The vet must love me!

I was planning on calling the vet to get Sugar's paw looked at again since it was still very swollen from her sprain a month ago. Well Saturday afternoon after I got home from work (overtime) my brother noticed her one eye looked larger than the other. I didn't think too much of it until Sunday when it swelled up. I used a gel ice pack and held it over her eye until the swelling decreased but by Monday evening her eye was actually bulging out. I made an appointment to get her paw & eye checked at the vet.

Tuesday she had her appointment and the vet checked her paw out. He wasn't sure why it was still swollen (mostly around her wrist, she can't bend the joint.) or why her eye was swollen. He said it could possibly be tumors and there wouldn't be anything he could do for that. He prescribed some more metacam for her swollen paw.

I don't really believe the swelling of her eye is being caused by a tumor at all. Just because of the fact the ice pack keeps bringing the swelling under control. If it was a tumor that would be a foreign mass under the skin and I don't think the swelling would have decreased with the ice if it really was a tumor.

Some of you might know I'm a member & moderator at the ratchatter forums. We were discussing Sugar's condition on the forum. We were saying it could be a possible infection or even a condition called edema. Then the fact was brought up that metacam is a immunosuppressive drug. When it is used for long periods of time it can decrease the immune system which makes your pet more susceptible to infections.

Metacam should actually be prescribed with an antibiotic because of this. (And Sugar was already on the metacam for almost 3 weeks a month ago.) I didn't know this beforehand or else I would have mentioned it to my vet. He is a good vet, but sometimes he isn't as knowledgeable about rats as I would like. (Though the way my rats keep visiting the vet- he'll be an expert on them soon enough, lol!)Surprinsgly; I also noticed tonight if you look up metacam here, it even lists edema as a possible side effect.

Well, since I didn't know that metacam should be prescribed with an antibiotic; I went home and by Wednesday night Sugar's eye was worse. Bulging farther out, red, runny, swollen. She couldn't close it, it was awful. I actually shrieked when I saw her. I called the vet and they said to bring her over and they would see me first. This time my vet thought it could definitely be an infection so he put her on the antibiotic SMZ-TMP The nurse was saying since her paw is still bothering her and because she's had alot of porphyrin in the mornings she was probably rubbing her eyes alot and could have gotten an infection that way. That makes sense, especially if her immune system is low.

Wednesday Night:

Of course the vet said if the swelling didn't go down then we could be looking at something more serious like a tumor- but she's been on the metacam & the antibiotic since Wednesday and this morning her eye looked so much better! It wasn't bulging. It still looks slightly puffy and irritated but nothing like the other night. She's also still been getting ice on her eye in the mornings, afternoon & evenings and this morning she didn't need any ice at all! So yay! Looks like she is on the mend! Her paw was actually looking slightly better too, so I'm wondering if it's just fluid buildup from her sprain. Once she's finished all of her med's & her infection clears up- if her paw still looks puffy I'm going to look into taking her to a different vet for another opinion & x-ray.

How her eye looks currently:

Sugar isn't fond of her medicines at all... she loves to drool it out of her mouth! She is getting 0.1ml of metacam once a day & 0.3ml of SMZ-TMP twice a day. I always try to trick her with a yogurt peanut afterwards so most of the medicine gets in her. I've decided to keep up with the ice pack in the evenings unless she looks like she needs it. I've also been rinsing her eye out with saline to keep it clean. Let's hope by next week she will be doing much better!



So as I mentioned the other day my brand new 3 week old Nissan Versa has a few scratches on the hood. It happened last Friday. I was at several stores and in several parking lots that night. Either someone scraped it with a key, walked into it or was sitting on it with the back pocket buttons of their jeans. The only thing I can think of is when I stopped at Walmart there was this sports car parked next to mine and these teenage guys hanging around admiring it. So maybe they leaned or sat on the front hood of my car and accidentally scraped it. Either that or someone scraped it intentionally. Either way it really really sucks! My first payment is due on Saturday.

I took the car up to the dealership today. I had to leave work an hour early to drive up there. When I called the salesman that sold me the car yesterday he said to bring it up and he would look at it and see if they could just buff it out. Well, they tried buffing it out with their strongest stuff and the 2 lighter lines are gone, but the 2 deeper vertical fine lines are still there, they couldn't get it out. Still looks white against the black paint. He said I could take it down to the collision center and get an estimate. He thought it might just need a wet sand. Well the man at the collision center said a wet sand probably won't get it out- it would need to be repainted. So I asked for an estimate and he said $400!!! I tried not to fall over after that price. I said I would have to think about it so he gave me his business card.

