for all the distress she had caused me. She said she didn’t want to break up with me, and had received a very bad shock when she arrived home last week and found that I had cleared out all of my clothes.
I told her that she was not only causing me pain but that her son was also so upset when she misbehaved. I told her about one time she didn’t come home, and I was waiting at home, and he was so upset that he went to the “Buddha table” in the bedroom and prayed for about an hour for her to come home. I had never told her about this before. She cried a lot.
Later, I took Cookie for a walk, and when I got back, I sat down for a rest. Normally I would go for a swim after my evening walk, but I wasn’t in the mood. After a few minutes, I looked for Cookie – couldn’t find her anywhere.
Then finally I found her – lying on the top step of the swimming pool, legs in the water, waiting for me to have my swim and throw the ball for her. I called out to Dang, the maid and my step-son to come out and look at Cookie.
Normally, Cookie would never go near the pool if I was not in it swimming. Everyone laughed, and we hugged each other. Cookie had brought us all back together again.
So I went in the pool after all, had swim and threw the ball and Cookie chased after it….
The vet has told me that on top of everything else Cookie has cancer, but she is too weak to undergo any treatment at this time. It makes me shudder to even think about it. I will have to discuss it again with the vet on Monday.
I hope to God that we can do something….I can’t imagine life without her.