July 4, 2017

A Rainbow

For two straight days I have been crying non stop at my loss of Bartles. I cried more when I thought that he possibly suffered terribly because of ill-informed diagnosis and treatments in the ER. 

When I lost my childhood cocker spaniel, Bobby, I saw what I thought was a shooting star that very night. I thought it was a sign from Bobby telling me that he had crossed over safely and was ok.

The morning when Piri passed, Yangkyu was watering the garden and we saw a rainbow. I missed the sign then because we had seen rainbows from all the other times that Yangkyu watered the garden, but later realized that this one was special because Piri had sent it to let us know that he had crossed over safely. 

Bartles passed around 11:30 pm on July 1. For two days I was looking for signs and I didn't see anything. This led me to be more fearful thinking that he was somehow mistreated and that he was lost and not able to cross over properly. 

Today around mid-afternoon, I let our guest dogs out to pee in the backyard. Neo, a girl corgi guest, normally likes to explore the backyard and do her business, and she did just that. When they were all done, I got ready to wipe doggy paws and wee wee areas when all of the sudden Neo began to sniff this one area of our deck and then proceeded to pee there. I was alarmed because she's never done that before. Mochi then took a step closer toward her pee and I said, "No! Mochi! Please stay... stay..." And he did just that. He just stood close to the puddle and watched me. Like he was staying, hurry, look. Look. 

I got out our garden hose and proceeded to wash the urine away. And then it appeared. A rainbow. Small, but it was definitely there. And then I started to cry and my heart felt like a ton of weight had been lifted. 

I later told Yangkyu that perhaps Bartles still had a slow gait all the way to the rainbow bridge and so it took him a little while to get there. But since he's crossed over now his walking is perfect and so is his health. And he's just getting around to sending us a rainbow to let us know that he's ok. 

We talked about how Piri greeted him with his goat friend, but not Russian Dog because he mistakenly went back down to Earth at the moment (we gave that special power to Russian Dog - the ability to transport himself to Earth and back to the rainbow bridge so that we can see him from time to time). We decided to give Bartles a super power too. The Bartles Cyclone. We thought to turn his circling habit into something that can be useful for this band of misfits as they go on adventures together. We laughed at the thought and then I made Yangkyu watch all the videos I had of Bartles currently saved on my phone.

Then soon afterwards, I began to cry again because I felt guilty for being so angry and bitter after his death. I was wondering if maybe Bartles wished for me to celebrate his life instead of holding on to the hard days. For me to let go and picture him happy and healthy. I felt terrible for holding on to the challenging days, like I was holding everyone back. I didn't know what the right thing to do was. To continue to be angry until I got some answers or to let it go. It was yet another decision I didn't know how to make. 

Later on at 9:30 pm I got a call back from Bartles' primary vet. She had taken care of Piri and we have a long history with her. She said she called late because she wanted to make sure we had enough time to talk and not during the day when she would be pulled in different directions. She went over my concerns and questions and doubts and while she was honest that she couldn't give me a definitive answer, she reassured me of the two biggest concerns I had -- his steroid injections and his chest bruising from the CPR. In her opinion those two concerns were not the reason that Bartles died.

I do have to say that I am not 100% satisfied with what I heard from his primary vet. But I do know this. She isn't the type to lie or cover up or make things up to deceive.

When we had gone to her for a second opinion when Piri began to crash suddenly shortly after he was diagnosed with kidney disease, she discovered that by re-checking his blood pressure the medicine prescribed to him from our previous vet was too high and it was causing him to be lethargic and nearly lifeless. Instead of saying, "The other vet read the blood pressure wrong. It's way too low and the medication too much," she said, "Well, the blood pressure medicine is doing too good of a job and so we want to scale back a bit and he should bounce right back." From that moment on I knew she had good character.

While some of her opinions were vague, she was straightforward with her thoughts on the bruising of the chest with CPR, giving CPR upon arrival and steroid injections.

