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My Feelings About Early Retirement & Being Blessed

Having Faith

Having Faith

As usual…..

 It has been awhile since my last post. I had hoped to maintain this blog on a regular basis, mainly as a journal of my current life dealing with my physical, mental and psychological post-polio symptoms. Then of course there is the natural aging process that we must all go through.Currently I continue to work in a job I love but can no longer put in 40 hours a week and have had to cut down to maximum of 30 hours a week by going on Family Medical Leave and using my accrued sick leave. I was able to get a prescription from my neurologist to allow me to work fewer hours. Unfortunately I’m still not sure he understands post-polio symptoms as few doctors do. As Dr. Bruno calls it, The Polio Paradox hits the nail right on the head. PPS is a contradiction in itself. It is frustrating to have to try and convince my doctors my symptoms are post-polio related. Now I am asking myself, “Why should I care?” I have gotten to the point I really don’t anymore.

         As for my decision to retire……a few months back I sat in a hospital room for two hours watching a co-worker die from breast cancer. She was in a coma on life support but I talked with her and prayed over her. I knew all was well when the Holy Spirit came over me. She had to take early retirement because it came down to my employer keeping me or her. They kept me on which allowed me to reach my 30 plus years as my co-worker had done. She never forgave me (but I think as a Christian she did, in her own way, I feel sure of it) even though it was out of my control. Her sister later told me it was the best thing that could have happen to her, she was given time to do volunteer work for her Church, spend more time with her family and most of all watch her only grand-daughter grow into a fine young lady. After leaving her hospital room, kissing her on the forehead and letting her know “it is ok to let go”  (two hours later the family took her off life support). As I drove away from the hospital, a thought came over me, “Bubba, it is time to stop working. You have to think of your health and maintaining your independence. Money is important to maintain my independence but my health is more important.” I went back to the office and the next day I typed my letter of intent to retire as of January 31, 2014. As the time approaches, I have mixed feelings.  Physically I grow weaker but try not to dwell on that, mentally I have become more forgetful and without rest have difficulty speaking and organizing my thoughts. For that reason I hate to talk on a phone because it can get a bit embarrassing. Psychologically, I feel I am withdrawing more and more from others but having faith and a belief in Jesus Christ along with great friends I will get through anything thrown my way!I feel strongly that all things happen for a reason and I am trying to convince myself, all will be well, I am making the right decision and God will get me through this……..he always has and always will.

   For anyone who has read my posts then you know about “Birdy”. She is doing great! That little dog can be dense at times but she is smart and entertaining. No one could ask for a better dog. She seldom barks, is full of life and energy, wants to stay at my side or at least in her eye sight and will pout (walking away slowly with her head held down) when I have to leave her for work or when it is bed time. It took awhile to dawn on me but I’ve learned to love her and she is a gift from God. There was a very good reason it was meant for me to rescue her from certain euthanization.I hope to post again soon as I think it helps to sometimes be able to put my thoughts into words. As I sit here and type, now and then I glance out of my window seeing the palm tree I planted a few years back, growing full and tall, the green grass, the live oaks with moss hanging from the limbs……I could go on forever. I think what I’m trying to say is that no matter what life throws at us, with Gods help we can get through anything and when I look out of my window I’m thankful for my life and all God has blessed me with.

For the one or two who might read this, take care and when you have tuff decisions to make, trust yourself, leave it in Gods hands and try not to look at the negatives in your life but instead, look at the positives (blessings). If you look beyond the trees, you will find just how blessed you are.

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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Early Retirement, Mental, Pets, Polio, Quit Smoking

 

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Is Pet Insurance Worth The Gamble?

Birdy with her new toys since her old ones had to be thrown away due to being contaminated by the parvo. The elephant is one of her favorites as it has big ears like her!

Birdy with her new toys since her old ones had to be thrown away due to being contaminated by the parvo. The elephant is one of her favorites as it has big ears like her!

I came home from work today with good news from Birdy’s insurance company. A lady from Petplan Pet Insurance left a voice message on my phone stating my claim was being processed by their accounting department and they were cutting me a check for over $5,000 dollars which will pay the credit card I had to use to save Birdy’s life when she had to stay in the animal emergency hospital taking heavy doses of antibiotics, having blood transfusions, enduring isolation (they did let me see her everyday through a glass window), given oxygen, feed through IV, etc.

I’m not sure to this day why I adopted Birdy and even more surprising why I took out the Pet Insurance since she appeared healthy and had all her shots but just a few months later the roof fell in on us.

