Monday, June 30, 2014

Zora Update: Michigan State Veterinary Clinic Follow-Up

Today was the long awaited follow up appointment from our last trip to the MSU veterinary clinic. I'm so thankful for my mom and Ryan taking turns being my mobile support group. Nervous and praying for good news, Ryan, Zora and I hit the road early this morning to make the trip over to East Lansing.

Zora's been off the Clavamox (antibiotic) and Panacur (dewormer) for the last five days or so, but has been on a steady dosage of the Prednisone (steroid). The Prednisone is what has decreased the inflammation in her airways and stopped the heaving. At least for now.

Even with the heaving being under control, I was still concerned about her overall well-being. My 3-year-old crazy puppy isn't anywhere close to her old self. However, the weather has been hot and humid, her sickness has been going on for seven weeks and she's been pumped full of A LOT of very potent meds lately... so it's really hard to tell if something is still not quite right or she just needs some time to recuperate.

The goal today was to redo bloodwork and x-rays. Thankfully Miss Zora didn't have to be away too long and they had the results (and my brave girl) back to us within a couple hours. For once, we were greeted with happy faces and good news. Her eosinophil count (white blood cells) went from 20,000 on June 11 to a normal count of only 500 today. Her bronchial pattern went from severe to mild and the vets were amazed at how much her lungs cleared up in the x-rays.

We were also told to file our lymphoma fear under "extremely unlikely."

... ... ... deep breath.

Our next step is to cut back Zora's Predisone from one and a half to only one per day. After two weeks, we decrease the dosage again to only a half a pill a day. After three weeks, she should be off the Prednisone completely. If the heaving does not come back, we chalk this whole ordeal up to either bronchitis or parasites (most likely lungworm). If it does come back, we get her back on the lowest dose of Prednisone we can in order to reduce the inflammation to prevent any further episodes. In theory, she'd be diagnosed with Eosinophilic Bronchopneumopathy.

Even though today's visit didn't provide any definitive diagnosis or answers, it felt incredible to receive some good news for once. She's not 100% out of the woods yet, but we're making great strides and there is light at the end of the tunnel. To be honest with you, I went into today's appointment fearing the worst. We are all so relieved and thank you everyone who has kept my fur baby in your prayers these last couple months. xo

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Volleyball Mamas + Awesome Papas

I am so thankful to have spent so much time this past weekend with friends, family and loved ones. Ryan, Brody and I hit the road on Saturday to celebrate my BFF's "official" return to Michigan. This was an extra special get together as it was the first time Moose, Molly and I have gotten all together since 2008. Waaaay overdue. It was also the first time we were able to get all of our little ones together AND it was the perfect opportunity to introduce Ryan to my friends/teammates/fellow mamas and their husbands. 

Yes, we successfully got all three munchkins to sit still next to each other. Win.

In addition the sandbox, bounce house, wagon and bubble maker... Brody thoroughly enjoyed the beverage bucket ice cubes. 

I love these ladies! And I love seeing my two favorite boys spending time together. xo

On Sunday, we celebrated Father's Day at Docker's with Ryan, my parents and siblings. My cousin's fiance was also performing so most of my extended family was there as well. Sunshine, the waterfront, good food, drinks and all my people. Couldn't have asked for a better day. 

Hope everyone spoiled their papas and told them how much they're appreciated. Papa Z, thank you for all the support (especially over the last year) and thank you for always lending a hand whenever I need help. I love and appreciate you more than words can say!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Zora Update: Michigan State Veterinary Clinic

Sorry for the delay on the Zora update. I've been waiting for the MSU vet office to email me the diagnosis write up so that my update didn't sound something like "Zora might have this thing with a super long name that I can't pronounce."

So anyways, after getting no where with my local vet, I decided to make Zora an appointment with the Michigan State Veterinary Clinic. Yesterday could not have come soon enough. She took her last meds on Sunday and things spiraled downhill very quickly... wouldn't eat or drink, heaved for hours throughout the night, borderline lethargic.

Zora is usually very anxious at the vet. She stress sheds and paces all over the place. Yesterday, she curled up under the table with her eyes closed. Broke my heart. I filled the vet in on all of Zora's symptoms over the last month and "thankfully" Zora heaved a few times in front of her. Even though I brought along her x-ray films and bloodwork results, they wanted to redo all her tests, but on a more advanced level. So my poor baby was taken away and Mama Z and I waited around for over two hours.

Welp... doctors came back with four possible diagnoses. She has a severe bronchiolar lung pattern which means she potentially has one of the following:
  1. Lungworm
  2. Allergic Bronchitis
  3. Eosinophilic Bronchopneumopathy
  4. Lymphoma
We brought along a poo sample to be tested, but unfortunately the results won't be available for 24-48 hours in order to diagnose lungworm. Lungworm and allergic bronchitis are both curable, so they are the diagnoses we're most hoping for. The vets were both leaning more towards eosinophilic bronchopneumopathy, which unfortunately is not curable. However, it is treatable through lifelong steroids, but of course those come with complications of their own. The last possibility is lymphoma... which we won't talk about because it makes me sob uncontrollably.

