life is short and so is a Corgi…

Today we take Rumsfeld for an MRI and possibly a spinal fluid draw to attempt to find the cause of the seizures. They’ll take the spinal fluid if they are unable to find anything definitive with the brain scan.
We saw the neurologist last Wednesday and he was unable to make a concise diagnosis. He pretty much ruled out Epilepsy due to his age and other signs. Pretty much ruled out infectious disease that would cause brain swelling due to his lack of relative signs as well as our location ( it’s still possible but unlikely ). Because of subtle signs observed during his exam it’s looking like a brain tumor……..the slight head tilt and turn and “knuckling” of his left fore etc. Things a specialist knows how to look for.

So far *knock*knock*knock* we have the seizures under control. He has not had another episode since a week ago Friday after they gave him the loading dose of Phenobarbital in the ER. They say that’s always the best approach with the best results as we don’t have to wait for it to accumulate in his system over days with pills. He gets two 30 mg a day, morning and night. Potentially for the rest of his life. It’s a tricky thing…it’s based on weight and it has to be just right. We have to be careful that he doesn’t gain or lose weight…when you’re 30 pounds a few ounces here and there matter. I can’t imagine what it’s like to regulate toy dogs…and they’re more prone to these conditions.
Because he hasn’t exhibited what we have been able to notice as pre-seizure behavior I have no way of knowing how well the medication is working or if he is simply having a period without them. But he’s not and that is goal number one. I am still on eggshells waiting for it to happen again. Perhaps that will ease over time……
For now we have the symptom under control.

Today is a strange place to be for me. On one hand I desperately need to know what’s going on and on the other, am terrified to find out.
We decided to go trough with this because going through the rest of our lives wondering if there was something we could have done wasn’t something we could bear.

And we have angels. While we would have found a way to make this next very expensive step possible ( hay, I hear credit card debt isn’t so bad ) we have help. Sweet generous kind and caring help. Help that’s alleviated much of the financial stress to enable me to do the hard parts without the burden of the very real aspect of cost.
I couldn’t let this post pass without acknowledging, again, the amazing gifts of friendship and support and love that this humble little blog and our group of extraordinary people has over the years brought together in times of strife. It’s changed my life and has made me a better person.

Apologies for not updating until now. I’ve been unable to articulate well and frankly, trying to go through it like everything’s “normal” and putting it into words like this makes it all so much more “real”. One minute you’re playing on the beach and out of the blue.. BAM!

Make sure you all embrace every moment.

Throughout this whole situation I have found much to be grateful for. The doctors ( I KNOW….he has a doctorS ) have been terrific. Following through and following up and checking in and going out of their way to find out what’s going on. And kind caring generous supportive friends who without them I don’t think I could bear it. I am also comforted by the knowledge that because many people are not fortunate enough to be able to take some of these steps, and I am, that we’ll be able to help some other heartbroken girl and her dog with the information gleaned from this whole process. So there’s that, too.

I’ll be leaving in an hour or so. He should be able to come home later this afternoon. I have no idea when I will know what. The Neurologist will be performing the procedure so I suspect he’ll be able to know SOMETHING immediately.

In the meantime, we could use a few more angels……..

The news is so awful I cannot bear it…
He has a very large mass that’s pushing his brain aside for room. That is what is causing the seizures… and is growing fast.
There is no treatment at this point except some medications to reduce the swelling for a short while. Maybe weeks. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow after more interpretation of the scan…

We know what we have to do and it will be soon. As long as we can keep him comfortable I need to make sure to take advantage of the time and cram in as much JOY as I possibly can into his life.
Starting now…….

We are rather numb at the moment……….

I fear that I may have given the impression that by needing angels I meant money. Oh God, no! I only wished for prayers and a positive outcome. There’s nothing more I could ask of you but your friendship and support, which I depend upon greatly. And very likely a bit more than usual, for just a short while longer.
I will be strong and do what I am required to do. The fine print has arrived……
I have to go be very sad now.


  1. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:34 am |

    … yanno.
    I’ll be with ya today.

  2. geezerette
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 7:52 am |

    Thanks for the update— Makes me think of how when we humans don’t feel good our pets instinctively know and stay by our sides. I’m sure you’ve all witnessed it. You’ve looked into your heart and you’re doing what it tells you.

  3. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:01 am |

    gerezerette…to my relief, they said he could possibly become aggressive and “angry” toward me with the pheno and the opposite has occurred. Altho he did throw one of his usual tantrums the other morning ( banging on the sliding glass door ) when I didn’t let him in IMMEDIATELY but that made me smile. THAT is normal :)

  4. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 8:02 am |

    But you’re right…HE hardly knows anything’s going on with HIM but he knows something’s up with ME……..

  5. kinlaw
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 9:15 am |

    Praying here boss…

  6. Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:04 am |

    Be well.

  7. Alan outback bacon czar
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:18 am |

    Praying for you both.

  8. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:35 am |

    ho Ho HO!!

  9. Posted December 13, 2012 at 11:24 am |

    You just write these things because you know it will make me cry.

  10. DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!)
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 11:46 am |

    Love the pic: sandy paws is goin’ to town.

  11. PunkyD
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

    I’m so sorry Sondra. I know exactly what you’re going through right now. The anxiety of “not knowing”….walking on egg shells in fear of helplessly having to watch Rumsfeld possibly go through another seizure. I don’t know that it’ll ever get any easier. But this is the hand that I’ve been dealt for the last 24 years with my daughter who has a multitude of disabilities, epilepsy being just one. I’ve learned to be happy with what I’ve got but I’ll be the first to admit too….it ain’t easy. It’s true…..what doesn’t kill you..makes you stronger. I’m so glad it sounds like Rumsfeld has caring and loving doctors whom you can trust. And that’s what you need right now. Most importantly, you have your friends who give you the support, love and compassion here on your blog. Hang in there Sondra. Rumsfeld is in good hands and I think he’ll be okay. Love alone can do wonders with the healing process, ya know… :)

  12. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

    ^ I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a child who suffers so. You are amazing. I am well aware that he is “just a dog” and that people have much more to deal with all the time. But this one is mine at the moment…

    Bless you for your compassion with my little guy.

  13. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

    “just a dog”


  14. LTC F
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm |

    Ahh geezus. I have tears in my eyes at the moment. I lost my own 10 year old lab/basset/pit bull mix two months ago and I still expect to find his big old head on the pillow with me when I wake up in the morning. You’re in our prayers and I know nothing I can say will make ease your pain. Enjoy him while you can.

  15. Dave in Texas
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm |

    I feel for you. Much love. I know it’s hard.

    These little loves work their ways into our hearts, and become our family. At the end of their lives, all we can do is love them.

    My prayers and kind thoughts for the days ahead friend.


    (Antonio will cry, he’s kind of soft-hearted like that)