Loss of a loved one

I recently lost a special person in my life. It is my cousin Lucas. He was only 42 years young. He was diagnosed with Leukemia 2 years ago. He fought a very tough and courageous battle. We thought for a brief moment in time he was going to be okay. He had a stem cell transplant and everything was going GREAT! He was 98% donor and 2% himself. He joked and said ” I hope you all still LOVE me even though I am 98% someone else.” How he kept a sense of humor was beyond me. He recently got the clear from his doctor to go back to work. He has young children which he loves dearly.

On August 25th 2019 we got the devastating news he passed away suddenly.

Stepping back into the early 1980’s when I was 14 years old, I had the pleasure of babysitting Lucas Monday through Thursday. Every day after school I would walk to their house right next door and take care of him while his parents worked. My aunt and uncle worked different shifts so they could coordinate care. I arrived promptly at 3:00 pm and sleep there until 5:00 am where I would get up and go home to get ready for school. The best part was my Grama Rose was there with me too. She and my aunt and uncle along with Lucas lived together.

What a pleasure it was to have a job at 14. I think back now and realized it was never a “job”. It was being there to help my family. The money was amazing $40 a week back in the day was amazing, and all I had to do was play and love my cousin. That was the most rewarding and easiest “job” I now now realize I will ever have.

I attended the service for Lucas this past Sunday in Connecticut. It was well attended by all of our loving family and friends. I did the best I could to assist in the service and provide things to help the family. I designed a slide show with music that celebrated all the different times of his life. I also made up some forget me nots in packets that were handed out and will be planted in his honor in the Spring. They are so good for the environment and pollination.

A flash back: I’ll never forget the day as Lucas got older, we were playing ball out in the yard. I had just gotten engaged. We were taking turns pitching and hitting. All of a sudden, Lucas looked down and picked up a very shiny something in the grass. He said ” Wow, look at the pretty shiny ring I found”. I looked down at my finger and and almost lost it. He found my engagement ring in the thick grass that I never even noticed was missing! It must have fallen off when we were exchanging the baseball glove. THANK YOU LUCAS!

In closing, I am organizing a fundraiser for his children. The forget me nots are $2.00 per packet. Plant in the spring. All profits will go directly to his children. NO personal profit taken from me or anyone else. Email me sharonroses2@yahoo.com to donate. As always God bless you and thank you for your support!

The red cardinal has many traditions and myths. They revolve around good health, renewal, happy, and healthy relationships. If you dig deep into the life of these birds you can see why so many good things are associated with their sightings.

Unlike other birds that are polygamous, red cardinals are monogamous. They mate for life and living within a small area for the rest of their lives they protect fiercely. When their babies are hatched, both parents are responsible for taking care of them to ensure their survival and security

Auto Immune Disease In Dogs Genetic Correlation? Puppy Strangles

Strangles. What on earth is that? Auto Immune Disorder

It is an autoimmune disorder in puppies. Symptoms occur between 3 weeks to 4 months of age. If left untreated it results in severe scaring and in rare cases, even death. Breeds susceptible to the disease include golden retrievers, Mini Daschshounds & Siberian Husky’s. It is not contagious and unlikely to recur once treated properly and quickly. With the combination of prednisone and an antibiotic, it will give your puppy the best chance for a full recovery.

The disease is also called juvenile cellulitis. The symptoms are as follows; swollen face, eyes, muzzle, sores on face, inside ears, mouth, and in severe cases it affects the anus and genital area. The sores may burst and crust over. If it involves the puppy’s ears, they will smell very foul. The puppy’s lymph nodes are also affected. Other symptoms are fever, poor appetite, and lethargy. Your puppy may also experience joint pain.

When diagnosing a puppy with strangles, It can sometimes be tricky because it does look like a staph infection which is a bacterial infection. To get an accurate diagnosis make sure your Vet takes a swab of the areas infected and examine it. Make sure it’s not mites, ringworm or any other skin issue or allergy.

8 Week Old Lab/Doodle Puppy. She had sores everywhere! Ears, nose, eyes, and all over her “private area”.

SONY DSC

Treatment involves aggressive autoimmune drugs, antiobiotics, to prevent secondary bacterial infections, and its very important to keep all lesions clean and dry. Ask you vet about a hydrogen peroxide diluted solution to keep the infected areas clean.

