Life Lessons

It has been four weeks since I last posted a blog because I thought it was time for me to think happy thoughts and to work at doing something productive to help with the future of our dog rescue. I may be slow these days, but I decided it is best to be slow and do something rather than accomplish nothing, so with that in mind, I set my mind into creative thinking and the happy thoughts, quicly flowed.

I have been as well as can be expected for a while now, so to suddenly get sick was a tough experience this past week and I was reminded of the lessons I have learned over this long journey. I don’t think any woman who has gone through mesh complications, could do so without learning many valuable lessons in life and sad to say, many are not good. Once we get through the initial explosion of surgeries and trying to get well, we secure them in the quiet passages of our minds and they remain there until something happens to remind us of all the lessons we learned. This is how I felt this past week.

The week began as normal but quickly changed as one of our rescue dogs, Molly was acting strange and was in pain. She has been with us a year and came here with a dragging back leg and couldn’t hold her bladder. Molly is the sweetest dog and a bundle of energy, so rather than decide it had to do with her old injury, my daughter Kim decided to take her to the Vet to make sure it was nothing else. Expensive decisions don’t come easy because we always must find the money we need for living expenses, but you do what you must when you have a dog rescue. $250 and twenty-four hours later Molly was happily running around as normal as if nothing was wrong and all tests showed she would be fine. This was the first lesson of the week.

Fortunately, my daughter has read up on every kind of antibiotic that Vets will give dogs, so when it came time to check out, she saw that they had prescribed Baytril. You may not know this but it is a member of the Quinolone drug family just as Cipro is. She found herself in a terrible situation in 2008 that made her aware of what these drugs can do to us and just this year, the FDA stated they should only be used in life or death situations. I will give you the link at the bottom of this blog, in case you missed that very important blog I wrote about her.

Because Kim is so aware of the agony these drugs can cause, she refused the Baytril saying nicely “No thank you”. She gave no explanation but the Vet simply said we have another that isn’t quite as good and she excepted those instead. The life lesson here is don’t argue, but know everything you possible can about any drug your pet may be given, BEFORE you wind up in a Vet when it is sick or in pain. This is what you should know about Baytril.

In the last few days, the FDA has banned the use of a human drug in veterinary medicine (at least for food animals), and issued a black box warning — its highest level of alert — about a class of drugs that includes a human drug frequently prescribed in veterinary medicine, one of the most widely used and useful of all veterinary drugs, and a new, widely promoted, veterinary drug, as well.

FDA has ruled
that a black box warning must be placed on human drugs in the fluoroquinolone family, which includes the human drug Cipro and the veterinary drugs Baytril (enrofloxacin) and Zeniquin (marbofloxacin), although it does not appear that this warning will be placed on either of those, which are exclusively veterinary drugs:

I’m seeing what I can find out about this risk in animals taking Zeniquin and Baytril, which is sometimes given longterm to dogs and cats who have chronic urinary tract or skin infections. (Marbofloxacin is also given in a cream, combined with prednisone and clotrimazole for topical use; brand name is Aurizon.)

For the time being, I would definitely be very alert to lameness or limb pain in any animal taking Baytril, and contact your veterinarian with any concerns. Be aware that this warning is only one day old, and your pet’s veterinarian may not be aware of it, nor realize that it might apply to Baytril and/or Zeniquin. You can read much more on this link.

In the end because Molly acted normal within such a short period, Kim decided not to give her any antibiotics at all and have them on hand in case they were necessary. The reason being is because Vets do exactly what doctors do. They hand out pills no matter what the situation and do not take into effect the long-term results of their continuous use. There is no way in our house that that lesson can be shoved aside and we just do whatever THEY think is normal. The results can be life changing and catastrophic and you CAN’T TAKE IT BACK ONCE IT’S DONE.

The good news is Molly is fine and running around as normal.

Lesson # two. Within twenty-four hours after Molly’s Vet visit, I was lying in bed in so much pain I began thinking about dialing 911 and getting an ambulance. It was ten at night and I waivered for two reasons. One, Kim had been working outside all day trying to get things done before a cold front arrived and she was dead tired. Not only does she do this, but she is responsible to walk six dogs throughout the day, regardless of how tired she is. So I hated to wake her because she was already sleeping after her very physical life. But that wasn’t the only reason.

