Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Story

Yesterday was almost a black day for me. Almost. It started out in the usual way: pop awake at 5am (I only have 2 states, awake or asleep), stumble over the obstacle course of pets and stuff others who can lift their legs leave lying around to trip those of us who are not so blessed, let the dogs out and start my coffee. After brushing my teeth, taking my handful of morning meds, and sitting down with my coffee to play some text twist, Princess stumbled out to take her chances with the obstacle course and informed me that my dog, my precious baby, was having a seizure. That is nothing out of the ordinary, he has been having them since he was a puppy so we know how to deal with them: keep him safe and let it run its course. He is now 7.5 years old and getting very white, which saddens me but I know the seizures take their toll on those who suffer from them. Anyhoo, he kept seizing from 5am until almost 7am. He would start to look like he was coming out of it, then another would start up. I was scared to death of losing him because I know what status epilepticus means, and it is nothing good. I wanted Princess out of the house before I called the vet because if he had to be put down I didn't want to ruin her day at school. I sent her to my older sister's house a little early (she living just down the street from us and works at the elementary school) and called the vet. I got my little sister and her bf/f up, which is no small feat, they being unable to get up anytime before noon without turning into dust, and had them help me get my dog into my truck to take to the vets. I was crying and sobbing with the abandon of a child; my sinuses and eyes were working over time so that I was soaking one Kleenex after another. The vet put some diazapam up his... rectum as a last ditch effort to see if we could bring him out of it or if he needed to be put down. He came out of it, thank all the gods, and the vet gave me some anti-seizure meds for the future and some diazapam and a syringe to put that stuff up his butt if it happens again, which I hope it does not, I am not too hip on squirting something up his behind but will do it if need be. The vet talked and talked and gave me advice on what to feed him, how to inject the stuff up his rear, the importance of making sure he gets his anti-seizure meds every 12 hours and so on. We were there for over an hour and a half and near the end my nose was feeling itchy. I scratched my nose and realized I had a big, crusty booger stuck to the outside of my nostril that had been there long enough to dry out and become itchy. How gross. I couldn't help but be amused by what the vet must have been thinking the whole time he was talking to me and looking at that thing. If I have to walk around with boogers all over my face to have a little more time with my baby, I will do it with a sign around my neck that says, "I wipe my nose with my sleeve" and a big smile on my face. When I thought for sure that he was leaving me, I kept praying that his spirit would not leave me and that brings me to the second part of my usual long-winded story.

Before I launch into this story I have to give a little background information for it to all make sense. I don't believe in ghosts or aliens or the Ouija board or things that go bump in the night. I believe that there are things in this world that can't be explained, and that there may be some ghosts out there, but I think 99.9999999% of it is people seeing what they want to see. When something thumps in the night or something happens that I can't explain, I don't assume it is a ghost, I assume it is something practical like the pets, the house settling, or the heating ducts, something along those lines. I am a literal kind of girl and unless a ghost hit me upside the head with its chains, I probably wouldn't believe there was one there, which makes the following all the more perplexing.

The first time I did the steroids, and every other time, I never stay in the hospital for the whole 5 days. I do it outpatient; that was our compromise for me consenting to do them. My neurologist won't budge on how many days I have to do it (I was arguing for less, he wouldn't come down any) so every day I checked in and paced for 6 hours until they sprung me. If they tried to keep me I would probably claw my way out of there. I don't know how people do it! They rev me up to the point that I would have to be straight jacketed to keep from running away -- and even then I would probably run anyway. It was the second day of my doing the steroids and it fell on a weekend so the outpatient center was closed. They put me in ICU because that was the only available bed at that time. The ICU nurses were not used to having a patient not needing intensive care so they left me alone for the most part (to my pleasure. I hate being watched too closely, like an animal in a cage). I was lying in bed, keeping company with my horrible heartburn, pondering the whole "I-have-MS" thing (being newly diagnosed and still reeling) when I saw come through the door our family's dog when I was growing up. This dog died, practically in my arms, when I was in the 10th grade. He was a mutt, a mix of, what we could only guess at, German Shepard and Saint Bernard, along with others too, but those were the main ones. I hadn't really thought about him in a long time, so I was pleasantly surprised to see him come in. I had forgotten how big he was, his very fluffy, big tail, the swayed back with a large black patch almost like a saddle on it. He came over to the bed, I moved my legs over and he climbed up and laid down with me. I figured he was there for a reason and feeling very safe, I decided to take a nap with him. I told my mom this story and she cried. I don't have any close relatives that could have come "visited" me, so she thinks he was sent to comfort me and show me that he is watching over us still. And as much as I am a disbeliever in such things, I can't see any other explanation other than him coming to show me that he was still with us, especially at a time when I needed it the most. Funny thing is, the day I went "crazy" and cut my wrists, I was waiting for him to come take me home. When he didn't show, I knew it was wrong and called my mom. So chalk this up to whatever you would like. I can't even pretend to understand it. But I now keep an old picture of him in my room to remind me that I am not alone in all this.


Jen said...

I can't start crying because I have to head out to the library and work on the children's literacy program's database, but I can understand the feelings towards your dogs. I feel like I gave birth to my own cat. He's like a son and I get choked up when he has anything wrong with him.
I still think about my childhood dog and wonder if he's playing with Bill's childhood dog in some big field.

UGGHHHHH...I'm gonna cry so let me go.....


Where would ANYONE begin to comment on this post? I mean, the booger part is funny, but the rest? Well, the "rest" of what you have written just deserves to be held in sacred space...a most high honor.

Linda D. in Seattle