Life with Arfur

An irreverent look at living with arthritis

2017: A Nightmare

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Let me apologise in advance. There is no humour in this post. It’s one of the hardest I’ve ever written.

They say 2016 was a bad year. So many celebs died last year. But for me 2017 is shaping up much worse, and everything began to go downhill on February 27th. That was the day I fell in the back garden and damaged my right ankle. But my pain and general health troubles are nothing at the side of the problems which have developed since.

Angela and her daughters, Hannah & VIctoria

First it was the news that my daughter has been struck down with Motor Neurone Disease. This terrible illness hit without warning, and all I can say is, Angela is battling with all the courage and tenacity of her father, if not more.

Soon after we got that news, we came home after a Saturday morning shopping expedition to find Joe, our lunatic Jack Russell cowering under the radiator by the front windows. We guessed he had fallen off the settee, landed on his back and hurt himself.

Joe when he was fit and well

Six weeks on, Joe is seriously ill. Hardly able to breathe, he’s suffering from non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema; fluid on the lungs, and we cannot understand where it’s come from. He is weak, and most of the time he looks as if he’s on the point of death. He’s had one set of X-rays, which reveal the extent of the problem, but not the underlying cause, as a result of which, we haven’t yet balanced his treatment.

It’s distressing to see this dog who, just a few short weeks ago was bounding around like a 2-year-old, barely able to walk fifty yards before he has to be carried back. We’re hand-feeding him because he doesn’t have the strength to bend his neck and eat, and he’s on more prescriptions than me.

In case you think we’re being cruel and ducking the real issue, let me correct you. We were at the vet’s this morning (Sunday) and I brought up the subject with Barbara. Are we looking at euthanasia? Regardless of the emotional pain it will cause us, I will not have this dog suffer one more minute than he has to.

But it’s a tough call. Aside from his breathing difficulties Joe is alert and responsive, and he’s the wonderful companion we’ve always known. Should we put him down if there is a chance of recovery?

No.

He goes back to the vet on Tuesday for more investigations. If they cannot find an answer, then we May have to confront the awful reality.

But until then, he’s still part of this family.

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