I had a talk just yesterday with one of my favorite clients about what you “should” do vs. what you “want to” do. He had decided that he was stretched too thin and needed to prioritize his activities. “Am I going to this potentially awful party because I should or because I want to?” Explained Mr. Client.
Well, I want to glue myself in front of the TV and watch the news coverage of the Boston bomber kids. However, I should write this blog, because it’s been too long since I posted anything. I also should do some laundry, vacuum, bathe the dogs, clean out the aquarium, reschedule some doctors appointments for the kids, plant flowers in the front beds, start thinking about dinner, etc. etc. etc.
Things have changed in many ways since 9/11, and not just in the Zero Dark Thirty, TSA, disaster preparedness ways. I was kid-free, and as such, was free to lay my butt down on the couch and watch that TV coverage day in and day out. I was a mess, and I didn’t even know anyone over there (except for my classmate, Rich who lives on Long Island and could smell the smoke from his home).
The TV Show “South Park’s” portrayal of Stan’s mom laying on the couch in a semi comatose state watching the news post 9-11 WAS EXACTLY ME. I think it may have comforted my husband a little, knowing I wasn’t the only individual incapacitated in that manner.
No time for that now, 2 kids later. Gotta shove those raw emotions down deep where I can’t get to ’em and soldier on. Can’t get the kids upset and there’s too much to do.
I don’t know where that place is, where my sadness hides out. Sometimes I feel a bit robot-like, come client pet euthanasia time. Can’t force those tears out. I feel bad for the situation, the pet, and the client, but for the most part I can maintain professional detachment. Coping mechanism, I suppose. To do the job I do.
That’s where I’m at at the moment regarding my oldest dog, Scully: professionally detached. Brave and logical.
Scully is my 16-year-old mutt of very indeterminate origin. She’s sick, you see.
I found out a couple weeks ago that her kidneys are failing.
She had been throwing up almost daily for about a week. She constantly licked her lips, and was randomly panting for no reason. I suspected something was up, but didn’t really want to face it, so I just stuck my head in the sand for awhile.
Problem with being a vet is that you already know all the answers and outcomes to your pets medical ailments, there’s nobody there to mentally prepare you or soften the blow. Kidney failure is terminal. Dialysis and transplants aren’t feasible options for 16 year old dogs. (Frankly, I’m not sure I’d pay for that anyway, as much as I love her).
I got the diagnosis from Dr. Brewer. I decided there was no sense in prolonging the inevitable. I wouldn’t put Scully through uncomfortable hospitalization, when sooner or later, the renal failure would take her. Regardless of what heroics I partake in. I’d put her to sleep when she appeared to be suffering. Logic, logic, logic.
I decided to be brave, put her on a kidney diet, and cherish the time I had with her.
Well, last week Scully went off food (for her this is huge).
I subsequently chickened out, and hospitalized her on IV fluids for a couple days. I cried all the way to the hospital the day I picked her up.
The thing is, Scully is my Velcro dog. She never lets me out of her sight. Sorry old dog, with the perpetually befuddled look, hauling her old bones out of bed and shuffling herself to whatever room I’m in. No matter what time of day or night. She can’t hear, and she can barely see, but somehow, she’s always there.
She craps in my living room almost daily. She has ruined my hardwood floor with her pee.
But she’s always there, ready to protect me.
What the hell am I going to do without her?
So, for that I guess I’ll fight for awhile. Sub Q fluids weekly, vomit pills, canned food, etc. She’s happy for the moment, and currently feels pretty good.
We’ll see how long it lasts. So for now I’m good. Professionally detached, hunky dory. Not sure where I’ll be when things go south and she’s no longer perpetually underfoot.
But we’re not going there for now.