June is almost gone?

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This afternoon I am resting after cleaning the 5th wheel this morning in preparation for a short trip this week to Michigan for Kevin's family reunion. And since I'm resting, I thought I'd take advantage of this time to update the blog.

We are looking forward to this trip, and decided to take the 5th wheel instead of the truck camper so we'll be more comfortable once we are there, especially if and when I'm not on my feet, and we also are going to bring the boys with us since it's hard to leave them and they haven't been camping in a long time. This will actually be Rollie's first time camping and he's 2 1/2! Both Norman and Douglas went all the way to Alaska before their 1st Birthday, so poor Rollie has a lot of catching up to do. 

So many things have happened in the past weeks, that I'm not quite sure where to start, but I'm going to try my best since it's been so long. 

I guess I'll start with my health update, since that has been the consuming thing in the past three months - well the past three years, but the past three months especially and why I haven't got back to blogging properly yet. Since being diagnosed with Inflammatory bowel disease in April in the hospital I've been through so many medications I've lost count. I've had terrible reactions to all of them, except for the steroids which I've been on to keep me out of the hospital, and alive, basically. But all attempts to get me onto another medication to help heal my gut have proved to cause terrible pain, side effects, and even eye pain and I haven't been able to see most of the time. Between the prednisone affecting my eyes regarding light and the other medications causing pain and blurryness in my eyes, it's been a battle. But those things are a lot easier to deal with than the actual physical pain, and other symptoms. Also my joints are causing me terrible pain and at times, it's been hard to walk. I've even had some fainting spells - thanks to general fatigue and I'm sure, medications. This is a new world, and I know things will get under control in the future, we (the Doctors and us) just need to get things under control and find balance again. 

I have found a great GI specialist in NY and so far I really like her, and she's been very good to me, so that is very positive and we've been trying to move forward, its just hard, and one of those things you have to work through. I'm not used to being this sick - with endometriosis I had plenty of pain, debilitating pain, but I was never sick as well, and certainly never had joint pain so bad I couldn't move sometimes. 

Currently we are waiting for approvals from Insurance for new medication. I will be starting an immune suppressant and a biologic drug, one oral, and one I will inject myself with, as our next attempt at getting things under control so I can hopefully start getting some relief and get into remission. But we are being held up by Insurance. I started the process of getting all my vaccinations up to date before I start these medications since I'll be wide open for infection and various diseases, and we are hoping Insurance will come through for us. But there are a lot of hoops to jump through as these are some of the most expensive medications there are as I've learned. My Doctor would like me to start Simponi, a newer medication with less injections and side effects generally. She also wants me to start this one because it works well with the other medication she has prescribed. But Insurance wants me to try Humira first. So we are waiting to find out what the end result will be.

But we are moving forward, even if slowly. And I'm confident we are on the right track, it's just a matter of time, and healing. And patience of course.

I'm anxious to start the medications since they take time to work, but I also don't mind waiting until we are back from our trip if I have to because we are not sure if I'll have any reactions or side effects to them yet, so at least if I do it will be easier to manage at home. 

But this has slowed me down greatly as I've had some really great days and really horrifying days all mixed in together because of constantly starting/stopping medications, and the reactions I've had to them... it's been a bit of a roller coaster which reminds me to take every thing one day at a time and It sure has reminded me to be extra grateful for the good days, and the wonderful things in my life.

Kevin also has not been well, and he's sure had (has) his hands full with me. We've spent most of our days off the farm running to various Doctors appointments and tests for both of us, and the animals too. 

On the farm, it's been busy of course, it is spring after all! 

We had the last of our kids in late May - two adorable Pygmy kids!!! Will-O-Wisp and Thorin. Will-O-Wisp be joining my herd, I wanted a Pygmy doeling so badly this year and also a brown one and I got my wish thanks to Dahlia! Thorin is the nicest colored Pygmy buck ever, he is SO handsome. I'd love to let him join the herd as a buck, but he's related to everyone, so when he is weaned later in the summer he will be looking for a special new home.

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He has such a stunning face! and he's super sweet to boot.

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There is no better therapy than snuggle therapy!

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This kid is such a lover. Will-O-Wisp is very sweet but she is more stubborn and independent (like her mom) where Thorin is very laid back.

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Flavious, exhausted from keeping track of all the babies... 

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They have been growing like weeds! Even this picture is almost two weeks old! My goats finally just now stopped shedding - it's been so cool this June, and even today (almost July!) we darn near need the wood stove on to chase the chill away.

