Sick and Confuddled

mushroom with quote

photo by S. Holcombe.

I recently wrote a post that could easily have taken up 3 posts worth of writing.  You know if I wrote that much in one sitting I have a lot on my mind.  You also know if I’m making up words to say how I feel, I’m in a one heck of a state!

Some of the things I have written you will still see, I’m breaking it up into a couple of post, some of it you won’t….I have decided I just can’t talk about it here.  Maybe some day, but not now.  I want to, I think it will help some people, but it’s just something that I can’t talk about yet, at least not here.  And that’s hard on me, for a number of reasons.

So…on to what I will talk about…   (and it turns out this post is MUCH longer than anticipated….yep it’s one of those days.  as you get to the end you will understand, but forgive any errors please, I couldn’t go through and edit this, I am in too much pain.  But I wanted to get it posted.  at least part of it needs a voice…..)

Saturday my father and sister came for a little visit.  It was nice.  Even though we only live one state away we don’t get to see each other much.  They don’t get to come often, and I can’t travel very often.  Unfortunately, since our trip to Tucson, 2 years ago, I haven’t been able to travel at all.  I thought it was going to be better the last few months, but then I hurt my hip.  Now I can’t ride in the car across town without being in severe pain.  So who knows when I can go to South Carolina.  Thankfully, my sister brought my dad to see me.  We had a nice lunch and visit, then they were on their way.  Before they came I decided to get a shot of Toradol, an anti-inflamatory to help me not be in intense pain while they were here.  I wish I could have them more often, but you can’t take them on a regular basis.  I was very pleased that I could visit with them without worrying too much about the pain.  I was also happy I could hear them fairly well.  I couldn’t hear my father at first, but after a little while I realized if I sat closer to him I could hear him better.  What a relief.  I felt bad that I could understand everyone else, but was having such difficulty understanding him.  All in all, a good visit.

After they left I decided my hip was still feeling well enough we could go and meet the dear lady from the agency who had Kiki and make her adoption final.  So off the Pet Supermarket we went.  Luckily, they are very nice there and let me have a chair to sit in while we shopped a bit and adopted our newest family member.  Since the vet thinks Kiki is between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 we decided that her adoption date is her 2nd birthday!  So September 27th is her birthday!  She was lavished with gifts.  She got a new sweater, because she has been cold on some of these early fall mornings when she goes out.  It is red, and looks quite fetching on her sleek black and white body.  She also got a new toy that she loves!  She has abandoned all of her other toys for this toy, it is so funny!  She also got a new tag, a little purple heart with her name and phone number on it….we need to get her microchip reprogrammed.  She is officially ours now!   I was so very happy when we were in the store and one of the people who work there told me that he had seen Kiki so often when she was there waiting to be adopted and she looks like a different dog.  She is so happy and well mannered.  He said it is amazing how much she has changed in just the short time we have had her.  That couldn’t have made me happier.  I knew then, that yes, Kiki really was meant to be our little girl.

Saturday night I was getting ready for bed.  I was sitting on the side of the bed taking my night meds and suddenly I felt the Meniere’s signals.  Okay, this has not been unusual lately.  I’ve been very acute for the past month or more.  Having mini attacks many times a day, so I wasn’t worried.  I took a deep breath and calmly tried to focus.  Then FLUSH..heat through my body.  Ugh. OK.  Calm. Focus.  You got this.  Whoosh.  better lie down.   Focus.  feel the hand on the table it is steady.  you are not moving.  HEAT.  HOT. I’M ON FIRE.  Stuart walks in.  “Attack?”  “yep. ice.”  Focus.  breathe deep. calm. calm.  Spinning faster.  wow.  deep breath. focus calm. you got this. it’s ok.  spin. stop. spin. stop.  breath…..Ice..Good!  Still hot.  chest hurts.  can’t breath deep.  calm. spinning fast still.  calm. calm.   it’s ok.  it’s part of you.  you can do it.   “Stuart…shot please”   focus calm.  calm. so tired.  (took meds earlier.  Stuart got shot ready,(I’m lucky I have Phenergan shots available to me, it is an anti-nausea/vomiting drug) he was about to give it to me and dropped it. Couldn’t find it.  suddenly spinning stopped.  yes.  OK. rest.

