04 March 2011

Kick me when I'm down, why don't you?

I have not been looking forward to this week: it is one year since Greg died. Each day of this last week I have been thinking...... a year ago he went into hospital, or was moved to intensive care, was intubated, extubated, intubated again and then died. I feel compelled to savour each detail, roll it around in my mind as a sort of morbid memorial, to make sense of it, otherwise it still does not seem real -almost as if this last year has been a dream.

As if this was not enough, this week has not been kind to me at all. Kay is ill with tonsillitis and, as often is the case when she is very ill, she has been very weepy when she calls me, overtired and inconsolable. With two hundred miles between us, my mothering instinct to nurse her has been impossible except for advice over the telephone. Thank goodness for penicillin and paracetamol. She is coming home for the weekend tonight (a long-standing arrangement and entirely her choice, as she insists on being with me on Sunday 6 March for the actual anniversary of Greg's death).

To put the icing on the cake of all that, Snoopy has not been well this week. No, that is an understatement - he has been seriously ill. It started on Sunday when I was woken at 5am to what seemed like an earthquake - the bed was shaking and the cause of it was Snoopy - lying on the foot of my bed shaking uncontrollably. The tremors went on for some while and in my half-sleep/half-wakefulness I felt him writhing in circles trying to get comfortable. I must admit to thinking it might be something dodgy he had eaten and snapped awake to the thought he might just empty the contents of his bowels over my bed, so I quickly ushered him onto his bed at the foot of mine. It was then that I realised he could not use his back legs at all - he was completely paralysed from the waist down. I immediately thought "stroke" and started to panic. In the wee small hours of the night, when I am alone and a problem manifests itself, it is all too easy to panic. I got a doggie painkiller and forced it down him. After two hours there seemed to be no change. Moreover he did not want to get off his bed (could not get off his bed), and no amount of biscuit inducements or bribes of "walkies" (that usually do the trick) would get him to stir. By 7am I was panicking more. There was no way I could get a large, heavy and lifeless Snoopy down three flights of stairs into my car to find an emergency vet open on a Sunday. My own vet had given me his mobile number some time ago in case I ever needed him in an emergency but so far I had never needed to use it, but weighed up the pros and cons of contacting him now. It was Sunday morning and still quite early. I did not want to disturb his one chance of a lie-in and I was also dreading what he might charge for a Sunday call out to my house.

I managed to hold out another hour until 8am but Snoopy was still clearly not well. I rang the vet and a sleepy voice answered at the other end. He told me he would come round. When he arrived, he thought it might be arthritis in the spine and gave a painkiller injection and asked me to ring him again if Snoopy showed no signs of getting better

To cut a very long story short, Snoopy did improve slightly and could at least use his legs again,but was producing weird coloured things from his back end and looked very morose. I ended up during the week having to take a urine sample (I bet the neighbours had a field day seeing me running behind the dog in the garden with a bowl) and Snoopy rather reluctantly provided a blood sample at the vet's surgery the following day.

The results came back yesterday and were not good. It would appear Snoopy's liver function tests show a damaged liver or pancreas. This could be caused by a tumour or fibrosis. The only way to tell what is causing it would be to do an ultrasound scan (which means shaving off his fur to put the scanner on the skin and this traumatises the dog)or open him up (ditto). That would show the cause of his pain but would not necessarily solve the problem as both cases would be advanced and for a 12-year-old dog that would be too much trauma for little gain. So it is bad news really. Poor old Snoops is old and wearing out. To get this news this week of all weeks is not on. We are in for a rocky ride.


Nota Bene said...

Poor old Snoopy...hope he picks up. And all best wishes at this difficult time. Keep well,

detached from duty said...

Snoopy is a lovely looking dog and of course our pets are a big part of the family too. The timing is truly awful.

Hopefully some meds can be administered which will make his condition more comfortable so that he can get around and enjoy life for quite a while longer yet.

Eliza said...

Oh poor you, Kay and Snoopy. What a crap time you are having. Nothing I can say will make it better. Hugs to you all.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

A sad time for you dear Addy - I am sure you and Kay will be a source of strength to each other. Let the tears flow if you can and get angry if you need.

Hope Snoopy picks up God Bless him.

I will be thinking of you on Sunday.

Kind regards.


sensibilia said...

Oh dear, that sounds truly awful. I still remember when our hamster suddenly developed paralysis nearly 20 years ago. We had only had him 18 months. A dog is so much bigger part of your life.

Kelloggsville said...

Oh that is just too much. What rotten things to happen at such a rotten time. Love to Kay fro a speedy recovery. Poor Snoopy, I hope he copes with it all. and especially poor you. Sending prayers and love xxx

Nora said...