When your puppy is on the steroid, they will experience stronger than usual hunger. It’s a side affect of the medication. Some people will give them a little more food than usual, but NOT ALOT MORE. It’s important to keep him/her comfortable after all they are just babies and so dependent on their new owners. Keep the cone head on when ever possible. Excessive licking only adds to the problem.

The more I research this “RARE” issue in Labradoodle, the more I see people posting the same type of stories, so how rare is this actually?

This particular dog is much better now. She is 8 months old now and feeling and looking much better. She is no longer on steroid or any medicine. The condition was caught very early.

Allergies, Celiac and Food Intolerance


Ever since I can remember I have had allergy and sinus problems.  When I was around 8 years old I can remember being teased for “sniffing”.  I remember everyone saying “Go blow your nose, go get a tissue”.  My nose was stuffed up all the time.  This was back in the 1980’s. I finally went to see an ENT specialist who put me on a steroid nasal spray.  Wow, did that work like a charm.  I was so grateful.  I could breathe through my nose and the congestion was gone.  Nor more sneezing and pressure!! That lasted for about 3 months and then it came back.  I was put on another round of steroid sprays which worked again but it was short lived. 

I also had eczema in every nook and cranny possible.  I had it so bad on the inner part of my elbow and up and down my forearms that I wore a sweater to cover it up.  That sweater acted as my shield against all the comments like..”EWWWW, What’s that gross stuff all over your arms”.   I specifically recall one time itching my skin so bad I got impetigo.  I had to take oatmeal baths and put this heavy paste on my skin each time I got out of the bath tub.  I was not allowed to go swimming either.  The water from the pond or a pool was not good for my skin.  That was torture to a small child.  I recall sitting on the side of the pool or on the beach not being able to go in. 

As I got older, we were able to get my eczema under control.  That was done with steroid creams.  With all these steroids I’m surprised I’m not a hairy, women like lady with a voice like Arnold.  Around the age of 21, I was working for the Government and I finally had INSURANCE!  I went to the allergist to get “scratch tested”.  They injected my back with a bunch of allergens.  The tests came back that I was allergic to dust, mold and rabbits.  Rabbits????  Oh geeze, now how on earth will I ever be able to eliminate rabbits from my life?  Those hairy bastards  LMAO!

I was given an allergy pill to take as needed when I did encounter the dust, mold and those darn rabbits.    Around the age of 30, I started having issues with my stomach and constant lose bowels and urgent, explosive, diarrhea.  Now there are 3 words you don’t want to hear together in a sentence. (UED)  At times it was bloody.   I again, went to the doctor who did blood tests and found nothing wrong in the blood work.  That is when I had my first (with 3 more in my future); colonoscopies. That test showed I had proctitis. I looked at the doctor and said “I have WHAT?” I know the suffix “I T I S” means inflammation so now I have to figure out what a PROC is?  The doctor began to explain:

Proctitis is defined as inflammation of the anus,  OH GREAT, I have a broken Anus.  The opening and lining of the rectum (lower part of the intestine leading to the anus). I feel like such an ass.  Symptoms of proctitis can vary greatly; which is no news to me…One may at first have only minor problems. Proctitis affects the last 6 inches of the rectum and can cause the following:

  • Pain during a bowel movement
  • Soreness in the anal and rectal area
  • Feeling that you didn’t completely empty the bowels after a bowel movement
  • Involuntary spasms and cramping during bowel movements
  • Bleeding, and possibly a discharge

Proctitis can last a short time or become a chronic condition (last for weeks or months or longer).

So now the million dollar question.  I asked the doctor,  “How did I get this? “ 

He rattled off a number of causes; Excessive Antibiotic use ,Autoimmune Disorders and the most bizarre one was  “Foreign objects in the rectum”   I cracked up laughing and said “ Umm, we can rule out that last one doctor”.   

To make a long story even longer, I was once again put on steroids.  This time the steroid has a special twist to it.  I was given a rectal suppository.  Refer to previous paragraph where I thought that was SO VERY FUNNY about objects in the rectum causing my affliction.  Yeah, not so funny now is it ?   The thing was the size of a magnum 44 bullet.  I briefly flashed back to the movie Scar Face where he says  “Say hello to my little friend”.. YIKES. 

