Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why I wear a children's seal necklace, Forgotten Carols, & puppy love: Perhaps my only post of 2013 PART 1

It's been a really long time since I have blogged. (Actually I think I wrote once this summer, but never
 published it. Maybe I will do that later.) Even though writing helps me cope, is truly a form of therapy, these past months (or maybe years) of my life have just been so difficult that it seemed too much to write.  Serious depression, to the point of being suicidal. I am going to skip most of that stuff, to be honest. It still hurts a lot, and I can't say I'm "out of the woods" as they say. But I have a lot of help from family, a few doctors,... and 4 legged family, too. And sometimes puppies *are* better than Prozac.

I had lost my little boy, my suggie Heber, the year before, when I brought home my little Tess LaRue, a baby pygmy hedgehog, and then a few months later, rescued another hedgie, a beautiful white older lady, Quillian Jackson Braun. It was only about a year after I got Tess that Quillian died, probably of old age, but I was sent spiraling. Especially since only months after, Tess was diagnosed with a very severe ocular tumor and the choice was made to pay all I could but give her up to the vet (my exotic pet teaches at the vet program I was in) with the permission to try a risky surgery as her only chance. So I said good bye, lost her... so she might have a chance at life, no matter how small.

[update: I completely assumed she had died mid-operation as was predicted. Assumed it, actually until THIS WEEK. This week I ran into one of the amazing vet techs at our exotics office (Riverwoods, fyi. I can't recommend them higher if you are in the Orem/Provo area and have difficult cases with exotic pets. NOT to be confused with Ribbonwood, who was my dog Cassie's back in the day, who I can not recommend LOWER. Very NICE man, but seriously one of the worst vets I have ever dealt with.) who also teaches vet tech at Broadview along with Dr. Dobson. We talked about my new furrbaby who was there with me (MATL), and then she told me that Tess LaRue had not only survived but was doing well, though blind, with another blind hedge as a buddy! She was very happy and they got along very well together and adapted very well to their limitations. It made me so grateful to hear! I mean, part of me also just MISSED her and wished she was doing well with ME... but whatever it takes to make her happy, I am glad I could do. I love that spikey little sweetheart!].

I was missing them very much and that hedgie-shaped hole in my heart, combined with the Heber-shaped one, well, I wasn't handling it well. Especially because my own life and health were getting a lot worse, too. My daily fibro pain is getting so severe and pills don't seem to do that much for me. And Gastroparesis for me means most days a meal is gluten-free rolls with either almond milk or coconut water (I like all 3, but it gets boring. Also, not awesome when it is that plus a LITERAL handful of pills to down each meal.).

Then, it was this summer and I started to have more trouble breathing. I'd been put on a CPAP machine to get air, but I needed to cue it a LOT more than I was. Like every night. And lay down and take "air naps" during the day. I hate it and it makes me feel like Bane. And then I found Nani, my beautiful special girl, Epiphany Jo, dead. Lilo was curled around her in the pouch and didn't want me to take her out. I absolutely lost it. I have been expecting to lose Nani in the next couple years, not because 9 is so old, but because she was not well, and hasn't been for some time. She had a stroke a few years ago, and after that she regularly had small seizures that left her blind and confused at times. She coped well, with the help of Heber when he was alive, especially, but Lilo as well. She was my first glider (though not my oldest, as Heber was a rescue and adopted as an adult). She was grumpy and moody, an unpredictable brat... but I loved her very very much. 9 years is a long time to have someone in your life and then to... not. But the absolutle worst part of it was Lilo. For Lilo to be alone, to see her in the sleeping pouch snuggled next to her Nani, not willing to leave her side... I could not handle it. My heart felt broken beyond repair. I thought my life was about as low as it could be, and I will be honest here. There were a few days I kept living only because I was worried Lilo wouldn't be taken care of right after I was gone.

And then, out of the blue, Lilo had a lump.