August 13, 2013

0 Sloan's Cold Laser Therapy and Acupuncture

 I mentioned Sunday that we recently discovered Sloan's got some arthritis in her lower back.
She was diagnosed with mild hip dysplasia in her left hip in '06 and she tagged along on Max's orthopedic appointments every so often, but her hip was never seen as a candidate for surgery, for which we were thankful. Fast forward to this winter. When Sloan was under for her lumpectomies I had our vet take an x-ray of her hips just to check in on them, and sure enough, she'd developed a fairly nasty case of arthritis in that hip as well as an arthritic growth on her foot. As much as we don't want to admit it, she is getting older- she's ten this month- so arthritis basically comes with the territory.
Back to now.
In order to deal with the acute inflammation in her lower back (what caused her the more intense, sudden pain), she's on an anti-inflammatory and a sedative/pain reliever. She is allowed to take on-lead walks, but no swimming, since her cannonball  technique isn't the most gentle to her spine.
I also decided that she should start cold laser therapy and acupuncture with Dr. Whitley, which was a great idea- Sloan has responded brilliantly!
And, since she doesn't suffer from Max's fear of the camera stealing his soul or his determination to be as uncooperative as possible during treatment, Sloan was also a better model.

Cold laser therapy involves a laser placed on target points for a set amount of time to target inflammation and stimulate the immune system. Sloan visibly relaxes during the treatment, so we're pretty certain she's feeling the benefits!

Dr. Whitley was surprised at how camera-focused Sloan is, but she was raised in front of it!

See? She seems okay with it!

Acupuncture is a bit trickier, since the patient (dog) has to hold still for the needle placement. Sloan doesn't seem to mind much, but we take little pauses for rubs, kisses, and treats!

Cactus butt!
I stopped giving Sloan the pain reliever/sedative last Friday, and her energy is up and back to her version of normal. We even get to see her crazies take over a couple of times a day! Hopefully next week I'm able to take her off the anti-inflammatory as well.

Paul and I are very encouraged by how well she's doing, and we'd like to keep her as low-medicated as possible for as long as possible, since all anti-inflammatories come with side effects. Max also has positive responses, but the actual treatment for him is more of a struggle as he is nervous and uncooperative for standing still. We'll keep doing it with him, too, because he's not panicked or miserable during treatment and he is calmer, more social, and more relaxed at home for about three days after treatment. We're hoping he someday gets longer effects from it, though!

August 11, 2013

0 Sunday Currently

 I'm trying out this "Sunday Currently" as a sort of catch-up... so here goes.


Blueberries at Olde Carthage Farm.

eating all the fresh, organic fruit on which I can get my hands. We found a pick-your-own farm for blueberries and blackberries, and we ended up with six buckets of blueberries and one of blackberries. I baked a good bit and froze a ton, but I also ate pretty close to my weight in fresh ones. Now I'm on to peaches. Sadly, I haven't found a pick-your-own organic peach farm (orchard?) anywhere around us, but Whole Foods had a sale last week and I bought two big bags full. I've been eating several every day, and I just made some peach ice cream and it's so delicious I'm tempted to make a few more batches, but I'm always leery of freezer burn over time- any tips?

reading The Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen. It's good so far, but is making me ache for the Western Isles of Scotland. We only got to a few of the Hebrides, the Treshnish Isles to be specific, but I'm still hoping to see as many as possible, and The National Trust Scotland's recent tweet isn't helping!

listening to audiobooks lately. I listen to a lot of NPR in the car, but the time of day that I'm driving the dogs to swimming/acupuncture/cold laser therapy often falls during a show of which I'm not fond... so I listen to audiobooks. I've checked out several from our local library, but those have been hit or miss. I decided to try Audible and I bought The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky which was on sale and used my free trial book token for Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham, which she actually reads for the audiobook. I wasn't as fond of Perks as I expected to be, but I really enjoyed S,S,M, although I did view it as more of an 'easy read' and was expecting Perks to be more soul-fulfilling or touching based on what I've heard, and it just wasn't.  Now I'm looking for another, but I really resent how costly audiobooks are and I hate spending any money on something that might suck. Any recommendations?

