I don’t want to write this today.
Heck, Dan and I really haven’t felt much like writing period. Maybe our not writing is due to the gloomy fall weather outside. Perhaps its Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Yes, maybe that is it. Seasons changing. Knowing that another cold, snowy Michigan winter is right around the corner. Knowledge like that could depress the most positive of people. Depression and Multiple Sclerosis is nothing to take lightly. Dan and I know that.
And we also know that we are SAD for a different reason altogether.
Our world came crashing down, literally and figuratively, August 19. It all started when Dan transferred me into bed that fateful Friday. Or should I say attempted to transfer me. As usual, he slid me forward in my chair. Then Dan counted, “one, two, three.” Only three was accompanied by a loud, pained curse word.
Before I knew it, I was a crumpled mass on the floor. “Oh Dan, my knees!”
But unlike other transfers, this time Dan also was a crumpled body sprawled out on the floor; and this time the tears and swearwords were coming from him. Something in Dan’s back popped and down we went. When his back gave out mid-transfer, gravity also took me to the floor. So there we were. Two pained, stranded bodies unable to stand and get help.
Fortunately Dan was able to kick my legs straight so I wasn’t crushing my knees, and he then battled through his pain to crawl and grab the phone off our nightstand. He still was crying in pain, so I called 911. And so began a series of events that almost seem like they never happened.
One of which we wish never did.
In a nutshell, Dan went to the hospital via ambulance as I lied in bed with my cellphone to keep me safe until he came home. My mother and brother drove up to our house in the middle of the night to serve as my caregivers and help with transferring me over the course of the next two weeks until Dan got better.
It turns out, he had strained a muscle in his lower back. We had made that same transfer over 48,000 times in our married life — yes, Dan did the math — but something else went wrong the night of Aug. 19.
We never thought that this incident would lead to us losing our beloved cat, Cooper.
Now do you understand why we haven’t written in a couple months?
Cooper had escaped through the front door that the paramedics had propped open for the stretcher carrying Dan out of the house. Seems he didn’t want Dan to leave without him. But after a long eight days and a couple of Cooper sightings, our bundle of joy returned home to us.
Sadly, it seems eight days in the wilderness proved too much for our boy. Two days after he came home, he broke our hearts when his back two legs stopped working. An emergency trip to the vet and a series of tests indicated he either had had a stroke or he ruptured a blood vessel in his spine. Our poor Cooper.
We never expected this was a decision we’d have to make. We swore we’d be grown-ups and would stay strong for him that day. We were, until Dan leaned down to kiss him and, resting his face of Cooper’s side, said,”You always were such a good pillow.” I couldn’t get close enough to the table to kiss him, so I kissed my fingers and placed them on his nose and said, “Goodbye, Sprout. I love you.”
We packed up his towel and toys about a month ago and took his remaining food back to the vet. Maybe it can feed another cat who shares Cooper’s thyroid issues. My cheeks are covered in tears, and I’m sobbing like it happened yesterday, but it has been nearly six weeks since we said goodbye. My heart hurts so much, and Dan’s is broken. Maybe typing this will help us heal.
RIP Cooper Magee. August 31, 2016, was one of our toughest days ever. You always will be our bundle of joy. Thanks for letting us live in your house.