Monday, December 17, 2012

Been a Long Time Coming

Just over a week ago I surprised everyone by having a seizure. Well that in itself isn't a surprise. The unusual thing was that it was a one off. So we were puzzled and waited for the rest of the cluster to catch up as it always does.

A week went by and nothing! Dad even went away to a concert (Excellent Concert - Stone Sour at O2 Academy Brixton) which is usually a sign that he's off work and it's time for the cluster to come out.

Well today it's caught up with me. Mum was off work today and spent the day cleaning. So that's the cue for slobber and pee everywhere and the seizure monster gets released. I guess at least it's before Christmas so we might stand a chance of it all being done with long before the holiday.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Big Walkies.

Nothing really big going on at all. Haven't posted on here in a while, which again is a good sign. No seizures to report - so life is good.

Dad took me out today and I thought we were off to the woods. But instead we stayed local and went for a walk around the canal. I think it was a bit too far though as on the way back I was walking at a snails pace. Now, since I've been home I've done little else but sleep - oh, apart from eating dinner that is.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Back to the Vet

After the vet phoned dad with the results of the blood test - no big surprises, the KBr and Epiphen levels are well within the therapeutic range. The vet also said she was reluctant to increase my dosage on either drug as I'm taking a relatively high dose already. The risk is we then start getting negative side affects that outweigh the required effects of the drugs anyhow.

So the outcome was another blood test. This time a more general set of test to investigate liver and kidney function. Just to be sure that they are metabolising the drugs properly to make sure that even though the drugs are in my blood that my body is making proper use of them. As the vet is otherwise at a loss as to why the drugs aren't as effective in seizure control as she thinks they should be.

So we got there in plenty of time even though dad left late. When we saw the vet it was the same routine. They took me away from dad and off into a back room to take the blood. They had some trouble getting enough as they wanted quite a bit for these tests. So they took some from my neck too. So I have a nice bandage on my leg for an hour and a shaved part on my neck.

I'm sure dad wonders why they take me out the back to take blood, maybe he thinks they're vampires?

Edit: Here's what they shaved on my neck!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

At the Vet

With my bandage still on
Blood test day!

We got there in plenty of time and sat in the waiting room, which was pretty empty. Dad weighed me (50.4kgs) and the chart on the wall said "Is your dog the correct weight?". Looked up R for Rotweiller and is has Male 50kgs, Female 38.5kgs... hmm, do I look fat? No way am I 10kgs+ over weight.

Whilst at the vet I lay on the floor waiting, behaving as good as I always do. A young lad of about 8 years old showed  an interest in me and dad said he could come say hello and that I was friendly (if his mum was OK with that). He came over and gave me a great big fuss. I lay my head in his lap and rolled onto my back whilst he stroked me. Who's the big bad scary Rottweiler then?

I think the vet must have a special note in dad's file, like "Smart Arse", or something. They were really nice and made doubly sure they explained everything - it's only a blood test! The vet bill is itemised to death too. I suspect because he complained about never getting the results.

Here's the items on the bill, each with individual prices, have they been reading my blog?
  1. Battlab Bromide
  2. Phlebotomy Procedure
  3. Courier Collection
  4. Lab Consumables
  5. Interpretation and reporting
  6. Battlab Phenobarbitone Levels
  7. Courier Collection
  8. Interpretation and Reporting
  9. We will 'phone' you with the test results

So does that look like a sarcastic invoice or is it just me? lol. Not that we're bothered how it is meant, we're only interested in the results and how they are interpreted. For all that it came in as expected to the best part of £85 (£28 worth of interpretation, the rest in lab fees etc.)

But remember dad's a smart arse? Well the thing is he remembered when we got home that although they have the blood and they are going to interpret and report - they didn't ask when my last dosage was, so how are they going to know how to interpret the results without that important bit on information? It wasn't done deliberately as some kind of trial, dad just didn't think about it until tonight. I guess we need to call them and give them that info.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday!

Yes it's Monday, so what's all the fuss?

Well if I were to say I was writing this from upstairs... could that be a clue? Well upstairs until today has been a scary off limits place since the seizures. Going upstairs on my own is a sign that things are pretty much back to normal!

