Friday, 9 September 2011

Loss, loss and more loss!!!

So it has been a few weeks since I have blogged and that is mainly because I have had a very sick puppy dog….more about that later.

I had my second weigh in session on 31 August and this time I was prepared for the scale to “announce” my numbers.  This time I was in control.  I had restricted myself to only weighing once a week and only at the office weigh in so I had no idea how much if any kilo’s I had shed.  I knew my clothes felt a bit better but…….what would the scale reveal.

I was terrified to climb onto the scale but I knew I had been eating well and sticking to the plan and drinking the dreaded water.  I waited for it and held my breath………3.9kg down.  I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeearly died!!!!  What an awesome loss in just one week.  I must say that this is a very big motivation to carry on and ensure that I stick to the healthy eating plan and also makes me realize that I can do this!!!

This week I have also had a weight loss although I am not quite sure how much.  My official weigh in did not happen because my friend in charge is in Switerzland for business.  I jumped onto my own scale but with the differences it is hard to determine just how much I have lost.  However, I have also not been eating.

For a comfort eater and a food addict that is a strange thing to say but well, here’s what has happened.

I have a four and half year old boerbul/ridgeback cross named Jenny.  Jenny is my baby!!!  I have, I now realized changed my life, my routine everything to include her.  Last week Thursday I noticed that she was not well and in fact looked sick.  I took her to the vet the moment I got home from work.  Jen was admitted and much to my distress was diagnosed initially with tick bite fever. I have no words to describe the panic I went into as I have never had a sick animal in my life. I left her in the capable hands of Dr Ryan (YUMMY) and went home.  On Thursday I received a call saying that she can be discharged but that she is still a very sick little girl. I was so excited to fetch her and have her home again.  The excitement she showed and the look on her face when I fetched told me that she felt the same way.

During the course of Thursday evening her breathing seemed to change and she seemed to have a fever.  I called the vet on duty and he read her chart and said the words “Well, they have not ruled out leukemia yet”.  I seriously thought someone had ripped out my heart.   How on earth was that possible!!!!!  Anyway to cut a long story short he told me to watch her and if I feel uncomfortable I should bring her in.  On Saturday I had to work and even though I want to stay home and be with Jenny I couldn’t.  when I got home late afternoon I could see deterioration  in her breathing but she was so happy to see me and even wanted to play a little bit…….although she was off her food.  On Sunday morning I took one look at her and knew that I had to get her to the vet IMMEDIATELY!!!!

Fortunately her vet Dr Ryan (YUMMY) was on duty and he took one look at her and rushed us through to the doggie hospital.  Jenny received and emergency blood transfusion and the testing began.  My puppy was so weak that she did not even growl at the staff working on her which is very very very unusual and unlike Jenny. After extensive testing, Jen was admitted and the diagnoses: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome……ARDS for short.  Not good news, Dr Ryan (YUMMY) explained that there is only a 40% survival rate and that with the tick bite fever as the underlining illness Jenny was in a very critical condition.  I can’t begin to describe what hearing this did to me.  I did not want to go into the ugly cry with Dr Ryan (YUMMY) but my hands were shaking so…he leaned over and covered my hands with his and asked me to let him fight for my baby.  I will never forget the look in his eyes because besides the fact that all I wanted to do was fight for her he wanted to fight and he was willing to do whatever it takes.  Dr Ryan (YUMMY) warned me that the next 4 – 6 hours were critical and that I should not get my hopes up but pray.  I went back to the hospital and spent some time with my baby.  It seemed so odd that she can be so sick and still want a cuddle.  Dr Ryan (YUMMY)  gave me a hug and told me to have faith and to remember that she is a strong girl who loves me and will fight to stay with me. I eventually left my puppy in the very capable hands of Dr Ryan (YUMMY) and went home.  Needless so say the next 6 hours were the longest I have ever experienced.  I could not eat, I could not concentrate enough to read or watch TV and I could not fall asleep……… I sat on my bed and just sent positive thoughts to her.

Dr Ryan (YUMMY) called and told me that although Jen was still very sick she had responded to the meds.  Her platelets were up and her red blood cells were coming back.  We had gained a little ground but she was still critical.  Here respiration was at 60 breaths per minute and he had to get it down to about 30. Dr Ryan (YUMMY) felt good about where we were in the treatment but warned that Jenny was still very sick and things could go either way.  Dr Ryan (YUMMY) was going off duty but he felt confident about the night duty vet.  I slept little and kept on watching the clock hoping that my cell would not ring.  By six on Monday morning I could wait no longer and called.  Dr Omar told me that Jenny was in a stable but critical condition and that her care would be handed over to the specialist veterinarian Dr Dean when he came on.  Dr Dean called me at about 12:00 and said that although Jenny had not deteriorated she had not improved either and that ARDS is a very difficult condition to treat as animals (and humans) can show improvement and suddenly crash or show no improvement for 2 -3 days and then turn and recover. This was not quite the news I was hoping for. He did say that Jenny was fighting bravely and that those taking care of her were fighting alongside side her but that it was a precarious position to be in.

I had to work late on Monday night and only got to the vet at about 18:15 to visit my puppy dog.  I waited in reception for what seemed an endless time before finally being taken through to the hospital.  Jenny looked terrible.  I could see the change in her weight and breathing from Sunday and found myself panicked and borderline hysterical. Dr Maggie was taking care of Jenny until Dr Ryan (YUMMY) came on duty and when she looked at me I could see……………..she was going to tell me that I would have to make a decision.

