We had to go out of state for a funeral (my Uncle Fred, who lives in Ohio, died) over last weekend, so we had to board the kittehs while we were gone. Things went well according to all reports. They did mention that he'd been picky with his wet food but that he'd eaten his kibbles pretty well, and that he'd only needed insulin that morning when I'd come to pick him up.

Brought him home and he was acting normally initially. He disappeared not long after I got home, but that's not unusual for him. J got home from work around 1830, was looking for the kittehs to say hello again after not seeing them since Friday morning, but couldn't find Lars. Weird...

Fast forward to around 1900-1915; we hear one of the cats start howling. Sounded like a Dorene howl when she saw a strange cat outside. Happens again, but it's coming from the den. Look around and find Lars hiding under the Fancy Chair, looking Not Right. Eyes dilated, panting. I ask J--should we take a blood glucose reading? Yes...

Do it, comes back at 23!!! WTF?!?! Shit!!! We know to give him sugar right away, but the only liquid form of sugar we have in the house is maple syrup--okay, that's gonna have to do. Give Lars a bit via syringe while I'm calling up Brookville trying to get ahold of a vet there to let them know/ask how the fuck to proceed as they're about to close for the night and do not offer overnight care. Dr on site says to it's better to use light corn syrup, but maple syrup will work, too. Give 2cc every 10 minutes, then test blood glucose (BG). Call back right after. We manage to get the BG up to 28, lather/rinse/repeat, it goes back to 25.

Time for the e-vet. We bundle a very limp and unresponsive Lars into his carrier and drive him out to Lisle's Emergency Veterinary Services. They do a quick triage on him and determine he needs to stay overnight. We tell them his extensive medical history, give him all the vet information for both Brookville and VCA Aurora, and go home to try and rest so we can get up in time for the 0730 deadline for pickup.

We get a call around 2330 from Dr. S at the E-vet--Lars' BG is not coming up very quickly. In fact it goes up a little bit, then goes back down again. They've been giving bostules (like bursts) of dextrose along with the constant dextrose drip, feeding him, and giving him a high calorie gel supplement. She wants to run blood work on him to rule out any other issues going on--I give consent. All blood work comes back normal, thank Bast. Also, Lars had a couple of bouts of diarrhea--probably related to stress. Probably wouldn't want to give Lars any of his Lactulose constipation medication for a couple of days once he was home...

Lars' BG finally comes up and maintains a low normal in the 150s around 0500. We get sent home with an almost full bag of IV fluids with glucose, a tube of the high calorie supplement, the Cone of Shame that Lars had been wearing because he'd been fussing with the catheter during his stay, and Lars with the capped catheter still in his leg. He's to go straight to his regular vet for further monitoring, so I take him right to Brookville. No docs were in when I got there, but they had the faxed over docs from the e-vet and knew that Lars was to continue on the Dextrose IV drip, so they did that until one of the docs arrived.

I had my pre-op screening with my GP at 1000, so I did that and just drove right back out to Brookville after my appointment was done to get a Lars update in person. Dr. Lyn told me Lars' BG was stable in the 150s and I could take him home, to go back to our regular routine of checking his BG twice a day, and to let him "run hot" as the e-vet recommended for several days, meaning no insulin even if his BG was over 200 to let his body systems recover a bit. Also, reminded me to forego the Lactulose for a couple days, too.

Get home and notice the first thing Lars is doing is fussing with the compression bandage where the now removed IV catheter had been. I knew it was too soon to try to remove same, so I put Lars back into the Cone of Shame for an hour before I called back Brookville to see when I could remove the bandage safely.

I got the all clear around 1215. Take the Cone of Shame off of Lars so it's not in the way and get to work. It was a bitch to get off. In fact...Yeah...I couldn't get it off. I tried to find the loose end on the wrap, but it was so tight I couldn't get it off. Lars was uncomfortable and showed it with gentle licks and nips until...all of a sudden...CHOMP!!! Bit my left thumb in the middle of my cuticle line very VERY hard--so hard I thought I heard a crunching noise. I leave Lars where he is on the bed, grab the phone with my good hand, and race to the bathroom to go put my thumb under hot water to start flushing the wound. It was bleeding quite well and it hurt like a mother fucker.

