Surgery needed for Doobie, the Cairn Terrier.

A bad rollover accident in the middle of Nebraska threw Doobie out of the truck he was riding in. In his terror, he gathered himself up and took off running into the woods. For twelve days, he managed to stay alive, all alone in a foreign environment. When he wandered up to a farmer and his wife sitting down to lunch, his luck changed. The farmer’s wife took pity on the little dog and let him stay in the garage until they could contact his owner. Amazingly, Doobie still had his collar and tags, with his owner’s phone number engraved on them. He wasn’t hungry, but he was incredibly thirsty. His breed, Cairn Terriers, were bred to hunt small rodents. So although he found food, water was hard to come by, even though it was tornado season and rain did fall at times. He was covered in ticks when he was found. Immediately, a relative drove out from Colorado, Doobie’s home, to Nebraska to pick him up, since his daddy was in New York. His loving relatives took him to the vet for a check up and removed all of the ticks. Doobie was safe and sound, back in the arms of people who loved him. His daddy flew back to Colorado to get him and together they went back to New York and conquered it.

Because of the trauma, Doobie developed very bad arthritis and damaged his ACL. Both issues have gradually become worse over time. He needs surgery on both of his back legs, but it is pricey. He has been taking pain medication, but it is working less and less. According to the vet, he has many, many years left ahead of him. Doobie is a miracle dog and has been thru so much already. He should have an opportunity to live a pain-free life. With your help (please share his story), we know enough money can be raised to help him get that surgery. He is loved by everyone who has ever met him. If you can help in any way, please do. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!!!!

#Doobie #painfree #arthritis #miracledog #Nebraska #Colorado #NewYork #thankyou #surgery #ACL #badlegs #pain #hurt #rollover #accident #survival #tough #brave #love #dogs #somuchlove

Please help Doobie get the surgery he needs to live the rest of his years pain-free. Thank you so much!!!!

https://www.gofundme.com/vc4n4f4w

Doobie. <3 <3 <3

Doobie. ❤ ❤ ❤

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This is the first picture taken of Doobie after he was found in Nebraska. It was taken for his daddy, so he could see for himself that Doobie was safe and sound. He was covered in ticks, but happy to be with family. ❤

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Doobie is a snuggle-bug. This is Doobie and his daddy one Christmas Eve. ❤

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Doobie is so easy-going. He loves his daddy so much and is perfectly happy to perch on his shoulder. This picture is from a few years ago. ❤

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Doobie went to school with his daddy in New York. After he was found in Nebraska, his daddy flew back to pick him up from Colorado and they went back to New York for school. ❤

Life on hold, again.

When it comes to chronic pain and illness, one of the hardest parts to deal with, aside from the pain and illness, is the inconsistency of being able to participate in an active life. Over two weeks ago, I had a bad flare-up of CRPS. I was bedridden for days on end. After a week or so, the fire burning inside of my legs finally subsided, though it never truly went away – it never really does, it only becomes more tolerable. I was able to once again have things touch my legs without freaking out in pain. I was able to walk with only a cane rather than use my wheelchair, and I began the difficult job of starting over again. Every time I am hit with an increased bout of CRPS, my entire life is thrown backwards and the brakes are put on. When the time comes for me to reemerge into life, I feel as if I am starting from scratch. I have to work at walking again. I love to hike, so that becomes almost like a new activity for me, no matter what level I had been at prior to the flare-up. Everything I was able to do has to be started from the beginning. Even being able to eat properly is something I have to work on. I am constantly a newbie. But I work to start over each and every time because CRPS is not going to get the best of me. I am always glad to have a flare-up turn the corner and become a flare-down, but I am always left with a strange sense of having missed out on long periods of life. I do a lot of pondering about that.

Shortly thereafter, when the CRPS episode was more manageable, I felt I was on the road to recovery (i.e., less pain and being able to function again.) It was at that time when a flare-up of fibromyalgia knocked me right back into bed. I have not been able to move well all week. I struggle to walk from one room to another because of the weakness I feel in every single muscle. I have been nauseated and achy. I am so exhausted I can barely stay awake- except there is pain that never goes away and it fires itself up every so often, as if it were caught by a gust of wind and lifted to new heights, keeping me from benefitting from the healing power of sleep. All the while, I still have fire burning in what feels like broken leg bones.

Admittedly, I am feeling a bit sorry for myself today because of all of this. Once again, my life has been interrupted and I am left with nothing but pain, illness, and a LOT of different emotions that I have to work to put into perspective.

I had RSVPd to a baby shower that was scheduled for today. It was one that was very important to me, one that I absolutely had to attend. No matter what, I had to attend this baby shower. As you have probably guessed, I was unable to attend. I managed to get dressed, though. That was the most I could do before I had to give the news that I could not be there because of my health.

Anyone with chronic pain and/or illness knows that this is one of the most dreaded things to have to tell people. For me, it can be embarrassing, lame sounding, and make me feel sad, angry, upset, bitter, guilty, and a slew of other emotions. It is so frustrating to put my life on hold, to have the brakes pulled, and to stop life until my body says it is time to start again. But it will pass. It always does.

I don’t always feel those emotions. Sometimes I react with much more grace and style. Today happened to be a day when something important to me was scheduled and although I did my best to be able to go, I finally had to concede and give in. I had to accept that I am not in a position to do anything other than take care of myself. I am okay with it, it happens. It is okay to be up and down with emotions when our illnesses or pain interfere with what we perceive to be a normal life. What gets me down the most about it is the feeling that I am letting others down. Fortunately, no one in my life feels that way- it’s all a trick of my mind.

