Sunday, February 22, 2015

God, this is so hard.

I'm writing this down to clarify my own thought processes, because I swear I still don't know the right thing to do. Tomorrow is Monday, and I will have to go to work, and leave a sick little dog again. I couldn't bring myself to take him on that last vet trip yesterday, and sure enough, he had moments of apparent improvement. Each momentary shadow of his former "Murphyness" makes me want to give him more time. I just don't know if that's the right thing to do.

So, last night Murphy got out of bed, got a drink of water, ate a few dabs of low-fat soft cheese, and had an enormous, epic diarrhea attack - one of those "How did all of that come out of such a tiny body?" productions. Afterward he seemed downright perky for a few minutes - I'm sure he felt much better after getting all of that out of his system, so to speak.

I've been hovering over him, administering fluids by dropper, hand-feeding him tiny bites of this and that in bed. Last night I decided that the best course of action would be to withdraw the ICU level care and see how he can cope on his own.  No more droppers of water and broth in his mouth, etc. If he can't get out of bed to get a drink of water, I need to face that. And then he got out of bed and got a drink of water.

He's eating, but very little - a few bites here and there.  He's drinking, but very little, a few sips a few times a day. He's spending 23+ hours a day in his little bed, and rarely leaves it voluntarily

I slept in my own bed last night, and left him in his cozy bed in the living room (it's just a few feet away). He didn't care a bit, unlike the night before when he wanted me near him.  I woke at 5 a.m., half dreading checking on him. I had no idea if he'd be alive.

He was. And he got out of bed under his own power, got a drink of water, and ate a few bites of chicken and a couple of bites of egg.  Then he went back to bed. He'll pick up his head now and then and look around, looking somewhat alert - then put his head down again.  His eyes are sunken. I know he's not eating and drinking enough to sustain life, let alone resume his normal old dog life.

Writing it down like this, I know what I'd be thinking if this were someone else, and someone else's dog. I'd be encouraging that person to let him go - his quality of life is virtually non-existent. He's hanging on by a thread.  Yes, he got out of bed and ate a few bites of food - yay!  But it was nothing approximating an actual meal, just a tablespoon or two of chicken. I found a bite of the egg I thought he'd eaten in his bed - he'd dropped it and didn't notice or care.

I said I'd know when it was time, when his essential "Murphyness" was gone and he was ready to be done with this shadow of his former happy life.  I think he is ready to be done. The problem is me.

The vet's office opens at 11. I'll call for an appointment. I promise I'll tell them how it is, and follow their recommendation.


Jan said...

I wish I could go with you. Sending you both hugs.

Karen said...

It sounds like so many of us know personally what a heartbreaking moment this is for you. Your vet will be the voice to help make that hard decision. Sending you prayers, moral support, and whatever comfort that knowing others understand will provide at this hard time.

MKH said...

You just need to remember we are their caretakers and we need to do what is best for them. Unfortunately I've ridden that roller coaster many times and it is very hard. Peace to you and Murphy and lots of hugs.

Brenda B said...

Maybe that ultrasound would be a good idea if it gives you peace of mind. I took Teddie to an emergency vet when she was like Murphy, and that vet took an x-ray. (This was 15 years ago.) It showed that every organ in that little body had something wrong with it, and that made the decision easier for me. Most importantly, I never second-guessed it in the weeks to come. Again---my heart is going out to you.

KatyaR said...

I totally understand. I would want every last minute with him. I an horrible about making these kinds of decisions, and then I feel bad that I didn't do something sooner. I hope your vet will help you decide what to do. Basie and I are holding you close today.

Joan said...

What Brenda B says is very sensible advice. And as all the previous commenters have said, we would all want just a little more time... Trust your vet and trust your gut feeling, it is the greatest kindness you can give to Murphy now.

Anonymous said...

This is such a hard time - sending you both hugs and support.

Linda said...

It's a very hard decision to make and sorry you are at that point. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you take this last journey with Murphy.