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.

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.

best compliment i ever received….

Tonight a person I care very much for said I had given that. The best compliment that person had ever received.

Here’s mine (the best compliment I ever received):

“You’re the coach in the boxer’s corner. He’s beat up and feels like he’ll die, but you’re there, on his side, telling him he can do it.”

Here’s the thing about that boxer, though. He’s the one that got in the ring.

I believe in you.

Do you believe in you? ‘Cuz my belief ain’t worth much without you.