I had a real scare today. It reminded me that every life is precious.
Our little family is composed of my husband, Steve, and I, and our two sweet and loving Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Tonka is 9 years old, and Tobey is 8. Too young, in my mind, to have any serious health problems. Yet Tonka is completely blind in one eye, and partially blind in the other. I won’t go into the details of how this happened, but suffice it to say that we are just grateful every day that he gets around as well as he does.
About a year and a half ago, we found out that Tobey had a heart murmur. We were told to look out for a cough, as that might mean his heart is getting worse. Well, in the last week, we’ve noticed him coughing more than he ever had before, and we decided to take him into the vet today to get it checked out. The vet told us it would be wise to give him a chest X ray, just to see what was really going on with his heart. So, being the concerned doggie parents that we are, we opted to have the X-ray. As soon as we saw it, we got very concerned. The X-ray seemed to indicate that his heart had grown larger than the average doggie heart. We started getting a bit worried.
The vet suggested that the next line of defense was to get him an ultrasound so that they could really have a good view of what was going on. We were fortunate that a cardiologist was going to be showing up there today, and he would be able to look at the ultrasound while he was there. So we decided it was important enough to go through with the test.
Steve had to go home so that he could get his car, and get to another appointment. So we left Tobey there. I waited for a while and when I was just getting concerned enough to want to check in with the vet, the phone rang and it was him. The news was rather alarming. It seems Tobey has an advanced case of valve disease, but unfortunately, there is no treatment for that. But the doc said that they did want to start him on some meds for the enlarged heart, hoping that would ward off heart failure!
Well, that put me over the edge. My concern turned into real fear. I called Steve but couldn’t reach him at first. By this time, the tears were coming pretty steadily and I was thinking the worst. I did ultimately get ahold of Steve, and he left his appointment and came home so that we could go back to the vet’s and meet with the doctor before the end of his work day.
When Steve got home, I could see that he too had been crying. How could this be happening to our sweet baby? If you are a pet parent, I am sure you can understand how helpless and distressing this fe;t. We both feared the absolute worst. My baby is just too young to be going through this.
We left for the vets almost immediately, and when we arrived they brought Tobey out to us right away. He seemed absolutely fine. He’s always been a happy dog, and to me, he still looks and seems like a puppy.
We had to wait for about half an hour until the vet was done with another appointment and then we got to talk to him. To make a long story short, he told us that we would have to keep an eye on Tobey and measure his breathing. He was put on a very expensive medication, which was certainly not the good news, but it was supposed to be the best medication for this kind of thing, and hopefully it would slow down the advancement of the heart problem. Hopefully it would also serve to stabilize him. This has given us some hope. Tonight we are just relieved that he is resting comfortably.
It was a very emotional day, and I think the important thing that came out of it is that it has helped me put my life into perspective. It helps me to recognize that all life is really precious, and it’s very important not to take anything for granted. Not my babies, not my husband, not my friends, not anyone in my life. And it helped me to recognize that I need to be truly grateful for every day that I get to have with all these precious beings in my life.
What does this have to do with ADHD relationships, you might ask? A very good question. I remember a time when I thought Steve’s ADHD was the worst problem I had in my life. Some days I thought I couldn’t deal with it one more day. It would, of course, be the undoing of us, and I kept wondering if I’d be better off moving on with my life.
Suffice it to say that those days when are just a distant memory now. We made it through that time and came out the other side. We still have plenty of challenges, but now we are going through them together. I came to realize that despite it all, I had a lot of love in my heart, and I wanted to make that the most important thing, and that I could let go of it having it be exactly the way I wanted it to be.
I know I wouldn’t want to be going through this thing about Tobey with anyone else. Whatever it is, we’ll go through it together. And I’m grateful I to have recognized what’s important in my life. All lives are truly precious.