Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mac is under house arrest for the next week

Okay, I know it's been awhile since I've blogged here, but that's only because I've been using my other blog a heck of a lot more lately. I've got a cute video to share though of Mac, our puppy. Speaking of Mac, I'm afraid he might fail puppy school. We had a bit of an accident this past Wednesday. I was bringing him back to the house after going to enroll in doggie daycare. We had just gotten home and I was parking the car when the accident happened. I had transferred into my chair and Mac was sitting on the backseat. He usually is pretty good about waiting until the door comes open and the ramp is down before getting out to go into the house. Well things happened so fast that I still don't know what happened. All I know is that one minute the door is opening and things are fine and the next my puppy is yelping in pain worse than I've ever heard him do before. At first I figured somehow I accidentally rolled over his tail. When I looked though and realized it wasn't his tail but that his paw had gotten pinched in the groove of the door where the ramp unfolds I freaked out and as I was trying to help by putting the ramp back up that made things worse. I bent down to try and help him with his paw and he was so panicked that he accidentally bit me pretty good.

I ran inside and called Dan who got me calmed down enough for me to be able to go into the bathroom and start washing off the blood. He called my mom for me so she could come take me to the ER since he couldn't get off work right then. I calmed down enough to call Melissa who also rushed over. Mom took me up to the minor emergency center that is closest to the house since after washing my hand it wasn't as bad as we thought. We got in fairly quick. I was more worried about if Mac was okay, but I knew Melissa was seeing to him and was in good hands. I had to get a tetinus shot which if you've never had one, hurts like nothing else! They soaked my hand for a good 15 or so and dressed the bite wounds. The PA was very friendly. I was most upset that they were required to call animal control and report it. In essence, Mac is under house arrest now until next Saturday because of the bite even though it was my fault. I think it's a bit over the top, but I understand they have to be careful just in case.

So it was a very bad day for the puppy. Oh not to mention he had his first run in with a moose that same morning in our backyard so he already was in a hyped up state to begin with. Since he can't leave the house, we've had lots of time to train and really reinforce good behavior. We went out the next night and bought a shock collar. I didn't really want to until this happened, but I really can't have this again and want to correct his behavior before he gets any older. I like the one we got because it has two buttons on it that give off either a bad tone if he does something he's not suppose to or a good tone when he does what he is suppose to. The 4 levels of shock we only use when he really isn't listening or gets into something that we really want to correct right away like eating the cat's food. So far we have only had to use the shock part pretty sparingly.

Luckily my hand is healing up quite nicely now. I know Mac felt really bad about what happened because he has been very good since Wednesday. I think also he knows that I would never do anything to intentionally hurt him so now whenever something does spook him he comes right over to me and sits or lays right by me. Since he is under house arrest though looks like he might have to miss puppy graduation unless I can somehow sneak him out. It's only like a day or two prior to his 10 days. We'll see.

Meanwhile, here's a cute video we just uploaded to youtube of Mac drying himself off after one of his recent baths. Very funny!

Self Drying Dog

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mac's heritage revealed

We finally got Mac's DNA test results back today and boy was I a bit shocked. We knew he was definitely a Labrador mix so that was a no brainer that Lab came out on top. It's the other breeds that showed up that were interesting. Coming in second was Beagle (that I don't see at all!) then tied are Boxer, Rottweiler and finally shiatsu (that must be where he gets his curly hair from?). All in all, the personalities of each breed were also listed and he definitely does have personality traits of each breed. It now makes sense why he doesn't like being left alone as pretty much every breed listed hate being left alone or away from the pack. I think his funny little bark and mumble noises are the beagle or rottweiler. So now that we know what all he is it will be easier to know how best to train him and what he'll respond to. I just can't wait for him to start doggie daycare so that he can really start socializing with other dogs more.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Productive weekend

This weekend was fairly productive. Saturday we had the carpets cleaned, which were in desperate need of it! We had to have everything up off the floor and I wanted the house as clean as possible so we spent a bit of Friday and all morning Saturday cleaning. Now I have a fairly clean house...yay! I took Mac down so mom could puppy sit for us while the carpet people were here. He didn't necessarily like getting ready to go because he doesn't quite know what to think of his new backpack just yet (kills me I didn't take pictures!) but once Dan got his backpack on and loaded with his toys we were off to grandma's. Mom sure got a kick out of seeing him. It's just like dropping your human child off at the babysitter's. I gave her all the instructions as far as how to care of him since he is teething, etc. He cried a bit when I left but he did very well for grandma I am told. I was asleep when Dan went to go pick him up at 4, but he was apparently very tuckered out from playing with grandma because he didn't mind that he had to be in the garage last night. Today was a bit of a different story. He is ready to come back inside but the carpet is still a tad damp so he's got one more night in the garage. You would think he was stuck at Quantanimo Bay or something!

