Friday, February 16, 2018

Flowers Surprise ‘Again’

At home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area

Marcia's Valentine Flowers

Every year, this being the 8th Valentines Day that we have known each other, I have surprised Marcia with flowers…although one year we were out-of-town so the surprise happened a few days later on our anniversary.  I had the flowers delivered on the 13th, 1-800-Flowers again.  It was perfect…Marcia took her afternoon nap around 3 pm, the flowers came around 4 pm, when she came out she saw the ‘box’ and nearly fainted again.  Earlier she said, “WOW, it's nearly Valentines Day!”  I said, “Oh, that one snuck up on both of us this time….”, and just went about my business.  It worked…she had no clue that I knew it was Valentines day...I had ordered her flowers 10 days earlier.  😀

Marcia's Valentine Flowers

The next day the flowers always look better…as she says, “Hey, I just got up, you have no business taking my picture!”  Hey, it’s Valentines Day, pictures are in order!

Marcia's Valentine Flowers (Skruffy is jealous)

Can you see it in Skruffy's eyes?    “Hey, mom got flowers, don’t I get anything?????”

Of course, the day was soured by the senseless shooting down in southern Florida.  Our hearts go out to those who lost love ones, prayers for those who are still fighting for their life. 

Union Washer

Went by the motorhome today, took out the elbow running from the Vacuum Generator towards the Black Tank.  (If you missed my work on rebuilding the Vacuum Generator Pump, see these blog postings….A 'Dirty' Job but Someone Has to Do ItUp to my Neck in …; and Dirty Deed is Done, AND IT WAS … ) Took it over to the ACE Hardware, and to my disappointment, they did not have the right gasket.  They did have an “O-Ring”, which was the right size, but not really what I needed.  I bought it anyway, 85 cents, just in case.  Went over to another ACE Hardware, and they had the same collection as the first ACE Hardware…but I decided to try a slip joint washer…it was only 59 cents, and it was 1/4 inch too small.  I got to thinking about it, I decided to go back home, get on the Internet, and try and find what I really needed.  Did some research, found what to search for, and found that Amazon has what I need, it is called a “Union Washer”, and it looks just like the one I took out a few weeks ago when I did the original work.  It measures 1-1/8 inches on the inner diameter, and 1-5/8 inches on the outer diameter…perfect!  Should be in on Monday or Tuesday, and then we will be in business. 

MRI

Marcia had her first visit with her new Neurologist, and we came away from that appointment feeling like we had really scored.  We both really like this Neurologist, and he suggested that we have another set of MRI tests done, along with some X-Rays, and some tests in his office “just to get a snap-shot” of how she is doing.  Results of the MRI and X-Rays are in, and he said that her MS has not progressed and all he saw in her neck was a bit of arthritis.  The office test are next week, and then she just has her mammogram in early March followed by another meeting with the Neurologist for a short “results of your test” meeting, and we are done for the year...then we start packing up the motorhome, and we plan to leave on Wednesday, March21st after church.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Life with a Diabetic Dog

At home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area

Skruffy in her (Marcia's) Chair

It has been 18 months since we nearly lost little Skruffy and found out she was a Diabetic Dog.  A “LOT” has happened in this past 18 months, all for the good, thank goodness.  Of course, it has not all been “REAL GOOD”, but considering what others have gone and are going through, it has been good.


FOOD

Hill's Diet Diabetic Food

Skruffy eats twice per day, with little to no treats in between.meals.  Well, ok, she gets a little bite of bacon, or other meat when we eat at Breakfast or at Dinner, but when I say little, it is less than an ounce per day.  At Sandy and Arny’s house, she gets Pork Treats, where I have fried up some pork strips, freeze for future treats, refrigerate for the next few days treats.  Arny gives her one in the morning, Sandy gives her one at 4 pm.  Since she gets WAY MORE exercise in their backyard than she does her in the condo or on the road, it compensates for these protein treats.  Both breakfast and Dinner, now at 8:30 am and 8:30 pm, she gets 3.5 ounces of food.  1.5 ounces of the dry, WD Hill’s Diet (bag in middle above), and then 2 ounces of a mixture of canned WD Chicken Stew and ID Chicken Stew.  Right now it is 2 parts WD stew to 1 part ID stew.  The canned food is placed over the dry food, mixed together, and then she eats.  And when this girl eats, she eats as if there is no tomorrow…she gobbles…she devours….she is not a lady when she eats.  When finished, she will come back to me…looks at me, then go back to her dish and lick it clean again.