Now that the baby shower is in full swing and everyone is having a wonderful time despite me not being there ( 😉 ), I can lie down, relax, rest my body, and get over it. After all, it is just another day in my beautiful life. And I mean that. My life is beautiful in so many ways. The people who love me will understand. When I am feeling better, I look forward to meeting the new precious baby that has come into the world and I will celebrate the life we all share together. I might not do it at the scheduled time, but I will do it.

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Still fighting the fire

It has been over a week since a bad flare up of CRPS started. There is so much to say about CRPS, yet never enough to get the point across. I feel crazy, out of control, anxious, panicky, sad, depressed, scared, alone, and desperate. How could I possibly explain properly what it feels like physically, in addition to those emotions? I have tried to help people understand about CRPS, believing that if someone who has CRPS (me) is perfectly honest about what the pain is like, the cloud of confusion will burst open and there will be dancing and singing galore. Oh, and a cure. That would be a marvelous thing to fall from the sky out of the confusion cloud.

For me, it is as if I have broken bones- but inside the core of those broken bones is a hot fire poker that is being twisted all around. I obviously do not know what that would actually feel like, but this is my perception of CRPS. This is my personal pain experience. It is a wild fire within my body that is out of control with absolutely no way to contain it, much less put it out.

When a flare up happens, I do not have many choices. I will feel as if my legs (or ankles, wrists, hands) are on fire. Actual fire. I cannot move. I cannot have anything touch me. I cannot function.

I have tried to describe CRPS to family and friends in the scientific and intellectual ways that are found on websites, such as American RSDHope Organization and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA.)

I have also explained my story of how I ended up with CRPS – at the simplest level, it was caused by an injury from an epidural given during a hysterectomy. Of course there is a little more to it than that, but that is the gist of it. I have talked about how my nerves send signals to my brain that I am in pain. Signals that do not stop. It is like a record skipping; it just keeps playing the same annoying part over and over and over. But, unlike a record that is skipping, the signals cannot be reset. It has to be waited out. And that could take a very, very long time. Or it could take a shorter time. Either way, it is miserable.

In the meantime, I am still recovering, still fighting the fire, and still on track to live the best life I can possibly live.

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Education is key when it comes to CRPS

It is so, so important to know how to support those with #CRPS/RSD. Education is key. Thank you to my incredible friends who have asked to know more in order to understand me better and to know what they can do to support me. Here ya go…
(If you have questions, please feel free to ask!)

Great info via http://www.rsds.org:
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What is CRPS/RSD?

CRPS/RSD is a chronic neuro-inflammatory disorder. It is classified as a rare disorder by the United States Food and Drug Administration. However, up to 200,000 individuals experience this condition in the United States, alone, in any given year.

CRPS occurs when the nervous system and the immune system malfunction as they respond to tissue damage from trauma. The nerves misfire, sending constant pain signals to the brain. The level of pain is measured as one of the most severe on the McGill University Pain Scale.

CRPS generally follows a musculoskeletal injury, a nerve injury, surgery or immobilization.

The persistent pain and disability associated with CRPS/RSD require coordinated, interdisciplinary, patient-centered care to achieve pain reduction/cessation and better function.

It has been shown that early diagnosis is generally the key to better outcomes. However diagnosing CRPS/RSD is not a simple matter and many patients search for months or years for a definitive diagnosis.

It is important to know that research has proven that CRPS/RSD is a physical disorder. Unfortunately, it has not been unusual for medical professionals to suggest that people with CRPS/RSD exaggerate their pain for psychological reasons. Trust your body and continue to seek a diagnosis. If it’s CRPS/RSD, the pain is not in your mind!

The Reality of CRPS

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With CRPS, everything can change in the blink of an eye. I am grateful for the good days I most recently had that allowed me to enjoy hiking in truly gorgeous spring weather. But, the memories of those days are waning as the pain refuses to ease up. My thoughts are jumbled and concentrating is becoming  more and more difficult. I am all cried out and sleep is hard to find, though I am exhausted.  The intense pain causes me to be nauseated and movement is excruciating.

I am lucky to have a loving and patient partner, as well as children who go with the flow and adapt seamlessly to the major interruption that  CRPS is to our lives.

A plethora of emotions swirl through my mind as I lie here with the hope that the fire burning in my legs will be put out soon.

The Importance of Understanding Depression

Depression is a serious illness that affects millions of adults each year. Although most people are familiar with feeling down and out, the disabling symptoms of a clinical depressive disorder overshadow the everyday blues. There are at least eleven different types of depressive disorders, each having the ability to incapacitate the sufferer. Scientists do not yet understand what causes depressive disorders, although considerations include biological, environmental, hormonal, and psychological reasons, among others. To be diagnosed with clinical depression, a person must experience at least nine symptoms from a list of no less than fifteen that are particular to depression; and they must experience them for at least two consecutive weeks. The most common symptoms are feeling sad, lonely, hopeless, and worthless. In addition to these symptoms, a lack of motivation to engage in even the simplest of tasks, can lead to feelings of shame. Once diagnosed, some form of treatment is almost always necessary, though not always successful. These treatments include traditional therapies such as prescription medication, talk therapy, eating well, exercise, and getting enough sleep. Alternative methods that can help depression include acupressure and acupuncture, light therapy, meditation, massage, and herbal remedies. No one knows for sure which treatment will work best for any particular individual, but it is known that support from family, friends, doctors, and therapists may make the crucial difference for someone with depression. Because the risk of suicide is high among those with depressive disorders, education and advocacy is imperative. With treatment and support, there is hope for those living with depression. In working together, a happier tomorrow is possible.

Michele Brenna, 2011