This afternoon we did some training in the garage. It is definitely starting to get cooler outside so we have decided to move our training sessions into the garage. It definitely seemed to work as he finally seems to have caught on to the "come" command. Dan took some rope he found and made a pretty long line that attached to his collar so that helped with his training because once we got outside I was able to call him back with just two calls which is a big improvement. I also used treats more this time around and that also seems to have helped too. We also worked on the "watch me" command. That one takes alot more work as he only really seems to do it if I have a treat in my hand. Otherwise he tends to ignore me. I've got lots of pictures I still need to upload, I just haven't felt much like it lately (you know I am feeling bad when I am not working on my scrapbooking and uploading pictures!).

I took some more pain medicine tonight. I am beginning to think I might have a kidney infection since my back is still hurting and the pain isn't shooting down my leg entirely like it did back in May. I sure hope whatever it is goes away soon! It's very very painful!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Semi good news from the neurosurgeon

Today Dr. Schmidt emailed with his thoughts about my latest MRI. Overall things seem to look okay. He said that it doesn't seem like I have a shunt blockage but he does want me to get a CT scan with dye injected just to make sure that I don't have any more deterioration of my upper spinal cord. If I do get more nauseated and feverish then it still might be a blocked shunt. So for now we are cautiously optimistic that it is just stress and anxiety. We'll see what the CT shows but for now I'm hopeful we don't need to be going to Utah any sooner than October as planned.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

To go or not to go??

Okay, I know the title of this blog is a bit cryptic so let me explain. For the last month I've been having some weird medical symptoms again.....yep, again! A few days after Dan's birthday back in July I woke up with my legs practically on fire with an electrical/prickly sensation. I just figured I slept wrong and that it would go away. After the sensation still being there after a week, I made mention of it to my PT. We were hopeful that the "weird" sensation was a good sign that my body had finally decided to wake up from the paralysis caused from the syrinx on my spine and that the decompresssion surgery was finally showing real signs of working. Since I wasn't in pain perse just had this rather annoying sensation in my legs I didn't think too much of it. Yeah, that was until the pain really set in and the tingling wouldn't go away no matter how much medicine I took. Then the other symptoms started. To date, I am headachy almost all the time, nuaseated more frequently, losing my balance, extremely bad memory problems (I had to ask Dan today what my SSN was and almost forgot my birthday!). I went to my regular doctor a couple of weeks ago finally and she ordered the battery of MRI tests. Then I went to the pain specialist for my regular monthly appointment and she was able to pull up the MRI results. To her it looked like nothing major had changed since May so we were hoping it was all due to medication changes (okay that was her thinking and not wanting to face the inevitable I agreed with her). I still didn't think things were going quite right though even though I started back on my meds. so I made an appointment with the neurologist just as a precaution while waiting for the neurosurgeon to get back with me.

Well I stayed home from work last Friday with another bad headache. Saturday was a tad bit better and Sunday was okay, but I still felt very tired which has been the norm for about a week or so now. Yesterday I felt pretty good so we went to the fair for a bit. Then at 4 a.m this morning I started feeling nauseated and did throw up. My headache isn't too bad today, but my mental abilities have gone down the drain today so Dan had me stay home. My appointment with the neurologist was suppose to be tomorrow and I was just trying to hang on until then so I wouldn't have to go to the ER. As luck would have it, the neurologist's office called with a cancellation and felt like I would be the person they would need to see the most (thank you Heavenly Father!) so we rushed right in. Dr. Downs did all the usual neuro exam things and I don't think I passed as well as I had hoped cause she kept repeating a few of them. She reviewed the MRI results and she was a bit more concerned about one thing it said that Dr. Bertrand seemed to miss. Apparently the report said that there may be other things that they couldn't see very well in the imaging that could be contributing to my symptoms and that was because my spinal cord has had so much damage to my mid c-spine that it is hard to see exactly what is going on. There is apparently some more fluid around there than there was in May. So there might be a possability that the syrinx has changed or there is something else going on. Dr. Downs is deferring to Dr. Schmidt at this point. So we are just waiting on him to call back now.

So there might be the option of needing to go back down to Utah yet again for another visit with Dr. Schmidt. The only reason I wanted to be visiting Utah this soon was for Grandma's 90th birthday in October. I was checking on airfare and as luck would have it the tickets wouldn't be too expensive to go in October. I really don't want to be stuck back in the hospital this soon. I am sick of hospitals and sick of being sick all the time. If there really isn't anything more that can be done and this whole vicious cycle is just going to continue with more and more surgery, I really am doubting if it is worth it. I would much rather just learn to live with the symptoms. So that is the question, do I go to Utah now and see what these symptoms are caused from and face the possability of another surgery, or do I just finally say enough is enough and live with the symptoms? I suppose either way I'll be in Utah if not in September we'll be there in October for Grandma's birthday.