BAM. started going the other way!  What the?   OK…calm down. but this is weird.  you can do it.  focus. feel your hand. –  what the heck is happening? this is not right. –  it’s  all OK.  focus. calm calm.  focus.  it’s just different. – no, this is very different.  now it’s jumping all around.  what is going on? –  calm down. calm down.  calm calm.  focus. it’s kind of freaking me out he can’t find that shot – focus on your focal point.  it will be alright.  – I need the damn shot!  I’m getting scared. –  shhhh. calm down. focus. focus.  breathe.  calm..calm.  this is not real.  the room is not moving.  You are not moving.  calm breathe.  – Ah…shot.  It will be better soon. –  Calm…calm…shhh.  AH! oh my gosh….”Stuart”.  “I’m right here babe. I’m not leaving you.”  “I can’t stay awake.  I’m all dopey.  If I fall asleep it gets worse!  I’m so sick.  I’m scared.  It hurts.  My stomach hurts.”  “I’m right here, you are safe.  I’ll try and keep you awake if you want”

This went on for a long while.  I kept dozing off no matter what.  It was horrible.  I would wake up spinning even more!  Then I got VERY sick.  I was going to throw up.  But nothing came up.  I just gagged, and coughed, and mucus from my lungs came up.  I couldn’t take a breath in!  I had this huge gag that felt like vomit was coming up but it was like a HUGE burp came up then I couldn’t breathe.  My lungs hurt. I was having an asthma attack and trying to throw up at the same time! I was so afraid I was going to have to go to the ER because I could not breathe.  Stuart was holding me putting my inhaler in my mouth for me.  I got enough in to breathe again.  (afterward he told he kept watching to make sure I was getting in some air and not having any signs of needing oxygen….but he is also thinking we may need to see about getting oxygen for me at home.)

Finally, it calmed down enough that when I dozed I stayed asleep.  And I slept!   The pain from my hip did not wake me up at all that night.  I was so exhausted.

The next day, was hangover hell.

I felt so bad.  I was trying so hard not to feel like I handled thing badly.  I really freaked out.  I panicked bad.  I couldn’t stay mindful.  I couldn’t accept what was happening to me.  I hated my body, I hated my life, I was afraid I was dying and hoping I’d just hurry up and die at the same time.

This is not what I have been working so hard on.  This is not mindfulness.  But it is.  Mindfulness is a practice.  You can’t beat yourself up if you don’t live up to your expectations all the time.

Mindfulness is not just about making it better. It is about feeling how you are, how things are now, and not being judgmental about it.  It is about being gentle with yourself.  On Saturday night, I could not accept my condition.  I could not handle my situation without panicking.   That was the way it was.  I could feel every nerve in my body screaming that it wanted this to end.  I couldn’t accept that this was just the was it was…I fought it.   But I was there with it.   I had a hard time looking back at it non-judgmentally.   But now I can.  I can look back and say, I had a damn hard night.  I handled it the best I could.  Things happened that have never happened before, and it really scared me.  Who knows, I may have handled it better than I would have in the past, because of my mindfulness practice?  I’m okay with how I handled it.  At first I was sad about it.  I felt like I failed myself.  I didn’t.   Mindfulness is hard.   Living mindfully is not easy.  But it does making living your life easier.  Or at least it has mine.

So I’m off to being more accepting of how my life is, even when it’s that bad.  It’s my life.  It’s much easier on me when I accept that.  If I try to fight it, it makes it worse.  It really is better when I accept that I have my illnesses, and I have the symptoms, and all the things that they cause.   I have found that I can deal with those symptoms better when I stop fighting them so hard.  I feel better.  I cope better.  Heck, the symptoms have been easier.

I’m just saying how I feel about all of this, I’m feel I’m just testifying..haha.  I’ll write a more coherent post about this sometime.  With references.  Or maybe I’ll find a guest writer.  Who knows.  For now, we’ll just see how it goes with me….hope that’s alright with all of you.

On Sunday, I decided I couldn’t stand the pain and the constant Meniere’s attacks any longer.  They use steroids to break both cycles.  However, too high of a dose of steroids can really mess you up with Meniere’s and make you have worse attacks.  So I started on the dose that the urgent care doctor gave me and put a call in to my otologist at Duke on Monday.  Unfortunately, it was phone tag for a few days, and then he wasn’t comfortable messing with this prescription.  I do not think he understood the situation!!  I am so beside myself right now!  I mean right now, I just found out about this.  I am looking at these pills trying my best to figure out the best way to ramp down off of them without it being too drastic.  Going from 4 on one day to 2 on the next is not a good idea.  So I take out the prescription bottle and count how many I have left.  10.  Wait, I should have more than that to meet the original prescription.  I count again.  10.  STRESS!  I filled this prescription weeks ago.  Will the pharmacy really believe they shorted me?

