Yesterday was a very important calendar date. It had been looming and, as each day brought me closer to it, the dread I felt increased exponentially.
Last year, on that precise calendar day of October 18th, my dog had her first Petit Mal seizure. I was a mess and I called my friend in a complete panic. He calmed me down and made me realize that I must control my hysteria. I needed put on a brave face so my dog knew that I had my shit together. It was tough, but I did it.
Poor Callaway lost a great deal of her freedom after that, only because I was too afraid to let her out of my sight. What if it happened again? And if it did happen again, what if she was somewhere on the property I couldn’t see her and didn’t know what was happening? We bonded a great deal more over the weeks that followed her seizure because I was afraid to leave her alone.
As the days turned into months, I became less of a “helicopter parent” and eased the reigns a bit on her leash. And then April 18th came – six months to the day after her first one – and she had another seizure. Like the first, it was a Petit Mal seizure. But unlike the first, I kept my composure and soothed her through the episode.
Yesterday was October 18th. Callaway has not shown any signs over the last six months of having had any incidents while I have been at work (or at home) but that date glowed in neon on every calendar in my peripheral vision. It was my waking thought yesterday. The number 18 hovered above my head like a cartoon balloon and spent the entire day threatening, like that too-close pair of glowing eyes in the dark.
But thankfully the day ended with as little commotion as it began. And as she sits chewing on her rawhide sticks, I am thankful – thankful because I am now able to focus on all of the days she hasn’t had a seizure and not just the two that she did.