I'm stressing. Again. Of course.
This never seems to end. But its not making me any skinner like stress used to do. Grr.
If I'm not freaking out about not having money because I wont have a roommate the next two months during the holidays then I'm freaking out about the money and/or the fact my car hasn't passed inspection yet and if I'm not stressing about my car and money then I'm stressing about the financial and emotional impact of my dog dying, or worse, not that he's dying, but that he's alive and in pain.
Notice each stress has a financial issue attached to it. I can't juss think about the emotional consequences of a decision, that's not enough stress obviously, there has to be financial consequences attached to it somehow.
Last night was a bad night. A sleepless one for both me and Max.
Lately Max doesn't sleep so sound. For being mostly deaf, he doesn't knock out on the floor dead asleep, nothing to disturb him like he used to. He gets up every few hours and drinks and drinks.... He lays on the floor again for another hour or two a few moans and groans every now and then when he stretches. He is obviously not sleeping, at least not very well if I hear him moan and groan every few hours and/or gets up and drinks. Usually it was only once a night he got up to drink, but last night was three times. I guess its time to admit he is drinking more than usual, but I think its more out of pain/boredom than anything else...
When he moaned and groaned on the floor because his ear hurt I couldn't stand it for more than one night. I took him to the doc the next day. Because I knew there was a solution to an ear infection. But this moan and groan is probably pain in his bones and I'm not sure there's much else I can do for him. I think maybe its the weather changing. Its getting colder. It hurts bones more when it gets colder. And maybe its supposed to rain this week, sometimes my bones act up when it rains or is about to. I am amazed how fast this has declined since I took him to the doctor the first time this summer. He seemed to be going along fine cept for his 'stress breathing' and then I took him to the doc and got on pills and like two months later he seems a whole lot worse than when he was not on pills. I can't help but wonder and make excuses for his behaviors and calling them temporary.
I juss called the doc office and they said this is the highest dose of non-steriod anti-inflammatory meds Max is allowed to be at, after this medication does not work anymore, you have to go to a straight steriod. Apparently, none of this has to do with the pain killer medication.
Which that answers my question. If this medication stops working for him it is my decision not to take him to the straight steriod and just end his pain. But if this Rimadyl has already stopped working for him, my only evidence being is he isn't sleeping during the night, prolly not during the day either but I have no proof of that, then I think its time.
I keep asking God what to do but maybe its just a big fat package of denial falling on my head. Maybe its time and I'm running and I'm running and I'm screaming no no no. He's already told me. Its all denial and pure selfishness. I want him. I want to keep him. He's mine. Not yet. Dont make me give him to you. Not now. Not before the holidays. Don't leave me alone. Not now.
You have no idea how many times I've laid in bed and cried and mourned over a dog that isn't dead yet. I can't do this much longer. My thoughts take me into deep dark holes. It eats me inside and out and I can't tell which would be worse, the pain of keeping him alive or the pain of knowing I'm the one who decided to end his life. This seems like a forgiveness situation on either end.
I am buying another 30 pills of each medication today as if the medication is still working for him. I just bought him a bag of dog food yesterday. I feel like he has to go at least another month. I'd prefer another two months. But frankly, I have to take this one day at a time, one night at a time. Its a race to see who breaks first, the one who is in pain who might actually cry, or the one who can't stand to hear or see the pain. Max never really cries out in pain, cept at the docs office, and when he does he comes home and has nightmares about it and cries in his sleep. I'm not sure his physical, daily pain is going to reach that point that he'd cry either in sleep or not, but do I want to see if it will get to that point or not?
One day at a time.
One night at a time.
Who will break first?
Not yet. Not now. Don't leave me alone in that house.
A horrible part of me thinks about how much of a burden it will lift off of me if/when he passed away. I'm sure I'm not the only horrible being who has thought this about a loved one. I'm sure some feel that way with an aging parent or a disabled child. We are only human. But it still feels horrible to think. I'm sure God wouldn't think that way. We are so far from perfect.
I know I know. "Its just a dog." As some would say. "Just go get another one." I read somewhere that is the worst thing you can say to a greiving pet owner.
Its easy for most people to say this. I picture my family members saying this to me. I know most ppl think it at least, if they aren't dumb/brave enough to say it outloud.
I just want to say: Its easy for you to say that. You have someone to come home to. There's someone at home that is actually excited to see you. You have someone that cares if you come home or not. You are needed at home.
Nobody will care if I go home or not after work. Nobody will even notice if I didn't come home at night, or even for a few days. No one expects me at the door at a certain time. No one is excited to see me. No one needs me. I have nothing but an empty dark house to return to at night in the winter. There's a point that I dont even want to go home anymore cuz it just reminds me of a time when there was someone there, someone that cared, someone that needed me. Now there's nothing.
Its like a bad breakup. You think of all the things that will end, all the things you'll miss.
I'm going to open the door and forget there is no one to greet me.
I'll see his red bed there on the floor and picture his sleeping body curled up in it and remember he'll never sleep there again, might as well shove it away in a closet so as not to be reminded.