GPs office tells me to go directly to Urgent Care, where they've got more means to care for me than their office. I go, get seen right away. Betadine soak immediately after initial exam, then x-rays of my thumb at my stern prompting to make sure no bone chipping happened from the bite because of the crunching sound I heard. X-rays came back clean. Get a scrip for high dose Augmentin for ten days, instructed to soak thumb at least twice a day in warm water, to wash it at least twice daily with antibacterial soap and to keep it bandaged up for at least the next 2-3 day and then to leave it unbandaged overnight thereafter.

Go home and find that Lars has partially chewed some of the compression bandage off his leg. I'm out of give-a-fuck calories at this point and decide to just let him chew at it until his daddy gets home. :o/ Once J gets home we try again, have no luck, and finally dig out the first aid snub nosed safety scissors and do what I should've done in the first place and cut the fucking thing off. We're all happier for the fact that the bandage is finally off.

How's Lars doing now? Yesterday's BG numbers were in the mid 150s again, but this morning he turned in somewhere in the 270s if I'm remembering correctly; I don't feel like getting up to look at his log book, so...yeah, LOL. He's acting like his normal self for the most part. Active when he should be, seeking out attention. His appetite could be better, but it's not terrible by any means. Downloads are still a little soft, but coming around. J gave him 1 Cc of his laxative this AM, so we'll gradually ramp him back up to his normal dose on that.

That was some scary fucking shit. I hope we don't have to go through that again any time soon... :o/
An Unnamed LJ friend sent me a private message over there and questioned if I was okay the other day, noting I'd been absent from these forums for awhile. I checked back---well, shit! :/

I'm indeed alive, but a lot going on. Will post more about same later today...

I'm so used to thinking everybody reading here is on Facebook where I'm a much more prolific poster, but, alas...yeah...not so much for at least a handful of you. I've been remiss in not posting more over here to keep you all as equally informed about my latest (mis)adventures...

I'll be back, I promise...

P
When we brought Uly in yesterday for his urinary issues, we also had Dr. B check out a small marble sized lump under his left front arm that J had discovered a couple of months ago. Upon further inspection a smaller cousin lump was found under Uly's right front arm. Dr. said it was a mass in the mammary tissue and that both should be removed. So, instead of spending the day with Dr. B for some fluids to get him to pee and get a urinalysis and blood draw, he had what basically amounted to a bi-lateral radical mastectomy of two of his eight (?) kitteh bewbs. Poor fella.

But what about the rest of it? The urinalysis found small to moderate crystals in his urine, which was likely causing irritation and also causing the errant pissing. Blood work all came back normal, thank Bast, as did the chest x-ray to check the lungs out for any extraneous lumps from the mammary masses issue. The larger of the two removed mammary masses was sent out for cytology and we should hopefully hear something as early as tomorrow, but by early next week for sure.

So Uly had to spend the night at the Cat Clinic, with the Cone of Shame because of the stitches in his armpits. We brought him home this afternoon. Poor fella won't let J out of his sight for very long, and he spends a lot of time laying around with his head down. While I was gone out bowling tonight, he briefly removed the Cone of Shame to give Uly a break from it and it didn't take but several minutes for Uly to start fussing with this sutures, so back on it went. We've both realized that the lids on the three covered boxes must all come off in order to accomodate for Uly's Cone, and we're praying that Uly doesn't have any potty issues while he's stuck with is "buddy".

So home treatment includes a once daily pain medication for post-op pain and a once daily liquid antibiotic for any possible secondary infections that might be brewing in his urinary tract as a result of the irritation of the crystals.

So...yeah...We've got a pretty sad sack post-op baby in the house right now. Our hearts are breaking for him--how do you explain to a kitteh that 1) he can't go into his former comfortable safe room because we don't trust him not to piss on everything in sight out of habit in there; 2) that he has to wear that ridiculous and somewhat heavy cone so he won't pull out his stitches, making everything he tries to do from eating to pottying a pain in the fucking ass; and 3) that his "sibling" kittehs are suspicious of him because he smells of Cat Clinic and medicines. Sigh. It's tough for us, but even tougher for him, and that's what makes it so bloody hard. </3
You may or may not recall last summer when we had an errantly pissing cat in our midst. We took all four kids in for checkups and nothing physically panned out. Eventually the errant pissing stopped as far as we knew, and since we were never able to catch any of the silly bastards in the act of actually errantly pissing we eventually let it go and forgot about it.

