Monday, January 31, 2011

Service Puppy in Training

Since I'm raising my own service dog and know I don't know everything, I've been spending a lot of time researching them on the Internet. There are some very good sights out there that support people who train their own. The ADA says that the dog must be able to perform one task that assists you with your disability.

All sights strongly encourage AKC Canine Good Citizen accredation. There are however, two schools of thought on that. When my kids went through it, it was make your dog friendly and obedient to everyone. I have discovered several other trainers out there that think like I do. The dog should be calm, in control and reserved. One of my favorite trainers is "leerburg.com".

I really like their whole approach. They don't use choke chains, they feed the raw food diet, they don't vaccinate, and they use the marker method of training - voice cue not clicker. I like that they substantiate all their views. They train schutzhund, so that part isn't applicable, but I didn't expect to find everything on the same sight. Well, not after the fitst few hours of research anyway.

What I am finding is that there aren't any charitable foundations that train for chemical sensitivity and no one has posted anything on how. I have developed some vague ideas and am just going to have to refine them as I go along. I.e. I'm up shit creek, without a paddle... Oh well, that is part of the adventure, isn't it?

The first thing is to work on basic obedience. Well, Rose has got most of that nailed down already, at 13 weeks. It's pretty easy to train sit, down, speak, shake, wait, roll over, crate training, that sort of stuff. We just play games, for a few minutes, several times a day. Then there's the other stuff that's just good manners, like out-of-the-kitchen, walking nicely on a lead, and ignoring distractions like kitties, llamas, various flavors of farm animal poo... We're still refining those last few.

I use a combination of many different forms of training. I had forgotten all their names due to the brain damage from the pesticides, so the research was a good refresher course. I'm using marking, luring and shaping techniques for positive reinforcement. I also use negative marker reinforcement and negative luring.

I'm not sure if that last one is something that actually exists out there in professional dog training land. I made up the name. But I think it must, by some other name. It just makes too much sense not to. Anyway, don't get your knickers in a twist over the term "negative." it does not involve abuse. Just appropriate negative responses to unwanted behaviors. Dogs are sensitive, they catch on faster if you use both.

My ultimate goal is to teach Rose to alert me to toxic VOCs, like an allergy dog. I also want her to alert me when I'm heading into a porphyria attack or other systemic failure. Especially at night, for those of you who haven't read my previous posts. To get an idea of how to due this, I've been studying diabetic and seizure alert dogs. We certainly have our work cut out for us. In the meantime I'll be training her for all kinds of tasks like bracing, retrieving items, dialing emergency numbers, carrying things. With the vast number of different disabilities I get from the different exposures, I think we'll need to be prepared for anything.

There are groups out there that certify owner trained service dogs. This is not required. Their guidelines, however, are a great idea of things a service dog should be able to do. Most of them won't apply to me, because I can't go into crowds of people or use public transit. Too risky. Their certification test actually has you go to the mall... That is something I never do! That would be lethal. Or so painful and damaging that I would wish I were dead. Either way, not happening. The other thing they require is that your dog lays under the table at a food court or restaurant. Eeeeuw! That's disgusting! Besides, she'd be so contaminated, I couldn't get her back in the car with me. Something I'll have to work out, even though I don't go to food courts, ever, and rarely to restaurants.

My other challenge is getting ahold of training materials in e formats. The books I want are usually only in print. The ones that are ebooks, generally don't have adequate descriptions or thorough enough example pages. How I miss the days of being able to browse the book store, or library, to find exactly what I want!

Well, that's about all the time I have for today.(I got better and have added these pics) Probably when I get a little better at poodle hair cuts. Lol! Something else I've had to take on.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What Happened to the Off Season?

Boy am I pooped! Last year was such a nasty spray season, what with the corn test plots being sprayed with atrizine and dicamba (both horribly nasty pesticides) that we're experiencing higher than usual animal health issues. Their immune systems are so weakened that they are at risk for more parasites and infections. We tried to be proactive this fall, but we're having difficulties anyway. We did treat for parasites. Some of the animal's systems were so weakened that they had "sleepers." parasites that didn't surge until the cold snap, and their systems became stressed.

