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.)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!)
(I could not read over this post to check for errors, it was just too much of an emotional day. – NO, Sandy didn’t die…just scared us.)
When I got up yesterday, I was feeling a bit off, but better every day.
Stuart fixed me something to eat and brought it to me. Our dog, Sandy, followed him upstairs. She was coughing a little, she’s a small dog and has a collapsed trachea, this causes her to not be able to catch her breath sometimes. This didn’t sound worrisome, it was just a little cough, Stuart went over and straightened her throat to open the airway and she stopped, So he scooped her up on the bed to be with Mom. I noticed she was still breathing very hard, and her heart was just pounding, she leaned on me (this isn’t unusual) and I tried to calm her down. Then she just fell over on the other side, she started to do these little yelps like she was in pain and stopped breathing. I thought she was dead! I grabbed her and opened her mouth and breathed in for her and pushed the air out again a few times…she began to breathe again.
I grabbed up my 21 pound dog and told Stuart to grab my pants I’d put them on in the car, and ran (yes, ran as much as you can carrying a 21 pound dog) down the stairs. By then she was wagging her tail thinking this was some kind of game. I put her down and she was still unsteady, but getting back to her normal self. I threw on a pair of sweat pants, a jacket some shoes, while Stuart was on the phone with the Vet and putting on his shoes. We were out and to the vet in less than 15 minutes.
The verdict, my baby had a seizure. They don’t know why. She is 19 years old. They took all kinds of tests (she was due for her annual visit anyway), and we are to take her resting heart rate a few times throughout the week. It could be her heart, it could enlarge and then cut off the airway, or it could be because of the collapsed trachea, or the cancer could have gotten to her brain. We just don’t know.
If the resting heart rate test is off, then they’ll start her on heart meds. If she has repeated seizures, they may just put her on seizure medication.
The good news. The vet felt all around her bladder and could not feel the tumors. So they have not progressed as they expected. She’s still urinating fine, and that all looks good.
When I say my dog is 19, and has bladder cancer, Alzheimer’s, cataracts, hearing problems….I just know people are thinking that we are cruel not to put her down. But Sandy is a happy dog! She’s not in pain! The vet has never even hinted that Sandy may not be living life to the fullest. She still chases the cat, runs around…
When we checked in at the vet yesterday, the lady behind the desk said, that she has an old girl too….then she looked at Sandy’s age and said, WOW! Well, not that old, she looks great for her age.
Sandy is so very special.
Yes, I paid for my adrenaline rush. I came close to falling more than once, but I would not stay home and not be there for my dog. (I can only imagine what they thought when I walked in…a t-shirt that’s way too big, sweat pants, Stuart’s blue jean jacket, I hadn’t brushed my hair or my teeth…ewww. and I was walking like I was drunk.) But there was no way I was leaving my dog!!
I did collapse a little when I got down stairs because I almost fell and was very dizzy, and thought…I can’t even take care of my dog!
What if Stuart hadn’t been here?
Stuart has an interview in Birmingham, Alabama next Wednesday. It’s for a telecommute job, one he really wants. But we haven’t found anyone who could stay with me. I really think I would be alright by myself, but what if there is an emergency? What if something happens? I can’t drive.
We’re going to try to find a neighbor who would be home during the day, just someone I can call on in an emergency.
Here’s hoping we can find someone! And hoping Stuart is offered this job!
And please send healing thoughts to my precious little girl.
She is a huge part of our family!!