leopardwolf: (Default)
An update to the situation with the AmBull breeder. She returned $300 to me, which is something she does not normally do. While it was not the full amount I should have gotten back, some is better than none. We had a chance to speak back and forth and more details came to light. The whole thing was a huge misunderstanding on both our parts caused by unreliable communication in the form of missed text messages and such, because she lives in a poor service area ( I know this is true because my grandparents don't live far from there ). We apologized to each other and left off on the best terms we could, given the circumstance. If anyone would like more information on the matter, they may feel free to contact me directly.
leopardwolf: (Default)
Stress Flair Having an autoimmune attack relapse thanks to some unnecessary stress regarding being out of $500 from my service dog/medical fund, but we'll talk about that in detail later if the money doesn't magically appear by this Friday. My body is having an absolute fit. Face is swollen again from angry glands and blocked draining. Reef Scare Woke up from pain early AM to discover to my horror that my reef tank temperature had dropped to 73F. It's supposed to be 80F. I just replaced the old heater with a brand new one with a gift card from Petsmart, because it was showing signs it would go soon. So here I go deliriously flailing through pain and medicated stupor, thanking the gods I hadn't thrown the old one out yet, digging out the other old one I use for water change heatups to try and bump the temperature back up before anything died off. Unfortunately it looks like one of my SPS propagates is toast. Half it already slothed off and bleached out, the other half tissue necrosis and slothing starting. I fought with this species since I first got the frag from father in law's tank as a rescue. If the tissue bed isn't thick enough it self destructs at slightest change. That's how I realized the old heater was starting to go, the temp wasn't holding stable and it showed signs of distress from it. Thankfully I still have a thick patch growing nearby and it looks okay. Sometimes the colony will recede into the structure and might come back with time, and a lot of luck. Otherwise I will try and transplant some onto the coral bone and hope it takes hold. Because, science! Art Share I have gotten used to the new medication enough to where I think I can get back to detailed art work without making a total foobar of it. I have a few long overdue pieces I will be sharing for winners of contest ages ago, and I will be working on the happy dog painting, streaming more of the progress with it, probably starting some tonight if I can get this swelling to go down a tad more so I can see out both eyes clearly. I will post the stream link once it is set up and live when I do work on it, though may just randomly work since I can't predict how angry my body will get. Hoping everyone else is having a better kickoff into 2017.
leopardwolf: (Default)
Went to see another potential foster this evening. Was expecting a 90lb+ dog and the pics even looked it. The dog had lost a lot of weight while in shelter they claimed from depression or whatever. He was a little taller than Ember, and I could imagine if he did put on 20lbs he might be okay for the work. He was perfect with other dogs, cats, kids, living with them all at the foster house. He seemed fine, just lacking in some leash manners but not horrible. So I said I would give him a shot. Stopped by their local Petco for supplies. While fitting a step in harness to this dog, he became reactive. I think it was the way I was touching him or the place around the hind legs and groin area trying to repositioning his body and legs so I could get a better angle to slip on the harness and adjust it. He was stressing some while in the store, but still took treats. He had tensed up and I heard a low growl, so I stopped and watched him. There were people across from us making a bit of noise and they had a dog trying to get closer, so I thought it may have been the other dog I heard. I started to reach back for the hind end to loop the harness through and he tensed again and turned his head slightly so I stopped again until he relaxed and was slack jaw. Instead of leaning in to loop the harness as I had originally planned to ( which would have put my head/face right in line if he swung around on me ), I angled one arm low and came around with the other to feel at his leg and hip, wondering if he was in pain. I moved his leg slightly with my hand and there