Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Can you be more specific?

     Consider this you daily PSA message. Around a year ago a friend of mine posted a warning about topical flea control. Sadly she had lost her cat after applying a topical flea and tick control product. I thought about how horrible it must have been for her but didn't give it much thought because #1 I have dogs and #2 I had used topical stuff on all of my dogs before without incident.Well, here is my warning to all of you, listen closely.
     About a week ago my husband spotted a flea and I knew it was time to do the yearly summer thing and get them under control. Earlier this week I made a trip to Petsense and shelled out about $20 for Biospot. I bought the correct dosage according to size and read all of the information on the box. Last night I re read the directions and applied the liquid to both of my dogs. Within about an hour both dogs started scratching and going a little crazy which is normal considering the fleas are moving around on the body trying to escape.The hubby was out of town and didn't know if he was even going to be in before today's workday so I stayed up fairly late for me and then put the dogs in their kennel. One of the dogs, my sweet boy Hokie couldn't get still. I assumed he was still having to deal with wandering fleas and would settle down. I dozed off and on awakening every little bit to him flopping around .
     Around 2am Eric came home and cut on the light and I got up to potty. When I came back to the bedroom I noticed that Hokie was standing up but not to steady on his feet. I immediately went to work online to find out what was going on. Sure enough there is plenty of information online about the hazards of this product including hyperactivity, vomiting , diarehea, seizures, organ failure , and even death. I wasted no time throwing on the nearest swimsuit and bathing him , not once but twice. I then spent the next 3 and a half hours watching him just turn in circles and twitch when he tried to get still. At 5:30 he fell over while in a sitting position and I thought he had died. I can only assume he just collapsed out of exhaustion because he was finally just asleep. I dozed off thinking that he probably wouldn't be alive when I woke up. I only slept an hour before waking up and realizing Eric should have been gone. He had overslept so I picked Hokie up, took him upstairs, woke Eric up , leashed both dogs and took them out to potty.
     He is kind of normal today. He has eaten a little and he is drinking. He has played a little but mostly just wants to be attached to me. He is still over hyper and there is just something still not quite right. I think he will live but I don't know how much damage was done to his body and brain so I am not sure what issues still lie ahead. Its not clear yet if he is acting funny because he is still totally freaked out or if its the stuff still wreaking havoc in his little body.
     I have read every single word on the product box itself again. 4 times it says to not use on cats.The only warning it gives about dogs is this :Sensitivities may occur after using any pesticide product for pets.If signs of sensitivity occur, bathe your pet with a mild soap and rinse with large amounts of water. The average person reading that warning would assume that " sensitivity " would mean a skin reaction, or at least that is how I had taken that. In my quick research last night I realized that many dogs have died because of products like this. It isn't just Biospot, its any over the counter topical flea and tick control. The majority of dogs handle it just fine and then some just can't tolerate it and sadly die after horrific suffering. I will be researching non harmful ways of controlling the flea situation. I will NEVER EVER use anything like this again and I encourage everyone reading this to make the same decision.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The happiest place on earth?

