Gratitude & Grief.

Dolly had her one month post-op Echocardiogram today.  This is when they take a picture of Dolly’s heart using similar equipment to what they use to see a fetus in a mother’s womb.  An Echo is basically an ultrasound of the heart.  Dolly has never had one while she was awake.  We tried once and it was a TOTAL disaster.  So this time, when the Cardiologist told me we needed to try doing this without sedation, because Dolly will have MANY of these in her little life, and it would be good for her to get used to them, I thought…

Good luck, sucka.

I thought they would never get the information they needed.  So, I prepared myself for waiting another week or two before we got any answers about whether the really intense medication regimen and more than a little annoying Oxygen therapy we’re doing is helping heal her lungs.

Turns out, they were right and I was wrong.  Dolly rocked Echo Room 2.

I let her play with some fun lights and enjoy her favorite snack…Pringles.

Then it was time to chat with the Cardiologist.  She likes to do some medical play before hand.  She listens to her sock monkey, RedButt, to make sure her heart is doing alright.

By the time the Cardiologist was ready to give us the results, Dolly was happy and giggly.  Her exam looked great.

Her Echo looked beautiful.

I whooped out loud with joy.  Dolly thought that was very funny.  The pressures in Dolly’s lungs still aren’t normal, but they’re less than half of what they were last month.  She is breathing easier.  Her lungs are the best they’ve ever sounded.

I am so eternally grateful.

We got home from celebrating this major victory for our girl’s heart only to be met with a very significant loss.  When we arrived home we found our family cat laying in the shower in our master bath barely breathing.  He had been not quite himself overnight and we had asked the vet to come at 4 thinking that he would be alright until then.  When we arrived home at 3, it was very obvious to me that not only was he in pain, but he was also in critical condition.  We sat next to him as he lay in the shower, the kids came in and out petting him.  As I sat there, I remembered that he had come first.

Linus was the first pet FPD and I owned.  We adopted him as a kitten from a local shelter the year before we were married.  He was an amazing cat.  He watched eight children come into our home, with each one, he was the first to break down the walls and love on them.  I remember Bubbly being terrified of our beagle, but loving Linus from the moment she met him.  She bent down to pet him the first day she came into our home.  She loved the way he wound around her legs, purring.  All the kids always counted him as a member of the family.  When we tell people how many people live in our home the kids always shout “and Bosco and Linus!”

The vet came an hour after we came home and promised to do her best to save him from the bladder blockage that was plaguing him.  She called two hours later to tell us his sweet heart had failed during the procedure.

The kids were devastated.  I am devastated.

I also feel horribly guilty that I didn’t do more.  I will always regret that while he poured out unconditional love to all of us, I let him lie there in pain all day while we went out to celebrate our new baby’s heart.  I’m so sorry, Linus.  I should have done better.  You came first, and I put you last.

who is grateful and grieving all at once.

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