Thankfully, yes they did.  I got 6 more pills.  I can do this.  Breathe.  Take the day as it comes, and accept it.  That’s all I can do.  So….I sit down and think.  I will figure out how to ramp down the steroids that is between the prescription the urgent care doctor gave me and the prescription my ear doctor gave me before.  I’m sure I’ll be fine.  It’s not quite such a severe drop between going down.  Should I be messing with my prescription?  Heck I don’t know!  But I feel better, with this regimen.  I’m too afraid to ramp down so fast.

For those of you who have been reading for a while….remember the Walmart incident?  That happened because a doctor put me on a high dose of steroids that ramped down too fast.
Now you once again have a VERY LONG POST.

and I’m too tired to read over it to fix any errors.   I’m being a very bad blogger.  I hope you will forgive me.   I just fell again today….I’m not going to write about that now!  I’ll tell all about my back/hip/leg pain after my doctor’s visit on the 6th!  I’m sorry, but I’m not up to being an editor today.  🙂   My back/hip/leg thing…just isn’t going to get better if I keep falling is it?  Of course, that’s why I’m falling!!   I can handle it…..one moment at a time.  I can handle anything for a moment, after all, isn’t that really all we know we have, this moment?

***rest in peace to my cousin Curtis Winslow.  My childhood memories are full of you.  1958 – October 1, 2014

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I have a confession…

For over a year I have been clinically depressed.  I have had some small doses of mania in there, but mostly I have been shrouded in a black cloth with no hope of seeing the light.

photo by click tongue, at deviant art.com

photo by click tongue, at deviant art.com

I realize now that my psychiatrist was going through some issues of his own, and didn’t pick up on the fact that my depression was more than what I should have felt.  At one point he told me that he felt like he had done all he could for me and I should see someone else, I could not hear that he was looking out for me, I only heard that I was losing something else in my life.  He had been my doctor for close to 12 years, I felt I was just being tossed away.  So, I ended up staying with him.  It eased my mind, but didn’t make me better.  Yes, I had many things happen that gave me a reason to be depressed, but not as depressed as I was.  I wasn’t acting like me.  I really don’t remember much about 2012, I remember some horrible highlights, but not the good moments.  We all know, that is not me.  I normally cherish every moment I can, and look at things realistically, not escalate them to the point that I can’t see past the hurt.

The mania manifested itself as anger.  I was so angry at times, and I had no control over it.  I hate that Stuart was the one who had to be on the receiving end of all this emotional turmoil.

In 2012 and part of 2013 I cried every day.  Yes, part of it was losing Sandy, but it started before that.  I think the catalyst that started all of this was my diagnosis of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH).   I finally knew I would never get back to the point I was at the year before.  I would never feel “normal”.  There were a lot of emotions that went with this, a lot of realized loses.  I never expected to become a completely “healthy” person.  I’ve never been one, why would that change now?  But something snapped, and I no longer felt as positive as I had.  My new psychiatrist thinks my medication had not been working as well as it should even before then, but I was handling what was coming my way.  The diagnosis just pushed me past the point of helping myself.

I won’t go into everything that happened to me last year.  I will say there were some major things that I simply could not deal with.  However, I didn’t realize it then, I thought I was doing rather well on most accounts.  I knew there was one thing that was eating me up and sent me spiraling out of control….  I posted a poem about family.  How I wasn’t very close to my biological family and I was so happy I had a family with Stuart.  I was not saying it was anyone’s fault that my family and I don’t see eye to eye, it was really more about my love for my chosen family.  Well, a member of my family saw it and sent me a comment out of the blue.  This is someone I used to be VERY close to, but now she hates me and slanders my name to anyone who will listen.  I have not heard from her for about 10 years, yet she says my friends here don’t know me.  She says I’m evil….ect.  I never expected to hear from her again, but there it was, a comment from my niece.  She is 3o years old and still holds a grudge over something.  I don’t know what, and no one will tell me.  I have a feeling it is something from my very unstable Bipolar days, but I don’t remember most of that.  I was literally a different person while that disease had hold of me.

