shantismom
My Shanti died 6 weeks ago and I have been heartbroken since then but after these 6 weeks I am starting to feel a small amount of relief because Shanti was diabetic and that was extremely stressful.
I had to make sure he ate before his insulin shot each day and if he didn't seem to eat much I was always stressing out about how much insulin to give him.  Each day and some days more than once I had to do a glucose test.  When his numbers were high I worried about that but when his numbers were too low I really stressed out because he could go into hypoglycemia which could be deadly.  Some days I just wanted to put a pillow over my head instead of getting up to test his blood and get him to eat.  In the last 6 weeks of his life he had to have an appetite stimulant so he would eat but sometimes I would be up 4 or 5 times in the night just to get him to eat something.  Now all that stress is over and I feel guilty that I feel relief.
None of this is to say I am glad my baby is gone because I am not, I still feel so sad, so heartbroken that my little boy is not here with me.
Have any of you ever had an animal that had to be nursed and felt some relief when it was over?

Marlene Wagner
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Leahbeahis
Marlene, I have not personally been in this situation but I have worked with families who have, with their human loved ones. It seems to me that you were experiencing caregiver burnout. You loved Shanti so much that you were willing to do what it took to care for him. Some conditions can require a lot of daily procedures, checks/testing, and/or medications. It can be exhausting, I've seen it. I can understand the emotional anxiety of not knowing if something bad will happen to your baby. Once Lucy turned 8 years old and the vets deemed her as geriatric, I became paranoid of her imminent aging, wondering when she would go downhill or when something would give. Try not to feel guilty about feeling relief that you don't have to worry about Shanti anymore. In a way, you can think of it as he is not in pain and he is not suffering in any way. Who wouldn't feel some type of relief about that? Feeling relief of not having to deal with a complex medical condition does not mean you don't love Shanti any less. I read these stories about the other geriatric dogs having had to deal with kidney failure or cancer and it breaks my heart. I am deeply saddened that I did not get to see Lucy to her full age, but I'm glad I didn't have to watch her suffer or make the decision to put her to sleep. We all have guilt no matter how our babies left us. It's normal to feel that way. I'm sorry you are going through this.
~ Leah
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kkflynn75
Hi-

It sounds like you would do anything for Shanti and he was lucky to have you as his mom. I can relate to how you are feeling. I put my Sydney down 10 months ago today. She was a 16 year and 3 months old german shepherd. Almost unheard of for that breed to get to that age. She had not walked stairs for over 3 years and I had Ramps made to go outside and for the car. I used baby gates to block the stairs so she wouldn't fall down them or try to walk them. The last year was really difficult. She had accidents, both peeing and pooping in the house daily, so I was cleaning up a lot. I had to carry her outside the last four months and help her to get up the last 2 months. Sometimes she would just fall back over and it literally broke my heart. I am crying now just thinking about it:( I hand fed her for over 1.5 years and the last year I had to change foods several times to keep her eating. She received weekly acupuncture and was on hundreds of dollars of medicines (wholistic herbs and pain meds ). She would get uncomfortable at night several times and I would wake up and help her or just lie with her. The last month was really bad with our other dog ending up in the ICU over 7 nights for ongoing urinary tract issues throughout the month. Winter was brutal on all of us and my job was an absolute nightmare that I owed 6 more months to so I didn't owe them the relocation back that they paid for me to move . To say I was at a breaking point might be putting it mildly. My sons birthday was coming up at the very end of February and Sydney seemed to be getting worse as she was having a hard time walking even when I helped her get going and her front two legs were starting to give out and she would just stop and breath heavy. I can relate to your fear and anxiety as I felt that every day I went to work. I felt so guilty too as I has worked from home the 8 years prior so to leave her in that state when I felt like she needed me most for a job that I couldn't stand and was growing more resentful of by the minute was extremely difficult. I made the decision to put her down the weekend before I did it but really thought I would end up backing out. I didn't though and so many days I wish I had. I feel guilty that I wasn't really even thinking clearly, I was exhausted and far away from family. (They were coming that weekend and I knew I needed to be alone with her for a while so that was another reason I felt the timing made sense) I was in a job that I hated with a boss that was a nightmare like I have never experienced. And I was so scared of coming home to her stuck or unable to get up or hurt and in pain somewhere..it was all taking its toll and I just went ahead with it. We had a very special last day together and she seemed better which made it harder. Now most people thought I should have done it earlier, but I still wish I would have waited until I had a clearer head. Truth be told though, I couldn't go through the mental pain of another "last day"again, it was devastating. Sorry for my long story, but I guess it just feels good to get it out there sometimes. I did feel relief from the anxiety, the constant caregiving, the worrying and the mental exhaustion of the impending inevitable ending. I would do it all again though to spend another week with her and I am sure you would too. As time goes on I try to consciously remember the younger Sydney. The one who didn't need my help for anything, would run circles around the house just for fun, would jump six feet vertically to catch the ball and would never think of going potty in the house. Those memories help me to remember that part of the "relief " we are feeling is the letting go of that bad memory that was not who they were for the biggest part of their lives. It is part of this process. It just sucks. You are not alone. Thoughts and hugs to you during this tough time.
Kelly
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AZTiger98
I can't say that it was relief that caregiving was ending, but when we had to put my wife's cat to sleep back in July (I think it was), it was one of those situations that was painful to experience and yet known that it was the right thing at that time.  I'm always one who has the hardest time thinking "it's time", because I've seen so many pets put down who were still able to get around, who didn't "seem" that they had lost all quality of life.  And for the longest time, I was the opposing voice to my wife about Dusty. "No, we can pick him up and put him on the bed or up to eat", "No, he looks happy."  The night she finally said, "I have to.  Tomorrow.", I was staying up late with Dusty on my lap, petting him.  He got up to go to the litterbox, and apparently he fell over climbing out of it - scared him to where he peed again, right where he'd fallen.  And when I saw that, my heart broke - I knew then, we had to let him go, because I didn't want to see him go through that for who knows how long.

