Friday, June 29, 2012

The Morning of Surgery

I just dropped Lexie off at the vet for her bilateral enucleation surgery.  I’m such a bundle of mixed emotions right now.  I’m crying, of course, because my Lou is never going to be able to look at me again.  She’ll never greet me at the door with one of her stuffed animals in her mouth, enticing me to chase her around the living room and dining room ever again.   (My favorite part of that game, by the way, was when I’d be chasing her around through the dining room, kitchen, and living room, but then I’d stop and quietly reverse directions.  She’d sense that I stopped chasing her, so she’d get really quiet and sneaky, too, and try to find me.  Then, it became a game of “who can sneak up on whom first” before resuming the game of chase.)  I’m going to miss watching her look out our living room window and getting that “stranger danger” face if a passer-by happened to linger in front of our house a little too long.  I’m going to miss the way she’d always be the first of my girls to come back inside after being let out, just so she could sit in the doorway with me and watchfully wait for Sam and Jocie to come back inside.  If they took too long, she’d go back out into the yard and bark until they came in.

These are the things I am grieving, which I don’t think people think about when they tell me (repeatedly) that, “She’s going to be fine.  Dogs adjust SO well to being blind.”  While I understand that Lexie is going to be okay and adjust to being blind, there’s a part of her that is now gone forever, and I’m heartbroken over that.  I do appreciate it when people try to cheer me up and help me look on the bright side of this situation, but I need to be allowed to be sad and upset about it for a while, too.  Trust me, I can find the bright side to just about anything because I don’t see the point in wallowing in sadness or self-pity for very long.  However, it takes a good dose of crying and, yes, even a little bit of the aforementioned wallowing for me to get it all out of my system and get to that place where I simply don’t WANT to be sad anymore.  I’m not there yet, but I'm getting there.

I took a couple photos of Lou this morning to always remind me that I made the right decision in regard to her bilateral enucleation.  Just look at the side-by-side comparison above.   I took the photo on the left the day I decided I didn’t want to have her left eye removed because it looked practically normal compared to her right eye.  The photo on the right was taken this morning, just four days later.

On a more upbeat note, I will say that I wasn’t AS emotional as I thought I’d be when I left her at the Animal Care Clinic this morning.  I did give each of her eyes a little kiss good-bye, but because I know her eyes are causing her pain, in a small, weird way I’m actually kind of happy for Lou this morning.  I am just so anxious for her feel better.  I’m also looking forward to watching her adjust and learn new things, including new games that we can play together once she’s all healed.   Yeah, I’d say that I’m to the point right now where I just want all of this pain to end (hers AND mine) so we can start moving on.  In the meantime, this is going to be a looooooong day...


6 comments:

  1. Once she is healed and learning new fun games to play with her mama, I'd really like to meet her in person... meet you both.

    I miss my dogs every day and I think she'd be a blast to play with and sneak extra treats too.

    I love how dogs always know that you have treats in your pocket... they have such a great sense of smell.

    I love how Leo hears my foot steps and somehow just knows it's me coming, before he can even see me, and then he waits for me as I open the front door. If he's in a really deep sleep, I can get in the door without him knowing but as soon as he hears my voice, he comes running. I love how he stops about five steps up and flops over for a belly rub, getting so absorbed that he tumbles down a stair or two because he was enjoying my touch so much that he lost his sense of where he was, even though he is lucky enough to be less than 2 and still have perfectly fine vision.

    So many things I enjoy that have nothing to do with his sight. Thank you for making me think about them and appreciate them a little more today.

    On a separate note... the grieving is important. I hope you pick her up today... that'd be great for both of you. She's going to be scared and that way, you can be scared together. You can begin this new part of your lives together. And you can hold her while you grieve, while you cry. Crying is healthy and necessary in such a situation. I can't imagine truly what you are both going through, but we are sending love your way all day... and Lexie's way too.

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me some encouraging words, Christi. I'm glad that my experience has made you appreciate your cat's eyesight more. Lord knows I feel the same way about Sam and Jocie now! :)

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  2. I don't think people don't think of what you are mourning the loss of, I just think people say what they say because they want to make you feel better. It's hard seeing someone you care about so upset. It is very sad, and we all know that. I hope you don't feel like we aren't acknowledging your sadness. I personally know how heartbroken I am for you, and I'm also mourning the loss of Lexie's eyes, of course. But we just want you to be happy again. We all realize how upsetting this is and how you will be sad for a while, but just know we all have the best of intentions when we say things over and over again.

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    1. I was a little afraid that I was going to come across as sounding as though I get irritated when people tell me that everything is going to be okay. Please let me assure you that that's not what I meant. What I meant was, I'm actually worried that people get irritated with ME for continuing to be sad, even though they keep assuring me that Lexie is going to adjust well to her blindness. I would never begrudge people for trying to help me feel better. You honestly have no idea how much I appreciate you and all of our other friends being so supportive of me right now. I don't know how I'd get through this without you guys. :)

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  3. Sarah Gillian CarltonJune 29, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Amen to both of the above.

    Countless hugs to you, snuggles to lou, and brighter days ahead.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. Brighter days ARE ahead. :)

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