Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Collagen - if only it grew on trees!

Most of the time you probably don't give your collagen a second thought, in fact half of you may have not even heard of it.

For a select few of us, me included, it completely dictates our life.

Every time I had a limb in plaster as a child many people would ask, "what happened, did you fall off your bike?" Every time I would give them the generic answer. "Nothing, I suffer from brittle bones disease". What happened next was usually the most frustrating, "Oh I see, you have osteoporosis." By this time I had normally just smiled and given up. 

Unbelievably, it isn't just the general public who think this, I have had nurses, and scarily even doctors, confuse brittle bones with osteoporosis!

I'm unique and everybody who knows me will agree. After all I am a 1 in 20,000 baby. You see that's the chance of being born with brittle bones! Many people are aware of 'common' disabilities but mention brittle bones and many people reply with "never heard of it"

Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones) is a genetic condition that you are born with. It causes defective collagen, or the inability to make it. This results in bones that break easily, for little or no apparent reason. It can come in many different types, which means it affect people in so many different ways. This is why it is commonly referred as the condition where every sufferer is different.

The main differences between brittle bones and osteoporosis, is how a person develops the condition. All people with brittle bones disease are born with it; some however may be completely unaware they have it until much later in life. Osteoporosis on the other hand is a condition that develops over time, normally as a person becomes older.

Although there is no cure for brittle bones, there are several treatments that can help with pain and the amount of fractures. There is also plenty of support from the Brittle Bone Society. It is a UK based charity that aims to provide support to people affected by brittle bones and like many of their members my life would be very different without them.

The 6th May is Wishbone Day which is an international awareness day for brittle bones. Check out the Brittle Bone Society website: http://www.brittlebone.org/


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Floppy eared rabbit sock

I have always been of the opinion that no matter how old your dog gets, they always keep that puppy instinct in them that comes out every now and again to reveal their mischievous side. Lottie will be 3 this July, although sometimes she acts more like 3 months. Today she did her usually trick of what we like to call the floppy eared rabbit sock. Here's Lottie's take on the situation...

Ok, right listen up my four legged pals. As you might be aware I'm going to be the big 3 in July and I can't wait! Today however I made sure mum still understood that I'm still very much able to act like a puppy. It all started when mum was doing some washing (which she tells me is the bane of her life) there across the room stood the basket with the nice fresh clothes in that had just come out of the dryer. Put yourself in my place there I am lying on the living room floor, dozing contentedly, when the washing basket is placed a few feet in front of me. One sock in particular is peeking out over the rim, kind of like a rabbit ear peaking over a blade of grass. Suddenly you are more awake, look over at the rabbit-sock peaking out. Did it just twitch? It did! It did! I leap to my feet bound across the living room floor, grab the rabbit (which by this time, is 100 percent rabbit as far as I'm concerned). I throw the rabbit around a bit encouraging it to try too esspace my mouth. By this time, mum has returned and suddenly seems quite cross, but don't despairs this is where the game really becomes fun as it soons leads to a game of chase with mum. If I carry this on long enough she eventually go to the fridge and come back with a tiny piece of cheese, which I will be offered in exchange for the rabbit-sock. By the time I smell the cheese I'm normally able to give up the rabbit-sock, fun as the whole experience has been and let mum carry on with her normal business, and me the important task of a dog nap! 

I'm pretty sure your dogs equally do the same kind of thing as this. And as furiating as it is at the time, I wouldn't want it any other way. 


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Follow my lead

 Leads.. They are an essential for any dog owner, but with so many different types it can sometimes be tricky to choose! For a wheelchair user this decision is even more difficult. Ok, here I have two options I either buy a standard or a short lead. You would think the short would be the best option, however this gives Lottie no freedom to smell the many different new scents a walk can provide. I opt for the standard length and am left with half the lead wrapped around my hand with my fingers blood supply really feeling the strain by the time we return home. It does now however look like my prays are answered, as I have seen advertised a Grippy dog lead. A normal length lead with a difference, it has 5/6 loops along the lead so you can hold it at whatever length you feel most comfortable. I ordered mine today and me and Lottie can't wait until it's delivered. 

Our weekend has been filled with a visit to our local Pets at Home store. These days it's becoming a weekly visit, I just can't seem to get enough of the place or as my mum tells me "you know the products better than the staff who work there". Luckily for me and my bank balance, this visit was a relatively cheap one. Lottie gained a new purple spotty collar which she seems very impressed with, and some new flavoured biscuits which seemed to go down equally as well, if not better. 


Thursday, 10 April 2014

And so I started blogging

I’m new to this whole blogging concept, but I have had a dog blog in mind for a while now and thought it might be fun, so here I am, finally starting one. First I guess I had better introduce you to my dog Lottie, as she will likely end up being the main contents of this blog. 

Lottie is a three year old, West Highland White Terrier. She has changed my life from the day she first arrived home, at around 8 weeks old.

I suppose I should introduce myself, as well. Well... My name is Jessica. I'm twenty two years old. I'm studying for a degree in Business Management at my local University in Staffordshire. Up until now things have been pretty standard about me, but there really is something quite unique. I suffer from a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta or in plain english it means my bones break easily.Although I try to be as independent as I can, it does mean I have to use a wheelchair full time. This in its self can put some pretty big obstacles in my way, but I don't let that stop me.

Strangely the main disabling obstacle I face from having a disability, is having to use a wheelchair full time. You might think this sounds bizarre, but people just view me 'different' from anybody else, which can really hinder my social interactions. This is where Lottie comes in. Since being a dog owner, this is now what people see me as, and not as a disabled person in a wheelchair.

My intention is to share mine and Lottie adventures, write about the joy of living with pets, and the many trials and tribulations us dogs owners face on a daily basic, but mainly the most important aspect I want to share is my day to day experiences with my furry four legged best friend, and how one small dog has changed my life more than I ever thought possible.
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