Post 1000: Oh dear! I violated Dougy’s space!

I just committed a cardinal sin. I set my laptop down on Dougy’s ottoman!

Out of nowhere, Dougy came running. He hopped up on the ottoman and gave a rigorous scratching to the battle scared fabric.

I got your message, Buster: “The ottoman is off limits to everyone but Dougy!!!”

Hard to believe this sweet little Persian guy, usually so full of good will, this pussycat can be so aggressively, obsessively possessive of the ottoman, yet that’s the way it is on Lane 2. Dougy’s ottoman. No trespassing.


For those who don’t follow me elsewhere, I’ve had problems getting on the Internet on my PC this first day back from hospitalization and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, my laptop is of the stupid variety. It isn’t set up to handle graphics chores.

(“Aw…!He just told us there’d be no new Dougy and Andy photos till he works out the technical glitch in his PC!”)

I did want to resume my blog as soon as possible on getting back, however, because I’ve a lot to tell you. First and foremost, as a weggie (a person diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, not an underwear waistband puller..!), diagnosed in 2003, I know the disease is for a lifetime: There is no cure.

I also know, as a weggie,that it can go into remission as it did in my case in 2005. Some weggies never know a time when their case is in remission. I was lucky and had several years that were active Wegener’s free.

But! But, it always is there, lurking behind the symptoms of other diseases. That is what the doctors at University Hospital (Denver) feel happened to me.

A couple months leading up to the week I became breathless and weak, I had a nondescript malaise, let’s call it, nothing alarming, just “there”. I didn’t feel really bad, yet I wasn’t 100% OK either.

I wasn’t alarmed.

Perhaps I should have ย been. The doctors feel an undiagnosed Wegener’s flare wiped out what kidney function the December 2003-May 2005 didn’t manage to do. Now, I will need dialysis three times a week. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just time-consuming: Four hours at a shot! It can be more or less that, depending on catheter function or need.

I tell you this because it is true. I don’t mean to depress you. I mean, this happened to me yet I am basically a happy, positive person. Let me tell you a little story about how I handled the news I was going to have to go on dialysis.

While at the University Hospital (Denver), several teams of doctors visited me each day, including one who’d been among the doctors who visited me daily in 2004. I was known to be a weggie, so the first thing they had to determine was whether my condition was Wegener’s granulomatosis or not.

No evidence of active Wegener’s showed up, but the signs were my kidneys had failed. (Of course, it was no secret to me because I couldn’t urinate!)

One by one, the doctors and interns, in pairs, came to report their findings to me. Each told a bit more of the story, but I knew where it was leading.

Finally, the nephrologist came by. The young doctor with him was quiet. The older doctor seemed uncomfortable or hesitant to give me the bad news.

“I have good news and I have bad news,” he said finally. The good news was it wasn’t Wegener’s I had, and you already know – just as I did! – what the bad news was: I had end term kidney disease. I would require dialysis in practical terms, many life changes in food eaten, and so on.

I sat on my bed in my hospital gown listening to what the doctor said. When he was finished (and clearly relieved I seemed to be taking it well), I said, “Doctor, you don’t have to worry about scaring the pants off of me because [comedic pause] I’m not wearing any.”

I got them both to laugh!

I tell you that story because I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I’ve had worse news from doctors after all, like when I learned I was a weggie.

My doctor came to my room and explained that my symptoms suggested one of three possibilities. He ticked off why two seemed less likely than the third, then said I most likely had Wegener’s granulomatosis and that I would be dead within two years.

On the third anniversary of the prediction of a two year life expectancy, I reminded my doctor of what he told me. “That sounds like the sort of thing I’d say,” he said. He actually was a very good doctor, one I still admire and respect immensely.

But when it comes to deadeye predictions, there are many factors that affect the outcome: Efficacy of treatment; patient’s attitude; the course of the disease and what stage it was caught at; faith; who knows?

The short of it (said he ironically), I will thrive and survive. I’m pigheaded that way.

83 thoughts on “Post 1000: Oh dear! I violated Dougy’s space!

    • Thanks! I was pretty sick, but I had excellent care all along the way. I feel fine now, thanks to dialysis. The local dialysis unit is excellent, better even than that of those I was in in Denver and Scottsbluff. Of course, it is newly remodeled and updated. I especially appreciate the heated recliners. All the other dialysis units were ice boxes.

    • Thanks! I was wondering myself if I’d ever get back home and back to my old routine.

