Do not resuscitate

The hardest thing about taking an elderly dog to urgent care for a possible seizure is the decisions to be made. I think that the little dog, who is all heart, would, if he were the one making the decisions for me, say, spend every penny for the least chance of keeping his mommy with him a little longer. But I, more analytical, weigh the odds of success and what I expect his quality of life would be. I turn down the X-rays, to search for possible cancer elsewhere in the body that might have spread to the brain, because if a thirteen-year-old dog with a heart murmur now has metastatic cancer that includes a brain tumor, there is no way I’m taking him through cancer treatment. In fact, if he has a brain tumor at all, I won’t treat it. I’ll keep him comfortable and happy for as long as possible. For the same reason, I mark “Do not resuscitate” instead of “CPR” or “Advanced CPR.” And say yes to the overnight observation, the IV, the blood tests that he didn’t already get from his regular vet last month, and an anti-convulsant should he have a seizure while they’re watching him.

He didn’t have another seizure. We’re not sure if what he had yesterday (a couple of minutes of being unable to stand) was a seizure; some cardiac event is also possible. The blood tests came back fine, and Drake stayed chipper overnight, and is in good spirits and walking and climbing stairs today. It’s anyone’s guess how long he’ll stay well, and how much longer we’ll have with him.



Sorry, I haven’t written for awhile. I got a job and it has thrown me off my regular routine.

I almost can’t believe I am working. It is part-time, as a peer mentor. They know of my diagnosis and will understand if I have symptoms.

I have only been there for a month. I was excited to get a paycheck. I took my mother-in-law out to dinner. It was nice being able to treat her.

It is really slow right now. We are just getting ready to open. I know it will change. I have a great schedule, but I don’t know how I will adapt to getting going in the morning.

If you have a serious mental illness and have been disabled for many years, there is hope that you can achieve your goals.

I have no idea what the future holds but I really wanted to at least attempt to work again.

Travel and Stress

We’re back from our big trip, and we have had a week to recover from jet lag. On the whole, the trip was great. But since this is a blog about mood swings, I’ll talk about the stressful parts, and dealing with them.

For me, the more neurotypical member of the family, the main stress of travel is the fact that I have a lifelong phobia of vomiting. Travel offers triggers for that. I’m going on a plane. What if I get air sick? I’ve never been air sick, but there’s always a first time. So I put sea bands on my wrists, and take Dramamine, and bring ginger candy to eat, just in case. Then there’s the opportunity to get sick in other countries. We saw a travel doctor, and got all the cautions: Don’t drink the water. Don’t take ice in your drinks. Don’t eat fresh vegetables. (When you get a tasty looking salad brought to the table along with the cooked meal you ordered, just eat the cooked food and give the salad a pass.) And we got antibiotics, which came in handy when my husband slipped, had a sandwich with a bit of lettuce and tomato, and got sick.

For my husband, who has bipolar disorder, there’s another source of stress: time changes. We had a couple of long days when we barely got any sleep because we were travelling for, say, 24 hours. He got an increase in his mood stabilizer to ward off mania, and did his best to get onto a good sleep schedule quickly.

Then there are the ordinary stresses of the trip: He lost a crown in London, and needed an emergency dental visit. We got pickpocketed in Paris, at the cost of 80 euros. We almost missed one flight (but convinced them to let us check in an hour before departure, though they said at first that check in was closed). And there are a large number of things that must not be lost, meaning inevitable searches to find one or another of these things.

Finally, there’s the return home, with all the ordinary household inconveniences while we’re still jet lagged.

On the whole, I think we did pretty well. Seeing the travel doctor beforehand helped, and having my husband talk with all his doctors and his psychiatrist ahead of time also helped.