I gotta swim.

I saw a documentary on anxiety in teenagers last night, and experts explained that therapy often involves identifying one’s core fear. I know what my core fear is: The loss of a loved one, a loss which I could have avoided or prevented.

In other words: I fear that I might accidentally kill somebody I love. I fear that all the time. It’s why I want order, it’s why I worry about everything.

I  learned this because today, I took our dog to get a dental cleaning, just like we’ve done in the past. Today, he had a very rare and exceedingly dangerous reaction to anesthesia.

I feel like I might die. I feel like those teenagers in the documentary said they felt.


I asked my husband for forgiveness. I should never have taken him to get his teeth cleaned. It’s my fault. It’s all my fault.

My husband corrected me: “You did what you would normally do, what you’ve done in the past. A weird thing happened. That is all. You did nothing to cause this.”

Nobody blames me, but me.  I’m feeling it all drown me: My fear, my sadness, my rage at myself. I cannot eat. I know I need to sleep.

But then again: Everything might be okay. They caught the problem early and I got him to the emergency veterinary hospital as soon as humanly possible.

It’s 11:15 pm and I’m reading up on our dog’s diagnosis and his treatment and I am praying that I will be able to bring him home this weekend. Today I cried with our kids and did my best to explain what was happening: That it was very serious and that the hospital folks were doing everything they can to help him get better. That the fact that we don’t know what will happen is what scares us.

That we love our dog. That he loves us. We know this. It’s the fact that we need him to know that we know his love, that we need him to know our love — that’s what makes us cry.

We all saw him, resting comfortably and a little drowsy, but he wagged his tail as best he could when he saw us. He tried to lick my fingers and I kissed him and cooed in his ear. He is my best friend and I don’t know what I will do if he doesn’t come home with us.

my heart feels like it’s tied in a tight, immovable knot. I need to figure out a way to float and not drown. I need to figure out how to swim.

One thought on “I gotta swim.

  1. I had a similar experience with our beloved dog Samantha. She was elderly, a rescue, and could not recover. My heart still hurts when I think about her. Holding you gently and hoping she can recover.

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