      The need to work around three sessions of dialysis a week is a bit of a trick, bit I’m getting into the swing of it.

    • Everything’s slowly coming together. The best thing was finding two letters that verified I had a Medicare Supplement F, so won’t have to pay thousands of dollars for the 20% not covered by Medicare. Whew!

  1. I am so glad to see you back. In fact, I was worried about you and was wondering if the worst had happened. Michel Facquet too was very concerned, and I wrote to Ruth (Ali’s mom) on Facebook and she too didn’t know, what happened to you. But frankly we were worried.
    Sigh of relief. Glad that you are back. ๐Ÿ™‚
    And I missed not hearing about Dougy and Andy. =^-^= =^-^=

    • Let’s say I’m sort of back…! I still haven’t worked out the problem with the PC, and there are many more issues I need to resolve first. Anyway, thanks! I really missed my kitties those two months, and they clearly missed me. The first night I was home, the boys played on or near my bed all night, and wouldn’t let me sleep because they kept wanting more loving! It didn’t help that the bed is the route to a window sill they both like for nighttime window duties or that Andy now claims my walker.

  2. Hugs and purrs for your return. I am glad a long commute is not adding to the burden of dialysis for you. You are one of several people I know with autoimmune disease whose positive attitude puts the moaning and groaning of much healthier folks to shame. Please stay safe and avoid the no fly zone over the ottoman.

    • I lost my first attmpt to reply. Laptops are soooooo touchy! Anyway, thanks for your comment. I’m glad to be back, the boys are glad I’m here, and I just verified in my bank account that an insurance premium is taken out monthly for supplemental insurance to Medicare. Of course, they told the hospital in Denver my account was cancelled in 2007, though I didn’t retire till two years later and wasn’t eleigble for Medicare till 2013. I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES!

      • I also. Grew up near Hartford CT and know more about them than I care too, none of it good. I had a Mac tower and my Windows laptop crash within three weeks of each other. Even though I am considered a “geek” I feel about technology many days as I do about insurance companies. Sympathy and commiseration!!

        • I’m still on my laptop, cussing all the way! Yes, technology can be wonderful, but living without it because it fails is a bite. I can work more efficiently on the PC, do more (like photos and videos), so not having that resource when I came home was difficult.

    • Believe me, Angela, I can be a whiner on occasion! I try not to be. Yesterday, though I was pretty over-whelmed by all I have to get done and I had one of my bad attitude moments. I had a chance to talk with someone about it, though, and that helped me get back to the fact that I can count many blessings for any negative aspects in my life just now, and the bad will work its way through. A good attitude is so much easier to live with!

  3. Welcome back, Doug! I was wondering how you were doing, and was pleasantly surprised to see your post in my mailbox! Glad you are back with your boys, and back into the blogging community.

    • It’s very tentative, though, Lavinia, since I’m stuck on the laptop still. No idea what happened with the PC other than it is unusable as is now. Anyway, I am glad tyo be back with my kitties, and they show lots of enthusiasm for seeing me again, too!

  4. So happy you are back even If i am following you here from Face book. I that stalking? Oh well. Ali says hi to the boys and you and you were, and still are in our prayers.
    Happy you are pig headed and going to hang around for bit longer-hopefully a long bit longer.
    We do what the drs tells to do and surprise them all by living to 100.

    • Facebook follows count, too! Andy and Dougy say to tell Ali “Meow!”. I am pretty good about following doctor’s orders, though I am going through some major adjustments in lifestyle just now. The local hospital; dialysis unit is very modern and comfortable compared with the others I have been in. The recliners even have built in heaters, something everyone on dialysis reading this will appreciate. I think hospitals and dialysis units keep their rooms chilled to 60 degrees because they are always too cold for me. In Denver, I had up to three blankets over me, and still was miserable. The local unit, though, is warm and cozy. Say hi to Ali and Tim for me!

  5. I am so glad to see you back dear Weggie, yes I can understand how the days were for you. But at the end, you are here and you will be fine.Your cats, your little lovely friends should be so happy to see you dear. We all love you, Blessing and Happiness, Thank you, Love, nia

    • Thank you, Nia! I really missed your lovely photos while I was off the Internet. I still haven’t had a lot of time to catch up on things, but I am slowly working through everything.

