raynebowranger: ([HR] norman 2)
It’s been a long time since I wrote a proper update, so I’m going to try and mention everything that’s been going on.


It’s been nine and a half weeks since Jack died and it’s still really hard to deal with. It’s also the longest we’ve ever gone without a dog in the house. We managed about a week after Shelley died before we got Mistie, and then we had Queenie and Libby while we had Mistie, so we had at least one dog around until Libby died, and then we managed a month before we went out and got Jack. It’s really weird being in a dogless house. I don’t like it. We’ll be getting a puppy as soon as my mum gets her share of money from my uncle’s will.

I had a photo book done for Jack. I was offered a free 20 page book with shutterfly.com for signing up to some familylink thing (which I think I signed up for through FB? I have no idea) but anyway, they offered me a free book (only P&P to pay) so I got one done for Jack. It’s really nice, apart from my stupid error which neither Mum or I picked up on during proofreading.

I also got his medical records from the vets. They thought I was kinda weird for asking for them and they were quite suspicious too, since they only usually send them to other practises if owners change vets. I was just curious. It was quite an interesting read.

The major thing that’s been going on lately if my health. It’s been deteriorating quite badly, so during the last school holiday my Mum dragged me to the doctor’s to try and find out what’s going on with me. He guessed pretty instantly that it’s mostly down to my weight (which is what I suspected before I even went), but instead of just telling me to lose weight and sending me on my way, he was really good about things and talked things through with me.

He sent me for a whole bunch of blood tests. My cholesterol is amazing. He was really shocked by it – 3.8 I think he said. My potassium levels are good. My kidney functions are okay, but my liver is suffering. I also have extreme levels of male hormone. He thinks my thyroid is to blame and he’s also sending me for scans of my ovaries since I may have PCOS.

Both things combined are a very good reason why I can’t seem to shift weight despite a great diet. I know I don’t do enough exercise, but I’ve been working on increasing that with gardening more and helping around the house more. Exercise is kinda catch 22 though, since because I am so big it hurts to exercise, but by not exercising I become bigger and thus the cycle continues.

We also discussed the possibility of surgery. It’d take a lot of tests and fussing about since the NHS don’t like doing the operation unless they have to because it’s expensive; but because my BMI is over 50 there’s a good chance I can get surgery eventually.

So what else has been going on? Well… I fell in love with Heavy Rain. It’s just amazing. Haven’t played video games in a few weeks though, so I totally need to get back into them. FFXIII won’t finish itself.

All my television shows are ending. It’s pretty sad. I don’t know what I’ll watch soon. The last ever Ashes to Ashes is on Friday and the last ever Lost is next Friday. The Final of Over The Rainbow is on Saturday and the current series of Shameless is finished (I think).

And last, but not least, I have a new phone. It’s an Alcatel OT-708. It’s shiny. Still getting used to it, but my Samsung died. It got a white screen of death which is apparently really common with them and they can be fixed but they usually do the same thing within a few months, so it’s going in Dylan’s toybox instead. So, my new number is +447971086169. So if you want, leave your numbers here so I can update my contacts? Comments are screened!
raynebowranger: ([MISC] jack)

2006 - 2010
raynebowranger: ([MISC] balthier / squall 3)
So, I've been putting this update off for awhile now, not because it's a bad update but more because I'm super lazy and keep saying 'I'll do it later' and then forgetting.

First and foremost, an update on Jack. He's doing really, really well. He hasn't had a fit since that last one on Thursday 24th Sept, and his tablets have been reduced to 2.5 x 60mg Phenobarb twice a day. He's back into routine of his daily walk and all in all seems contented. He gets tired a lot more easily these days though, but we kinda expected that.

We also realise that he is not 'cured', that he will never be 'better' and that he could fit at any time and any fit could potentially kill him. We always have to carry emergency Diazepam when we go walking; and we've made an emergency seizure bag for longer trips - it contains all the things we might need in case of a seizure away from home - Diazepam, Phenobarb, drool towel, nappy bags, gloves, water bottle and bowl, biscuits, seizure diary, vet contact details, hand sanitizer.