My husband and I just spent the last two weeks fighting to save one of our cows and a lamb. We saved the cow, not the lamb... It is rather tragic and frustrating. The pesticide weakens their immune systems. Parasites infestations take hold. To get rid of the parasites, that have become immune to less toxic substances, due to over use by the general populace, you have to give them stronger, more toxic pesticides. These pesticides further weaken their immune systems, leaving them open for secondary infections that have to be treated with antibiotics, which are poisons. All the time busting your chops to off-set the toxins and supply beneficial nutrients, probiotics, and immune boosters to counteract the damage done by the drugs, used to treat the problem. Sigh.

At the last there, I was tube feeding the lamby every hour. Poor little guy. He was so cute and very sweet. We grieve every loss.

Add to that I'm still potty training my service puppy. While she will potty anywhere you tell her, on command...she hasn't quite got it put together that she's not supposed to just let her rip, in the house.

Add to that, I'm still struggling with the side effects of being expose in the doctor's office by that stinky lady... Well, no wonder I'm wondering what happened to the off season.

What? I've mentioned her before but didn't tell you what happened? Oops! Well,...
I went to the Dr.s for my treatment a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I opened the door the burning stench of this woman's personal care products hit me in the face like I'd been pepper sprayed. She was a new patient. Duded up to the nines, I swear she bathed in it!

I went directly through the waiting room and into a side room. My eyes were burning and tearing, and it gave me an instant pituitary headache. Rich came in and took me to a more isolated room in the back, for my treatment. He also took her to a isolated room and shut her stinky self in with the doc. Things started to go down hill shortly. Even my glute treatment wasn't pulling me out of it. I blew up several sizes, sustained kidney and liver damage and began hemoraghing all before I got home. Yada, yada, and on and on, it's gone on for two weeks. I'm still bleeding. Just when I think I've just about gotten it stopped, I get another trace exposure and it starts up again...endocrine system disruptors!

So, I'm anemic, I'm running myself ragged treating livestock and potty training a puppy. That's why your not hearing much from me. Didn't want you to think I'd forgotten you!
More later...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trace - It's a Killer

I've had very little sleep in the last 48 hrs. Two nights in a row, I've been hurt by trace...

What's trace? Exactly what it sounds like. Some small amount of a toxic substance that, by accumulative exposure, triggers reactions. Due to the severity of my condition, we're talking minuscule parts per billion. "Normals" are probably thinking, "yeah, right!" I know because I've heard it enough times already. Problem for me is, it's unfortunately true.

So, you're probably wondering how I get a trace exposure... Here's the skinny.

Hypersensitivity is a teretiary defense mechinism. When your primary system of defense against toxins fails, then the secondary kicks in. When that fails, or is overloaded, then your body makes you more sensitive to the toxins, so you'll avoid them.

In the yin and yang of this condition, we often get "caught in the crossfire." You see, we are constantly striving to get better. We actively participate in detoxifying and healing our damaged bodies. It's sort of like we are constantly trying to climb out of a pit. When we take a direct, big, hit, it's like someone shoved us back in. Trace hits are more like the sides of
The pit are giving way. At first, you don't notice it, then when it's too late to move to a safe location, there's the avalanche...

When something with trace comes into my environment and I'm doing pretty good, like when I've achieved some repair, I won't smell it. As the toxins volatize into my airspace and I encounter them, my glutathione gets used up. When it gets depleted, my tertiary defense mechanism, hypersensitivity, kicks in. Problem is, it's already too late - avalanche. When it really sucks, is when I don't sense it until the middle of the night, in a crash. I wake up in some flavor of horrific pain.

I've had two consecutive nights with two different trace contaminants. At this point, I'm still in pain and I've fought for two days straight to decontaminate my environment. I've been hemorrhaging for more than a week since encountering the stinky lady at the doctors office...

This is why I say, I fight for my life everyday of the year, 24/7. It's never ending. I strive to be hypervigilent to sustain my life. Anything I miss, I pay for.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The National Conversation

I logged in and participated in the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Poisoning on Jan. 5th and 6th. There were a whole lot of really very well written comments. There were just a very few prejudicial or bigoted comments... The thing that alarmed me was the summarizer for the 6th, presented her summaries weighting the minority prejudicial comments more. Obviously her values predominated the way she interpreted the dialog.