I was on the suppositories for 2 weeks and felt SO much better; but with any steroid, it only lasts so long.  I relapsed again…………It was a vicious circle………Cramps, fatigue, and the 3 words again I don’t want to hear together…. Urgent, Explosive Diarrhea.  I pretty much gave up and accepted the fact that I am sick and I will just have to live with it.  I kept an emergency kit in my car for when I traveled.  Unlike most emergency kits, it didn’t contain fix a flat, or flares,  It contained, baby wipes, a clean pair of underwear. 

It wasn’t until my niece Kara was born that I realized what was going on and the importance of  healthy, organic, wholesome and a GLUTEN FREE diet. 

You see, Kara, our little angel, was born with Down Syndrome.  I remember hearing the news.  I remember feeling so sad for my sister and so sad for Kara.  That’s when I had a reality check.  I held that beautiful, little baby in my arms I thought; “Why am I feeling sorry for anyone?”  This little baby girl is beautiful, kind, sweet and loving.    Kara looked up at me and gave me the first of many of her bright, heart warming smiles.  It was the kind of smile that says “Look out world, here I come”.  http://lettucethrive.com/category/fitness/

She has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives.  On top of the Down Syndrome, Kara has Celiac Disease.  I had never heard of this before.  My sister Wendy filled me on the subject and she suggested I do some research on my own.  I looked up all the symptoms of Celiac and they did sound very similar to all the issues I was having.   Then I thought, the doctor said I didn’t have celiac and he wasn’t sure what was wrong with me or why I have proctitis, but here TAKE THIS MEDICINE and come back and see me in 3 months. 

I told you this was a long story.

http://lettucethrive.com/category/general-health/

I started following a diet that was similar to Kara’s.   I eliminated Wheat & Gluten.  Within 2 weeks, my intestines felt a little better.  My aches and pains were slowly subsiding.  My fatigue was lessened.  I had more energy.  I actually felt normal for a change.  Thank you Kara.  http://lettucethrive.com/category/main-dishes/

I do have days where I cheat and have gluten.  30 minutes later I feel lazy, sluggish, crampy and a fogged brain and yes, the U. E. D.  

If your feeling sick all the time, try an elimination diet. Take out wheat, gluten, corn, dairy and soy from your diet for 3 weeks. Note how you feel. Do you feel better or the same? Keep a food journal. Plan, plan, plan your meals and make sure you have plenty of food in your house that does not contain the 5 items above. You may find it very difficult at first however it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Limit sugar also and take out all the GMO products from your diet. That is a large cause of inflammation in your body. Eating wheat and gluten or things that are inflammatory can also irritate raynaund syndrome which I also have.

On that note,  I am going to grocery store to replenish my gluten free supplies, organic veggies and snacks.  I have also taken dairy out of my diet. I switched to coconut yogurt. Chobani has a delicious selection of flavors. It’s the consistency of a pudding instead of the thick greek I was use to eating.

A great site for recipe ideas and GF treats along with our beautiful Kara. 

http://lettucethrive.com/category/desserts/

http://lettucethrive.com/?s=bars

https://www.specialolympics.org/

Home business, profits go to my 5 rescue dogs  

Autoimmune Disorders

So many doctors with out any answers on what’s going on here. Is it an autoimmune disorder? Food allergy?

Symptoms of patient: Toes & feet turn purple, with cracking skin and brittle toe nails, numbness in feet, Raynauds, tired, no energy, weight loss, swollen nose, rashes behind neck, swollen lymph nodes in neck, deja vu frequently, body is randomly cold then hot. Right ear turns bright red and hurts. Symptoms for 1 year. Progressively getting worse.

Autoimmune disorder?

Note the black is nail polish, I advised the patient NOT to use that any more.

All of the blood work taken from the primary care and the rheumatologist came back within normal range. How can that be? Patient prescribed a very low dose of blood pressure medication in the mean time. She has normal blood pressure and is in her mid 20’s Symptoms point to Lupus however tests came back normal

I have been listening to this book on audible by Susan Blum, MD, MPH. It is filled with a great deal of information. I just have to convince the patient to try the elimination diet for starters. The Immune System Recovery Plan.
https://blumcenterforhealth.com/

Feed back greatly appreciated. Please comment.