That's really too expensive for me. I can't afford that. My Dad said he could try a wet sand but if it needed to be repainted he could do it for much much less. My dad used to do auto body repair before he retired. He said to try a colored wax or touch up paint first though so I'm going to see if I have any luck with them before getting anything drastic done to my new car. First I ordered a Nissan Versa touch up paint pen with my paint color & clear coat. And I'm also going to try Turtle Colored Wax Since I had to order the paint pen online and it will take a week or so to arrive I'm going to see if they have the colored wax at the auto store tomorrow after work.

My manager called when I was on my way home from the dealership and said they would be offering overtime tomorrow from 6am-11:30am so I'll be off to work tomorrow. I really need the money. I have to pay off these credit cards so I can buy a plane ticket to the Philippines sometime this spring.

I also had my taxes prepared last night and my $600 refund will at least put a dent in my $1,800 balance on my credit card. I have to pay that down before I can afford to put $1,500 back on another card. I already got a new 0% APR card from Citibank that I'll be using for my plane ticket when the time comes. I'm thinking of going to the Philippines before or right after Thanksgiving and arriving home mid January 2010. That will give F.B. & I enough time to get our paperwork together before getting married in December.

I still haven't mailed F.B.'s valentines stuff... looks like it will also become his anniversary gift! (Our 5 year anniversary is April 1st.) I ordered his sister some ring guards for her engagement ring. (She got engaged a few weeks ago!) and I ordered F.B. a small something and then I ordered his mom a gift off of So I have to wait for it to arrive before I mail everything.

I have to call the vet on Monday. The swelling on Sugar's paw has still not gone down completely. It's been about a month and her metacam only lasted 3 weeks. She can walk on it and climb and eat with it. She doesn't cry when you touch it. But she's can't really stand or walk properly on it. It's still so swollen she can't straighten her paw out completely so she walks crooked on it. Also she has alot of porphyrin around her eyes in the morning and rats do not get that unless they are stressed, in pain or ill. I'm hoping when I call the vet on Monday he can just prescribe more metacam since he said last time there was nothing else they could really do for a sprain.

Still Swollen:

It's going to be a very tight paycheck because too many of my bills are falling on the same week. I got my first car payment & first insurance bill and they are due when a few other high bills are due. I called Chase bank to find out about moving the due date for the car to the middle of the month but they said I must make the first payment before they will be able to move the due date. That's another reason I'm hoping she won't have to go in for an office visit, since it's $45 just for the visit and a 2 week metacam prescription was around $26. That's also another reason why I have to go in for overtime tomorrow!


The many sweet faces of a dumbo rat

My little English Irish Dumbo Rat, Nutmeg. Don't tell me you can't say, "Awwww!" to that sweet face. Heehee. Don't be fooled by her either, she's a real trouble maker!


Valentines & Cinnamon's 1st Birthday

Last Saturday we had overtime at work and I worked 8 hours. I was exhausted by the time it was Friday. Lucky for me Monday is a holiday and we aren't having any more overtime for awhile, so I get a 3 day weekend, yay!

My Valentines was okay... I started with another cold this week a sinus head cold and by Friday I was feeling worse and F.B. & I had a misunderstanding and I was upset with him so I just slept in on Valentines Day and didn't meet up online with him for our "date". This morning I didn't either, but I was just feeling so sick I took some NyQuil and went right back to bed and didn't get up until the late afternoon.

F.B.'s mom had some personalized sheets and pillow cases made up for my parents and a set for me too. They arrived on Valentines. F.B.'s Dad had mailed the package. He's a ship captain and happened to be docked in PA so he mailed the package while he was in the USA. My sheet set is purple. The 2 pillow cases match the sheets.

I texted F.B. and told him they arrived and then I got a text message back from him later asking if there had been anything from him in the box. I hadn't noticed it way at the bottom of the box under the sheets. Turns out he had enclosed a package in the box with my valentines cards and a letter as a surprise. He even sent me San Mig coffee & lemon mint Closeup toothpaste in sachets and a Watson's mint lip balm, because he remembered I just ran out of mine. That was sweet of him, I wasn't expecting a package. Too bad I didn't look in the bottom of the box until Sunday morning! I would have gotten my Valentines gifts on Valentines Day, haha!