Fast forward to about two-three weeks ago. We had a nylon cube and tunnel cat toy set up dealie for the kids to hide and play in for over a year. We'd noticed Uly had started to scratch a lot as if he were trying to bury something at the end of the tunnel over the last couple of months, but there was no evidence of any potty doings so we figured he was just being weird. That is, until the aforementioned two-three weeks ago. While we were attending to Lars' medical needs one weekday morning we heard a tell-tale pissing sound hitting nylon--and we caught Uly in mid-piss. That was the end of the cube/tunnel toy...RIP...

Today while I was gone getting at my therapist's getting my head shrunk, J went into the guest room to make a note in Uly's health notes book that he'd vomited his breakfast this morning. Uly followed him in there, jumped up on the guest room bed, squatted, and proceeded to piss all over the bed right in front of J. WTFBBQ!?!?!?! J sometimes sleeps in the guest bedroom to give me a break from his snoring and to give his back a break from the dying mattress in the master bedroom and he'd mentioned about a week or so ago that he thought the bed smelled of cat piss, but he thought it might just be the litter box next to the bed needing to be changed out. Upon stripping the bed to launder the pissed upon linens, we discovered that the mattress pad showed many many other cat pissings. Thank Bast for the plastic mattress cover beneath that which was still intact from being put on from back when Diva cat was with us and having trouble controlling her pissings. The mattress itself, again, thank Bast, appears to be stain free...Whew...

Uly had yet another errant pissing event this evening while we were (finally) disassembling Christmas. J had the tree storage unit thingus (it's like a nylon thing with compartments for each part of an artificial tree with a handle on one end and wheels on the other for easy movement) out and laying flat on the floor, ready for the tree parts to be placed in it. Uly jumped in the open thingus, squatted, and PSSSS!!! Promptly pissed in it. Sweet Jesus Christ you never saw two people move so fast to get a cat out of a container!!!

Clearly something is up with our boy. J's able to work from home/take some time away from work to take Uly to the vet for a look-see. He has a past history of urinary crystals, which we still think are under control with Rx food, though that's not a certainty right now with his errant pissing of late. We'll find out tomorrow. It should be fun--arctic frigid temperatures and a cat who acts out at the vet? Yeah, good times, which is why J's taking time out of his day as I'm unable to assist the vet/techs to control Uly while they examine him (J can do so very well). Fingers crossed that it's nothing that we can't rectify, and we're hoping upon all hopes that it's not some weird sort of behavioral thing we'll have to learn to live with...

Dammit!! This is why we can't have nice things!!! :/
Another shocker this morning when I woke up. Such an incredibly gifted and prolifically talented man. He was one of my favorite contemporary actors. And now he's gone. FUCK CANCER!!!

Found these clips on the You-Tube for a little levity to help assuage my deep sadness.

Alan Rickman-off with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jimmy Fallon


Alan Rickman Takes Jimmy Fallon to Task for His Impersonation... ;)



Rest well, Mr. Rickman. You will be dearly missed...
David was one of the many British Music Icons that I worshiped as a young teen, discovering him during his "Let's Dance" period in the mid '80s. Many memories came to mind yesterday upon learning of his death, but the big one that did was the following video clip. Cable TeeVee didn't come to our somewhat rural neighborhood until spring of 1987, so it was public airwaves for us. I WANTED MY MTV SO BAD!!! LOL! My alternative choice until then was a UHF channel (was it channel 50 or 60 out of Aurora, IL?) that mostly played B-list and classic end music videos. David Bowie's "Fashion" was one of them, and it became a fast favorite that I waited for in the rotation with baited breath... ;)

It's not even one of his best songs, but it's just...so...yeah...I loved it, and still love it.

Listen to me, Don't listen to me
Talk to me, Don't Talk to me
Dance with me, Don't dance with me
No...Beep-Beep!

That about sums it up for a weird and awkward new-wave girl in the 80s, doesn't it?

https://youtu.be/GA27aQZCQMk
He's basically been chugging along relatively well, really. His blood glucose levels, sadly, have remained in the mostly low-ish diabetic range (200-300) most days despite being off the oral Prednisone now for almost a month now. He's usually around the low to mid 200s range most of the time and the insulin does bring his BG down to under 200 after his insulin, so...yeah. The good news is he's generally been taking his ear sticks and his insulin doses like a total champ, so we're really pleased about his good-naturedness about that.

