Saturday, March 25, 2017

In Sickness and In Health

So Baxter went back to the vet today to have his hip examined, x-rayed, poked and prodded. He also had some fluid drawn from a swelling in his groin area by the injury site. Good news first: The hip is still in the socket so I didn't have to make a surgery/no surgery decision. There's no guarantee that I won't, but I didn't have to today. And even if the hip does come out again, I STILL don't need to make an immediate decision about the surgery. The vet said it was a non-damaging option to see how he did just on pain meds with it out. They wanted to send the fluid out for lab tests--after already having looked at it in-house and found nothing--for an additional $500. I told them I wasn't that curious to find out what it is since it doesn't appear to be anything we'll do anything about anyway (it wasn't an infection and they didn't think it was cancer either--probably lymphatic fluid from the trauma). The only bad news from the day was that I was at the vet for three hours this morning, and I did have to push back on the vet when he pressed for accepting the surgical solution--which caused me to end up (unsurprisingly) in tears. The morning was stressful enough--and the past week was sleep-deprived enough that I took a 3-1/2 hour nap this afternoon. Dave finally came in and woke me at 6:00, otherwise I think I would have just kept sleeping. And I don't foresee any problems sleeping tonight.

I did feel guilty when I woke about having, oh what would be a good word... Wasted and lost clearly won't do given the sentiment I want to follow... Spent! Spent is good. I spent the afternoon napping and felt guilty until I reminded myself that life isn't a race and that there are very few real deadlines in it. Time is a currency, and you should spend it wisely. Wisely today for me meant sleeping. And even with the sleep I still feel a bit fragile. Longterm care-taking of the elderly or the infirm isn't easy, and in many ways taking care of Baxter is making me flashback to taking care of my mother. Those memories--even two years on--are still too raw. There are times I can't help feeling resentful or annoyed by the demands placed on me in my caretaker's role, and then I immediately feel guilty for being the least uncharitable when the being I am care-taking clearly has a much worse situation than I do, and I am supposed to be taking care of them because I love them. But sometimes feelings of love slip into feelings of responsibility, and recognition that I'm feeling more responsibility than love brings on more guilt.

So tonight I breathe deeply, and I try to be kind to myself, to Baxter, and to the rest of my family. I am so, so lucky to have them all, and pets are like marriage partners: in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, as long as you both shall live.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I hope Baxter is pain-free, or at least close to it.