Tuesday, June 28, 2016

1,000 gamer score challenge

So I was watching Brownman's stream the other day with him streaming for 24 hours trying to get 20,000 gamer score in that time frame (spoiler: he got it with hours to spare) and I thought "could I do that?".  Short answer: NO.  Long answer: No way in hell.  But it got me thinking.

Could I set myself a goal to get a set amount of gamer score in a set amount of time?  If so, what amount and how long to get it?  Would it be possible?  What would be a stretch but also doable for me knowing that I have a full time job and other responsibilities that might interfere with my plans?  So I thought of a slightly modified plan. 

What if I just tried to see how long it would take me to earn 1,000 gamer score?  Could I do it in a week?  Probably not.  A month?  Maybe.  How long would it take me?  Maybe if I knew that, I could devise a better, more specific challenge next time.

So starting today (because Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakes just came out) I'm going to see how long it takes me to earn 1,000 gamer score on Xbox Live.  I'm sure it will be a mix of Xbox 360 and Xbox One games.  Starting with Lego Star Wars.  Currently my gamer score is 34,517 as of this exact moment.  So that means I would need to get to 35,517 to finish this goal.

I know I can get a big chunk of that from Lego Star Wars: TFA but I'm sure I'll play other games.  Some new; some old.  How long do you think it will take me to get 1,000 gamer score.  Is there any games you'd like to see me play?  Ones I've started that maybe I need to finish?  Ones that I haven't started yet?  Let me know.  Maybe we can place bets.  What do you think my over/under would be?  Maybe you'd like to join me.  How long will it take for you to get 1,000 gamer score?  Let me know all of these things in the comments.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Cone of Shame has been removed

The Cone of Shame (aka: The Weapons of Mass Destruction) has finally been removed.  June 22nd was the official date and Zoe couldn't be more happy.  Actually she's not the only one who's happy.

It was hard to watch for six and a half weeks as my normally wild and crazy dog walked around my house barely lifting her head and sleeping all the time.  She's not doped up anymore (her last meds were last night) and hasn't had to have any sedatives for a week so her 100mph personality was just starting to come back.  Now that the cone's off she's really starting to act and feel like her old self.

It took her 4 days before she realized she could drink out of the toilet again.  Why do dogs do that?  It took 6 days before she realized she could bend over and drink the pool water.  Hasn't tried to get in yet but I'm sure she will soon.

The one thing she still does now that she did when she had the cone on is stay within 10 feet of me at all times.  Before she loved to lay on her chair at the front window and watch all the exciting stuff that happened in the front of the house (and bark at anything that moved) while I sat in my office and worked.  Now she might go out to the front room to look out the window briefly, but she'll be back at my side within a couple of minutes.  I was hoping she'd get back some of her independence, but maybe that will come later.  It's very hard to remember to watch my feet as I get up from my chair because Zoe might be right under them.

And food hasn't changed without the cone on.  She's so use to getting snacks every 8 hours that she expects them now.  If I try to eat anything she thinks she should get a piece too.  She had gotten really good at being patient and waiting still and quiet (with just the tip of her tail wagging) while I ate.  If she was good enough I'd give her a piece at the end.  Now, everything I eat seems to be everything I should be giving her.  And she's been coming over to me around the times I would normally give her the meds.  She knew.  I'm going to have to break her of that habit.

She's still not allowed to get her tail wet so a good scrubbing bath will have to wait until this weekend.  She doesn't like baths, so this will be very interesting.  She's overdue for one.  Was due for one when this stuff all happened, but we couldn't give her one.

Now that I know she's out of the woods (and leaving her tail alone now that the cone's off) and I'm starting to see her personality come back, I'm starting to feel better about all of this.  I still miss her tail and how she used it to signal how happy she was feeling.  I guess I'll get over that.  It will take me a lot longer to heal about that than I'm sure what she went through. 

I think I might have some energy now to start filming move videos for my YouTube channel.  Unfortunately I sound like a bullfrog because I'm sick.  If it's not one thing, it's another.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Zoe update

Perhaps yesterday's post was a bit premature.

Yesterday Zoe didn't have a good day at all.  I could tell she was uncomfortable and hurting.  I had to give her a sedative twice to help her relax and get comfortable.  To be honest, I wasn't comfortable either.  It's definitely summer here now and temperatures were over 110 degrees.  But I haven't had half my tail chopped off.

Last night I did notice that she had started to bleed through her bandage.  It was good that she still had her bandage on, but not good that she was bleeding.  I had to take her in the vet this morning and the news was even worse than that.

The tip of her short tail has gotten infected because she won't leave it alone and keeps chewing at it no matter how many times I scold her or swat her butt.  Now the tissue is starting to die.  She's going to have to go back on Monday for another surgery to remove even more of her tail.  Hopefully it will be so short now she won't be able to get to it to chew on it.

Until then they changed her meds and how often she takes them.  Since they make her very sleepy and she's taking them more often she's basically going to be sleeping from now until Monday morning.  And that's the way they want her.  They figure if she's sleeping, she's not chewing on her tail.  Unfortunately she's an older dog (about 10 years old) and losses control of her bowls when she's heavily sedated.  I'm going to have a fun weekend ahead of me.

I know that the sedation is necessary  to help her heal, but I feel like a real jerk giving it to her.  But I can't be mad at her.  What happened was a complete accident and one of her own doing.  Even the chewing of the tail doesn't make me mad because that is what anyone would do if something irritated them and they wanted to scratch it.  Even losing control of her bowls and pooping in the house I can't get mad at.  That's what happens to the best of us if we were sedated so much and couldn't control or do things. 

