Guest blog post Roscoe: Living with Addison’s Disease

 

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Hi my name is Roscoe and I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife. My story?

I have a life threatening condition called Addison’s Disease.

It started out a couple of years ago where I just was not feeling well.  My mom took me to the emergency vet and they did blood tests.  Nothing.  I was at the regular vet several times over the next couple of weeks for more tests including blood tests. Nothing.

Mom was really worried about me.  She would wake up and check on me constantly. One morning she checked on me about 6am.  She was exhausted and fell back to sleep but my brother Monty woke her up barking a little after 7am.  He ran down the hall and led her to me.  I was unconscious.  Affectionately known as an Addisonian Crisis!

Mom is not much bigger than me but she picked me up (90lbs of loving fur) and carried me to the car and rushed me to the emergency vet.  The vet that was on duty took one look at me and said “I know what is wrong with him, I’ve seen this before, he needs a shot immediately, if we wait for test results you are going to lose him.  Its not cheap.”

Mom said without batting an eye “Give him the shot. I am not worried about the cost.”  Within an hour of the shot and after being put on intravenous fluids I was starting to come out of the coma and that was when I learned I had Addison’s Disease.

Addison’s disease is caused by a lower than normal production of hormones, such as cortisol, by the adrenal glands. Adrenal hormones are necessary to control salt, sugar and water balance in the body.  I had all the classic symptoms of weakness, no appetite, diarrhea, depression and anxiousness but I was atypical and every blood test came back normal.

It is not known what happens to the adrenal glands, perhaps it is auto immune or a tumor.  I have had an ultrasound and the tumor was ruled out.

Whats my prognosis?  A happy and healthy life if the Addison’s is kept under control.  I get a shot of mineralocorticoid or hormones every 28 days.  I also get a small amount of prednisone each morning.  If a lot of excitement is going on around me Mom will give me an additional dose of prednisone in the evening.

I don’t want to think about what would happen if I didn’t get my regular medication, like the emergency vet said, Mom would lose me.

At first I had regular blood tests to monitor electrolytes and gradually reduce the dosage of my shot each month.  When I first was getting the shot it must have been way too much as I was always thirsty and extremely hungry.  The dosage has been reduced quite a bit and now I am just regular hungry!

The cost of my monthly shot used to be over $110 but since my vet and my Mom have been gradually reducing the dosage I am now at about $75 per month.  The prednisone is about $20 per month.  Mom says I am worth every penny, she gave up Starbucks and doesn’t eat out as often to cover my medications.

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I really owe my life to Monty though.  How did he know that he needed to wake Mom up immediately?  Although he is a stinker and pesters me to play with him every chance he gets I always remember that he saved my life and usually relent and give him the attention he deserves.  (Sometimes if Mom is not paying attention I let him have some of my meal, just a bite or two because I love him!)

Guest blog post Brody: “Thanks to my Gramma”

 

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Hi my name is Brody and I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife. My story?

I am blind.  When my Mom and Dad go out of town they won’t leave me with just anyone.  I always stay with my “Gramma Bev”.  She works hard to make her home my home and a safe and secure place for a sightless small individual.

I wanted to thank her publicly for all she does to make me feel so welcome when I visit.

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I never feel lonely or scared with Gramma Bev, only happy happy happy!

 

Guest Blog Post Sam, Bonsai Experiment

 

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Hi my name is Sam and I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife.  I am also Paula’s brother. My story?

Both our parents grew up on farms and definitely had green thumbs.  My sister and I are city dwellers but we both like to watch plants grow.

Eating yummy cherries about a year ago I noticed the large pile of seeds I had accumulated and decided I would start my own grove of cherry trees.  Out of about 100 seeds I tried to get to take root, only 3 took root and only these two survived.   Just to get 3 seeds to root took about 3 months.  I used a process known as “stratification”.  First they lived in the freezer for about a month and then moved to the refrigerator for about two months.

Almost had given up on them until one day I noticed three of them were starting to crack their outer coverings….then a couple of days later I saw the roots starting to form….then I planted them in some soil and watched them carefully for about a week….  One did not make it, but these two did.

I am waiting for them to get about a foot tall and will use them for my first attempt at bonsai.  They are already a year old and slow growing.  I only use the most expensive and high tech containers.  The one on the right is a won ton soup container from our favorite Chinese take out place.

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These are lemon trees also from seeds from fruit bought at the grocery store.  These were easier to start then the cherry trees.  All I had to do was to remove the outer covering from the seeds and put them in between some wet paper towels in a plastic baggie.  After about a week of leaving them in my kitchen storage closet (cool and dark) they started to take root….almost all of them….very easy.

I have heard that these will produce lemons when they to grow big enough.  I’m going to see if I can get these to produce fruit for me.

If you look real close you can see a ghost in the picture on the left!

 

Sam Apple Tree 2015-4

This is my apple tree that I started about two years ago.  It was doing really well until I accidentally bought some soil that had some little flying insects in it which infected all my plants.  The way to get rid of them was to let the soil in the plants dry out to stop the cycle of the laying eggs.  Well, this plant was near death after that but it is starting to recover.

This is one of my fancier containers, notice the fancy design around the rim.

Since it is already miniaturized I am going to try bonsai with it too.  I like the bend in the “trunk” near the bottom.  This little guy already has character.

 

 

Guest blog post Roscoe: “My neighbor Captain”

 

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Hi my name is Roscoe and I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife. My story?

We have a new neighbor.  He is a beagle named Captain.  He has this irresistible baying sound he makes.  I tease him at the fence to hear him bay until his owner comes out to yell at him to stop.

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Hi, I’m Captain.

Sometimes when Roscoe and I hear sirens we like join in and alert the whole neighborhood.  I bay and Roscoe howls until both our owners come out and yell at us to stop.

 

Guest blog post Monty

imageHi my name is Monty and I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife.   My story?  I ate one-half of my Aunt Sandy’s gift to Mom.  A fancy quilted potholder hand made by my Aunt Sandy.

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Auntie gave these to Mom for Christmas.  They are cleverly made to hug the bottom of a bowl in the microwave to catch spills.  She gave Mom two.   Mom heated up something that spilled over onto the pot holder in the microwave.

Two good things happened.

1.  The clever potholder (I think Mom and Aunt Sandy should call them bowl holders, but I am just a dog….) caught the spill over and Mom could carry her bowl to the table without making a mess.

2.  When Mom wasn’t looking I stole the bowl holder and I ate it, it was delicious!  A great snack!

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I watched Monty eat it, Mom was reading a book, I didn’t say a thing.

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I slept through the whole incident, really!

What the heck she still has one left….