Pyxi and I are plugging along. You know, I feel like I should apologize for currently turning this into a blog about my seriously ill dog, but then again, it’s my blog. This is what’s going on in my life and it’s what I’m dealing with so I guess everything is related.
Anyway, we’re going day by day. Some days she seems to be a little better; some days a little worse. Some times holding steady. It doesn’t escape my notice that, like my program, we’re taking her illness one day at a time.
I will be honest and tell you that I am preparing myself to have to make the ultimate, difficult decision. I love my dogs very much. Part of that means that I will never force one to suffer because I cannot suck it up, say goodbye, and let them go with love.
This is not the first time that I’ve dealt with a beloved dog nearing the end of life. I have been in this place before. Heck, it’s not just pets. My mother was very ill before she died. I was her primary caregiver, which her pretty much 24/7 for several months. With her wishes known, my brother and I held her medical power of attorney and were trusted by her to act on her behalf when she couldn’t. There came a time when we knew that there was nothing medically that could be done to prolong Mom’s life. With the help of hospice and support of family, we could prepare her and help her approach her death without pain, in the comfort and familiarity of home, surrounded by the people who love her.
So, this is not a new situation, but I have to say that I feel like I am an emotional wreck. I do my best to keep a positive, upbeat and good energy demeanor when caring for Pyxi. When I’m away from her and think about how she isn’t gaining ground and I could be on the verge of having to say goodbye to her, I dissolve into a crying, grieving mess. It’s hard for me to discuss her condition with friends and family without falling apart. Just typing it here started the waterworks again.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say that I’m usually an unfeeling, repressed person. Far from it. I have big emotions. I’m passionate and expressive in my joy, enthusiasm, anger. But, I think I’ve learned to be appropriately expressive and balanced. Right now, I’m completely out of whack. If I usually navigate on a mostly even keel, right now I feel like my upset is a rogue wave swamping and threatening to capsize me.
Yet, except for a couple small deviations, I’m handling the crisis without relapsing into full scale binge eating or compulsive overeating. I’m working program, pre-planning and eating to plan, logging my food/water/exercise, and working out. That’s all good.
I believe it’s also why my emotions are roiling so dramatically. Stuffing great quantities of food into one’s body is one way to also stuff down emotions. When I overeat or eat off plan, I am counteracting my feelings – negative and positive. Food as anesthesia. Sooo, because I’m not using food to suppress the anxiety, worry and grief, they are going to town.
With everything that’s going on, I didn’t make the connection before now. You’d think I’d have realized it right off, but, hell, I have a lot weighing on my mind and heart. Now I know. I’m conscious of it, so I need to work on maintaining better balance. I’m not saying it isn’t okay to be sad and worried. These are normal. I do, however, have to keep them from throwing me so out of whack that I can’t function physically and emotionally.
I need to experience the emotions and still be able to think, work, breathe, and take care of Pyxi, her brother Nat, and myself. We are all relying on me to do so. If the time comes that I need to consider the decision for Pyxi, I need to be able to process the facts and reality and do what is best for her. In the aftermath, I then need to be able to continue to care for myself and Nat without sinking into relapse.
How do I do this? I keep reaching for program and the tools with which I am so familiar. They are always present as long as I pick them up. I need to continue to take care of myself by following my food plan, going to my workouts, getting acupuncture, arranging for massages or other treatments. Not shorting myself of sleep. These things are all important to preserving my recovery and staying healthy.