It Takes Courage to be Obedient to God

It Takes Courage to be Obedient to God
Photograph by Ross Barringer

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My beloved dog Shadow is gone.  She died peacefully in our arms.   June 26, 2017.  12:30.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's so hard to say goodbye.
Shadow

Shadow is my dog.  She is a she.  I guess the name sounds male because a lot of people call her "he". I got shadow from a Rescue around 6 years ago.  She is 7  years old.  My husband named her Shadow because from the moment I brought her home, she followed me everywhere through the house.  What a fitting name!   Through the years we have been together nearly every day.  The few times I left her in the care  of others was like leaving my child behind.  Thankfully my friend Alisa and her boys usually takes care of her while I am gone. I never stayed away from her for long.  Only a few days.  My husband said that whenever I left the house, she'd go sit by the window or in the doorway, waiting for my return.  You don't realize how very attached you are to a dog until you hear your Vet say "something is not right" while looking at an x-ray.  That is what happened a month before my birthday, May 28, 2017.   I had taken Shadow in because she was having trouble going up or down stairs which was unusual.  She ordinarily an up and down the stairs with no problem.  Once in awhile she'd leap from 2 or 3 stairs, gather herself and take off again.  But this time she hesitated to ascend or descend.  I thought perhaps she had an injury.  I took her in to see the Vet where she'd gone since I adopted her back in 2011.  I explained what was happening.  They examined her and gave me some Rimadyl, 25 mg.  The next day I brought back to the Vet because she was not doing well at all.  She was having trouble breathing.  This time they ran a Superchem/CBC blood test and Radiology Thorax.  They asked before doing it because it would cost a lot.  I said sure.  I wanted to know what was wrong with my little fur-baby. The blood test came back showing nothing wrong, but the x-ray showed a dark spot that should not be there. She suggested I take Shadow to see a Cardiologist.  At first the Cardiologist said it's probably just bronchitis or that she inhaled something while sniffing around outside.  Bu then he did an Echocardiogram and said "oh boy. This should not be here."   He showed me a large black mass.  I was devastated.   He referred me to an Oncologist who was right upstairs.   I made an appointment right away and came back  the very next day to see her. We had a consultation wherein she discussed treatments.  We discussed treatment options including chemo.  She let me know up front that even with treatment, Shadow's prognosis would only be months - only three months at most.  My husband was crushed when I told him.  He broke into tears.  It has been a tough time for us, but our concern right now is Shadow.  Right now she is laying next to me on the sofa, sleeping. She sleeps a lot now.  And I am grateful she is sleeping.  The Cardiologist gave me some Hydrocodone/Homatropine pills to help with her racking coughs.  They really help a lot.  I like it when she sleeps because when she is awake her breathing seems labored and she can't walk very far.  I don't move around too much unless my husband is at home, because she wants to follow me wherever I go.  When that happens, she starts to cough.  If he is at home, he holds her to keep her from following me.   He also lifts and carries her up the little hill from our house so she can go to her favorite "potty spot".  We are both dreading the day that we have to make the decision to let her go across the rainbow bridge.  Every day I look at her and say no way can I let her go.  She still wags her tail when I walk into the room and tries to run to me.  My joy quickly turns to pain when she starts that awful coughing.  I keep a close eye on her, trying to detect if she is telling me it's time to go.  People say she will let me know when.  Her energy level is dropping.  She is still eating - not as much as she used to but still eating.   When I was first told she had only months to live, I cried all day every day.   It has gotten easier since I shared the info with my family and friends, and my friends Lisa and Alisa.  It helps to have people who care.   
She just woke up from her nap, came over and licked my face, and went back to sleep.  :0      
I will add more as time goes on.  And I will keep praying that some miracle happens and Shadow will remain here with us.    
#mydog #Shadow #Euthanization #heartdisease

Monday, January 23, 2017

My Book Review. Near Death in the ICU: Stories from Patients Near Death and Why We Should Listen to Them



Dr. Bellg invites the reader to consider that bearing witness to a patient's near-death experience is a respectful and meaningful part of medical care, a way for families to support their loved ones, and an important part of the patient's healing.  
This book invites you to reconsider what happens when we die, and in doing so, challenges you to ponder that perhaps we are much more than our earth-bound physical bodies.  
My review of this book:  It is well researched and well written by an ICU doctor who had personal contact with the patients.  So these are first-hand experiences that she writes about.  I found the patients' experiences to be thought provoking - why are they all so similar.  Thos book offers a variety of experiences from a variety of people.  It  will leave you wondering if there is more to death than we presently know.  

#NearDeathintheICU