Strike Three Kinda Hurt

I am admitting to be a bad mom here. (Pretend that you're shocked.) I start out with good intentions, setting my alarm so that I can rouse the troops in time for school. And that's kind of where my duties as a good mom end. They're on their own from there. Brushing their hair or eating breakfast is kinda optional and I leave that choice up to them. (You know, building independence and confidence and all that.) I do manage to notice them long enough to put a nix on shorts in sub-zero weather, and ask if they have their backpacks.

So this morning was like any other. And I was zoning in my own little world wishing I didn't have to get up with the kids so stinking early (you've felt that way, too. Don't judge.) when Luke says "my eye was all crusty this morning. I had to pick lots of stuff off it."

I snapped to attention and focused in on his baby blues. Only it was more like pink-and-blue-and-puffy. Drat. He stayed home today and we got to visit the doctor. This was especially fun because I'd already decided that the puppies were going to the vet today. Gigantor just keeps growing and Wee Nessie just won't. It's time to let the vet worry about it; I've been for 3 weeks.



So while we were waiting for Micah's van to pick him up, I decided to change him. Sending him to school in pajamas is only cool on pajama day, and that's not today. Oh, look! His staph infection seems to have made another appearance on his little bum cheeks. So I scribbled a hasty note to the school explaining what it was (along with the fact that it's not contagious and they could stop panicking now) and requested they apply some of the cream that I've so thoughtfully enclosed when they change his diaper.

And then I got a phone call from the school nurse. Um, stupid new mom, we cannot administer any medication or ointment without the express written consent of a doctor. Here's our fax number. Something tells me that nurse was not humored by my "you can stop panicking now" note.

Today was an extra special kind of day because we got a doctor-in-training to do Luke's prep. I even got to teach her something - dogs and kids can share pink eye. (One of the dog crew had pinkish eyes upon close inspection this morning. It may or may not mean anything and since we have drops on hand I administered liberally. Yes, we are our own canine pharmacy.) The trainee didn't completely believe the weirdness I'd told her so she confirmed with the Dr. when he came in the room. He confirmed, she learned, I felt I did my good deed for the day.

We headed to the vet to get the puppies looked at. I voiced my concern for dwarfism, which would not have been fun at all. I also knew, if diagnosed, that the best thing would be to put Wee Ness to sleep. The vet said I'd made a good judgement call, but his diagnosis was more along the lines of hydrocephalis. The final outcome was the same as dwarfism, and we both knew this. My vet rocks. He couldn't be more kind, considerate, sympathetic and professional. And yet I stood there and cried like a baby. Darn me - I knew going in that we probably wouldn't be coming home with Nessie. Mother Nature can cull the weak and sickly from among a litter and I take it in stride. It's Nature's way. But there's something vastly different about me having to make the choice to take a life. Playing God is not my strong point.

There's such a fine line in this dog raising business between loving dogs enough to actually have a bazillion around (a least one of them not housebroken at any given time) and learning to separate yourself from them enough to not care when bad things happen. There are occasions when that line gets awfully fuzzy and difficult to find.

Luke and I spent our time in town treating ourselves to a Happy Meal and Starbucks. Sometimes you've gotta buy happiness if you've left yours at the vet. But given the grand scheme of things, I'd rather lose another dog than be told that my son will never talk. It's all about priorities and perspective.

21 comments:

Aimee said...

I, too, am familiar with Ye Olde Pinke-Eye and the magic salve that goes along with it. But we don't have a dog to share the germs with, so at least I am grateful for that :)

I'm so sorry for your sucktastic day. Thinking of you . . .

Flea said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of Wee Nessie. Regardless of why, it's hideously painful. I'm so sorry.

Andrea said...

Yuck, pink eye! I have never had to deal with that, knock on wood. Poor kid.

I am with you on being so sad when putting down animals. I had a cat, I hate cats, and she had to be put down, I cried like a baby.

I do hope the McDonald's and Starbucks helped.

