Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Story Continues, but in a New Chapter...

The loss of Roxy hit us all pretty hard. She left a huge void in our lives. After a week of returning to an empty home after work, or sitting eating, or watching TV without the ever present Roxy, we realised that she'd enriched our lives so much that life without a companion wasn't an option.

We'd already decided that we'd have another dog at some point. There are so many in need of rescue that meant the hole in our lives could be filled by supporting a life that needed us as much as we needed them.

The wife was searching for this very blog, using Google to look for Roxy the Rottweiler when a rottweiler in need of rescue popped up in the results.

She arranged to go see her one afternoon and we both took some time off work to go drive an hour and a half to go visit the Primchurch boarding kennels to see her. She was abandoned and not without some medical issues. It looked like the previous owners took the opportunity to abandon her when they moved house to save paying the medical bills to treat a bleeding lump she had on her back.

Primchurch organised the treatment and paid the vet bills to have the lump removed. It was reportedly a non-cancerous growth that bled just because she caught it on something.

Despite the Frankenstein looking scar and stitches on her back she stood out as the dog with the right temperament, basic training and age that was attractive to us. The only thing in our way was that there was another interested party that had shown up previously.

We never realised that in this country Rottweilers in need of rescue are pretty much guaranteed a home! They are in demand and as soon as one arrives in a rescue shelter they usually have only a few weeks to wait before they are allocated a new home. Sadly that applies only to those that have a suitable temperament and haven't suffered some torment to warp their otherwise gentle nature.

Of course the search my wife was doing meant that not only was it a Rottweiler in need of rescue, but also that her name is "Roxy".

On the day of the visit Primchurch notified us that they'd accepted us as adoptive parents and that they would bring her to our home, subject to a home check and the all clear from their vet in regard to the stitches that she'd be living with us. I can't begin to say how that made me feel. I loved Roxy and this after meeting this new Roxy I was amazed at how similar they are in looks and behaviour. I swear that most people that met Roxy would not have realised it was a different dog and would have thought she'd just have regrown her tail.

Primchurch delivered her to us on my birthday and straight away you could see she was a perfect fit for us. It's all still very new and early days, but I think "Roxy too" would have "Roxy's" approval. If it weren't for the fact she's about 3 years old you could almost swear she's a reincarnation they are so similar.

So Roxy will never be forgotten. She turned me into a big softy without me realising it. Roxy's story never really ended, we're just starting a new chapter.

Roxy too

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Today is a Sad Day

We had to say goodbye to Roxy today. I feel totally crushed, she was my best friend and the most affectionate friend you could ever wish for.

She passed peacefully at home laying out in the sunshine this afternoon and without any indication there was anything wrong. In a way I'm glad that she went on her own terms and left me without having to make that tough decision many dog owners must.

Roxy would have been 12 this September, which is a pretty good age for a Rottweiler, especially so given her epilepsy. Right now that's of little comfort as losing such a devoted companion is hard to bear regardless of age.

We all said our farewells, the kids, now grown from teenagers to adults in the 10 years shes been with us and the wife are all as devastated by the loss as I am.

It seems strange writing this entry without doing so in Roxy's words.

So long my beautiful friend. You reside in our hearts and minds forever.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

We don't update this very often these days

And that's mostly good news.

I still have the regular seizures. Sometimes weeks, sometimes months apart and still unpredictable. But we all just deal with it these days. It's hard to watch and not very pleasant I'm sure. But when it happens I'm not really there at all. It's not until afterwards when I notice it takes it's toll. I'm not getting any younger and the strain it puts on my muscles means it's a bit harder to bounce back. None the less, that's what I do.

This week the cluster is 3 days old, which is unusual. We don't tend to go through it for so long. But just to frustrate dad they only come out at night, just so he can't sleep.

The vet reckons at 11 years old and ten of those with seizures I'm doing pretty well for my age. I can't walk as far, I still get so excited about going out, but not for long. Dad's new car is too high for me to get into unaided. I don't like being picked up, but if it means going in the car I'm game.

In summer last year dad's brothers family bought a dog. They live next door and it's a big bouncy Rhodesian Ridgeback. Great temperament, very friendly, but way to sociable for me. The big ginger thing always wants to play and bounce around and that's never been something I've been a fan of. Mostly I ignore it and hope it goes away. I'm a people dog and not really into dogs at all.

They start out small...

But not for very long.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Been a long time

Wow, been ages since I came and updated this.

Mainly because there's been so little to say. Things have been going as they always have. Seizures still kicking around at about once a month. But that's nothing new. That said I turned 11 years old yesterday, happy birthday to me. The seizures really are nasty horrible things, but so far I've the strength to handle them. Takes some getting over as I get older, I have to sleep it off a bit more.

Late last year dad weaned me off the KBr completely. It's been no change at all for the seizures in terms of frequency or impact. So I guess it did little for me and only drained dad's wallet faster. After telling the vet that's what we'd done he was surprised, but couldn't argue with the fact that they obviously did nothing for me.

