Sunday, April 24, 2011

GERD the disease

I don't know about you, but when I first heard Gastric Reflux was a disease I almost laughed. How could it be a disease? It's only heartburn right? Maybe a chronic problem or disorder at worst. Well, I'm not laughing now. Welcome to the dark side, not that there is a light side, of GERD. 

The side where you start crying because the last 15 days you've been in pain whether you ate the things that are supposed to cause you problems or not. The side where you wake up wheezing in the middle of the night because you ate after 8 o' clock so your stomach wasn't completely empty when you laid down, and for some reason GERD exacerbates asthma. The side where you made some delicious cookies with out thinking and now they sit there on the counter starring at you, begging for you to eat them. And even though you know it's going to cause you problems you give in to their pleas, because you used to be able to do that before you had GERD. The side where yesterday you were able to eat something that is on the 'bad for you' list and felt fine and today your eating exclusively on the 'good for you' list and feel awful. The side where you haven't had a completely pain free day in the last 4 months.

There is also the public perception of GERD, at least the one I've seen. Where whenever you actually tell someone you have GERD the moment the word reflux comes out of your mouth you know their thinking "Oh that's just heartburn. Everyone has that, it's no bit deal" because that's what you would think. You also think that only older people get reflux so what am I doing with it when I'm not even 20 yet? There's also barely anything written about GERD and even less that is useful to an actual sufferer. I've only found one book so far that's dedicated the the subject and I was surprised even to find that. It would be nice to find a GERD support group or have a GERD awareness week.

On reflection of all that, GERD is truly a disease and not one to be brushed off. 
(not that I'm suggesting that any of you would do that)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Perfect Day

Today has been just about a perfect day. 
It started with the puppies sleeping together.
I'm really impressed at how Tazzi's taken to having Kelsa around. He still doesn't like having to share attention, but he loves playing with her. He's become so much more tolerant since she first arrived, the other day I looked over and she was standing over him with all four's playfully biting at his head, he just laid there ignoring her. A month ago he would growl at her if she just looked at him funny.
My baby is so handsome. I don't spoil him enough.
Kelsa actually laid down with out help for her breakfast this morning!!!! This is a major break through for her as she is 5 months old and still doesn't know down. Of course it was too much to ask that she do it again at dinner. She also relieved #1 and 2 for me on pavement. I've been lax about having her do that recently. Kels also got her first walk on a flexi-lead in the "far back". The far back is a quarter mile stretch of green space behind our house, it's supposed to become a road someday but luckily for us the city hasn't had the money to build it yet. Tazzi also got a 50 minute walk today.

I'm getting irritated at the USDA My Pyramid Tracker website, it's designed to help people track how good their nutrition is and how much exercise their getting. I have to use it for my fitness class. The problem is that it doesn't have enough options when you pick out what your eating, for instance, I had sloppy joes for dinner so I select that in their options, but it doesn't include the 20% ground beef I used. Now I suppose this is my own fault for not just entering each ingredient individually, but thats more work. I also don't like that they want you to enter what you did every minute of the day, I don't have time or brain space to notice every single thing I do much less to time it. So I just enter the big things, like cleaning the house, or walking the dog. 
Oh, and the fat free cook books I put on hold at the library finally came in, I can now cook food that I can eat with confidences...mostly.
Mt. Hood showed it's gorgeous face today while I was walking Tazzi.
Here's a news section that I'm thinking of adding. Tell me if you like it.
A couple snapshots in words from today:
* Checking for the hundredth time to see if Kelsa's last baby canine tooth has fallen out yet.
* Chatting with my brother (something that doesn't happen as often as it should)
* Trying to memorize 4 more digits of Pi. I've already got 3.14159
* Having Kelsa and kitty on my lap at the same time
* Hugging Tazzi and telling him how great he is
* Sitting on the couch reading a Foxtrot comic book

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It's been a busy week at la casa de Caroline y los perros. ( I'm taking spanish right now, can you tell?) 
From Friday to Monday there was a fencing NAC, North American Cup, in Portland. After competing for 4 years I have a lot of friend in the fencing world and most of them were going to be there so of course I was going to be there too. I lots of friends from all around the country, including the two I REALLY wanted to see, I even made a few more. Kelsa also made a lot of friends and did really well with the noise thanks to this thing called Food Protocol. In a loud environment like a tournament or walking by traffic she gets food every time she ignores the noise she gets a piece of food.