To her credit Dr Maggie gave me time with Jenny.  I got to stroke her and talk to her and just visit.  Then Dr Maggie took me one side and had a very frank conversation with me.  Jenny was not doing well, in the course of the afternoon she had started to deteriorate and had lost the ground she had gained. I thought my heart was going to break.  Dr Maggie spoke to me with kindness but it was as if every word was a dagger being pushed into my heart.  This was the moment……I would have to make a decision that would break my heart that would end the life of my precious “poopie”!!! I asked if I could have some time and Dr Maggie said yes.  As  left the hospital to go phone my family I took  a look and my precious brave puppy and I could see that in the half an hour I had been there she had deteriorated. I sat in the doggie waiting are and called home.  I did not want to make the decision alone but knew that I was the only one who could.  I cried when I spoke to my dad knowing that he was hard hit by the latest update.  He told me to do the right thing………….what kind of answer was that.  The right thing would be for me to gather my puppy in my arms and run, run far far away.  I called a friend who was about to board a plane for Switzerland.  In hindsight that was not the kindest thing to do to her but I just needed to hear her voice. I was crying so much she was not sure who was on the line at first. 

I took a minute (more like 10) and cried and weighted up options and prayed.  Prayed that I would have clarity and peace of mind and above all have the strength and courage to make the right decision.  The reception staff were wonderful….bringing me tissues and offering everything from coffee to cigarettes. As I sat there a thousand memories and moment flashed through my mind.  I could see Jen as a puppy running around chewing everything, I felt us playing tug o war, I could hear her barking to welcome me home and most of all I could see her face light up when I walked into the room.  I wanted to wait for Dr Ryan (YUMMY) to come on duty but knew that I needed to make the decision that I could not rely on anyone not even Dr Ryan (YUMMY).

I went back into the hospital and was shocked to see that in just the time I had been outside how much Jenny’s condition had changed.  It is alarming that she would lose ground so rapidly. I stood in front of her cage and felt my heart being ripped from deep inside of me.  How do you do this… do I do this??????

I looked at Dr Maggie and she shook her head and I knew…..Jenny was bought as protection for me but because my heart it was my turn to protect her now.  I had to protect her from more suffering and protect her from pain.  I knew what the right thing to do was but the words would not come out.  Dr Maggie came and stood next to me and I looked at her then back and my baby and then back at her.  In a small still voice I said “ok”. Dr Maggie squeezed my arm and left me to say my goodbyes.

When I opened her cage Jenny who just half an hour before could lift her head battled to turn her head to face me.  Her breathing was so rapid and she was bleeding from the nose again.  In as much pain as I was I knew hers was worse and it was my job as the one who loves her most to end it. I asked the nurse to help me move Jenny so that I could hold her.  She laid her head on my shoulder and I stroked her and told her how much she had changed my life, how much she meant to me and the rest of the family.  I told her that she had been the best doggie in the world and that I loved her beyond measure.  It was at this point that her tail wagged and Dr Maggie arrived with the injections.  I was torn in two.  I felt like everything around me had stopped and I was faced with pure hell.  As much as it hurt I had to go through with my decision.  FOR JENNY!!! I took her face in my hands and told her I loved her.  I put her had back on my shoulder and Dr Maggie started administrating the drugs.  I put my arms around the body of my most precious puppy and spoke to her in a calm voice.  I told her she was going to heaven and that she was going to make lots of new friends and that one day soon I would join her and we would be together again.

There are no words to express what goes through you when you feel the heart stop beating.  I could not breathe and it felt like my heart was going to leap out of chest.  Dr Maggie moved Jenny off my and back into the cage.  I turn away and as I did so Dr Ryan (YUMMY) came rushing in.  I assume they told him at reception what was happening because he was moving quickly and came straight to me.  He grabbed me and held onto me.  I wish I could say that I remained composed and just sniffled a little but no when your heart breaks the ugly cry comes with it.  I am so grateful that Dr Ryan (YUMMY) just held on tightly and let me cry.  It took awhile but eventually I calmed down enough to give Dr Ryan (YUMMY) an update.  He walked over to her chart and looked it over.  He then looked at me and my tear stained cheeks, red face and snotty nose and said “you did the right thing for her.  She would probably not have made the night”.  There was little comfort in that thought but if I saved her just one minute of pain then I did what love demands I do.

I battled to leave her there but eventually made my way to the waiting area and then outside to sit in the doggie walk area.  I just was shaking too much to get behind the wheel and I needed to try and put myself together again before going home.  When I eventually went to pay the account (how surreal….my puppy just died but please pay immediately)I realized that I had not taken Jenny’s collar off.  So I went back to the hospital and there standing at the open cage was Dr Ryan (YUMMY) stroking my puppy.  The tears just flooded my heart and when he turned to face me his blue eyes were also filled with tears.  We held each other for a moment and he then said to me that she had waited for me.  She had deteriorated  so much in the time since I arrived that he felt that she had waited to see me and to have one last visit.  We had that… Jenny and I had our one last visit.  I took the collar and walked away heartbroken, inconsolable, devastated, gutted, forlorn  and grief stricken........


estee said...

Oh my Lisa, I have just read your post and I am balling my eyes out here. The way you described your love for this Puppy is just unbelievably awesome. I can't stop crying! I have been through this as well and brings back the memories.

Lisa said...

Thank you Estee. I feel her loss every day especially now that I am searching for a puppy because her little sister misses her so much and I cant look at that depressed little face any longer. It is almost two months and I still get home and expect to see her face at the gate waiting for play time.

PS thanks for being my first comment. I did not think anyone was reading my ramblings!!!!