Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. Have you ever heard that saying? John Lennon used that phrase in his song “Beautiful Boy”, but the quote is said to have originated before that. I have certainly found that to be true in my life.
Recently I had a client who experienced that in a big way. The schedule reflected the fact that a dog was coming in that was “swollen down there…” Before entering the exam room, I asked my technician if the dog was spayed? “Nope”, she said. So in we went to the exam room.
I raised the pup’s tail and sure enough, she was in heat. In short order, I relayed that information to her owner, who couldn’t have been more shocked. This intelligent, mid-30’s woman had just moved across the country a few months prior. Her days were filled with setting up an entirely new life in a new city. Her previous vet had recommended letting her pup experience one estrus before spaying her. The pup was now about 8 months old and a prime age for her first heat. “We were just at the dog park yesterday!” she exclaimed in disbelief. “Well, no more dog park for quite some time!” was my response.
By the time a dog goes through pro-estrus (average of about 9 days, the period before fertility), and estrus (averages about 9 days, the period of fertility) it can be a long, challenging time for the owner. In the case of this pup, it was even longer. The period of diestrus lasts about 2 months and it is a gradual return to normal during that time. This dog mama noticed many physical and behavioral changes in her dog. Now, this cute little Australian shepherd bitch is scheduled to be spayed. But life is what happened while her mama was making other plans…Unexpected Health Scare
I had my own personal experience with this quite recently. I am writing this blog while waiting to board a plane to Ft. Lauderdale, prior to leaving for a 10-day cruise tomorrow. However, this blog won’t post until the day we return. Six days ago, on a Sunday, I experienced a medical symptom that had the potential to be quite ominous. In fact, I experienced it multiple times in one day. I was scared. Initially, I just planned to call my doctor’s office the first thing Monday morning, but as my symptoms continued, I finally caved and called the answering service. I don’t bother docs-on-call without good reason, as I know the other end of that experience. I spoke with my doctor who assured me he could see me first thing Monday morning.
The assessment Monday morning was that I probably didn’t have anything to worry about, as he was able to explain my symptoms by what he could see in his initial exam. However, just to be sure, a more extensive (and expensive!) test was scheduled for the next day. No additional abnormalities noted.
Both my boyfriend and I were pretty shook up about the possibilities, and the 24 hours before the Monday morning exam were extremely stressful. My boyfriend said he hadn’t been that scared in a long time. I am as happy and content with my life right now as I have been in decades. The same holds true for my boyfriend. The thought that something serious or potentially disastrous would interfere with our future was extremely scary.Traveling Woes
The moral of this story is that stuff is going to happen whether you plan for it, or expect it, or not. When it comes to health issues, the best we can do is listen to our bodies and take care of them with regular and prompt health care. To the best of my ability, I have done so. I have followed all the rules about preventative care and examinations. I eat a very healthy diet and I exercise. Additionally, I don’t take unnecessary risks and I do everything I can to protect myself (like wear a helmet when I ride and have medical information available.) I do take care of myself. But I am most certainly not immune to having a health crisis. Take care of yourself!!! Be as prepared as you can be because life will happen while you are busy making other plans…