Drugs
Syringes and Insulin

With each meal, she gets her insulin shot.  Currently she gets 4 units at breakfast, and 3.5 units at dinner.  About once or twice per week I test her blood sugar.  She has been in the 80-160 range most of the time…rarely she is under 50, less rarely she is just over 200.  I will adjust her insulin just a half of a unit when that happens, either cutting breakfast down to 3.5, or increasing dinner up to 4, then after a few days go back to the 4 units in the morning, 3.5 in the afternoon.  There is no saying WHY it fluxuates…perhaps she ate a bug out in the lawn….perhaps she laid around too much during the day.  I have given up guessing.  But for the most part, she is between 80 and 140, which seems to work for her.

Where to Buy

PetSmart and Walmart

The dog food is purchased mainly at PetSmart….the insulin and needles mainly at Walmart.  Lately, I have run into glitches with both.  PetSmart will only have the diabetic food only if it has a Banfield inside it.  The first time I got the food, I had to show the doctor’s prescription, the one I got in Alaska, in order to get the food.  They made a Banfield card that I now show at the register…it says, “Discard by 2/7/20”, and worked fine…until the last time I got the food in Sacramento.  The gal says, “Your card does not say the right expiration date on it.”   I said, “Yes it does, it says it is good until the 2020.”  “NO”, she says, “It should say all four numbers of the expiration year on it…you need to go talk to the Banfield people.”  I guess it is only good for 6 months, so for half a year, I was using an expired card….the last two digits were inadvertently cut off of the card. But to me, it sure looked like it was good until 2020 since it is written as “2/7/20”   They said that the next time I see the vet (in March) to ask them to write a prescription which is indefinitely.  I said, “You know, Diabetes does not just “VANISH”, I don’t understand….”  “Yes”, she says, ‘it is just the rules…sorry.”  GRRRRRR   Well today I go into Walmart to get some more needles.  I always try to keep two bottles of the Novolin on hand, and one bottle lasts two months…even longer except I toss out the rest after two months.  I have one full bottle, plus the one I draw from…so all I needed was the needles.  That box you see above is empty…I only had four or five needles left.  I don’t like being that low.  Anyway, I go into Walmart and the lady says, “You need to have proof that you bought the Novolin here at Walmart.”  WHAT?  I have NEVER had a problem getting the Novolin or the Needles…what am I to do?  The prescription that I got in Alaska is back in the RV, 10+ miles from this Walmart.  Thank goodness the Pharmacist came and let me have the box “this time”.  In March we go back to the vet, and I will have written proof that Skruffy is a Diabetic Dog, and that the Diabetes will not go away.  GRRRRRRR.   And I JUST DON'T GET IT...why does she need a prescription to get Diabetic Dog Food anyway?  After all, this stuff is NOT CHEAP!  Why anyone would want to feed their dog this unless it was sick is beyond me...BUT, they require a prescription in order to have the great honor of spending lots of money for this food???   And then there is the new needle rule at Walmart....

Mapl of Syring Needle Exchange, 2014 from www.nasen.org/site_media/files/amfar-sep-map/amfar-sep-map-2014.pdf 

...above is a map of FREE NEEDLE EXCHANGE cities in the USA where druggies can get free needles to allow them to put their Heroin or whatever into their veins.  Yet I am jumping through hoops to put Insulin into my dog to keep her healthy.  Go figure.... 


Signs

Skruffy on her (Marcia's) Chair

There are two signs you want to watch for…..If she drinks and pees a lot, then her blood sugar is high.  If she is lazy, lethargic, she is low.  The problem is the latter…as she gets older, she is more lazy, more lethargic due to her age.  NORMALLY, she will jump up onto this chair, even with the pillows on it.  Sometimes, she want so to be helped up on it. 

Skruffy's bed and Skruffy's (Marcia's) Chair

“IF” she does not want to jump up, she with either get into her little bed between the chairs (I am sitting in a chair in the foreground outside of the lens of the camera above), “OR” she will simply just lay down in the bed, with or without the blanket there.  (The blanket is used more by me than by her, and was given to Marcia by mom a few years ago…and a new blanket was given to Marcia this year so I get to use this one.)  For the past two nights, she was asleep in this bed, and when I went to bed she was hard to wake up to go to bed too…so we thought that perhaps her blood sugar was low…but today it was just over 200, so it was not low.  Go figure…..

Arny and Sandy's

I think she was just dreaming of better times…when she anticipated getting up every morning so that she could BARK, RUN AROUND THE YARD, and JUST be a DOG…

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