Stephanie Burgis
My Journal

Get Email Updates
Steph's LiveJournal mirror
Steph's Homepage
Published Short Stories
Upcoming Novels
Steph's Twitter account
Patrick Samphire's journal
Mr Darcy's blog
Steph's Flickr Account
Patrick's Flickr Account
2010: A Book Odyssey
SF Novelists
Web Rats
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

1256803 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

What’s been going on...
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (12)

Before anything else - thanks so much to everybody for all the wonderful comments on my last entry! It was so great to read them and be reminded of what an amazing community I’ve managed to become a part of, over the last few years. I feel really thankful for that. Writing is such a lonely business, on the whole; it’s amazing to get to hang out online with you guys and feel like we’re all part of a shared enterprise, cheering for each other’s successes and commiserating on the bad times.

And in terms of the bad stuff... Again, I’m sorry the last entry was so cagey. We got some news earlier this week that really threw me for a loop, and I didn’t feel ready to write about it until today.

When we took Nika to the dermatologist on Wednesday, he read her case records and skin biopsy results, looked at her condition, and immediately diagnosed all the problems she’s been having over the past year. He thinks it looks like an absolutely classic case of adult on-set dermatomyositis, a very rare and degenerative auto-immune disorder that mainly occurs in collie dogs. It starts with the skin (and nails - thus all those broken nails she’s been having) and can move on from there on into the muscles, and eventually to the esophagus. It’s an incurable disease. He’s started her on a course of steroids, along with heavy doses of Vitamin E and omega oils, and he hopes that three months of that combination will knock her into remission. There is still a chance that she could have a different, very similar auto-immune disease; if so, that should still be treated by the Vitamin E. We haven't had the definitive test done yet because the vet thought the diagnosis looked so clear, based on Nika's symptoms. (Also, the test is extremely painful, so it's not worth having it done unless it becomes obvious that absolutely nothing else is working.)

I went into an absolute panic for about three days after the diagnosis, unable to focus on anything except the worst-case possibility he warned us about. I didn’t sleep much, and I did an awful lot of crying.

Over the last couple of days, though, Patrick and I have been doing a ton of research. We’ve found lots of testimonials from people whose dogs have lived long and happy lives after that diagnosis, their symptoms kept completely under control by medication. We’ve also come up with some different possible treatment options that we might be able to try out if the steroids don’t work. We’re also enormously lucky in that we have pet health insurance (if you don’t have this, and you have a pet, get it now! It’s so worthwhile), which means that we will never have to face financial questions over any tests or treatment costs. Best of all, Nika has actually seemed a little bit better, perkier and a little more lively, ever since yesterday afternoon. She’s had such a tough set of circumstances in her life - first being born on the street, then being hit by a car as a little stray puppy, and even getting Lyme disease in Vienna when she was three. She’s seven years old, and she’s gotten through everything that’s ever been thrown at her. We have to believe that she can get through this, too.

But any good-luck vibes you can send through the ether for her would be very, very welcome.

Nika sleeping July 2006

Read/Post Comments (12)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.