feeling hesitantly good about Sloan. She acted strangely over the first weekend of July, seeming very uncomfortable and limping. We thought it was her rear left leg, and our GP vet recommended we see an orthopedic surgeon for a consult. It took a while to get in to see him, but he found that she has arthritis in her lower back that was suffering an acute inflammation. She's been on medication and she's started doing cold laser therapy and acupuncture with Max's physio vet. She's been remarkably responsive, so we're hoping to get her off the medication soon. While we know arthritis will never truly go away, we're hoping we can control the pain through non-medicinal means as long as possible. Max's dependency on his NSAID is a constant quiet worry, since it will eventually compromise his kidney function, so I'm quite keen to pursue non-medicated pain relief.

ineffectively wondering about what's next. I hate living in the past or just waiting on the future, but I'm not really enjoying our life here, for various reasons, many of which are not blog-appropriate. I've been trying to ignore it, but that's not changing anything, so now I'm trying the "recognize it and fix the problem" route. It's not any one thing, more like it feels everything is the opposite of our life in England and I thought that one was pretty near perfect. So I'm trying.

I snapped this on my phone as we drove over an enormous lake last weekend, Jordan Lake. It's HUGE- we crossed three bridges, I think? But I thought the sky was pretty.

linking up with Lauren at Sidda Thornton

June 26, 2013

0 Here's the Thing. (My thoughts on the legalization of gay marriage. And why it shouldn't be a question.)

I don't normally address politics or social concerns on my blog, but hey, in the past few months I've not been addressing much here, so why not?  In my personal life, and on my FB (and Twitter) I'm not shy about voicing my opinion. But lately, I'm tired. I'm tired of the rhetoric, I'm tired of the same arguments, mostly I'm tired of each side screaming to brick walls.

I'm lucky, though. I've got the luxury of being tired. I sit here, in my heterosexual, white, middle-class marriage, and I don't have to join the fight. But that is exactly why I have to be in it.

Sure, most relationships are heterosexual, same-race, same-socioeconomic background. As a society, though, we've come to recognize the utter ridiculousness of saying two people who pick different crayons to color in a self-portrait can't commit to a lifetime together. We've gone long past the days when a boy's dad's job and a girl's dad's job dictate whether or not they are allowed to gaze into each others' eyes in public.  How long will it be before we shamefully acknowledge this lapse in human rights?  (And seriously? The argument that a committed homosexual relationship is newer than cell phones? uh huh.)

As for the religious angle, I honestly cannot accept that. The right to worship (or not!) as one sees fit is a fundamental part of the United States' Bill of Rights. We have an explicitly stated separation of church and state, as well as prohibited discrimination based on religion. With those facts clearly stated, why are we justifying outlawing same-sex marriages based on religious reasons? I also firmly believe that the right to not be discriminated against due to your personal religion is also true by the reciprocal- that you do not have the right to discriminate against others based on your personal religion.
Marriage, no matter what your religion, is a legal union. We apply for marriage licenses through the state, we gain legal benefits as a married couple, we take on legal responsibilities as a married couple, and we plan lives as a married couple. This makes it a legal concern, and of the state. So where does religion factor in to denying rights?

To me, it's not about love. It's not even just about marriage, in the sense that the Civil Rights movement wasn't just about a water fountain, or a bus seat. It's about every single human being's right to be happy. To be content. To be secure in their own skin, and know that they will not be diminished because of who they are. It's about the right to choose who you want to wake up to, who you want to make pancakes for, whose name on your caller ID makes you smile. It's about the right to fight with the person who can make you more angry than anyone else on earth but knowing at the end of the day they'll be the one to hold you as you cry out your frustrations. It's about the right to choose who stands beside you, publicly, on the best days of your life and who you want holding your hand when you die.  It's about the freedom to be you, and the freedom for everyone else to be themselves.

I didn't publish this when I first wrote it because I just don't have a picture to go with it. But I'm gonna forget that "rule" and publish anyway. If you need images, Buzzfeed's got a great post from Seattle's legalization of gay marriage here.  
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