Cinnamon turned 1 years old today. She's had such a full year. Getting to know her sisters Sugar & Spice, getting an emergency spay in May, losing her sister Spice in December and gaining 2 new sisters Ginger & Nutmeg. We had a little party for her, I bought ice cream cake for the family and the ratties enjoyed a slice too for Cinnamon's birthday, they really enjoyed themselves!

Saturday I also gave my new car a wash and discovered some scratches along the front of the hood... like someone almost brushed against it by walking by with something or I don't know what! There's 4 actually. 2 were very light and came out when I rubbed compound on it and then wax. The other 2 are quite deep and look like 2 fine white lines against the black paint. I'm hoping it's not very deep but it's not coming out with rubbing the compound with my hand and the white scratches are distracting against the black. My dad has to get a new pad for his buffer & is going to try buffing it out. I guess if it doesn't come out I'll have to take it to the dealership for repair. Sigh. Saturday after I came out of work from overtime someone has scraped their door against mine and there were 2 big scratches on it then! I had to use the compound on that too, but it was just in the wax coating. What the heck?! I don't make any payments on my car until March and it's already getting scratched by morons in parking lots! Arrgh!


Shamelessly a girly girl...

Okay... I admit it. I am a girly girl. I thought I just wanted a plain wedding band... but I couldn't help it... I wanted something shiny to go with my plain titanium wedding band that F.B. & I bought for our wedding ceremony in December. I got a titanium solitaire ring to go with my band. I ordered it 2 weeks ago and it came today. F.B. is going to pay half for our wedding bands. It was cheaper to get our rings in the USA. They look so pretty together... click the photo for the full size version. It's so much prettier close up!

P.S. Please ignore my winter dry cuticles...ewww! I guess I should have put lotion on my hands before taking a picture of the rings, oops... haha!


New Car! (Added Pictures)

My Dad & I went to Peruzzi Nissan on Saturday for my appointment. We arrived around 12:30pm and looked at some of the 2009 Nissan Versa Sedans on the lot. I got to test drive one that was in my price range and then we went to discuss numbers and do a credit check.

When the dealer showed me my credit report he seemed very impressed. I had a 700+ credit score with 15 revolving accounts and all 1's. I'm obsessive compulsive when it comes to my credit accounts. I always pay more than the minimum and I try to have the balances paid off by the time my 0% introductory rates are up. I mainly use my credit cards for purchasing my plane tickets every year and I'm always looking for a nice 0% APR offer.

The first monthly payment the dealership came up with was $280 a month and that was way out of my price range. I was looking at just under $200 a month. The insurance State Farm had quoted for me was $119 a month and on top of bills, rent, paying off Philippine plane tickets I can't afford that. So the manager came to speak with me and said they would try to crunch numbers and aim for a monthly payment I was comfortable with- they did not try to pressure me or sell me features I did not need. It took 3 of the people at the dealership to find a monthly payment and loan for me. They came up with $217 monthly which was only $30 more than what my highest monthly payment range would be so we settled on that. There was a 3 year road side assistance, etc included already but for adding $6 more to my monthly payment I will be covered for 6 years now- the term of my loan. So that brings my monthly payment to about $223 a month, though I can always pay more than that whenever I have extra. But now I can call them if I have a flat tire or break down, etc. And I need that!

They also took off some of the price of the car to include a CD/Stereo for me. And I didn't want power locks so that wasn't an issue. All together the car came to around $12,000. Of course with taxes and fees it was just over $13,000. My loan is for 6 years and I have to make 72 payments on it. My APR rate is very very low though! (Just 5.34%!) I was happy with that. By the time the car is finally paid off I'll have paid $2,000 in interest... but I'm glad the rate is low.

Never having bought a new car before though- and always having used I didn't think about having the money for inspection/registration, etc, oops! My down payment was only going to be $1,200 but in order to get the monthly payment I wanted they needed a $1,500 deposit and the inspection/resigration, etc was $200. So I had to to write a check for $1,700. My Dad had to actually loan me $400.00 which I have to pay him back this month. My next paycheck isn't until the 9th.