I'll see water and food and remember there is no one to eat it or drink it anymore, might as well put it away.
I'll see the dog food on the floor, almost a full bag, remembering the hopes I had for him to finish it, and shove it in a closet.
I'll see the patches of dog hair on the carpet think to myself I need to vaccum knowing that the hair will never return like it had so many times before.
I see all his brushes and shampoos and dog treats and swiftly shove them all in a box in the closet.
I'll walk past the door and remember there is no reason to open it and that it might be slightly ridiculous to say "potty" after opening the door. No more sneak peeks at the neighbors and what they do at different times of night.
I'll sit and watch TV and look at the clock and suddenly remember its time for the dogs medicine he's prolly been waiting for all day long and then I'll remember that he is gone and doesn't need the medication anymore.
I'll see his red blanket in my bedroom on the floor covered in his hair and remember his sleeping position on it and wonder how or if I'll ever be able to get his hair out of the blanket completely to use for something else. I wonder if I could stand to see it used for something else.
I'll see the food and water I put in my bedroom for him and promptly dump it down the drain and shove the food away in the closet.
I'll see the edge of my bed covered in black dog hair and remember the movements the dog made that would wake me up. The way he leaned into the bed as he lowered himself to the ground at the bottom of my bed. The way he'd put his chin on my bed to get my attention and wake me up. The way he nudged my hand or elbow with his nose. The way he put his head in my hand.
I'll see his leash and dog bags and realize I'll never see the outside world, the neighborhood anymore cuz I'll never have any reason or desire to go on a walk without him. I'll never just be outside in the condominium so I can catch and talk to others who happened to be out and about. I'll never enjoy the weather like I had. I'll never see him excited to go on a walk ever again.
I'll see my roller blades and remember the times we had together when he pulled me down the streets of downtown when he was younger.
I'll get in my car and look in the back seat and see all the white and black hairs he left that seem permanent no matter how many times I vaccum, they are still there, and I'll realize he'll never get in my car again and prolly realize the last time he was in my car he was dead.
I got it all planned out it seems. It runs over and over and over in my head. I thought if I wrote it down like this it'd go away. This isn't even all the scenarios I have in my head about how he can pass away by himself, stress thoughts. We all know he isn't going to go on his own. I'm going to have to decide, there is only one scenario, I can stop thinking of the others. I can't turn my brain off. I can't stop wondering if he is at home in pain, not being able to sleep again while I'm at work. I cant stop wondering what he is thinking or feeling in the middle of the night when I hear him groan. I cant concentrate on anything else. I cant stop wondering what will help him, if anything. I cant stop the feeling of guilt that bombards me as if I did something wrong on purpose. I can't stop crying, I can't stop praying.
Like a bad break up. The feeling of no purpose in life but to work. I'll go to work and come home to a dark house in the winter and crawl in bed and never leave it until its time to work again. And so on and so forth. The crying feels like it will never end, and when it does there will be nothing else there, nothingness. Empty. Maybe a shower here and there, the possible urge to eat something in the middle of the night, sitting in the dark staring at the wall wide awake at 4am, no desire or effort to go to YSA, maybe to church on Sundays.
When Evan left me this last spring he said, "As long as you have your car and your dog, you'll be fine."
During the week Evan asked how things were going. At the time I did not have my car, it was being repaired in order to pass inspection, and my dog is on the downhill. I was not fine.
I know I can survive a bad breakup, so I know I will survive a death of a loved one.
I just dont know if I can survive deeming a time and place for that loved ones death, having it be my decision, living with that forever. I dont know if I can continue life knowing he's in pain and not knowing how much pain. I dont know if I can stand to hear his moans and groans and possible cries in the night. I can't do this God. I can't. I can't continue to grieve for my dog that isn't gone yet. I can't cry myself to sleep every night til he is gone and then cry myself to sleep every night afterwards because he is gone. I dont have the strength, the hope, to continue on. You know I can't deal with the pain of animals or children. You made me extra sensitive to these things. You know that. You put me in these day and time because you knew I wouldn't make it in the time periods where you relied on animals for everything, food, transportation, money, etc.
Geez, I keep thinking to myself, Its just a dog, you are being so dramatic about it.
He's my baby. My kid. My source of worry. My little financial investment. My source of purpose in life. Someone that needs me. He is a constant part of my life. He is there, every day. He has a schedule, a routine for me to follow. He trusts me, almost to a fault. He loves me no matter what, and I him. He is loyal to me and I to him. He drives me nuts at times and make me so happy at other times. He and I have moments. Those moments that make you smile and think "He's so cute and he's mine forever." He's all I have. Just like your kid you cannot just replace him. You cannot just casually make the decision to end his life and pretend you didn't make the decision and pretend you didn't wonder how much pain he really was in. Just like a child he doesn't understand why you would do this to him. His eager eyes confused and afraid. He still thinks he is young, that he has a lot of life to live still. He doesn't want to leave me. I dont want him to go either.
I need a drink. And lots and lots of distractions.
I wish for one moment of clarity, a moment that I will just know.