Archive for the ‘health’ Category

It’s long been out there amongst my friends that I’m an ally and supporter of the LGBT crowd. However, I want to a chance to come out as a different kind of ally. I want to say that I support drug legalization and an end to the war on  citizens. I have three major points I feel strongly about making.

1. Medical cannabis is a matter of compassion for me. There are things good people can disagree on, this is not one of them. I believe those who are facing the most dire of diseases and situations ought to have access to whatever makes their quality of life better. This is not negotiable to me. I find it utterly and unforgivably shameful that our leadership gives these patients a hard time.

2. My moral code has nothing against feeling good. America’s protestant heritage seems to want to make anything that makes people happy seem sinful and bad. If you resist the things you like whether they be drugs or coffee or sex that is your decision and I can’t and won’t make you do any different but I do not share that ethos. I am a proud, self- indulgent individual and there is nothing wrong with someone who works a long hard day coming in and smoking or drinking or otherwise fulfilling whatever impulse makes their day brighter. As long as you are an adult and you like it and you aren’t putting another earthling in danger do as you will. Enjoy that toke, enjoy that cocktail, enjoy that experience that makes you human. I refuse to see the recreational use of any drug as bad so long as it is not interfering with a person’s ability to live what we would consider a normal, productive life. At no point in time do I confuse the legalities of my present day country with my morals. Just because something is legal does not make it right and just because it is illegal does not mean it is wrong. I refuse to see otherwise decent people as criminals just because the state wants me to.

3. Drugs are illegal because of racism and greed. That’s it. It’s not about keeping people safe. It’s about racism and greed. Please by all means read up on it. Read about Hearst and DuPont and the fear mongering they did in their day. Read about the attitudes toward the Chinese and Mexicans. Read about what the government is doing to present day South Americans.

And then when you’re done reading that go to the November Coalition and see what you too can do to help those caught up in this disastrous failure we call a drug war. It’s a war whose only winners are the cartels and the government, the rest of us lose. We lose safety, we lose freedom, we lose whole generations to the school-prison pipeline. I think it’s time it stopped. You do not have to be a user of drugs to know this has gone too far. I think it’s even more important in a way for us non-users to be known as allies. As long as the group in question is “the other” it’s easy to demonize them.

So there you go. The chips will fall where they may.


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Chloe Interrupted

That’s Chloe. Settled in her new crate made necessary by a bout of IVDD.
Inter-Vertebral Disc Disease is a disease that both people and dogs can get. It’s a very common disorder in dachshunds and other long dogs. The spine consists of vertebrae that are connected by flexible cartilage discs. The discs, called intervertebral discs, are cushions between each bone and they allow for movement of the head, spine and tail. The discs can become weak and hardened and herniate or rupture which causes the disc to protrude and even push against the spinal column. There is a gel like substance in the disc that can come out, sometimes quite forcefully and when it comes out it can go into the area where the spinal cord is.

An estimated 1 in 5 dachsunds will get IVDD. I had no idea. I had heard that dachshunds had back problems but frankly, people treat their dogs so badly and expect so much from them I kind of blew it off as impatient owners who expected their dachshunds to do what their Labs or Chihuahuas did. This stuff is no joke though. It can cause everything from pain to paralysis and even death in the case of myelomalacia.

We knew Chloe was hurt when she refused to follow me up to the bedroom. She had a number of the common signs, shaking, a tight belly, a hunched back, and she yelped whenever we tried to do anything with her. There are two treatments for this, one is surgical and the other is medical management. We chose medical management because she showed no signs of paralysis. Had she not been able to use her back legs we’d have had to go directly to the surgery option. The vet put her on Prednisone for the swelling and Raboxin for pain and muscle spasms. We did eventually have to go to Tremadol which is a heavier pain pill.