As for the Parvo Virus, before Birdy came down with it I had never heard of such a thing. It strikes fast and the suffering your pet can go through is the worse I have ever seen and their chances of survival are very slim. After two days in the animal hospital I was about to have her put to sleep because the bill was growing fast and I knew it was getting to the limit of what I could afford plus nothing should have to suffer the way she was suffering. One thing for sure the hospital, vets and staff did all they could to make her comfortable.

Those eyes are hard for me to resist. Yes, her pawnails are long but she finally got them cut by her favorite vet a few days later. She actually holds her paws out to him while she calmly watches him clip them.

For those of you wanting to adopt a pet, keep in mind it will take commitment and they will need a lot of care, just like a real human. My advice to anyone reading this, the best thing you could do is scrap up enough money to take out pet health insurance. Yes it can be a gamble not knowing if they will cover the illness but then again isn’t that the same for our own health insurance?

Go to “Petplan” website (they will have me as a customer for as long as Birdy is alive) and check out what they offer because I can assure you it is affordable and worth every penny.

As for Birdy, I had been told she was a Chihuahua Mix but as it turns out she is a JackCha which is a Jack Russell and Chihuahua but my little dog is more Jack Russell. Full of energy, loving, smart and is crazy about chasing after squirrels and love everyone who comes near her! Birdy may be a pain in the behind sometimes but I can be too so she’s just paying me back I suppose 🙂

By the way, if you decide to take out a policy with Petplan for your pet I hope you will tell them that James Davis and “Birdy” of Fort Pierce FL recommended them to you. It is only my way of letting them know how much their honesty is appreciated.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Pets

 

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Adopting a Chihuahua from an Animal Shelter

This is Birdy with her caretaker at the Humane Society. I suspect this was taken shortly before adoption.

If reading about taking on, for the first time,  the responsibility of owning and training a dog bores you, then please read no further.

I have never owned a pet. Sure I have given it some thought but never really followed through with it because it was just that, “a thought”. Lately it has taken all my reserves to take care of myself much less taking on the responsibility of a dog. Thursday August 2, 2012 at work the thought of getting a dog hit me again but by the time I got home I knew it wasn’t a good idea and forgot about it.

The following day, on Friday morning, August 3, 2012, my day off, I awakened about 5:30 AM and suddenly I had the thought, “You got to go to the Humane Society TODAY!” I knew it was early so I went to their website, with no intention of getting a dog, I would just go visit the place. From the pictures of the dogs up for adoption, none caught my attention. At 11:00 AM I arrived at the Humane Society, asked the women at the desk if I could look at the dogs up for adoption and she directed me to the back where sections A, B and C were located. All I could hear was dogs barking and a smell I hate, DOG SMELL! All I could think about was the smell, the shedding of hair, poop and pee, the expense and responsibility of owning a dog. The con’s outweighed the pro’s and as far as I was concerned I had been all talk when it came to actually getting a pet.  I had forgotten about the scripture from the Book of James, not the exact words but, “If you talk the talk you must walk the walk.” Ok, so maybe that is why I was called to visit the place.I began to walk down the aisle in Section B and figured that was as far as I would go and would leave. Most dogs bark and run from me when they see my crutches. I suppose they see them as a kind of threat/weapon.  I walked slowly down the aisle looking from left to right and just as I knew they would, the dogs barked at me and either charged to the front of their cages or backed away as I went by. Most looked at me like I would make a good before lunch snack!

I stopped at cage B-3 and there sitting silently on the concrete floor, in a corner was a little dog with huge ears and big beautiful eyes…….only the eyes reflected what I felt was sadness, hurt and hopelessness. I began reading the sign on her cage and it said her name was Birdy, she was a Chihuahua, a year old and housebroken. Also she was spayed the day before…..but I knew….no I felt…this was not the reason for her silence and huddling in a corner. I pushed all this to the back of my mind and said to myself, “Bubba keep walking and then get the heck out of here.”

I observed the rest of the dogs as I walked slowly down the aisle. Just as I was about to get out of the door, I stopped suddenly at cage B-3. Birdy walked over, took a bite from her food bowl and then stuck her nose outside her cage looking at me with those sad eyes. She slowly turned and went to her corner not looking my way. Her caretaker walked up to me and I asked her if she acted this way because she had been spayed the day before. She said, “No, she has always been like this. Timid and withdrawn. We got her as a stray.” Burdy was skinny as a rail and all you could see was those great big ears and sad eyes that mirrored so much. I knew then and there she had at one time been severely abused and then it hit me! It was like a soundless voice saying, “Bubba she is for you and you for her. Take her home with you.” Birdy and I were taken to the “play area”. She came right to me and never once flinched when my crutches moved and as we walked side by side, she kept her distance from my feet and crutches so as not to trip me.