He's not so thrilled about his other meds, though. He still fusses over the mask on his inhaler sometimes and there's usually some quibbling over the Lactulose, too. He also hates his once weekly dose of Fosamax for his hypercalcemia, too, but at least that's once weekly! Otherwise he's eating his diabetic Rx diet like a champ most days and a very happy and content kitteh when not going through his twice daily meds regimen, LOL.

He's due for blood work to check his kidney function this month and due for a serum calcium check next month. We're mightily curious about his kidney function, what with him not being on a renal treatment diet for several months now. Last we knew late summer he was still firmly in stage II, so we're hoping that's still the case. *Fingers crossed*
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Spent the day up in K-town with J, the Brother Person and the Niece Person. It was a lovely day, with only a few digs at each other, LOL. ;o) Lots of good food, wonderful presents, and a lot of love were shared, as it should be.

Here's this year's picture of the Niece Person and me. She's not a little girl anymore--stands as tall as me now and still growing, I'm sure.

Cassie and me Christmas 2015


Hope all of y'all who celebrate had a Merry Christmas and those of you who don't celebrate it had a decent and lovely Friday!
We had to make a somewhat impromptu trip up to Minnesota for a funeral for J's family over Thanksgiving weekend (J's Aunt Linda died on 20 Nov and her funeral was up in Bagley on the Friday after Thanksgiving), so we therefore had to board three out of the four kids while we were away. Ulysses gets severely anxious and upset at the vet/in caged situations, so we had friends take care of him here at home. We boarded Dorene to make feeding time easier for our friends and because Dorene takes boarding like a champ anyway, and we have to board Harlow and Lars because of their medical needs.

A little pre-story: we'd not been testing Lars' blood glucose per instructions from VCA Aurora internal medicine; they'd said that at his very low dose of insulin it wasn't necessary. We'd told them that at Brookville when we brought him in (and in his copious medical and feeding instructions notes), but we toted along his glucometer in case they decided to go ahead and test his blood glucose anyway.

They did, and it's a good thing they did. In doing so, they discovered that our boy was turning in normal to almost low normal blood glucose numbers when they tested him before his feedings and thereby didn't need any insulin at all while in their care!! :) To say we were pleasantly surprised was an understatement! :) They encouraged us to let VCA know of their results and to continue regular blood glucose testing at home, which we have been. VCA was happy to hear the news and also encouraged us to regularly test and record his numbers. He's largely been turning in great numbers since he's been home, although the past couple of days he's been in the low 200s, which meant he needed his one unit of Lantus insulin before his meal(s). This seems to have some correlation with his still slowly tapering prednisolone taper--his BG numbers go up after he gets the pred, which does not surprise us at all as pred is known to increase blood sugar in all species who've ingested it and have had their blood tested.

We're hoping the Pred Taper That Never Ends will end with the current dosing regimen of .5ml every third day. He's really on so little of the stuff as to basically be inconsequential anyway, so...yeah...We shall see in about a week when I call back for new instructions.

The best news is that Lars' asthma is under decent control with the negligible dose of oral pred and the primary controller being the steroid Flovent inhaler. I do notice a slight bit of a wheezy purr every now and again, but nothing to be really concerned about in my mind. So at least there's that going for us, which is nice. I've talked to Dr. Lehal at Brookville about Lars' asthma; he says if Lars has symptoms after he's off the oral pred we can increase the Flovent puffs and add an albuterol rescue inhaler if needs be to avoid going back on the oral pred if at all possible, so we've got other options in that regard, too. Good to know... :)

So, yeah. We're hoping that once Lars is completely off the oral pred that his diabetes will largely be under control and hopefully his need for any insulin will be negligible to completely unnecessary! :)
Eh? What's that?

We took Harlow to the vet about two weeks ago now because he was dragging his hind legs around and generally having a bad time getting around; we figured his arthritis was out of control from all the constant weather changes and we wanted to get some good pain control for him.

