|In 1988, I received
a birthday present from my friend Mark. A friend who holds my heart
close to him as I hold his heart close to me. .
Has anyone ever seen a long black
nose attached to a 3lb. little body with short legs and so many wrinkles?
He was 12 weeks old. A miniature daschaund, black and tan. I named
My journey with Oscar was heartfelt
and pure. I smile with so many memories. I write now of our experience
of a diagnosis of diabetes.. An experience that was life-changing.
An experience of relief, pain, mutual understanding, growth and love
In August 2000, Oscar and I had
moved back to my home town, Montreal.. Oscar was 13 years old. Ah, I was
starting grad school. I knew we had an adventure ahead of us. What
I didn’t know was that my mother would be diagnosed with breast cancer
in October 2000 and, Oscar, with diabetes in November. My mother
thank g-d is fine.
In October, Oscar was running around
after his toys. He loved to roll on a new one. One second he
was rolling and the next second he screamed out in pain. Because
Oscar had a spine surgery when he was six and a half I took him to
the emerg vet. They gave us a choice, x-rays, etc. leading to a surgery
or steroids and confinement for six weeks. I chose the later. At
13 years old, I didn’t want him to undergo another surgery. I was told
he would pee and drink excessively. He didn’t. After his confinement,
he began to drink so much and pee to the extreme. I made an appointment
with a vet, a friend. I was told it could be few things from liver problems
to a tumor. A day later, the diagnosis: diabetes.
I was so relieved. I had a
friend who was diabetic since childhood. No problem, I would get an insulin
pen and inject. PROBLEM: Oscar was on caninuslin not humilin.
No pen available. O.K., I injected the first two times. The
vet said it was unbelievable that Oscar and I were so in tune with each.
His trust let me inject with no problem. The third time I missed....
and missed and missed. I called this vet, who in turn told me I would
kill him if I couldn’t inject. Panic and fear cannot describe what
I felt. I was terrified to the point where I felt I would have to
give him away. Then I found another vet who was not only an excellent
vet with his patient, Oscar... but patient with me as well. I still
Can you visualize this little miniature
daschaund running under the bed into a corner when he saw the syringe.
I’m not kidding. Nothing worked. I couldn’t inject this little
guy. I thought I would have inject myself with Valium!
And then I found petdiabets.com.
A woman named Sonya saved not only Oscar’s life but mine. She suggested
an injector which was appropriate. I had to order it from Toronto.
Then, the syringe didn’t fit the injector..... I cut the plastic around
the syringe. I truly believed it was a miracle. I remember
the first time I injected Oscar....it worked! And the little guy still
ran under the bed thinking he was getting poked again!
Our journey with diabetes was an
easy one. Oscar was easily regulated. I couldn’t take test
his sugar because the little guy’s ears were so cold. I tried everywhere
and everything. So, he went to the vet for regular curves and fructosimine
tests. I baked him cookies from wet W/D. He loved them; I managed
to live with the aroma of cooked dog food!
In February Oscar became blind.
He managed so well this little furbaby. I was so worried when I had
to move back to Toronto because of his blindness. My vet asked me,
“Does he read a newspaper”,
“Does he drive a car”.... Oscar
managed very well. You would never have known he was blind.
He was a candidate for surgery. But at 13 years old I didn’t want
to put him through that. He was a champion through the move.
One day in August, on a Friday afternoon,
Oscar became ill. He walked so slowly. I knew he was very sick
because he wouldn’t kiss me. I thought he had gone hypo but he was
suffering from extremely high liver enzymes. He got better the next
day. When I went to see him on the following day he was lying on
his side. He didn’t respond to me. I couldn’t do this to him.
I held him for an hour before he went to the rainbow bridge. As he
left on his journey, he looked back at me and then closed his eyes.
I know he’s in a safe place.
Diabetes is life changing.
Diabetes is not a life sentence.
Oscar taught me how to do this.
Would I do it again..... you bet!