Hoping for a quiet 2019

My last post was published on the 10th of January when I felt like my whole world had caved in. The last few weeks have been very hard, I miss Frankie and Mollie so much that my heart aches. There has not been a day that has gone by where I haven’t wept with the pain of losing them as suddenly as we did. To lose two dogs in 7 days is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I wouldn’t have got through it without hubby by my side. In fact I would have probably given up completely had he not been here.

 
Due to the shock, upset, grief hubby has taken some time off work. He already suffers with anxiety and depression and to ensure he didn’t take a nose dive he saw the doctor and got himself signed off. He didn’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone. Losing Mollie hit him very hard as she was his dogs. Plus it was very traumatic for us over 24 hours where it became clear that she had suffered from a stroke and there would be no recovery from this. We nursed her overnight and made sure she wasn’t suffering. Right up until the end she only wanted her dad, whenever she was out of his sight she panicked. Jay stayed with her until the end as I had stayed with Frankie just the week before. To say our hearts were broken would have been an understatement.
 
I took a break from this blog as since the beginning back in 2008 the dogs have featured quite heavily in it. My Gravatar is me with Frankie, Frankie is the banner on WordPress, on Twitter his photo is my profile picture and its the same on Facebook. Although I have managed to change my about me pages on both blog platforms, I can’t remove his photo from any of my social media profile photos.  It feels like a huge chunk of my life has just vanished. Life as I knew it was taken away from me in the space of 7 days. I never knew I could feel so utterly broken by the passing of three dogs in just a little over the year.
 
For a few years Mr Myasthenia Kid and I had talked about what would happen when we no longer had any dogs. Initially we had said we would get a Labrador ( black) then we talked about a Beagle and also a Bracco Italiano. However for the last few months I had said I didn’t know if I wanted another dog, I knew losing our last two Weimaraners would hit me really badly and by getting another dog meant at some point in the future I would have to go through the pain of losing it all over again. Jay was not having any of it, he said that I was already completely socially isolated and without a dog I would have no company at all. He felt it would be very damaging to my mental health. He was right, as 7 days without a dog in the house were the worst thing ever. I missed everything about having a dog, the cuddles, the mess, the unconditional love, someone to have silly conversations with.
 
By the Sunday after Mollie’s passing we decided that we would get another dog and we started looking on-line for Labrador puppies. I had to give myself a crash course on Labrador’s having not ever owned one. I located several breeders who had litters on The Kennel Club Website. Luckily one lady immediately responded to my email and told us she had two male yellow labs for sale. Obviously we had originally said we wanted a black lab but by this point it didn’t matter what colour it was. We needed our house to feel like a home again, we were both distraught and sinking fast. We arranged to travel to see the 2 pups available the following day.
 
The rest is history, we now own a 9 week old Yellow Labrador called Dembe. We chose his name from the TV programme the blacklist, it means peace. Which you will probably agree we need by the bucket full. Dembe came home with us on Friday 11th January. You can read all about him   here as I have started his own blog for him. I will from time to time have photos of him on this blog but it is much easier to have all the news about him on a separate blog. Every Monday I will give a run down of what he has been up to the previous week. 
 
Some of you may be judging us, that we got a new dog too quickly or that we didn’t love our other dogs that much because we replaced them with Dembe. Dembe is not and has never been a replacement. He is an addition to our household. He is very much-loved for the dog he is and will become. Anyone who thinks any less of us for this can just fuck off as far as I am concerned, your opinion is of very little value to me.
 
So whilst I took a break from here, I have been setting up Dembe’s blog. I managed to keep writing which out of all the things I do creatively was the only thing that I could keep going. I hadn’t been able to sew since Mollie passed away. I managed on the 16th January after a break of nearly two weeks to sit and do a small piece of embroidery. Mainly to ensure that Dembe wasn’t scared of the noise the machine made. The only thing that has freaked him out so far has been the ironing board and it does the same to me if I am honest.
 
My health has been hit quite hard by the sudden turn of events. I have suffered vertigo, continuous headaches, back spasms, Eczema, migraines and ptosis. As usual it a few days after the event before I started to go down hill. Thankfully with Jay off work we have been able to manage Dembe’s care and socialisation process. To be honest without him I would have crawled into bed and never come out again. This little chap has saved us both. The lady that we are friendly with at the vets ( who had a soft spot for Frankie) called Dembe our miracle dog. She knew how much our lives focused on our dogs and also knew that without a dog in our life we would fall apart. 
 