  6. Hip-hip-hooray!! Weggie Boy is back! So good to see you big fella. I’ve been following your progress through 2 other sites and the welcome mat is finally out!!! Take care of yourself, let the boys enjoy your return home to them and just post when you feel up to it.

    • Very slowly, though GP. I still haven’t figured out what’s wrong with my PC, which means photos can’t be added to my blog. The laptop is not user-friendly (for me, yet), and there are many things I can’t do on it that I want to do. Believe me, the boys (especially Dougy!) have been pestering me mercilessly since I got home. They both are more “chatty” than they used to be, which is interesting. Andy used to meow very softly, but not now. He also comes over to get loving, something he was less likely to do before. Dougy claims me, of course, as his [personal human, so that may be Andy’s reason before. I missed following your excellent blog, too. I am so far behind on everything, though, I’ m barely getting through the welcomes back

    • Very slowly, though GP. I still haven’t figured out what’s wrong with my PC, which means photos can’t be added to my blog. The laptop is not user-friendly (for me, yet), and there are many things I can’t do on it that I want to do. Believe me, the boys (especially Dougy!) have been pestering me mercilessly since I got home. They both are more “chatty” than they used to be, which is interesting. Andy used to meow very softly, but not now. He also comes over to get loving, something he was less likely to do before. Dougy claims me, of course, as his [personal human, so that may be Andy’s reason before. I missed following your excellent blog, too. I am so far behind on everything, though, I’ m barely getting through the welcomes back .

  7. It is Very Good to hear from you and know that you are well enough to return home. According to what I’ve heard, cats’ purrs are healing . I bet you’ve heard a lot of those since getting home. ‘
    Congratulations on post # 1000!

  8. Doug, how I missed reading your posts!
    Have fun writing them, be sure that after hitting “Publish” they will be appreciated,
    About the “stool” incident, I don’t need to tell you that is a lost battle!
    So, please be careful and don’t start a war! ๐Ÿ˜€


  9. I am so glad you re -start your blog, Doug . and we can hear again your adventures with your two feline friends ;
    Thanks to keep me informed.
    Of course the news could be better but I am reassured by your posture to fight the disease .
    BTW you still have two comments from me in your previous post that are awaiting moderation . I had posted three comments !:)
    Keep firm, Doug
    In friendship

  10. Yay so glad to have you back! Maybe since your internets down you could draw me a picture of your cats or something!! It was the highlight of my day seeing them on heres and hearing there wacky antics from there pops!

  11. So glad you’re back! I have medical conditions also; I know that being home is always so much better! I’ve really missed you and your kitties, and look forward to your news and your posts, at your leisure, of course.

    • I hope to get that miserable PC operable soon. Still haven’t figured out what its problem is, and the laptop, while one way to catch up, is very limited for graphics and other tasks I regularly use..

  12. Great to have you and the boys back. 4 hours of dialysis! Just think of the number of blog posts you can crank out! I’m going to have to get new reading glasses. Welcome home. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. It’s so good to have you back, and positively (and pigheadedly) fighting fit, as it were! I was so glad to see you back on Facebook, also.

    How far from home is the place you need to go for dialysis? What do you do to fill in the time while the dialysis is going on? Are there some cute nurses taking care of you? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Dougy just won’t cut you any slack where his ottoman is concerned. I hope you’ve learned that lesson.

    Cheers for now.

    • Dialysis is about 20 blocks away. Had I had to go Scottsbluff, it would be about 58 miles one way.

      Yes, there have been some really cute nurses! But all have been very good at their jobs.

      As for Dougy, he gets the ottoman because he had razor-sharp claws. Ha!

  14. Hey Doug, I’m so glad you’re back with your black guys and home. Hope you got my card….I was kinda slow finding out where you were but I did find out and sent a card to you.

    Me feel sorry for you?? Not likely. You had a flare up which was horrendous in disposing of your kidney function. Dialysis is not fun but neither is sitting and getting pumped with Rheumatoid meds in my arm but that’s better than getting the meds in my hand…that hurts like hell-o. This is not to mention the heart failure that I constantly go in and out of…..makes one feel real shi–y. Still I carry on and I know you will too my friend. This is an upset in our world and then back to semi-normal.

    Your friend,


    • Yes, I did get the card, and thank you! I have low blood pressure normally. I’ve been pulled off dialysis a couple times when it alarmed the people running the machines. To prevent that, though, discovered watching cable news on the little television attached to the dialyusis machine works to keep my blood pressure up in the “normal” range!

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