For All Who Have Asked Me

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/8/2011 5:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm relatively new here. So, allow me to introduce myself. Many have asked what ails me. I had rheumatic fever when I was 14. It crippled my knees and left me with a mild heart condition. From 1981-1986, I had 6 knee surgeries followed by physical therapy, the use of crutches or a cane and knee braces. I had my first surgery when I was 17. Between knee surgeries, I managed to finish college in 1986. I majored in Agriculture and Biology, and earned an ulcer. My knees finally stable, I was making plans to attend the University of Kentucky to study Veterinary Medicine. But in the Fall of 1987, I was in an auto accident when a drunk driver ran a stop sign. I injured my neck, back, lower abdomen, shoulder, and right knee. That Spring, I had to have a total knee replacement in my right leg. A year later, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Myofacial Pain, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Chronic Fatigue. In 1992, I contracted a staff infection in my artificial knee, and underwent major surgery to remove the infection. I spent that entire Winter in the hospital while on very strong antibiotics given through an IV that was inserted in a vein one centimeter away from my heart. After years of compensating for my knees, all of my joints are now distressed. I have chronic bursitis in both of my hips and arthritis in my lower lumbar vertebrae. I wear braces on all of my joints and back. Most of the time, I use a cane or crutches. Other times, I use a walker, wheelchair, or scooter. Eight years ago, the doctors discovered I had a sleeping disorder, ADD, and Dyslexia. I've always been prone to sinus and ear infections, Bronchitis, and Pneumonia. Also,I suffer from sinus, tension, and migraine headaches, TMJ, and Dry Mouth Disease. I'm no stranger to depression either. Test results showed my brain was unable to produce adrenaline because of the constant and continual chronic pain I suffer. The lack of adrenaline is the root cause of my depression. I have reactive hypoglycemia, reactive asthma, allergies, allergic dermititis, and low thyroid. I stopped counting concussions after the tenth one.

Yes, I have a service dog I've trained: a 3 year old Labrador Pointing Retriever named Maybelle. She's not perfect but she's getting there. I keep telling her she's not stupid just stubborn. My 15 year old West Highland White Terrier named Raggs, enjoys trying to get her in trouble... as she does him.

I live with my elderly widowed mother, who also has Fibromyalgia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some of the things I enjoy are reading, writing, listening to and playing music, embroidery, photography, working jigsaw puzzles, and studying ancient history. When I feel like it, I fly my 6 ft span delta kite.
Even though my daddy was a school principal, we ranched, farmed, logged timber, and saw milled.

That's me in a nut shell. I have no regrets. I take life an hour or a day at a time. And if all I accomplish in a day is hanging up one shirt, I've accomplished something.

soma, lortab, elavil, prilosec, naprosyn, tenormin, tranxene, zoloft, effexor, klonopin, singulair, adderall, cytomel, albuteral sulfate inhaler, guafenisen, cortizone injections in my left shoulder, left knee, and hips several times a year yeah

"The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running."

Post Edited (ServiceDogGal/raggs) : 2/8/2011 1:09:38 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 2/8/2011 6:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello raggs! It is a pleasure to meet you. I want to be the first to welcome you to our little (and growing) family. It sounds like you have had a trying lifetime already! I am so sorry that you are having to deal with so many health problems. I do hope that you will stick around and allow all of us here on CP to get to know you better.

We all deal with CP in our own little ways and here on HW forums is what I like to call one more tool to add to my defense. Anyway hope your having a low pain day.

I live to "Tame My Pain!" 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 2/8/2011 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi raggs, so glad that you found us. We have a great family here! I really think you will like it. It's so nice to be able to talk to others who are also dealing with chronic pain. I hope you keep coming back and get some much needed support. Take care.
Gentle Hugs,

Fibromyalgia, Chronic daily headaches, Migraines, Possible Graves Disease, GERD, High blood pressure, Depression and Anxiety

Oxycontin, Percocet, Lopressor, Lexapro, Omeprazole, Promethazine as needed for nausea, Ventolin inhaler and Vitamin D3

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 594
   Posted 2/8/2011 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to our family! Welcoming a new member always comes with mixed emotions! It makes me sad to know that another person is suffering....but I am happy that they have found us! You will fit right in here....and I would like to have been through so much in your life! It is very refreshing to see such a positive attitude! Sometimes we all need that, to give us a little push off the pity pot! I know that right now I do! I look forward to getting to know you!