Now I have a new psychiatrist, and after one visit I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me.  I felt validated.  She understood my illnesses without me having to explain them.  She saw I have IIH and immediately said, “You can’t even exercise.”   THANK YOU!   Other doctors have said, “if you could exercise”…..blah, blah,blah.  It makes it sound like I choose not to exercise.  Not that I really can’t.  I will have excruciating pain, and will pass out.  I have figured out ways to do some weight-bearing exercises.  But I have to go slow.  I cannot do cardio, if my heart rate gets to high, I’m out.  She increased one of my medications.  And I am feeling better, but I think it needs to go up a little bit more.

However, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Right now it’s just a little candle, but it’s leading me out of the dark.

light at the end of the tunnel....photo from deviantart.com by zoop zoop

light at the end of the tunnel….photo from deviantart.com by zoop zoop

I have good thoughts again.  I am not crying every day.  My anger is much more under control. (I know my husband is very happy about all of this.)  In short, I’m feeling more like me.

I appreciate what I have.  Even when I’m stuck in a dark, silent room because of my migraines I am grateful I can get out of the light, and have a roof over my head.  When the world is spinning and I feel like my stomach is going to come out of my mouth, I am grateful I have a safe place where I can ride out the storm.  I may not be able to walk unaided most of the time, so I’m very grateful for my spiffy red walker, that is also a seat.

I’m grateful for my dear friends who read my rantings and support me so much.

This past Tuesday was my birthday.  I received more birthday cards than I think I ever have since I’ve become an adult.  Some made me cry (in a good way), some made me smile and feel all warm inside.  One I don’t believe the sender was thinking, or perhaps they don’t realize my hearing limitations, it played music.  I can’t understand music.  Stuart had to tell me it played Happy Birthday.  *funny*   He thought it was rude, I really think it was just a matter of not understanding.  Or wishful thinking.

20 years and I still miss you every day….I love you mom.

My mom as a young lady.

My mom as a young lady.

The anniversary of my mother’s death was June 23rd.  I simply cannot believe it’s been 20 years since my mother passed away.  Cancer is not prejudice it will attack anyone at any time.

Having such a hard time with Asthma lately has brought back some dark memories of watching my mother fight to breathe……  Lung Cancer is an ugly way to die.  If anyone who is reading this is a smoker, I beg you to stop.  If you don’t want to do it for yourself, please think of those who love you.

OK…enough of this…it’s not how I want to remember my mother.

My mother was a marvel.  She hated to cook, yet she could make a feast out of next to nothing.  Growing up I didn’t realize we had less than others, I actually thought we were well off, but as I look back I realize just how much that was because of my mom.  She was the ultimate in reusing things, and she’d never heard of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.  She even had a compost pile, before anyone knew what to call it.  She was raised that way, and now I live that way.

She was one of the only people in my life….before my husband….who accepted me just the way I am.  She believed in me.  I believe she is the only one who believed I would graduate from college.  I did it!  With honors!  She was not surprised….I think she was the only one.

I went to a college that was just a little over an hour from home.  One morning before my classes I talked to my mother and told her how much I missed her banana pudding, when I got out of class and came back to the dorms my mother was waiting, with a huge dish of banana pudding.  She was always surprising me.

She grew up on a tobacco farm (so. of course. she became a smoker), she didn’t experience much while growing up, even when she was a young adult she really didn’t know much about the world.  I don’t mean she was naive, she simply had the heart of a little girl, but the inner strength of Super Woman.  We would go places and she would be so awed by the sites.  I shared my love for art with her, and she soaked it in.

Amazingly, my mother never graduated high-school, dropping out in the 6th grade to care for her ailing grand mother, who was raising her.  She also didn’t know ho

Head Shot of my mom. Christeen Hutchins (Moore-Calloway)

Head Shot of my mom.
Christeen Hutchins (Moore-Calloway)

w to drive until after I was born, and didn’t have a pair of blue jeans until she was in her 50’s.

I remember going to the library with her.  She was so intimidated at first, but soon she was deep in the words, looking up things she had been interested in, but never had the nerve to research them.   I remember when she got a Camaro, this woman who didn’t drive until her late 30’s loved speed….but she was very careful.  Until she backed into a mail truck, but that’s a different story.