My insurance from State Farm turned out to be lower. It will be $105.00 monthly. That was the other thing we hadn't thought about- when opening a new insurance account they always want the 1st & last months payment. So it was $210.00 to open the account. Ouch. I had to put that on my credit card. If I had thought about those things in advance, I would have waited until the end of the month when I had more money together... but it's okay. I've never owned a new car and my dad has always bought used being a mechanic/auto body and owning a scrap & parts auto lot.

So... I signed my life away (Lol!) today on a 2009 Nissan Versa Sedan! It's black with a black interior and incredibly roomy inside. Much bigger than my 1993 Chevrolet Geo Prizm. They actually said I would have to come back up to the dealership next week to get the stereo installed but by the time all of the paperwork was finished and the car detailed, etc- they had installed the stereo as a surprise, which was very nice! They also included a full tank of gas! I will add some pictures I took of the new car tomorrow. It was dark by the time we arrived home tonight and then I took my parents and brother's out for dinner.

Tomorrow I have to run the $400.00 loan my dad gave me and deposit it in the bank. The dealership said they would cash the check Wednesday. I also have to fax a pay stub over to them and drop off a proof of purchase to my insurance office next week. Oh... and I have to call State Farm too... when they faxed over my temporary insurance card they spelled my first name as Sara on the policy... it's Sarah. I will have to get that corrected before they send out my actual insurance card!

When we left the dealership with my new car it was already around 4:30pm. 4 hours spent looking at the car, settling on a price and finishing all of the paperwork! I was exhausted. We stopped at Circuit City (Which is going out of business, I'm am so upset!) And I picked up an ipod radio transmitter. My 15 year old car had a cassette player so I always used my ipod with a car kit. My new car has a CD player and radio so I got a wireless ipod transmitter. It doesn't work as nicely as I would like it but it was only $11.00. (40% off) I will probably look for a nicer one sometime soon and just burn some of the albums I'm listening onto Cd's for now.

I'm really happy to have the new car, not so excited to start making the payments, lol. But I'm glad I probably won't have as many issues with it as my 15 year old Geo. Thursday morning on my way to work the car was making a thumping noise and I had to pull over in a parking lot. My front tire was completely FLAT! I think I punctured it during the snow/ice storm we had this past Wednesday. We had so much ice, there is still alot in our driveway that hasn't melted yet. We have a very steep winding driveway and it is impossible to get up it when it's covered in ice or snow.

Cell phone pic from Wednesday's snow storm- going down my driveway:

We started having overtime at work this past Saturday. I really hope they will have it again this Saturday. I cannot play around this year, I will have to work overtime on Saturday's when it is offered. I have new car payments, credit card to pay off, new plane ticket to buy, getting married in December... too much to do this year!

I forgot to mention, when I was at the dealership and it was just as I was signing some paperwork they had the radio on and it started playing that 80's song "Sarah". That goes, "Sar-rah... Sarah!" I said to my dad, "Do you hear what they are playing?" Haha, I thought it was pretty weird.

Also when we were waiting for the credit check the salesman, my dad and I were talking and the salesman noticed my engagement ring and congratulated me. He asked if my fiance and father got along and I said, "Well he hasn't met him yet." And went into how F.B. is from the Philippines and how I travel there yearly. Turns out the salesman actually has a girlfriend in Cebu in the Philippines and he will be traveling there in September. They are actually planning to get married. I told him about how F.B. & I will be working with our immigration lawyer early next year and he asked me for our lawyers name. I gave him one of the business cards our lawyer had sent me. He said he will be contacting our lawyer and mentioning my name.

He has never been to the Philippines yet. He met his girlfriend online like F.B. & I met. A friend of his had been to the Philippines and was telling him "horror" stories about their trip. I told him about my experiences in the Philippines and he asked me alot of questions. I really love the Philippines and I miss being there with F.B. Such a small world though... hehe. It made it really feel like this was the car dealership I was supposed to buy a car at. Everything happens for a reason.

I got Hoobastank's new album For(N)ever last week. I loved their past 3 albums. They are one of my favorite bands but I am just not loving this new one. It seems so mediocre to me. The only songs off the albums I really like are, 'The Letter' & 'You're the one'. (I changed my mind, lol. I now like a bunch of songs off this album.)

Update 2-2-09:

Pictures of the car finally!

More Photos Here:


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