Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Win a Trip to Maui and Help My Chances, Too!

I entered a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to Maui and an Epiphanie bag!  To enter, use this link and I'll get more entries, too!  Who doesn't want a vacation at the beach?

Sorry for the lack of posts; there have been some major things going on and I haven't been able to bring myself to write about them.  I haven't decided yet what to do about that or the blog as a whole, but we'll see.  I'll try to keep you updated.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Most of June is Gone

So, it really has been a while.  Let's see what's new.  Teddy went back to the vet a week after my last post and we got better news, but the vet didn't see very optimistic.  He said Teddy's legs were working at about 20% and that he could easily go downhill again.  He upped the pain meds and it helped a lot.  Teddy has been like his old self again, but it has also led to some difficulties.  Teddy is feeling so much better now that he has craftily evaded our best efforts to keep him from jumping off the couch on a few occasions.  We took him back again the next week after that and got better news.  Teddy is doing well and nothing drastic will need to be done unless there is a bad turn for the worse.  It seems to me that he's getting better and better, though, even walking better since the accident.  He's not having any trouble with the bathroom and he has even barked a few times recently.

He did jump off of the couch today, though, (it really is nearly impossible to keep him from doing it, so we're instituting very strict measures for when he's on the couch - which probably won't be that often at this point) and he's hurting a bit right now, but it doesn't seem serious - he is walking around and such - and it should go away soon.  He gets more medicine in a few hours, so hopefully he won't have any issues sleeping tonight.  Other than this, he really has been almost normal (besides being a bit hobbly).

In other news, we bought a big area rug for the living room from this amazing Bargain Outlet store.  It's very pretty and soft and Teddy does well walking on it.  We also got more runners for the hall and we have a carpet in the kitchen, too.  He's doing well on the rugs, but we may get more to cover what isn't covered already.  He is walking everywhere!

I finally got to go to the America's Best place and get my eye exam.  I got my glasses in a week later and we picked them up this past Monday.  My two pairs are shown in the pics above (there was a deal).  I am still getting used to them right now, but I like them a lot.

On Monday, I also tried out a new way of doing my hair (I don't really style it ever, actually).  I think it turned out really well.  (You can also see it in those pics).  I got the tutorial from the Pink Pistachio blog, which has a lot of hair and beauty articles that are informative and fun to read.  The author seems kind of adorable.  The style worked pretty well for me and I'm excited to try it again.  I was surprised that the blow drying didn't take that long and my hair has had body for days after I styled it.  It's pretty amazing, especially with my poor flat hair.

Meanwhile, I have read a bunch more books:

Tehanu (The Earthsea Cycle, #4)Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Agnes GreyAgnes Grey by Anne Brontë
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

EmmaEmma by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Right now I'm reading:

David CopperfieldDavid Copperfield by Charles Dickens

It's really good.  Even though it's over 800 pages, I'm really enjoying it and I'm almost halfway through now!  It's a long read, but it's really, really worth it.

Other than that, I did enter the logo contest at the library, but pretty much everyone in my family forgot to vote.  I don't know if they even picked one or not.  They were supposed to announce it sometime last week (I think), but the logos are still up in the library and no one has heard anything.  I definitely haven't gotten a call.  I guess we'll see - they did say they reserved the right not to pick one at all.

There isn't much else to say.  I did get to go with my grandma to the vet with Spot and I got to watch him while she did errands.  He got the teeniest little bone at the vet!  Plus, he kept climbing up on my shoulder in the car to stick his nose out the window like a little parrot.  I was supposed to babysit him and Delgado this week while my grandmas was gone, but my cousin came back and watched them instead.  Gado has gotten to be a bit of a pest, though - he jumps on everyone constantly and has started getting amorous with people, if you catch my drift.  James and I watched them for a little bit, but he was almost unmanageable and we had Meghan come watch them for a while.  My mom and dad ended up watching them over night until my cousin got there the next afternoon.

We've been having a pretty rough heat wave and it's made both James and I pretty grumpy and it's made me sleep way too much.  Sometimes I just sit in Jamie's room while he plays video games and fall asleep.  It stinks.  Jamie did get Guitar Hero games again, though, and those were fun to play the other day.  We also played the new Batman Lego game demo (it's actually DC Heroes, I think) and that was  a lot of fun.  I like those Lego games because they're fun and easy.  I might get into "serious gaming" one day, but it's kind of intimidating.  We'll see.

