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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Recovering...


This is me.

Well, except that I don't have grey hair. And I'm not a man.

But the fluid in air sacs and coughing part is me. Or WAS me, for pretty much the entire month of May.


Yup, I got pneumonia. Not sure why or how, but it hit me hard.

Things started badly on Tuesday, May 1st. I was about to leave school for lunch when I got a frantic phone call from Sig, telling me to come home because something was wrong with Casey dog.

My heart stopped. Casey, in case you don't know, is my little 13 yr. old Lab/Golden Retriever mix. I adore her. She's my baby, and has had some weird health issues going on lately, so naturally I dropped everything and got home as fast as I could.

Casey was very sick. She had vomited and had a couple of accidents in the house, which she NEVER does. Her head was tilted severely to the right and she couldn't walk without falling over. She was freaked out - naturally - and it broke my heart to watch her try and get her balance. My first thought was that she'd had a stroke, so I scooped her up and put her into my truck, and off we raced to the vet.

To make a long story short, she did not have a stroke. She had what is called "Canine Vestibular Syndrome" or "Idiopathic Vestibular Disease". Sadly, the first vet I saw didn't even examine her properly to consider this possibility. I was the one who researched her symptoms and figured it out, and my amateur diagnosis was confirmed the next day by the "good" vet - the one I really trust. Good thing, too, because vet #1 was talking about putting her down, which completely shocked me - and here we are, a little over a month later, and Casey is almost completely recovered.
Casey dog home from the vet the day she got sick. Notice her head is tilted to the right. Riley is looking on, concerned.

Dog owners - BEWARE!! This weird thing hits without warning and many times the symptoms are misdiagnosed and the poor dog is put down!! I am so glad I decided to do my own research before anything drastic happened.

Casey with her IV catheter.
I had to stay home with Casey for a couple of days because she wouldn't eat (was too nauseous because her eyes were moving back and forth so rapidly) and still had her IV catheter in. I also had to make sure she was drinking plenty of water. On the second day of being home with her - Thursday - I felt awful. I ached all over, couldn't get off the couch without major effort, and felt like I was burning up. At about 3:45 I finally managed to drag myself upstairs to take my temperature, and it read 102.4. Yikes! No wonder I felt so bad. I also had a shattering headache and was having trouble breathing. Time to go to the hospital! :-(

To make another long story short, I was diagnosed with pneumonia, and after being in the ER for about 6 hours, I was finally sent to a room. It was a rough couple of days, especially since they couldn't get my fever down and I had a splitting headache the entire time. I couldn't sleep, coughed almost constantly, and the dang TV in my room wouldn't work. The woman in the next bed did nothing but throw up for two days - and let me tell ya, that is NOT pleasant to be next to!

All hooked up. NOT fun.
 After my release, I still had an awful cough that would not go away. The medication I was taking made me pretty loopy, so you can imagine how much fun my next few weeks of school were. I had a follow-up with my regular doc, and he warned me that pneumonia really takes a lot out of a person, and boy was he right. I was so fatigued it was all I could do do drag myself out of bed and get to work every day.

I feel much better now. I still have a little bit of a cough, but nothing like what I had before. I've jumped back onto the fitness wagon and have been walking for 2.5 miles every night and going to the gym every day. Next week, I'm taking my Lexa in to get her all tuned up so I can hit the road on my bike again. There's a ride in September I'm very interested in, plus my plan to run a 5K by December is still in place.

Casey dog is almost completely recovered. I'm so glad I didn't listen to that first vet! Pet owners, do NOT be afraid to ask questions or even get a second opinion - it could mean the life of your pet!
No more head tilt, yay!

Taken before she got sick, but she looks like this again. Sassy as ever!

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