Christian Taylor Buchanan

Christian Taylor Buchanan

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Gift in Every Tragedy - Our Dog Just Lost His Left Eye

Many of you know that we are Boston Terrier lovers! We have two males, Steel and Kal, who are litter mates. We have had them for about 2 years now and got them as puppies. About a month ago, we noticed that Kal was holding his left eye closed a lot. Boston's are known for their bulgy eyes, so this wasn't the first time the dogs had gotten too rough and hurt an eye. Steel and Kal fight like brothers. Ugh!

An old pic I have of these 3!
This is rare because they never
hold still! haha! 
For about a day, we watched it and wiped it with a warm cloth, figuring it was probably sore and would be fine in a day or two. We got up the next morning and Kal was holding his eye open more, which we thought was a good sign, but we noticed that it had a blue haze over it. The haze reminded me of my dog I had when I was a kid living at home with my parents. Ginger lived to be 13, 14, 15 years old (we aren't exactly sure because we found her and picked her up as a stray) and she developed blue, hazy eyes and low vision in her old age.

Kal's blue hazy eye concerned us, so we decided to go ahead and take him to the vet and let them just take a look at him. The vet called me later that day to let me know that Kal had suffered a pretty massive injury to his eye and it was on the verge of rupturing. She gave us two different meds to put in his eye 3 times a day, and said that we might still not be able to save it. She made it clear that it was pretty bad.

So for three weeks we put medicine in Kal's eye and slowly but surely it began to heal. Kal was in less pain and the blue haze began to go away.

Then, last Thursday, I took all the boys, kids and dogs, outside to stretch their legs in the back yard fenced in area. We hadn't been outside to play since before Kal got hurt and it was a nice day. As soon as we got out to the fence, I turned just in time see Steel jump Kal and hear Kal yelp. I immediately checked Kal's eye and didn't see anything except that it was watering, so I put Kal inside and let the boys play continue playing.

Sweet Kal and his toothy smile before his eye injury.

I checked on him again after lunch and put his meds in his eye that were due. His eye was still watering, but I couldn't tell much else.  It looked okay. I took the boys to their grandparent's house that evening until Chris got home from work, and when Chris came home, he checked on Kal and noticed that something wasn't right.

Chris knew immediately that his eye had ruptured, but I won't go into the details because just thinking about it makes me want to gag. I did not choose a job in the medical field for a reason.

So, off to the vet the next morning we went, per a facebook conversation with our vet who was nice enough to facebook chat me at 9pm, and Kal had to have his eye removed.

Steel (left) and Kal (right)
Brothers around age 1
We were heartbroken for our pup. We had tried so hard to save his eye, and still we couldn't. We felt like we had failed him, but also we were worried about how he would get along losing an eye. We already know what it's like for Christian, and it was painful to see a once healthy eye just be gone that quickly.

We couldn't pick Kal up until Saturday morning and I was so worried about what the kids would think. Surprisingly, they still haven't noticed almost a week later. They haven't said a word about it! Of course, Christian can't touch the eye to feel it, but Chandler is pretty perceptive and Christian listens to EVERYTHING, and I just knew Chandler would say something and then put Christian on alert that Kal's eye was gone. I was nervous because I worried how Christian would relate Kal losing an eye to him not having his eyes. Although he doesn't fully understand his condition, he does understand that it affects his eyes. I was also worried that Chandler might find it gross or scary to see Kal suddenly missing an eye, and say something that would hurt Christian's feelings if he was able to associate that to himself.

I was really just worried that Christian would associate Kal losing his eye with something bad sch as doctors, getting hurt, etc, and I'm sure he heard us talking about how sad it made us for Kal to lose his eyes, so I just didn't want him to think that it somehow related to him and his eyes being "bad." I also didn't want Chandler to fear losing his eyes. Chandler gets things in his head and he will obsessively fear it for months. There is no talking him through it or explaining it away. He will wake up at 3am having panic attacks about the thing he is most afraid of right now. We have been going through this police officer fear for several months and I can't tell you how many times I've reassured him that police officers will not get him when he misbehaves.

So, all that to say, I had all these fears already thought through, and none of them played out. Kal is doing well. He has adjusted to having less vision and isn't running into things nearly as much as he was his first few days home. So, I guess you could say best case scenario played out with something that is definitely not best case scenario.

Kal Kal  riding home from one of our
many vet visits trying to save his eye.
I'm sure someone will think it's tasteless of me to mention this, but whenever I am faced with something hard, I often make jokes about it as a way to cope. As a family, we laugh at the funny things that happen as a result of Christian being blind or having his feeding tube (like the time the nurse accidentally squirted his food all over our ceiling from a syringe and the stain is still there. We joke that we don't paint over it so we can leave a reminder of the occasion. Or the time Christian accidentally almost ran Baby Chandler over in a power wheels car because he couldn't see him, but we aren't really sure it was an accident at all.  lol!)

So, I told the vet when I picked Kal up that we were sort of experienced in people in our home not having all their eyes, so I wasn't too worried about taking care of Kal, and that there would no more folks in our home losing eyes because two was more than enough. We laughed about it, because it is kind of ironic, isn't it?

We are the proud owners of a one-eyed dog, and we are the proud parents of a no-eyed boy. Both circumstances suck on some level. Not that we get to be Kal's dog parents or Christian's mom and dad. But just that Christian and Kal both have had to suffer unfair losses that make life a little harder. That is not what we would've chosen for Christian or Kal. We would give them their eyes if we could, but in both cases, we have also managed to see the gift.

Losing eyes is not a gift, so don't hear me say that; and I don't think God takes people's eyes or limbs or senses and says "Look at this gift I've bestowed on you!" But I do think that in every tragedy, like losing an eye, there is a gift, because that's just how God operates. He can take even the worst things and make something good out of it. He can take even the ugliest clay and shape a beautiful piece of pottery.

So, Chris and I were talking tonight about the gift within the tragedy. We are still sad about Kal losing his eye and still learning to cope and adjust to it, but now Christian isn't going to be the only one in our family without eyes. Christian won't have to feel like he is alone, like the odd ball out, in his struggle at this young age. When Christian asks questions, which he is doing more and more now, we have someone right in our own home to show Christian that some people (or animals) are like him and some people are not, and that it's all okay. When Christian wonders if anyone understands, we can point to the furry ball of energy that sleeps in our living room; and when Christian wants to know why he is different, I hope having Kal can bring him some comfort to know that even though he isn't exactly like Mommy and Daddy and Chandler, he is exactly who he is supposed to be.

Every good and perfect gift is from above. Sometimes the gifts are less obvious and sometimes they don't look like gifts at first, but if we are vigilant in looking for them, we will find them.

Home from the vet after eye removal.
Poor bud. He has been in good spirits! 

1 comment:

  1. I love your optimism, strength and above all I love the determination and good you see in everything. You are an inspirational women and a wonderful mother. You have a beautiful family, god bless you all and your fur babies too