Today, James and I were headed back over to my house and got some milkshakes at Dairy Queen.  They mixed our orders so that I got the large and he got the medium, but it was alright.  We also got some fries (mmmm...)  We had chocolate chip pancakes for lunch and when we got home, I made some delicious bacon for our BLTs.  I add cinnamon and chili powder while it's cooking and it really brings out the flavor of the bacon  I can still smell it all over me, though.

I spose that's about all to tell for now.  I really wasn't planning on taking a hiatus, so hopefully I'll be back on track soon enough.  Oh, I also found this really fun game on Kongregate that I played pretty much all yesterday: Zilch.  It's a really fun dice game and you should try it!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What You Might Not Know About IVDD

Gray Dress Day to Night

Gray Dress Day to Night by bunni711 featuring an enamel bangle

Sorry again for the delay in posting.  We've had a bit of drama because our dog has hurt himself again, pretty badly this time.  It started on Saturday when we went to my cousin's birthday party.  He was walking kind of slow that day and when we let him off the leash to run in the baseball field (fenced in), he wouldn't run at all, which was strange.  He is usually very active and loves to play and run around.  He also didn't want to play with his puppy friend Delgado and wasn't barking at anyone (with one exception).  When we were leaving, he tried to jump to the front of the car (on the console/arm rest), and missed.  The he turned around and tried to jump back and we could tell he was hurt.  He had spasms on the ride home and was crying a bunch.  It broke my heart and it didn't even seem like a serious fall since it was just in the car.  

After that, he seemed alright but his back was hurting him, so we gave him some medicine for the pain and inflammation and tried to keep him on bed rest.  Apparently he jumped off the couch again at some point and just let his hind legs fall.  Since around that time (maybe before), he has been dragging his back legs, especially the left one.  Sunday, he only went to the bathroom once at about 7am and didn't go again (despite being taken out several times) for over 24 hours.  We were worried and took him up to the emergency vet on Monday morning since it was Memorial Day and our vet's office was closed.

The emergency vet asked if we wanted to have back surgery for him, but it was going to be expensive and they don't accept any kind of payment plan.  We just don't have thousands of dollars laying around.  Plus, he was doing well on meds before.  They gave us some new, stronger medicine for the pain and inflammation, gave him some shots, and did some tests to see if he had deep pain sensation.  They weren't very open about what they thought was happening (that is so annoying, ugh!)  It was a worrying day and I think the vet made it worse.  She told us that if he wasn't able to use the bathroom on his own (because of possible nerve damage), we might have to put him down. 

Needless to say, I was beyond upset and I felt like the way she told us this made it ten times more upsetting.  I understand that she probably has to do that everyday, but she doesn't have to speak to us like she does - like it was just a fact.  Everyone was freaking out because he was still having trouble going and we were afraid he was paralyzed because he was still dragging his legs.  He didn't go to the bathroom all of Monday either, and everyone was crying a lot and really afraid about what was going to happen.  I was supposed to go to James' house yesterday, but decided I needed to stay with Teddy.  James was really upset, too, because he's pretty much Jamie's dog, too.

Thankfully, early Monday morning (about 2am when he had to take some meds), my mom woke Meghan and I up and told us that he had gone to the bathroom!  I was so happy and relieved - I really can't express how great it was to hear!  We took him in to his regular vet this morning, and he had a lot more hopeful things to say.  He told us that he has IVDD, which is a disc disease in his spine that dogs like him are very prone to.  Dachshunds and other dogs with short legs often develop the disease and many of them eventually have paralysis.  I had no idea it was so common - I remember hearing a lot that dachshunds have back problems, but I had no idea that (according to one website) 1 in 4 of them develop IVDD and that the back problems are so serious!  Dachshunds are probably my favorite breed, but I don't think I'll be adopting any more of them because this is really that serious.  I'm afraid of losing my baby and I don't want to live through anything like this again.  The vet said medium-sized mix-breed dogs are the healthiest, like labradoodles and other poodles and poodle mixes.

The vet said that he is able to put pressure on his back legs, which is a good sign.  He said that Teddy has a 50/50 chance of getting better or worse, but that if he does have paralysis in his legs, he will probably not be able to use the restroom without help.  That's why we've been so happy whenever he goes to the bathroom!  He's doing really well with that today - he been able to go on his own and has been trying to walk around a bit, but we're trying to discourage that since he could so easily hurt himself again.  He's on strict bed rest and someone is always by his side to make sure he doesn't try to jump off the couch again.

The vet also said that he should be on carpet or grass (no tile or wood) so that he can get traction, so we are going to buy an area rug for the living room (there are wood floors in here) and a runner for the hall (tile).  He's going to be sleeping on the floor from now on so that he can't jump off of any beds.  I'm so thankful that he is doing better, but there is still a chance that he could hurt himself again or things could take a turn.  I'm worried, but the vet didn't say anything like the emergency vet did.  Maybe he thinks that there isn't anything we can do if he can't use the bathroom himself, but I'm hopeful that he believes there are other options, based on what he said at our appointment.