was a throaty snarl and he was turning to latch for my arm. I managed to block him with the arm I had angled against his chest for safety and held the collar so he couldn't jerk away and try again. When he realized he was partly restrained he outburst with a lot of snarling and a warning bark that had some people coming over to see if everything was okay. Which was pretty embarrassing because I looked like some idiot who couldn't control their dog. That kind of reaction to such simple handling is a serious red flag, and probably part of the reason he ended up in the shelter to begin with. I couldn't risk it. I brought him back to the foster. Goodness forbid if someone else starts to take him home like I did, and is not as dog savvy, and ends up getting nailed by him. I told them what he had done and why I had to bring him back, but I don't think they took it seriously. He was the last dog on my list in the area to check. Another 15 dogs down. All I keep getting around here is heartworm positive and severe behavior issues dogs. That disqualifies them as service dogs flat out. I can't afford to put money out to try another puppy. Going to curl up and cry away my frustrations.
leopardwolf: (Default)
A friend offered to watch Chakotay so I could "test drive" some foster dogs from the local shelters or rescues and such. I have been looking for months, much how I did when I went looking for and found Journey. Nothing in the local area young enough, big enough or heartworm negative. I came across a listing for a dog claiming he was a Lab X Mastiff mix, which I thought was perfect for size and possible good characteristics. Went to see him... the dog was smaller than Ember, and more of a Pitty mix. He was beautiful and beautiful personality, but too small. So I asked to see what else they had. Only one really fitting big enough was an American Bulldog. Had good personality and some basic obedience, we tried cat testing in the cat room and he didn't seem interested in them and even went up to sniff one cage and got nailed and didn't even react, just turned away. Perfect I thought. Went back to test him with Ember and they liked each other. Okay, willing to give him a chance. He doesn't weigh 70lbs like we thought by the size of him, but 103lbs! Mega perfect! Find out he's heartworm positive. Nrgh. Okay. Shelter is willing to work with me, so I agree to try him on foster. Always cautious when introducing strange dogs to my cats, especially one as big and strong as him....he gets excited when he realizes they are there, and it is prey drive excitement. I tried a few different approaches to get him to calm and ignore them, which he actually caught on to amazingly well when realizing he got yummy things for ignoring the cats. But he kept doing the eerie freeze/silence/stare predatory stalking behavior thing. He also tried to nip at Wasabi through the kennel when Wa came over to politely say hello ( if the bars had not been there between them the dog would have made contact, which is very dangerous ). I can't risk that with my cats. I can't risk he go after some other random animal in public and risk dragging me down or worse. I am totally fine working with large, powerful dogs. I have all my life. But at the same time I can't risk injury to myself to fight against trying to reshape that kind of prey drive on a dog that big. I hate to say it, but I don't have the time or energy or finances to do so. So I will be bringing him back tomorrow. Back to square one. It is getting harder and harder for Ember to do what I need her to do for me, and I am afraid she'd work herself to death if I didn't stop her. I am afraid of facing being in public without a service dog after all the freedom and peace of mind I have had with my partners, but I am running out of time and options. Fundraisers don't work ( I can't even help save a cat with a broken leg fast enough). The waiting list for CPL or any program is going to be longer than I can wait, and I don't have $5k-$7k just to travel for team training. I don't even have $2k to get a well bred pup with health guarantee (if something is wrong breeder will take it back and replace it and their parents are screened for HD/ED and temperament tested CGC and above). I feel like just totally giving up. I can't do it anymore.
leopardwolf: (My Mind Escapes Me)
In other news. Cleaning 5 gallons of RODI water out of my car's trunk was *exactly* what I wanted to do with my afternoon. /sarcasm So much for getting grocery shopping done. Lets hope the trunk mats dry out by tomorrow and I am feeling well enough to go then.