     We just returned from our Disney vacation and here is the low down. First let me say for the record that we never could have afforded this vacation if not for Eric being in the military. There is a military resort called Shades of Green located right smack in the middle of the Disney area . Its $95 a night and to give you an idea of how cheap that is , the resort closest to it cost almost $400 a night. We also got a steal on our park tickets. When buying the tickets at our resort we could get a 4 day park ticket for $138 each. To put that into perspective a base ticket into Magic Kingdom will cost ya $92.33 for an adult and $83.81 for a child. That is just one park. I paid $552 for $1409 worth of tickets.
     My first choice wasn't mid June, it just ended up being the only choice I had. My children have begged to go to Disney for years . By the time I had money in hand (February) I had 4 different weeks to pick from. The first one would have been perfect. It was the kid's spring break in April but it was also the week before Eric was supposed to leave for El Salvador for a two week National Guard training trip. He just couldn't take 3 weeks off work. The second week was in May but it was the week that the kids had EOGs. The next one was August right after the kids start school. So mid June was the best choice.
     The commercials on tv show all these kids dancing through the park where "dreams come true" ending with the promise that it is the "happiest place on earth". If you are rich and can afford a $500 lunch with Cinderella for your little princess then her dream may come true. If not, then she is outta luck. Happiest place on earth? Well lets see, parks open at 9 am and by 9:30 am your clothes are wet and its not because you have been on a water ride. Let me be clear, there is no looking good at Disney. Every morning I would be amused at the number of women I saw with every hair sprayed in place and their face all made up knowing that within the hour their hair would be wet and stuck to their head and the makeup melted off . By 10 am 90% of all children are screaming and 100% of parents are yelling at them to shut up . By 11am you still haven't ridden your first ride because you have been walking around using your fastpass.
     Fast pass...meant to be the solution to waiting in line. If you are smart you get a map for the park way ahead of time and plan which attractions and rides you want to visit. You can walk up to the ride , push your park ticket through this machine and it will spit out yet another ticket telling you what time you can come back to the ride and skip waiting in line part.. Here is the problem with that. The good rides are so scattered through the park and the park is so huge that you could spend the first hour walking around the park scanning your tickets and then spend the rest of your time and energy just walking back and riding the hand full of rides . By the time you walked far enough to fast pass about 2 rides the rides on the other side of the park would be so far behind that the fast pass times for those would be like 5 or 6 pm and trust me you aren't gonna stay that long.
     First you can't afford to eat lunch in a park. 3 small baskets of fish and chips, 1 small basket of chicken tenders and fries and 4 drinks packs a $63 wallop. Second by lunch time you and your children and ready to high tail it outta there and find the nearest pool.That my friends is exactly what we did.
     We chose Epcot for our first park. By 1:00 breakfast had worn off and we were hungry and frankly too tired to enjoy even one more thing. We went back to the hotel, had some lunch and sat out by the pool til supper. We did go back later that night to watch the fireworks and even though they were spectacular we didn't try to revisit any of the parks for the rest of the week. Wednesday was Seaworld and the longest day we had . We were there til 3 pm but only because we had driven to that one . Even with cutting our days short , by Thursday morning my right foot was swollen and sore and it was all I could do to make it through our last park day. The walk back to the monorail was miserable and I was almost in tears. I am still limping.
     Hear my heart, I had fun. I enjoyed being with my family and I loved seeing my kids faces after a really awesome ride. I am glad that we went somewhere that we had never been . I wouldn't trade this last week for anything. We all got to experience Disney for the first time together.
     I will shut up after this...What kind of idiot do you have to be to drag an infant to Disney, in June no less? I wish I had just $1 for every stroller I saw with a baby in it. Babies do not under any circumstances need to be drug around a park for hours when it is close to 100 degrees. Babies don't care about Mickey Mouse . Babies care about being comfortable , having a dry clean diaper, and a bottle when they are hungry. I so wanted to grab some parents and give them a firm shake this week and scream" what are you thinking?" Can you not hear your baby screaming ?
     On a side note, while on vacation my oldest dog Sugar died. She was almost 15 years old and her health had started to decline at a rapid pace.  A friend of mine was taking care of all 3 of my dogs and called me Tuesday night with the news. As bad as I hate that Sugar died on her watch I am glad it wasn't one of us that found her like that.Sugar had been around since the year that Eric and I got married. The kids don't know life without her. As happy as we were to pull into the driveway and finally be home it was sad to walk in and not see her sweet face to greet us. It was a very bittersweet homecoming.

Friday, June 10, 2011

One decision

     I have always been a believer that even the smallest decisions we make on a daily basis can have a huge impact on our days , weeks, months, years , or even lives. If I hadn't already believed that , I would be be convinced of it now. MCA had a half day today and we had already established that we weren't going to have enough kids in after school for me to work today. So, my first instinct was to keep the kids out of school today and get to a garage early in my last ditch attempt to get my freon leak fixed before we leave for Florida on Sunday. Ben announced yesterday afternoon that he was supposed to help with the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance this morning at the assembly and I didn't want to cheat him out of that chance. After all the assemblies usually only last til around 9:30 am.
     If only everything would go as planned...Assembly didn't end til almost 10:30 and then we had to visit the classrooms to pick up report cards. Then , even though only 1 or 2 children was scheduled to attend after school care, I ended up staying til a little after 11 . I didn't get to the garage til 11:30 at which point I am informed that Rodney isn't there and they are closing for lunch and I can come back around 1:30. Well that was quite a bit of time and gas wasted. I came home and planned the rest of my day , making a list of all the stops I needed to make after getting the van fixed. Meantime Eric was scheduled to sing in Lowgap at 4pm and Ben wanted to go with him.
      I leave the house again at 1:00 and head to the garage. Rodney is still nowhere to be found at 1:30 . So me and the kids camp out inside out of the sun but still in a very hot place with not even a chair for me to sit in. Rodney shows up at 1:45 only to tell me he can't fix it today because he has to leave early today. At this point Eric is on his way there to pick up Ben and I can't get him on the phone to tell him I am leaving. I left a voice mail saying I will be at the nearest gas station, a voice mail that he doesn't get til he is almost at the garage.When he finally shows up at the gas station his car is pouring steam out of the hood and he is ILL. By now its 2:30 and my day is almost gone. Cara and I head to Walmart and we are almost to the checkout when my phone rings . Its my husband who has made it as far as Beulah. He needs me to buy an altenator belt and bring it to him.
     After standing in line at O'Reileys for almost 10 minutes and seeing only 1 person working behind the counter its back in the van and a trip to Advance. $16 dollars later and another 12 minutes to Beulah and Eric has his belt and the car running without steam. Back to Mount Airy and 4 stops later I am home but still short a trip to the grocery store.That will have to wait til later this evening after I have had a chance to sit and breathe. I guess packing will have to start tomorrow after a small birthday party for Cara at noon.
      I don't know how differently my day would have gone if I had only went with my first instinct and skipped school altogether today. I do know that my leak would be fixed and I would know for sure that we would get to and back from Florida with cold air. I probably would have had more time to get ALL of my errands completed and not just some of them. Moral of the story, always go with your first instinct.