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Me and Julio both in pain

As usual lately, I'm writing with an apology for not writing lately. Things have been very crazy lately with school starting, my health taking offense to school and now Julio needs surgery. He's got a large cyst (non-cancerous thank God I say with reverence). The cyst is where his harness hits, just behind his front left paw on the chest. It's in the skin from what they can tell and it's not attached, but it's causing him pain. It's amazing how big these things can get and how painful they can seem. I can recognize several pain behaviors which I know all too well from my own struggle:

  • Several people have said that "something doesn't look right in his eyes" and asked if he's tired. I should clarify, before anyone asks, that these are people I know and trust and they've approached the topic with gentleness, respect for my relationship with Julio and no intention of saying they know more about my dog than I do. Pretty much every guide dog handler can point to interactions where someone thinks they know more about what should be done with the dog even though they've only seen the dog for five seconds. This was not the case with anyone who'd made the comment.

  • Julio's pull in harness has gotten really bad over the last week and a half and it's not just from testing. I've tried different environments and everything I can think of and nothing has helped. I've had to work really hard at avoiding suitcasing my dog. (This refers to a frowned upon practice where the guide dog handler is overstepping their dog. It's so named because the dog's harness handle is pointing upward, much like the handle of a suitcase.)

  • He's avoiding the harness, even though he loves to work.

  • Friends and the vet noticed irritation over the lump. Even with padding on the harness, this hasn't gone away.

I've never had to make this type of decision, but it's one which has to be made. There is a lot to it, and Julio's not going to be able to work while the stitches are in because of where the cyst is. But I can't ask my dog to work in pain anyway, so without removing the cyst, his work would be very limited. Also, the bigger these things get, the more involved the surgery is. It doesn't make this any easier though. And my anxiety is pretty high due to the pain I'm in, school stressors and my fear around Julio's surgery. I have yet to have a surgery go as planned for me, so I think that my concern is somewhat justified.

For those who pray, please pray for both of us. Pray that the surgery goes well and healing is good for Julio. Pray that the vet's job is easy and the surgery isn't difficult. Finally, please pray that I manage the anxiety well enough to be of help to Julio this weekend. I still remember how angry he was over the biopsy in June, I'm afraid it will be worse this time.


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Sep. 25th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
You'll be in my thoughts.
I'll most certainly be praying for you and the pup - I know how hard those surgeries can be.
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Re: You'll be in my thoughts.
hi there, i will pray for you, and the pup too.
i'm a new friend, to your list, but i'm in the process, ofgetting my own dog, soon. so. okay.
Sep. 27th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
Re: You'll be in my thoughts.
Thank you for praying! How are YOU doing? I haven't been as good as I'd hoped about keeping up with my friends list and hadn't seen a post for a while so had been worrying and praying for you.
Sep. 25th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say that I'll definitely you in prayer, and also, if you ever want someone to talk to, feel free to get ahold of me. All my contact info's in my profile, and of course feel free to comment anywhere as well too. Just felt I should at least offer that b/c I'd be a horrible friend--in fact, no friend at all--if I didn't. I know how it is having had a dog, not as a guide but more as a pet, but I do have some idea of what you're going through. I know how tough it is, especially with everything going on. Anyway, take care, and I'm always around if you want to talk. Mark
Sep. 27th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
Re: Hey.
Thanks! I'm not always very good about actually taking up offers from my friends but I'm trying to get better. In that vein, I'll definitely keep your offer in mind! Thanks!
Sep. 26th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC)
HUGS I will definitely pray! Nixon has one, from the way he lies down on his chest, and has a lump there now, but I cover the spot by having a fleece sleeve on the chest strap to alleviate any redness or issues... Most of them are fatty tumours and if it is interfering, best to get it removed; most of the time, it is left alone. Hope Julio is feeling better soon!...

Sep. 26th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
I'll definitely be praying for both of you... Let me know if there's anything else I can do!
Sep. 26th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
I hope you're able to deal with everying accordingly, and that Julio pulls through the surgery fine.
Take care.
Sep. 26th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
My haeart and prayers are with you. Hugs.
Sep. 27th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
I'm just now reading this and your follow-up message. I'm glad he made it through surgery ok and will be praying for a quick recovery.
Oct. 11th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
Chronic pain
You sound like a brave young woman. I myself have lived in chronic pain for 20 years. I will pray for you.
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