There's no one to get mad at and I really want to get mad at someone and vent my frustrations.  Usually when I feel this way, I like to play games like Gears of War or Call of Duty.  Blowing people's brains out is very therapeutic.  Unfortunately, I'm so emotional exhausted by this whole thing (going on 4 weeks now) that I don't have the mental energy to do anything except veg out and start at the wall.  Hey, that's what my dog does too.  Except she's on drugs and I'm just exhausted.  Oh well.

If you see me online and I seem kind of out of it, now you know why.  Please go easy on me.  Maybe let me win a few more games that I normally would.  Or better yet, let me blow your brains out.  It's okay, you'll respawn.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The May Day of all months

May was a particularly hard month for me this year.  I worked from home a lot, which would normally be a welcome treat, but I did it so much I started to feel stir crazy in my own home.  But that's not the really bad thing.

I took my dog Zoe to my parents house for Mother's day.  I brought her in to the house and then put her in the backyard while I went back to my car to get my Mother's Day present for my mom.  When I was coming back in to the house I heard a loud crash and a dog yelp.  Now, my parents have a dog named Coco but every parent knows the sounds their own child makes and I knew that sound came from Zoe.

Apparently she was running across their new tile floors and tried to change direction and slipped and crashed into a very heavy, very solid oak wood dinning room chair.  The chair come down on her tail and hurt her.  Except we didn't know that right away.  When I got in to see her, she didn't seem in pain or hurting.  She was running around the house wagging her tail like nothing happened.  That was until my mom came out of her bedroom and wanted to know if anyone was bleeding.

We course said no . . . but the blood splatters all over the walls told a different story.

I took Zoe outside and hosed her off as best I could because I could see a lot of blood on both her hips.  Once the water ran clear I checked her out and she seemed to be fine.  I left her outside and went back in to help clean up the mess.  There was blood everywhere.  She got blood through 2 hallways and 3 rooms.  Every time she wagged her tail it splashed across whatever surface was near by.  And not just at tail height.  There was blood splatter about shoulder height to humans.

It took about a hour of four people cleaning up the mess.  Then we sat down and had our Mother's Day dinner.  We decided that I should probably take Zoe to a vet to be checked out because that was a lot of blood, even though she didn't appear to be hurt. 

We let her back in and immediately she got blood on things again.  Outside she went.  She was once again covered in blood but we couldn't quite tell where it was coming from.  Her tail, obviously, but she had a lot of blood all over the rest of her.

After a crazy time trying to find an emergency vet open at 6pm on a Sunday night I finally get Zoe in to see someone.  The only place she got hurt was her tail but she had multiple lacerations on her tail.  They wrapped it up, pumped her full of pain medicine and antibiotics and outfitted her with a not so stylish Cone of Shame.  She was loopy and not happy about any of it.

After 4 vet visits over the next 8 days it was finally decided that we wouldn't be able to save her tail and that part of it would have to be amputated.  :(

One of the things I love the most about Zoe is that her tail is always wagging and you always know how happy she is by how fast she's wagging it.  Also, when I'm eating dinner and she knows not to jump up on me or get in my face she will sit very still except for the tip of her tail which twitches back and forth like it's saying "I can't hold all of my energy in so I'm going to let it out just through the tip of my tail".  Now that's gone.

She had surgery on the 18th and lost just more than half her tail.  She was feeling better but now she's pretending that the cone on her head doesn't exist and barrels in to everything like she doesn't care.  It's really annoying.  But I'm not going to complain because she's alive and feeling much better.  It could have been so much worse.

And it's kind of been worse.  Ever since the surgery she keeps ripping off the bandage that they've put on the nub of her tail.  She's not suppose to get to it with the cone on her head but she's figured out a way to use her knee to bend the cone a certain way so that she can just get to the tip of her tail.  She's ripped out 1 stitch and partially ripped out another one.  This has only resulted in more vet visits and vet telling me she's not healing up like she should because she keeps chewing on her tail. 

Because of this, they increased her nerve blocking pain meds which make her very sleepy.  They also gave me a sedative to give her if she starts going after her tail.  Basically I need to keep her in a semi-sedated state until our next appointment on June 7th.  It's been 4 days now and she's been sleeping almost the entire time.  When she is up and awake she walks around like a drunken sailor who would never pass a DUI checkpoint or an old woman who's joints are too sore to bend.  If you try to pet her you'll likely collapse her legs and make her fall down.  She's that out of it.  She's also taken to just stopping and staring blankly at whatever is in front of her.  Could be a wall.  Could be nothing.

As for me . . . well, I've been a nervous wreck ever since it happened.  I've been worried sick about her and it's been very hard for me to play video games or edit the videos I've already recorded because of how bad I feel.  On top of that, now I feel extra guilty because I have to keep her drugged up.  I feel like such a bad mommy. 

I haven't posted as many videos in May as I would have liked.  I actually had to resort to posting videos in a new game (Lego Harry Potter) because those were the easier videos to edit that I had already filmed.  I wasn't actually going to start that series until I finished Psychonauts.  Forget about trying to playing Psychonauts.  That game is really frustrating for me right now and I just don't have the energy to try, fail, die and try again.  Over and over again.  It takes a lot out of you and I don't have that much in the tank right now.

I am starting to find some mental energy to get back in to gaming.  I tired just playing things for fun.  It seems to have worked.  Overwatch helped with that.  We've still got a lot of healing left to do.  Hopefully everything will go well at our next vet appointment.  I can't wait for Zoe to get her cone off.  She's turned it in to a Weapon of Mass Destruction against me and my house.  I've changed my vacation plans in the middle of June because of her.  Whenever I think about how much of a hassle this has all been, I remind myself that things could have been much worse.  Let's hope that eventually things will get better.