A simple phrase with a very un-simple meaning. To overcome adversity is to triumphantly shout from the rooftops, “I won! I beat whatever was trying to take me down”. You take a step back and realize that the things which were blocking your success moved out of the way. As individuals, we can accomplish more than we ever thought possible, but to overcome something that you perceive as adversity is utterly amazing. I will not go as so far as to say it is a miracle, but who knows maybe it is a miracle in certain situations.
It has been a long time since I have written to you guys from a personal blog perspective. Not only has my emotional fortitude been challenged, but Mrs. B has been negatively impacted too. An unchangeable fact is that bad news is bad news. It does not matter who knows about it or understands, because bad news can drag you down in an instant and without warning. I am going to share a little bit about what has transpired. While it may seem bleak in the beginning I promise this story has a happy ending.
A Mother Knows
Most people have heard the saying, “a mother always knows”, but even without biological children, I have found this statement to be true. I love and care for our fur babies with my whole heart and anyone who knows me can attest to this fact. The extreme lengths I went to in caring for Sebastian as he got older was somewhat of a shock to friends and family. I think I even surprised the hell out of a few customers and casual acquaintances with my level of dedication to what they considered to be a household pet. I chauffeured that fluffy buddy to specialty veterinary appointments, provided daily medications, and administered subcutaneous fluids for the better part of three years. All these things took a considerable amount of time, energy, and finances. After he passed in February, I took what I felt was the appropriate amount of time to grieve before getting a Toyger kitten.
Maverick arrived on Wednesday, May 21st at 11:00 p.m. and my mom gene kicked in instantly. This 3 pound and 9-ounce furry creature was new to the world and we did everything we could to make his transition into our home a pleasant one. Hugs, kisses, snuggling, new toys, fuzzy blankets, and even monogrammed mats and bags. The 13-week-old kitten was welcomed into our family with open arms. While some of these things were not a necessity, it made me immensely happy to be able to provide all of them to our newest bundle of joy. His curious demeanor and playfulness were refreshing, especially since we were all amid hardcore COVID restrictions. I felt the need to protect him in a way I had never felt about something so tiny. Mr. B seemed surprised to hear me say that after seeing my level of care for Sebastian. I jokingly admitted that Sebastian was far more mature than me most of his 19 years.
Having a Rare Disease is Total BS
After celebrating my birthday in early August we headed down to the Gulf Coast to celebrate Mr. B’s birthday and for some much-needed R&R. As the days passed by at the beach, I got a weird feeling something was not right with Maverick. He was spending all day asleep in the dog crate and would stare at me with dismay if I tried to throw the ball. This was very strange behavior for a six-month-old kitten, and I began to “nervous-about.” For those of you who may not have heard this phrase, it means I was being a helicopter mom with anxiety but had no clue what, if anything, was wrong. He stopped jumping to get his food and treats on the counter. Sadly, he fell off the counter more than once, not landing on his feet with cat-like reflexes. I will not go into the sordid and lengthy story, but after being in two veterinary emergency rooms, seeing 4 doctors, and undergoing a myriad of tests we were given unfortunate news on Thursday, August 27th. Since all other diagnoses that could be wreaking this much havoc on numerous organs had been ruled out it was suspected that he had FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). It is a rare disease and it is total BS! It is also highly confusing and highly misunderstood as we quickly began to learn. For those of you who have conditions that are not easily diagnosed or treated you can understand what I mean and my heart goes out to you.
Google and Facebook to the Rescue
These words are not words that I EVER I thought I would utter, but in this case, they are very true. Before I even had the opportunity to have a nervous breakdown Mr. B was already googling options for treatment regarding this suspected disease. I believe in medical treatment, medications, surgery, and science, but the medical profession does not always have all the answers. Even if they have suggestions that would help, there are constraints placed upon them by the FDA, CDC, FCC, insurance companies, and a million other entities.
The saying goes, ‘when God closes a door, he opens a window’. This must be why I always wander around looking for open windows.
I joke, but unless you are looking for an open window you may pass right by the breeze without ever seeing what is on the other side of the curtain. Being proactive is a necessary part of being human, especially in these unprecedented times we are experiencing. In addition to medical science, I believe in alternative and holistic treatments. Slather on some creams, essential oils can work wonders, integrate new spices into recipes, plant-based substances may help, enact dietary changes, see a physical therapist, exercise differently, try meditation, and most importantly, I believe in prayer. Within 24 hours of what I felt was my world crumbling apart, we had some options for hope through internet education and a Facebook support group. It is ironic that the technologies that often complicate our lives helped us to overcome adversity.
As I write this we are 23 days past this dreaded news, but I have hope. I believe that having hope can provide some level of healing during the darkest of times. It can provide healing to those around us and to ourselves. Hope is what propels us to keep going when the world tells us the outcome looks bleak. Our ability to have faith often accompanies the hope that dwells within us. I believe if we can focus on hope in a time of despair it can potentially change the outcome.
Seeing is Believing
I once had a co-worker tell me that the unofficial slogan for the state of Missouri was, ‘don’t tell me, show me’. That statement really stuck with this southern gal over the years. It is as if the world tells us that to see something is to believe something. A more true statement could not be applied to this situation. Each morning when Maverick wants to play ball instead of allowing me downtime while I drink coffee, I see it. Every time he pops Carley, our Boston Terrier, on the leg and then runs to hide waiting for her to come to play, I see it. When I draft articles such as this one on my laptop, but he distracts me with his silly antics, I see it. When he jumps from the floor to the countertop in a single bound, I see it. I see it, I believe it, and this has also helped me overcome adversity.
I always tell people that I am the kind of person that believes in miracles. I am not sure until recently that I even believed what I was saying. About 15 years ago my mom spent an extremely long stint in the ICU unable to communicate. When you know what I know about health and medicine it is hard to believe someone can recover after six weeks of intubation. My mother’s level of recovery is a miracle, but an emotional twenty-something did not realize that fact until years later. My spouse and I spent the better part of two years traveling to doctor after doctor to determine what was causing so much physical pain and discomfort. He has learned a new way to manage a difficult to diagnose and treat dysfunction. When I was fighting for answers that seemed fleeting, I could not see what I see now, the proper diagnosis and treatment were a miracle. I had more than one veterinarian tell me they were sorry, but we would most likely lose Maverick. They all genuinely cared, and I knew they were sorry they could not do more for him. After everything I have been through and the knowledge gained along the way, I can see this miracle while it is unfolding and not years after the fact. Maverick is a miracle! I am someone who believes in miracles because I am surrounded by them every day.