I've moved back into my bedroom, into my bed. And for the time being (hopefully long-term) Jack has moved up into my bedroom with me. It's kinda nice having him close by, especially when he gets onto the bed for cuddles!

The vet is really pleased with his progress. She was completely convinced we would be taking him back on that Friday to have him put down; and there were times when he was so drugged up that he couldn't walk that we wondered if we were doing the right thing, but to look at him now it's easy to see we did the right thing.

Picture time! )

We've also recently purchased a muzzle for him as a training aid. It works well. It instantly humbles him and gets a good listening reaction. We mainly put it on for the first part of his walk and then take it off and let him enjoy the rest. I really need to get back into routine with our training DVD.

In other news, my Mum goes into hospital tomorrow for an operation on her bowel. She has to stay in over-night and I'm dreading it. She's nervous as Hell and petrified she won't wake up. I can't wait until she's home and I know she's safe. Even if she will be out of action for a few weeks and will therefore do my head in with stuff. I've found an easy cross-stitch pattern for her that she's going to try while she's bed-ridden. She's never cross-stitched before, so it'll be nice to teach her. I'm also hoping I can get her to crochet a few mini scarves for me.

Also been working hard on the advent swap for my dollshouse swap group. 25 mini items to be opened from Dec 1-25. I'm about halfway through so far. I'll post pictures when I'm done.

I can't believe my LJ paid time expires next month. A year has gone pretty fast. I dunno if I'll be able to wing some money for it yet. I hope so, because icons are love and polls are useful!
raynebowranger: ([MISC] jack)
Finally got a few minutes to myself, so I thought I'd take the chance to update and let everyone know what's been going on with me.

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who sent me Birthday wishes. it was a really great day! I got a whole bunch of cards from my family, and I got some neat gifts too:

  • Julie from work bought me a kitty mug and coaster set.
  • My Nan gave me $10
  • Haku sent me a virtual LJ gift
  • My parents got me a PSP (more about that later), and Dissidia: Limited Edition
  • And Gina bought me Crisis Core and War of the Lions. Best!Girlfriend!Ever!

    So... the PSP. A month or two back, my Dad bought a PSP, and I was a little miffed because I've wanted one for years, and he hasn't even used it apart from to set it up, download a game trailer and watch half of The Simpsons Movie. So, I kept stealing it to play games on. Then, on my Birthday, mum gives me a box... it was really light, and I couldn't think what it could be - I half expected empty box. And in a way, it was. It was the empty PSP box with a note saying that I now own it.

    We had a small family tea. Mum bought these Vesta Chow Mein box meals we used to have when I was younger, with crispy noodles, which are delicious, and then we had birthday cake for pudding. I also had a bottle of Lambrini that Mum bought me.

    All in all it was a great day. But there is where the good times end. Wednesday night while I was on the phone to Gina, my Dad shouted through to tell me that my dog, Jack, was having a fit. Now, at first, I thought he meant one of his angry hissy fits where he snaps at everyone and gets all worked up, but when I got into the room, Jack was on the floor having a proper fit.

    It really freaked me out. I've only ever seen one other dog fitting, and that was Libby when she died in our arms. So I was truly expecting Jack to die there and then in my arms, but he came around, but then freaked out and just stood barking and growling. He had no idea where he was or who we were. With time he calmed down and settled. So I stayed up with him in the living room. I got NO sleep and over the night he had another nine or so fits.

    Thursday morning we took him into the vets where we got told off for not phoning her in the night. He was diagnosed with Epilepsy. He had a blood test to rule out other problems and was put on Phenobarbital (2x 60mg, twice a day). So, we brought him home, gave him his first two tablets and kept an eye on him. A few hours later he started fitting again, so Mum had to go back to the vets to pick up some emergency Diazepam Rectal tubes, but they only had the small tubes, so he needed four all at once. Even after those, he still kept fitting, so we had to rush him back into the vets Thrsday night.

