Archive | June, 2012

Saying goodbye to an old friend

29 Jun

RIP Oscar 2007 – 2012

This is a post that I didn’t want to write for a while, it hurt to acknowledge – to take the time to think about.

Over the past month I have been thinking about this a lot and have decided that I need to take a moment to honour our friend Oscar and let you all know of his passing.

Oscar was Stephen and I’s first baby, we adopted him about a month after our wedding, he was so small and cute, only five and a half weeks old (reflecting back -way to young to have been separated from his mommy). We heard about him through friends at work who had known someone who knew someone else who had a little of cute lab/collie puppies (In actuality we think he was mixed with wolfhound, he was very tall, handsome and weighed over 120lb). We had made arrangements to adopt a girl puppy, but when we got there we noticed a very special puppy, one who was actually staring at us – Oscar.

Oscar the day we brought him home

Oscar was our baby – he loved spending time with us, we took him on all sorts of road trips and he always loved visiting with his grandma and grandpa.

As a baby pup he got up to all sorts of trouble, he loved to dine on our shoes and at times even snack on our walls. We had a great time with him, he got us outside playing, he brought a lot of joy and fun into our lives.

Oscar Snoozing

When he was six months old disaster struck, Oscar ingested a pair of my fanciest underwear after having gotten into our laundry. Later that day they did pass but not without doing deadly damage – Oscar began deteriorating fast and it quickly became shockingly apparent that he was dying. Stephen and I rushed him to an animal hospital on the other side of town where they were able to admit him into surgery for his intussesception. Leaving him there broke my heart, I had desperately wanted to stay by his side but we could only go home and wait. The next day we received news that everything had gone well and that he was recovering. Stephen and I were so happy we couldn’t wait to take him home again.

Days later we returned to the animal hospital expecting to pick up a tired and weak dog, but like a bullet from hell Oscar pulled the veterinary assistant towards us and Oscar promptly told us off for leaving him there.

As Oscar aged he began to develop allergies, by age one we had already visited the vet for paw infections, eye infections, ear infections and various skin issues. It was a constant cycle, once one reaction was under control another one would pop up. We changed his diet, we gave him antihistamine injections, pills, special baths and skin oils but nothing really helped.

As the years rolled by the allergies increased in intensity so much that the only relief was felt during the coldest winter months, buying him some happiness from November through to February, not to say that he wasn’t still suffering but at least it was more manageable and he could walk without being plagued with itching fits.

When I was pregnant, Oscar was always by my side. As I changed, so did he, the bigger I got the gentler he treated me. This was huge since he was so HUGE and pranced around like a 10 pound terrier. It wasn’t unusual for him to step on your toes to get somewhere he wanted to go. But like I said, when I was pregnant he treated me differently. He would lie with his head near my stomach, listening to his sister dance in my belly.

Hanging out with his newborn sister

Oscar was a great big brother to Lauren, he loved her so much. Only she could get a morning kiss from him, and we didn’t have to worry too much about him with her, he seemed almost scared of hurting her and would always keep a great distance. Obviously he knew that there was a new Alpha in town.

Lauren was thrilled that her brother decided to sit with her

As time passed and Lauren got sicker, Oscar seemed to as well. His allergies plagued him worse than ever over the past year. Nothing we did seemed to help him or relieve him or his suffering. The more he suffered the more aggressive he became – he wasn’t horribly aggressive towards us but he began going after strangers on walks or anyone who dared visit from outside of our family.

The past year we had a very mild winter, this was great news for most of us. For Oscar, the mild weather was a sentence to pain and suffering. by May he had chewed his skin raw and his beautiful coat was bald with gaping wounds. He couldn’t walk four feet without trying to itch himself, and he began crying through the night. We tried to think of way that would help him, but we had exhausted our options. We had dog insurance that had allowed us to afford many different treatments but they had all failed, poor Oscar was suffering. It broke my heart, but we couldn’t let him continue like this.

Making the decision to let Oscar go peacefully was so hard, with one child already dying it seemed so wrong to decide to end another ones life. Sure he’s a doggie, but he was our son, our first baby and all I wanted in my life was to comfort him and to love him. Love – that is how I decided, I truly loved him, I couldn’t let him suffer anymore – it was horribly unfair.

Steve and I were with him at the end, i lay on the vet floor with him, holding him until the end. When he was gone, I broke down into storm of tears, apologizing to him over and over. I pressed my head into his fur and held him close, I never wanted to let go.

Oscar was a great dog, I wish that we could have done something to save him.

