Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

I have a dog. Her name is True. We call her “Trooper,” “Boo boo,” “Truby,” and “True Blue”. Because she is. She’s a True-blue friend. She is a service dog and helps me with everyday tasks.

Yesterday was True’s 6th birthday. That makes her middle-aged in dog years. We are so blessed to have True in our lives so we celebrate doggie birthdays just like we do human birthdays.

For this birthday, I made cupcakes on Saturday night. They were dairy-free, egg-free, chocolate-free, and baked with agave nectar in place of processed sugar (because processed sugar is bad for doggie tummies). And because of this, they were doggie-edible.

We got up early Sunday morning to run errands (something True loves). First on our list was Petsmart. Petsmart is one of the few places we go that we let True be “just a dog.” We leave her service dog jacket in the car and take off her gentle leader. She’s allowed to sniff and greet other dogs and get pets and cookies from people she meets. She loves it. We picked up some new nail clippers for her (our old ones got lost in the move) and some specialty frosted cookies and bones for her birthday. She was in heaven.

Next, we were off to Costco. [For my pharmaceutical-dependent friends out there, Costco Pharmacy ROCKS. They charge at-cost so if your insurance doesn’t completely cover something (for me, Zofran), it’s not that expensive!] Costco was a short trip aimed at picking up a few staples in our home.

Then we were off to Beast’s house. Beast is True’s boyfriend. He’s a 10-month-old, yellow lab service dog. They are best friends:

Beast and True, ready for work

They are hilarious together. They chew on opposite sides of the same bone, swim together, cuddle, and work together. Beast even brings True toys and forces them in her mouth. They are certainly good pals. So was there any better way to celebrate her birthday than by letting her celebrate with her favorite four-legged pal?

After letting True and Beast enjoy the evening together, we headed home so that True could enjoy her allergen-free, puppy-safe cupcakes.

Thank you, True, for being there for me when I need you! Here’s to many more happy birthdays in the future!


Today, I had my pre-op consult with the surgical team for my muscle biopsy. It seems like such an ordeal for such a small operation. I found out that the procedure is only done with general anesthesia so even after begging for local it was a no-go. But we were able to set a date for the soonest available day: September 16th. We’re looking forward to getting some more firm answers at this point. Wish us luck!

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The last few days since my last post have been action-packed! Today, Keith and I went into Boston for my gastric emptying study, which is a precursor to the Antro-duodenal Motility test I’ll be having at the end of October. We confirmed what we already knew from endoscopy: my gastric emptying sucks. I arrived at 11am for the study, having fasted for about 10 hours. I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep – but more on the reason why below. I was sat down with 2 eggs scrambled with some yummy radioactivity goodness, a glass of water, and some toast. I warned the administrator I wasn’t very good with solid foods and then began choking them down. I asked if I could take some zofran after nearly losing the eggs on the floor, but was told “no.” I finished the eggs – barely – with 2 sips of water and no toast. I think the test ruined scrambled eggs for me permanently because I will forever associate them with a metallic taste.

I was then told that for the first hour I had to remain still on my back while a scanner took pictures every minute. If my stomach had cleared 50% of the food after 60 minutes, I could leave. I was told that 60 minutes is the average for a “normal” person. We laughed. He continued to say that after that I could sit up but we’d have to take more pictures every 30 minutes until I reached 50%. We were there 3 hours – usually, the test ends by 2 – and I still hadn’t reached 50%. Because the reading was exactly the same for the last 90 minutes, he said I could go as he didn’t see much happening soon after I kept steady at 44% emptied. I immediately took a zofran and drank some water as I couldn’t have anything for the last 3 hours. And that’s how I finished the 2nd of my 5 medical appointments this month.


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The summer of 2010 will officially be heralded as the Summer of New Beginnings!

Some of the other beginnings’ ends:

  • Keith and I moved from our city apartment overlooking Fenway.  It was incredibly difficult to part with, but we’re on to new adventures.
  • I finished my last term (for now) at Harvard School of Public Health and am officially on leave.  The decision was difficult to make, but – in the end – should be better for my health and emotional well-being.
  • We said farewell to our beloved Tilly.  But I’ll say it again: It’s not really an end; rather, we’ve come full circle.

And the new beginnings:

  • We moved into a nice little place in Chelmsford, MA – just 20 miles north of the city. We’re rather excited as we love our new town and neighbors.  If you want the new address, please e-mail or call!
  • I’ve begun tutoring some amazing children.  Each has different needs and I love being challenged to find the best way to reach them.
  • I’ve taken up my post as treasurer of the New England Chapter of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.  I love it and am incredibly passionate about my job.
  • A new blog!  The hope is to keep it somewhat updated so my friends and family can hear directly from me how we’re doing so no one has to worry.  I hope that – through reading this – you can better understand what we deal with and how we deal with it on a daily basis – with perseverance, laughter, and hope.

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