Let me save you the trip to Wikipedia: "Eosinophilic bronchopneumopathy, also known as pulmonary infiltrates with eosinophils, is an immune mediated condition characterized by eosinophilic infiltration of lung and bronchial mucosa. The cause is unknown. Most common signs include cough followed by retching and gagging--- it is often compared to a smoker's cough."

Basically Zora's heaving is caused by inflammation in her airways which is brought on by potentially one of those reasons. She's been battling whatever she has since May 17. It breaks my heart to see her in so much pain and discomfort.  

We were sent home with an antibiotic, steroid and dewormer. From here on out, we're eliminating our options in stages. We'll know if it's lungworms by tomorrow when the fecal results come back. In two weeks when the deworming meds and antibiotics are up, we'll start weaning her off steroids. If her symptoms don't come back, her infection was most likely the allergic bronchitis. If her symptoms do return, we have to run further tests to determine whether to proceed with lifelong oral steroid to treat Eosinophilic Bronchopneumopathy or.......

So we here are. Waiting..... trying not to cry..... lots of spooning. Lil Man senses that Zora needs her space and lots of love. He hung out near her all last night, giving her kisses and refraining from pulling out her fur. He even went and got my cutting mat out of the cupboard and covered her up with it. Bless his little heart.

Keep praying everyone. Pray for a positive outcome and pray that these meds provide her some comfort. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fast Cars and Country Living: Meeting the BFs Family and Friends

It's been quite awhile since I've left the Mitten. Shoot, it's been a while since I traveled outside my 30 mile West Michigan triangle. Between needing a little break from life and awaiting Ryan's return from commissioning sites, I was so excited all week for our trip to his hometown in Indiana. Although super busy and always on the go, it was a much needed break and some time together.

Took off Friday to head to his best friend's house in West Lafayette. He and his wife were such wonderful hosts and let us crash there all weekend. They invited another couple over and we grilled out, played some games and spent the evening out on the patio. It was such an awesome time.

Of course these furry guys and I are BFFs now. The terrier is Lily and Gabby is the other woman in Ryan's life. What big babies. 

...and then there's Colby. He's my BFF too.

Saturday morning, we helped Ryan's sister move into a new apartment. I was fortunate enough to meet his two sisters, their boyfriends and his younger brother. All such wonderful people!

Their aunt and uncle hosted a graduation party later that afternoon. A beautiful, quiet evening out in the country enjoying some cornhole, a Euchre tournament, too much food and a campfire. Well, it was quiet until the boys rolled out the restored 1973 Corvette. 

Ryan took me for a leisurely cruise around the block. Shit, who am I kidding... we wanted to see what that baby could do. I'm not a car enthusiast by any means, but it was a hell of a ride and made me at least appreciate its awesomeness.  

How could anyone not appreciate some good ol' country living? Beautiful.

Sunday morning, we met back up with his friends to eat ourselves silly at Triple XXX on the Purdue campus. Apparently it's not only an awesome place for drunk food a midnight snack, it was featured on The Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Ermahgerd. Thank God for elastic waistbands. 

Since we had a few hours to kill before graduation, Ryan took me on a tour of the Purdue campus. Despite school being out for summer, all of the athletic facilities were unlocked so we may have snuck inside for a peak. Between the Corvette and checking out the football field and other arenas, my gearhead/sports nut of a boyfriend was like a kid in a candy store this weekend. LoL!

Even though it didn't float my boat quite like it did his, it was a BEAUTIFUL day outside and it was cool to see where he went to school.

Our last adventure of the weekend was watching his little brother graduate high school. This weekend was so wonderful and much needed. I loved getting to meet all his friends and family so I can finally put a face with a name. 

It was quite a new experience for me. It was my first official "meet the parents/family." Like ever. So a bit nervous, but I think it went really well. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Praying that Brody's "eye-teeth" poke through this week so my little man feels better and that we find some answers when we take Miss Zora to the MSU animal clinic on Wednesday. Stay tuned and keep praying!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Love and Goulets: Bridal Shower

My beautiful sister, the future Mrs. Goulet, had her second bridal shower this past Sunday. Hosted by our aunts and Grandma Neiser, it turned out beautifully and we could not have had better weather. Yes, a bit warm but after the winter we just had, I'm not complaining. 

Guys, can we just stop for a second and check out how hot my mom and sister two sisters are?! For reals. I pray at 29-ish I can still look that good! ;)

Beautiful decorations... amazing food... I ate 2 servings of everything... whatever. Exactly what I need to be doing a week before I get my bridesmaid dress fitted... c'mon, Andrea.

How cool is that backdrop my aunt put together with the help of her Silhouette and a shower curtain!? (Because it's a shower... duh.) ;)

These went in my belly. My belly was pleased.

The beautiful hosts and bride-to-be! And then there's all seven of us Neiser cousins. Everyone looked so beautiful! 

We discovered, with the help of a little game, that Adam knows my sister's favorite food is pizza rolls, she loves to use her coupons at Kohls and he's a big fan of her boobs (but then again, who isn't?) ;)

Mamas and sisters. In only a few months, there are going to be two Ashley Goulets who could pass for biological sisters. I'm pretty sure those two look more related than my own sister and I do. Weird. 

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make the shower a total success!! Only 73 more days!
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