How do you mothers do it? When your child is in pain and agony, how do you bare the grief that comes from watching them suffer? You're dealing with that from a true mother's perspective - the pain affecting your very own child - the child born from your womb, from your flesh (or the child you've adopted and which has become your own). I'm dealing with an animal. And yet, it feels almost what I would consider the same. You just want to take the pain upon yourself and free them from it - but you can't. I can't even imagine what it must have felt like when Christ took upon himself our sins so we could live with Him again someday. Today was hard enough.
I was getting ready for work this morning and was almost ready to start putting on my mascara when my "motherly instinct" kicked in. Koda was sitting right next to me in the office and all of a sudden I felt something was wrong. I instantly heard his tags on his collar hitting each other just a little too frequently. I looked over and although he was sitting next to me, I could see he was heading into a seizure. All of a sudden, he stiffened up like a board and keeled over. No, he didn't die, but he fell over and started jerking really bad. I got down on the floor next to him and tried to lay him down so his legs weren't all skillywhompous under him and the gallons of drool started flowing. He was jerking and shaking. I was all alone. Again. I kept thinking about how the emergency clinic said to bring him in while he was having the seizure if it happened again the last time this happened. I started to wonder who I was going to call. Everyone was at work or on their way to work. I texted C to tell him what was happening. I never heard from him.
One of the seizures was so bad that Koda was laying fairly flat out and straight and all of a sudden, he jerked upward into the shape of an upside-down V and then collapsed over on his side. It literally freaked me out and I lept away from him. I then realized what had happened and that he needed my help still (yes, C, I read that dogs in seizure do need stroking and comfort and quiet during a seizure) so I hurried back next to him and was trying to comfort him. His breathing was so labored and he was just shaking, appearing as if to be trying to control his movements himself but not being able to do it. I was crying so hard by this point and was so sad for him that I just kept telling him to go to Nana and she would play with him and take care of him for me. This was on his 2nd grand mal. The 3rd one wasn't as bad, but was still a difficult one. The next two were also really bad.
After FIVE grand mal seizures within about 45 minutes time, I finally found someone that could come help me get Dog on a blanket and UP into my truck. See...I have a dog that weighs almost 100 pounds. I can't carry him, nor can I lift him into my truck alone. Kelly arrived in like 2 minutes. In that time, I had to leave Dog laying there shaking and put some clothes on and get my keys and shoes. For some reason, I decided I'd better grab his leash too for when I have to bring him home. As I grabbed it off the peg on the wall in the laundry room, all of a sudden I heard the sound of Dog's tags and collar "shaking it off" - you know...that sound when a dog gets up and just shakes to get rid of any loose hair, dander, etc. I looked down the hallway and there is Dog, just standing there like, "where ya going, Mom? Don't forget me!" I was astounded. It was like an instant miracle. Just then, Kelly arrives. I'm quite embarrassed because here is Kelly with wet hair, no make-up, gonna be late for work, rushing to my rescue to help me, and there is my dog now suddenly acting as if nothing happened.
We end up getting Koda up into the truck anyway (he jumped in, cautiously, on his own) and I decided to take him to the Banfield hospital here in Surprise. C finally calls as I'm driving there. I get there and they have no doctor on duty that day other than a tech that can give vaccine shots. So, they send me to the location up near C's work which takes another 15 to 20 minutes or so to reach. Dog is doing okay. We arrive and go in. I tell the vet everything that happened and that has happened with him in the last 2.5 years. The vet sees him and the tech checks his temp, etc. Then, the vet proceeds to outline a battery of tests to the tune of a total of $739 ($540 of it was just tests, the rest is "routine" stuff). WHAT THE *&%$!?!?! Okay, please don't get me wrong. I love my dog. And, I AM NOT an animal lover! But, I have finally relented and allow my dog on my bed once in a GREAT while. I periodically let him lick my hand. I let the dog up on the sofa and he cuddles with me. I buy him hamburgers at Sonic when we take Holly home from cleaning. I love my dog. BUT, $739 freakin' dollars?!?!?!? For tests to just rule something out?!?!?!? Sorry. No. I don't have that kind of money. But, because I love my dog, I did finally agree to some of the tests to begin ruling things out and we got him some meds. That alone, came to $245. I have seriously got to look into my work's new pet insurance.
The thing that irritated me about the doctor was that he acted like this happens all the time to Dog and I told him that no, this is only the 5th time he has had a seizure - in almost 3 years. The last time, I decided it was because I'd given him some mushrooms when I was making stuffed mushrooms just after Christmas. We ending up missing our belated Christmas Day dinner at Lisa's because of it. I found out later that day that mushrooms can be toxic to dogs. Reminder - no more mushrooms for Dog. Looking back now, I think the first time was related to stress and this last one was also related to stress. The first time we boarded Koda after getting him, he had a seizure. He was so lethargic after that first stay. He must not have slept the entire time we were gone and he was in there because he literally slept for 2 days after we brought him home, then he got kennel cough and had his first seizure.
I don't remember what may have been the possible circumstances around his 2nd and 3rd seizures, but the 4th one was the mushrooms and now this 5th one, I also believe, is related to stress. See, I think that stress plays a lot into his seizures because as a young dog he was continuously passed off to a number of people after being given up by his humans in favor of a baby and he didn't even want to go with us at first. I think he holds onto a bunch of those insecure feelings and memories. Well, the night before last, our smoke detector was chirping because the battery was bad. We didn't have any to replace the bad one, so we (the humans) just dealt with it and went to bed. Dog, though, paced the house all night, nudging me to get up, whining all night, pawing at me, etc. I think the whole thing just stressed him out majorly and then when he finally knew it wasn't going to keep happening, his brain relaxed too much and the seizure came on (the vet did explain that sometimes the brain gets all worked up and once it relaxes, it sometimes relaxes too much and then a seizure kicks in). The vet seems to think that Dog hearing his leash actually may have been helpful in bringing him out of the seizure and said to try that again if he has another one.
I have been alone each time Koda has had a seizure except the mushroom time. I've also been alone when Doodles has had his two seizures. It is frightening and emotional for me. I cry because I can't understand what they are feeling or thinking and because they can't speak to tell me what is going on. I just see empty eyes staring off into space and I wonder if their brain is in pain. It is just such an emotional thing for me that I would rather see them pass on to doggy heaven rather than continue to go through this. C is immune to the emotional aspect of it - probably because his mom has had seizures for years - also likely because he is a man and most men don't have the same type of "compassion emotions" that women do. I struggle to understand this behavior in him because it's just foreign to me.
So, on the way home from the vet, we stopped at C's work and then made a stop at Booger King for a burger. Yes, Dog got a junior burger so I could put his meds in it. He loves burgers. We headed home and pulled into the driveway. I got out to get Koda out of the truck and I noticed that my back tire was half flat. I LOVE my truck, but I have never had a vehicle before where the tires lose air so easily. I couldn't hear any air coming out of it, so I don't know what the deal is. I just thought, "I'll just stop and get air on my way into work." Then, I went to go into the house and pushed the garage door button and the door wouldn't go down AT ALL. Great, this day just got better. Not only did I have to shell out $245 for the vet (plus $145 to follow in 2 weeks for a follow up test), but now I have call a garage door repairman and that will be at least $150.
I texted C with the message: "This day sucks. Half flat tire and garage door won't close again." This time he called. And then came home (after going to my work to pick up my work for me to do from home). Right now, he's looking at the garage door - and it's working - oddly enough. And, he says the truck tire isn't flat or low. Satan - what are you doing to me today?!?!?!