Dad got in from work and made a fuss of me. Then went upstairs to change. When he was up there I simply followed him up on my own with no encouragement.

Acting the fool today, so I must be about there.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Being Positive

Well I guess after posting five times so far this week I think it's only fair to finish on a positive note. The days prior to today have been full of woe and we can't leave it like that.

Today we went out into the woods and did a short circuit as dad was walking pretty slow and taking his time, I guess he's still tired. He also took a lead with him, which he hasn't done for many years as he doesn't get lost anymore and never usually goes far. He let me off the lead once in the trees and I had a great time just mooching about.

I'm not fully myself yet and that'll probably take a week or so to get there. I've lost my house training and woke mum at 4am with a living room that needed mopping and poop that needed scooping. I will find a corner to wee in, if no one notices that I need the toilet. But the mop and bucket never seem far away.

I want to follow dad upstairs, but they look like a mountain, so I'll stay downstairs for now. I like being outside and watching people go by and the strange thing is I don't give anyone my biggest barking, woofing and bouncing around type of hello as they pass just yet either - not even the postman! This is all typical of the after effects of a cluster of seizures and once I go up the stairs everyone knows that I'm back to myself.

Even with not being myself 100% I'm still a million times better than I've been all this week and that's worth being very, very happy about.

Idiopathic* Epilepsy is a debilitating and evil infliction. There's no rhyme or reason, it just is, and does what it likes at any time it seems. There's no trigger we can identify for it, unlike some forms where flashing lights or colours can trigger a seizure. So we just deal with it as and when. The horrible reality is that we'll never know how far is too far or how many is too many. This past week was again evidence that even in the darkest times there can be light at the end of the tunnel - which I have to smile about as I recently read "That light at the end of a tunnel is an approaching train".

It's understandable why some would have given in way before we have. It's a terrible burden and strain on everyone involved, emotionally, physically and psychologically... and sadly financially. But the worst part is the guilt. Not knowing if by not taking the tough decision you're making the wrong choice, or if by making it you'll have made it too early. It's just so very cruel.

So once more we just deal the hand that's dealt and smile and be happy for the good times we've had and the good times we're still yet to have.

Idiopathic is an adjective used primarily in medicine meaning arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Following on from Yesterday dad and I got a good nights sleep. Maybe that has something to do with my Diazepam and dad's exhaustion. Still feeling spaced out like first day in rehab, but a whole lot better than yesterday.

Dad got up to give me the last of the Diazepam this morning and found I'd left mum a big pile at the bottom of the stairs (don't know why it was for mum, but dad didn't want it). This isn't unusual as after a cluster and I'm in recovery I lose some of my training and forget how things work. Like going upstairs right now is out of the question, and getting in the back of the car - my favourite place in the whole world - needs some help.

But the good thing about this morning was two breakfasts - winning! Dad gave me my tablets and breakfast, then let me out. Then when mum got up for work she gave me breakfast too, and I didn't waste any of it.

Later we went off to the vets and dad had to lift me into the back of the car. I couldn't figure out how to get in. At the vets he had to help me out to as it seemed awfully high in the air.

The vet checked me over and spoke with dad and we arranged to go back next week for a blood test. The irony of which isn't lost on dad, since the previous Friday he refused to have one done at our usual vets because a) they aren't cheap, b) no one reports any of the results and c) the medication hasn't changed since the last three blood tests.

So the vet was very nice and I really think they must hate the Internet because it gives everyone access to so much information. The vet said they could do blood today, but dad asked about the effect of the Diazepam on the results as "Diazepam increases the serum levels of phenobarbital" and Epiphen (phenobarbitone) falls into this category. So instead we're going back on Tuesday night.

The vet also said she wasn't charging us for this visit, which was nice as it really was a flying visit. In, quick listen to my chest, a chat with dad and out again in 5 minutes.

So things are definitely looking positive. I'm in my usual recovery situation, timid, a bit confused and slow, but as expected. This being the biggest scariest most stressful episode, but not unique - we still remember back to January 2010, when we thought the Epilepsy had run it's course then too.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

At Wit's End

This has been a terrible, terrible week... and it's still not over.

