Tag Archive | Disease

On Vacation

Hi Riley here my mom told me we are on something called vacation. I don’t really know what it is all about but after today I think I am going to like it. She got up a 6:15 am to let us out and she let me run with my best friend chase than she brought us in for breakfast boy it was good. I guess my mom was still tired because she fell asleep on the couch. I wasn’t worried because my belly was filled so I had a nap too. Than Dad came down and woke mom up and she went back to bed for a while but after a few hours I heard her walking around upstairs and I was calling to her in my loudest bark to let her know I was ready to go out with her. After a while my mom came back down I told her very loudly that I was ready to go anywhere. She always tell me to be quiet but I know she loves my ROO ROO bark I do it just for her because we are like Peas and Carrots we just go together. Finally mom was ready and we went for a drive in the country. I had my nose out the window and I could smell the lake, grass trees,cows and the swamp. I love the swamp. Than we stopped for lunch at something call a chip wagon I had no idea what it was but it smell so good I put my head out the roof of the car to get a better smell of the food coming out of that truck with wheels. My mom said I could have some treat cause I we were on vacation. I had some fries and she gave a taste of her back bacon on a bun and I loved that and she let me lick on the ice cream bowl as a treat. I was so happy. Well I have to catch up on my sleep so I will be able to do more vacationing with my mom! Oh I almost forgot there were some other people there at the picnic tables and they got out there cameras when I had my head out the sunroof while waiting for lunch to come. They took my picture and said they were going to put my picture on instagram does that make me famous? Anyway I have to go rest tomorrow because my mom says tommorow is vacation day as well and I want to be well rested so I can love every minute of it lol.

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Finding a new beginning

I know it has been quite awhile since I have blogged partly from being busy and partly from being  really discouraged. I think only someone who has dealt with chronic illness can understand how I have been feeling over the last  four months.

I have taken a break from my family which is really a painful thing to do but it seems I upset them by just being me. My sister and my father have admitted to me that they resent the way my illness had interrupted their lives when I was younger and they  no longer want to be inconvenienced  by me any longer. As my father so aptly put it was the only relationship he wanted with me is a casual visit once or twice a year. Despite hearing this I did still tried to keep the relationships going untill I found out they were no longer inviting me to birthdays because my work schedule made it to inconvenient for them to include me

I was shocked to hear this confession but what can I do I can’t change the way I am .

My church family was upset with me because they were all into faith healing and they were angry with me because I could not be healed. They started telling me I was full of sin and that’s why I could not be healed not even the pastor would come to see me in the hospital even though he visited others when they were sick. When my doctor prescribed a service dog for me the pastor refused to let me bring her even though there was another person in the church with a service dog.

Since that experience It has been hard to find another church that I feel comfortable in. I still believed in Jesus Christ but I am not so sure about his church . It seems that I am losing faith in my fellow-man but at least I still had my husband who I love and my service dog. I was once an outgoing person who loved God and the church but I have been so ravaged by poor health and unkind people that I have little desire to go back to the outside world and interact with people again. I think what has hurt me the most is how angry people are that I can’t live up to their expectations no matter how hard I try . And to tell you the truth I am sick of trying.

We have finally found another church that is very accepting of my service dog so I will attend and see how it goes. One good thing about having Riley as my service dog is at least when people approach me they focus on the dog and not me which makes conversation a bit easier.

When I was sick the drugs I was on made me gain a ton of weight which really changed the way I looked and I could not believe how badly my fellow church family handled it. Even when I explained to them I was not gaining weight because of what I was eating some people still would not believe it. I even had one person come up to me and say I am praying for you to change your eating habits. I was so embarrassed. I felt so bad about the weight that I stopped looking in mirrors and when I approached people I knew I could actually see the shocked look on their faces so I stopped looking up and just kept my head down when people walked by.

Now when I go out Riley helps me to walk but she also is helping to heal another deeper wound. I had lost all confidence in myself and interacting with others had become hard. Now when I am with Riley people are happy to see her and they smile which makes life a little bit easier for me.

This is a picture of me after finishing off  a final round of steroids and it will give you a bit of an idea of how swollen my face  was although when this picture was taken a lot of the swelling had already gone down. The red little dots you see under me eyes at the top of my cheeks is blistering rosacea which I developed and still have from coming off the steroids. They are painful little sores that can itch and bleed though the cream they gave me does make it better.

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The next picture of me is with Riley near Christmas. Even though I am finished the drugs the weight is very slow in coming down and because walking is so painful and I am having trouble breathing exercise is very hard but with Riley I am trying ! Together we are starting over, a new beginning if you will. One in which I hope to learn to love myself and focus only on pleasing God and not worrying so much about what others think of me. And with God’s help this might lead to a new kind of peace for me and a new way of life.

 

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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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Getting You Up To Speed On How Riley Is Progressing

 

When Riley came home I thought I would post her journey as a daily post but I came down with 7 kidney stones that caused me to have a lot of Surgeries so I just couldn’t keep up. It is my intent to bring you up to speed as to where we are today.

The first step in Riley’s training was socialization. We spent a lot of time taking her out and getting used to the environments she would train in. We also had everyone she met to pet her so she would not be timid and really used to people.

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This is our local grocery store we approached the owners and ask if they would give us permission to train in the store and they were only to happy to comply. When bringing a young pup into public areas we always asked before bringing Riley in. If they said no we would just leave but our local retailers were really supporitive and we were never refused.

