Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Dark night of the soul creates flashes of bright light, revealing the end of a tunnel. ..

Sometimes we crash and continue to go to the hardware store for bread... thus out comes the 2by4 over the head, and subsequent collapse in pain and fear.

 I have found that when I ask for direction but forget to mention the"disclaimer" to my Higher Power of "please open my eyes to see the answer You give me,  without the 2x4 over the head" please. .. that evidently I miss the messages that are right in front of my face. I remind both my God and myself that I am willing, and simply need guidance. I am willing.

 I have had many doors close over the last several months. Either they were not good for me, or I have outgrown them and it was time for someone else to come along their path to benefit both parties, myself and them.  Or...maybe I was enabling them to stay stuck by providing them a pissing post or being a scapegoat of sorts ...or simply distracting from where the focus truly needed to be - each on our own Recovery hula hoop space. 
A dear now passed mentor of mine used to say 'when I step out of the Creators light,  Eureka! !! All sorts of things are discovered.' Soon after, I begin to see the closing doors,  even some slam shut!  But I become equally as hopeful... and almost relieved, to see those that are opening, becoming and welcoming.
I remember several years ago when it seemed this "asking for spiritual direction" process was easier. I would have messages in threes: on a billboard,  in a Good Big book, or/and words from a stranger's mouth. .. but I was asking to also"open my eyes to see", what my HP had in store for me - what S/He would have me do???
Then, I admired that my self will and stubbornness kept me PUSHING along trudging. .. so that the only way I was diverted was when the door slammed,  and slammed hard!  Oh my,  skinning my toes in the process! Eeeeek,  painful. 
But,  baggage has been piling up, and refusal or denial of change til I have no choice. It is for the best-growth for all involved,  I trust. My HP wouldn't get me this far to drop me now! Or the other people involved, for that matter.
So I get to learn how to receive in relationship. How to relinquish the codependency Also known as the illusion of relationship, based on a dependence-independence cycle: 1 up,  1 down.  1 is on a padestle and the other is below on the ground. This D-I cycle was confusing: "I hate you, don't leave me" or "Victim-Rescuer-Persecutor" (Kartmann triangle as we learned in school). ..In real life, its painful. Good news, Adult Child work alleviates this repetitive insanity producing cycle and levels the roller coaster off to rolling hills of life. 

I get to learn more in depth how two things look: interdependence (true equality or "leveling of the playing field") with others (allowing a 2 way street of giving AND receiving) AND dependence on God and myself. Dependence on God creates independence of spirit. 

I would not get to move past this and on to greener pastures of new relationships had the door to two different women in my life slammed shut. This insight was born from the pain produced from their strange behavior, and my strong need to set healthy boundaries. Say what I mean, mean what I say, and don't say it mean. Now I practice the interdependence principles mentioned above with my husband, others, and best of all...myself. It allows me to be human and do self-care: "After me, you come first" as my long time mentor reminds me, a quick way of speaking about the "oxygen mask theory" explained upon boarding an aircraft. I am nothing to you if I don't put my own oxygen mask on first...not to mention I don't want to be a hypocrite!!
 One needs never feel guilty for putting their oxygen mask on. Let it begin with me - leading by example.

Options for canine sterilization - zinc gluconate testicular injection

After much research including Dr. Beckers article below, we decided to have my then 5 y.o. Cane Corso Service Dog Zeuter Neutered under the care of our Veterinarian I have known since 11 years old. He did it to his dog first, then to mine. There was a substantial difference in size with mine weighing in at 109# at the time. This was May 5, 2016. It is now May 2, 2018. He weighs in at 120# and is almost 7.5 (born 01/03/2011). The only dilemmas we had at the time was his reaction to anesthesia - shaking, low blood sugar, overall stress response - and losing my then 13.5 y.o. Labby girl July 29, 2016. So those were two profound stressors in a row for him.  Consequently, he was tried/put on thyroid meds, then adrenal meds, none helped much. An integrative vetinarian & Veterinary nutritionist in houston counselled both myself (as a Human Nutritionist) and our regular Vet on subclinical adrenal failure. Basically I found that had we done a total testicular removal, it may have caused complete hormonal/adrenal failure and he would have had to be retired early.
Thank God Zeuter Neuter clearly left him with sufficient hormones!

All in all, he has always been a passive K9, forever aiming to please me, which makes him a perfect SD for me. Additionally, he went through developing lesions allover in reaction to food, possible vaccine reaction when a substitute vet stuck him in the spine with Rabies Vax (he was promptly fired afterwards)... Since then, we began following Dr. Becker's book on raw feeding/human food veterinary nutrition. It has reversed everything mentioned above, he is on NO medication except occasional anti-inflammatory, but usually I use high dose Curcumin. Recently I had the opportunity to thank Dr. Mercola in person for signing Dr. Becker on as his Veterinary educator. I couldn't be more grateful. He also got to meet my beautiful & healed SD in person. What a humble, caring & compassionate (& nerdy in a good way!) man!!!