Am I back yet?

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 10:10 pm
leopardwolf: (My Mind Escapes Me)
Just when I thought I'd be back and be able to catch up with online interactions, something else comes up. Dealing with things as best as I can. Most of it doesn't warrant expending the energy to mention. Some of it meh. Some of it sad. Most recent being the loss of one of my aunts to medical complications. It was sudden and unexpected, and still hard to accept. The circumstances around it have made me reflect on my own health issues. I have been in some bad mindspace, so I chose not to burden others with it. Not any different than any negativity I have shared in the past, so why sound like a broken record.

In better news, the Medicaid expansion finally hit. I got everything with it straightened out, I think. I went and saw my eye specialist and my rheumatologist. It was finally decided since we'd tried everything else with limited results, it was time to try adding immunosuppressants. I have been taking Plaquenil and Restasis since then. I wasn't able to until now without insurance, because the Restasis alone would have been over $500 per monthly supply out of pocket, similar to the problems I had with getting my Cymbalta before it went generic.

There is no generic for Restasis, so I am having to fight for a prior authorization for it. The insurance allowed the first month purchase to go through so I would have it, so kudos to them for thinking of the patient in these situations. Now I just hope they are reasonable to approve the prior auth since it is literally the only medication of its class and kind so there are no alternative treatments available to substitute. I also saw my new primary and she seems pretty awesome. A lot like my awesome Mayo doctor was the first time we met. Getting referrals for lab work and to see an orthopedic specialist, neurologist, and endocrinologist finally, after waiting an eternity. Here is to hoping I can get approvals for a bone density scan and MRI real soon.

Finished gathering, compiling, and submitting all the information for my Disability appeal. My rheumatologist and I sat down and compiled a whole slew of things to throw at them, based on their own listing criteria, and directly quoted those criteria and offered detailed information for a functionality report based on models they use, which should be more than enough medical evidence to support my claim and get approval. Now it is just a matter of waiting again. It could take a year or more before the case is even issued to a judge. Unless someone in the processing department reviews it and sees how blatantly it is that I meet listing level criteria and should have been approved the first time around. Jump. Through. Hoops. Makes my fur bristle the more I have to conform to their inadequate process.

The benefit of waiting is that it gives me that much more time to research and be thoroughly prepared for the hearing when the time comes. I did speak with a helpful woman in their support department who sent me some information for legal assistance for low/no income individuals. I plan to utilize it if I am able to. It's not the same as retaining a private attorney, but I'm sure I can learn something either way if I qualify to use it.

Back to catching up on things I missed.
leopardwolf: (My Mind Escapes Me)
I have been dragging through the past two months or so with a Sjögren's flair up. I get them regularly and stress and weather conditions, alongside complications from my Ehlers-Danlos and other conditions, can make them worse.

Been having a horrible time with my tooth and jaw issues. The nerve pain has gotten so bad I have had to increase the amount of Gabapentin I am taking and taking it to near maximum daily allowances just to get relief. It's gotten so bad I have had to blender things I eat and stick to eating soft stuff. It's insanely frustrating because the pain is so bad at points between it and the Gaba I can't think straight or get anything done. I have a whole mess of updates and things to share for Chakotay that are back logged, among other things.

This is one of the first days the Gaba has been able to control the pain enough for me to sit and type some. I also have some medical updates but that will come in a different post and may wait till Monday since I have an appointment with my Rheumatologist. Hope everyone else is fairing better and doing well.
leopardwolf: (My Mind Escapes Me)
The Social Security Administration denied my Disability claim.

Despite the overwhelming evidence I submitted. Probably because they didn't bother reading any of it. Not surprising. Their job is to deny everyone.

Time to appeal and fight back. It'll go to hearing before a judge. I knew it would happen this way, I was expecting it. My current plan is to represent myself. I have already been formulating a best method of approach. I will probably be contacting people to request testimonies and witness statements as evidence for the court case.

I will need help and support through this difficult process. My life depends on this having a positive outcome. That may sound dramatic, but it is the truth. Without aid, I have nothing. I am out of options.
leopardwolf: (My Mind Escapes Me)
This week has been utterly insane in the amount of flail worthy happenings.

One thing after another, little things adding up at first, and then some big things that left me cursing Murphey's Law.

Hard Drive Crash

The icing on that cake was one of my main hard drives just suddenly... dying. It was from my old system, along with another drive that I thought actually had problems and was cautious not to put anything important on, even naming it "iffy drive". But nooope, it is still working for the moment.

Instead the drive I had all my Steam games, saves, mods, etc on and a plethora of other stuff I hadn't fully copied ( I was running out of room on my portable drive -- which also might be going bad )....all poof! No warning. It was fine when I went to bed, woke up the next day and tried to access something from it and got an error that the content didn't exist at that location. Which made me click on something else, getting the same error... my heart sinking as I opened my system info and the hard drive was no longer listed.

It sucks, but it's not as bad as some hard drive crashes I have had. I didn't lose every single thing. That only happened once when I was younger and first getting into computers, and after that, I religiously backed up everything multiple times if I could. Because, with my luck, this sort of thing always happens. Mike was kind enough to order a new hard drive to replace it, as part of my birthday present. I need it for art stuff and Skyrim and Fallout offer me some happy when I am not able to do anything else.

