As I watch my dog sleep, I feel a little helpless, and lost you see he has just got home from the vet. He has been sedated so he is very wobbly, and it has me thinking back on when I first got sick and how my parents must have felt.
I am not a parent, I have not been blessed, but I have always had animals, as a child we always had cats and now I love dogs. I currently have two dogs, a shih tzu called Gizmo and a rescue mongrel called Dexter. Honestly, I love them so much and I couldn’t imagine life without furry creatures to cuddle and talk to.
Dexter is a rescue and has PTSD from past abuse, we got him from Pupcakes Rescue and they specialise in dogs with a bite history. So, as you can imagine taking a sick Dexter to the vets is not easy but needed to be done when he started to hold his jaw strangely.
He is currently laying on a bed on the floor, wrapped in a blanket of mine and sleeping off the sedation. Usually, they would not need to do this, but Dexter cannot be touched unless he knows you well and so he would not let the vet examine him.
But this experience of being worried over a fur baby makes me think about how scary it must have been for my parents when I first got sick. I was in my early twenties and had not long qualified as a nurse, I was living on my own in Birmingham and enjoying life.
Then one day, without explanation or warning, my left leg became very painful and hard to walk on from the knee down. That progressed over the next few weeks to pain and numbness in my limbs and my life changed forever.
That is the thing nobody tells you about chronic illness, it often comes out of nowhere and is so hard to predict and to explain. Those first few years I had to move back home, my dad was angry I was back and so reliant on them and my mom was worried. She looked after me, helped me to shower and to get dressed and picked me up when my mental health got so bad, I was put on suicide watch.
Now, as I sit writing this, I cannot help but glance over at Dexter and imagine how it would feel if he was my human son. The fear and worry would be so overwhelming and yet, carers and family are often forgotten when it comes to support when this happens.
So, as I watch my dog sleep, I say thank you to my dad for letting me move back home, and thank you to my mom for being there for me when I needed you most.
Thank you xxx