Charlie’s Vet Appointment & My Second Shingles Vaccine

It has been rainy and cold for several days. I’m staying in today. Yesterday I took Charlie to acupuncture, then brought him home and took my camera and went out to my favorite haunts to take photos of the pretty fall leaves.

I just needed a bit of time to myself taking photos and not thinking of much else.

Charlie went to his regular vet, Dr. Poteet, on Tuesday. He said his heart sounded pretty good. I asked if Charlie needed any blood work, if he was due for any, and he said he was due for something called a profile. I guess that’s like a blood panel? I told him to do it.

Nothing was terribly awry with the test results.

I started reading about congestive heart failure. This is what I learned:

Typically, dogs that receive treatment and are in a good health condition will be able to live a normal life.

The condition will get worse in time, even if the dog is under treatment, but most commonly dogs with congestive heart failure have an average life expectancy. The condition may be deadly in some cases, especially if the dog doesn’t receive any treatment. However, dogs with CHF usually die of other causes.

Of course Charlie has the collapsed trachea so he isn’t what you’d consider a healthy dog I’m sure.

Then when I took Charlie to acupuncture yesterday, I had a conversation with Dr. Wallace, who comes in from out of town once per week to take over for Dr. Owen. I told her I was a bit confused.

You might recall my telling you that last Friday Dr. Owen said that Charlie had lasted longer than she thought he would, and that everything from here on out was to be considered “bonus time.”

Of course that touched a nerve. Probably shouldn’t have, but he is my baby.

Dr. Wallace said Dr. Owen probably meant they could no longer help him in rehabbing his muscles. I told her no, that’s not what she said. So Dr. Wallace said she thought she’d give Dr. Poteet a call. I wonder how that conversation will go?

The upshot of this is that they want me to now drop Charlie off for his weekly acupuncture appointments. I suppose they don’t want any more communication problems.

I’m fine with that. I said do his acupuncture each week, then call me and I’ll come right away and pick him up.

Sorry to go on and on about this. But I take things very literally, and last weekend I was so depressed after she talked to me about “bonus time.”

But he’s still my happy little boy. I’ll take all the bonus time I can get, but those words just hit me hard.

What she said Friday gave me this vision of his having one, and possibly nearly two, feet already in the grave.

I rest a bit easier knowing Dr. Poteet doesn’t feel that death is imminent or anything.

I could feel my shoulders relax Tuesday after I talked to him. He knows Charlie well. He’s taken care of him for over 8 years.

I got my second shingles vaccine yesterday afternoon. Boy, did it hurt. And it still hurts like hell.

Within 30 minutes, before I even got home, I felt hazy, dull-headed, like I was getting the flu. This is what happened with the first vaccine back in late August.

The first one did not hurt when they actually gave it to me, but this one hurt from the get-go. I can hardly raise my arm. I just hope this passes quickly.

I can only sleep on one side, and I like to alternate during the night.

Well, I’m having lunch with daughter/daughters tomorrow, so I have that to look forward to. My younger daughter and I never know if the older daughter will make it due to her schedule.

I’m only gone an hour, so won’t be gone long from Charlie.

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  4. My first Shingles shot was from a pharmacist that clearly had no people skills. It hurt like hell, but it was compounded by the lack of compassion. For the second one, I hardened my heart and relaxed my arm as much as my will would allow. Took three motrin, drank a Diet Coke, and went on living my life. It was unpleasant, but probably not as much as actual shingles, and now its DONE. Love on your pup and don’t worry too much about random wording.

  5. I’m glad that your Dr Poteet put your mind a little more at ease about Charlie..

    My good friend had her second shingles shot last week. The next day she had a bad sick headache and spent the day and evening on the couch with her kitties worried and trying to heal her. It is extremely rare for my friend to get sick normally, and she has seldom had much of a reaction to vaccinations, but this shot was a different story. Thankfully the day after the terrible headache she was back to normal and feeling fine.

  6. I’m glad you talked to Dr. Poteet and feel better after doing so. Also good to hear that you got out and took some photos. That’s always relaxing for those of us who love photography. I hope you will feel better soon after your vaccine. I don’t get them, but I know it’s one of those “each to their own” things.

  7. I also would have taken the vet’s comment about Charlie just like you did. Did you get a chance to tell your regular vet about how much Charlie wakes and pees at night? He may have a suggestion to switch meds around so you can get better sleep too.