The vet still wanted to do blood tests. They do this every visit. I'm convinced it's just a way of topping up their revenue as the results are never meaningful. Dad explained that I'm an old girl now and it's a bit too late to be worried about any impact the epiphen may be having on my liver and there seemed less of a point to checking that the levels of the drug where still at a medicinal value in my blood.

Nothing's changed. No more regular, less regular, bigger or lesser impact - they're just seizures. We just deal with it these days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ahh well time for another trip to the vet

Nothing bad, just the regular medication review so we can buy another prescription and get sold some more blood tests.

This weekend I had another cluster. First time for a while really. The seizures were unpredictable as ever. Most of them were the jump up and run blindly into walls type. These are the worst as getting mum or dad to catch me before I clatter into things is almost impossible. I flooded the living room by knocking over a full mop bucket that was stood by for the seizures.

Dad had to work from home as I started having seizures through Monday and into Tuesday night. So on Tuesday night I was so hyper I was up and down stairs constantly. Then pacing around the bedroom until Dad finally gave in and took me downstairs and stayed with me. All I wanted was him to be there so I could sleep. I don't think he slept too well on the sofa as he then took the day off to catch up with some sleep.

As we'd run out of tablets dad had arranged a visit to the vet on Tuesday anyhow. So I got a bath before we went and then he had to help me into the new car. So much for it being a bigger car. The rear floor is higher off the ground and that means the roofspace is also a bit lower. Dad has to help me in because it's higher.

The vet played their usual game. Wanting us to have blood tests for kidney performance, but more importantly KBr and epiphen levels. We know this is just a money making scheme for them as quite often we never get any results. Or when we do everything is at the right levels and as high as they can be. So I can't have any more medication even if  they wanted me to. The tests are pointless.

So dad played the game too. Oh, dear we ran out of tablets and I never had any this morning. So the vet can't do a blood test if I've missed my tablets (which I hadn't).

I also continue to be on half the dosage that the vet prescribes. I've been on the half dosage for 6 months now and there is no difference in the regularity or length of the seizures. All that's happened is I'm a bit more steady on my feet. The most important difference is we now don't pay the vet so often for prescriptions and consultations as the tablets last twice as long - I'm sure they'll cotton on at some point.

But by way of demonstration we ordered 1 week of tablets from the vet to cover me until the online ones get shipped. Here's how the prices worked out:

Price per tablet
30mg Epiphen - vet price = £0.50, online price = £0.10
60mg Epiphen - vet price = £0.53, online price = £0.14
325mg KBr - vet price £0.66, online price = £0.31

So for the price of ONE weeks medication from the vet I could by two and half weeks worth online. In just one week we save £35.62 over vet prices.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Been a Long Time

And not much to say really.

Seizures are still with me and happen as randomly as they always do. Can be a month between or three months, can be a one off seizure or a weekend cluster. Same old, same old, we just get on with it.

Before Christmas the meds were changed and upped to 4 x 325mb KBr and 1 x 30mb + 2  x 60mg of Epiphen twice a day. This knocked my legs from under me so getting up was harder than usual. Dad decided to half the dosage of everything. Getting up got easier, although I'm an old girl now - getting up isn't as easy as it once was. But other than making that easier it's not been detrimental to the seizures at all. So we'll stick with it as it is.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Well ok for you guys out there maybe. But our fun started on Christmas Eve. A couple of big seizures, but nothing we couldn't handle. Same old routine, but same old changes.

This time I'd give a bit of warning before the seizure set in. I'd go all twitchy and confused, then try to run away. Only trouble is I couldn't see so went colising into everything unless stopeed. As it stopped the head shaking and thrashing begins.

Christmas day went pretty well. Still having seizures, but at elast the family got dinner sorted first.

Then came Boxing day and a house full of people for the trafitional buffet. I got fragged into the kitchen as a seizure started whilst I lay on the floor with everyone. Then it carried on throughout the day offf and on.

Now I'm still dazed and confused. The mop bucket is always on hand because I'll go to the toilet even when lying down, without telling anyone - well I guess it's warmer than it is outside.

There's not really been much to say. We've been going through the same seizures with varying periods between. Sometimes a month, sometimes more.

Same song and dance with the vet. They've now brought in that we must buy all the drugs on the written prescription within 30 days of getting it. The vet will only write a two month presriptions now too. So a bit less savings to be had from bulk ordering and a few less savings from being able to do a monthly call off of meds. It sucks.

Add to that the vet wants to do two blood tests every 4 months, not 6. Dad keeps telling them if they are monitoring KBr and Epiphen levels they are wasting dads money. The levels are at the maxiimum they can be so it's not like we'll add more of them! If they were to monitor liver function maybe that would be valid, but I'm an old dog now and there's little to be done if the meds are affecting my liver.

It's frustrating to just let them do what they want to do. Take the money and just carry on so we can get meds.

On a lighter note dad took me round the park and I fiound a big crunchy puddle. Everywhere I stepped it crunched and I'd get wet feet when it gave way. I thought it was great fun and walked all over it until there was no more crunching.

