see what I see

Our dog is home. He is going to fully recover. We’re still not sure what the heck happened to him, but we know he is okay now.

This whole episode is making me think about the choices we make. I chose to have his teeth cleaned, because for years I have been reluctant to follow a more natural — and far messier — alternative. I weighed some risks (risk of a medicalized procedure, versus risk of feeding raw chicken parts).

I made a decision. I took a risk. It was correct once (last year’s procedure), it was incorrect two days ago.

And now, my dog will be eating those raw chicken parts, and I will never medicalize the cleaning of his teeth, ever again. I never should have. I learned my lesson, thankfully with no permanent consequences.

What would have helped me see what my dog’s breeder already knew? I had plenty of research at my disposal. I am a very smart person and should have made a better decision. But I didn’t. I just wanted to do what was easy. That’s normal. It’s even a little  forgivable–but only because my dog is home and safe.

I learned I was wrong, after enduring consequences. I had to face the very real prospect of a dead dog. The prospect of his absence because of my choice was nearly more than I could take.

***

My parents are in their 70s. They are both increasingly frail. They do okay in their home. It’s a home that is too large, with many stairs, that is too far from a hospital, too far from their children. They do okay, though.

But they take a risk by driving. Unnecessary risk.

But, they are independent people who have taken care of themselves since 1963, relying on very few others on very few occasions for substantive help, for anything. Fifty-four years of independence. They are remarkable.

One parent had a health emergency a couple of weekends ago. They drove to the emergency room together at midnight. Later, they drove home, and the driver, who had endured the emergency, was under the influence of pain medication.

Driving was the wrong decision, with exceptionally high risk of danger. But I imagine that it was, in my parents’ minds, necessary. And perhaps it was easier than organizing a ride to (ambulance) and from (friend? taxi?) the hospital.

What could help my parents see what I see? It is of the utmost importance that they relocate to a place nearer one of their children. Their children live within minutes of world-class hospitals. Their children are willing to take them where they need to be taken.

I don’t want my parents to see this after enduring the consequences of making another wrong decision, or taking another unnecessary risk. Consequences like a car crash that injures or kills one, or both, of them. A car crash that injures or kills other adults or children.

They are my parents. The prospect of losing them is hard to imagine–but my siblings and I have already done so, due to past health issues my parents have endured.

The prospect of losing them–and others–because they took unnecessary risks when avoidance was possible is unbearable.

I can’t force them to see what I see. I can only ask them. But how?

I am a very smart person and I cannot figure it out.

What do you think?

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