Living Loved

*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…

The same day I’d met with my FMD(Functional Medicine Doctor), I started taking the new supplements he’d sent me home with.  Just like times prior with starting new supplements, my symptoms got worse, making me feel miserable.  I had headaches 24/7.  I was bloated, and gassy.  My left side pain went from just under my ribs down to just below my belly button.  My entire abdomen hurt, with the most pain starting right under my ribs on both sides, but the left side was always worst.  I’d use my Thera Cane(a self massaging tool) to dig deep into my abdomen and back, trying to reach the painful spot.  I never really found any relief that way, although loosening the muscles helped.

Sleep was elusive during this long season, too.  It took me at least an hour to fall asleep because of the constant presence of pain.  Finding a comfortable position lying down, or otherwise, was impossible.  I couldn’t sleep on my right side at all.  I slept on my left side in the fetal position.  I’d sleep for a few hours, but since my body was so aware of the consistent pain, I’d wake up a lot during the night, and in the wee hours of the morning to the red hot searing pain IN my abdomen, which would jab straight thru my abdomen into my back.  Trying to fall back asleep while battling the pain was exhausting.  And when I’d get out of bed in the morning I never felt truly “rested”.  Often times, I’d feel worse when I got up in the morning than I did when I’d went to bed the night before.  It was draining, both physically and mentally.

Other areas of concern were that I had diarrhea, and had undigested chunks of food coming out in my stool(foods that I had eaten only a few hours prior).  I was malnourished even though I was eating nourishing food.  I was pale.  I had no stored energy.  I was constantly cold.  I had hot and cold sweats both day and night.  I battled nausea numerous times each day.  And then a new symptom started, burping.  I started getting acid reflux which I’d never had before.  Eating and drinking anything made my symptoms worse shortly after ingesting anything.  And the new supplements?  They just enhanced my symptoms.  I had dark circles under my eyes.  Also, my eyes each had a yellow spot in the area between my pupils towards my nose.  The whites had long-since been white, but rather were an ominous, cloudy, yellowish-gray color with tiny veins of red threading throughout.

I truly felt like I was existing, not really living my life.  The pain from my left side was so severe at times that I was left totally immobile.  I was ready to be with my heavenly Father IF it was my time.  I, myself, had come to terms with that.

Sometimes Mom would come into my room during the middle of the night to make sure I was “okay”, her knowing of my symptoms and day to day emotions.  There were times that she had checked to make sure that I was breathing during the night while I tried to sleep.  My breathing was so shallow that she would put her hand on my back to feel for breaths being taken.  She would wake with a strong urge to pray for me and then come and check on me.  During the night I would sometimes wake myself up by my own cries from pain.  My brother, Troy, whom had a bedroom next to my own, would awaken to that sometimes.  My faithful two cats, Goofy and Bun-Bun, never left my side at night in my room(at least that I know of).  They would lift their heads up when they heard whimpering, watching me closely.  Those two were the best company.

IMG-6163

Pictured above are our beloved passed pets; Bun-Bun, my cat, and our dog, Sam.

I’ve shared how Goofy came to our family already in a former post, “Adventures with Goofy”.  Bun-Bun came into our family before Goofy.  He first came into our lives as a stray kitten, like Goofy did.  He was only about 6 months old, hanging around the Lodge next door and mostly in our yard when we were at our cabin on the weekends.  One particular weekend, in December of 2002, it was unanimously decided that the scrawny but furry black cat should come inside for a meal.  Bun-Bun not only got good food into his tummy, but he also received a bath!  He loved the bath!  No clawing or fighting us.  Much to our dismay, our dog Sam, whom was sitting in front of the fireplace that night while we all slept, welcomed Bun-Bun into the family by allowing him to come and lie with her on her pillow(or so we like to think that’s how it happened)!  5-6 pounds of long black fur was curled up in a ball next to 95 pounds of white fluffy white fur, that’s how my parents found the pair the next morning, similar to the picture above.