Anyway, the drive came yesterday and I went to install it. Rebooted. Nothing. No new drive showing. Which led to a hours of troubleshooting to conclude that thanks to Murphey's Law, I received a brand new hard drive that was DOA.

Seriously, what are the chances? I am sending it back for a replacement. We're hoping it is only that the new drive was also dead. Otherwise the only other possibility is a motherboard problem. With this brand new motherboard in this new system. Which is going to make me flail to epic proportions because going through the warranty replacement process for that, having to take the whole computer apart and basically rebuild it and reinstall Windows... nope. Not looking forward to that at all.

Osteopenia Confirmed, Dental Blarghs

In medical news I am still waiting to hear from SSA. Saw my Rheumatologist yesterday, and he did mention he'd just gotten something from SSA and hadn't had a chance to see what it was yet. So we'll see what happens with that. I told him about my fall and ankle/shin injury and how I was still having pain from it. He wrote me a prescription for some sort of topical that is different from the one for my wrist.

He also changed my Gabapentin prescription due to some issues I have had with the low income charity pharmacy giving me a hard time refilling it this week (because I blew through a 3 month supply in a month due to increasing problems with my teeth and jaws) and I had actually run out. It's not a medication you can just stop taking cold turkey. I had to argue with them and beg to have their staff ask my doctor there to give me enough to cover until I could see my Rheuma this week, since I wouldn't be able to get an appointment soon enough with her. My teeth/jaw have gotten so bad I actually had to finally resort to putting stuff in the food processor to make it more manageable since I can't really chew much of anything with my damaged teeth, without feeling excruciating pain. Nerve pain is horrid and unforgiving.

I showed my Rheumatologist that Mayo Clinic radiology report that the fill-in doc ( who took over when my awesome doc left for his fellowship) totally fucked up on. He confirmed it does show Osteopenia in my lumbar spine. Though at first he didn't see it, and did the same thing I think the Mayo doctor did. The hip values were okay and the info runs together. He glanced right over it until I pointed right at it and he went back and more carefully read the values and went "Ahh, yep. Osteopenia." So he wants me to get a bone density scan done as soon as I can, which will be when the Medicaid expansion hits hopefully in July. It could be what's partly causing my lower back problems. Plan is to get lab work done to see if my blood calcium levels are abnormal/high without the supplement. See if there is any change in the spine scan, and go from there. Just hope another two months or more doesn't make a huge difference on top of the 3 years I didn't know. Everyone makes mistakes. It just sucks when a doctor does it and it could risk such a damaging and life changing condition becoming worse from not knowing soon enough. Same reason I need to get that MRI done to rule out MS and some other neurological concerns based on certain symptoms I have had.

More later.
leopardwolf: (Default)
Quick update. Ankle is still tender but as long as I am not on it too long I can tolerate the pain enough to walk on it for short amounts of time and for short distances. Puppy is doing good, will write more about that in a puppy update I am working on.

Getting increasingly aggravated with the SSA and this disability determination process. They sent me ANOTHER letter requesting info I already gave them. This is the third time they have done so.

I filled out the application online and it specifically asked for this info and I filled in the blanks. Then I also submitted it with the info I gave them to copy in person. All of that info was carefully organized and selected because they had already asked for it, or I knew they would ask for it, so I included it thinking it would help them and make the process more efficient.

So how can you not have it and still be requesting it unless clearly you haven't bothered to actually look through my entire file?

Or you are just wasting time, resources and paper.

The fact that one of my conditions is actually listed on the SSA "auto determination list" should make this entire process totally irrelevant. But noooope.

Because, government.

Fall Down, Go Ow

Saturday, April 9th, 2016 09:51 pm
leopardwolf: (Default)
Apologies in advance for excessive use of vulgar language here, but pain warrants it.

I fell and hurt myself. I was on the floor almost 20mins waiting for it not to hurt as much. My ankle/shin front hurts like a fucker now. My elbow is split open, it caught most of the fall and slide.

Think I sprained it, high ankle sprain. Doing laundry, fucking washcloth I didn't see, slipped against tile floor, I tried to recover and locked legs to balance, I think it twisted, then I felt a sharp intense pain and leg buckled, went down hard and hit elbow going down, caught self on edge of bed. Landed right between bed and puppy kennel.