  8. I’ve asked about the new shingles vaccine at my annual Medicare check-up for 2 years in a row, the latest one being on October 31, and was told that the vaccine has been on back-order all this time. I got the former vaccine in 2012. The last thing I want to experience is a painful bout of shingles. Why do I keep reading about people getting shingles shots with no problem? Why have we had to wait for 2 years and still waiting in Wisconsin? There was even a newspaper article in April of this year about nobody being able to get a shot in my area because of the “shortage!” I’m glad you got your second shot. Suffering with a sore arm is nothing compared to what you would experience if you would get a shingles outbreak. I haven’t had one, but I had an older friend who went through agony for a good six weeks back in the early 2000s, and it was horrible to not be able to do anything to help her. I never want to experience anything like that myself – nobody should have to!

      1. Brenda, do you have an insurance that covered the cost of the Shingrix? I understand that Medicare won’t cover this vaccine. It did for the old Shingles vaccine.


  10. That comment would have confused me too. I probably would’ve burst into tears. I’m glad Charlie is doing well. I really was waiting for cooler weather so that I can get out and walk, but my knee problem has taken care of that idea. It seems to be getting worse instead of better. I may have to find an orthopedic doctor here. XO Laura

  11. Same here,Brenda,I had the 1st one Tuesday morning and my arm is killing me,I have a slightly off feeling also,vague headache,body aches…she told me I might feel flu like symptoms and run a fever,no fever though.
    So happy to hear you got good news on Charlie from the doctor who knows him best?
    I often wonder why the ones with lousy bedside manner or personalities or just a lousy attitude chose to become doctors,seems they should be taught compassion first.
    My husband was diagnosed with brain cancer by the E.R. doctor who came in an announced it like he was telling us he had a cold,it was horrible.

  12. I would have construed the comment by Dr. Wallace in the same way you did; I would’ve assumed that Charlie did not have much time left and my heart would’ve been heavy. So glad the two of you were able to see Dr. Poteet and gain a better understanding of just how Charlie is faring. I know you are feeling a bit lighter in the heart as a result. I just hope you begin resting a bit better.

    The photos today are so beautiful and clear. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Hope your arm is better soon; I remember the Shingles shots — hurt like heck! But hopefully the immunization will keep us from getting Shingles (or if we do, it will help us to have an easier time of it). This aging process is sure not fun or for the faint of heart. Seems like I went for years without any sort of immunization required. Now it is a flu shot each year, pneumonia immunization, Shingles, etc…….. I need to just be happy that these immunizations are available and that insurance will pay for them.

    Enjoy lunch with your daughter(s) tomorrow.

  13. We have an older cat that developed CHF – we really thought we were losing him – then we were told about Taurine – a vitamin supplement – after a couple of weeks – he was showing improvement – heart rate lowered, chest xray showed his enlarged heart was more normal size, breathing improved
    and he was acting his more normal self – we ordered it online with Swanson vitamins – Taurine 500mg #100capsules – give 1 per day – about $8.00 so with the improvement we saw – I ordered for myself even though I had no symptoms but being older I wanted to be proactive. My Dr agreed that it would not hurt and my blood pressure is great. I wish Charlie well.

  14. I’m happy to hear the good news about Charlie ! Beautiful pictures, by the way !
    I had a shingles shot a couple of years ago and now they say this new 2 shot one is better. I haven’t made up my mind if I’m going to get it or not. I have to pay $ 47.00 co-pay and that is probably on both shots !

  15. Glad things are getting straightened out with Charlie and you feel better after seeing your regular Vet. Wow I wonder if they hit a nerve when they gave you the shot. I know some shots can make your muscle hurt for a day or two but usually that comes on later on not right away. Maybe ice the area and see if that gives you relief. Have a good Thursday.

  16. I understand completely how that one vet’s comment could have affected you.
    why do they say things like that? some people I guess are just BLUNT. and they go through their lives thinking they’re “being open and honest.” anyone in any medical field should be AWARE of what they say and the repercussions of it. it’s the same with humans.
    and… it’s ONLY her opinion!
    I would put more stock in what Dr Poteet thinks. he has taken care of Charlie for so long.
    he KNOWS him. and truthfully… if Charlie senses fear or anxiety in you it probably makes it harder for him. so her senseless comment made it worse for you and Charlie both!
    he’s an amazing and happy little guy who just loves you and is content with his life.
    but I’m glad you had some time to yourself. that’s so important too!