Here are some pictures from the tournament this weekend. Some of them are fuzzy, but are still good pictures.
View of the Steel bridge from the MAX to the convention center

My friend testing to make sure a fencer's weapon works, one of the duties of a referee.
Don't you just love the pink tie? 

Contesting a call.

In puppy news:
Kelsa only has one new bad behavior, getting on the couch. I've had to see the photographic proof because she never does it when I'm around. She's still garbage mouthing outside, and were still having some relieving problems, but their getting better. And her baby teeth are almost done falling out!!!!! Why is this so great? Because I'm getting sick of the mess, she gets blood on at least one of her toys everyday. It looks like we only have one tooth left and it's gonna fall out any day now.

She sleeps with her tongue out.

She's so spoiled <3


My Tazzi!

Now to explaining the title of this post. I went to the  stomach doctor  last week and she thinks that my pain has either been from a mis functioning gall bladder, not likely, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), very likely. The symptom's for GERD are pretty much the same a regular acid reflux only all the time, and it's caused by the muscle seal that closes off the stomach from the esophagus isn't closing all the way. I'm planning on doing more testing to rule out my gall bladder, and confirm the GERD. In the mean time I'm learning a new way to eat that seems to help me feel better. I am now not, or not supposed to, be eating fats, good and bad, citrus, caffeine, tomatoes, and mint. I did really well staying on the diet last week, than I was at the convention center all day over the weekend watching the fencing tournament and we ran out of Caroline friendly food so it slid for a few days, and now I'm finding it hard to get back in to it. Has anyone had that problem before? On the upside I've been losing a pound a day since Sunday, probably because I haven't been eating much. The down side of not eating much is that I have no energy.  Now that we have food in the house that I can eat again I'm sure my weight will slow down to a more healthy rate, but it was fun.

I also really want to go visit my Aunt Sarah and her family in MO, because they just got a new puppy who sounds like she's too clever for everyone else's good. Oh and my aunt, uncle, and cousins is all around awesome.

I also weeded the garden today, I may get the hang of this agricultural thing yet!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Doggy update

Hey there everyone, I was so glad to read that I am actually writing to everyone! Sorry about taking two weeks to update this again.
Where to start for this weeks update? Humm, well, I learned that Tazzi does not play well with others. We were walking at the park when an off leash dog, the disk golf people never leash their dogs, came barreling toward us. I think it just wanted to play, but I know Tazzi doesn't do well meeting dogs on leash, so I took him off leash thinking that since he could move freely he would be more relaxed...I was wrong. He launched himself and broadsided that dog, thank god no blood was spilt even though that seemed to be Tazzi's intention. I'm out of ideas as to what to do to deal with his dog problem except to have him work with a behavioralist, which means I need a job because family funds can't stretch that far.
In puppy news: Kelsa is driving me crazy! I take that back, Kelsa's BEHAVIOR is driving me crazy! Kelsa is a great puppy whom I love very much. I don't love her being unable to make the walk to the bus stop with out pooping. I don't love her picking up everything in sight outside and ignoring me when I tell her not to. I don't love her having to get a ton of corrections on walks. I don't love her fear of traffic. And I really don't love her going between my legs and trying to go back the way we came on walks, tripping over a puppy is not something I have on my daily to do list.
I have to keep telling myself that she isn't having any more problems than any other puppy her age and she will grow out of at least the garbage mouthing and fear of traffic, but that doesn't make it any easier right now. Two good things about her behavior this week are that, she hasn't had an accident since the walk to school on Monday, and she's mouthing less for the most part.

Oh and Kelsa's taller! Not much taller, but it's cool to watch her grow.