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  • Writer's pictureDr. Nicole Vumbaco | DVM

December: Update #3, Continued

Updated: Jul 27, 2022


By Dec 3rd, my appointment to have my silver amalgam removed had arrived. The office had just finished a quarantine from an employee testing positive for CV19. I couldn’t have been more nervous!! You obviously can’t wear a mask and your mouth is wide open to aerosols with nitrile gloved hands and dental instruments working in/on the primary way CV19 is transmitted. Luckily, Dr. JB advised me to undergo the procedure. Many of us have these fillings, they actually are an alloy of Mercury, usually with another metal, like Silver. This one had become particularly painful and was snapping in and out of place while flossing. My dentist was incredibly accommodating and very thorough. Dr. H had me on nasal oxygen, in safety googles, was wearing a PAPR Suit, had active suction to capture as much of the aerosolized mercury as possible and a dental dam to minimize any systemic absorption of Mercury. Dr. JB had very specific requests to ensure my safety and he met them all without question. It was pretty terrible, but went as well as expected. They replaced the filling with a composite and addressed an underlying cavity. My TMJ was excruciating during and I could not talk or chew for a day. It was a mental game of tolerance and distraction. Multiple muscle relaxers, NSAIDS, cupping and CBD later, the tension eased and no trismus occurred! I did not realize how painful this tooth was until they performed the nerve block. It was astounding…having the amalgam removed sooner than later was the right call.

The next few days brought great sadness. My little brother’s best friend and dog, Nala had fallen ill. She was a geriatric pittie, service animal trained, a mama to many puppies, almost 16 yrs old, and had battled and survived cancer. She lived her life advocating for other pitties through her actions. This helped change the fear-based perspective of many. She helped Michael through trials, tribulations, heart breaks, loss, new love, cross country moves and remained constant in her character. Mama Nala was rather healthy. My brother and his fiancé were always proactive about her care. She declined quickly despite intervention. While we do not know the definitive cause, she was in a form of acute onset liver failure with progressive anemia (from a suspected GI Bleed). It was just too much for her body. Her mind was sound. She was so strong but body tired. Thankfully, she was able to be released from the hospital to spend some time at home with the family. That was December 7th…which was also her 16th Birthday. The family facetimed to sing her happy birthday then later that evening, Michael and Brooke made the selfless and excruciating decision to let her go. It was peaceful and in the comfort of her own home with help from a mobile vet.

Mama Nala

Dec 7th, 2004-Dec 7th, 2020

Alive in our hearts forever

Experiencing the love of a pet is one unlike any other. We invite them into our solitude, our most vulnerable state, and unspoken insecurities. They provide companionship, unconditional love, the most genuine acceptance, and emotional support on the deepest of levels. We rely on them, they become our tangible constant. They only live in chapters of our lives, but we are their entire world. The inevitable truth is choosing to love an animal will always end in heartbreak. But what a way to suffer, to have loved so much and so deeply. Animals enhance every aspect of our life and diminish our worldly frustrations, adversities, and uncertainties. I sometimes find myself mourning Pancake, I just can not imagine a life without her…and yet know it is inevitable. They are the greatest gift.

It is mid December now and we have some vaccines rolling out. This is an AMAZING accomplishment for scientists and researcher. Think about this from a medical perspective…this was a brand new virus. The minute this brand new viral strain was isolated, scientists and researchers dropped everything to tirelessly work on this issue…on a global scale…with one goal, to protect and spare human life. They paused their professional passions and packed up all their research to solely dedicate their resources to understanding Covid19. I have many colleagues who are State Veterinarians, Epidemiologists and Researchers involved in Translational Medicine. And let me tell you, THEY ARE TIRED! 9 months later, this virus is still being interrogated in any facility capable of doing so…worldwide! Putting aside all other variables and mainstream medicine's perspective, it is amazing to see what the medical community can do with Global Collaboration to this scale. The research, experiments, retrospectives and investigation of this virus will continue long after our future return to “normalcy”.

Medical professionals know pandemics are inevitable and work tirelessly to prevent them. It is a part of pathogen evolution and mutation. There are many global pandemics…of the past, present and future. It is why OneHealth is important. While it is consuming our whole world right now, the CV19 pandemic is not the only one happening. For example, did you know that Tuberculosis is a current global pandemic? TB kills someone approximately every 22 seconds. There was an estimated 1.4 million deaths in 2019 alone ( My point, there are scientists in every field fighting, researching, advocating and trying to find a cure/understanding regardless of pathogen. They dedicate their life’s work to understanding specific disease, with the purest of intentions and are constantly working behind the scenes, usually with no recognition. SO to you, I SAY THANK YOU!!!! For ALL your hard work!!!

That pretty much sums it up for now! Recheck bloodwork was performed this week. It was incredibly comprehensive and also tested my Toxoplasma, HHV6 and Mycoplasma titers. Results are pending. I am feeling hopeful about my adrenal function! If it has improved enough then it will pave the way to adding in our Phase 3 antibiotic, Rifampin. My 5th recheck with Dr. JB is on December 31st!!! Hopefully these updates can become more frequent, so they are quicker reads!

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read through these updates. I know it is a lot of information, but it really means more than you know.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a 2021 full of positive progression and more certainty. Especially for all who are currently suffering from the collateral of 2020. God Bless!

Back to Beginning of Update 3 (October and November)

Mostly of the last 3 months, a couple that just make me happy!


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