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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hi to all,
I was first diagnosed with lupus back in 1988. At that time, the first rheumatologist I saw gave me 5 years to live. He got promptly fired! Obviously he was so wrong!
In my case, lupus is hereditary. We lost my younger cousin to complications of lupus and diabetes. She was 1 week shy of her 37th birthday. In my case it has damaged my lungs and cost me about 60% of my lung function. In hers, she died of her 10th heart attack. The link for us is our shared paternal grandfather. His oldest sister died at age 22 of "heart problems." He was the youngest of 9, and was quite young when she died. We both showed the first signs of lupus when we were each 5 years old. As I am 11 years older than she, we weren't really involved when she was going thru the initial symptoms I am sorry to say. Since I was 35 when I was diagnosed, there was a lot going on in those years. My cousin was 33 when she was diagnosed, and only then, because I got her in with my rheumatologist. We were both ana negative, and never have/did show a positive test. Our lupus mirrored each other except that it hit my lungs mostly, and hit her heart. I have survived a lot of health battles and am doing the best now I have in the last 50 years. The journey has been long, but I am still here. I am thankful for the medical team I have, and the family support I have. Many are not so lucky.

I have been on disability for 20 years. It was hard to get that approved from my employer, and then to get my SSD. I was lucky to have a super attorney who helped immensely. In the middle of my appeal of the second denial, I had a severe reaction to solu-medrol and went into steroid psychosis. My attorney had to do a lot of it on her own as I was not able to help her much. Fortunately, the judge who heard my appeal, had a daughter who was graduating medical school. With our permission, he had her also review my file. Within a couple days, he had approved my disability, and made it retroactive to my initial disability date.

I have been on methotrexate for nearly 17 years, and on high dose levels for over 11 years. I am blessed with a rheumatologist who was willing to go to an uncharted path when that was our only option to control the disease. At the time, we could not find anyone who had done what we had to do. Due to the steroid psychosis, I am not able to handle higher doses of prednisone, and we had to go to other channels of medications. So far, my liver has held up, amazing to many.

I share my home with my 6 yo cat, Mikey, and my 21 mo old mini dachsie, Molly. Currently, I have 2 foster pups from the same dachshund rescue from which Molly came. I started with 4 foster pups, and 2 have been adopted. [YES!!!] Mikey is superb with the pups, and serves to nurture them. Having them used to him, makes them open for more home options. In this current economic crisis, all the options we can give them, the better. When I was fostering kittens, Mikey was my "Mr Mom" guy. He is one of the unique cats that will nurture whatever I give him. The pups accepted him as part of the home life and he enjoys them. He loves to cuddle them and the closer the better. I've dealt with animal rescue in one form or another, for most of my adult life. It has been a long time since I have had to house train puppies, and this has been a huge learning experience for me! Molly was 10 months old when I got her, so she was primarily trained. Having to start from the beginning with Frankie and part way with Bitsy, I have learned so much! Supplies were totally different 35 years ago when I had my last 8 week old puppy.

I love to garden, and have found that my tolerance for the sun has improved in the last few years. I do get some aid there with my greenhouse. I grow my own veggies as well as a lot of flowers. It helps my sanity by even being outside in the shade. I also have found a major health improvement with a switch 4 years ago to gardening organically. I also feel better when I am eating fresh veggies out of the garden or going to the local weekly farmer's market. In the rescue where I got Molly, the dogs are given veggies for treats. As a result, Molly will even ask for treats such as brussel sprouts, beans, lettuce, chard, and so on. I was amazed the first time she asked for a brussel sprout, but she loves them. She even likes chard on which I have used balsamic vinegar! As a result of her influence, the pups eat veggies willingly as well. That Mikey likes most veggies also influences them. Much better for them than some of the commercial flour based treats. My family and friends are impressed by their healthy choices.

I look forward to being able to share some of the knowledge I have acquired thru my years of living with this not so welcome companion. I am also looking forward to learning from all of you.

I chose Pink Pearl as it is my favorite rhododendron. It is one of the few which prefer shade to sun and has lovely, huge, true pink flower clusters. I think it is fitting for lupus. I live about 30 miles east of Seattle, Washington, in the Snoqualmie River valley.
Sally
 

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Good Morning Sally, Well it is morning in the UK anyway. Welcome here.
My Lupus was seronegative for a very long time even when I felt desperately ill.
I love cats and my Daughter wants a Dachsie.
x Lola
 

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Welcome and so glad you are doing well now, and have been blessed with a wonderful rheumatologist to see you through all these years. What a wonderful introduction - I am a big animal lover too. We have 4 horses, 1 dog (hopefully back up to 2 next year), and 2 cats. They definitely make my life better - as does my dear daughter and husband of course!

