Tag Archive | chronic disease

Riley’s Continues to Find New Ways to Help Me

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Riley continues to improve in her task training she will now carry any bags I need in and out of stores if I need a helping hand.  She will also carry in wood for the wood stove if I asked. I get frustrated because I keep having health setbacks which makes her training go more slowly but she continues to improve and we are starting to make a more solid team. I have just gotten over pneumonia and now I am have a bad flair of Chron’s disease this week and had to go on more steroids. So far I am three days in on the steroids and my bowel has not responded to it yet and I am frustrated. I keep reminding myself that there is no time line that I have to complete her training so I just keep at it. She is such a wonderful help and so affectionate thank you Lord for being with me and giving me the right  discernment to pick the right dog! My ever faithful cat tink is lying in her cat bed right beside my computer. She always loves to keep me company.

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Setback

I have not written for a while because I have found going back to work quite challenging while trying to balance training a service dog and cope with reoccurring illness. I had been back to work about a  month  and pain-killer free when I started having trouble with pain in my teeth. Because I have had reoccuring nerve pain throughout my whole body I just ignored it and tried to concentrate on catching up with all the system changes that have been made since I took a leave of absence from my job.

I have begun to bleed again and have been bleeding in small amounts everyday for the last three weeks. This is such a blow after having that big operation in my kidneys in Feb. tomorrow morning I have a pelvic ultrasound to rule out nasty things like cancer. Now it could also mean I have more kidney stones and either one is not appealing to me.

I really wanted to stick my head in the sand and ignore it but it was that commercial that’s on tv for cervical and bladder cancer that says have the lady balls to go do something about it. So Riley and I went to the doctors and got the x-ray booked. If it is negative than I will need another ultrasound to look for more stones. I have already passed 6 or 7 I have lossed count over the last year and a half. lol.

But for now i am trying to be optimistic and concentrate on Riley’s training and work.

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My Service Dog Riley

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I have now had the reconstructive work done to my kidneys and I have been back to work for a Month. The surgery seems to be a success and now I can concentrate on moving forward to a new life with my Service dog in Training.

I choose to train my own service dog as it is next to impossible to get funded for one if you are working and they are very expensive. Depending on the work you want them to do a service dog costs anywhere between 30,000.00 and 60,000.00. Since I could not afford this I decided to train one my self with the help of others in the Service Dog community.

Despite being involved in obedience training for the last 30 years training a service dog  has been quite challenging and very different from obedience training and the first step in this journey began when my doctor prescribed a service dog for me. After battling chronic pain from fibromyalgia, Chron’s disease,kidney stones, dizziness and asthma that is crippling in cold and humid temperatures my doctor thought a dog that was trained in mobility  would help my walking and balance, deep pressure therapy done with the dog  would help me from becoming too anxious when these symptoms occurred and we are hoping she would medically alert me when the dizziness was severe so I would not fall.

After her prescription for a service dog  was given to me the next task was to decide on a breed to train. We have always had German Shepherds and they do wonderfully as Service dogs but I had just lost our German Shepherd Bruiser to liver cancer he was one of three that we had that died young from cancer and I just could not go through that again. So I begun to research breeds of dogs that might make a good service dog. The first thing I considered when choosing a breed was the size of dog I would need. During the last three years I was on a drug called Lyrica and the drug prednisone whose main side effects were weight gain. and swelling . As time went on my weight soared to a whopping 258lbs and no amount of dieting helped the situation. Since the dog would be used to help me up if I fell I knew a small dog would not work so I was looking for a large breed dog with some weight behind him or her. The next trait that I considered was the type of temperament I would need in the dog that was going to go  everywhere with me. Since the dog I was going to work with was going to be large I wanted a dog that was known for being calm, easy to train  and friendly to both adults and kids alike and I wanted a breed that would not be scary looking to the general public. After much consideration I decided on a Saint Bernard

Now a Saint Bernard  might not be the first dog to come to your mind as a Service dog but they are a friendly breed known to be intelligent , very friendly, calm steadfast loyal dogs that are easily trained. When researching the breed I was amazed to find out that the Monks that used the dogs to save people trapped in avalanches and bad storms did not train the breed to do this. The dogs did these things all on their own. They Monks would let the dogs out to roam in packs and if only half the dogs came back they would know that the missing dogs would be with travelers who were caught in the pass and they would send out search parties to rescue them.This breed also had an uncanny knack of finding people buried under large amounts of snow after avalanches had fallen. Again the dogs did this all on their own.Since I wanted a dog to alert me to an onset of dizziness when I walked I thought their uncanny knack of sensing unpredictable weather phenomena might help with medical alert training since an intuitive nature already seemed programmed in their DNA.

After making a decision about the breed I found a good breeder that I trusted and was introduced to the future mother and father of my service dog in training.Both Sam and Mocka were big solid dogs with calm temperaments and beautiful markings. It was love at first sight and I couldn’t wait to take a pup home.

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On July 14th Riley was born and I was overjoyed to see the first pictures of the litter shortly after .

