Weathering the Storm

Sometimes, shit happens. No rhyme or reason. Nothing you could have done to prevent it. Shit just happens. Like a storm, it can pass quickly with minimal damage, or rage on leaving you feeling beaten and dragged. All you can do is ride it out, collect the pieces afterwards, and move forward.

Our storm hit on an otherwise normal Friday afternoon at the beginning of November when Cian began to seizure. Not just one, but four on that first Friday. They would continue until the following Monday night before we were able to break the cycle. Over the next two weeks there were numerous consultations and trips to our vet, the ER vet, and a neurologist. There were many tests, a barrage of drugs, and long, sleepless nights. For a stretch of a couple weeks we feared Cian wouldn’t come back to us. We tip-toed around the fear that the kindest thing we could do was say our goodbyes and let our little boy go. Our otherwise active and alert dog would stand in the yard, eyes dull, not knowing us or even his own name, afraid of his own shadow, unsteady on legs that normally sent him sprinting across the fields. We were assured his behavior was a result of his system adjusting to the anti-seizure meds. Still, the uncertainty hung over us. The storm lingered on the horizon. Until the morning Cian offered a down for his breakfast. That seemingly tiny thing, that little bit of normalcy, something I insist upon at every meal but something Cian forgot in the aftermath of the seizures, was a sliver of sun through the clouds. It told me our boy was coming back.

Flash forward several weeks and the good news is Cian is back to normal and has been seizure free since the 5th of November. The bad news? After every test we could throw at him, including an MRI and spinal tap…

“We’ll just need to shave a small patch,” they said.

…it appears there is no cause for this sudden outbreak. The diagnosis by exclusion is one I never thought I’d have to hear: idiopathic epilepsy. To be honest, it’s something I haven’t accepted, even now. I think I would have preferred the tests to have shown something. Anything. It’s hard to fight an enemy you can’t see, and when you’re a bit of a control freak, as I am, something so completely out of your control brings it’s own special kind of hell. Add to that the loss of security that comes with never knowing when or if a seizure will hit, and this storm did a number, to be sure.

Life goes on, however, and the skies clear. After more consultations, lots of research, and a shoring up of my nerves, I’ve even gone back to working Cian. I will admit, the first time out I was a complete wreck. I’ve relaxed since then, but I don’t think I’ll ever be as comfortable as I once was. Still, getting to watch this again is something a month ago I feared would never be possible again.

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