Sunday, October 19, 2014

" Jack " - An Update

JD Post Op on the ride home.
I would like to begin this post with an apology to all those that read my previous post on Jack's surgery . I am not quiet sure how , but I some how deleted it and can not seem to get it back . When writing that is my worst fear that I will put time and effort in and I will some how with user error delete the entire thing . Well, for those of you that didn't read my previous post , Jack Davis had to have surgery a week ago today . He had what we thought was 20-30 bladder stones causing him some problems . Once the vet go into the surgery they realized there had been far more stones than expected . Too many to count in fact . That knowledge alone made me so grateful that I went ahead and had the surgery performed for him . I hate the idea that my fur baby could've been in serious pain with out me even realizing it .

I was told by the vet that animals , especially well trained ones , are hard to read when it comes to certain pain issues . It usually takes it getting somewhat drastic before you notice anything . That was the case with Jack . I had noticed some blood in his urine early in the Summer , but had dismissed it to too much outside time . Later he had a few " episodes " of vomiting , not seeming quiet himself and even having an accident or two inside the house . Jack is getting up in years , but at 8 years old he is still too young for these kinds of things to be considered normal . Not to mention he is a very well trained pup . With these " episodes " I had told myself I would have him checked with his yearly shots , well come to find out JD is at the age now where his shots are only done every 3 years . So , I made an appointment to have him checked out . Again , I hated, HATED , the thought that he could be in pain and me letting it continue . After a x-ray and some tests the vet confirmed his stones prognosis and he was put on anti-biotics and anti-inflamatories ASAP .

A visit from Papaw makes everything better .
Since his surgery Jack has continued on his meds and is starting to get back to his normal behavior . His first two or three days post op really had him dragging and not quiet himself . Part of post op care was taking him out every 2 hours to potty , including waking him up through the night . Taking extra effort to keep his bladder from any stress . I believe this wore him out as much as just being post op and coming out of anesthesia . Wore me out too !!! I only had to do this for about 4 days , but I was whooped !!! I don't get how new parents handle the baby schedule . They have to feel like Zombies the majority of the first few months . Anyway, as the days have passed he has returned to a somewhat normal routine . The stones where sent off for testing and came back as Calcium Oxalate stones . Sadly , there isn't much we can do to prevent them . This means Jack will be watched even more closely than before . If that is even possible .
The cone of shame had to be brought out to signal
that I meant business about his after care .

For those as geeked out as I am about this
process . This is Jacks pre-op x-ray . You can see
a cluster of some of the stones in his bladder . Next
to it are a few of the stones that had been removed from
Jacks bladder next to a penny . Just to compare size .
This pic is courtesy of The Lafollette Vet .
I just wanna thank everyone for tolerating my fur parent craziness and taking the time to understand my love for animals in general , but especially my fur baby , Jack Davis . Thanks to those who have sent messages checking on him , to my family who helped out in so many ways , and to the caring staff at LaFollette Veterinary . I think one of the many bonus' to small town life is a Vet that calls to check up on their patient ! Jack is resting a little more than usual this week , but is well on his way back to normal !!
I wish I could sleep this hard .

Some of mine and Jacks favorite kiddo's sent Jack a get well package .
This is his message back to them . LOL !!

Friday, October 3, 2014

~ Breaking it Down ~ New Baby Etiquette ~ Session 6 ~

I mentioned in my post Breaking it Down ~ Baby Gifts , that it seems weekly I am getting notice that a friend or family member is pregnant or has just given birth . No joke , 10 minutes after posting that blog entry I got a call from a friend telling me she is expecting #5 for her ever growing family . It made me feel like my post was truly necessary and hopefully helpful . With so many loved ones bringing new loved ones into the world there has been a variety of calls , texts , etc . alerting everyone to the news that mommy to be is in labor . Not all of those calls have come when expected . I have several friends that have had to deliver far sooner than scheduled . Those experiences in mind I thought it might be a good idea to share some etiquette and tips when it comes to visiting , gifting, etc. mommy , daddy and baby . I am lucky enough to have the kind of relationships that we can say to each other , "tell me the truth it won't hurt my feelings" , "I'm too tired for visitors right now" , etc . But I know that not everyone rolls like that so , I asked my fertile friends to give me some insight to what is proper , helpful , and considerate in such a celebratory , but possibly sensitive time . This Breaking it Down will be done in two or three posts . Today I am sharing a story from my friend Ashleigh , writer of the blog Givensmeabreak . Ash's sister Brittney delivered a month and several weeks early . Ash's post is from her perspective on Britt's delivery as well as experience from her own . Thanks so much Ashleigh for sharing with us !!!
Ashleigh's son Rett , one of my favorite wee one's .
" Things for a baby delivery " - Ashleigh - Givensmeabreak
My sister recently had a baby.  He's precious.  His name is Case Holland Pryor and although I have multiple pictures of him, she's very limited with what she puts on the Internet so I'll respect her and keep him off of here.  I'm sorry.  But take my word for it...he's handsome and squishy and a great baby.