Ember was right on me seeing if I was okay and then puppy started bawling and pawing at me through the kennel. I was literally seeing red it hurt so much and knew if I got up too fast I'd pass out, I could feel it. So just lay there with the dogs and cats worrying at me till I felt safe to sit up and crawl to desk to reach my cell.

Keep ice/elevating it and put on ankle stabilizer and ACE bandage. It hurts real fucking bad just sitting here no matter how I rest. Hurts more if I bend it a certain way. Constant throbbing burning, and hurts to bear weight but I can walk on it. If I put any pressure against shin area it hurts like a fucker. Even uncomfortable with ankle brace and ACE bandage against it.

Going to try and force to walk on it though because if it is tibia/fibula that is bad place to get weakness, and feels like it is.

I just don't want my other parts to get angry and fucked up because of it. Knee and hip will be next and hip on that side was already snarky. But pain in shin/ankle has brain totally ignoring rest. Then the other side of my body is going to get angry for compensating and working too much to make up for the injury on the other side.

Ugh. So much for being as productive as I wanted to be.

That's what I get for trying to clean the house more than I normally do.

Don't want to call or text mom or aunt because not much they can do. They are both 2hrs+ away right now. Aunt went to visit friends for the weekend so I am home alone with the animals.

I don't want to go to the damned ER. They are such shit here and don't think I can comfortably drive myself let alone get to ER I went to last time because there is no parking and there is no way I am walking that far on this.

Would have to probably go to one in Metairie 30mins from here. All they are going to tell me is do what I already am for it probably, besides taking xray maybe.

Was hurting enough that I said fuck it and took two Aleve ( I am on Meloxicam so really only supposed to take that once a day and nothing else ) and Gaba. Not sure how long it should take to kick in.

Going to sit here with a Grumpy Cat look on my face and shake my cane.
leopardwolf: (Default)
******UPDATE: Thank you again SOOOOOO much to Emily/Arikla!!! She has generously offered to help cover the expenses for Journey's xrays and testing. Professional curiosity she claims. ;) Geeks will be geeks.******

Took Journey to the vet today. Seems like it might be the worst case scenario. Most likely hip dysplasia or something similar or something else effecting back end. They need to sedate for xrays. Bloodwork also needed to rule out any endocrine/pancreatic issue or any other problems or possible infections.

Got estimate papers from vet and discussed things. Going to be upwards of $720 for everything.

We just don't have that kind of money. I was supposed to bring him back tomorrow, provided we could pull some of the money out of thin air for at least the xrays. But now just thinking of not bothering.

Just assume he's screwed ( if not physically then from behavior quirks he's developed ) and wash him from training and service dog work.

Fundraising to get a service dog through an organization in PA isn't even likely an option either, because of expenses related to actually getting there and hotel to stay if volunteers can't let me stay with them. That would cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 to make a reality. It's really shitty we were forced to move away from Can Do Canines service area and they can't help me.

Save everyone the money and trouble. I'll just carry a cane, blood pressure monitor, and hand grabber around with me from now on and hope for the best.
leopardwolf: (Stargazing Lhunie - SyMara)
I'm feeling like an absolute failure with Journey. I have been avoiding talking about this for months. Not having other advanced dog training savvy people around to help me train him hasn't helped at all. But the rest is all on me. I feel like a shitty trainer. Its not fair to him to try and force him to be something he isn't.

Mike has been doing his best to make me feel better about the whole situation, trying to remind me of the successes I have had over years of training my dogs and others:

"Sometimes it's just the dog. Look how you did with Ember. You can't say that was a shitty job...and all things considered, for as thickheaded as Journey can be, he behaves better than most any other dog.

He just may be the wrong fit for what you need him to do. You know it's just as much the dog's personality as it is the training in those cases. Look at your success-to-failure record....and even in the end, look how well trained he is anyway. He IS trained. He just might not like doing what it is you want him to do."

