News from Optimum Choices, LLC
Welcome to the August 2007 edition of Optimum Connections, the monthly e-newsletter from Russell Louie and Margaret Auld-Louie at Optimum Choices, LLC. This newsletter is sent to the friends and customers of Russell & Margaret as well as people who signed up for a drawing at our booth at a fair or event. If you wish to unsubscribe, see the bottom of this e-mail for instructions. To receive this newsletter in your e-mail, click here.
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) increases relaxation; balances
male and female energies. It also restores confidence and equilibrium.
Diffuse, directly inhale, or add 2-4 drops to bath water. Apply over
liver or as a compress. Massage on bottom of feet and behind ears.
Dilute 1:15 with vegetable oil for body massage. Put 4-8 drops on cotton
ball and locate on vents.
Click here to order on our Young Living World Essential Oils website. Click on Product Catalog, then pull down the menus Essential Oils/Blends N-Z to find ReleaseTM, or call us at (303) 271-1649 or (866) 305-2306 (toll-free).
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
by Margaret Auld-Louie & Russell Louie
After our first two cats died of kidney disease or Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) at age 17, we learned that grains are not appropriate for carnivores (meat-eating animals needing 65-90% meat). Dry kibble must contain grains or other carbohydrates to hold it together. Cheaper brands are less than 30%, while most premium brands contain 50% meat at best. Recently, some new brands claim to have 80-90% meat and be grain-free but they still use a starch to hold it together (potato or tapioca) and cause dehydration since they are high protein/low moisture. Cats eating dry kibble don't drink enough water to make up for the water lacking in their food. Their bodies are designed to get moisture from their food. So, canned or raw food is always better for them. Upon learning that, we transitioned our remaining cat, Connie, to a grain-free canned and raw food diet. It took us over 1 year but at age 15, we felt it's never too late. With the raw food diet and the help of a holistic product called BioPreparation (to normalize her hypothyroid condition), we got Connie reduced from an obese 16 to 12 pounds. Vets were amazed that we could transition a senior cat to raw food and get her to lose 4 pounds (25% of her weight). Our patience paid off.
Unfortunately, it was too late. At age 19, she howled in pain when she exited the litter box or when we picked her up. X-rays showed that she had developed severe osteoarthritis in her knee from carrying all that extra weight but she was too old for surgery to correct it. Since we had already exhausted most holistic options for treating arthritis and her blood work (especially kidney and thyroid values) was excellent, the vet recommended we try Metacam©. Metacam is the only non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) approved for use in cats. Cats are more sensitive to drugs than dogs or humans because being pure carnivores, their livers do not produce as many enzymes to detoxify things (most toxins are found in plant not animal food, which plants produce to protect themselves from being overeaten by insects or animals). While most cats do fine on Metacam, some (33% according to FDA report) get acute renal failure. Unfortunately, Connie was in that group. While the Metacam helped her mobility and pain tremendously, it put her into acute kidney failure after four days. It took four days of hospitalization and IV fluids for her to recover enough to come home. $2,100 later, we brought her home with damaged kidneys and started administering subcutaneous fluids on a regular basis, to treat her chronic renal failure (CRF).
Connie had also become slightly hyperthyroid in the few years. Due to her advanced age and drug intolerance, we declined the radioactive iodine treatment or Tapazole© drug recommended by the veterinarian. Instead, we continued BioPreparation and added several supplements and homeopaths to treat her thyroid. This normalized her thyroid for quite a while, something our holistic vet said could not be done without drugs or radiation. It remained normal until the past year when it became slightly elevated again. Having failed with the Metacam for her arthritic pain, we tried some narcotic drugs that were easier on the kidneys. First we tried Buprenorphine© but it made her constipated and she stopped eating after a while. Later we tried Tramadol© but only one day on that caused her to totally stop eating. At that point, we had run out of drugs that are safe for cats, other than steroids. Our vet felt steroids would exacerbate Connie's extremely weak muscles. So, we decided no more drugs and continued BioPreparation to reduce any inflammation and started acupuncture from Stacey Robertson at Canyon Animal Hospital in Golden. This seemed to reduce the pain adequately and whenever Connie howled we promptly did Reiki on her rear legs and she seemed to enjoy that. While our holistic vet had done a little acupuncture on Connie previously, we found that the treatments from the acupuncturist at Canyon Animal Hospital were more effective because the acupuncturist was a full-time Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, thoroughly trained in the complete system of Chinese medicine, including travel to China for study. So, the treatments were a more complete, holistic approach than those from vets having taken a course of study in acupuncture. While acupuncture by veterinarians can be very helpful in many cases, if your animal is not responding, you might consider seeking out someone trained in the complete system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
At the end of June, Connie's appetite dramatically decreased and she stopped accepting food with any supplements. So, we decided to feed her food straight and mix the BioPreparation algae powder in water and squirt it in her mouth. This perked up her appetite and she was happily eating again, although getting pretty finicky about what flavors we fed her (typical for CRF cats).
