I’m jealous of a dog. Not just any dog, I’m jealous of my mom’s dog because her dog has lupus. Don’t bother beating me up with judgements of how pathetic I am because I’ve already pulverized the last drop of my self-esteem.
Why am I jealous? Because my mom’s dog gets to be taken care of by my mom. Her dog’s lupus is managed and cared for by my mom. Even though I’m a grown woman, there’s an innate desire to have my “mommy” take care of me when I don’t feel good. When I’m sick or hurting, I revert back to a five-year old little girl. My mom’s dog gets tended to, comforted, and pampered by my mom. She’s a lucky puppy.
What a fate for my mother to have a daughter and a dog both with lupus. That’s crazy! (This is a major clue as to why my blog is called “Lupus Crazy”! This disease is plucking every nerve of my sanity like banjo strings.) What is the probability of this? I should start gambling because my life is defying odds. I couldn’t begin to make this up, I’m not that clever.
I know my mom cares immensely for me and is overly concerned about my lupus disease activity. She texts me daily to check in with me and to tell me she loves me. She worries too much about me and my disease, but I cannot fault her mom instincts. She’s there for me if ever needed. I’m a huge animal lover and her dog is incredibly sweet and I wish she didn’t have lupus for the simple fact that I don’t want any animal to suffer.
In a strange way, her dog’s lupus has brought my mom and me a bit closer. It’s as if my mom has a new-found perspective, understanding, call it what you want, about lupus and what I have to deal with. I love my mom and I love her dog.
I sat down with my mother to get some insight on how she feels about having a daughter and a dog with lupus. Here are some of the questions and answers from our talk.
1. What went through your head when your daughter said she had lupus?
The first thing was worry but I didn’t know about lupus so I read up on it to see exactly what it was and then the worry became real to me. I blamed myself for the diseases of our family to be put upon my daughter in such a terrible way. Diabetes was the family illness but it manifested so much stronger in my daughter and that made me sad and filled with worry.
2. What went through your head when the vet said your dog had lupus?
When my dog, Nipper, was diagnosed, I was in shock. The first thing I said to the doctor was that my daughter had lupus. I know all that my daughter has gone through and I was fearful of what was to become of Nipper. It was a routine vet visit to get her shots and the doctor noticed lines in her ears and markings on her tongue and decided to do blood work instead of giving her the shots. When the vet came out and sat down with me, she explained that Nipper had an autoimmune disease, lupus. I was shocked to say the least.
3. What is the hardest thing dealing with your dog and her lupus?
My fear with Nipper is that she will be attacked again by the disease symptoms and we will not have a fast handle on it like we did in the beginning. My biggest fear for Nipper is an early death and from time to time that’s my biggest fear for my daughter.
4. How do you manage your dog’s lupus?
We manage Nipper’s lupus with several medications, one of which was high doses of prednisone. She had to get blood work done for 6 months with the instructions that I was to watch for the lines in her ears or spots on her tongue, which is no small task since she doesn’t let me touch her ears or look at her tongue for more than a second at a time. After the sixth blood work came back ok, then we were able to take her off her medications and to date she’s been fine. She does from time to time favor a front or back leg which seems to be in pain but no other outward signs of pain.
5. What is the hardest thing dealing with your daughter and her lupus?
The hardest thing dealing with her lupus is that I don’t feel I’m always there for her and my hands are tied as to what I can do to help with the pain. I stress that no other manifestations will occur with the lupus. It’s an all-consuming disease and I just hope she can endure the brave course that she has been on so far. I still don’t know all about lupus but I read all I can when I get the newsletters.
6. What is your biggest fear for your daughter and also for your dog?
I worry that someday my daughter will not be able to walk or live a productive life and that scares the heck out of me. My only sense of ease is that she is with someone who can help her through this on a daily basis. I also worry that she will not share with me what she’s going through. I pray for her daily and when I’m in a position to make wishes I always wish that she will be free of pain and the effects of lupus.
7. Do you see any similarities with your daughter and your dog?
I don’t see any similarities with lupus between my daughter and Nipper. Dogs are one’s who don’t always show pain but sometimes when she barks constantly, I worry it’s because there’s pain somewhere and sometimes she looks at me like something is wrong but I don’t know what it is. My daughter on the other hand, has a voice and can explain what she is going through and that sometimes gives me clues into what Nipper might be experiencing.
7. Add any comments you would like:
My only comment is that my daughter is part of what I live for and I worry about dying at a young age which would devastate my daughter. She keeps me going and is the bravest person I know.