As Big E’s care­giv­er I could not deter­mine his fate with­out ask­ing him what he  want­ed. Should we autho­rize surgery, com­mit to drugs and fre­quent feed­ings, or end his life? Under the influ­ence of a high dose of steroids his eyes were glassy and unfo­cused, he avoid­ed phys­i­cal con­tact, and pre­ferred to sleep.  This sen­tient and sen­si­tive being could not vocal­ize what he need­ed or want­ed us to do.   Jim and I weighed the pros and cons of surgery.  It was hard to give a vote of con­fi­dence to an inva­sive pro­ce­dure when there was no abnor­mal­i­ty vis­i­ble on imagery.  Surgery felt like a fish­ing expe­di­tion.   A reg­i­ment of steroids and fre­quent feed­ings had short and long term con­se­quences, too.

I want­ed des­per­ate­ly to read Big E’s ener­gy, but I was emo­tion­al­ly attached and too close to the sit­u­a­tion. Drugs masked his expres­sions.  I reached out to my spir­i­tu­al men­tor and asked her to read Big E’s ener­gy.  It seemed that what Big E want­ed was to be at home with Jim and I, and to be loved. He want­ed mer­cy.

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A dic­tio­nary def­i­n­i­tion of Mer­cy  describes kind or com­pas­sion­ate treat­ment; a dis­po­si­tion to be  for­giv­ing or help­ful; a thing to be thank­ful for.

Con­tin­u­ing to explore what was best for Big E I reached out to a holis­tic home­o­path­ic vet­eri­nar­i­an that I had worked with fif­teen years ago when we had anoth­er dog with a chron­ic dis-ease. I was sur­prised when the holis­tic vet­eri­nar­i­an agreed to take Big E’s case.  Holis­tic vet­eri­nar­i­an med­i­cine might tag Big E’s core issue(s) as: over vac­ci­nat­ing, pour diet, envi­ron­ment, and/or pes­ti­cides. A holis­tic home­o­path­ic per­spec­tive would look at Big E as a whole being with an imbal­ance and not just a sin­gle dis-eased organ. Fol­low­ing Homeopathy’s Laws of Sim­i­lars and like cures like, we opt­ed to change Big E’s diet, reduce his steroid dosage, and to com­mence treat­ment with home­o­path­ic reme­dies.

The art and sci­ence of clas­sic home­opa­thy isn’t a quick fix. Home­o­path­ic reme­dies are pre­scribed based on symp­toms and  ask­ing cor­re­spond­ing ques­tions. There are vary­ing respons­es to a rem­e­dy and find­ing an effec­tive rem­e­dy is a call­ing for a trained and expe­ri­enced home­opa­thy. Find­ing the right rem­e­dy for Big E has been a chal­lenge. Three months have passed since we embarked down this  heal­ing  road. Almost on a dai­ly basis my heart has been cracked open and shat­tered into pieces watch­ing Big E’s vital force reject or neg­a­tive­ly react to any kind of treat­ment.

Extreme win­ter weath­er tossed some extra­or­di­nar­i­ly rough patch­es in our path. Big E expe­ri­enced a Grand mal seizure dur­ing a major snow storm. It took  45 min­utes to dri­ve  to our pri­ma­ry vet­eri­nar­i­an clin­ic — a route that typ­i­cal­ly takes only 5 min­utes. A loss of pow­er dis­placed us  from our home for five days.  For­tu­nate­ly we stayed in a Mar­riott facil­i­ty with a full kitchen that enabled us to pre­pare Big E’s fresh meals, walk him at predawn in bit­ter cold snow, and nur­ture the love beneath the com­forter of a king size bed. A sec­ond grand mal seizure  hap­pened in the park­ing lot of the Mar­riott. I’ve learned how to  watch grand mal seizures care­ful­ly for any sign that indi­cates a need to take him to a vet­eri­nar­i­an clin­ic.

I gave up try­ing to work out­side the home. Since the first of the year I’ve can­celled trav­el plans and con­tin­ue to decline all social invi­ta­tions.  I devote myself 24/7 to Big E’s feed­ing, walk­ing, and mon­i­tor­ing.  I keep detail notes of his symp­toms and respons­es to reme­dies.  I won’t leave him alone. Any out­ings are arranged to coin­cide with times when Jim can be at home with Big E.

Big E with JMR

More than once we’ve heard that most homeopath’s won’t touch an insuli­no­ma diag­no­sis.  We are tru­ly grate­ful to ALL, alo­path­ic, holis­tic, and home­o­path­ic vet­eri­nar­i­ans who have con­sult­ed with us. Big E’s treat­ment has become a cus­tomized process of fre­quent feed­ings of fresh raw pro­tein (beef, chick­en, fish) aug­ment­ed with pre­scribed sup­ple­ments, a low dose of steroids, and pre­scribed home­o­path­ic reme­dies.

We have tak­en the best results from mul­ti­ple holis­tic and home­o­path­ic vet­eri­nar­i­ans with a shift away  from clas­sic home­opa­thy. Clas­sic home­opa­thy pre­scribes one rem­e­dy at a time fol­lowed by a wait­ing peri­od to inter­pret results. Cur­rent­ly we are work­ing with a home­o­path­ic vet­eri­nar­i­an whose spe­cial­ty is  can­cer patients.

At this time Big E is fol­low­ing a  pro­to­col  of two pre­scribed reme­dies giv­en simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. There is hope that the steroids will be elim­i­nat­ed in the near future. His cur­rent steroid dose  is very low for a 60 pound dog.

Today, my heart sings. We are see­ing some favor­able treat­ment respons­es. 

Car­ing for Big E is a bless­ing, an act of divine favor, and com­pas­sion for all his care­givers.