I guess I keep hoping if I work a little harder or a little longer he'll come around. I've worked with shepherds before. I know they can be willful because they are so smart and need solid handling and guidance. I thought I was doing a good job with it because he was better behaved than any young GSD I ever worked with or saw worked with aside dogs bred for it. These quirks aren't even barring any physical issues ( GI or structural ) he may have that will disqualify him as a mobility assist dog. He hasn't had his OFA evaluation yet. He needed to be 2yrs+ to be sure his growth plates closed first. I guess I breathed a sigh of relief too early thinking I had won the owner-trainer lotto and found the perfect candidate dog on the first shot. But I have to listen to what he's telling me, and it feels more and more like he doesn't want to do the work anymore.

As a trainer, I have always abhorred people who would blame it all on the dog instead of looking at the other end of the leash. In most situations problems with training were because the dog didn't understand what was asked of it, etc. And the person blamed the dog rather than their ability to teach it what they wanted.

I don't know what to do. Maybe he'll make a good sport dog for someone or search and rescue or something, or just an all around amazingly trained companion dog. But that's the other thing killing me right now. I don't know what I am going to do with him. I won't be able to keep him at this point as much as I hate saying that. Most of these organizations don't want you having another dog in the house (I don't think it would be an issue but whatever ). And even if they allowed it, that would mean when we got back on our feet we'd have 3 large dogs. It would be more of a financial strain and likely impossible to find a place to live.

But now try and explain all that to my family. Explain now I need to go apply to these service dog organizations afterall. $40 for an application fee here. $50 for another application fee there. And they may not even accept me.

If they do, it will be over $5,000 for the cost of the dog and travel to their training centers, plus food, hotel, gas, additional team training expenses, etc. Unless I get insanely lucky and they have some sort of financial aid or volunteers that could help cut down on the travel expenses. But that is not guaranteed, and I am treating everything as a worst-case scenario right now, because lets face it, it has become one.

I'd rather train my own dog because I have the ability to do so and was hoping to make a career out of it somehow. But I feel like I am only fooling myself because then it rolls right back around to money. To try and find another dog ( it took me over a year to find Journey ), the starter costs of everything with vet and training for that dog, and the time and energy to raise it back up to the level I have Journey at... only to have it not work out again. And have to start all over, again. It's a risk I literally can't afford to take.

Getting a dog through a program is really my only option to have long term support come time for a successor, especially when I can no longer train my own dog. There is no disposable income available to invest in dog after dog to "find the right one" like programs are able to. That's what makes owner-training so hard for individuals like me.

Look at all the dogs these organizations, and other things like police departments, military, and anything else that works with trained dogs, take in, versus how many of them actually make it through to the end of those training programs.

I try and look at it realistically and not be so hard on myself. But it's something I take some pride in, one of the things I can actually still do and do well and better than most other people. Which is why I feel like a failure with it anyway and keep thinking maybe it's something wrong with the way I am trying to train it... so I change it and try something else. But it just isn't working.

I feel like its more on my ability to teach him or motivate him. I don't want to give up on him. But how long do I keep trying? Especially when I am already fairly certain the outcome will not change no matter what we do. I have already tried for months.

I feel like I have failed my dog. Not every dog is cut out to be an assistance dog, regardless of the best training. That doesn't make it any easier for me to accept.

Dental Dead End

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 09:42 pm
leopardwolf: (Stargazing Lhunie - SyMara)
Nothing like going to the dentist for fillings and to discuss increase in TMJ issues and such, to basically be told you'll need to pay around $12,000+ to get it all fixed in a way that won't fail like all other methods have for you for years. I need implants. Anything else will just fall apart and be a waste of money. The longer I wait, the worse my jaw bones and connective tissue gets, to where it will be bone grinding bone. Even now I am having a hard time eating/chewing and talking, and my jaw has started locking/dislocating. If I don't get it done soon, I'll likely be needing corrective jaw bone surgery in the next few years. I really don't know what I'm going to do. I can't even bring myself to smile anymore. Sometimes I just feel like giving up because things just get more and more broken and there is nothing I can do about it.
leopardwolf: (Default)
Really not liking the new Budweiser commercial with the puppy and Clydesdale made for the Super Bowl this year. The original commercial of the series was nice and uplifting. This one is just poor taste. It once again makes wolves and coyotes out to be the stereotypical "bad guys". Not cool at all.


leopardwolf: (Default)
LeopardWolf - Lhunpaurwen - Lhunie

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