I asked her if she could give me his ACTH stim numbers and she said his pre number was 16 and post number 16.1, which was still in the normal range but high, especially if he had been on Trilostane leading up to the day of the test. Back in April we had taken him off of Trilostane because his post number was 1.9 which was still within normal range but dangerously close to being low to go into Addison's.

I had let her know that I actually did send an email to the ER hospital and to the attending doctor on Friday but I did not hear back from them yet. She let me know that she will be in the office for the rest of the week and should I get a call back from them and end up with more questions, she would be here to answer them if she can. She also said that the x-ray interpretations wasn't in his files and only the pictures so she will try to get her hands on them and let me know if she finds anything.

In the end, Bartles' primary vet also suggested something neurological was happening to Bartles that made him deteriorate fast. I kept bringing up how his vitals and blood work was so good for me to believe that he could go down so fast. That will perhaps forever remain a mystery. She also let me know that doing an autopsy may not always give us an answer as well. To be honest, this got me a little nervous. You know, we guard ourselves and suspect the worst in people because unfortunately there are people who deceive and lie. After hanging up with her, I did, for a split second, wonder if she said that to deter me from getting an autopsy done to hide what really had happened.

I know. I sound crazy. I can even sense it just re-reading that sentence.

My heart definitely does feel lighter. It still hurts like hell but it feels lighter. The rainbow. The call from his primary vet. It also makes me think that even though Bartles is gone in circumstances that still puzzles me, he has met Piri and is well.

The night that Bartles passed, I slept in his bed. The following day, I took an afternoon nap in his bed and then slept on the sofa that night. I had planned on staying down there to sleep until I saw a sign from Bartles letting me know that he was ok. I was afraid that he was wandering and lost and I wanted to be downstairs... in case he came back here.

Tonight for the first time in a long long time (since December when he came home to us), I will be sleeping in our bedroom, on our bed. It's a bitter sweet feeling for me.

Bartles. Sweet sweet Bartles. Take care. And I hope you and Piri and your new goat friend and Russian Dog will go on so many amazing adventures together. And you can tell me all about it when we see each other again.

I miss you and I will always love you.
Say hello to Piri for me.

저는 이틀 동안 쭉 바틀스가 우리 곁에 떠나서 계속 울었습니다. 혹시 바틀스가 응급실에서 잘못된 진단과 치료를 받아서 공통스럽게 죽었을수도 있는 가능성에 더 마음아프게 서럽게울었습니다.

어릴적 키웠던 코카 바비가 세상 떠났을떼 반짝반짝 빛나는 별을 그날 저녁에 보았어요. 전 그때 바비가 저한테 보내준 별이라고 생각했어요. 괜찮다고. 무지개 다리 잘 건넜다고.

피리가 죽은 그 아침 양규가 뒷마당 잔디 물주고 있었을때 무지개를 보았어요. 그때 당시에는 특별하게 생각하지 않았어요. 매일 아침 보았던 무지개 였으니까. 하지만 나중에 알게된건.. 그날 아침 무지개는 특별한 무지개였구나.. 피리가 자기 괜찮다고 우리 한테 무지개를 보낸거구나...

바틀스는 7월 1일 11:30밤 정도 세상 떠났어요. 이틀동안 싸인을 계속 찾고 있었는데 별이던 무지개던 아무것도 못보았습니다. 그래서 더 무서운 생각을 하게 됐죠. 분명 바틀스가 고통스럽게 죽어서 해매고 있구나.. 무지개 다리를 잘 못건넜구나..

오늘 점심때 피리네집 강아지 손님들 볼일 보라고 뒷마당에 풀어줬어요. 여자 코기 손님 니오가 원래 뒷마당 다 돌아보면서 볼일 보거든요.. 이때도 똑같이 그랬습니다. 강아지들이 다 볼일보고 발과 오줌싼 부분 닦아줄려고 준비하는동안 니오가 갑자기 나무 베란다 냄새맞다가 오줌을 쌌어요. 한번도 그런적이 없어서 살짝 놀랐습니다. 그러더니 모치가 그 오줌 가까이 오더라구요. 밟을까봐 난 "모치! 거기 있어.. 움지기지 마.." 했더니 오줌 조금 떨어저 가만히 서있었어요. 절 계속 처다보면서.