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At six weeks of age we went to pick out our puppy. Upon arrival I knew that looks had nothing to do with the puppy I picked it was all about how the puppy scored on temperament tests. It turns out we picked the perfect day to go because the breeder had just moved the pups away from their mother to a puppy pen that was located at his daughter’s house next store. That meant that I would be testing the puppies in an enviroment they were not used to. This was perfect for me because It would be a great opportunity to see how the puppies would act in a place they were not familiar with. That is one of the tests that helps you see what a puppies temperment is like under some stress. All of the puppies tested really good but the one thing that made Riley stand out from the others is that when I showed her the tennis ball I had brought with me she got excited and when I threw it for her she was the only one who brought it straight back to me. This test shows a pups willingness to want to work with me. So I picked her and that little bundle of fur was my hope for a more independent life and I could not wait to bring her home. Most breeders insist on waiting till the pups are eight weeks old so it would be another two weeks to wait for her arrival but it was worth it and after what seemed a lifetime we were able to go and pick her up.

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Riley at eight weeks old

(Next Blog Riley starts training)

 

 

My Father’s Eyes

My world was a strange one when I was just a lass

Full of pain and struggle and I wasn’t sure I ‘d last

But the Lord gave me a father different from the rest

He found the joy in everything making trying times events

No hospital room could contain us, the walls would fade away

Into dark mysterious jungles where we would hunt tigers through the day

With no limit to imagination, there was no place we could not go

With every story written pain was conquered and disease   laid low

At the time I didn’t know it when I looked into my father’s eyes

But he was teaching me how to dream showing me how to fly

By trusting in my father and following his lead

He was preparing me to meet my Savior he was planting an important seed

He must have known there would be trials that would take me far from him

Tough times that would make me search and leave me hanging on a limb

So far out on the cliff I would call out for my Lord

Knowing daddy couldn’t help me but through my heavenly Father I would be restored

And with all the stories written and adventures that would ease the pain

He taught me how to use my mind and words for my Lord’s good gain

Using my imagination that was cultivated with his love

I try to use all my words to point to my Savior up above

Hoping that one day my words will point the way for someone who is lost

toward perfect love and mercy that was gifted on a cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Greatest Need

Philippians Chp 4 vs 6-7″ Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews  Chp 4 vs  16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”

One of the reasons I created this blog was to create an outlet to talk about my health and how Christ impacts my walk with chronic disease. When you continually have health problems most people will be supportive at first but as time goes by and you don’t get better they start looking for reasons why you are not getting better. Some christians feel that I must have some sin in my life that I am not addressing, some think its because the farm work is just to hard therefore tiring me out so I never get better,some think that its my diet , Some say that I don’t have enough faith to be healed etc. Whatever the reason people start to pull away and even thought they ask how you are they really don’t want to know.

Right now in some church’s is what I call the name it and claim it philosophy of health that dictates if you believe Christ can heal you, a person asks Jesus for healing and then they give thanks for it but from that point forward the person can never talk about the illness again because that would indicate a lack of faith. And if you don’t have the faith to  believe you can’t be healed. So if anyone asks how they are doing they are forced to put on a smile and say something “like it’s all good, everything is fine etc”. I don’t know how this philosophy got started put instead of healing a person and setting them free it oppress and imprisons a person forcing them to carry the weight of their illness and all the feelings associated with it (fear, insecurity, despair, pain loneliness, failure)alone. I don’t know how this philosophy got started but it is not biblical, our Lord Jesus Christ never intended us to carry our burdens alone. He invites us to pour out our heart and to share our  pain, anguish,fear,anger our worries and insecurities with him through prayer and he will give us peace, not as the world understand the word peace but a peace that surpasses all understanding. The Lord tell us this in the two bible versus listed above.

I have not blogged for a while because I have been in the hospital with breathing problems, I was home for a few weeks than I woke up one morning in dire pain and spent the next week passing three kidney stones, after that my fibromyalgia has kicked up and I was in pain. Currently the pain from the fibro is making it hard to walk and I have an infection that is in my left leg that so far is not responding to antibiotics. If it does not improve in a day or two I will have to go to the hospital and begin IV treatment on it. I used to pour out how I feel to fellow church members because it made me feel less alone. Over the years the Lord has taught me the best place to pour my heart out is to him because he loves me unconditionally and he will always give me the support and  comfort I need. He never disapoints me.

Sometimes the Lord will allow you to go through trials in life some are health related, some are financial related etc, in order to teach you to rely  on him. I can honestly say the last seven years have been the loneliest years of my life. People I thought were true friends deserted me, relations with family members have been strained at best, and some of my church friends who I thought would be the most supportive have been the most judgemental. But having gone through all of this the Lord has taught me to lean on Him every day. On the days that I was able to read his word he always directed me to some passage that would help guide me and bring me comfort and I would find peace for that moment. On the days that I did not seek his face and did not read his word were like being on an emotional rollercoaster that was terrifying and held very little peace. Little by little moment by moment the Lord was teaching me that He was my greatest need.

I used to spend a lot of time worrying about the future. If my health was this challenging at 49 how would I cope  when I was 59. The Lord never intended us to worry about the future because if we believed in Him He tells us in Jeremiah 29 vs 11 For I know the plans  I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. And this is the truth I cling to.

My Greatest Need

Your always there to hear me You know my frame of mind

Your always there to guide me, You always have the time

No matter what I am going through, You have the words that help

Always You are with me, no matter what I felt

Not once did you desert me, even though I sometimes feel alone

Your always working behind the scenes, when I am lost You guide me home

When times are at there darkest You shine a ray of hope

That keeps my head above the waters and somehow I just float

Through the raging rapids that want to sink my soul

You lift me from the waters and call me back into the foul

Cradled  into your loving embrace I will always seek Your face

For I’ve seen how You  love me when You extend me Your mercy and Your grace