Monday, November 5, 2012

Over 10 months since my last posting. How is it that time seems to simply evaporate?

Major life changes occurred on December 23, 2011. Apparently, I was affected by partial seizures--the kind that cause you to black out--and those seizures went on for about 24 hours before my grandson, Jonah, playfully called my cell phone. After a couple of minutes of nonsensical conversation, Amanda called EMS. Following 8 days in Intermediate Care at Seton, I was permitted one night in a regular room before being released. Luckily, I survived and have returned to good health. Over the past 10 months, life has been confusing and frustrating. The doctors had to adjust medications, run tests, adjust medications, run more get the drift.  As far as they can tell, some prescribed antidepressants triggered brainwave activity resulting in a diagnosis of epilepsy. I didn't realize how often this type of situation occurs, but I'm confident in my doctors and the care I've received. Fortunately, life has almost returned to normal--I'm driving again and am on a minimal dose of a single medication for the epilepsy. My energy is lower than it used to be, but that is likely due to the medication. I've also learned that naps are good! : )

Due to the severity of my health situation, I did not return to UT after the holidays. I wrapped up January with sick leave and officially retired on February 1. Since a good bit of this year has been spent getting my health back on track, I've not taken on any significant projects. Caleb and I have taken a sabbatical from therapy work. All of our Divine Canine friends have been terrific, and they are ready to see us back in the saddle again. There was a DC barbecue yesterday, and, even though I was tired afterward, it was a much-needed reminder of how much the dog therapy work means to me. Plus this work has given me many new friends and ways to make a difference for others. After talking to our trainer, I'm expecting that we'll work through the annual renewal test and hit the circuit again in the next month or so.

Early this spring, Asher left to go to a place in the country where he could run and play like a Catahoula should. He was extremely traumatized by my illness, and his anxiety was apparent in so many ways and that was simply not fair to him. It was important to let him be somewhere without worries or was so hard to say goodbye, but that's what we do in rescue work.

In June, a Border Collie baby joined my pack. Micah came from a loving home in Belton, Texas. I'll include a photo because I don't know how to truly describe his beauty. Micah is a sweet, kind and loving boy, and he is extremely laid back for a BC. He has one green eye while the other is swirled green and blue. We have already completed the puppy class at The Center for Canine Training and Behavior.  I agree with Paul's recommendation that we consider Treiball and/or Agility for his next direction in training. I'll be surprised if he doesn't end up in therapy work because of his unusual demeanor, but I want him to be a puppy first. I believe it is important for all dogs to have the time to romp, play, learn and understand what a loving existence can be for them. So, perhaps we will enroll him in therapy work, but that will be after he has his time to be a puppy. And I know Lee would approve!

Iris continues to run the household as always. Since my illness, she prefers to stay as close as possible to me. As I write this, I'm sitting in my red leather chair with Iris affixed to my right thigh! Not long ago, a friend of mine told me that "Iris is not a dog." I must say that I understand his logic. Angels must come in all shapes and sizes in my world.

There is always so much to share. Thank you for caring enough to keep up with my pack and me.
Be well.

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. -C.S. Lewis