dog

Life Lately: Motherhood

Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains.

Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.

~Napoleon Bonaparte

grace nose

Life has been a bit of a blur lately. So much of one that I realized just yesterday, eleven days into August, that we had turned a page on another month; this much closer to cozy autumn days, sweaters and rich colors and falling leaves and other magic.

While I look forward, I have also been consumed for the last two months with something unexpected. In June we took our gorgeous Gracie girl to the vet for her usual checkup. While all outward signs have told us she’s a happy, healthy, vibrant dog, one round of routine lab work and one follow up round a month later have revealed otherwise.  There is a problem with her liver, and we don’t yet know what it is.

Sleeping Grace

The process so far has been one of elimination. We spent the first 30 days after the initial testing stopping all of her medications with the hope that they had caused the problem. The second round of tests showed the same scary results as the first. Our efforts didn’t help. Now we are preparing for a third round in a few weeks’ time, and until then our girl will be enjoying an all organic diet, a prescription liver support supplement, as well as other vitamins, minerals and oils to get her back to her healthy best. If these efforts prove futile, ultrasound and biopsy are next on the agenda. And by then, if that moment comes, I will be one doggie mommy on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Pretty Grace

For these two months I have been watching her every move. Is she sleeping too much? Drinking too much? Eating too little? Does she want to play like she did before? She is sleeping more than usual, but it doesn’t stop me from constantly looking at her and feeling her for the slightest little bump or irregularity. When all she wants to do is sleep, there I am, Crazy Mommy, interrupting her slumber as I run my hands along the perfect contours of her body, wanting to love her because no matter what I do it never feels like enough. I always get the thump of her tail against the floor or the bed, depending on where she settles. Her precious way of saying Mommy, I don’t mind. I love you. But don’t worry Mommy. I’m going to be just fine.

Dog paw

Yesterday I found her outside in the backyard by herself. I watched through the screen door quietly, just wanting to take in her sense of wonder. How she carefully studied a honeybee in the garden, perched atop my red bell pepper plant. How she gently sat down and looked up at the sky as a plane flew overhead, captivated by its movement and sound against bright blue and sweeps of white, as if it was the most interesting thing in the world.  I am always learning from this girl. This beautiful, heaven sent, exquisite creature who has held my heart since the day my husband brought her home.

Grace with her bone

Until that next vet visit, it will be parenthood as usual in this house. We will let her sleep and play and explore and do as she pleases. There will be lots of belly rubs, gentle kisses and Daddy cuddles. And simply enjoying her, and the love that fills this home.

Doggie Cuddles

Have an amazing week, everyone.

Give your babes some extra love today, both the four legged kind and two legged kind.

doggie contemplation

God In Reverse

I am sorry I disappeared for a while friends. Life has been a real struggle lately.

My health tumbled last week and I have been dealing with the grim reality of it all. I have been and continue to be one sick chick.

All last week I was very tired, feverish and in lots of pain. I still am, though today I feel like I can at least function somewhat. The joint aches were particularly bad in my hands and arms, which made it impossible for me to type anything. I had cluster headaches for four straight days, so severe that they made a migraine feel like a cake walk. The glaring light of my laptop only made the pain worse, so I stayed offline as much as I needed to.

In going through all of this crap I wasn’t exactly motivated to blog. My spirit was suffering. It still is. I’m back here, but not in the way I want to be. I have been battling feelings of worthlessness. I have literally stood at my bathroom mirror, not recognizing this shell of a person I see staring back at me. I am now too acquainted with the cruel cycle of hope crushed by disappointment. I am tired of everything: pain, isolation, uncertainty. But I am especially tired of doctors, and the broken system they represent.

The day after my last post I had a visit with one of my doctors. I have only seen this specialist a few times. With her I lack the connection I have with my primary care doctor, and it is painfully obvious every time I sit down to chat with her. After going through my lab results and discussing the failure of my recent drug regimen, she noted that I have lost eight pounds without trying to.

She then looked right at me and very coldly told me that I “desperately” need therapy.

I do know that for the first time in my fifteen plus years of being sick, I am not coping well. For the past six weeks in particular I have not had a solid grasp on this. I literally do not know how to be a sick person right now. But it sure as hell wasn’t her place to say anything. I do see my primary care gal in less than two weeks and I know the topic of therapy will inevitably come up. I have to love myself enough to keep an open mind.

I will.

I find myself trying to figure out the next step; how I get well, rebuild and move forward with my life. In January I looked ahead and truly believed that this would be a big year, for personal and professional growth; a time when I would forge ahead with big projects, a renewed sense of happiness, success and what it means to live a life of meaning. Instead the year is now more than half over and I feel like I have done very little besides be a sick person. Yes, I know I am loved. I know my life has meaning. I have known the blessing of joy, and the blissful feeling of gratitude for all that is good in my life. But illness has built a wall between me and all of those wonderful things I am supposed to feel. I just don’t know how to tear it down when my body is feeling so painful and broken.

I love my husband and I know his love for me is equally as deep; but I am finding it difficult to confide in him right now. I know he wants me to, but I feel this tremendous guilt, over what lupus and fatigue and pain have done to our marriage. I open my mouth, tears threatening, and I’m paralyzed. The words won’t come out. Maybe when I’m stronger.

This morning I turned to my babies, my angels in fur suits. They listened intently. The kissed away my tears. The softness of their fur comforted my aching skin. Grace on one side of me and Jack on the other.

Heaven.

blue nosed pit bull

rat terrier

The very best therapists in the whole wide world.

I know I’m going to be alright. I don’t know when exactly, but it will happen.

Have a beautiful week everyone.

(Sorry to be such a downer, but it feels good to be so open.)

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