Friday, May 27, 2011


I posted way back in April about the newest members of our family, Bebi and Sadie. I've been kind of in and out of here for some time since then and part of that is because of the issues that these puppies have been having.
There are many situations in which I post to facebook, deferring to a short 2 sentence update to get the statement out there to the world, and choosing to not put it on here. However, this is something that I've not posted anywhere.
So, the long and short of it is that the dogs were diagnosed with sarcoptic mange about a month ago. Just google that if you want to know alllllll about it. Basically, the long and short of it is that it is a treatable form of mange, but can be contagious to humans. Fantastic.
If you know me at all, you know that since college, I've been somewhat of a germaphobe. This issue started with me way back in college when I took a class called microbiology. This class basically taught me all about microbes, etc, and what they can do to the body and how they get into the body.
My germaphobia got worse when I started working in one of the only hospitals left in Texas that had a dedicated TB ward and it was impressed upon myself and my grad student that we were to be VERY careful.
Another escalation occurred when Caleb was in the NICU and yet another set of medical professionals ensured that not a moment passed by that I wasn't regaled on the detriment that I could be doing to my kid if I had not washed correctly.
I'm not one to wash constantly or not touch anything, my kids do get dirty, as do I, but I do have some non-negotiables when it comes to hand washing.
So, imagine my horror as I stood in that vet office, the vet refusing to even enter the room after the diagnosis, realizing that both of my kids had loved all over and carried these dogs all around for weeks. Not to mention the fact that they were both well beloved by the neighborhood kids and had come into contact with other pets on our street as well. I was sick to my stomach and wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.
From what we know now, the dogs came to us infected with the mites that cause this type of mange. Their mom was found wandering in the environment, who knows how long she had been there, so it stands to reason that she would have something that her puppies would likely get as well.
Anyway, after the diagnosis, we had to literally wash everything that we owned with bleach and clean everything that couldn't be washed, again with bleach. I spent the morning after the diagnosis washing down my walls, floors and hard surfaces, vacuuming (literally 9 times in one day) and bagging up all the stuffed animals and plush items that couldn't withstand a trip through the washing machine on hot. Those stuffed animals had to remain in a sealed trash bag for 2 weeks. For my girl, who is so totally attached to her "guys", as she calls them, this was heartbreaking for all of us.
I can still hear my washing machine and dryer groan as I approach them with a load, but I can say that we are in the clear now. Today, both Bebi and Sadie had an appointment with our vet and he feels that they are in the clear. However, we are continuing with their medication for another 2 weeks just to be sure. No one that is in or outside of our house that came into contact with them have had any symptoms and Sadie's hair has grown back (she had lost much of it from her hind legs and belly).
Both of our new furry babies are doing well, growing and are happy in their new home. We are thankful to have them and the kiddos are now able to love on them again without worry of getting something! Hooray!

Sunday, May 08, 2011


I juuuuuust realized that I never posted about my more recent medical drama.
Boy, this blog is all medical all the time. I really need to stop this.
Anywho, I recently turned tail and fled from my old endocrinologist due to his fact that he was just inept, uncaring, rude, lied to me on a regular basis, and had staff that couldn't read medical reports any better than I could. My new endo did a good overview of my health and decided that I needed to have my TH (thyroid hormone; would tell if I'm on the adequate dosage of synthetic hormone) and thyroglobulin (cancer marker) levels checked.
As a side note, I'm fairly certain that I have post traumatic stress disorder after this whole cancer thing went down last summer because I got the orders on a Wednesday and waited nearly a month before I got my blood drawn. Every tremor, increase in heart rate, hair lost and drop of sweat I developed over the past year had me "convinced" that the cancer had returned. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck.
Well, Dr. L called me while I was at work on a Tuesday night. I was in the middle of class and assumed that I could call him back the next day and talk with someone, until I heard the message he left. Basically he said something along the lines of the following, "We have your blood work back and now we need to talk about our next step." In my mind that meant the following: YOUR CANCER IS BACK AND YOU'RE GOING TO DIE AND LEAVE YOUR FAMILY ALL ALONE AND YOUR CHILDREN MOTHERLESS!!!!!
PTSD anyone?
After phone tag for the next 3 days (and a little stress related hair loss) I finally called his nurse and told her to tell him to call me anytime and I would stop my life to answer his call.
He called me on a Thursday night, right smack in the middle of my class, so I stopped and answered. Basically, my TH levels are right on the dot where they are supposed to be and my thyroglobulin was undetectable.
The best part is that my blood has always had antibodies in it, an indication that my immune system was trying to fight off the cancer and, essentially, kill my thyroid, and this time they were undetectable! The bad thing about any antibodies is that any blood test with them present is null and void because those antibodies skew the results. There was a long shot procedure that could have been done on a blood sample that involved some subjective analysis and a lengthy process involving sending it off to a California lab. Since the antibodies came back, essentially, negative, that was one expense we didn't have to worry about.
So, all in all, everything looks good. As soon as I talked to Dr L, all of my so-called symptoms were gone, another indication that this was all psychosomatic. In other words, I'm crazy...