Saturday, April 9, 2011
My Dog's Sixth Sense Warned Me
Although I wasn't there at the time Joey was adopted, he and I became best of friends and were connected at the hip. I had moved into my twin sister's home when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Too sick to work, he and I spent every waking moment together. He made the difficult days of chemo and radiation tolerable with his kisses and loyal companionship. He often laid in bed with me especially when the chemo had proved to be too much and I didn't want to be alone. My furry friend even accompanied me to radiation once a week. All the patients fell in love with him and looked forward to his smiling face in the car. A kiss from Joey gave them a needed boost before and after their treatment.
Chemotherapy was getting really rough for me as the drugs they put in your veins have a cumulative effect. Simply put, this means that with every treatment, you become sicker and sicker. Unfortunately, I was one of those people that became incredibly nauseous from it. I couldn't hold down most foods for the life of me, except for crackers and icecream. I was on a medication for the naseau which didn't help and gave me constipation.
My older brother Dan was over, helping Laura pull out patio furniture for the summer season. I was very weak from the several weeks of chemo. I noticed Joey was following very close behind me all day. He seemed upset and I tried to figure out what was wrong. He even tried to get in the shower with me that morning and he's usually scared to death of water. Till this day, we have to bring him to petco to get bathed. I figured he sensed I was weak and wanted to be there for me if I fell. (Can you tell I think my dog is a genius?)
I was sitting on the throne and realized I was very constipated. I was in excruciating pain and felt light-headed. I got up slowly and walked out to the deck to get Laura. I said, "Laura, something is wrong, will you follow me back to the bathroom?" She noticed immediately that I was white as a ghost. The last thing I remember was Laura and Joey looking at me on the toilet. My next memory was hearing Laura screaming, "oh my God, Linda, please wake up." My darling sister was attempting to throw me over her shoulder. As I came to, I said, "don't even think about it sis, put me down and just walk me to my room." I asked Laura what had happened and she explained that I passed out when I sat on the toilet. She nervously told me that I quit breathing and she caught me as I passed out and slumped over. She was screaming for me to wake up. I was now laying in Laura's arms on my bed until the paramedics came. Three EMT's walked in my room and started assessing the situation. As I started explaining what had happened, my beautiful dog jumped on the bed and layed his head in the nape of my neck. The two women and one man were very choked up seeing Joey's display of loyalty and love. Joey knew all along that something wasn't right with me. He whined as I was lifted into the ambulance.
The medical term for what happened to me is called, "neurogenic shock or circulatory collapse." It is brought on when the body is in severe physical or emotional pain. I had never known what it was like to be constipated until this event. Let me tell you, constipation is not for sissies.
To this day, Joey and I have a deep connection that can never be broken. He and I are best friends and I can't imagine life without him.