The risk of going to a hospital for me isn’t just about getting help with pain. It is about survival and not going down any further than I already am.

The reason for the pain in my upper stomach was food poisoning. I know what from but was shocked how quickly it happened when I had eaten only one mouthful of the offending coleslaw from a local grocery story, HEB. It was gone before the taste of rancid mayonnaise overwhelmed a food I normally love. I quickly tipped it back into the container and refrigerated it ready to take back to the store when we went that direction, not thinking it could have any lasting effects in such a small quantity. But it did…..

Several hours later I knew what had happened and spent time in the bathroom hoping I could shed the results quite quickly. But I have one problem. All my life cannot throw up, which means it takes longer to get better. I did not think about grabbing the bottle of charcoal pills we keep on hand and begin taking them and wish I had. This is why.

Activated Charcoal: Having astounding properties, activated charcoal can neutralize the overwhelming majority of toxins, from Prozac to arsenic. It is the world’s best general-purpose filtering agent. It is all natural (made from burnt coconut shells). It has been a staple of poison control centers since their inception. A consequence of using it is that it will stop an individual from absorbing his food nutrients and medications. It will usually stop a case of food poisoning from progressing, and do so rapidly. See the article about activated carbon for more information about its unique qualities. Never use charcoal briquettes, like those that are used for outdoor cooking. Activated charcoal is an essential first aid item, so every family should keep some that has been pre-emptively ground into powder and stored inside an air tight container, for poison emergencies.

Had Kim been awake I know she would have brought it to me and helped me get back on my feet more quickly, but when in pain, you can’t think straight. So unfortunately, it lasted longer than it should have. The other reason I didn’t dial 911 was because I am already living with Gentamicin Ototoxicity and have had so many bad reactions to drugs, I fear them more than I should. I don’t want to lose any more of the things I struggle to do, so I suffered through the night until Kim got up, then I called out to tell her. She immediately brought me things to help and plenty of fluids and did that throughout the next couple of days until I could care for myself.

It says it takes forty-eight hours for food poisoning to pass through the system and there is little you can do, until it does. However, once at a hospital, not only will they give you fluids, which I was already doing but they will hook you up to IV antibiotics. That is one of my WORSE fears. Is it unrealistic? Not after all I have been through during five surgeries and the overwhelming aftermath of all that happened because of the first implant surgery.

I did do all I could to get through it. I drank a lot of fluids and after things improved I ate a bland diet. I survived it and I am glad, even though I was worried, that I did not go to the hospital. This is why.

The biggest result of food poisoning is the Norovirus and you can read more here.

This blog will tell you what can happen when people take Quinolones.

Just as I began writing this morning an email came in telling me there was a comment left on this blog. I immediately read it and felt bad for this woman. This is that comment.

“I am in Rochester, NY. I also have unrelenting thigh and groin pain. I have had my sling removed from vagina to top. She did not remove anchors. I need to find help here in US. My pain is becoming constant. It has changed the way I live.”

The sad part is there are many doctors who are now practicing mesh removal on women, who shouldn’t because they don’t have the experience or the skills. I just hope she is not much worse off than she was before and all I could do was give her Dr. Kim’s information to get in to see her at UCLA as quickly as possible for an evaluation. But I can’t help her get there…………

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving and I am far from maddening crowns or the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping. I love my quiet country life and have no desire to push through crowds searching for a bargain. Kim and I live a quiet, peaceful life with the dogs and we give thanks every day that we can enjoy that life and smile. That is what life is all about.

I do know there are women who are struggling with pain and are worried about how to get the money to travel far from home. It’s the hardest thing you will ever have to do, but for me it was the best decision possible. I have learned to live this ‘new’ life and I am trying hard to live it is a happier manner. I hope every woman will get there some day. Happy Thanksgiving 2016.

If your life is full of pain and you are miserable, this will tell you about Dr. Kim.

This will also tell you everything you want to know about the UCLA journey.

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