So many people have told us that we have done exactly the right thing. It doesn’t mean that we loved our Weimaraners any less, it is because we loved them so much that we had all this love to give to another dog. 
 
Dembe has bonded with us both. He is such a happy, laid back dog. His tail wags continuously. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him. I thought at one point after Mollie had passed away that Jay looked like he was going to drop dead from a broken heart. He was just an ashen colour. I have seen Jay poorly many times but this was the worst I had seen him look for a long time. Since Dembe’s arrival he is looking so much better, we both feel like there is a future in front of us. In the immediate aftermath of losing both dogs it felt like we were staring into the abyss .
 
I am hoping that my health stabilises shortly, it is going to have to as Jay goes back to work from Monday 21st and it will just be me and Dembe. However Jay will be coming home at lunch times to help with feeding and toileting. He still has a few weeks until he will be able to go out for a walk. Whilst Jay is home though I am trying to take it as easy as possible. Jay has been doing everything for me as usual.
 
2018 ended in a way that I didn’t see coming and 2019 started in a way we never envisaged. All I can hope for is a quieter year for the rest of 2019.
 

 
 

 
I will never forget the love that these three beautiful loyal dogs gave me. Run free my darlings, we will miss you everyday for the rest of our lives.
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Cr*pfest

This piece was written ready for last week’s blog post, on a day where I had a couple of hours of relief from the pain. I always like to take some time away from a blog post before editing it. When the time came to take a second look I was too sick to do it. This week I have been a bundle of nerves as I am off to see the neurologist later on this morning. By the time you read this on Thursday 23rd June that will have been yesterday!

This week has been a total crapfest bar one day, a week ago Wednesday when a friend popped over. It’s a couple of hours like that which keep me going even if it means collapsing into bed immediately after they leave. I basically went to bed on Wednesday afternoon and then barely left it after. Sleeping the majority of the weekend away as I was so worn out from the pain.

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Photograph courtesy of Heather Rowe

 

I will be honest I have been playing fast and loose with this of late, pushing back against the headache so that I may get a few more hours out of bed. This never ends well as it exacerbates the pain and leaves me worse off than I would have been if I had just laid down when the pain started. Denial has always been one of my biggest issues.

Even 9 years on I still can’t get my head around the fact that I cannot do the things I once did. It is as if my brain refuses to accept that things have changed and will never be the same again. This causes problems for me with people understanding how disabled I actually am because I continually downplay the crapfest which is my life and I “don’t look sick”. Although with this suspected CSF leak I am starting to look the part when the pain is unbearable.

The other day I caught myself thinking “I’d love to go for a run”, which is hilarious as there are times I struggle to walk from one sofa to the next. My brain refuses to admit defeat.

Due to my continual denial to the outside world, people who haven’t read my blog (mainly medical professionals), are completely clueless to how much my life is affected and consequently I have got to the stage where I am begging for help and it seems like no one is actually listening. I have emailed the people at my local council for help because I need equipment such as a commode for my bedroom for when the pain is so bad it’s a struggle to get to the toilet, a table that can go over my bed, just basic things really that would make the world of difference in a limited situation. Asking for help goes completely against my nature, so this year I have decided it is time to go big or go home.

 

I also asked the local council about a wheelchair assessment, I had one back in 2008 but due (again) to the fact I was in complete denial about how awful things were I refused to go back. All my chariots have been bought on-line mainly from Amazon however they are no longer suitable and although Amazon sell the type of wheelchair I am after, I don’t have the means to buy it myself. Hence the Go Fund Me –  Help me walk the dogs again campaign. I am happy to report that we have raised over £900 now. Most of that has been raised through hubby being sponsored to have his back waxed. I am a little worried though as earlier today I ripped a plaster off his arm (he’d had a blood test) and I thought he was going to cry.

**Since this post was written we have now raised £1,300.

 

I have been truly amazed by people’s generosity and I know we still have a long way to go but we have made magnificent headway in less than 30 days. The trick now will be to keep the momentum up and we have been discussing ways in which we can raise more money.
So despite the week being mainly one filled with quite severe pain and vomiting, there have been some truly wonderful moments in it as well.