Friday, May 1, 2015

Ordinary Miracles

 
 After a bitter winter, spring has finally arrived. The irises bloom defiantly, as if to say, "It'll take more than sub-zero temperatures to subdue us."  I like their attitude. It's a reminder to never lose hope, that ordinary miracles can, and do, happen. 


Spring was finally here. But I barely noticed. My diabetic Yorkie, Zap, wan't his usual perky self.



His appetite seemed "off," but he was still eating. Because he suffers from chronic kidney failure, we whisked him straightaway to the vet. The prognosis was grim. Despite daily IV infusions for over a year, Z's blood tests weren't good at all, and the vet said it was time to think about making a hard choice, and soon. The vet said it is better to make that decision a week early than a day late. 

My heart made a cracking noise, like a branch snapping in half. The weekend was looming, an unknowable threat. But I could not think about the world of hurt that lay ahead. Zap's comfort was the only concern. The vet warned that my little fellow did not have long, and the family needed to say goodbye. I made an appointment for the following Monday, then stepped into an abyss.

Zap worsened overnight. He wouldn't eat, but he did drink distilled water, at least, which I offered by a dropper. In the morning, we went outside and sat in the sunshine, soaking up Vitamin D.


Somehow he made it through the next 24 hours. Once again, I set my alarm and got up every hour to give oral fluids. Every two hours, I tested his blood glucose. It was high, the kind of high that can easily slide into diabetic ketoacidosis. 

In the morning, my eyes were swollen shut from crying, but we took Zap to Home Depot, thinking it might be his last trip.  He had always loved these little jaunts, and today was no exception. He barked at a Shih Tzu, played with a small child, and smelled everything.

By Monday, Zap was still with us--and he seemed better. His appetite had returned, and he was eating organic brown rice and 99% fat free ground turkey.

We had an 11 a.m. appointment, but I pushed it back until late that afternoon. I wanted to see if Zap's condition continued to improve. It seemed to. He rolled around on his back, growling at imaginary beasts. When Bandwidth picked up his car keys, Zap spun around and barked. Much better, right? Or was I seeing what I wanted to see? After we arrived at the vet's office, I told him that I just wasn't ready to say goodbye--and  Z didn't seem ready to leave us. He sat on my lap, licking my hand. I looked up at the vet. Couldn't he do something? Anything?

It behooved us to wait and see what the chemistry panel showed. As it happened, Z's blood values were normal, except for his BUN (which had dropped 50%) and liver enzymes (they had come way down, too). His phosphorous level was normal. The vet said he'd never seen anything like it. He told us to keep doing what we were doing--turkey and lots of TLC.

Ordinary miracles can seem quite extraordinary.

How long will his recovery hold? I might as well ask, "How long is a piece of string?" 
Some things are unknowable. We aren't meant to know. 

We are meant to focus on the here and now, so we won't miss a thing.

(Disclaimer: Please consult a veterinarian about treating your pet's diabetes, kidney disease, or any other ailment.)

36 comments:

  1. I can' t believe I am reading this right now. I just brought my Yorkie home. She is 10 1/2 and has all sorts of issues. Her back legs collapse, she has bladder issues, and a collapsed trachea. Her breathing has gotten worse. She snores very loudly. This week she started panting almost non-stop and then she would choke. I waited as long as possible before taking her to the vet. I was so afraid they would say she was suffering. Well, she was on oxygen all day. The vet said she had heart failure but with medicine we could help her. So she is home. They started some injections there. So I am hopeful. My husband told me not to let them do anything as he needed a little time with her first. A couple years ago her one leg kept giving out. The vet x-rayed it and showed it to me. He said she needed surgery. While we saved for the surgery she got better. Not until recently did the legs both start getting weak. It started after a groom. She can't stand long. She needs a groom right now. I gave her a haircut and she looked pitiful. Your doggy looks so much like her. Same coloring.
    I know pumpkin is great for their bellies. Also a little honey and/or coconut oil. They all help for several reasons.
    What is the the age of yours. My mom has a 14 year old that is doing okay. Our dog, Izabella's mother just recently passed. She was 17. Wish they lived longer. I hope things continue to be okay for your baby.