She may have gotten her first pair of blue jeans when she was in her 50’s, but after that you couldn’t get her out of them.  She loved jeans.  Almost as much as she loved pizza!

I don’t think she had pizza until I was a girl.  She was thrilled when the cheese would leave a string from the slice to her mouth.  I once heard her say she could eat pizza hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  And she liked everything on it!

I mentioned how strong she was, one day on her way home she was attacked and she fought of the attacker by grabbing a rock and bashing him in the head.  For days she looked in the paper to see if she had killed him.  No notice, but the attacks in the area stopped.  She always wondered.   Her first marriage ended in tragedy.  Her husband had a meeting one evening, he asked if she and their one year old daughter wanted to come, but my mom said she needed to wash diapers.  Hours later she found out he hit ice on a bridge and ran off into the water.  He drowned.  My mother was suddenly a single mother, with no income.  She moved in with her mother, went to cosmetology school, and started a life for her and her daughter.  Then she met my dad…and the story goes on.

We had such a very special relationship.  I do miss her ever moment.  I’m so honored to have been raised by such an amazing woman!

Grateful during a Rough Year

Buddha, by Wendy Holcombe
So much to be grateful for…

Yesterday Stuart and I were talking and I told him I was grateful for many things this year.  He looked at me a but stunned.  Yes, it’s been a rough year.

  • I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Intercranial Hypertension, this knocked me off my feet for a while, and I got a bit depressed over it…but I’m so very grateful that the medication works!
  • I’m still having severe vertigo attacks….but I’ve only had 3 or 4 this year…That’s amazing, and something to be grateful for!
  • I have migraines, and migraine associated vertigo – I’m grateful I have a super doctor now who specializes in headaches.  I’m also grateful that the vertigo I have with migraines, is not as severe as the Meniere’s vertigo.
  • I lost my dearest companion of 19 years….I still miss my Sandy so much every day – but I’m so grateful she did not suffer, and I’m grateful for all the wonderful memories I have of our lives together.  “Everybody Loved Sandy”
  • I’m grateful my father pulled through a near death experience, and my sister was there to help him.
  • I had a very hard time after someone wrote me a note that simply shook my world, and not in a good way.  I’m grateful (thanks to studying Buddhism) I can breathe in that hate, and breathe out happiness and love toward others.  I’m also grateful that I do not have to send a reply.  It’s a rough thing to accept, but some people will not like me, may even hate me, but as long as I still like me, I’m ok.
  • I lost my hearing in my left ear as of July last year (2011), and have greatly reduced hearing in my right ear.  I’m very grateful for modern technology, with my cochlear implant (received July of this year) and hearing aid I can hear.  I may not be able to hear as well, but with the help of technology I am not deaf all the time.  I’m so very grateful for this!
  • (**a TMI note)  I was diagnosed with vulvar vulvodynia, a painful condition of the vulvar region.  I’m so grateful that my doctor gave me topical Lidocaine, now my husband and I can have relations with much less pain.  (thank goodness there are times my head stops spinning long enough to try this.)  : )
  • I’m grateful we were able to come to Tucson for the winter.  The trip out was not as hard as I expected….Thank Goodness.  The time we’ve been here so far has been rough, but I have faith I will feel better and better.  I’m so grateful for the beautiful weather we’ve had so far.
  • With every challenge I’ve been through this year….and I haven’t mentioned them all….I’m so grateful my husband has been right beside me, holding my hand, being the best advocate for me (he has to make many calls for me since I can’t hear on the phone, he’s a wonder at making doctors understand), he loves me, and thinks I’m so very special.  I tear up just thinking about how very lucky I am to have married this wonderful man.  (I am most grateful for my husband and our relationship.)

Stuart and me, a couple of years ago.
Every time I look at this photo I can feel the love pour over me.
I’m so very grateful for the love my husband shows me. (photo by Jenn Dorff)

  • And last but not least, I’m grateful for my friends.  Especially the special people I’ve met through this blog and others.  It makes me sad that others have to go through chronic illnesses with pain and suffering, but I’m grateful we can share our experiences with each other and know we are not alone.

There are many other things I could list that I’m grateful for but this post would be very long indeed.  This post has made my lightened my heart and helped with things I was coming more and more depressed about, I believe I should take the time to notice the things I’m grateful for much more often.