Dad had to go into work today. Three days off already is a bit too much. Luckily Blaine was off college so was able to spend the day with me. Which is just as well because I know dad's been fretting about me.

Last night nothing had improved. Still fitting every 2 hours, but still coming out of it reasonably well. Tired, timid and restless. But then late on a seizure sent me over the end and meant I was scared of the stairs again. This meant sleeping downstairs alone, dad was just too exhausted not to get some sleep after 3 days.

I still woke him up four times in the night. Once with just being restless and clumsy, walking into walls and doors until dad come and effectively barricaded everything I could walk into. Then three times with seizures.

This morning I was in a sorry state and dad had to leave me with Blaine.

Blaine sorted out the 4 x 10mg Diazepam at 3pm and after a call from dad reported that I'd not had a seizure all day since the one at 5:45am. I was just exhausted and didn't trust my own legs. That's the problem with having tiled floors downstairs. With all the pee and slobber it gets very slippy and now I walk like it's a frozen pond about to crack, legs all star-fished out and very slowly.

When mum and dad got home, dad made sure I got up and went out as I was lying in a big smelly puddle of wee where I couldn't get the energy to stand. Dad sorted me, got me up and into the garden for a wee and a quick hosing down and shampooing to get rid of most of the smell. I even ate my dinner lying down in the kitchen.

Now I'm up and outside where the floor isn't slippy I'm gonna stand at the gate for a while and watch the world go by.

Tomorrow, it's back to the vet. Hoping I feel a lot better soon. This has been the biggest scariest episode to date. Let's hope it's over with.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tough Times

Last night and today are taking their toll on both me and dad. Every couple of hours I have a seizure followed by a period of being totally unresponsive. Dad would try to rouse me and I'd just lay there and not move. He had to really persevere to get me up and moving. Offering some of mum's lemon drizzle cup cakes is what did it. I was so hungry for them I'd almost take dad's fingers off.

This morning the seizures were still coming, but at least I'd be responsive afterwards. So dad thought it best to take a trip to the local vets - we haven't been to a local one for years as I usually go to the one where dad works. They checked me over and after talking with dad have gone for adding 40mg of Diazepam three times a day, with 10mg of rectal Diazepam if it's needed.

Within an hour of getting home I went off into another seizure. So although when I went to the vet I was bright eyed and a bit hyper active this cluster isn't over yet.

We've got an appointment to go back to the vets on Friday to follow up on how things are going.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nobody expects...

... the Spanish Inquisition

Or that seizures will mess about with your week completely. After waking dad up early he took the day off work to keep an eye on me. As it had been 3 months since the last seizure we expected them to be big and regular.

Well seizures don't play that way. Nothing happened all day and it wasn't until gone 8pm that I had another one. After that it's been about every 2-3 hours going all through the night. So that left dad having to take another day off work, not just to look after me, but because he was tired from getting up so regular in the night.

It was the usual stuff thrashing and peeing and dad calming me down for 20 minutes or so, then I'd go back to sleep.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Slow Motion

Well it's been quite a while since I last updated the site. In some respects this is very good news, but then this update means there's something to write about.

After going more than 3 months without seizure I woke dad up at 5am with a seizure. It was somewhat strange, in as much as all the seizures have something different about them. It was a full thrashing seizure, but not a violent as it usually is. Dad seems to think it was like it was in slow motion. There was the usual paddling and peeing, but ist was pretty mild compared to prior seizures.  Afterwards I wanted to get up and pace around. But dad had managed to calm me down and get me to lay down and go back to sleep.

So now we're just waiting on the rest of the seizures to arrive.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mum's All On Her Own!

Dad wen't away for the weekend on 9-10th June leaving me behind for a change. Of course this meant the seizures were just bound to kick in. Sure enough mum was left to deal with me and try to stop me banging my head and face on the floor whilst fitting.

I had a couple of really big ones that mum dealt with like a superstar. But then one at the top of the stairs! This has always been the worst nightmare scenario. The stairs are all wood, no carpet on the treads and at the bottom, like the rest of the downstairs it's all ceramic tiles.