We found out crate rest is the most important part of all this. That took some time to get used to for us and Chloe. We never had a need to crate train before, there was always someone with the pups so leaving them while at work wasn’t an issue so we just never bothered. If you ask me though every dachshund owner needs to spend some time crate training their dog. Just bring it in and let them check it out and give them treats for going in it. Something just to get them familiar with the crate if nothing else because if you do ever have to go through this not having your dog freak out over being in a crate is a valuable thing.

Dodger’s List has been an excellent resource for us. I highly recommend it and I really think if you own a dachshund head over there now and read. If you ever need it you won’t be sorry you did. I wish I had known more ahead of time, I wish all dachshunds came with a manual that pointed the way to Dodger’s List and explained that IVDD can strike when you least expect it. It makes me sick to think of all the people who may just euthanize their dogs when in fact this thing is treatable and quality of life can be had.

I’ll probably blog about this again as we progress. Right now Chloe is resting well, she has adapted to her crate. Ironically, the other two dogs get in there when she gets out for pee time and food, lol.

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Navel gazing

Well, it’s been a while but here I am. Still kicking. I don’t know what I had planned for this blog when I started. A menagerie of things I was interested in writing about, perhaps? I just didn’t want it to go the navel gazing route. But alas, the best laid plans of mice and all…. here we are. Last year I noticed my back was hurting more and more, in fact it seemed all my aches and pains were growing. I was only 34, darn it I shouldn’t feel this sore and tired. So I joined a gym. I started weightlifting. Yeah, I know, wild right? No, I have never been one of those people who just loved fitness. I mean I wasn’t one of those people who drove around the parking lot six times to find the closest spot, but I was no athlete either. So after a year and 80 pounds lost what have I learned?

    1. If you are female you will not get bulky by lifting heavy weights. Slap your trainer next time you hear this (I’m kidding; no I don’t advocate trainer abuse!) You just won’t. It’s not in your body to do so. You would need way larger amounts of testosterone.
    2. You have to eat. If you have been on a 1200 calorie semi-starvation diet do not go into the gym expecting to put on a lick of muscle. Even if your end goal is to lose weight you must eat.
    3. The best things to eat come with no labels. Grass fed meats, vegetables, organic when possible dairy are all good choices but try to avoid the stuff that comes in boxes and plastic bags that make up a large portion of the standard American diet. If its label reads like a chemistry project that’s a good clue it should be avoided.
    4. Don’t bend an ear to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who gives you advice. There’s a lot of good advice out there but you have to tailor it to you. If it works for you do it, if not drop it no matter how popular it is.
    5. Weight training is good for fat people. It doesn’t have to be anything like powerlifting, just the standard gym machines are ok to start with. Why? Because for one you can sit on stuff. Let’s be honest. The really overweight among us have a hard time doing basic tasks sometimes. It’s intimidating. You’ll still sweat, you’ll still burn calories, you’ll still lose weight but you can do it without having to embarrass yourself in aerobics class or feel like you can’t do anything but nap the rest of the day. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t lose weight by lifting weight you can, too.
    6. Fat really isn’t all that bad for you. The studies on saturated fat show the negative views people have of it just don’t hold up. In practice, a diet with fat in it is just more filling. It’s the sugar you need to watch out for. The more of it you eat the more you will want.
    7. Pick one little habit to change. Do it for 30 days. Pick something else, and do it for 30 days. If you can’t picture yourself doing it for 30 days pick something simpler.
    8. Find something you are passionate about. Doing agility with your dog, weightlifting, swimming, it really doesn’t matter but if it’s something you really enjoy you are more likely to do it every day. If you don’t know what that may be just try something. I had no idea I would like lifting. It’s not something I had any experience with. I started doing it because building muscle will make you burn more calories just as you are. It raises your base metabolism. But I found out I liked it. So just get out there.
    9. Don’t focus on numbers. Just make improvements from day to day. Strong is better than skinny, healthy is better than thin. Eat well, get some activity and try not to stress out. I know easier said than done, but there it is.

So, I’m going to leave it there because it looks unfinished. It should be. I haven’t learned all there is to learn.

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