Toxicologist and other Dr.s validated the multiple causes and variable symptomology of all forms of Toxic Injury, yet the summarizer choose to ignore those types of comments in favor of one guy, David K., who demeaned, derided and ridiculed people who, in his words had, "irrational responses to chemical exposures." He actually used the example that he wasn't injured by second hand cigarette smoke... We all know there is scientific evidence that proves that whether you know it or not, you are harmed by second hand cigarette smoke. This guy is a chemist for an Emergency Response Lab, in Texas. With guys like that in charge of chemical spill programs, no wonder they have such high numbers of Toxically Injured there.

The other thing that I found disconcerting was that Gail Shibley, from Oregon's DHS Environmental Division was on the panel on the 5th. Gail was directly responsible for refusing to let our Proclamation Request for Toxic Injury Awareness and Education be seen by the Governor in 2008 & 2009. She stated to me on the phone that (to advance our cause) conflicted with her political agenda! She also pretended to support our cause, to get all our plans and information, then used that information to thwart us. She refused to allow my proxy speaker to represent me or the Toxically Injured before the Pesticide Analytical Response Commitee. She was co-chair and "it never came up" during our discussions. Her actions were both unethical and immoral. She's directly responsible for the continued injury and deaths of those suffering from ongoing chemical exposures, in the state of Oregon. According to the rhetoric on the National Converstion's pages, people with conflicts of interest, aren't allowed to chair positions on the panel... She obviously didn't mention her political agenda to the ATSDR.

I encourage everyone to go to the ATSDR's webpage and read the actual comments for yourself. Then take the opportunity to enter your own comments...you have until the 21st.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Proclamation

2011 has arrived and with it the push to get out all the petitions to governors and heads of state to issue proclamations in support of Toxic Injury Awareness and Education. Peggy, my fearless leader, does most of this work with Julia's help. I contribute only as editor/proof reader. The bulk of the work has to do with obtaining current contact info and making contacts. Peggy is very good at it. I suck.

Few people realize the enormous work that goes into preparing and paving the way for each Governor's and Head of State's packet, let alone establishing the relationships! It's huge, and Peggy pours her life out for this every year. She does it because of her tremendous generosity and love for other people. She doesn't want even one more person to suffer with the symptoms of toxic injury.

It is for this reason that Peggy takes personal offense when certain other people in the chemically sensitive community take the credit for the work she has done, directly or indirectly. It pisses me off too. (besides which, it's illegal and immoral.)

There is one person, in particular, that has built quite a reputation for herself by stealing the credit from several people's hard work. She's actually slithered in at the last minute and called some Governors, inferred she was us, and renamed and redirected our proclamations... Wow! Corporate sabotage in the chemically sensitive world. Who'd have imagined it? She's actually being sued for claiming support by several doctors, who's support she didn't have. She's left a trail of burned individuals in her wake, as she recrutes and uses people, then callously discards them. We've heard from a number of people who volunteer for us, that she's approached them, and then have been even more surprised when we discover that she's recruited and used some of our people to pull off her schemes. She must be a very convincing liar. She should at least give credit where credit is due!

Anyway, I'm so glad I can blog that. I've had to bite my tongue on that for years.

So this year, Peggy is getting a lot of help from John, our Mold Specialist. He's another excellent people person! A much better people person than me. I generally reach the point of wanting to crawl through the phone and shake them, very quickly! Good thing it's not possible! Which is why I'm in research and education, not public relations. Go Peggy, Julia and John!

One of the things that we do to show the Governor's, etc. That there is support for the Proclamation is to send along copies of the names of people from their constituency that have signed the petition. You can find our petition and sign on at www.toxicinjury.org.

If there are problems with it, use the email link and send your signature to Peggy that way.

Every signature helps. Since we send them to government officials, they become part of the permanent record, and we can't remove them. The information that you've signed will always be available (as public record) and it can't be rescinded. Be sure you understand that before you sign. But please, do go to our websght and sign. If you aren't injured, or don't think you know someone who is, it's only a matter of time... In the ATSDR's National Conversation on Chemical Poisoning and Public Health they state, "800,000 known or suspected toxic chemicals used In our consumer products and environments..."