Thursday, July 23, 2015

Getting Through An Anxiety Ridden Day (With My Dog)

I had another post planned for today, but I needed to change course. Writing helps me cope with fear and anxiety, and today, I need that.  So I apologize if straight up personal stories aren't your thing, but hey, the good thing about being the blogger is that I get to choose what to write about, and today, this is it. Plus, perhaps it may help you next time you have an overly fearful, anxiety filled day.

Today, my Cinn has her ultrasound. The good news is, her platelets have been up. She's on the high end of normal actually. The not as good news is multi-fold. She's been peeing in her sleep (hope you're not eating breakfast) and she's having trouble getting her legs under her. It's heart-breaking when I call her to go outside and I can hear her legs rummaging around on the floor trying to stand and unable to do so, or when she tries to come up the stairs at night for bed and falls down them and I find her lying on the bottom step looking scared and nervous. Also, the vets still have no idea what caused the platelet count, which means basically we're at a standstill, and can only guess on the best course of treatment at this point.

I love my Cinn more than I can possibly express in words. If this ultrasound comes back badly, I will surely fall apart, despite my trying to be strong for her. It would be easier on me to stay in the dark. I could treat the symptoms and say "oh look she had a good day, her platelets are up, she jogged in the back yard for a minute." And indeed, if it comes down to it, if that's the best decision, then I'll have to do that. But I can't do so without knowing what I'm dealing with, or trying my damndest to find out, and then making the best decision for her. Not for me, for her. I wouldn't tell a family member not to go get an ultrasound or a mammogram or a colonoscopy because I didn't want to find out bad news. It would be selfish, and ultimately, if there was something there, my not knowing wouldn't make it disappear. It wouldn't make them any less sick, or their prognoses any less serious. And Cinn is family. She's family who can't raise her voice or make her own decisions (in regards to things such as this), so it would be even less fair to her. A family member could say "screw you I'm getting this test anyways." Cinn would sit there, dealing with whatever she's dealing with, trusting that mommy's going to make everything ok, and being completely at my mercy. And so, at 3 PM today, for better or worse, she has the ultrasound.

This day is awfully, painfully sad for me. And slow. I'm trying to be positive, but I'm torn between trying to be optimistic, and trying not to be so hopeful that I convince myself she's fine and then get blindsided. I have to remember that all Cinn knows is that she didn't get breakfast this morning, which may have been more difficult for me than for her, to see her looking at me doing the "air chomp", tilting her head like, "mommy, you forgot me.  Please don't leave yet, I didn't get my breakfast." I've apologized to her for past 24 hours and told her that tonight she'll get a nice special dinner, but unfortunately all she got out of this was "dinner", which I use for every meal, and just got her excited, thinking she was being fed. This is all the more difficult because the steroids make her ravenous. She was allowed peanut butter to take her meds, so I uncharacteristically let her lick the spoon to get as much of it as she could (Cinn and I share a lot, but dining utensils aren't usually one of them).

I don't even know if I'll get answers today. I have no idea if the radiologist will tell me anything, or just send it to the vet who will call me as soon as they can.  In my mind I'm thinking, "This is my baby girl! How can you not tell me right now? How can the vet not pick up the phone the minute they get this and drop everything and call me?" But the vets and radiologists are spending their days dealing with everyone's "baby girls (and boys)." The last time I was at the vet I heard them call for triage over the loud speaker and watch techs run to the front. The time before that a family was waiting as their dog underwent surgery. A few times before that I watch someone tearfully picking up her pet's ashes (this might have been the worst thing I've seen, ever, period). So I have to practice patience, which is a virtue... that I do not possess much of... and know that they're doing the best they can. In the meantime, I'll hug Cinn and tell her I lover as much as possible. I'll take pictures and video of her, and selfies of us. When I lose it and drop to my knees in tears and hold in her what looks (and probably feels to her) like some poorly executed version of a half nelson, I'll give into it, and be grateful that my sweet, sweet Cinn lets me do so.

A few things are helping me get through the day: social support and numerous well wishes and expressions of love for Cinn, remembering that Cinn doesn't realize today's potential outcome and therefore is only worried about when she's getting fed, knowing that my being worrying and fearful all day won't change the outcome of the test, reminding myself that I'm doing this for her. My dad is coming with me today, in case of any bad news, for which I know I can't be on my own and I am endlessly grateful for this. I am so lucky to have the support system I do. I'll post an update when I have the results. In the mean time, hug your fur babies tight and tell them as often as you can that you love them. In their eyes, that's really the most important thing. 

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