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Spinal Stenosis L3/L4, L4/L5 & L5/S1 with Nerve Impingement, Fibromyalgia, TMJ, GERD, Severe Depression, VERY Large Cyst Right Ovary causing mild twisting, Small Cysts Left Ovary & 3 Large Cysts Uterus

Medications - MS-Contin, Plaquenil, Cymbalta, Famotidine and currently Prednisone

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 2/8/2011 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
This is a good forum, great support, welcome, sure wish it
was under better circumstance than chronic pain, in which we are
meeting... Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself. Hope
you can get a low pain day soon.
well wishes and healing hugz
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 2/8/2011 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   



   Dear Raggs,

      Good morning. My name is Dani and it is very nice to meet you. As I am sure you can see, we have a great support group here. It is a wonderful place for friendship, knowledge and support.

      You have been through so much in your life time. I can tell from your post that you are a very strong willed person. You must be in tremendous pain every day. I hope you are able to find relief and have a good team of doctors to help you.

      Your dogs sound wonderful. I have always wanted to have a dog myself, but I am not in a position to have another child.  I know it sounds odd, but I view pets as children as they take so much to care for. I have 2 cats and they are a handful. Between bathing, clipping, dental, shots meds and play time they keep me on my toes!

       Again, it was very nice to meet you. I look forward to knowing you better as time goes by.


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/8/2011 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Dani,
Maybelle is my second service dog. I had my first one when I was in college. For Maybelle, being a service dog is natural. She senses an oncoming anxiety attack... sometimes before I do. She also knows when I'm not well and refuses to leave my side. I've had her since she was 6 weeks old. Not long after I got her I slipped on black ice, knocked myself out. She stayed right by me, and she wasn't even fully house broken. I've never been married so my dogs are my children. One day, she and Raggs aggravated each other all day long. That evening, I finally had enough. I yelled at them," I've had it, kill each other if you want! I'm done!". They stood shoulder to shoulder and looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Raggs hopped up in the recliner, and Maybelle climbed up onto the couch. Neither made a noise the rest of the evening. smhair

"The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running."

Post Edited (ServiceDogGal/raggs) : 2/8/2011 12:50:19 PM (GMT-7)

Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/8/2011 9:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome SDG,

It's nice to have you here. It looks like you will fit right in with the rest of us as we hobble, wobble, slip, slide, or limp through life. We're a very diverse group of people, most, if not all, with chronic pain and almost all willing to help a fellow CP sufferer. I look forward to learning more about you and to getting to know you better. Perhaps you could give some pointers on the best way to train a dog. My chocolate lab (or better yet, my daughter's) was a very abused puppy and has serious trust issues. I'm trying, but she's a little difficult to deal with when she wants to have the men working on my house for lunch. She's never really bitten anyone, but she's scared a few pretty well. The problem is catching her when she realizes someone is here. It's almost impossible to get her in the house into her "room" for the day to keep her from scaring the workmen off. We love her and she really wouldn't hurt anyone (we don't think), but she packs quite a bark. It's a positive thing when you know you are looking for someone to look after your child or your family, but it can be a difficult situation when she frightens grown men. She has never offered to bother or really bark at a woman or child....just men (and only a very few of them).

I'd love to hear you opinion when you get time. It sounds like you may be our resident expert on dog training.

Again, welcome to HW!
Failed fusion L5-S1, Pituatary damage, HGH Def, Fibro, Bladder surgery failure, Nissen Failure, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CTS (Bilateral Surgery completed), CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Vit D, A, Magnesium deficiency, Pre-glaucomic (sp?), HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia, Edema, too many Drug/Food allergies, sensitivites, and current meds to list.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 2/12/2011 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Nice to meet y'all, too.
I have worked with domestic animals all of my life. Since my car accident in 1987, however, I work mainly with dogs and fish. (I'm a Gold Fish Fancier.)

Since reading your post, retiredmom, I've given your situation much thought. And, I think I can help you. In the past, I have adopted and rehabilitated several abused dogs from local animal rescues. One dog had been so neglected, unsocialized, and abused that he didn't know what he was. I had to teach him to be a dog, literally. Three years later, he knew he was an Irish Wolfhound and was proud to be my service dog.

I know Labrador Retrievers very well. Maybelle is not the first one I've owned. Or more aptly put, who's owned me. She is, however, the first Labrador Pointing Retriever I've owned. She's one generation removed from an exclusive kennel located in Colorado that's breeding the pointing instinct into- perhaps back into- several championship bloodlines of Labrador Retrievers.

Most of what I know about animals and dogs, I learned from my father. In the community, he was known as "The Master". Not long before his death, my father handed down that "title" to me. What my father taught me about dogs and animals can't be found in books or manuals. It's not a system or a technique. Rather, it's a knowledge and understanding of animals and dogs passed down from one generation of farmers and hunters to the next.

I need some specific information on your pup. First, I've got to get over a nasty ear and sinus infection. I'll help you all I can, no matter how long it takes. Patience is key. Feel free to contact me via email.
All is not hopeless, I assure you.

"The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running."

Post Edited (ServiceDogGal/raggs) : 2/12/2011 11:05:14 PM (GMT-7)

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