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    1. Oh, Debby, my heart goes out to you. I wish they could be with us longer, too. Zap is 11-and 1/2. He's had diabetes for nearly 4 years. My vet was just telling me about honey--to put a tiny dab in Z's ears. I didn't know about coconut oil and will look into it. Thanks! I will send up prayers for you and your sweet Yorkie. xxoo

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  2. What a great gift to be given,a little more time. God bless you both.

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    1. A true gift and a blessing. Thank you, Jennifer!

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  3. Oh poor Zap, and you too. You must be exhausted with worry. Stay strong. Our fur babies lay heavy on our hearts. My brother and his wife had to let go of one of their three dogs. He was a rescue that was in bad shape until my brother took him and nursed him back to health. He had an extra ten years. But a couple of weeks ago they knew it was time...after several hard days. blessings to you and Zap. Sheila

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  4. Goosebumps, goosebumps, GOOSEBUMPS! Little miracles, embrace them, kiss them, hug them! The last pic of you says it all, pure joy! No matter what happens you will always have these moments to remember!

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  5. Yes thank goodness for these small miracles and your extra time with Zap. I get all teary eyed reading this and thinking of all my kitty cats that are no longer with us, and everything that you are going through. What a little fighter he is!

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  6. Oh, Michael Lee! I heart is hurting for little Zap, you and your family. I really do believe with all of my heart that God has given you and little Zap this special extra time to be together. Little Zap's life is in God's hands and God certainly knows how you love him and how he loves you. Our little pets become our children, you know that. You all will be in my prayers. You look beautiful by the way! I see the joy in your pretty face and I'm coveting your gorgeous hair! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. Shelia, you've just gone through this...I have thought about you so much. Your posts about Chloe Dawn and her footprints in the snow were so healing--they helped me greatly. xxoo

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  7. Oh hon, you just lost the other one. I so hope you don't face that again so soon! My Yorkies are my best friends. They sleep with me. I rarely leave them, as they have terrible anxiety issues. I have to feed them special food because they tend to get pancreatitis. I will do whatever I have to to keep my babies well. I know that you are a pet lover just as I am. and that they are your babies, as are mine. I send good karma your way, my friend.
    Brenda

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  8. Not quite as intense as all you had (have) had to do.....but I just went through all this with my kitty Romeo. And I am telling you, his recovery has baffled everyone. We all said goodbye. I cried every minute for 3 days - I wouldn't go to bed, wouldn't leave the house - was sooooo afraid to "find him." I wasn't ready to say goodbye, neither was he.....apparently......but as I type this he is PLAYING with his catnip toy with nearly healthy exuberance! Praise BE!

    All we can do is love them as much as we can, and know we've been blessed to have them a little longer.

    Give Z big pets and love from Auntie Shell from Finch Rest! : - )

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    1. I loved reading this! Another miracle. How extraordinary--and he is playing with his catnip. So happy for you and Romeo!!

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  9. I was afraid that it would be a sad story instead of a happy one. We had a bad week with our corgi -- not the issues yours had but pneumonia and bad! We came close to losing her Friday night but the vet kept watch. She was home on Tuesday and by the weekend was her normal self save for a cough now and then! We feel lucky, like we were given a second chance! She was precious before but she is more precious now!

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    1. Martha, so glad your Corgi is better! A second chance is a blessing. xxoo

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  10. I will keep the positive energy flowing your way. I pray that Z continues to improve each day. Wonderful news!

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  11. So very happy that your sweetie is doing better. This is amazing! Sometimes miracles do happen. Long story short our airedale was suppose to have difficulties getting pregnant with puppies. 18 puppies later she was a busy one. Tums. I will have to remember this.
    Blessings,
    d

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  12. I am so very happy for you and your Zap. I do believe in miracles. Each day there is a miracle for us to find. xoxo Catherine

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  13. I am so happy that Zap is better. I believe in miracles and it just wasn't Zap's time yet. "It's so hard to say goodbye to our pets. Take care of little Zap and yourself. Will say a little prayer for him tonight.
    Mary

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  14. You're so blessed to have more time with your darling pup. Life is a gift to be cherished. fondly ~lynne~

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  15. All I keep thinking is what a blessing it is for little Zap to have you as his caregiver. Knowing that you are experiencing this miracle in your life is certainly a joy to behold. I will keep you all in my prayers, Michael Lee. Thank you for sharing the pictures of you and your precious Zap with us, for your love certainly shines forth.