그리고 난 가든 호스를 꺼네 물로 오줌을 닦았어요. 그때 나타났어요. 무지개. 작았지만 확실히 무지개 였습니다. 그리고 전 막 울기 시작하면서 그 무거웠던 마음이 가벼워 졌어요.

나중에 양규 한테 이런 말 했어요. "바틀스가 아직 걸음걸이가 느려서 무지개 다리 까지 가기 좀 걸렸나봐." 하지만 인제 건넜고 걸음걸이도 다시 완벽해졌고 건강도 최고. 그래서 지금 우리 한테 무지개 보내줬나봐... 자기 괜찮다고.

그리고 우린 또 이야기를 막 지어냈습니다. 피리는 우리가 지어준 염소 상상친구와 바틀스를 마중나갔고 엉뚱한 러시안 도그는 실수로 지구에 내려와있어서 무지개 다리 건너편으로 돌아가면 그때 바틀스 만날거라고 웃으면서 얘기 했어요. 우린 피리에 상상친구 러시안 도그한테 슈퍼 파워를 줬어요. 지구와 무지개 다리 건너편을 문재 없이 왔다갔다 할수 있는 능력.. 우리가 가끔 볼수 있게. 그리고 바틀스도 슈퍼 파워를 줬습니다. 바틀스 싸이클론. 바틀스가 서클링 하는것을 피리와 염소 그리고 러시안 도그와 인제 여러 어드벤쳐를 좋게 할것을 예비해서 멋진 능력을 줬습니다. 이 아이들이 너무 잼있게 시간을 보낼것 같아서 우린 웃고 그리고 난 내 전화기에 저장된 바틀스 영상을 양규랑 계속 봤습니다.

그리도 또 바틀스 한테 미안한 마음에 울었어요. 바틀스가 떠나고 나서 내가 너무 화나고 억울해서 혹시나 바틀스는 누나가 자기 좋은 생각 해줄기 바랬는데 자꾸 힘들날들만 붙잡고 있어서 슬퍼할까봐 울었어요. 어떻게 하면 좋을지 혼란스럽기도 하고. 계속 화내면서 답을 찾아야되는지 아니면 이미 떠난 바틀스를 좋은 기억에 남겨야되는지.. 병원에서 내려야되는 힘든 결정처럼 어떻게 해야될지 몰랐어요. 

저녁 9:30에 바틀스의 수의사분께서 전화 왔어요. 그분은 피리도 쭉 봐주셨고 우리와 인연이 긴 분이세요. 난 하루종일 기다리고 전화 안와서 포기한 상태였는데 전화 늦게한 이유는 근무하는동안 바쁘니까 아무방해 없이 전화할수 있는 시간은 늦은 저녁이라서 이때 전화 하셨다고 설명해주셨어요.

그리고 나의 모든 질문, 걱정과 의심 다 하나하나씩 대답해주시고 선생님의 의견도 내주셨습니다. 솔직하게 바틀스가 왜 죽었는지는 모른다고 하셨어요.. 단지 바틀스가 심폐소생술 받으면서 상쳐 받았던것과 스테로이드를 쓸때없이 줘서 죽은것은 아닌것 같다고 하셨어요. 

저는 솔직히 그분이 말한것 대해 100% 만족하지는 않았습니다. 하지만 이것을 알고있어요. 그분은 거짓말이나 속일려고 말을 꾸며내는 분은 아니라는것.

