Friday, May 7, 2010

Buried... Again.

Yesterday, I noticed that Felix, who is currently on antibiotics for an ear infection and had been getting noticeably better was scratching at his ear. I lifted up the furry black flap and groaned to see that the underside was red and hot. Again. I took him to the vet to show them that now, instead of improving, it was getting worse. I explained to the vet that he wouldn't allow me to put ANYTHING near his ear except for a loving pat. The vet agreed that it was very going to be hard, but not impossible, if I got a muzzle. (This vet, by the way, was UNABLE to even look in Felix's ear even with the help of a VERY strong and VERY tall woman. She looked like a wrestler to be honest...and she COULDN'T hold Felix still long enough for the vet to peek for a moment in his ear.) He gave me medicine to put in the ear, and I reluctantly took it under his stern words that it was "the only way".

I bought the muzzle, and with a little coercion, was able to get my happy sheepie in it with a handful of treats. He was perfectly fine in it, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe it wouldn't be too hard after all. I gentle lifted his ear with lots of praise and treats....and tried to fill his ear with the medicine.

He LOST it.

I tried to lay on top of him, growling and struggling at me...if he had not been muzzled I would wear the gashes of his fear and rage at this moment. He was terrified. And I failed at my quest. I couldn't do it even with the cooperative help from all six of the inhabitants of my house. We could NOT hold him still enough.

I sat there...feeling the panic of adrenaline flushing through me. I took off the muzzle to reveal a once again sweet happy shaggy puppy who apologetically licked the tears off my face as if to make up for his wild behavior that he couldn't control.

Then, with rage in my veins, I called the vet's office and demanded to speak to a vet. ANY vet. I sobbed into the phone as a female vet listened to what was going on. I explained that I COULD NOT administer the medicine into the ear. I explained that I had TOLD the other vet that it was something Felix would not allow, and that he had admonished me as if I were a child even though HE couldn't even PEEK inside for a moment. She listened patiently, and sighed..."Of course you can't get it in his ear if he's in so much pain or if he's afraid. It's possible that the cold of the medicine hurts terribly. Please come in tomorrow and I will give you a longer and stronger course of oral medicine as well as some pain killers for your pup. Tonight...please, go take a bath...and know it will be o.k. . ."

I thanked her. I hung up the phone and stared at my husband for a moment as I crumbled into to a heap of bawling miserableness.

My thoughts were racing in a mad rush to dis-empower me in any way my brain could see fit. "You aren't as good with animals as you think." "You were weak to allow that other vet to overpower your commonsense." "You brought additional stress into a home already maxed out with the addition of a second puppy just because the idea that it would be like having twins was such a pretty thought." "You keep getting hurt, and are an anxious wreck...just like your crazy borderline mother." "You just terrified your poor little puppy even though you KNEW that vet was WRONG...What kind of person does that??" "Poor Ferdinand is totally freaked out too just from HEARING what was going on with Felix!" "You can't take care of two dogs, and you couldn't have taken care of two babies EITHER!" "You fail at everything you try." "Your only friends are words on a computer." "You couldn't keep your babies alive long enough for them to have a chance to SEE it with their own eyes." "Your a mental crackup." "Your babies are dead...and your children have to live with a basket case they call mom." "Your husband is exhausted from your never ending tears." "Your obese." "Your shit."

So, I stand here the next morning...processing my own thoughts. I recall falling asleep in jarring sobs while my husband spooned me, holding me close for fear that I'd run away to find a cliff or a lake to jump in.

I'm standing here in wonder of the stress damaged brain struggling with the ability to recover from a small stress like dealing with a terrified puppy for 5 minutes.

People used to tell me I was such a relaxed person with envy as I lovingly sat with my tandem nursing babes in arms...and I would explain about breathing, and feeling content with what you have. Money was no object...I didn't mind being poor if it made it possible for us to have peace.


Little things--a scraped husband being 20 minutes later than I thought he would be...a protest from a child about having to take out the garbage or do the dishes....a deadline...a dog scuffle; any one of them can start the internal shaking and anxiety driven sobbing and heart skipping that is my new normal.


Instead of smiling when I see the beautiful rosy cheeks of a baby, ANYONE'S baby...I cry. Instead of greeting the news of a new pregnancy of a friend with joy...I cry.
Instead of taking the stress of my full life in stride as others look on in wonder at how I manage it all...I have anxiety attacks. Now....I hate worrying about money.
I hate finding myself saying "No" when I used to say "Yes." Instead of always finding the time to "read another story"...I hear my almost 14 year old reading to his brothers in my place--something he started doing when I lost myself last year in death, loss, and overwhelming grief that continues to linger...and linger....

And mostly....Now, instead of knowing that my husband feels that I could take on the world and still have dinner ready by 6:30...I know he worries about leaving me alone every day. I know he worries that I might believe the racing thoughts TOO much. That I might listen to them, blind to every sensibility that could counter each and every one of them.

I feel really sad today. Really angry. Angry that loss can rip apart your wholeness in such a way that you never REALLY find the you that knew the joy of consistent smiles...once upon a time.


  1. I wish I had magical words to say. I just feel for you. My heart aches for all of us. First of all, your poor pup. That picture you posted is adorable! I am glad the vet spoke with you and got things worked out. Second of all, the smallest things get to me and make me cry now. I get upset, irritated, and frustrated way more easily than I used to. Emotions seem to get the best of us. Loss is so hard. This loss is incredibly heartbreaking and devastating. Our futures will never be what we thought they would be. Our hopes and dreams were crushed. I wish we never had to know this pain. I am thinking of you and sending lots of love!!

  2. Oh dear. Poor Felix. How awful for him and for you.
    I agree with Jill's comment above, even little things are enough to send me spiralling downward. Your chain of thought describes perfectly how I feel at times too, it starts off with something small and then I end up blaming myself for everything.

    Just for the record and coming from someone who only knows you through your words here, I am absolutely certain that you COULD have taken care of two babies, that you would loved and cherished your twin sons wonderfully well. Please don't let self recrimination take over and make you doubt yourself. xo


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