Birdy asleep on her new bed on the first night of her adoption.

An hour later, I had signed the adoption papers and Birdy became my responsibility. As I was driving home and she layed quietly on the passenger seat, I thought, “Oh sheesh, what have I gotten myself into. I can’t stand dog smell, my carpet is new and what if she pees and poops on it, dog hair will be on everything, blah, blah, blah….on and on the thoughts went. Below is a kind of journal I have kept up with for our first week together. I keep it to remind me of her progress, if any and reminders of the care she has been given and will need.

Date

Event

Comment

08/03/2012Friday Adopted Birdy from SLC Humane Society Birdy is a Chihuahua mix, short hair and I was told she was a stray. She is a year old and spayed on Aug. 2, 2012. She is very skinny with backbone and ribs showing.   Quiet with no barking or whining. Obeys command of “stay” and appears to be trained for leash. Always stayes safe distance from me for prevention of   causing me to stumble and is not threatened by my crutches and never gets close when I’m walking, only when I’m standing still or sitting. Seems to love to ride sitting in passenger seat of car. I was given worm pill for Aug. 23, 2012, a leash, collar with bell, dry dog food, shampoo and an owner “chip”  was inplanted in left front shoulder area.
08/03/2012 Purchased cans of Pedigree dog food and told to mix with dry food   also a dog bed, toy and expandable leash along with “treats” and a potty pad. Feed twice and peed on potty pad twice. Slept through the night by my bed quietly through night but was often licking paws.
08/04/2012Saturday Housetraining and routine of eating times. Morning put on leash and walked her in yard. Did not use bathroom.   Peed on porch and pooped. Told to “stay” on porch when I went inside front door.   She go through door only if I a say, “Come On”.   Feed her at 6:30AM, 12:00 Noon and 6:30PM. Gave her treats and found she did  not like bacon flavor. Went to bed allowing her to sleep in my room. Was   favoring her paws constantly licking or lifting a leg, paw off floor or ground.  No padding on bottom of paws,  raw looking with scabs. Also scabs appear on her left side where she had   been shaved for spay surgery.
08/05/2012Sunday Housetraining and routine of eating. Bought “crate” with “padding”   for inside, a toy and chicken flavor Hertz treats. Awaken at 5:30AM. Threw up on bedroom carpet in four places. Peed  between carpet and bathroom tile, pooped (firm stool, thank God) from hall to front  door on new carpet. She did not follow me as I cleaned up. Placed leash on her pointing out each area she pooped, threwup and peed at and firmly said “bad” and then let her outside and attached leash to screen door. Did this through the day and allowed her  to stay on porch and began training her to use a crate as she is no longer allowed to sleep in my room or have freedom to walk around in the house alone. Pooped once outside  out of my sight, peed on padding but began to miss and would hit floor with pee puddles on porch or carpet. Feed three times daily at same time. Cut down on amount of food due to her having thrown during night.  Three table spoons of dry food and one table-spoon of soft can food mashed  and mixed in dry. Will continue to feed three times daily same time every day.  Placed treats in  crate and she appeared comfortable with it. I call it her “safe space”. Left door open but always kept her in my sight. At bedtime I placed treats in back of crate (while she is out on porch) and when brought  in from porch she would go in and I would close door. No problem, she ate treats and we both had a good night sleep. Continued to favor her paws   licking on them constantly. Earlier in day had given her bath with damp washcloth. Humane Society said she could not have normal bath for two weeks.
08/06/2012Monday Housetraining and routine of eating and staying in “crate”.Made appointment for her to see a new vet set for 3:00 PM Friday. My first day leaving her home alone while I worked. Routine began. 5:30AM put on leash and let outside with leash attached to screen door. 20 minutes later allowed to stay on porch while I showered and dressed for work. Went   out to porch 6:20AM. Used potty on porch floor peeing and pooping. Pointed and said “bad”. Allowed her to come in and put down food and fresh water. She ate quickly (always does) and drank a bit of water. Had placed two small pieces of treat in  back of “crate” which she could smell and walked in cage while I closed and locked door. Praised her and left for work. Came home for lunch. Placed on leash connected to screen door. Looked out front door. She pooped! Brought her in to eat, had hidden treats in back of crate. She went in freely and I  closed door. Came home around 4:30PM. Let her out by walking her on leash,   she peed and I praised her but she would not poop. Left on porch for a while and  she pooped and peed on floor.  Kept to same routine as previous night but allowed her to stay on leash attached to door staying outside for about 30 minutes.