I cried like a baby the next day as he went on to the Bridge.  But you know the funniest thing happened?  Within about 1 month, a neighbor came over with a kitten that was probably only a few months old and said, "This little guy was in my garage, and we don't do cats - but we know you do.  Would you take him?"  He was a spitting image of Dusty, just 18 years younger.  He's romping all over the house now, playing with Stormy when she's up to it, wrestling with our puppies, and tormenting his other older sister cat.

Anyway - I say all that to say that yes, there was some measure of relief when everything was over, that Dusty wasn't suffering anymore, but yeah, I still felt the guilt and sadness of, "Was there really nothing more we could've done?"

Hang in there.

David
David

Daddy to beloved fur baby Stormy
08/2003 - 05/19/18
Stormy’s Residency https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/STORM059/Resident.htm
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ahartofilis
Marlene, I can understand how you can be feeling a sense of relief. My Coco was relatively healthy for most of her 10 yrs. until bone cancer showed up in her last couple of months. This was all very shocking and confusing to me. I feel like I had to become a nurse, and doctor almost overnight. It was a nightmare trying to figure out when and how to give her all of the medications that she needed every day. After a while she refused to take the pain med. as it was a bitter pill and she would smell it out of anything and refuse it as well as the food I put it in. I was up all hours of the night because if I heard her crying from pain I would have to figure out how to fix it. I was always worried about her using the leg that had the bone cancer in it as the vet told me that she could fracture or break it very easily. I put her to rest only 8 days ago and right now the biggest sense if relief for me has been that she is out of the deadly pain of her cancer! The emotional and physical exhaustion from caring for my sweet girl left me with little reserve to deal with the grief when she was gone. Last week when I did not have to go to work or get things done I was basically in bed most of the time. I can understand feeling a relief from mental and physical exhaustion. We still love our precious ones, perhaps we are in a better place to do so when we feel a little bit better. Thanks for listening, from Andrea, Cocos  Mom.
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shantismom
As I read these posts I am struck with how many of us are just so heartbroken, how difficult it is to move past the pain.
Each morning I pray for people who are grieving, some of the people are from my church and have lost a mother, a father, or a brother but I have now begun to pray for all the people here who are like me and grieving for their lost cat or dog.  It isn't just a cat or dog to us, it is a friend, a child, our closest companions.  Some days I feel I am a little better, somedays just so upset and depressed.  
May God give comfort to us all.  I think of you all and share your sorrow.
Marlene Wagner
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AZTiger98
Marlene,

You hit the nail on the head with that.  I remember after Dusty was put to sleep, and then our Golden Retriever Sunny was put to sleep the next year, all of a sudden, evenings were so different and lonely.  I used to have time after my wife went to bed where it was just me, Dusty, Sunny, and Stormy hanging out in the living room watching TV.  Even with Stormy still around, it just felt a lot emptier without Dusty and Sunny there...and in some ways, it still does.

David
David

Daddy to beloved fur baby Stormy
08/2003 - 05/19/18
Stormy’s Residency https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/STORM059/Resident.htm
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