We got more pills for Teddy at the vet and he changed the schedule some so that he's taking the steroids longer.  We have to get him off the steroids slowly.  He has also been drinking and eating more and he's alert and up on his front paws sometimes.  He has been putting some weight on his back legs, but he still has a long way to go, I think.  We were all devastated yesterday, thinking that his chances were not good, but I think that since he has been going on his own he still has a good chance of recovering.  I can't describe how I feel, really, I just can't lose my baby.  I am going to do whatever it takes, though, to make sure he has the best chances of getting better.  

Our vet said that he wouldn't personally own a dachshund since IVDD is such a big issue and it can take them away from you too soon.  He said his mom had four of them and they all ended up paralyzed.  I wish I had known this before, because I would have definitely taken his jumping much more seriously.  Everywhere I had read about "back problems" in doxies before made it seem more like arthritis or just trouble moving around and it didn't seem like a problem that most doxies had.  I wish someone had talked about how serious IVDD is and how common it is.  I would have taken every precaution to keep my baby from suffering from this.  I just want anyone reading this to know that he is doing well and not in pain.  We're taking the best care of him possible and doing everything we can to ensure he will get better.

But if you have a dachshund, never let them jump on or off of anything - not even the couch.  It may seem alright when they're young and they may bounce back from an injury quickly, but it could be getting worse and worse without you knowing.  And when they're older they just can't take that stress on their backs.  Train them from a young age to stay off the furniture or wait for you to put them on the floor or pick them up.  Don't let them on high furniture like beds.  Please just keep your doxies from having to go through this, whatever you do!


Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21-23: Walking Down Memory Lane

Sophisticated Lady

Sophisticated Lady by bunni711 featuring genuine leather handbags

I've just finished with a frustrating redesign of Crochet Goddess.  Unfortunately, Google kept going kaput on me while I was making changes and I had to redo them a few times.  It looks a lot different now, and I think, more sophisticated than before.

From the beeping coming from James' room, it seems one of his consoles has gone haywire.  Hopefully it isn't anything serious.  

On Monday, James came over again and we had a pretty good day.  We walked down to Dollar General and later on took Teddy for a walk in the woods.  DG seems to be hiring, so I might apply there.  It would be really nice to have a job.

I'm still doing pretty well with my new portioning, and today James and I went for a 2 mile walk down the trails near his house.  It was really nice.  At first, I felt pretty tired and wasn't sure if I wanted to walk that far, but once we got started it got a lot easier and it felt really good.  I just need to keep that in mind when I feel tired or lazy!

Yesterday, James and I watched Footloose (the new one).  It was pretty bad.  Apparently it didn't get that terrible of a score on Rotten Tomatoes, but I have to say it was pretty awful. Blech.  We didn't do too much yesterday - I read and hung out with James for the most part.  I took a short nap, too, but that's about it!  It was a pretty boring day, but I'm always happy when I can just spend time with James.  I feel warm fuzzies for him.  <3

Today I crocheted and finished my book:

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and BetrayalThe Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"A quick, fun read. I liked the language and imagery, but the book would have benefited from primary sources."

View all my reviews

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next.  I put a hold on Tehanu, the fourth Earthsea book, but after that - I'm not really sure.  Most likely, I'll have to put a hold on another book since my library doesn't have a lot as far as selection goes.  I have to order a lot of books in from other libraries connected to ours.

James and I had pancakes for lunch today and watched The Adventures of Tintin.  I thought it was really cute and the animation was amazing - like nothing I have ever seen before.  The characters were so life-like - the lighting was stellar, too.  Plus, I thought the movie was funny and interesting and a lot of fun to watch.  I loved the clueless Thompsons and Snowy was very cute and a great partner in a pinch.

Let's see - other than that, I watched one of those VH1 countdowns for best songs of the 90s.  It's always fun to look back at the music I grew up with.  I should go look up the songs they had in the show and write down the ones I liked!  I always mean to and forget.  (What else's new, amirite?)

I'm really glad we went on the walk earlier.  We also played a little basketball, so I'm pretty happy with the exercise I did today.  Hopefully we'll keep the walking up and hopefully play some tennis when we head back to my house tomorrow.

By the way, you may have noticed that I've stopped doing the word of the day thing.  I'm not sure if I'll pick it back up or not.  Let me know what you think in the comments!