    She basically told us we should have him put to sleep. She said to still be having fits after all that, his chances were minimal. The other option she gave us was to have him on a drip under intensive care for 48 hours to get his levels under control - which could cost at least £700 and once he was off the drip there was no guarantee that he would be fit-free. There was no way we could afford £700, so my Dad said we could take him home, let him last out the night and see what the morning brings. The vet wasn't too keen on this idea, and she kept telling us that he could fit and die (selfish as it may seem, I'd've prefered this to having him put down - at least we'd known it was the right thing).

    So, we get him home, and the vet upped his dosage to 5x 60mgs three times a day. Jack had a few more fits and it wasn't looking good, but... He has been seizure-free since 9:50pm on Thursday. However, he was placed on such a high dose of medication that he can't walk at the moment. Apparently it's a common side effect of the drug, and especially at the high dose he was on, and can last a few weeks. (He was on 15x 60mg tablets, then 10x, and now 8x.)

    It's still proving to be a very tiring and hectic time, not to mention expensive. My dad is having to carry him outside every so often for toilet time since neither mum or I can lift him (He's a full grown GSD), and he is still requiring constant supervision - I'm currently living on a mattress in the living room.

    We shall be speaking with the vet over the phone tomorrow to discuss his progress and he is back at the vet's on Friday for another blood test to see whether his medication levels are too high or too low.

    Hopefully things will start to improve soon.

    On top of that, I've messed up my hip. I believe it was from laying on the floor with Jack the night of his fits, since I spent ALL night next to him. Everytime I move it is like an electric shock running though my hip and back, and Mum says my lower back is swollen. So, I'm gonna try and get a doctor's apointment tomorrow.
  • raynebowranger: ([MISC] liza 2)
    Another update about Jack. He's had another bunch of check ups at the vets and in himself he's about better - he's got his attitude back and his naughtiness back. But he still has the gaping hole in his face where the drain was - and this is where we run into a few problems. The vet had hoped that the hole would heal up itself - but we're not too sure whether that will happen since his saliva gland has started working again and the saliva is coming OUT OF THE HOLE. So it's constantly wet and dripping and instead of healing there is a chance the gland and the wound can fuse to make a perminant hole! (It has a techincal name but I don't remember it). The vet says it's just a mattr of waiting and seeing what happens before deciding where to go next. She may need to reoperate which she doesn't really want to do because it'll be hard due to all the scar tissue there. The hole may still heal itself. Or there may just be a hole there orever providing it's not too messy. I really hope it heals up though!

    In other news... I twisted my knee on the Wii Fit. It hurt. Go me! It's a fun little thing - but I'm a bit pissed off because before I bought it, I checked around for a max. weight on it and couldn't find anything, but when it arrived I'm actually too heavy for it (Yes, I'm THAT heavy), and it kept switching itself off when I stood on it - Nothing like having a piece of machinery tell you you're a fat cow! But we found a way around it >.> to um... cheat the machine into thinking I'm lighter - because the only reason I ordered the damn machine was to lose weight!

    Still addicted to [livejournal.com profile] anime_lj_tcg and think people should join and say I referred you! Free cards yay!

    Also still addicted to Last Chaos - finally got arround to reinstalling it.

    I also reinstalled The Movies, and The Sims plus a bunch of games to use on ScummVM.
    raynebowranger: ([HS] kai 2)
    Jack had his post-op check up today. It went pretty well. The vet is pleased with the way Jack's face is draining, but wants to wait until Wednesday until she takes the drain out or there is a chance of the wound sealing up with ick stuff still inside. She told us not to worry about the smell, that it's not infection, but the damaged tissue dieing. He is one stinky boy! She gaveus some more anti-inflammatries and told us to keep bathing his face like we have been doing.

    He got his plaster off his manly bits too! The vet soaked it with alcohol, but Jack got unsettled and wouldn't let her remove it, so we had to do it when we got home once the alcohol had worked it's magic on the glue.