08/7-8/2012Tues. /Wed. Housetraining and routine of eating and staying in “crate”. Same routine as previous days. Began scratching and continued licking her feet obsessively. By this time I seriously thought she had an OCD (do they give dogs prozac…sheesh). Could hear her whining in crate. She was licking her lower belly and trembling and I thought maybe it was the area where she had been spayed and it was itching   from healing. She began to potty for me outside in my presence. Would praise her afterward and give her a treat.  Followed same night routine but allowed her to play longer in living room with toy and allowed her to explore house only if I could see her. Also gave her more attention.
08/09/2012Thursday Housetraining and routine of eating and staying in “crate”. We followed same routine but I was having very bad day at work. Throughout the day my depression and anxiety increased. I also was sure I would need to return Birdy to Humane Society. For her own good I knew I had to give her up as I could not give her the care and attention she deserved. My physical, mental   and psychological problems would not allow me to give her my all but it was mainly due to my physical limitations of being able to walk her daily and  give her more attention.  My “Baby   Girl” as I have begun to call her has taken a piece of my heart. The thought of uprooting her again after what was a likely horrible experience for her with her last owner was weighing heavily on me. Co-workers were   adding job responsibilities on me faster than I could keep up. They were also letting me know next week would be very busy for me since I had to take on my  old stressful responsibilities since the person who took them on would be on   FMLA for a week or two. My supervisor said my work schedule would have to return to normal unless I renewed my prescription to accommodate me to come in earlier and leaving earlier due to my physical and mental fatigue. When I  got home I did something unusual…. I allowed Birdy to go outside without a  leash. I sat on step while she wondered around in the yard and before I knew  it she peed AND pooped! She walked up to me with those great big eyes looking  at me with excitement and those big ears standing straight out. My “Baby Girl”   did me proud and I knew there would no longer have to be a leash for when she is home.  I began to have my doubts of  giving her up. Other than that, our nightly routine stayed the same. She loves people and never barks at them.
08/10/2012 Housetraining and routine of eating and staying in “crate”.  Decision making time, do I give her up? Vets   appointment at 3:00 PM. Once again I let Birdy out with no leash. I sat on step as she roamed  the yard. She pooped, peed and visited with Daryl. She   used the bathroom each time I let her out. Gave her a bath with damp rag since Humane Society advised I not give her a bath for 14 days. Through the day I did not think about giving her up but concentrated on how well she was   doing and her appointment with the Vet. We left for the appointment with leash and Birdy on the passenger seat. I have learned she loves to ride. I had a hard time getting her through the door to the vets and no matter how hard I pulled  on her leash, she wouldn’t budge. Finally a FED-EX man came along and gave her a nudge from behind. It took her awhile to get used the environment and she stuck to me   like glue! Her examination went well but the vet informed me her paws were extremely   damaged by what appeared to have been from some type of chemical that ate away the padding of her paws. She had a blister on one of her hind paws. He said it appeared she had been healing from the damage of the chemical as he saw dried flaky scabs on her side where she had been shaved for when she was spayed.  It appears more and more Birdy had been severely abused before she was found by the Humane Society. The vet said it was okay to give her a full bath tomorrow. When I got her home I sat on the couch with her and  a towel in my lap. As I sprayed her paws with the medication the vet gave me, she tried mightily to pull away from me as it must have burned and been very painful. She finally settled down after whining and crying. She stood on her hind legs on the towel next to me. She laid her head against my chest  and her top paws on my arm without moving for about 20 minutes. I found myself becoming really angry with whoever could have been cruel enough to   abuse this little dog.
08/11/2012Saturday Housetraining and routine of eating,  administering meds and later a full bath Tried to get her to go out and potty as usual this morning but she refused. I left her on the porch while I fixed her meal. When I returned she had pooped and peed on the porch floor. I used a firm voice and said “no” as she began to poop again but she paid little attention to me.  I cleaned up the mess and without speaking   walked out onto the grass with her.  After a few minutes she peed and I praised her as she wagged her tail and looked at me with a grin (front teeth showing).
 
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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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