Some of you may not know but my sister had a rough pregnancy.  Lots of morning sickness, aches and pains and braxton hicks and list goes on.  As her due date approached, things started to get more intense for her also.  His due date was Sept. the end of July, she was having more pains and it seemed like more calls to her doctor as well as more visits were happening.  She also had a couple late night runs to the ER but all was well.  We all knew that Case was coming early....but no one knew how early, except the Lord of course.  :)

Well, my mom and I had planned for Britt's baby shower to be August 9.  It was super cute.  Brittany picked out cookies and milk.  So, we had all kinds of cookies and coffee punch and milk.  It was great.  Also, the week before the shower, Kraig, Rett and I had planned a trip to go visit Kraig's family.  I told Brittany that Case had to hang on through the weekend so we could make it home.  So, on August 6, we came home from Pennsylvania, Brittany went into the hospital early Thursday morning (the 7th) and had the baby.  He was a little over 5 weeks early.  Because of a prior visit to the ER, the awesome doctor had given Case steroid shots to help his lungs so when he did make his appearance he wasn't so far behind.  His lungs and everything looked relatively well.  But because he was a preemie, he had to stay in the NICU until he could breathe and eat on his own.  So, the next Thursday, I got to meet my nephew and he got to come home.  WOW!  What a miracle and what a blessing from God!  We were all just praising the Lord!!!

I left out some fun details because it is her story to tell but I will give you some pointers from the outside looking in.  And thoughts from when I was in the hospital having my son.  Brittany and Lance were super lucky and were able to stay at the hospital the whole time Case was in NICU.  That is not the case with all new moms.  But I think some things that are super helpful for family/friends that visit the new moms/dads are as follows:

             1 - snacks....and lots of them.  I would also include drinks or bottled waters in this category.  Or I would say bringing quarters for the vending machines because they don't always get to leave the room but you never know when those late night munchies will attack so snacks/drinks are always helpful to have on hand when you come for a visit.

           2.  I would say money or gift cards to places to eat that are located close to the hospital.  Hospital food gets old quick and the daddy doesn't get to eat that food so gift cards and money is always helpful so the dad can get something to eat too.  If you are like my sister, I'm sure she had money budgeted for such occurrence but not everyone thinks like that.  I sure didn't.  I forgot all about food when were going in to have Rett.  So, it wasn't budgeted but we had the money and people brought us food so it all worked out for sure.

         3.  Lastly, and very important, I know it's hard to know who will be at the hospital when.  But, if at all possible...try to coordinate who comes when.  I know with Rett, we had pretty flexible visiting hours but it still seemed like everyone came at one time and then no one came.  So, I felt guilty that some people weren't able to see him because of others, which is fine but if they were staggered visits then everyone would have gotten their time with Rett.  With Case though, no one got to see him because of being in NICU and they had stricter visiting hours so I think in those cases especially, the staggered visiting times are crucial.  Sometimes, I could tell Brittany was more tired from all the people that the actual birth itself.  I'm exaggerating but I know she was tired because people came all at once on some days.  Just be thoughtful and maybe try to plan the visits with family members and/or the new mommy to make sure you aren't coming on top of someone else's visit.

All in all, being a new mommy and daddy are great.  I think these are some of the things to be mindful of if you go visit the new family in the hospital.  It's not much but everyone always wants to visit and always wants to not come empty handed.  Of course, you don't have to bring anything at all but arms to snuggle the new baby but if you do want to bring something, bring a snack :)

Hope this helps.

Once a new mommy, myself....
If you have any tips that should go in my next Breaking it Down ~ New Baby Etiquette post please feel free to share in the comment section !!