Mom had said, “They were ALMOST total opposites; large, white dog VS. small, black cat.”  Their long fur and LOVING hearts were their common denominators.  Sam had a BIG heart!  Needless to say, Bun-Bun was officially a part of our family that weekend, being loved by ALL.

Sam, our dog, passed a good while after Bun-Bun(and Goofy) joined our family.  During their time together, those two were the best of friends.  Bun-Bun was my pal, too.  He and I formed a special bond.  I was 10 years old when he came to us, so we really grew up together.

When I was sick, Bun-Bun in his later years then, knew something was wrong with “his girl”.  Often times, when he was nowhere to be found, and I would had loved to have found him, he’d come out from who-knows-where and find me.  His timing was always impeccable.  I recall those times when I’d be lying on the floor curled up in the fetal position, in pain, and there he’d come walking up to me, his deep purring making his presence known.  He’d gently nudge me with his head.  I couldn’t begin to count the times he’d let me cry into his soft fur, or he’d to let me stroke his fur to calm myself.  He was a pure bundle of soft, fluffy fur, with a big, big heart full of love!

Bun-Bun always slept on my bed, close to my feet.  This was something we’d started doing sometime shortly after he joined the family.  He was my protector, my guardian during the night.  Those later days, with me being so sick, he’d continue to curl up in a ball tight against my feet keeping them warm.  How did he know my feet were so cold?  His intuitiveness didn’t stop there.  As I laid in bed sick, he’d walk next to me smelling me.  There were times he even put his furry front paws on my chest and lean into me, as if to really make sure I was breathing.  He’d wake me up when he’d do that.  All the while he’d softly purr, then he’d see my eyes open and I’d lift my hand to pet him, the decimals of his purring rising on those occasions!

IMG-0491There were rare moments that I would be semi-sleeping on my back, and Bun-Bun would gently walk onto my abdomen and sit.  He’d wake me up doing this(and YES, his little weight hurt too) but I allowed it because of what he did, shocking me the first time he did so that left me speechless.  He’d start gently pushing his fuzzy front paws into my left side, just underneath my ribs where it hurt(like the picture at right).  One paw digging, then the other.  I’d say, “It’s like he’s trying to knead dough!”  He’d do this for 1-3 mins, and every time, right when I was just about ready for him to stop, he’d stop without me having to tell him.  Then he’d look at me and gently walk off of my abdomen.  Animals KNOW when their humans are hurting.  And how he knew EXACTLY where to “knead”?  Hmmm…

When I first got sick, Bun-Bun was around 8 years old.  For the next 7 years, he was by my side, never leaving me during the night(and always watching me closely during the day, too).

Fast forward.  During the very end of Bun-Bun’s life, around September of 2016, I noticed he wasn’t eating much.  As the days and weeks went on, his health continued to diminish fast while mine had been reversing for a year.  Interestingly, when I had been having good results with a different FMD(more to come on Dr. J in the future), he’d quit purring and didn’t want to be around us very much(I’m sure because he didn’t feel well).  I sought him out to tell him the good news about my health, being WELL and getting healthy.  I found him downstairs, curled up in a ball in front of the fireplace.  He saw me, looked me deep in the eyes, then getting up ever so slowly he walked right over to me.  I waited for him so as not to spook him.  He made his way over to me and I pet him.  I then spoke softly and gently, telling him my good news.  He started purring while turning to look at me.  I swear he knew what I was saying.  The look he gave me made me think he really understood what I’d told him.  He got the news HE was waiting to hear!

The next day his breathing was bad.  We could tell that it wouldn’t be long before we’d have to put him down.  The following day,  we shared one last special moment and I told him, “I’m really going to miss you Bun-Bun.  Thank you for hanging on until you could hear the words both of us were waiting for with my health.  I can never thank you enough for your love and support throughout this journey.  You helped make EVERY DAY possible.  Thank you.  We both know it’s time to say ‘Goodbye’.  See you later Bun-Bun.  You can go now, buddy.”

That was in October of 2016, just days after I got my clean bill of health, that Bun-Bun passed away.  I truly believe he held on to the very end because he wanted to know I was really going to be alright.  His passing was bittersweet.

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