This week got off to a really poor start.
Just as we were about to go to bed on Sunday night, Chelsea and I noticed some strange bruising on our dog Lola’s belly. At first, I assumed she might have been itching herself too much and irritated her skin – I assumed there was nothing to worry about. Chelsea smartly thought to Google the symptoms, which indicated that there was actually a lot to worry about. (Bruising on dogs is almost always caused by physical trauma or by some type of issue with their blood.)
We rushed our pup to the only 24-hour pet hospital in the city and had her examined. We sat in a tiny examination room for close to three hours as the people working the night shift drew our fur baby’s blood and ran all kinds of tests. She put up a fight to their needles, and we could hear her squealing from down the hall until they finally gave her a sedative. We found out that our Lola was severely deficient in blood platelets. A healthy dog should have had 148,000. Lola had 2,000.
The hospital workers, who were all very kind and sympathetic, explained that this deficiency was indicative of a blood disease. Sometimes, this disease occurs randomly and dogs are able to get better with treatment. Sometimes, this disease occurs because the dog has cancer. They needed to keep her overnight and do an ultrasound to check for tumors. So, after an extremely tearful good-bye, we arrived home at 2 A.M. without our little doggo.
In addition to the emotional trauma of thinking that our dog might have cancer, we were also hit with a cost estimate of $1,500 to $3,500 in exchange for the really good care that Lola was receiving. That night, we figured out a way to cover the minimum cost and hoped that it would be enough.
The next day, we received amazingly positive news – Lola was cancer free. She showed no signs of a tumor, which meant she only had the blood disease, which is treatable. After Chelsea brought her home, we spent a day keeping up with the full-fledged schedule of medicine the vet had put her on. A lot of pills had to be cut up and secretly rolled into cheese. A lot of medicine was rebelliously spat out onto various surfaces as we tried to give Lola what she needed to get healthy.
In the midst of all of this, Chelsea came down with what we have assumed to be the stomach flu. On Tuesday, I stayed home from class and work to take care of ‘the girls,’ making sure they were each getting the care they needed.
Why am I saying all of this?
I’m not writing this all out to try and make any readers feel bad, nor am I expecting the Internet to care too awful much about what I’ve been through. I am well aware a lot more people have been through much worse than a sick dog and sick partner in the past three days. However, I did give myself some advice throughout all of this that I did want to share.
In my emotional state the other day, when it seemed like my budget for the year was blown out of the water, when my dog was wandering around the house half-sedated and very sickly, when my girlfriend was rendered immobile by nausea – I had a brief pity party for myself. I thought, Why now? Why did so many things have to go so wrong at this particular moment? It’s not fair. Then another, wiser part of me had to give myself a talking to.
It doesn’t do any good to ask ‘Why now?’ or ‘Why me?’
Why wouldn’t all of this happen right now? Clearly, it was supposed to. Chelsea and I were supposed to be put through the test that has been these past few days. When something bad happens, you can say it’s unfair or get mad that it seemed to happen at the worst possible time. I believe that whatever is happening at a given time in my life was supposed to happen then.
I don’t have a salaried job yet or a degree. I’m still technically a “college kid” according to my budget and to a lot of people in my life who are older than me. This semester didn’t get off to the smoothest start; I was just starting to get into the routine of it and feel like myself again. None of that matters to whatever you believe is controlling the universe.
Fate threw me several curveballs in quick succession this week and said, “Here, juggle these.” At first I thought there was no way that I handle all of it. I finally had to have a moment where I told myself that I could do it, otherwise I wouldn’t have been asked to.
You might think it’s cheesy or that it seems unrealistic, but I did it.
Things change quickly. We went from getting ready for bed Sunday night to sitting in a hospital room thinking our dog might have cancer within an hour. That being said, things as they are right now are looking pretty good.
Lola is home from the hospital after a follow-up appointment and she has more platelets than she did on Sunday, so she’s in recovery. Chelsea is still sick, but I know she’s already feeling a lot better now that we know our pup is not in immediate danger. So far, the vet bills have remained manageable and several people have contributed to our GoFundMe to help cover the costs of Lola’s care. And ultimately, Chelsea and I feel even stronger as a couple having been through this experience.
In my situation, I realized that there was no point in asking, Why now? Instead, I forced myself to think, Why not now? I made a conscious decision to trust myself, my relationship and the overall process. So far, it seems to have worked.