I came down them with quite a crash and scared mum, thinking I'd be all broken. But once Blaine got me some cheese and the seizure had passed up I got like nothing had happened.

After that things were back to normal for a while. Then unusually only two week later and off I go again into a few seizures. So dad had to work from home to take care of me again.

Once more we see a bit of a change. The chompies are back, not as a precursor to seizure, just randomly after the main cluster had gone, maybe a day later there were a few chompies. Forever changing and always unpredictable.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Same Old Thing

Just lately we've pretty much just got on with being happy. Trying to put the seizures to one side and just focus on doing what I do best, sleeping, eating and slobbering.

It came around to the time when I was due another trip to the vets to get my quarterly prescription, and it also came around that dad was taking some more time off work. But this was just a bluff and so a few days before the vet visit and his time off I had some random seizures. Totally unexpected and no announcement or signs. Just on Wednesday night lying there sleeping  then boom into a full on seizure. Then nothing for another 24 hours. Then the same again a one of seizure.

The trip to the vets was a sad day on Friday. I tried not to notice a few pets went into the room with their humans and the humans came out alone and crying. Such a sad time to see peoples left alone.

At least we managed to get out of having a blood test at the vets. The vet said it's been a while since we had one and maybe should do one to be sure. But they seem to just ramp up their bill and not once have they actually given us the results of the tests without dad having to phone them and ask. So really does seem pointless if they aren't going to do anything with them.

They also never ask about or record my weight - dad makes a point of asking to use the scales each time to see if I've put any weight on or lost too much. But I'm fairly good these days 47.6kgs this visit. So usually up and down by a few kilos depending on the seasons. Mum feeds me up in the winter.

Dad ratted me out to everyone in the reception area too, how embarrassing. The receptionist came into the room and gagged, then with her eyes watering from the smell asked which one was responsible - dad immediately pointed to me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stealthy Wonkiness

Mum and dad woke up to a puddle of pee and slobber on Saturday morning and were puzzled as neither had heard me go off into a seizure. I've been long overdue though so it wouldn't be a surprise, but the strange thing is they didn't see any of my usual after affects of being a bit timid or slow. All looked normal.

That was until Sunday after I'd had my nice Sunday lunch and Grandma and David were about to come around. Off I went into a big slobbery seizure.

Since then I've managed quite a few more, all the typical seizure symptoms, thrashing and chomping, but afterwards I've been happy enough to just relax and go to sleep. I woke dad every couple of hours last night and at least afterwards I'd go back off to sleep.

I notice we didn't document the last round of seizures from around February. Those were hard work. After the thrashing and chomping I just wanted up and off. Trying to get up and run full speed anywhere. Took mum and dad all their efforts to pin me down to stop me hurting myself. This time at least that part was gone.

During the last round that went on for almost a week, although not as frequent, I'd also gone back to being scared of the stairs. It took a good week or so before I was brave enough to go up them again. That's usually a very good sign, it means I'm getting back to myself. After the seizures I'm pretty drained and want to mope around for a bit. Going upstairs usually means I'm over it. The strange thing about that is during this round of seizures going up and down stairs isn't a problem. A bit of a sleep and I'm ready for the stairs and back to myself. You just never can tell what the seizures are going to be like.

Also relegated to the past is the "Tabasco moment". We used to be able to tell when the seizures were coming as I'd do a few tongue smacks and chompies as if I'd got something hot on my tongue. We haven't seen one of those for a long time.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wet and Cold

Well that wasn't very smart! It's been cold here over the past week, so much so that every puddle is frozen solid. So today dad took me out for a walk and thought for a change we'd go around the canal. Well the canal was covered in a sheet of ice, not very thick at all. As we walked under a bridge where a huge mass of ducks  and morehens were sheltering they all scattered across the ice to get away from us. I paid them about as much attention as if they weren't there.

But a little further around the path dad turned around to see me showing off "Look at me I can walk on..." splash! I'd stepped fully onto the ice and stood there long enough for dad to turn around as I took a cold bath. He dragged me out by the collar and that pretty much ended the walk as it was then time to go home and get towelled dry.