If you are in the US, may you have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving.  (remember, take care of yourself first.)  I was not able to partake in the family festivities today, a migraine and unsteadiness simply would not allow it.  (especially with all the noise, I admit I was afraid, this would have been the first get together since I got my CI, it’s scary going into a situation with a lot of noise when you can’t hear like you used to.)

May we all remember to take time to think about the things for which we are grateful.

Ask me about it!

Question image__by_MultiCurious at deviantArt.com

I got this idea from one of my favorite bloggers LinLori.

I know many of you probably have questions for me, about my Cochlear Implant, any of my health issues…..ranging from Bipolar I to Chronic Pelvic Pain….and the newest diagnosis I haven’t even mentioned here yet….Vulvar Vestibulitis.  You may want to ask how I deal with certain things (like grieving for Sandy), or about my relationship with my husband.  You may even want to ask about my food issues.  Or what my favorite things are….whatever….I’m here to answer your questions.  If I possibly can.

Ask anything.

You all know I’m an open book…I don’t mind telling the details…so if you want to know something, now is the time to ask!

Come on ask….you know you want to know.

Dinner Invitation – #HAWMC 19

Today’s Prompt: 5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why?

I thought and thought about this prompt and could think of 5 people, but realized after I invited 2 of them it wouldn’t be fair to the other 3 to have them in attendance, unless they just wanted to talk among themselves.

The first person I would invite would be my mother.  She died in 1993.

The second person I would invite would be my husband.

The two most important people in my life, never met.

This is the dinner party I would like to have, I’d like the man I love, to meet my mother.

Of course, now I’m crying and have no idea what else to say in this post…..I’ll try and muddle through…

Let me tell you a little about my mother.  My mother and I were always very close.  When I was a child we played together, as I got older we told secrets, she always knew when I really needed to talk and she’d take me for a day trip to the beach.  I didn’t realize if until years later, but those trips were huge bonding experiences for us.  Never did we leave to come home without me unburdening to her whatever was on my mind.  She was the kind of mother that all the kids wanted to be around.  I often came home to find a friend talking with her.  They hadn’t come to see me, they wanted her advice.

I think back over the past 19 years and for many of them I simply can’t believe she wasn’t here.  I actually remember her at different events.  I can almost hear us planning my wedding.  But alas, she wasn’t there.  My husband’s mother died just months before we were married.  We had an empty seat for both of them beside our fathers.  We walked down the aisle together, when we reached our parents I gave one of my flowers (I carried Calla Lillis) to my Stuart for his mother, and I had one for mine….we put them on the empty chairs, and kissed our fathers and continued up the aisle to become joined as husband and wife.

The next day we came back to the park we were married in to have photos taken, they were catching and tagging humming birds.  Both of our mother’s loved humming birds.  So much so we included the theme in our reception to include our mother’s presence.  While they were tagging the migration they allowed me to hold 2 hummingbirds.  Yes, I actually got to hold them.  You see after they are caught they have to give them sugar-water and they sit in your hand a moment to warm up before they can fly away.  We took this as a sign that our mothers were pleased with our union….a little hello if you would.

Can you blame me for wanting my mother to meet this incredible man who has taken care of me so unselfishly, so lovingly for so long now?  My mother was my hero growing up, my husband is my hero now!

I know they would adore each other.  But to have one dinner together, can you imagine?

All the stories about me growing up?  The silly stories Stuart would share with my mother?

The proud moments a mother likes to share.

To share our wedding photos with her….to tell her all about it….

My mother finally seeing me stable (I had been diagnosed with Bipolar I before she died, but I was not completely stable until after she passed away.)

My mother seeing me happy, finally very happy, in spite of what my body is going through, I am happy most of the time……that is if I could stop crying!

and to have my mother hug me and tell me that everything is going to be alright…..oh what I wouldn’t give for that.
I know many of you will say she does see me, and she is always here with me….yes, I know.

But to have my mother and my husband actually meet, and have dinner with me…..that would be the ultimate dream for me.

A Night at the Emergency Vet

Triangle Emergency Vet. http://trianglevec.com

Night before last I didn’t sleep well.  By 7pm last night I was ready to go to bed.  I couldn’t sleep.   We decided to watch a show on the computer curled up in bed together.  Then about 9pm, it happened.

Stuart jumped up, “Oh no, Sandy!  Wendy she’s doing her thing again!”  I was very confused, what is “her thing”?  I jumped up and turned the light on, she’s having a seizure.

