Posted on September 11, 2008


snuggling during the great ohio ice storm (2005)

dexter has addison’s disease.  he wasn’t quite two when he was diagnosed and has now lived with his condition for longer than he hasn’t.

i wasn’t told he was predisposed to it when i got him.  i wasn’t even told his breed was predisposed to it.  i was only told that he was a healthy puppy with healthy parents who had healthy parents who had healthy parents.  either someone lied or dex just got super unlucky…

i’ve spent the last 3 years observing his normal playful behavior and know nearly immediately when something is not right.  beginning tuesday, something was just not right.  so, as i do, i watched him. 

the only thing that kept me warm (2005)

he hasn’t eaten much in the past two days.  anything he did eat hasn’t stayed in for long.  i was up with him, last night, until 2am and fell asleep just before he woke me again at 3am.  and again at 6am.  awaking for the day, i found him crouched and shivering in his crate covered in vomit (i know it’s gross, but i’ve been dealing with puppy and baby vomit for years now.  nothing really grosses me out these days.)

he’s been at the animal hospital since 9am, racking up what is sure to be another $500 vet bill and being stuck with iv’s that he’ll surely chew out.  he’ll be pumped full of antibiotics and fluids after a few rounds of blood and other tests.  and, if all goes well, he’ll be back to “normal” in a week or so. 

i’m constantly worried that everything i’m doing to make him better is only making him worse.  i swore on the day he was diagnosed that if there was something that could be done to create a happy and healthy life for him, i would do whatever it was.  somewhere between then and now, i began to struggle with the thought that maybe it’s not creating quality of life, only quantity. 

on most days, he does SO well.  he’s happy and playful and just absolutely adores people.  he takes his daily steroids and gets his monthly injection and any worries that i have usually dissipate.  but on occasion, like this very one, he has a spell that threatens his life. 

it only echoes everything i’ve so recently learned about life – live it, love it, cherish it.  so until he tells me otherwise, i’ll do just that, with my dexter by my side.

** post title = irish proverb

Posted in: family stuff