Think it'll be a day or two before I'm back to normal. Still feeling a bit puppified and confused.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's been a while

It's been a while ... and that's a good thing. For some time now I've not really had much to write about. Since getting back on the medication in February I had a couple of seizures last month that we thought were the start of a cluster, but were just single episodes. It's not until this week when things started to go a little south. But then again that may be down to running out of tablets. So annoying.

Dad got two prescriptions for me last month. He talked nicely to the vet and they wrote two separate prescriptions thinking that we'd then be able to buy one months medication and then renew the following month. So rather than laying out two months of cash he'd be able to spend monthly to lighten the load.

Well, you know how the best laid plans go. Dad placed the order for the second month and paid for them. As there was no major rush left the postage as second class. So Friday last week things are getting tight and still no tablets. Well turns out that the legislation has changed (or so we are told) so that a prescription must be filled within 28 days of writing, which is impossible for monthly amounts. So whilst the order was accepted nothing was shipped as they are waiting on a new prescription. Communication failure! We are not mind readers :(

So Monday there are no Epiphen tablets and it takes a day off work to go get another prescription and some tablets to last until the ones we're waiting for get shipped.

Of course this means Monday a seizure starts. Maybe a one off? Sadly not. Wednesday there were a few seizures and then sometime Wednesday night/Thursday morning I have the seizure that scrambles my brain. It reverts me back to a puppy state. Dad says it "puppyfies" me. I lose my house training and I'm all wired and hyper. Add to that not wanting to be left alone dad ends up sleeping on the sofa (well lying on it whilst I keep waking him up) so I can be in the same room.

It's hard to say for sure if it's related to missing some tablets or it's coincidental. But it is annoying that we end up unsure. It's cost dad two days off work this week as he's was far too tired to go in today. Not that I noticed because I'm busy being bouncy and wanting attention and putting my nose in everyone's face :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Battling Back Up the Hill

Well dad's having to admit to making quite a big mistake, and one that's cost us rather a lot of anguish.

Back in November a few things conspired to make life a bit difficult. With Christmas coming up dad's car decided to self destruct. This would be the second replacement engine this year. So there was the cost of that and having to use alternate transport for work.

Dad's boss decided to be a dick and decided that he shouldn't bring me in to work anymore. That wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't used the excuse that his boss didn't approve and it was under his instruction that I shouldn't go to work anymore. So having asked directly in front of a number of he said that he hadn't suggested any such thing and it was fine to take me to work. So we all know what a two faced lying git dad's boss is now then.

Not being able to take the dog to work, not having a big enough car to take me in, and not really having the funds it resulted in me taking a break from my medication. We knew this wasn't going to be too smart so we at least did it gradually, until the pills ran out.

The effect wasn't that dramatic at first. Seizures were just the same as they always were and about as regular. That was up until late January. Then things got worse. The seizures were more frequent and I spent more time recovering from them that life really wasn't worth living.

We finally organised a visit to the vet local to home and planned on getting a prescription sorted as soon as possible. Just before getting in the car to go to the vets off I went into another seizure. When I got there I was all panty and out of breath.

The vet was very helpful and didn't over complicate matters, simply gave me the once over and sorted out the prescription I was on previously. We also got a weeks supply of tablets there and then, so we could start straight away and wait for the larger delivery later in the week.

I guess now we know the drugs and quantity that I was on where doing something and were pretty high doses. Day one dad gave me some Diazepam to immediately suspend the seizures. We expected that to make me dopey. But over the next 3 days the Epiphen and KBr just about knocked me out. I couldn't stand and even ate my dinner lying down with my head in the bowl. I spent most of the time sleeping.

After the initial 3 days I began to get a bit more active. I'd try to stand but was very clumsy walking into walls, doors and furniture. The picture is of me giving up on getting into bed. I'd climbed half in and just decided to stay there.

7 Days later and I'm much better. It's hard work standing up, but once I'm up I can get around. So dad's been taking me out for walks first up and down the driveway and then out to the park to get me moving my legs some more.

Things are going well. I'm getting better every day.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry F*$king Christmas :(

Christmas day was the start of a week off for dad, so you can guess what happened next. Not just a visit by Santa Claus, but also a visit from the Seizure Monster.

Fortunately on Christmas day they only appeared very early in the morning at around 2:00am and then late in the night about midnight. So we at least got a free day. But Boxing Day turned out to be the worst day. Quite a few really big ones and as per the "no pattern" to this kind of seizure it's been a bit of a change again.

After the paddling and twisting seizure I go into a state where I'm still in the seizure, but having shocks like electricity hitting me every couple of seconds. Then it's an urgent fight to get on my feet and go who knows where. Takes a lot of effort to restrain me so I don't go off and hurt myself. After that dad can calm me down so I at least stay lying down... mostly. A good half hour of attention and I'm then relaxed enough to be left alone.

So far today hasn't been too bad. One in the morning, but now of course this will have jinxed it.