Stephen said something to me that I think of all of the time and wanted to share, he said that “Oscar came into our lives and he prepared us for having a baby, now he was helping us to prepare to lose Lauren.”

I’m sure that he will take great care of Lauren when she meets him in Heaven.

I love and miss you everyday Oscar xoxo

Oscar with Steve at 10 weeks old

Mommy’s Turn! Oscar and I at 10 weeks old

Oscar’s favorite place (Angel Woods) with his favourite Gal

And another shot with his daddy

We will always love you Oscaroo!

A break in the clouds

23 Jun

When I wrote our last posting I was sad and momentarily overwhelmed.

I’m happy to report that the past week and a half has been different, life is slightly easier. Many of the disagreements and problems that were clouding our lives have evaporated, leaving us breathing a little easier.

We are truly fortunate, Lauren is doing relatively well for a baby with Krabbe disease. She looks beautifully healthy, rosy cheeks and a chubby appearance. In fact, when we are out, many people just see a healthy sleeping baby girl. Lauren’s eyes are almost always partially shut, which I think is related to her vision loss, but she doesn’t mind that people think she’s napping.

Although she occasionally chokes a little on her saliva, she actually barely drools and hasn’t needed suctioning. She doesn’t need oxygen yet. She still hears us, and even gives us the occasional smile.

When Lauren is upset, hand holding with mommy can often calm her down.

She loves her daddy – they have a special relationship. She even tries to talk to him sometimes. Her most favourite is nap time with daddy on the weekends!

I want to share a cute video of Lauren laughing at mommy, it’s very subtle but you can see it!

Lauren Laughing at Mommy

Lauren enjoying a nice summer day by the poppies

Feeling a little run down

7 Jun

It’s 1 o’clock in the morning and after aimlessly searching through Netflix for some form of entertainment that just isn’t there,  I have decided to write an update while an old/new episode of Beverly Hills 90210 drones on in the background. It’s so hard to find anything of interest on TV lately (or anything else for that matter)

I guess I’m going through a bit of a mental rough patch. Everything just seems more difficult lately, I feel like we are in a constant battle to keep our daughter comfortable and cared for in the way that we feel is appropriate.

Lauren’s diagnosis threw our lives upside down, the first few months afterwards felt dark. It was winter, we stayed in a lot and we were mourning the eventual loss of our daughter. Come January, we were tired of feeling sorry for ourselves – we were going to live, and enjoy every last moment (no matter how painful) that was afforded to us. We started taking Lauren to physio, massage, osteopath and any other form of therapy that we thought might help ease her pain.

We weren’t looking for a miracle cure, we knew there wasn’t one. We acknowledged that Lauren was only here for a short visit but that she still deserved to live the life of a child (or an abstract version). Lauren deserved to experience the world, to feel the sensation of floating in water, to feel a warm breeze caress her toes, to have the sun warm her face, to see beautiful things and hear beautiful music as long as her body would allow it.

I still believe in this today, but am having a hard time in keeping my sadness at bay. Lauren still experiences moments of joy but its tough not to let the gravity of her disease overshadow these moments. Each loss is heart wrenching  – Lauren’s vision is almost gone, she can see lit up objects and shiny items but with every passing day I can see her remaining vision slipping away. She still smiles and laughs occasionally, but they a fewer a father in between than they used to be. I want to appreciate every single one she has left, but my heart is so heavy and I spend a lot of time fearing that each laugh or smile may be her last.

Krabbe disease is harsh and cruel, my daughter is dying and this disease will not let her go peacefully. It strips her senses and abilities, but she is so strong. She fights to laugh and smile even though this disease has shackled her.

What I find most difficult about our situation though is not the disease itself. Yes it’s horrible and hard, but what bothers me the most is how hard we have to work to care for her. Our local medical team will never see her through our eyes and understand that she still can experience joy, they don’t understand why we are opposed to sedating her. I am so tired and drained from trying to explain that we know that she is dying but that she can still enjoy life, she is still responsive. As her mommy and daddy we know when she is happy and we can see when she is sad. We know what medications she responds to the best and we challenge when something doesn’t make sense for her. Lately though, I just feel like these challenges are piling up.

I wish that I could just stop the outside noise sometimes and just love Lauren as much as I can without distraction.

Ahh enough of that! Here are some cute recent photos.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support us through our Journey with Lauren it is your help and encouragement that makes our days a little easier.

Lauren Lounging in her pretty Dress, she actually moved her arm into that position on her own.

Quality time with Daddy

Daddy got a turn in the pool with Lauren

A picture of mommy with baby – She was feeling left out 🙂