Take care and nice to meet you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Thank you for the warm welcome. I have had 2 horses, both gone to the bridge. Both were American Saddlebreds, chestnuts with small white stars. The first mare was a rescue, starved and abused, and 17.1 hands, the second I owned also ended up at 17 hands. Since I am 5'1 1/2", it was a bit of a mutt & jeff thing. I loved the temperament of the saddlebreds, big motor under me, but easy on the ground. Both were great with kids, would lower their heads to see them eye to eye, and as a result, children were rarely fearful of them! They were very protective of neighborhood children, would watch them carefully when the neighbor's rotties (those two were not reliable) were out. We wondered what would have happened had anything threatened the kids. I had no fear the younger mare would have cleared the fence in a heartbeat. She had no love for those dogs and was not a fan.

Lupus took riding away from me, as it did skiing. I taught skiing for 15 years, but not able to do it any longer. I miss it horribly.

I love mini dachsies. They have a joy of life that many breeds seem to miss. I'll miss the foster pups when they finally find a permanent home. Molly will too. Taking these fosters was not a planned thing, and mostly a one time thing. Fostering takes a huge amount of time to do it right, and socialize the pups properly. I demand more of my animals than most, and fosters don't get a free ride. It also helps them when they are placed as the transition is easier as the people know what they can expect. Raising pups in a "pack" helps them immensely as they learn so much from the other dogs. Having differing ages helps too, and since Molly came from this rescue, she has the "pack" manners all down.

The little male has a gene mutation called a "double dapple". This means that since both parents were dapples, he carries this thing that has caused vision anomalies in him, and should he be allowed to breed, everything that he would throw would be deformed somehow. So, he must be neutered. I am holding on to him until that happens, after the first of January. He can see pretty much, but is not totally normal. Since he has never known any different, he thinks it is "normal". It is a good reason to make sure that the two are never allowed to be bred. Not worth it. All of his litter mates have this too. He is a bright little dog, knows he is cute, gets by with murder by the two girls. He pushes the rules, typical for a dachsie. He cracks me up---the true job of a dachsie.
At three months he is getting testy....do I really mean "no"? Surely he heard me wrong! I could not possibly mean him! When I use 1 finger to tap him, he will slap my hand back! Definitely not a self image problem! His current 'ism is to try and get the softened rawhide from one of the girls. The other night he straddled Molly, barking in her ear, trying to get the rawhide from her. He didn't. I could not believe that she didn't throw him off!
Yes, I love my critters. Never a dull day with them around.
Sally
 

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Hi Sally and welcome to a great place.

So your a animal lover and so am I. We have 3 Birds and one really big dog that takes up more space then I do.:lol::lol::lol: He rules the roost.

I am glad your doing well and things are pretty much under control for you.

My husband is out in Washington right now on business. He flew into Seattle and is working his way down towards Vancover. He will fly home from Oregon. He told me it is just beautiful out there but over cast and rainy a lot of the time.

Based on what he told me I would say you live in God's country and your blessed. I call New Jersey the arm pit of the world.:rotfl::rotfl:

I will head south and get out of this rat race once my son is threw college. I hope to get to know you better and I am so glad you found us here. You will come to call these folks your extended family. They are helpful and so supportive.

Come check out our chat room sometime. Top right side of the page in the purple tool bar.

Be well and stay strong. Enjoy the upcoming holiday season.:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Karol, and thank you for the welcome.
Yes, we live in God's country out here. If your hubby is here now, he is getting caught in the RAIN that we are having. It has gotten really heavy tonight. The passes are getting dumped on, up to 2' tonight. Tomorrow brings an "arctic express" with below freezing temps. Possibly snow in the foothills, me, tomorrow or Sunday. BRRRRRR!

What does bother a lot of transplants here are the "grays". There may not be rain, but overcast all day, and on and on. BUT, that makes it nice for those of us with lupus as we can be outside in the grays. Personally, I LOVE those days....get so much done in the garden. The dachsies prefer the sun days, which is ok as I can still work in the shady areas or the greenhouse.
Have a warm weekend,
Sally
 
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