No coughing, no signs anything was going to happen, nothing.  She’s lying there with her back straight, legs straight out, and mouth tight.   She has already wet herself.  But she’s breathing.  Hard.  I keep talking to her, no response.  I keep petting her and talking to her, and trying to get her to respond, nothing.   I’m very good in a crisis, when I can do something, I started to panic a bit this time.  What am I supposed to do to help?  Finally I did get a little bit of a response by touching her tongue.  She moved her head a bit with that, annoyed, but that was it, but it was enough to show me she was still in there.  Stuart’s calling the Emergency Vet telling them we’re on our way, and getting dressed.  I’m not leaving Sandy’s side.  He’s all ready, I’m going in what I have on, sleep pants and an over sized t-shirt.  I grabbed a sweat shirt because it was chilly, and threw on some sneakers.  Out the door.  I was a mess and reeked of urine, and did not care.

Sandy on the couch.

We get there, and were so sad because they were a bit busy.  Not something you want to see at an Emergency Vet on a Friday night….a lot of people, most of them crying.

Sandy was acting a bit better, but she was still very lethargic, and confused acting.  They took her right back.

This was the worst seizure she’s had, and they seem to be getting closer.  They did blood work, but couldn’t get a urine sample.   (I don’t know why, but Sandy hates to pee at the Vet’s office.)   She was dehydrated, so that could have been the reason for no urine.  They give her fluids, but wanted the urine to be before they diluted it.   The blood work showed signs that she was dehydrated (this is typical after having a seizure), but it did have a couple of red flags about her kidneys.  However, her potassium was normal, and the vet said if she was having major kidney problems the potassium would not be in the normal range…..whew.   She thinks most of the tests that were out of range were because of dehydration.  They monitored her body temperature.  When dogs (I don’t know about humans) have a seizure their core body temperature rises.  Since Sandy’s seizure lasted so long, or at least her coming out of it lasted a long time (it’s very hard to tell when her seizure’s stop and her recovering, but not being able to move, starts), they were concerned her temperature was too high for too long.   Soon they gave her a lot of fluids and sent her home with the instructions….”Keep her calm tonight and keep an eye on her.”

At 12:30am we were back home, Sandy was so excited!  You never would have known anything was wrong with her!!!   She wanted to run everywhere!  “Keep her Calm”, when a vet tells me that I really should ask, “how?”   We did out best, but she had to see every inch of the house, and tried to run everywhere!  Normally, if she’s excited we can go outside for a little bit and she will calm down.  She starts getting all those good smells she has to slow down for, but last night?  Nope.

Sandy playing in her bed.

Today, she’s acting fine.  It’s so hard to believe I was sitting with her last night in tears telling her I understood if she had to leave us, that I never want her to be in pain.  I kept telling her how much I love her, and that everything is alright.  Trying so hard to sound calm.  But just dying inside.

We talked to our vet today.  She is starting Sandy on a seizure medication, and a special diet for renal function.  She does have bladder cancer, we need to keep her urinary system running as smoothly as possible.

Watching someone you love get older and change is so hard.  There is so much about her that is different from the Sandy she used to be.  I’m glad the Alzheimer’s medication works, but it hasn’t cured it. She paces a lot.  Around and around the house.  Since the first day I got her she hasn’t wanted to be in a different room from me when I’m home, that’s different now.  She often will go to bed in the middle of the day.  Just leave us, and go to bed.  She is much more of a loner dog, I’ve wondered if she is trying to prepare us in her own little way for a day when she won’t be here.

Last week, I was looking at her and thinking….she’s not the same dog.   Don’t get me wrong, I still love her dearly, and she’s still MY dog, but there is so much that’s different.  I miss my Sandy.  I swear she knew I was feeling this way because she started to do little things that were more from her normal personality than she has in a long time.  Cuddling up with me, and I’d love on her and when I’d stop she’d jerk her head back to look at me, “why’d you stop?”, it is such a cute move….so Sandy.  She’s been more affectionate, and lying in the sun more….. oh just young Sandy things.   Not old dog, Sandy things.   I love them both, really!!!  I’ve just missed my young Sandy a bit….because let’s face it.  She’s 20 years old.  That’s 100 years old for her.  She can’t live forever.  (but don’t tell her that!!!)