I have been feeling somewhat better, on and off. So we have thought the medication has been working.
However, I’ve been under a huge amount of stress, not just my illness…so much more. I could probably do a bullet list, but I’ll share one big one. (Please if you are sensitive to pet issues, do not read this. Or if you do, please know ahead of time, it has a happy ending – as much as it can be for a very, very old dog. But she’s happy and fine, don’t worry.)
Last Saturday, we decided to go for a ride, just get me out of the house. It was a lovely ride. We had a nice lunch outside, and came home. We weren’t gone over 2 hours. When we got home, our dog got very excited, as usual. You know how dogs can get. It’s precious. Unfortunately, Sandy is a small dog and has a collapsed trachea. It’s common in toy breeds, but Sandy’s about 22lbs, so not that small. However, she has it none the less. When she gets excited, she breathes fast, this causes her trachea to close, literally choking her. She started to cough. We tried to calm her. She staggered while coughing to her pad to pee. She fell down. Went rigid, threw her head back and yelped a few times…she was seizing. Then she stopped, everything. She stopped breathing. I started to breathe for her. She didn’t start breathing on her own. She voided her bowels. We really thought we’d lost her. I couldn’t find a pulse, but that’s really hard for me to do anyway. So I started CPR. After about 5 -6 rounds, she stuck her tongue out and licked, took a deep breath, and started to groggily move her head. She came back to us. We took her to the Emergency Vet. But now we have to try to keep her calm. She can still show she’s happy, but no running, so jumping, not getting overly excited. I feel like we are being forced to take a little bit of her personality away. But she is 19, and she still seems happy. The vet says she’s in no pain, and she shows so much love. We do have a huge problem with incontinence, and realize we will have to replace all the carpet in the house at some point. But for now. We have our lover dog. She has bladder cancer (but they can’t even feel the tumor), Alzheimer’s, cataracts, hearing impairment, and well she’s just plain old. But she’s happy, she loves us, and she is in no pain. So for now, all is good.
However, a big stressor! And this isn’t the only one!
The more stress I have, the more I can feel my symptoms increase. I’ve never been a big believer when doctors say,”you’re just under too much stress”. I’ve often felt that was a cop-out. And sometimes I still think it is, after all. life is stress. There is no way around it. But recently, I’ve had more than my share I think. Way too many tears have been shed, and I’ve been way too tense over situations I have no control over.
I can’t help but wonder if what happened on Thursday had anything to do with the culmination of stress I’ve been under. On Wednesday night I couldn’t lie down to sleep without having a very bad headache, so I attempted to sleep sitting up. Not the easiest thing to do. Needless to say, it was a fitful night. I woke in the morning, still needing more sleep, but feeling pretty decent. I decided to travel downstairs and surprise Stuart by making some rolls for breakfast. Just a mix, nothing fancy. However, I never made this mix before, and it was the most annoying thing. It may as well have said, we give you the gluten-free flour, you provide the rest. Then it said to roll out gluten-free dough! What? If you’ve ever worked with GF dough you know you get a very sticky mess, try to roll it out, and you get a glob on your rolling-pin. I knew this and tried different things. I have a short temper these days, I get very irritated easily, and then cry. So I decided to just spoon the stuff in muffin cups and bake it, if it tasted cinnamony, then we had a success….I did not care what it looked like. That was a very good thing. They were very ugly, but okay. Not a mix I’ll buy again, and very glad it was not expensive! But a nice surprise.
Then I took it upstairs to Stuart, still asleep. As I was climbing the stairs my headache began to get worse. Bu I was so proud of my ugly cinnamon muffin thing. I crawled in bed and laid the muffin thing beside Stuart and he woke up with a big smile. He loves cinnamon. He looked at me, “You made this?” I smiled. “Wow” I felt good, and proud…and then the headache got worse. I took something, and Stuart went to make more for breakfast. He came back, I ate, and took pain and nausea meds. I took migraine meds. I’d already taken the medication for the pressure. The headache climbed rapidly soon I couldn’t focus, I was gagging but nothing was coming up. I had ice packs on my head. My headache had risen to a category 10 – go to the ER. But I couldn’t go. I just couldn’t.
It scared me so much the thought of strange doctors treating me. With everything that’s going on and my confusion…I just couldn’t think clearly, I couldn’t go. NO. I was screaming from the pain, and the fear. It took over 2 hours to get the pain level down to a tolerable level. During this time I was panicking, feeling claustrophobic, confused, paranoid….ect. It was a horrifying afternoon. My head hurt so much for the rest of the day. But as long as we can get it to a category 8 or under I can handle it. Truthfully, I’d rather take the medication I have at home, and not go to the ER and have them give me other medications which I am not familiar with. Who knows what side effects they may cause. So many pain medications make me throw up. I just don’t want to go through it. And I do not want anyone to ever accuse me of drug seeking.
So, we’ve been playing tag with Dr. Gray for a few days. We’ll get in touch soon I’m sure. The headaches are better today. But still constantly never under a 5. The medication is working to a certain degree. The side effects, are not comfortable. I think we need to figure something out. Unfortunately, there are only 2 medications to treat this disorder. If they don’t work you get a shunt. That’s it. It’s a rare, not a lot of research money spent on it. I hate being on this part of the journey…wait and see. Increase the dose. Add this drug, adjust this amount…ect….wait and see. Dang it all, I want to feel better. Remember when you were little you got sick, you went to the doctor and they gave you some medicine and you felt better. Why isn’t it that easy any more?