Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Yearly Appointment

When my daughter was born, she was breach so she had to be born via c-section.  I still remember everyone telling me that she had plenty of time to turn but I knew in my heart that she wasn't going to turn.  I wish that I had not been right. I didn't want a c-section. I was afraid of getting the spinal, the surgery and the recovery.  But you do what you have to do.  And it really wasn't bad at all.  After she was born, I found out that her left hip was dislocated and the her right one popped in and out occasionally. I still remember that moment clearly.  The doctor came in and was talking about it like it was no big deal.  There was something wrong with my baby!!! I got no sympathy or compassion from her.  My world felt like it was falling apart and she just went to the other side of the curtain to talk to the other mother that was in the same room as me.  It took me a couple of hours before I could compose myself to call my husband with the news.  As a mother, I feared the worse.What if she couldn't run and play sports?  Would she have a limp? Would she have to wear a brace to walk?  Would kids make fun of her?  I had never heard of this happening before.  I have since learned that it is fairly common.  I wish I had know that then.  Later that day, the orthopedic doctor came in and explained what the plan was.  We were very lucky to have caught it so soon.  The longer it takes to diagnose, the longer the time in the harness.

She was born on 11/30 and on 12/5 we were at the orthopedic getting her fitted for a harness. She had to wear that wonderful torturous contraption for about 6 weeks. It was wonderful because it fixed my baby girl but torturous with every daily activity.  In a perfect world, the harness would never be taken off for those 6 weeks.  But we all know that this world is far from perfect.  We took it off about once a week to change her clothes but that was it.  It  wasn't too bad except for her spitting up.  That harness smelled so bad when those 6 weeks were finally over.  She couldn't have a normal bath and diaper changes required weaving the tabs through the harness.  Normal diaper changes are easy as pie compared to changing her diaper!  While she had the harness on, we had to visit the ortho doctor every ten days and get ultrasounds/x-rays every ten days as well. It was exhausting.  At the end of the 6 weeks, I was actually afraid to get the harness taken off.  What if the hips popped out after it was removed?  The harness was like a safety net. Nothing bad could happen to her hips while she was wearing it.  But I loved being able to give a bath. a real bath!!!!! I took joy in all the normal things that most parents do without thinking about it.  I changed her clothes often and diaper changes were a breeze.  I didn't have to worry about the harness rubbing on her skin and tummy time didn't look like torture time.  Even just watching her kick her legs was new to us! Ahhh the simple things in life! Now, we just have to go yearly to get x-rays done and see the doctor.

Last year when we got her x-rays done it went horribly!  Lots of screaming and kicking.  So this year I decided to get prepared. I got books that had x-ray machines in them and talked about doctors.  We practiced how she was gonna have to lay down on the x-ray table and all the different positions she would have to do.  I told her it she might be scared but I would be there with her the whole time and that the most important thing was to stay still.  But we didn't call them x-rays, we called them pictures. She seemed really excited to get pictured taken of her hips. We were ready. We were prepared. Yeah right! When are you ever prepared when you have a 3yr old?  It wasn't horrible though.  She cried and screamed but she stayed still so they got what they needed quickly.  I think having to take off her pants pushed her over the edge.  She was nervous and clingy but when they asked her to take off her pants, it all went down hill from there.  Afterwards she was fine and when we picked up the x-rays, she was very excited to see them.  Now, I just had to prepare for the ortho appointment.  *sigh*

Seeing the ortho doctor usually goes well so I didn't do any preparation. Plus since all my hard work and preparing for the x-rays turned out to be a bust, why even bother!  Of course we sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes before we got into a room. but luckily they had a toy duck that made noise and had a string so you could pull it around.  That made her day!  She loves rubber duckies. :)  When the doctor finally came in, she said the x-rays look great! I am always afraid that they will find something wrong and she'll have to have another harness or a cast.  She is sooooo active that anything that would slow her down would be devastating.   All we had to do before we left was take off my daughters pants so the doctor could take a feel.  Of course, just like last time, the brought out the tears.  But the doctor tickled her while she examined her so it went well!  The doctor did mention that she is very flexible and loose and that we may have a future gymnast or cheerleader.  Then she asked it she got that from me? Hahahahaha I never heard anything so funny before. If you know me, you are probably smiling right now cause that is just not me.  I think she will be into sports not cheer leading but you never know. And looking at her now, you would never have known that she had ever had a problem.

I often wonder about her birth. Nothing about it was "normal".  I wonder if that was to prepare me for now.  What we are doing to have another child is not considered "normal" either.  But I never considered myself normal anyway so that is alright by me.

Well, I got another two years to plan for our next visit to the ortho doctor and to get her x-rays done.So who wants to help me remember to do that in 2 years???????

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is the food you are feeding your pets any good?????

I have been asked many times "What is a good dog food to feed my dog?".  I always tell people that they need to look at the bag.  The first 3 ingredients will tell you if you are using a good dog or cat food.  It can be hard to understand the list of ingredients and know what they mean.  That is why I am writing this.  I challenge you to go look at your pet food and see what the first 3 ingredients are.  The first 3 ingredients should be a protein. Don't worry I will wait until you get back.

I hope you actually took that time to look. If not, you better check later cause I will quiz you the next time I see you. So you better be prepared!  :)

High quality foods will contain superior sources of protein like whole, fresh fish or single source meat meal.  They will have a whole-meat source as one of the two first ingredients and will have whole, unprocessed grains and vegetables.

High quality foods will not contain food fragments, meat by-products, artificial preservatives or sweeteners, or artificial coloring or flavoring.  So, did your pet food pass? I doubt it.  I hate shopping for dog and cat food because most of the foods out there aren't very good.  I think we have gotten very good about reading the labels on the food we eat so know it's time to do the same with our pets.

I am also going to explain what some of the terms mean that you will see in the list of ingredients. It can be confusing and I think they do that on purpose. They want you to think you are buying good quality food when really you are feeding them corn and rice!

First I will list good ingredients that you want to look for. :)

Chicken meal - the dry product from a combination of skin and flesh, with or without bone derived from the whole carcasses of the chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails

Lamb meal - the rendered product from the lamb tissues, exclusive of hair, blood, hide, hoof, trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents

Ground rice - The dehulled rice kernel, without the pericap, ground or chopped

Brown rice - the entire product obtained in grinding the rice kernels after removing the hulls.

Chicken or lamb  fat - Obtained from the tissue of chickens/ lambs in the commercial process of rendering/extracting

Flaxseed Meal - the ground product obtained from the see of the flax plant

Sunflower Oil - Obtained from extracting the oil from the sunflower seeds

Here are some things that you do NOT want in your pet food

Poultry by-product meal - Consists of the ground parts of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines (gross!)

Meat meal/meat and bone meal - the rendered products from mammal tissues, excludes blood, hair, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in trace amounts. Here is the gross part!!!!  Most people associate this ingredient with beef. The truth is that it can be from ANY animal. i.e. pigs, goats, horses, rabbits or even roadkill. It can also come from dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals!  I warned you that is was gross.

Ground corn - This is just a filler

Wheat flour - Basically waste leftovers from the mill

Animal fat - The species is unknown and the quality is usually very poor

BHT/ BHA/ Ethoxyquin - These are artificial preservatives that enhance the shelf-life of dry foods.  There are debates as to how much of these products should be in pet foods. Vitamin E in fresh food is a great preservative!

Well, I hope this has helped you better understand what you are feeding to your dog or cat.  Now go check the label if you haven't already. Take the pet food challenge!!!

Psalm for the Day