Monday, May 9, 2016

Day 2337

I hate feeling helpless. Dot continues to grow weaker and there is very little I can do at this point. I've tried everything I possibly can to keep her happy, motivated, and free from pain, but it's a losing battle. Cancer and a damaged spinal cord have taken their toll. The vets have no answers anymore when I ask what to do next to keep her strong. Maybe this is just a bad week, but I'm afraid that another disc might have ruptured. It's been noticeably harder for her to walk without assistance this week. She doesn't even try to get up very often. We were warned that this would happen eventually, but it's hard to accept that our indestructible girl might not bounce back anymore.

I'm always looking for answers, but we may never know exactly what has caused this latest setback. Dot is too weak for anesthesia, so we can't give her another MRI. An MRI is the only way to determine for certain whether another disc has ruptured or slipped. Something pressing on her spinal cord would certainly explain the current weakness in her legs, but it could be something else entirely. The cancer may have progressed to the point where is is causing her pain. There are several pain medications available, but they all have serious side effects. Dot's vet has encouraged us to try extended rest before resorting to something that will cause her liver to fail even faster.

Dash becomes depressed when Dot is sick. He has always been a nervous, frightened dog and has depended on Dot for stability. Without his constant companion at his side, Dash doesn't know what to do. Since Dot is sleeping, he just sleeps too. It's all kind of sad. I sit in a quiet house where the phone doesn't ring and my dogs and my career are slowly fading away. For the past two years, my life has been focused around keeping Dot healthy. For the most part, this journey has been a remarkable success, but it's getting harder now. Nobody lives forever.

I need to stay positive, because the next few months aren't going to be easy. Dot's urinary incontinence has returned, so now she pees and poops in her bed. Dot's body may be failing, but her spirits are still good. She barks when she sees a cat, eats her meals with gusto, and still looks forward to a morning walk, even though her legs won't take her very far. As long as she remains happy, I'll make any adjustments that are necessary. I don't know what I'm going to do when she loses the will to keep going.

Today was very slow. I made my morning smoothie, cleaned up poop, tinkered with the dehumidifier, and tried to make my self useful. I spend a good chunk of the afternoon trying to get a couple pieces of movie making gear to play nice together. I used to be able to solve these kind of problems by calling a few friends. Now, I spend hours making endless Google searches and sending e-mail to manufacturers. I think I solved the problem I was having, but I'll never know for sure until I actually use the equipment to make a movie.

I hope that giving Dot lots of rest today helps. If she wakes up a little stronger, we'll rest some more. I'm wondering whether we should skip physical therapy this week as well. I'll call Dot's vet and see what she thinks. All I know is that we're running on empty now and there isn't a gas station in sight.

Spot is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day