Thursday, February 6, 2014

Update: Zap's Home from the Hospital

They say the universe is connected by a spidery cloud, one that resembles the axons in our brains, and human beings might be a part of it. Some part of us may rise from Earth, weave through those interstellar clouds, and connect with a higher consciousness.
But isn't that what my mama and grandmamma have always known?
When I was a child, if I asked a question about the hereafter, the right answer was God.
God knows what we want and what we need. He has always known and always will. 
 My sweet Zap, the bravest Yorkie the world has ever known, is in kidney failure.
Last week, when Zap was admitted to the hospital, the vet, a long-faced woman with a clipped bedside manner said, "He doesn't have long. When he goes home, enjoy him."
How long is long?
I probably should have asked, "How long is a piece of string?"
How could this be happening? His blood chemistry was fine only a few months ago. Surely if the Lord sees the sparrow fall, He was bound to see Zap, too.
My grandmother always said that if you work hard, and if your heart is true, the Lord will put you on the right road.
 I'm finding this road mighty rocky.
Twenty four hours later, Zap came home. His BUN and creatinine levels had
dropped to near-normal levels. A different vet gave a better prognosis. I hoped the Gloom-and-Doom vet would be wrong. And, with fluid therapy, Zap would have a fighting chance.
The next morning, we returned to the vet for a blood test, and Zap's levels had risen a little. The Gloom-and-Doom doc was on duty, and the prognosis was grim.
We were sent home with a prescription diet and IV bags of Ringer's Lactate. The assistant taught me how to administer subcutaneous fluids, which have been done every day.
Tyler's biochemistry degree was a blessing, because I would have never figured out the "math" of the prescription diet and the insulin dosage. Tyler weighs Zap's food and water and keeps a record.
So far, Zap has had good days and bad days.
 I haven't left the little guy's side.
I put too much hope into little things: the way Zap rolls on his back when his
blood glucose is just right; the way his ears perk when one of his humans enters
or leaves a room. When he's feeling well, he has a "well dog" look, even at rest. It's a certain kinesis, a kind of energy that brightens from the inside out.  
I put too much dread into scary things: if he hesitates before he eats; if he licks his lips (could
mean nausea).  The "sick dog" look is unbearable, as if that kinesis has drained away.
 It just breaks my heart.
We humans dread endings long before they come around.
Grief is irrational. It ignores logic and threats.
Grief is the desperate soul who climbs out of a window and stands on the ledge. You can't
"talk it down." You can't persuade it to climb back through the window. And yet . . .
grief exists for a reason: it's how we heal.
Still, I have to wonder ... is sadness a kind of selfishness?
But I don't know how avoid it. Even though Zap is curled up next to me, I can sense an absence, one
that's ready to swoop down and catch us all unaware.
If life is a journey, the beginning might be exciting, but the end can slap you to the ground and break you into pieces. In between, we move quickly, looking into the past or the future. But the middle part of a journey--the here and now--is the very best part, and it's irreplaceable.
We shouldn't miss a thing. Not one thing.
I need to trust that God will carry me and Zap where we need to go.
We're never alone. The greater consciousness is all around us.

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  1. I'm so so sorry to read this. Saying many prayers for your sweet Zap.
    God Bless,

  2. So sorry about Zap. Hopefully he will pll out of it and get better. Saying prayer for him nightly. I have dogs and I know how you feel.

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words. Not giving up hope yet. xx

  4. Sweet Zap, I'm glad he's home. Phooey on long-faced Dr. Gloom-and-Doom. I hope she has a better bedside manner with her canine patients. I changed clinics a couple of years ago and have a wonderful vet now. I thought briefly a while back that I wanted to be a vet tech but I would be an epic failure and weepy when an animal was hurt. Saying prayers for Zap and his humans :)

  5. You know why I love little Zap and have tears in my eyes. He is so loved!
    Miz Helen

  6. God will absolutely see you and sweet Zap through what is to come. Rely on God for your strength.

    Mary L

  7. Our 17 year old toy poodle has been in kidney failure for about 5 years....with medicine 5 times a day, and a special diet...but she's here, she's happy, and so are we!! Hoping little Zap has the same luck..sending hugs your way...

