Monday, April 27, 2009
Sadie was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease a few months ago. After several tests over the course of nearly 4 months, the confirmed diagnosis said that she had Cushing's. When we were to begin treatment in March, Sadie came down with a bladder infection, and then she got Kennel Cough, and finally she was well and we could begin therapy a week ago.
The standard therapy is to do what is called a "loading dose" of the medication Lysodrene, look for changes in Sadie's symptoms, do a test to see if her cortisol is at the correct level, and then put her on a maintenance dose. The trick is the directions on the Lysodrene are pretty scary. Lysodrene is considered a chemotherapy tablet, so it is attacking parts of Sadie's body as it works.
Sadie started Lysodrene last Tuesday and her behavior changed (i.e., she slept through the night) on Friday night. On Saturday she went into Noah's for her ACHT test to see if she was at the correct level of cortisol. We stopped the medicine at that point, and we were waiting for the results. Only thing is, Sadie went into "crisis" (as defined by the directions I was given by Noah's) on Sunday. I called into Noah's on Sunday evening and they directed me to start Prednisone therapy for Sadie to bring her out of crisis.
Sadie still had the symptoms of the Lysodrene overdose ("crisis") on Monday evening, so I took her into Noah's they did another blood test, and we're continuing the Prednisone therapy for the next 10 days.
But this is the weird part about the Cushing's/Addison's connection. So, the Dr. explained that Sadie probably only overdosed by about one dose, but now has really no cortisol at all (her level is .2 and is supposed to be anywhere from 1 to 4). I guess the way this works is that the overdose may have killed off part of Sadie's pituitary gland which has resulted in an Addison's like state. Hence the treatment of Prednisone to bring the cortisol to a more normal level.
So, it gets even stranger...the Dr. said there were three possibilities that could result from this overdose: 1.) Sadie's pituitary gland has been damaged by the Lysdorene and will never produce enough cortisol for her in the future, and Sadie will now be diagnosed with Addison's Disease instead of Cushings; 2.) After the Prednisone therapy, Sadie will go back to her "normal" state of Cushing's and her levels of cortisol will be elevated. At that point she will be able to go on the maintenance dose of Lysodrene; or, 3.) And this is the weird one...the Lysodrene has killed off the perfect amount of Sadie's overactive pituitary gland and after the Prednisone therapy, she will be a normal dog, no Cushing's, no Addison's.
The Dr. went on to explain that some "old School" vets do the overdose on purpose to kill off the pituitary gland and treat the Addison's Disease because it is easier to treat and control. I'm just amazed that what could have been a mistake, may be something that actually means she may not need medication in the future. I expect that is a big long shot, but who else could it happen to other than the Lucky Girl and the Lucky Dog.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sometime late last year my neighbor hired a lawn guy to cut his lawn and trim the weeds weekly. By that time I think it was August and I was tired, so I hired the same guy to do the "public" area of my lawn. I'm on my own in the doggie's yard. I know it seems like a weird set-up, but with the way I have my gates secured, that is just how it has to work. So every week, the "Lawn Mower Man" visits and for $20 does the front and alley grass and the weed trimming. Pretty good deal.
The Lawn Mower Man has been a great stress reliever. I always worried about how my yard looked to my neighbors. On my own, I did what I had to do in the time that I had to do it. Which means some weeks a weed trimmer was used, and others it was not. Also, depending upon the time of year, my allergies would kick in and it would take me forever to get everything done. Now, I can do the back yard pretty quickly without breaking out. I also don't have to worry about what the neighbor's think if I'm a little late getting it done.
The thing is, I talked to a friend at work once who said "You shouldn't waste your time doing the things that you really don't enjoy doing." And while that seems like easy enough to say, it is a wonderful thing that the $20 a week has done for me. I still work in the yard some, but last year I focused more on the flowers and they actually looked decent. In years past, I spent so much time on the grass and trim work that I was not worried about flower beds at all. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed planting flowers and taking care of them. This year, I plan to plant more. I also plan to take more bike rides and swim more.
So, the funny thing is, I have let the doggie's yard go too long this spring. It hasn't had it's first cut and tomorrow will be the third cut on the front yard. So, today, being the loser that I am for not keeping up with the grass, I had to take the weed trimmer and take the top off of the grass so that I can think about running the lawn mower over it tomorrow. For a lawn cut with a weed trimmer, it doesn't look all that bad, but it is definitely not good either. We'll see if this technique works.
Monday, April 20, 2009
My big fear was that I would keep swinging and totally miss the ball every time. During the session I totally missed the ball less than 10 times. So for a first day, I count it as a win. Now, much like my softball swing, I tend to pull the ball and hit straight down the third base line no matter where I think I'm aiming. That would be the frustrating part if I was on a real golf course.
I'm ready for another trip to the Golf Dome.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Never say never, BUT I really doubt you'll see me on You Tube anytime soon. But not my boy Tiger!!
Thanks to the good people at The Lucky Dog Retreat, Tiger is a You Tube star in this video, along with his friend Riley. Tiger is known as the "King of the Puppies" at Lucky Dog, because he plays with the little ones so well.
I'm so proud!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
One of the things that started my "unplugging" was a need to be a little more focused on just me. I went in for my yearly check up in February and there was some blood work numbers that were off and had the doctor a little concerned. And so, I have had some need to focus on that, and I also had a pretty big project going at work.
Some of you know that I have been on thyroid medication for about 9 years, and maybe some of you don't. I have low thyroid, which ties directly into my energy level. There are times that I used to feel so sluggish that I would say, "I think I have been drugged". You know, that kind of feeling where you almost can't keep your head up. I haven't actually felt that way in a while, but my doctor wondered if I had any energy at all based upon the blood work numbers that he was seeing.
Before I go any further, everything is okay. The doctor did change my medicine and I've been trying to watch what I eat, making sure to get enough fruits and vegetables. I also haven't missed a dose of medicine, which is really good for me. I actually do feel better, and the blood work numbers are now back in range. So, I will keep at it, and more blood tests come next month. I think that the doc is just going to monitor everything for a while.
And so, there is more to catch up on, but I'm going to hold for now. A vacation update will be posted this week for sure, so catch you later.