Life is a funny thing. We never know what is going to happen, just when we think we have it all figured out... surprise!
I don't even know where to start. I've always had medical issues and/or medical emergencies but this has really thrown me for a loop.
I've just recently been diagnosed with Epilepsy. I'm nearing 50 and still trying to deal with what that means. I started having moments of dejavu, memory issues and moments when I couldn't find words or stared off into space in my early forties but never really thought much about it aside from the creepy dejavu moments and I would loose time, sometimes just a few minutes, sometimes upwards of an hour.
2 years ago I was in the bush, no cell service and a few hours away from a hospital. Out of nowhere I had a massive seizure, I really scared my family, they thought I was going to die. I eventually stopped seizing and it took me a good 2-3 days to fully recover. Then that was that, it never happened again until about 6 months ago and it came back with a vengeance. I was having seizures daily, in and out of the emergency room and seriously getting injured during the seizures. I went to see a neurologist and she put me on anti seizure medication, took away my driver's licence and I was unable to work. I continued to have seizures as the medication is a gradual process, basically every time I had a seizure from that point forward she would increase my dose.
At the same time this was happening, we got a puppy. A female American Black Lab. We have another American Black Lab and his name is Vader, so we called the puppy Padme. Padme is extremely smart, manipulative and only behaved when my husband was home. I was drove nuts, she was constantly attacking me, biting me, bullying me into corners, ripping at my clothes, I would call her a complete savage. She only did it to me though, nobody else. My husband would come home from work and she was a complete angel, if it wasn't for the bite marks and torn clothing, I honestly don't think my husband would have believed me.
One time I was in bed watching tv, the dogs were just roaming the house, nowhere around me. I will laying on my back, next thing I remember, I'm on my side in recovery position, the whole left side of my body was covered in bite marks, including my eye. I ended up with quite the black eye. Sheets and my clothing torn. I can only assume I seized by how I felt afterwards (nobody was home to witness it and I have memory loss and confusion with them) and once again assuming Padme ran to my rescue and did everything she could to roll me on my side so I wouldn't choke on my own tongue. What other conclusion is there right?
After that incident was when everything changed. Padme was stuck to me like glue and my best friend. We started noticing a pattern that Padme would go savage on me about 10 minutes before I took a seizure. It got to the point where everyone knew that if Padme went crazy, it was about a 10 minute window before I would seize. Crazy right? I mentioned it to my doctor and she told me that some dogs have a natural ability to smell epilepsy/seizures, American Labs are especially know for it.
Now, I ask you what are the odds of that? I have epilepsy and ended up getting a puppy with a natural ability to detect it? She was definitely meant to be part of our family.
I went through the process of registering her as a medical service dog and we are in the process of training her. Training is going well, she is extremely smart. I feel so at ease knowing I can go out in public and Padme will tell me if something is going to happen and I can get to a safe place to try and make sure I don't get anymore injuries. It's a terrifying thought having a seizure in public where the new to me normal is just seeing all the things and ways I can get hurt. I trust Padme explicitly to take care of me and she gives me the confidence to walk out of the house and not just see dangers everywhere I look.
Please share your thoughts and experiences with service dogs, I would love to hear all about it :)
Stay tuned for another chapter in "my life"