2018 kicked my ass.
I know the year is only seven days old, and I’m not one to make any grandiose New Year’s resolutions or declarations, but this first week of January certainly did not go very smoothly for me and my little family.
As 2017 drew to a close, it became very apparent to me that I was one of the only people on social media who actually had a good year. And while I’m not a huge fan of resolutions, I was looking forward to saying goodbye to the holiday season and getting back on track with my writing, housework, and normal eating. (Wait, Ferrero Rochers aren’t a food group)?
My New Year’s Day plans included getting back on track with my novel in progress, watching the NHL’s Winter Classic, and making a big pot of vegetable soup. I also wanted to clean up the Christmas paraphernalia of packaging and reusable gift bags littering my dining room and mop away the chalky residue of rock salt on my floors.
But, in typical “Quirky & Confused” fashion, the first few days of 2018 did not go as planned.
By mid-morning on January first, J and I knew that something was wrong with our eleven-year-old spaniel/retriever mix Comet. He was hanging his head low towards the ground, whimpering when moving, and shaking like a leaf. The trembling was so bad we thought he might be having a seizure, so we hauled off to the emergency vet . . . where, of course, half the pets in Western Pennsylvania were also spending their holiday.
Three hours and two hundred and eighty-four dollars later, we left the vet with three different prescriptions and a diagnosed mild neck injury for our fur kid. I spent the next several hours shoving pills into marshmallows and trying to explain to a confused dog why he couldn’t run up the stairs or jump on the beds.
That night, Comet was extremely restless, whimpering from time to time and begging to be let outside no less than five times. I probably garnered a total of three hours of sleep, and stumbled into work on Tuesday looking like a hungover college kid. I honestly don’t know how I made it through both my full time and part time jobs without a nap.
Luckily, Wednesday was a bit better, and Comet was already starting to perk up. By the time Thursday rolled around, I was feeling pretty good about how we’d handled our first roadblock of 2018, and was very much looking forward to going to the Pens game that night. J had won tickets through work, and considering his second-shift schedule doesn’t allow us to spend much time together, it would be a rare opportunity for us to spend a weeknight out.
(WARNING: GROSS WORDS AHEAD)
J and I, wearing our hockey jerseys, coats, and hats, let Comet outside five minutes before we left for the game. We were braving the bitter cold temperatures for our favorite sports team and wouldn’t be back for several hours.
But when Comet came back in the house, he had blood all over his backside. It didn’t take long for us to figure out that he was having trouble going to the bathroom, and what was coming out could only be described as bloody diarrhea. Oddly enough, Comet was still wagging his tail, running, eating, and drinking like normal. He showed absolutely no signs of distress other than the fact that it looked like he’d just given birth.
We called the emergency vet, but of course they couldn’t make any diagnosis over the phone. We called our regular vet, who made us an appointment for the next day, stating that as long as Comet wasn’t lethargic or vomiting, they didn’t consider what was happening a life-threatening emergency.
Out of concern for our pooch, we stayed home from the game and ended up giving the tickets to a co-worker. That night was as restless as the one on January first, and my anxiety-riddled mind was going a hundred miles a minute wondering what could possibly be wrong with my pup.
By noon the next day, our vet had determined that Comet had an intestinal bug. He prescribed antibiotics and that was that.
Comet is still acting pretty normal, and right now my biggest concerns are washing the bloody/poopy blanket he soiled and trying to figure out how to disguise giant pills in foods. (He’s caught onto the marshmallow trick, as well as the tricks with peanut butter, ice cream, cream cheese, and fruit snacks).
The Best Laid Plans . . .
I am beyond grateful that nothing is seriously wrong with my fur kid. This first week of 2018 has felt like it lasted a month, but I’m glad that it seems like we’ll come out alright (knock on wood).
With anxiety, on top of the fear, worry, and uncertainty that a normal person would have in unexpected scary situations, I also have a lot of thoughts about how things “should be.” I definitely struggled with these thoughts as I cared for Comet and neglected my “to do” list over the last few days, but the fact that Comet is doing much better is helping me put these thoughts in perspective. Because all that matters is him getting healthy. I know that perspective is a big part of “beating” anxiety, and I hope that this is something I can continue to work on through 2018.
So my house is still a bit of a mess, my novel hasn’t been attended to in several days, and I’m still eating leftovers and quick meals. But I’m trying not to stress. I have 358 days to make 2018 awesome.