Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Over recent years, I have had a number of people, personal and professional, make the comment, “you really live for drama”.  While I do handle crisis with precision and patience, nothing could be further from the truth that I seek out stressful situations.  I have been dealing with one thing or another for over three decades.  An argument can be made that maybe even longer.

This post is not about my survival or its issues, but an answer to one situation, and as usual, forced into another one.  I have come to accept, this is what I do.

I have my answer to the thyroid nodule.  Fortunately, it is not cancer.  In particular, it is not lymphoma as was mentioned to be the potential diagnosis.  While relieved the nodule issue is closed, it is still unnerving to hear lymphoma once again.  I have not dealt with lymphoma, in particular, Hodgkin’s Disease in twenty two years.  Whether new disease, or after all this time, recurrence, neither way is desirable.  Because of the module’s makeup, follow-up ultrasounds and of course bloodwork will be the plan for the next couple of years.  Perhaps before that time expires, I will be dealing with more nodules but for now, one door closes…

Pollo is the perfect example of “man’s best friend”.  For twelve years, our Golden Retriever has been just that to us.  A product of a puppy mill outside of Lancaster, we have given him refuge from a life no animal should ever have to endure.  Wendy and I have done our best to care for him and to make sure he lives up to his nickname, the Happy Golden”.  With unquestionable loyalty, his tail wags constantly whether we have a treat in our hand, or he has been by himself while we are at work.

On Friday, I took our friend to the vet, under emergency circumstances.  Not putting symptoms of the prior evening as something developing, Friday, he would have multiple episodes of vomiting.  In the past, this was usually caused by consuming mushrooms from the backyard.  But things are totally different this time.  He had become lethargic, something I am not accustomed to when he has been surrounded by children or at the vet hospital.  Over the next 24 hours, he seemed to improve enough for me to get the call to take him home this morning.

When I arrived, I saw his wagging tail as he was clearly happy to see me.  But that excitement was only temporary as his legs gave out from under him.  For the next half hour, I tried to coax him to come home as the vet told me that symptoms were clearing up with the medicine taking its course.  Prior to getting him to my car, and multiple attempts of walking under his own power, he once again collapsed, this time his blatter was uncontrolled,  and he release urine while never attempting to avoid contact with it by moving aside.  He had gotten worse, not better.

Repeated bloodwork confirms that certain levels have gotten worse.  And following my departure this morning, a bruising has appeared on his abdomen, with no apparent cause.  A phone call from the vet has increased my anxiety, and once again, revved up my logical persona.  Like every crisis before, I need to maintain composure, and make rational, emotionless decisions for what is best for my canine friend.  But I cannot this time.  He has been by our side, no matter what event has occurred.  Each time, simply satisfied just to have his belly scratched.

Tomorrow, they will repeat the bloodwork again, to see if the levels continue the prior tests’ progress, or improve.  But in the morning, a decision will be made either way.  I can either bring him home, and continue to help him recover, or perhaps, be faced with having to choose how much more to put him through.

Pollo, I miss you my friend.  I am totally off my game without your here.  The routines that I have carried out for twelve years currently are displayed in silence and awkward absence.   I pray that tomorrow morning when I wake, and the first part of the day is gone, the voice on the other end of the phone says, “his tail is wagging, he stands when we enter the room, and he looks ‘happy”, and I will be there to bring you home.

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