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  16. Praying for your sweet Zap! You are such a great nurse! Will pray for you and your little Z. He is so blessed to live in such a loving home!

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  17. Every day with your Zap is a day God has given you to savor. Prayers. Carol

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  18. Isn't it wonderful when we are reminded... Miracles do happen! Enjoy your precious time with Zap. I do hope you are also doing much better since your winter fall!

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  19. I'm so happy you have more time to enjoy your precious little Zap. He's so adorable. My heart and prayers are with the both of you. Enjoy your time with him!

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  20. It is wonderful to be rminded that miracles do happen. Enjoy your time. It reminds me to enjoy every moment with my little fluffs.

    - Alma, The Tablescaper

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  21. When I first started reading this post, I thought "Oh No" . So glad to hear you have been given more time with your precious Zap. Love the pic of you carrying Zap with a view of beautiful Middle Tennessee in the background - 2nd from the bottom.
    Hope you have fully recovered from your fall. Enjoy the weekend.
    Glenda

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  22. I was scared to read this post. I can't believe the fortitude of your little fellow Zap! And Bandwidth has saved the day again in discovering Tums! Thank heavens you relied on your instincts and waited. Heavy doses of love certainly played their part too. Continued blessings to little Zap and his caretakers.

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  23. Enjoy everyday you have with your precious friend. We love our fur babies...hope you have many many days ahead together! ;)

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  24. Thank heavens for Tums and Bandy's degree... I was so afraid with how your post started I was going to be sobbing by the end. I love the last sweet last photo and seeing your smiling face which says it all. Hope you're enjoy the sunshine with Zap by your side today. ♥

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  25. I have tears in my eyes as I read this. Our pets our are a constant in a world of change. I am glad you do not have to get accustomed to another new normal.

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  26. So happy to hear that your sweet little guy pulled t through. I have a Yorkie too, named Bentley. He is with me every day sharing each moment with me. I know the feeling of loving those little guys so much. I'll keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  27. Thankful for more time for you and Zap. Our sweet little doggies have a special place in our hearts for sure, can't even imagine the pain and hurt you are going thru, I know that day will come to me as well, don't even want to think about it. My thoughts are with you dear friend, my hopes for you will be continued strength.... as I read a sadness enveloped me, with each word I anticipated the worse,(kinda like waiting for the other shoe to drop), I am so happy that Zap is little better... your pic's of the two of you has pulled at my heart strings... and on a lighter note*.
    *You are gorgeous and Zap is so handsome.

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  28. Oh My,,,just seeing this........my heart is aching for you AND for me. My sophiejane, almost 15 yr old poodle, is having a bad time too. Last weekend when all my grandchildren and their dogs were here...and sophie hates all of em....she almost went down. She follows every move I make and now she could hardly move. She couldn't lie down so she would sit for a second, close her eyes and then fall over. Hurting her even more.
    Next day to vet for xrays and it is soooooo strange. I have bulging disc, rubbing bone on bone and stenosis. her xray showed the EXACT same things. You could put my xray on top of hers and they would be the same. She is suffering from the same thing I have and the crazy weekend just knocked her out. they suggested surgery, as they have with me, but I cant do it to her. So we're both on steroids hoping to help with the inflammation. she seems to be feeling better but as the vet says....it won't be long.
    I do not know what I will do. she is my best friend in the whole wide world......wish you and I lived closer.....we could console one another on a daily basis.

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    1. I'm so sorry to read this. It is uncanny that your x-rays and Sophiejane's are so similar! Here's hoping that the steroids work. Zap had a rough morning, but he's feeling better this evening. I'm taking it moment by moment. I'll add you and Sophiejane to my prayer list. xxoo

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  29. I'm so sorry to read this Michael, I know how hard it is to say goodbye to our fur babies. I'll keep Z in my thoughts, I hope he continues to improve as well.

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  30. I was ready for the tears when I started reading this, but the title gave me hope that it didn't turn out badly. I'm so glad that Zap is better! My heart goes out to you for what you've been going through now and in the recent past and I'm praying that he continues to do well.

    By the way, those pictures of you are gorgeous.

    (((hugs)))
    rue

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