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Category: Reclusion
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MerryChirsmasThis post is going to sound defensive. I believe I'm doing the right thing, but it's impossible to know. If I didn't doubt myself, I wouldn't be this defensive about it. Let me explain.

My dog (Bruno) is in the middle of a medical crisis. Maybe (I don't dare to even hope) he's at the end of a medical crisis. I'm not sure. This emergency started on August 3, 2013. I've described it elsewhere. Perhaps you've already read about it. He has idiopathic epilepsy, which is a fancy way of saying that nobody has any idea why he is having these seizures. They are life-threatening. They haven't responded to any medication (and I've tried them all, in every combination, and at dosages so high that he was unable to function). 

He has seen specialists, had MRIs, spinal taps, and been subjected to every possible treatment, legal and illegal, availble.

See how defensive I sound?

Still, after all this, he occasionally has horrific clusters of seizures that come every one to four hours for days on end. During a good spell, he will go a week without incident. In the past four days, he has had twenty distinct seizures and hours of distress and confusion. Some might suggest it's cruel to make him suffer through all this, but I always think about the good days. I think about November, where my log has only twelve entries, and most of those were mild. He had a good November, and that was just last month. Who's to say that January won't be another good month where he's happy to be alive and I'm happy to have him?

Last year we had a hard Christmas as well. Bruno had four days of extreme clumsiness and seven seizures. In 2013 we had a terrible Christmas. He had sixteen seizures and big blocks of time where he was unable to walk on his own. There is no real pattern to his seizure activity, but it seems that Christmas is bad.

In the past, he was on more medication. The extra drugs didn't stop the episodes, but they kept him calmer between them. Unfortunately, I now know from experience that he's not going to be in a good mood after four days of bewilderment. He hurts himself while he's running into things and flopping around on the floor. Then, if he reinjures himself when he's awake, he sometimes lashes out with violence. In this incoherent state he has bitten me and his half-brother, Finn. We've learned to take care around him.

Part of me knows that it's absurd to try to deal with this condition. Any decent veterinarian will tell you that more than two or three seizures in a twenty-four hour period means that I should take him in. We've done that. He's gone in for observation in the past. He's gone in for sedation to break the cycle. It doesn't do any good. His cycle breaks when it breaks--there's no way to intervene.

Last February he had a spell that was this bad. I was administering diazepam like it was going out of style. That would make him sleep instead of constantly pacing, but it didn't break the cycle. Only time broke the cycle. I trucked him down to the neurologist anyway. Unfortunately, he told me the same thing I had surmised. There's nothing more to do. One day he's likely going to drop into "status epilepticus" and not come out. As of this morning, I thought today might be that day. Now, I'm not so sure.

I'm just waiting for the next episode.

So, on day five of the reclusion I'm not in a great mood. But I'm hopeful the last few days will just make me appreciate the coming weeks and months even more. 

Oh, and Merry Chirsmas (look at the photo). My friend and I found these at the Rite Aid a couple of months ago.