Spriggan, my other purebred Pygmy buckling from this spring (who I wrote about leash training in an older post) got neutered last week as he'll be staying. He's a sweetheart and he won me over. I really don't need another wether in the herd (since most of my herd is wethers now) but he's a doll and actually, Kevin didn't even fight me on this one :)

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He was pretty sleepy after his neuter! 
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Personally I like the surgical option best because I find it causes the least pain - and even healing is easier. Since I have a small herd I don't have to worry about infection/dirt and in a pinch if the bugs were bad, he could stay in the house. But we don't even have any flies yet because it's been so cool. He was dopey for the rest of the day from his sedation and pain meds but it didn't take long for him to get back on his feet and start eating. 

Moon Pie, our other buckling from this year had some health issues in the past month which we had to over come but I am feeling pretty confident at this point we have done that, he's doing very well right now and he's sweet as pie still. It's pretty likely he'll end up getting neutered as well.

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Buckwheat, my Saanen billy goat passed away which was difficult, but it was expected as he's been declining due to age for some time... I've watched him steadily slow down. It was actually quite peaceful and quick but it's still just as hard. I raised him from a baby, and he was the sweetest goat ever, even as a buck, he never once pushed me or even didn't listen, he was always a good boy. 

The sheep got sheared for the summer of course...

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Emerald continues to be the apple of my eye, she is as sweet as they come and she loves her walks with me and the dogs, and she still comes to the house regularly to visit. She wants to stay, even though she is getting REALLY big now! :) 

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Rollie had an allergic reaction a few weeks ago to shampoo - a hypoallergenic one too! He's had them in the past, but never this bad. His hives were terrible and his face swelled badly, and benadryl wasn't cutting it so we made an emergency trip to the Vet to get more meds, (different antihistamine and steroids) which thankfully, did the trick. We were beyond worried. His throat was open and he was breathing fine but for sure it was the worst reaction we've dealt with, and we've been here before, finding out the hard way years ago that both Douglas and Norman are allergic to bees, while in Alaska, 200 miles away from the nearest Vet.

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I also managed with Jim's help moving stuff, to get our sun room cleaned up a bit so we could use it. Since Kevin can no longer work with wood without having a serious allergic reaction himself, we haven't been able to finish the room because we can't find anyone who knows how to work with wood and finishing work to help us... so it's kind of just been a storage room/waiting to get finished. But now we'll at least be able to sit out there this summer/fall and enjoy it :)

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The boys love it.

Aside from that, every chance I get physically, I've been walking with the boys (and usually Emerald) which makes us all very happy and relaxed.

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I did manage to get some planting done on my deck garden, smaller scale than last year. Although I have all my usual dozens of herbs, I didn't manage 100 pepper plants, we have a couple dozen instead and some tomatoes, and a few veggies.

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Even Douglas enjoys the smell of the roses!

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My herbs are the most important thing for me to plant anyway, and I'm glad I was at least able to do some planting this spring.

When we return from our trip, hopefully I'll be able to start my new medications. We'll also be cutting hay if all goes well, and it will be time to start preparing for what is coming... fall and then winter! So our focus will turn to making sure we are as prepared as possible, and enjoying the last of the warmer good days... if it ever warms up again! :) We are grateful for the rain right now however, even if it is cool outside... our hay is up but not nearly where we'd expect it to be so we are hoping this extra rain really perks it up.

Tomorrow I just have to pack the 5th wheel and if all goes well we'll make the 12 hour drive to the Soo on Tuesday. We look forward to a little break away, and visiting family.

I apologize again for not writing often and I am hoping soon some kind of normalcy will return to me. I am really positive about these new medications - scary as they are, and so hopeful I will find some relief and start moving in the right direction towards healing. I can't wait! 


LadyQuig said…
So happy to see your update. I'm pulling for you, Donna.... you've got so much living to do yet and I know how much you want to feel good to do just that!

Cathy in FL
Bobbi D. said…
i am so hopeful for your meds to help. I worry about Humira though, just because of all the advertising in the US, lol. According to the ads it is a cure-all. Whatever helps for you though.

The animals look good too. So sweet.

Hope your trip is good. Enjoy and take it easy.
hugs and prayers your way,
The JR said…
I'm sorry to hear about Buckwheat. Poor Rollie, I've never seen a dog broke out in the hives before. Bless his little heart.

Girl, I was hoping you'd be dancing jigs by now. So sorry to hear about all your health issues. But, I think the hubby and I are both falling apart now too. Had to make him a dentist appt. for this morning cause he has an abscess. Always, and I mean always something.

lol at the 2 coons peaking from behind the tree

take care, have a safe trip and I'm praying you both get to feeling much, much better
LoriU said…
So sorry you have not been feeling well. As far as the joint pain, have you been tested with a Western Blot test for Lyme Disease?

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