In Like a Lion
I have been holding off posting an update on Cian because I didn’t want to tempt Fate. I figured if I didn’t say he was doing awesome, Fate would turn a blind eye and leave us be. Apparently, just the thought was enough. After 4 months seizure free, Cian clustered. Six seizures in an hour and a half by the time I could get him to the ER. He spent the night there, and the fragile normalcy we had built shattered.
I accept Cian will never be seizure free. I could handle one or two seizures a couple times a year. Watching him have one after another with next to no time to recover in between is like having someone reach into my chest and rip my heart out. It was a fool’s hope that phenobarbital alone would manage his epilepsy, but we held it nonetheless. It seems, however, when working breeds get hit with this, they get hit hard. All those qualities we so cherish in a working dog — their drive, their intensity — seem to ensure everything they do is done with gusto.
As much as I hate the thought of adding more drugs, one is not enough, and so we will add a second and try to regain our equilibrium. I know many well-meaning folks will suggest CBD oil. Thank you, and know that it is something we tried. The cost, however, proved to be prohibitive.
Writing this, Cian is pestering me to play with him, back to his usual self. And I’m back to watching him like a hawk, looking for the tell-tale signs of an impending seizure, unwilling to let him too far out of my sight, the fear I worked hard to bury rising to the top again. As he settles in for a nap, my chest tightens. Sleep was when many of his seizures hit when this all started. I stuff those thoughts down.
The reality is, even controlled, Cian’s epilepsy will only get worse. The ferocity it has shown thus far terrifies me, and I know one day it will become too much. I can only hope that day is many years from now.
Until then, we muddle on, shore up our walls, and take each moment for the gem it is. We’ll go back to playing ball and working sheep as soon as the snow and ice leave. Jig and Dillon will learn to accept Cian again. They aren’t kind when he has seizures. Jig in particular. It’s not right and in her world that’s all that matters.
It’s not right in mine and Cian’s worlds either, and I guarantee he handles it better than I do.