  8. Oh, I am so sorry to read this, and my heart aches for you and for that time of emptiness which is yet to come. You can only trust that in the end for you and for Zap it will be as it is meant to be, and that there will be as little suffering as possible for both of you xo

  9. Where there is life there is hope!

  10. Zap is a darling little soul and I hope for the best during this hard illness.

  11. I am so sorry you are going through this. I went through the same thing with Scrappycat. The love I felt for her was so overwhelming. She was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. On my blog post after she died, I wrote that I was a better person for having loved and been loved by Scrappycat. That's what you have to look at, all the love you shared.

  12. Very very sad to read this. My heart is with you. My only children were four-legged ones and I loved them more than any human other than my husband. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  13. Our little Beaver had numerous incidents over the past years where his BUN, Creatinine, and ALT were the most extreme ever seen by his vet group or the lab used for blood testing. Whether as a primary or secondary disease, there are amazing meds available to help maintain Zap's kidney function and vitality. Never *give up* hope ... whenever the time comes, your heart will tell you. I found comfort in the moment I realized I was "releasing" rather than "giving up". I hope many more years of shared companionship for you and Zap. I'm 4 weeks now without Beaver and my heart goes out to you and Zap.

  14. It's always such heartbreak. Love him now....hug and keep him close. It's the hardest time when loving our pets the way we do. He is so adorable. Prayers for your little Zap!

  15. It is the most difficult time for all of us who love our pets. Kiss him and hold him close now. Prayers for your little Zap are being said. He is so very adorable!

  16. you wrote so eloquently and from the heart, i admire both you and z's courage and tenacity. i know all to well the road you are on, where every noise and nuance can freeze you in your tracts, stop your breath or hold your heart high over your head. of course i also know the joys too, the reason we fight on, and i will never ever forget my maggies best day of her life, that truly was pot of gold at the end of the road... wishing you and zap happy trails on this journey.

  17. I also know what you are feeling right now.....they really are like one of the kids, aren't they ? Sweet little Zap knows how much he is loved and cherished - he is home with his loved ones and that's all that matters. Saying prayers for the little sweetheart, and for you too !

  18. Oh honey, I am all teary reading this as it brings back memories of our sweet toy poodle who was 171/2 when we HAD to let her go. It was THE hardest thing I had been through. I so empathize and send LOVE, hugs and good wishes for you and Zap! XOXO

  19. It is amazing how a pet can work its way into our heart and touch our soul without ever a spoken word.

  20. I can offer no better words than have already been written, except to say that my prayers and hope are coupled with yours and your family for the best possible outcome for your precious Zap.

  21. ML, I had to pop over to read the update. Sorry I missed it earlier. I've been keeping you and Zap in my prayers. Keep the faith. Thinking of you, sweet friend.

  22. Replies
    1. What a blessing you and your love are for little Zap baby boy....and he for you. God has his plan. Zap and your life together was inevitable and such a gift. As one who has been on that ledge of heart strings are pulled so tightly right now, i have a knot in my throat an my eyes are welling with tears. Yet loving is what we are here to learn and live through. So tender but so painful. How would our world be without the ability to love so deeply. I'm sending you positive thoughts of healing energy and compassion across the miles.

  23. I can understand how hard this is. Holding you close in my heart.♥

  24. Glad Zap is home...your statement of sadness being a part of selfishness...I wonder...I lost my life long best friend 5 months ago...I miss her every day..and I get sad, but I know in God's arms is where she wanted to I should be happy for her...and my sadness is of missing her and not sharing life's happenings. So I guess, in a way, I am selfish. Pets are such a integral part of the family and their time here is just too short....My prayers to you and Zap!