Coming off such a great weekend, and some wonderful moments spent with Nala (and Kayla), family, and friends, this morning was met with a thud.

First?

I woke up to about a zillion bug bites on my legs from Saturday evening’s festivities (okay, not a zillion, but uh, 29 – yes 29 – on one leg alone! I feel like a leper!) and needless to say, super duper itchy and downright painful. I debated pants to cover them up, but the heat here (upper 90s) and the itchiness of pants led me to a dress, even though I felt ridiculous walking around the office all day. But, I digress.

Second?

I woke up with a whammy of a cold. I think it’s a cold this time. Last week, I thought it was strep, then the 5-day sore throat went away during my San Jose trip. Then I got a weird cough thing. And that sort of went away. But now? I feel like my face could explode. It’s the end of June, people, colds should be outlawed. Just sayin.

Third?

I talked to the vet first thing this morning, and that’s when the thud truly hit me (the first two were apparently just “warm ups”). He told me we should try the extensive blood work next, which I was prepared for, but then he started talking in terms like “shortened life” and “symtomatic therapy” until she’s no longer comfortable, and I felt hopeless all over again. After a weekend where I felt hopeful, that perhaps something was helping her, I felt defeated all over again. It was a rough start to the day, a day that only got worse as that was all I could concentrate on, until my appointment this evening. I feel like I have this huge weight on my shoulders, my heart feels heavy, and I just feel overwhelmingly sad. It’s as if I am waiting to exhale, yet I don’t know when or how that will be possible…especially without sadness and pain as part of that ‘exhale.'”

Fast forward to my vet appointment. I was greeted at the door by Nala, hungry and “normal” so I fed her before taking her to the vet, which almost made me feel worse for taking her, since she seemed so much herself. But I took her in, and she was whisked away for the blood work (I HATE when they take her from me, she looks at me through the carrier, like, ‘mom, why are they taking me and why aren’t you coming?!” and it kills me every time). She was brought back 10 minutes later – 10 very long minutes – and she wasn’t a happy camper anymore. She had blood taken, urine taken, and was given more fluids.

The vet came back in and said he’d have the results tomorrow, and they’d be looking for things that could be affecting her digestion, her kidneys, and viruses like toxoplasmosis. The first two things he mentioned were “new” to me, as he had spoken to the lab and that was one of their suggestions. So, suddenly, I felt more encouraged because those things sound more in line with her symptoms…but time will tell.

What got me most encouraged was when he said “she’s still 6.9 pounds, so she’s steady.”

Um, no.

She’s gained a POUND since we started steroids 1 1/2 weeks ago. She was between 5.5 – 5.8 pounds at the beginning, so she’s gained a pound! To me, that was huge. And he seemed surprised and encouraged (his computer wasn’t on, so he didn’t realize it was under 6 at that moment), but guarded, since he couldn’t necessarily say why that had happened yet, without more of a diagnosis. But to me – that gave me some encouragement and I exhaled slightly. She ate a bunch of treats at the vet (the same treats she turned up last week), and ate like a horse tonight (in addition to snagging some of my grilled chicken) so I am encouraged…I’m still waiting to exhale, and I’m not sure when that will be, but for now, I’m encouraged, and that’s as much as I can hope for or expect right now.

~~

And, a word from Joel Osteen that fits well today:

Father God, today I choose to trust in You. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I release all of my cares and concerns to You knowing that You have a greater plan in store for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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