Inappropriate Joy

Somedays the only way to level up in joy is to be inappropriate with your pharmacist.

You heard me.

Ring Ring

Picking up the phone two days ago, I fully expected the vet to declare that my Minnie had yet another urinary tract infection, and I needed to drive 30 minutes to pick up the antibiotics. As stated previously, this had been the scenario several times this year because Minnie has a leaky bladder, and while we do our best to manage it with medications, occasionally a UTI is the result. The symptoms were similar to those they had always been with a UTI, and so I was unprepared for his pronouncement that her kidney disease had significantly progressed to the severe range. Now, they wanted to monitor her monthly and change her to a new medication.

This is Minnie.

The prognosis for a dog with kidney disease is never good, and back in February, we had been led to understand that we had a year to enjoy with Minnie. Seeing her be her usual bouncy self (aside from the odd UTI), we had even forgotten that she had a life-threatening disease. Life went on pretty much as usual for Minnie with walks, pats, Kongs, and treats.

Then, we were yanked abruptly back to reality.

Struggling for Joy

Since receiving the recent diagnosis, I have been struggling. On one hand, I do not want to live in a place of sadness for the next few months living in the apprehension of what the future holds for us and our Minnie. On the other hand, I feel the need to fiercely commit to just doing what we had been doing, enjoying the moment, and mindfully dealing with things as they arise. The only problem is that often we logically decide on what path we want to take, but our emotions have trouble getting on board. The emotions decide they still want to be in trepidation and sadness, and as a 2-year-old in a full-out tantrum, there is no logicking our way to a better state of being.

I still attempted to logic my 2-year-old self, but after one failed attempt after another, I just had to accept my feelings and then do things to forget I had any.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Distract Them

Knowing that I did not want to be in this place of sadness, I took our favorite walk along the river which I had been avoiding due to the salmon run and dead salmon lining the banks. With the terminal diagnosis hanging over our heads, I decided Minnie’s happiness trumped dead salmon so off to her favorite spot we went. I left the earbuds and podcasts off and just enjoyed watching the dogs (Lizzie and Minnie) frolic and, yes, roll on dead salmon.

Fortunately, their aim wasn’t especially good, and they missed inert salmon after inert salmon coming home with just the faintest of dead fish perfume. Lucky me.

Fortunately, I had managed to distract myself for the moment, but the melancholy still lingered. Watching my dog play, I wondered to myself how many more of these moments we would have.

Darn emotions.

The Pharmacist

On the way home, I stopped at our local pharmacist’s to pick up a human medication that the vet had especially phoned in that would hopefully slow the progression of the disease. Conversing with the pharmacist, he marveled that after 10 years of practice he had never ordered this medication for either human or dog. After explaining the use and the drug itself, he gave me my receipt, and I was on my way.

Well, I would have been, except I just had to open my mouth one more time. And what came out was…in my opinion…regretful.

To appreciate the extra effort he had gone through to secure this medication and the hassle of the multiple calls, I flashed him a big smile and said “Thanks for letting me be your first.”

Then realizing what had just come out of my mouth, I turned a slight shade of red and left quickly.

The Funny Thing

The weird thing is that after being inappropriate with my pharmacist I have snapped out of being melancholy. Now, I just look at Minnie and feel a sense of embarrassment and humor.

Who would have thought that low-level, self-induced humiliation is the shock therapy way to move closer to joy? Not me that's for sure.

On that note, I have one refill left. I wonder if Minnie could just go in and get it if I sent her in with my credit card. I’m sure he’s flagged my file, and now only female staff members will be allowed to serve me.

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