At the end of July, at 20+ years old (some intuitives put her age as high as 23), Connie stopped eating again. Within 24 hours she started vomiting clear liquids. Russell spent 10 minutes every 2 hours petting and combing her as he checked up on her. That night we put Connie on the bed as she customarily slept between us as "top" cat of the household. (Mikki, our Chihuahua, sleeps under the covers.) Margaret had to cuddle and pet her since she would howl every time Margaret left the bed. Around midnight, Connie started to gasp for air and vomit clear liquids again, so we put her back on the floor in her bed. Her breathing became labored, so Russell cradled her head in his hand and administered Reiki with his other hand while petting her. She now stopped howling and was calm and quiet except for periodic labored breathing. She passed peacefully at 3 am, exhibiting minimal discomfort. Although she had some suffering her last day, evidenced by the vomiting and periodic howling, it was minimal and she passed fairly quickly. If Connie hadn't died fairly quickly that night, we would have called a vet to come to our home to euthanize her and end her suffering. (We wanted her to die at home in familiar surroundings and not in a scary vet's office.) Every animal guardian whose pet has been on BioPreparation and passed over the Rainbow Bridge has told us the same story. They thought their pet was in less pain, had minimal suffering and when it was time for the end of their life it seems the animal's body just shut down naturally. It all happens very quickly within 24-48 hours. The animal stops eating, then stops drinking, then soaks up all the TLC you give it before it passes over. Some animals even pass over to the Rainbow Bridge in their sleep. Even if BioPreparation didn't "cure" them, this gift we give them at the end of their life is equal to the unconditional love they gave us during their lifetime. This could be one of the wonderful unadvertised "side-effects" of BioPreparation.
Connie taught us a lot including:
She allowed us to "experiment" with many holistic products and treatments as we tried to make her comfortable in her old age. We wanted to avoid Connie dying in unfamiliar surroundings, with strange noises and a stranger's scent as her last remembrances. We hope our gift to her was equal to the unconditional love she gave us.
by Margaret Auld-Louie
Legacies of Love: A Gentle Guide to Healing
We hope you have not forsaken all your old cassette players in favor of CD and MP3 players because this excellent audiobook is distributed on 2 cassette tapes. I bought a copy a few months ago in anticipation of Connie cat's death and listened to it shortly after she died. This audiobook is an excellent guide to dealing with your grief on the loss of a beloved pet. Teresa first discusses how society discounts the love of animals and labels people who deeply love their animals as deficient or abnormal, as well as lacking in the ability to form normal human relationships. She argues that this is an inaccurate portrayal of animal lovers, that it is perfectly normal to deeply love animals and mourn their passing. In fact, she equates this denigration of the value of animals with racism and sexism, calling it species-ism.
She then describes the grieving process and explains how personality types (from Jungian psychology) affect the different ways that people grieve. For instance, extroverts may want to talk and cry out their grief with friends whereas introverts may need to process it quietly internally. That doesn't mean that introverts don't feel the loss of their animal as deeply as extroverts. She also describes the difference between "thinking" and "feeling" personality types in grieving. The thinking types may talk intellectually about their animal's death, appearing "cold" to feeling-type people. So, it is important to understand and honor one's own personality type and not judge oneself (or take on others' judgments) as grieving inappropriately.
She also describes ways to process the feelings of grief, anger and guilt, without getting stuck in them or suppressing them. Finally, she ends the audiobook with a healing guided meditation to help with letting go of your animal.
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