|Barked: Wed Oct 31, '07 10:08am PST |
|I've already told the OP this, but it is worth sharing for those who think it is a joke.
That is Scooter's job. He detects them in the prodrome phase (before I get an aura). This is generally about an hour before the aura hits. In my case, the aura can last half an hour to mere minutes to on occasion not at all. I can't take Imitrex or any of the preventatives. I'm back to old school meds (caffergot, Promethazine, and narcotics). In my case we aren't talking about a little bit of a headache, but something that goes from no pain to literally blinding and make me want to blow my brains out. I've been in a bad cycle of them, so I've been averaging more than ten a month over the last 8 months and have had to go to the hospital ER for major meds and fluids 5 or 6 times.
So, yes, they affect my quality of life.
Scooter's alerts mean I can drive without fear. He has given me my independence back. I no longer fear going off by myself (without another person). Before Scooter, I have been stuck in parking lots waiting for someone to come pick me up to take me home because I couldn't see to drive. Now, he alerts, I take a dose of caffergot, and we generally start heading home. If he starts getting more insistent, I head home sooner. If he thinks a headache is proceeding much faster than normal, he has no qualms with stopping and refusing to go anywhere but the car. The few times he has done that has been a couple of the headaches that have landed me in the ER.
He has also been trained to retrieve my cell phone and my purse (where I keep meds), as well as some tasks more commonly associated with a hearing dog. The narcotics can knock me out. He wakes me up if my cell rings (certain ringtone that99% people wouldn't think of having), the smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector, oven timer, or a knock on the door. He can also go fetch family members by name.
He detects my sniffing at my head. He can smell some changes from the ground, but to fully utilize the nose, he wants to go to the source. If he is on the ground, he has been taught to signal me to pick him up. He sniffs and either alerts or gives the 'all clear' sign. I then put him back down.
If the headache proceeds to the point I go to bed, he snuggles and doesn't move except to tell me it is 6PM (his evening meal and the time I take meds) or if he really needs to go potty. If I'm in the bathroom puking my guts out, he will lay down touching my leg.
I'm the first to admit, I'm stubborn. I get tired of having to lay down in a dark room with ice packs, feeling like the walking dead. I will, at times, try to stay up, generally piled up on the couch with the room darkened because I want to spend time with my husband. Scooter lets me know if I'm overdoing it in my quest to have a normal life.
He's a smart little guy that likes a challenge so continued learning keeps him stimulated. Retrieving a bottle of pedialite is next on the list of things I'd like him to learn. It would have to have a strap on it (and the fridge) but he could do it.
Edited by author Wed Apr 2, '08 12:49pm PST
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