We got some Good Stuff for him, and x-rays were taken to quantify where and how bad his arthritis had gotten. Interestingly, aside from some slight right side hip dysplasia and some mild arthritis in his hind knees his x-rays came back fine--nothing in his spine, hips or the rest of his legs. But, that being said, Harlow was definitely showing signs of discomfort when his hind legs were being manipulated.

It was suspected that perhaps some of his mobility issues were post-dictal seizure related, so a serum level for his phenobarbital was drawn up; it came back a bit on the low side, so his AM dose was doubled from 1/4 pill to a 1/2 pill.

ON TO THE LASERS!! :o)

Dr. E is not one to be a sales person, but the hospital recently invested in a laser therapy system that was touted as being able to help with inflammation control--it would be of benefit to both Harlow's sinus issues and to his hind leg discomfort. She gave us the $$ price for the initial six session and J decided that, after breaking down the price per session, it was worth a try.

Harlow's had four sessions so far. His gait is still a bit odd, but he's up on his hinders begging for his meals a lot more often than he used to which tells me those hind legs are feeling a might bit better than they were before the treatments. As for his sinuses, he's sneezing some, but no nasal discharge to speak of and his breathing sounds less Darth Vader like in general.

Is The Laser Treatment worth it? I'm of mixed mind on it. Both his sinuses and his hind quarters seem to be improved, but not by an immense difference. I'm not sure how much we're supposed to expect by this point in the treatment, so...yeah...He goes in next Tuesday for his 5th treatment, so I will ask then about what our expectations should be compared to what our observations have been.

So, yeah. LASERS!! ;o)
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lady_curmudgeon: (feel the love)
( Nov. 9th, 2015 09:20 am)
I think most of us here could go for a little bit of Kitten Therapy for our stress... ;)

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lady_curmudgeon: (feel the love)
( Nov. 8th, 2015 09:41 am)
The Niece Person's Natal Day is today. She's 15 today. Yesterday J and I trekked up to K-town to celebrate her special day a little bit early, as shelter duty today prevents us from doing so today. This year's gifts from her auntie and J were her 15th year Growing Up Girl figurine to add to her collection and a bottle of Justin Bieber's The Key eau de parfum, which was enthusiastically and totally asked for by her because "my bottle is almost empty and they don't make it anymore and I can't find it in Kenosha anywhere!!!" Not a fan of giving The Bieb any money, but I am a definitely a fan of making the Niece Person happy so I plugged my nose, went poking around on amazon, and got a decent sized bottle of the stuff for a very reasonable price. ;o)

We were remiss in not taking an Auntie and Niece Person picture to commemorate the day; I was planning to until I noticed she didn't have any of the requisite for her now make-up on, so I figured she would be embarrassed to take a pic anyway. So, I'll share our most recent picture together from after last May's spring choir concert...

IMG_1722.JPG

Am I feeling old? You betcha. Especially after she made mention of looking forward to getting her driver's learner's permit come next summer when she's 15 1/2--the earliest she's able to. :o/ I can only imagine how her mother and The Brother Person are feeling about things...

She's turned into Quite The Young Lady...Straight As at school, very involved in extra curricular stuff (JV cheer and student council member, choir and that's what she's mentioned--I'm sure there's more), lots of diverse friendships...I am very proud of who she's become. Her parents have both done well by her. :o) <3
Dr. Medinger ordered blood work a couple of weeks ago--TLI and PLI to rule out pancreatitis skewing the glucose results; they came back with numbers indicating pancreatitis. But that didn't nullify the diabetes Dx...

After those results came back, Dr. M wanted to do a home based urine drop; evidently glucose levels in cat's urine are higher when they are stressed, and almost every cat is very stressed when at the vet's office. Got special litter from Aurora Cat Clinic, bought a new box for the proceedings, and plonked Lars into the guest/safe room for the morning last Friday morning.

It didn't take long for him to produce a sizable sample for me to bring out to the cat clinic for testing. The results were then sent to VCA internal medicine for scrutiny.

Many back and forth calls ensued, but the verdict has been handed down: it's official--Lars is diabetic.

What does the mean?

It means he's getting weaned off the prednisolone in favor of using the Flovent inhaler twice daily. Getting off the prednisolone should go a LONG way in getting his blood glucose under control, at least from all I've been hearing. It means Glargine insulin shots--one unit twice daily after his breakfast and his dinner meals. It means learning how to use a blood glucose meter, of course. It means transitioning from a renal diet to a diabetic diet. It means I get to *really* scrutinize his eating, drinking and toilet habits much more closely now.

