Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Quick update

I'm back with another blogpost and it's only been 2 weeks since my last one!  Can you believe it, 2 WEEKS... not months or years, like you've probably become accustomed to!  And believe it or not, I've actually TRIED to update before now but something was wrong with the site/browser and I kept getting error messages.  I'm trying, I really am!  :)

So let's see what has happened in the last 2 weeks...

I haven't mentioned anything about it before but our dog Murphy has been having some "tummy troubles" (intermittent diarrhea & vomiting) for the past few months and despite many, MANY trips to the vet, the problem seems to be getting worse not better.  We've tried medications to treat each individual episode... they seemed to work but only for a few days and then we were right back where we started.  We've tried switching his food several times, including switching him to 2 different expensive prescription diets... they didn't work for very long either.  At first we just attributed it to him having a sensitive stomach, but it was becoming clear to us that something was definitely wrong with him.  About a month ago, Brian took Murphy to our family vet Dr. Cullum and he was "diagnosed" (a.k.a. Dr. Cullum suggested/suspected) as having a K9 equivalent of colitis.  Dr. Cullum switched him to another expensive prescription food that was a high fiber diet, and hoped that would work for him.  And it seemed to... until Sunday morning.  Brian had run out to do some grocery shopping and run a few errands.  He was gone for about 2 hours and when he came home, Murphy had had diarrhea all over our kitchen floor!  :(  Now, while the kitchen isn't the MOST ideal location for doggy diarrhea to take place, it was a MUCH better location than all over the basement carpet like he'd done a few weeks before!) - so on Monday afternoon, I took Murphy back to Dr. Cullum and told him that we needed to figure something out because we couldn't deal with this for much longer.  We've been sending Murphy to daycare ($27 a day!) just so that he's not left home alone while Brian and I are at work... we can't keep that going forever and we also can't stay home with him just in case he needs to go to the bathroom!  Murphy has always been a lean dog, but he felt much thinner to me than usual.  A neighbor of ours and even the office staff at the vet's office asked me "has he lost weight?  his head looks huge!" - to our surprise, he had lost 6 1/2 lbs since his last visit 2 weeks prior!  That's pretty SIGNIFICANT and more than 10% of his body weight!  After much deliberation, Dr. Cullum suggested the possibility of something called EPI (Exocrin Pancreatic Insufficiency) - he said he wouldn't normally have considered that Murphy might have EPI because he didn't fit the typical criteria of dogs who have it - most notably a chronic failure to thrive and severely underweight.  Other than these "episodes" he's been having with more and more frequency, he seemed otherwise healthy, just with a sensitive stomach.  Dr. Cullum explained that with EPI, the animal's pancreas isn't functioning correctly and isn't producing the enzymes necessary to digest food - meaning that Murphy also wasn't absorbing any nutrients from the food he was eating... and then when the undigested food dumps into his intestines, it causes so much irritation that explains the diarrhea.  The more I read about the disease, the more it really made sense to me that it could be what Murphy had.  EPI is treatable and as long as it's treated, it doesn't affect their life expectancy or their quality of life, but the treatment is lifelong and expensive.  We bought a bottle of enzyme powder that needs to be added to Murphy's food at every meal... he can't even have treats unless they have these enzymes in them.  We've been giving him the enzymes for a little over 2 weeks now and so far, so good... I've got my fingers crossed!  I also took him up to the vet's office a week later to be weighed and he had gained back 3.7 lbs of the 6 1/2 that he'd lost!  I'm feeling so encouraged, I really hope he continues to do well! 

Brian and I both are just getting over being sick... he had bronchitis and I had a bad cold that caused an exacerbation of my asthma.  I'm just finishing up my 2nd round of steroids to help my breathing, which is finally much better than it was.  I did get a new, fancy schmancy nebulizer machine that is pretty cool! 

My back has been KILLING me lately, like pain as bad as I had before my back surgery last December.  I can deal with pain, I've had back pain pretty regularly throughout the pregnancy and I've only taken Tylenol for it a handful of times... but when that pain starts to alter my ability to function, that's a different story.  I'm just hoping that once the baby is born, things will go back to normal because I really can't imagine having pain like this while trying to take care of an infant! 

In better news, I passed my 3 hour glucose tolerance test!!!!!  It was just as miserable as I thought it would be, maybe even moreso!  But it's over and I passed, which is all that matters! 

I had a routine OB appointment on Thursday of last week and I mentioned to Dr. Kaplan that I have been leaking some sort of fluid lately during coughing spells.  I told her that I thought it was pee, but that sometimes it would happen as soon as I came out of the bathroom from peeing so I didn't understand how that was even possible!  Dr. Kaplan wanted to do an exam to check for signs of ruptured membranes or the presence of amniotic fluid.  Everything looked good there, but Dr. Kaplan said that my cervix felt soft to her and also felt short/thin.  I asked her what that meant and she said it COULD be signs of pre-term labor, so it was something she wanted to keep an eye on.  I was scheduled to have an ultrasound the next day to check on Baby McG's growth (I've been having them every 4 weeks due to my thyroid problem) so she added an order to have them measure the length of my cervix at the same time and she said she wanted to see me back in a week, rather than the 2 weeks until my next scheduled appointment. 

Speaking of the ultrasound, Baby McG now weighs 3 lbs!!!  That's especially exciting for me because my sister Kelly was born at 28 weeks weighing only 2 lbs 7 oz so it's neat for me to think that my daughter is already bigger than my sister was at birth!  Plus Kelly was born more than 42 years ago and she survived with no problems, which means Baby McG has a pretty good chance of being just fine if she does happen to make an early arrival!  Right now she should be gaining about a little more than an ounce a day, or a half pound per week, so by the time our next ultrasound rolls around on 11/3, she should be about 5 lbs!  So exciting!  :) 

Anyway, I suppose this is long enough for now... look for another update again soon, probably after my next OB appointment on Friday!