I was very disappointed to hear they took Zeuterin off the market due to lack of funding and not wanting Big Pharma buy-in (aka control and selling-out!). Hopefully this will change before I get another beauty.

Read on:

Zeuterin: An Alternative to Surgery to Sterilize Male Dogs

August 15, 2012 | 85,287 views

By Dr. Becker
An injectable sterilization product for male dogs containing zinc gluconate neutralized with arginine is scheduled for release in the U.S. by the end of this year under the brand name Zeuterin ("zinc neutering"). The product is already in use in Bolivia, Columbia, Mexico and Panama under another name.
The drug is effective for permanent sterilization of male dogs at least three months of age. Zeuterin has been approved by the FDA for use in dogs three to ten months of age and can be obtained only by licensed veterinarians who have received training from the drug's manufacturer, Ark Sciences, in how to perform the injections. The manufacturer believes the drug will be approved for use in dogs of any age over three months before the U.S. release date.
The drug functions as a spermicide and causes irreversible fibrosis of the testicles, which eventually atrophy and shrink in size, but remain visible. Dogs receiving the injection are tattooed in the groin area as proof they are sterile.

Product Launch Aimed at Shelters and Spay-Neuter Clinics Across the U.S.

Many shelters and spay-neuter facilities don't have the recovery space for animals after sterilization surgery. For those organizations, Zeuterin should save time, money and space.
The injections are done on an outpatient basis, no anesthesia is involved, and dogs can be released relatively quickly after the procedure. Shelters and spay-neuter programs can then transfer some of the resources formerly committed to neutering male dogs toward spaying females and other outreach programs.
Proponents of Zeuterin believe it is unlikely individual veterinary practitioners will immediately embrace the sterilization drug, simply because they are already equipped and trained to do surgical spays and neuters. In addition, at this time Ark Sciences is training only a limited number of private veterinarians to inject Zeuterin.
Pet owners who want to have their male puppy chemically sterilized can add their names to a waiting list, which will at some point trigger Ark Sciences to send an offer to their vet to get certified to inject Zeuterin. According to Ark Sciences, the waiting list will be worked on a first-come first-served basis when the product becomes available.
It's impossible to predict when Zeuterin might be widely available as an option for private vet practices and individual pet owners. Whenever that time comes, I think it's important to understand the potential risks and benefits of this method of sterilizing male dogs.

Technology Approved by FDA in 2003

The formulation of zinc gluconate neutralized by arginine was actually approved by the FDA in 20031. That same year the drug was produced by Pet Healthcare International and distributed in the U.S. by Addison Laboratories under the name Neutersol.
According to Ark Sciences, Addison Labs overestimated the demand for the drug and created too much inventory. Excess inventory expired in two years, Pet Healthcare International went unpaid, and production shut down. Addison Labs and Pet Healthcare ended their relationship in 2005.
Ark Sciences subsequently acquired all rights to the Neutersol technology and has been distributing the product in Mexico and three other countries under the name Esterilsol for the last four years. They have used the drug extensively in Mexico in dogs three months and older to further evaluate its effectiveness as a sterilization agent, as well as to refine and improve the injection technique.

How the Drug Works as a Sterilization Agent

According to the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D) in their April 2012 Product Profile and Position Paper2 on Zeuterin:
As with any medical intervention, safety and effectiveness depend upon proper administration. The exact mechanism of action is not known. The following is based on a description provided by Ark Sciences. The product should be administered as an intratesticular injection into the center of the testicle via the dorsal cranial portion of testicle, parallel to the longitudinal axis. After injection the compound diffuses in all directions from the center of the testis. In the concentration used, zinc gluconate acts as a spermicide and destroys spermatozoa in all stages of development and maturation. It results in permanent and irreversible fibrosis in the seminiferous tubules, rete testis and epididymis. This produces a reduction in the size and texture of the testicles and permanent sterilization. Testosterone production is reduced by 41-52%, and the endocrine feedback system remains intact. Zinc gluconate is absorbed and metabolized by the body within 72 hours after the injection.
Also, from the Ark Sciences FAQ web page3:
How is testosterone lowered by Zinc Gluconate neutralized with Arginine?
The dosage and concentration is designed to ensure Leydig Cells in the interstitial space of the testes survive the procedure. Stimulated by Luteinizing Hormone (LH) produced in the pituitary gland, the Leydig Cells continue to support testosterone-related metabolic activity and growth. In the absence of spermatogenesis, Sertoli cells stop communicating the need for testosterone to mature sperm cells. The pituitary gland detects this lowered demand and lowers the LH levels. Since LH levels determine how much testosterone is produced by the Leydig cells, overall testosterone levels are reduced by 41-52% for all dogs permanently.

