Squirrel! But it really was. I’ve been staring out the window watching it for 30 minutes now. Running along the back fence, through the branches of the large tree that’s limbs cover the roof above my bedroom. It’s green, brown and yellow-gold leaves scattered about the ever-changing arms of fall. I gazed over as the quick little animal hurried over the Tuff Shed, back along the other side of the fence and eventually disappeared again. And then I was reminded of all the distractions.
The day before we left for the Stanford transplant center on behalf of our daughter for the second time in a month, my 6 month old puppy Independence stopped eating, drinking, became lethargic, ceased playing. No more kisses, no more loves, no greets. He’s always extremely perky, playful and active. He loves his ropes, always tugging with me, but not anymore. This was on Wednesday, the 14th that this began. We’ve already spent $2,000 saving one puppy many years ago from Parvo, nearly lost another that I was able to save by IV home care I’m not sure what’s the matter with Indie. I know, take him to the vet, but unfortunately it’s not an option. If you’ve been following any of my story relating to our daughter, no matter how much I want to and wish that I could I’m just not able.
I started force feeding him sugar-water on the 14th. Other than in the A.M. I was gone all day on the 15th and didn’t get home until nearly midnight from Palo Alto, CA. Our daughter seen her specialist and had a pre scheduled MRI immediately after. Her doctor added a brain scan as well. We drove another 20 minutes to the imaging center and learned that the scans hadn’t been authorized by the insurance. I could understand the second not being yet as it was just added, but the first hadn’t been either and had been scheduled 3 weeks prior. We signed the papers to take financial responsibility still hoping that the insurance would be approved or that we could appeal if all together denied. She has to have these scans. She was taken back and came out 15-20 minutes later in her gown into the lobby. They wouldn’t proceed without a $10,000 down payment. Oh my! Then we learned none of her Stanford appointments have been covered. Nothing we could do. She went to change and we drove back home to Sacramento.
When we got home Indie short for Independence was in the same condition as when I left. I gave him more sugar water. He wouldn’t even look at food or water. His head was droopingI rested a bit, I was exhausted, I hadn’t been feeling well, I’ve been in a flare, but my arms were hurting too much, numb, losing feeling, difficult to raise, electric shocks, my chest aching. I started researching all that I could on sick puppies. I gave him a dose of RFD Liquid Wormer for puppies and dogs and comforted him. I already had it on hand. I finally fell asleep about 4:00 a.m.
When I woke, I could barely lift my head, I couldn’t feel my arms, I could barely carry myself my back was so heavy, hate is a strong word, but I really hate the word pain, it really hurt, my collarbone area, the side of my face, my lips were having spasms and sharp spikes. All in addition to my lower back and bilateral CRPS. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2003 also, but I know that pain enough to differentiate it from CRPS and what’s going on here. For me, Fibro feels like I’ve been run over by a truck. Really deep muscle pain. Or if I haven’t worked out in a long time, and did for a day, it’s similar to the next days muscle burn pain we get from it. My arms first started doing this a couple of years ago, lasting for over 6 months straight at one point, all day and night long in the seize and release. The only way I’ve been able to describe it is that it feels like my spinal cord stimulator is in my arms for seconds at a time. Being turned on, increasing in intensity until it reaches its peak, locks my arm up, in whatever position my arms are at the time it occurs, until the buzzing/intense tingling/shocking eases down and releases. I suppose if I didn’t have an SCS, I couldn’t describe it this way and maybe because I do I had been accidentally misleading doctors in my description. The only way to describe accurately is to truthfully describe as something feels. It’s really painful. Bringing me to tears more than a few times. I really hold back crying over my CRPS pain, I hide pain fairly well, including pain behaviors and guarding, but this has caused tear drops to rain on their own accord. Automatic. It feels like a line running through the side of my head and continuing down my neck into my arms. Worse on the right, though both are effected. And the headaches, disorientation. Phew! By the way it’s not possible for the actual stimulation from my SCS to be in my arms. Plus, back when it first occurred, I inquired to the possibility just to be sure.
Barely being able to make it down the hall because evening out my spine wasn’t an easy task, I got my coffee, and tended back to Indie. I’ve found him in the backyard twice and that scares me. I know animals often go away to pass on. He’s not an outside dog like that and because it’s not part of his normal routine it makes me uncomfortable.
I got everything ready I asked my husband to get from the store the night before. I’m bound and determined to make him better. Today is the 5th day since he’s not eaten. My husband brought back Pediatric Electrolyte, Karo Syrup, and 4 containers of chicken and rice baby food. All day long, I’m giving him a 3 ml syringe of the PediaE, 3 x each time, every hour at least. I have to pry his jaws, or attempt into the back side of his cheek between his teeth. He’s that sick. I rub the Karo on his gums to raise his blood sugar. I used a spoon to force feed him the baby food. It was messy. On the 3rd day, he finally drank water from his own bowl, but he vomited it up on my bed. Laundry! He did drink too much for not having drank in 3 days, I think. I’ve been watching for blood, there hasn’t been any that I know of. He didn’t drink any water again yesterday and he still hasn’t eaten any food and is still inactive. My 9-year-old grandson just said to me as he pet to soothe the puppy laying beside me “I miss when Indie was all hyper”.
Last evening, I added Tylenol into his daily care. I didn’t have baby Tylenol, so I put one of my Acetaminophen into a water bottle cap with a few drops of water to let dissolve. The Tylenol is a OTC 500 mg. Once liquid, I pulled approximately 150 mg of it into the syringe with the rest PediaE, shook it up, opened his mouth, and shot it down his throat and gave him 2 more 3 ml PE.
He’s so skinny.
It’s hard when you have to make choices, or rather, you don’t have any, but there are options and I’ve used my knowledge, past experiences, and the research to do as much as I can for him, as I do for the rest of my family. I hope I’m not prolonging his survival to cause him suffering but instead saving his life with all the love and compassion within me. I really don’t give up, not even on a pet.
Today I started using the syringe to get the baby food down him. Too many days have gone by. I pray I’m doing something right, he’s still hanging on.
Friday night I was diagnosed with Cervical Radiculopathy, previously diagnosed as only Paraesthesia. As long as I’m not going to drop dead of a stroke, I can figure out a way. And nope, wheels (wheelchair) are still not an option at this time. I’ve already beat being in one permanently by 10 years due to my lower extremities, not letting my upper body steal the good hard fight. Nope, not yet.
It’s taken me 2 hours to type this. A bit of a setback.
… But only a setback.