It's just another crack in my already crack filled breaking heart for my sweet boy. This is becoming A LOT to manage, but I know we'll figure out how to do it all. We have to--Lars' health depends on us. I broke down into a puddle of tears after I got off the phone with the tech who gave me the news/information.

Sigh...

Anybody out there with experience with caring for diabetic cats, any words of wisdom that can be imparted are very welcome...
It started on the 7th with a tickle in the back of my throat, which quickly progressed to feeling like I had a bunch of prickly hay stuck back there. On the 8th the runny nose like a faucet came, and I missed bowling that night because I was in no earthly shape to bowl in that condition. The 9th brought The Cough and the Wheeze, which sent me to the doctor--among my myriad health conditions, asthma is one I live with, so when I get a cough/wheezing I don't play around. Got some Rx non-narcotic cough meds, instructions to use my rescue inhaler every six hours (at least), to up my maintenance inhaler from one puff twice daily to two puffs two puffs twice daily, and to resume using my steroid nasal inhaler for the duration.

Woke up early last Monday morning still coughing like mad and feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest. This is Not Good. Clearly, things were NOT improving, so I managed to get an appointment with my GP's physician's assistant and ended up getting some of the Good Stuff (cough syrup with codeine) for my cough and told to continue all my other meds as previously instructed save for my rescue inhaler, which I was to use every four hours now instead of every six. Because my nasal discharge and my somewhat productive cough were bringing up clear/ivory/barely yellow crap, it was declared that my condition was still viral, so no antibiotics were prescribed. Also, my oxygen levels according to their finger thingus showed my saturation was still at 98 percent, so no steroid pack was indicated either.

Switching over to The Good Stuff for my cough and changing up my rescue inhaler regimen helped A Lot; while I was still breaking through with some coughing, I no longer felt as though there was an elephant sitting on my chest. So some improvement?

Things were going well enough mid-week where I decided to forego The Good Stuff during the day in favor of the non-narcotic stuff so I could drive to bowling on Wednesday night and I did alright. More coughing, but nothing terrible. Bowled like shit (like about 20 pins under average shitty, but oh wells), but I got through without exhausting myself too terribly. Decided that, in order to conserve the small amount of The Good Stuff, I would continue to take the non-narcotic cough med during the day and save The Good Stuff for nighttime so I could sleep. That meant coughing more during the day, but...it's the price we pay.

Called the doc's office to speak to the triage nurse to ask how long I could expect to feel crappy/expect to cough and they told me that the average with what's currently going around is at least two weeks. I'm passing that mark right now. Ugh. :/ Was advised to "stack" both my cough meds with some OTC cough med like Delsym, which I've been doing and it's been going a long way to quell the coughing. But when that shit wears off? Yikes, I cough like a multiple pack a day smoker. I'll probably call back the doc's sometime tomorrow or Wednesday if I'm still coughing like I've been to see if they want to see me again.

Sigh. Damned meat suit... :/
We took Lars into Dr. B on Saturday the 26th for a check of his serum calcium and his ionized calcium to see how the Fosamax is working out for him. We also mentioned how much water he's been drinking of late and how much he's been urinating. We figured it might be a kidneys issue going on, so we figured an abaxis blood draw to check his kidney values was in order. Dr. B thought differently--he wanted a full blood panel to check for everything.

Good thing, that...

Lars' serum glucose came back at 240; high normal is 170 evidently. A second blood test was ordered (forgive me, but I don't remember the name of it--I'll get the name of it from the paperwork I'll get from VCA Aurora eventually) to help confirm and it came back high normal. Dr. B had us bring Lars back last Friday for the day for a urine capture to see if his urine was positive for glucose. It was.

Lars, it seems, has diabetes, in addition to his other myriad chronic health problems.

Dr. B seems to think it's the Prednisone that's brought it out into the open, that reducing the dose and eventually eliminating it will bring the glucose numbers back under control. That being said, he's deferring to Dr. M at VCA Aurora internal medicine for counsel since Lars is already under primary care for his other conditions there. We're currently waiting to hear back from them.

Sigh. My poor, sweet, broken boy...
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