Zeuterin Adverse Reactions

The 2003 FDA drug approval document includes a study of 270 male puppies injected with the chemical sterilant. The puppies were a combination of shelter animals and family pets.
The following reactions were noted:
Reactions Upon Injection
ReactionDogs Affected
Local Reactions
ReactionDogs Affected
Scrotal Pain17
Scrotal Irritation3
Biting and Licking2
Scrotal Swelling2
Scrotal Dermatitis2
Scrotal Ulceration1
Scrotal Infection1
Dry Scrotal Skin1
Scrotal Bruising1
Preputial Swelling1
Scrotal Sore1
General Reactions
ReactionDogs Affected
Another zinc gluconate sterilization study was done in the Gal├ípagos Islands and published in 2008. It was conducted in a cooperative effort by the University of Florida, the ASPCA, and Animal Balance of San Francisco, and titled "Comparison of intratesticular injection of zinc gluconate versus surgical castration to sterilize male dogs."4 The following observation was made by the researchers:
Although the complication rate was similar for surgical and zinc-gluconate castration, the zinc-gluconate reactions were more severe. Surgical wound complications were treated by superficial wound debridement and resuturing. In contrast, zinc-gluconate reactions required antimicrobial treatment, orchiectomy, and extensive surgical debridement and reconstruction, including scrotal ablation in 2 dogs. These reactions occurred following administration by both experienced and novice individuals. All dogs made a full recovery following treatment of zinc-gluconate reactions and incisional dehiscences.
The authors of this study determined that proper injection technique is critical because injection or leakage into surrounding tissues can result in severe tissue damage. And while scrotal swelling and tenderness are common in the first days after injection, a more serious reaction is the development of scrotal ulcers or draining tracts in the scrotal or preputial area. The self-trauma that follows can be severe.
The researchers also observed that lesions aren't always restricted to the injection site, which could indicate the solution may spread beyond the target area.

Long-Term Side Effects

According to Ark Sciences, since 1999 when the initial clinical studies were performed, there have been no reports of long-term side effects.
I would just add here that whenever we manipulate nature sufficiently to stop procreation, there WILL be long-term side effects. This is true for spay/neuter, and any other method. We are just beginning to understand the lifelong implications of surgical removal of ovaries and testicles, yet spaying and neutering of cats and dogs has been a common practice for decades.
I'm certainly not against the sterilization of pets. I'm a proponent of assessing the risks and benefits of everything we do as guardians of the animals in our care.
You can read more about Zeuterin on the Ark Sciences FAQ page as well as the other documents linked in the references, below.
Once the product is widely available to private veterinary practitioners, if you're considering it, I recommend talking with your vet about the pros and cons of the procedure for your own dog.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Acceptance? Learning that I cannot accept what I do not know...

I don't fully understand what my limitations are yet. It seems to be trial and error and a terribly slow process.
I cannot accept what I do not know.
It seems the first part off this acceptance process is Awareness, then Grief about it... Then moving to acceptance,  then action.
Or maybe action then acceptance. ... Maybe simply there needs to be a Decision in there first.
Like expecting myself to have acceptance before going through the process of Steps 1-3 is actually putting the cart before the horse?

So Step 1 would be identifying many (all I know of currently) that are limitations. .. the WHAT that I am powerless over.
THEN moving to Step 2 of asking God to restore me to sanity by helping me Accept what I cannot change.
An THEN onto Step 3 - making a Decision to do different-to then hand what I identified in Step 1 over to His care,  telling Him I'm commit to trying my hardest to Accept & Trust. Even... asking for Him to help me to accept and trust when I'm unable, or am struggling so much with it. ...and asking to see myself through His eyes (Step 9 in Paths to Recovery)
Seeng myself through His eyes means allowing myself not to do it perfectly. Progress not Perfection...
What is good enough?
What is enough?
What is realistic?
Everyone has "been dying since the day they were born". (Song?)

My recovery had given me this awareness - that it is Not " Why me?", but rather "Why NOT me?"

I wasn't born holier than thou,  immune to humanity,  or disease, but rather one of many . One of many, trudging the road to happy destiny. One of many just trying to make a life worth living,  to Connect, to embody Life even when it seems to be such a small light compared to all the other candles. ..but when I compare,  I forget that all it takes is 1 small light at the end of a rope to start a large flame of Hope, warmth, comfort. ..

That doesn't make acceptance easier,  but atleast gives me direction.