Big thanks to the lovely readers who wrote some comments lately. I am really grateful. Based on the comments the other day, I was motivated to action. I have been thinking in general about the things that I can do for my furgirl right now to take the best possible care of her. So I had a list of questions, and phoned the doctor to make the appointment for the test. He was with a patient so I left a voicemail.
He called me back today with an additional test result that was encouraging. He then asked me if I would like to proceed with the other test. I said that I would, however, I was very concerned because Liesl became very stressed this week with all of the doctor visits, blood tests, scary machines, etc. I explained my concern about having her go through that again so soon and that on top of it I felt that my stress and hyper-vigilance was further stressing her out, so the more stressed she got, the more stress I felt, until it was just feeding each other. I said that I have absolute trust in him that if he felt she needed the test immediately, I would put her in the car today or at his earliest appointment. He was so gracious and compassionate in his response. He said that it is obvious that Liesl and I have a very close relationship, and it would be natural for Liesl to be intuitive to my stress. He said that he would like to do the test to further confirm his suspected diagnosis, however, he felt that we should wait the four weeks until she comes back to look at her bladder stones. He said that by then we can see the effect of the low fat diet on her liver numbers, too.
I told him that I have been trying think of how to take the best possible care of her, and in the meantime, to help her pass the stones, I asked him if I could give her cranberry juice. He said that cranberry juice has been proven to be effective in humans and dogs in urinary tracts, so I could try it. He said that it may not have an effect on the stones but would possibly be good for the rest of the urinary system. While she is not feeling it for the juice, I may blend it with banana and put it in an ice cube tray for her to have pupsicles. I suspect she will have pink beard as result.
I also asked if it would be okay if I made her homemade chicken soup, with some veggies, so that she would have more liquid moving through her system. He said that I could, just make sure that I did not use salt or any veggies with oxalate. I asked him if she would have to stay on the prescription diet after 30 days because I was concerned about the ingredients in the food, like pork by products, which I would never give her otherwise. He then asked me if I would like to cook for her. I said that I would love to and that I would much rather have control of the quality of ingredients that go into her food. He said there is a movement now for more whole foods in dogs diets, and so for a fee of about $200, a nutritionist can put together a whole diet of whole foods based on Liesl's specific dietary needs. I think I will try to do this no matter what diet she ends up on.
What impressed me was how thorough he was in his responses and how compassionate he is about Liesl. I feel blessed that she has a good doctor.
I feel that in addition to the cranberry juice and soup, I can give her lots of love, exercise and play with her so that she is happy. I think these things will increase her endorphin levels, which have a healing effect on the body. I found tonight that while I was laughing, joyful and playing with her, she was happier. She has a little bed in the living room that I will jokingly tell her that I am going to sleep on and then I rest my head on it. Usually she just stands over me, like "What the heck." Tonight she head butted the bed from the opposite side, lifting it from underneath, in an effort to dump my head off her bed. She is sassy, I tell you.
The final thing that I can do is pretty important. Tonight I was invited out to dinner with one of my dearest long term friends.This is a friend who has a way of giving advice and telling me the truth in a way that I absolutely get it. She asked how I was taking care of myself right now. I told her that all of my focus is on Liesl and I will take care of myself after I get through this period. She looked straight at me and said, "Who will take care of Liesl if you get sick again?" She then said that it would seem that if I really want to take the best possible care of Liesl that I need to make sure that I am eating correctly and taking good care of myself so that I can be fully able to do what is necessary. It was a wake up call.
So overall today instead of stressed, I feel blessed. I feel blessed by all of you who pray, send good thoughts, read about this journey, and post comments. I feel blessed that Liesl has the best possible medical care, by someone who is genuinely kind and concerned. I feel blessed by my friends. I feel blessed to have God in my life, walking through all parts of my life journey with me.