For Ginger and Me
I have written many times about my two dances with death, both of which occurred in 2008. One was a traumatic brain injury, and the other was prostate cancer that had metastasized outside my prostate. In the past year and a half, I have also avoided catching the coronavirus. I have successfully lead death on my dancefloor of life.
However, a couple of years ago, I came up with a rash on my back. I went to see Dr. Garriston, my dermatologist, to have her resolve the problem. After a couple of biopsies, Dr. Garriston gave me the test results. It was sobering news as I sat there and listened to the two diagnoses. She told me that the first test came up with spongiotic dermatitis with eosinophilic. The second test said that I had spongiosis superficial perivascular inflammation with eosinophils.
After she finished, I asked Dr. Garritson whether either diagnosis was terminal. If either was terminal, I wanted to know how much more time I had. She assured me that my morbidity wasn’t something about which I needed to worry. Dr. Garritson must have seen my concern on my face. So, she added that both diagnoses were merely different ways of saying the same thing. I had atopic dermatitis, which was just a case of eczema, or what I call a very itchy rash.
After trying many medical treatment plans, Dr. Garritson resorted to Dupixent. I needed to get an injection of 300 mg. every other week. Either I could drive to the office for the shot or man-up and learn how to do the injection myself. I chose the latter.
When I started Dupixent, there are two shots administered the first time. I was to watch the nurse show me how to do it as she gave me the first injection. The second shot was on me. To impress Dr. Garritson, I checked for any air in the syringe before injecting myself.
I have injected myself for over two years…successfully. Enter Yogi Berra. This is where his famous one-liner comes into play, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” Ginger visited the Purdue Veterinary Hospital three times in the last two years. The most recent was a couple of weeks ago. She is suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. Interestingly, we both have inflammatory problems.
Dr. Haginoya admitted Ginger. The staff decided to keep her hospitalized for several days. Dr. Derre began taking a long litany of tests. As the test results started to come back, it was clear that she had a very low level of vitamin B12 even though she has taken B12 pills every day for months. Dr. Derre wanted to replace the pills with weekly shots of B12.
Dr. Derre called me with his recommendation about replacing the pills with the shots. I had two options open to me. I could drive to my local vet and have them administer the shots. The other alternative would be to go to my local vet and have the vet show me how to do canine injections. As with Dupixent, I chose the latter.
I wonder what raced through Ginger’s mind when the vet gave me the syringe.
Ginger is extremely vigilant. She was really concerned about what I was about to do.
The procedure involves pulling Ginger’s skin up into an inverted V and inject her horizontally at the base of the inverted V.
Ginger said that it really didn’t hurt. I told her that I would be shooting up with Dupixent every other week and will give a B12 shot every week for a while.