Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Special Bond

This weekend I succeeded in getting my parents to take some time for themselves and go out to their beach house. Since I was house-sitting, my friend Jackie came over to visit and, as we were chatting, my dog Lily (who I first wrote about in "A Fuller Picture") came zig-zagging toward us. She looked up at me with two bright, red eyes and suddenly her paws gave out from under her. She collapsed and, for the next 10 minutes, Lily just wasn't...there. Her limbs went limp and she was unresponsive to anything. Trying to keep my cool (and failing), Jackie and I rushed her right over to the vet. Sure enough, he confirmed that Lily suffered either a severe seizure or a stroke.

My poor, sweet pup. I stroked her during the exam and I think she knew I was taking care of her. We stuck by each other throughout the night and, while I can't say I slept more than two hours because I was obsessively checking on her, today she is back to being Lily and I'm recovering too. Thank you again, Jackie, for all your help yesterday. You were fantastic.

I want to share part of an e-mail I got from someone who is quickly becoming one of the most important people in my life. Her name is Kate Brabon and she lives in Melbourne, Australia. We met when she found my blog. Kate is also living with Spondylitis at the same age. While I plan to do a whole post on the amazing Kate, for now let me share this bit from her letter this morning:

"... It’s just so lucky that you were there when it happened so could get her straight to the vet...I remember reading that you said she’s so in-tune with how you are feeling and just knows when you need comforting. It sounds like there is such a special bond there and I’m sure she feels so comforted having you by her side when she’s not well..."

Kate's totally right and, as usual, she knew the most comforting thing to say at the time. I believe there's a reason Lily is my dog. We're there for each other and when I'm in pain, she is too. I think anyone in chronic pain should have an animal by their side. More than I ever thought possible, Lily knows when I'm sad or  hurting and I can see in her eyes that she wants to make things better. It's a special bond we have and yesterday it felt like I was just re-paying a friend. Here's hoping that episode was a one time thing...



  1. Poor Lily. I am sorry that this happened. Because you suffer from chronic illness, you can really relate to Lily. Get well Lily.

  2. AnonymousJune 13, 2010

    Hi Maya, it's Emily (Kate' sister) I completely know what you mean, I feel that way about my cat Simba he sits with me whenever I'm not feeling good, animals are so intuitive, I hope Lily is ok, I'm still updating myself with ur blog, I'm really enjoying it :) xxx

  3. Lana: Thanks so much, I'll pass on your get well wishes to my pup <3

    Emily: I'm so happy to know you're reading! :) I now know for SURE I'd fit right in to your family. Simba sounds so special - I think that's who Kate sent me a picture of sitting in your Christmas tree? So adorable. Lots of love to you xox

  4. Emily CashJune 13, 2010

    haha that was Diego, our kitten, he's cute bit a little monster sometimes!! Lol! No I love him really, he has a sister Nala, they're both nearly 2 but I call them 'the kittens' they tend to run wild and Simba is much calmer, (he's 10 after all).. Hope you and Lily are ok you're both going through such a hard time....yes I love reading ur blog, am reading bits each day I love it it's so insightful and your poems are lovely, I write poems too but nowhere near as good as yours!! Lots of love to you too xx

  5. awww 3 kitties. Can't wait to meet them some day. I would LOVE to read one of your poems!!! Kate sent me one of hers and I was blown away. Thanks so much for what you said about my writing, Em. Means everything...


  6. oh, that must have been so scary! i'm glad to hear that lily is okay.

  7. Thanks Jodi. It WAS terrifying, but I think it may have just been a freak incident. She's back to chasing birds much to my dismay haha <3

  8. Just ran across your blog, I'm glad Lilly is ok.

    "I think anyone in chronic pain should have an animal by their side." I couldn't agree more with you. We have 3 dogs and a cat, they really do help (even though somedays they can be a pain in the butt!). Our lives would be boring without them.

  9. I'm so glad you were there when Lily needed you most. I totally understand how you can have a connection with her. I think animals and small children are gifted with a special sense of what is needed. May you have many good days and may a cure be found soon.

    I had never heard of Spondylitis, but I have so many of the symptoms and illnesses that seem to go with it that I am gonna' ask my Fibromyalgia doc about it, next time I see him. In fact, the last five and a half weeks have been pure torture to survive. Thanks for the info. Take care.


    ~ Yaya
    Yaya's Changing World

  10. Tharr: Thanks for stopping by my blog! I so love having new readers. I'm glad you know what I mean about animals. I wish everyone felt the love of an animal because I think the world would be a more peaceful place.

    Yaya: Thank you also for your great comment and well wishes about my health. I am also hoping you find some relief and answers very quickly. I think It's definitely worth checking out Spondylitis - it goes undiagnosed all too often (for me, it took the first 15 years of my life to settle on this diagnosis). A doctor can check if you have the HLAB27 gene which doesn't mean you definitely have Spondylitis, but there is a strong correlation between the presence of the gene and the presence of the disease. Just be persistent in getting an answer for yourself because you know your body best.

  11. yeah i enjoyed this very much I'm a animal lover as well

    thanks so much