When we first took her out we just concentrated on getting her to say hi in a calm way. We kept our visits short and we practiced letting Riley curl up under tables so it would feel natural when she had to do it for real. 12011375_141892122823206_5663323220804007774_n

Riley did not like shiny floors in the beginning so we would take her to this lounge area and just let her sit , and move around a bit till she got used to it before we asked her to walk down the aisle.You can see in the next few photo’s she eventually got use to the floors. The trick is not to force a pup to do something we would just take it slow and let Riley get used to each new situation before trying to give her any commands. That being said we did start Rileys training at home where she was more comfortable to be more structured. They first commands we taught her was sit, down, stay and come. Again her training sessions at home were short but we would practice several times throughout the day. And we always ended a training session on a positive note. So if there was something she had not quite mastered we would always end the session with something she found easy to do.

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While I was teaching Riley basic obedience I googled the service dog laws in my area. The laws vary from the States to Canada so you need to know the rules that pertain to your area. I was able to hook up with a really great group of service dog handlers and a lot of them were owner trained service dogs and they gave me great advice and have been my cheering section when I feel a bit low. Most of them post great service dog videos on utube that show you how to train your dog. The group I belong to on Facebook is Service dog handlers safe haven. The people on this site are so nice and helpful. In Canada Trillium Service dogs site help owner trained service dogs find training and they are putting together public access tests for owner trained service dogs in training to be tested.There is no official organization that registers Service dogs in Canada or the United States. The first step is a service dog has to be prescribed by your doctor. After that if you have enough money you can apply for service dogs that are already trained if you meet there financial criteria. The other option is to train the dog yourself than take the Service dog Public Access Test.

Most of the general public does not understand the difference between emotional support dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs

Emotional support dogs and therapy dog help people by letting the person pet,play or cuddle with them and they can give the handler or person working with them emotional support as well as physical affection. Emotional Support dogs and Therapy dogs do not have complete public access.

Service dogs are trained to do specific tasks that helps their handler have a better quality of life and  to be more  independent . Service dogs are trained to concentrate on their handler and to ignore the general public. Service dogs should not be touched as it distracts the dog from his/her job. A fully trained Service Dog does have public access.

When you are socializing your service dog in training make sure you get them around things with wheels like bikes, carts, skate boards, roller skates, wheel chairs etc so they won’t be nervous of them in public areas.

Enrolling your dog in obedience class really helps your pup get used to other dogs and enrolling your dog to compete for his Canine Good  Citizen test will help to let you know if dog is well-mannered enough to be in public.

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This is my friend Nikki who helps me get my dogs used to wheel chairs

In this picture I have to remind Nik not to touch the dog you will find that your even your friends and familly who know better will forget and reach out for the dog. You just have to gently remind them that even though we were having fun the dog is still working.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Been A Long Road

It’s been a long road since I lasted posted in 2015. I was sidetracked by constant kidney stones that have ripped the tubes in my kidney so badly that I will have to have major surgery to repair it. This decision was made by my surgeon after many smaller surgeries failed to correct the problem. I did finally get off steroids but chronic pain and fatigue still continue to plague me. In an effort to help my doctor Vivian  Moir prescribed a service dog that would help me gain better mobility during painful attacks , prevent people from bumping into me during these times and hopefully medically alert me to dizzy periods that occur when I am physically active. She will also help me by picking up items that I drop to prevent further pain and dizziness.  Shortly after she (my service dog in training)  was prescribed my doctor passed away so she will never get to see the final result of her prescription. This saddens me but on down days when other doctors fail to understand my prethla of ailments and how they affect my day-to-day life I have a  furry 24 hr reminder of a doctor’s unfailing belief in my abilities to try to live as normal a life as possible and her kindness, compassionate care that was bestowed upon me and  all her patients.

Between surgeries I have been training my service dog in basic obedience and introducing her to the types of duties she will perform that will make my life a bit easier. Just a simple thing like picking up something i drop and returning it to me is a huge help. On days when Fibromyalgia is bad it is very painful to bend down and retrieve what I drop the dog will do that for me if I need it.

This Tues. I will meet the surgeon in his office to talk about the upcoming surgery on my kidney and schedule a date. I am nervous because this time they will cut me open and the healing time will be longer but it is a chance to be free of this terrible pain.

In upcoming blogs I will introduce you to Riley my service dog in training and talk about how God’s four legged miracle workers can help assist people  with chronic pain, and  fatigue. Even a little break from constant pain can reap great reward.

Medication Switched Check

And I have now changed over  medications and I am lyrica free in this journey. Next step  is to wean off steroids which is always very difficult but will  be made worse because I have to go back to work. I can no longer afford to take anymore time off or I will lose my farm. I have two weeks left to get used to the new medicine before I start back to work . Constant nausea continues because the steroids have pushed my blood sugars to 19 so I have to take metformin which upsets my stomach and bowel. This week I will get my pneumonia vaccine and then follow-up with the surgeon who did my emergency kidney stone operation. I know I still have one kidney stone stuck in my left kidney and I have to follow-up with the surgeon to see if he was able to do analysis on the stone he had taken out so we can determine the cause of them. I was going to see fibromyalgia specialist for special testing but I will have to scrap that because i won’t be able to get time off for doctor appts once I go back. Lord you know what Jim and I are up against and we are trusting in you to help us through. Thanks for helping me find homes for the 12 orphaned kittens whose mothers were killed by coyotes your providence is just in time as usual.

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