I hope that there will be some medicine that you can give Snoopy to make him more comfortable. He is at an age when things tend to go wrong. The timing is just awful. My old dog lived with a tumor for a while and took pain medication to make him more comfortable.

I hope your daughter gets well soon. The first anniversary after a loved one's death is the hardest. I speak from experience. It will never be this difficult again. I hope you and your daughter will be of support to each other.


DogLover said...

So sorry to hear of your troubles. I hope Kay gets better soon and that Snoopy's problem can be diagnosed and cured.

Working Mum said...

Oh, poor you. What a lot to cope with all at once. Sending you lots of bloggy love and hugs. WM x

aims said...

Oh sweetie.

Here's my hand to hold if you need it. And a shoulder to cry or rest your head on.

I'm so sorry.

Spencer Park said...

I am sorry for Snoopy. I took my dog (Monty) for his regular booster injections today and they told me he may have a growth in his mouth that is cancer. Vets sure do know how to make someone's day!

PS I hope Snoopy is well.

Achelois said...

I'm just so so sorry. I think you and Kay will be needing each other this week. Why this week. Its not fair. I agree with everything that everyone has said. But I just wish that you weren't going through all that you are. I can't change anything and I wish so much that I could. Because if I could I would wipe the slate clean and you could wake up tomorrow with no sorrow in your heart. My thoughts are very much with you.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

So sorry Addy to hear that you have had a difficult week. It will be good for you and Kay to be together this weekend. I do hope poor Snoopy begins to feel better soon. Thinking of you all. A x

Anonymous said...

Hi Addy,

Sorry to read about Snoopy- hope things get better for him. And also for Kay too.

Take care of yourself,


Not sure why I'm here said...

I follow your blog from afar, and I relate to you reliving the time leading up to your husband's death. My Father died on 10th March last year. The only comfort I can give is the words I use for my Mum and that it to say try not to dwell on the end and the tough times leading up to that but celebrate the wonderful years you had before that. It's so easy when overcome with grief to dwell on the bits we find the hardest to deal with.

I hope you and your daughter did something special to mark the anniversary and that your dog recovers and is around for a while yet.

Much love and hugs xx

dulwich divorcee said...

Poor Snoopy ... poor Kay ... and poor you! Big hug and hope everyone feels a bit more perky soon x

Flowerpot said...

Oh I am so sorry Addy - what a hellish week you're having. I know how I'd feel if that was Mollie and can only say I'm thinking of you and send you huge cyber hugs.xxx

a dreamer said...

So sorry about your bad time. Will be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Addy. I hope that having Kay with you at the weekend was good for you both. I'm glad you were there for each other.

Furtheron said...

I hope Snoopy gets better.

Sad to say I lost another friend recently to this bloody awful disease.

Late last year I thought she'd got it after another stint in a rehab but sadly the pain in her life was too much for her and despite much love she hit the booze again. She never recovered this time. A beautiful very clever charming funny woman in her 30s gone... just a waste.

I know it doesn't help you Addy but sadly this stuff kills indiscriminately.

Ellen said...

My thoughts are with you and Kay. It was always going to abe a difficult time for you both. Be kind to yourselves and I hope that Snoopy is feeling a bit better.

Linda said...

Oh my gosh!! That just sucks!! How ironic is it that Snoopy has a problem with his liver and it grips ahold at this time?

I know Kay will get better. But losing a pet can be devastating. Please take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

I'm awfully late coming to this post and I do apologise. I hope Kay is feeling much better now and managed to get pampered all weekend! I'm also hoping Snoopy is okay; always a worry.

God Bless, CJ x

Going to the Dogs said...

Dear, dear "Alcoholic Daze". My heart goes out to you...my poor old Ridgeback, Bonnie, was diagnosed with cancer yesterday. Look me up on Facebook if you like... I am Colleen Ruth Elsie Fourie, and I'd love to be your friend! |We have a lot in common. I live a long, long way away from you - in South Africa.

Cadan Henry said...

i know everyone is commenting on your horrible week but i read your profile and see a real optimist who knows she will get through most anything.


Kit Courteney said...

Oh bloody blimey.

I now have (decent) internet access after moving so am catching up.

I started reading your post feeling rather sad, it's a horrible time for you, and then your poor daughter being ill, too. What rotten timing.

And then Snoopy!

OMG, that just about finished me off!

As I write this I have two 12 year old dogs with terrible arthritis (the medication is fab though) snoring on my feet.

I do so hope Snoopy makes a good recovery - as least a comfortable one in his old age.

Thinking of you more than ever! :)