Leanne said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I've only ever had to put down an animal once and, two years later, I'm still not over it.

I'm feeling really bad for you over here.

I didn't know that dog's can share pink eye with humans either. Isn't it wonderful what we learn on blogs?

Michelle said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about Nessie! I was really rooting for her. That's a hard, hard choice to make... and kudos to you for making it before her quality of life became miserable. Poor things. Luke, too! Out of curiosity, how long is pink eye contagious? At least you were going to the doctor who could then fax a note to the school for you rather than having to make a special trip/call for it! Yep, all over the board tonight. Deal :)

Karen said...

Wow, I'm am completely exhausted for you. All of that, in just one day. I'm sorry about Nessie. I'm sorry about the pink eye, too. That is a really big deal at our house. If my son gets pink eye, it could mean another cornea transplant and nobody wants that.
That darn staph infection is out to make you crazy. I can just tell. Amazing how it doesn't seem to bother Micah. I'm certain that tomorrow will be better.

Nap Warden said...

Oh man...I'm so sorry. That's just a bummer:(

Cecily R said...

Oh, I'm sorry! I know how much you love those puppies.

And pink eye, yuck! At least its fairly easy to treat, right??

Incidentally, Gracie wants to go to school in her jammies all the time. In her defense, they ARE pretty cute...

Teresa said...

I just don't know how you do it, you are an amazing woman. None of us want to get up in the morning, Lord knows I cringe when I look at the clock. 2 good things for my morning: 1. my boys wear uniforms so thats easy & 2. I set clothes out the night before now. Its made my morning just a little less hectic.
Good luck w/the rest of the pups, seems like this litter has been a tough one.

the planet of janet said...

oh man, i was rooting for the wee thing.

that so bites.

caramama said...

Wow. That was a really rough day. I'm so sorry about Nessie, about Luke's eye and about Micah's returning staff infection! I hope things look up soon.

JennyH said...

That is so sad. I know how attached we become to animals. I too would have been crying my eyes out.

Hope the pink eye goes away fast and that no one else gets it. It seems to spread like wild fire!

Hope today is better!

Momisodes said...

I'm so sorry. Poor little Nessie. I don't think I could ever do what you do.

Hope the pink eye and staph infection clear up soon.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Awwww, crap! What a sucky day! I have to say that you sound so familiar, though! Like I know some muthur, er, mother just like you. Oh, ME. And that's the way all the school mornings went for all my kids life and they are pretty independent people, too. So I think it all turned out well.

Kidzmama said...

A crappy day all around. No one's ever prepared for them. So sorry about the wee bitty one. If she were in the wild...

And yes, it's all in your perspective. I think you've got yours in the perfect place.

Debbie Yost said...

So sorry about poor little Nessie. What a rough day all around. I agree, sometimes you just have to buy the happiness.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Wow Karen, you definitely get it thrown at you from all directions. The line about buying happiness was really beautiful.I'm sorry about Nessie. really sorry :-(

nutmeg96 said...

Aw man, I'm so sorry about your pup. I know it's "just a dog" but it's still really sad. :(

Karen Deborah said...

wow now that was a bummer of a day, yep buy happiness, chocolate whatever it takes. 3 strikes like that and I'd take to my bed. you'd have to an in human oger not to cry over the puppy, and pink eye ain't no picnic. that crap is CONTAGIOUS how dumb was that intern? See you were very nice you helped their education, I would've been thinkin they were dumber than dirt,... how mean. oh well. I thought the whole world knew that pink eye infects all of the above. How about fish?

Colleen said...

I'm so sorry about Nessie. I had to put my cat, George, down after 18 months of battling cancer. The hardest part wasn't letting go, it was making that decision to put him down.
Big hugs...I hope your coffee and Happy Meal helped a little.

Michelle said...

I'm so so sorry for the loss of Wee Nessie...I'm sure no matter how many times you go through the loss of a puppy it just can't get easier.