    I took another picture of him, his face looks a whole lot better! But I'll still put it under a cut because of the size!

    Looking better! )
    raynebowranger: ([MISC] jack 2)
    Thank you to everyone who has sent love and good wishes to Jack ♥ It really means a lot. We picked him up from the vets this evening. His castration went fine, but when they cut his face open to remove the saliva gland the whole area was too swollen and abscessed to operate on – so they drained it as much as they could and left the drain in his face so it continued to drain over the next few days.

    He's pretty unsteady on his feet still and keeps crashing into everything with his lampshade collar!

    We have to keep the area bathed and clean and as dry as possible. It’s pretty gross, it’s just oozing puss and blood and smells like raw meat – in fact cleaning him up is like cutting through a pre-packed joint of meat!

    He has a bunch of tablets to take starting tomorrow, and they gave us some special dinner for him for the next few days. He’s back in on Monday for his post-op consultation and either Tuesday or Wednesday to have the drain removed and to decide where we go from here.

    I’ll probably be up with him most of tonight, so feel free to spam my email/phone/whatever!

    A photo of Jack post-op – not for the squeamish! )
    raynebowranger: ([PW] franziska 2)
    We took Jack to the vets, and the lady vet has decided to operate. Since Jack needs sedating for the operation, Mum asked whether it would be possible to castrate him at the same time, rather than have to sedate him again in the future; and the vet told u it would be cheaper for us to do that anyway, since castration is at a set price which includes anaesthetic, so the vet would only have to add on the price for the time in surgery for the saliva gland removal, rather than the surgery time and anaesthetic.

    We take him in tomorrow at 9:30am, and if all goes well he should be back home by tomorrow night *fingers crossed* And we're looking at about £250-£300, she said she's not sure exactly of the price because it depends how long the operation takes. Jack's face was so swollen she gave us some tablets to help reduce the swelling since the operation will be easier the less swelling there is.

    In other news, I watched the original ending of the 1986 version of Little Shop of Horrors today. It was quite sad but very interesting since I've never seen the stage version. I knew how it ended but it was nice to Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene's interpretation of it. I still prefer the happy ending though, I'm a sucker for happy endings!
    raynebowranger: ([MISC] jack)
    We went to the vets last night. The good news is Jack doesn't have facial paralysis \0/ the bad news is they're not really sure what he does have. The vet thought it might be an abcess or a blocked saliva gland. He pricked Jack's cheek with a needle, but he wasn't convinced that it's an abcess, but since blocked saliva glands are rare and he has never dealt with one he passed us on to his collegue. She phoned today and asked us to bring Jack in again on Thursday (at no extra cost) to examine him, because she thinks it's the blocked gland, then we can discuss where to go from there.

    If it s a blocked gland she would like to remove it by surgery, because just draining it rarely works, they often fill up again within months. She also said if we can't afford the operation if it's needed upfront we can set up a monthly plan, which is mighty helpful since money is tight.

    Since the male vet pricked his cheek, it's been leaking a watery matter everywhere, but the female vet still thinks it's the gland rather than an abcess. So, we'll see on Thursday what's happening - until then we'll keep washing away the leaking water and salt bathing the skin.
    raynebowranger: ([MISC] jack 2)
    I'm really worried about my dog. He has had an ear ache for awhile, but it seemed to be getting better with drops and regular cleaning, and we didn't think it was anything too serious since there is no nasty odor or discharge which is common for severe infections. But now his face is all swollen and drooping and I think it's facial paralysis - often associated with ear infections.

    He's booked in for the vets tonight, and I'm dreading what they'll say and how much it'll cost. I can't help but feel if we'd taken him as soon as his ear ache started, we could have avoided the droopy face.

    He seems alright in himself - he's bright and alert and still wanting his walks and to play. He's eating okay and going toilet okay, so I'm hoping a course of antibiotics is all he needs. But if the ear infection is bad it may need draining, and if it is facial paraysis, there's a chance his face won't return to normal *le sigh* Wish us luck!


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