그 수위사분을 처음 만났을때는 피리가 다른 병원에서 신장문제 진단을 받고 나서 갑자기 거이 죽어갈때였어요. 세컨드 오피니언 받으러 찾아갔었어요. 그분이 피리 혈압을 다시 재고 나서 알아낸게 피리가 현제 먹고 있는 약이 너무 강해서 거이 죽어가고 있다는거였습니다. 보통 수의사면 이렇게 말했을거라고 생각했어요 -- "그 전에 갔던 병원에서 혈압을 잘못 재고 약을 너무 강한걸 줘서 거이 죽을뻔했네요." 하지만 그분은 이렇게 저의 한테 말을 했습니다.. "지금 현제 먹고 있는 약이 필요한 효과 보다 더 쌘 반응을 보여서 약 조절 하면 피리는 괜찮아질겁니다." 그때부터 그분은 좋은 성격을 가진분이라고 생각했어요.

바틀스가 죽은 원인 대해 말씀하신것 몇몇가지는 자세한 내용을 얘기 못해주셨지만 내가 제일 걱정하는 부분은 확실히 아니라고 말씀해주셨어요.

그리고 바틀스의 에디슨 테스트 결과도 얘기해줬습니다. 바틀스 pre number는 16 그리고 post number는 16.1. Post number는 그래도 노멀 레인지에 떨어졌지만 바틀스는 10일 동안 쿠싱병 약을 먹어왔으니까 놉다고 말하셨어요. 4월초에는 그 post number가 1.9. 그때도 노멀 레인지 였지만 거이 에디슨 병으로 떨어질 정도로 위험했으니까 약을 그만 먹기 시작했었어요.

전 수의사 분한테 응급실쪽에 이메일 보냈고 금요일에 바틀스 봐주셨던 의사선생님 한테 메세지도 남겼는데 연락은 안왔다고 말했습니다. 수위사분은 혹시 그쪽에서 연락오고 나서 내가 이해 못하는 부분있으면 언제든지 자기 한테 다시 전화 하라고 했어요. 자기가 대답해줄수 있도록 노력해보겠다고 했습니다. 그리고 바틀스에 엑스레이 결과 내용은 현제 바틀스 파일에 기록되지 않아서 받아보고 이상한 내용 있으면 알려주신다고 했어요.

끝에서는 바틀스의 수의사분도 바틀스가 뇌쪽에 문제 있어서 빨리 몸이 나빠지면서 죽었다고 생각한다고 했습니다. 전 아직도 이해 못하는게 바틀스의 심장 뛰는것과 등등 그리고 피검사 결과가 좋았다는 거죠. 정말 아프다는 아이는 그런 결과가 나올수도 없고 갑자기 죽을수 있습니까? 이건 아마 평생 미스테리로 남을것 같네요. 그리고 수위가 분이 마지막으로 말씀하신건 부검을 해도 답이 나오지 않을수도 있다고 했어요. 그때 살짝 긴장했어요. 우리는 사람을 너무 못믿고 사기 당할까봐 경계를 하고 그렇죠. 전화 끝고 순간 그런 생각했어요.. "설마.. 내가 정말 끝까지 진실을 캐낼까봐 그런얘기를 했나..?"

알아요... 많이 지나친 생각이라는거.

마음이 많이 가벼워졌지만 아직까지 아파요. 아주 많이. 하지만 무지개도 보고 그리고 수의사 분과 전화 해서 많이 가벼워진것 같아요. 바틀스가 죽은것 대해 아직 이해 못하는 부분이 있지만 그래도 인제 정말 피리를 만난것 같아서 마음도 놓어요.

바틀스가 우리 곁에 떠난밤 전 바틀스 침대에서 잤어요. 그리고 그 다음날 바틀스 침대에서 낮잠 자고 저녁에는 소파에서 잤어요. 바틀스가 저한테 괜찮다고 싸인 보내줄때 까지 밑에층에서 계속 잘려고 했어요. 혹시 길을 해매고 있을까봐.. 해매다가 여기로 다시 올까봐...

오늘 저녁은 정말 오랜만에 (6 계월 반) 내 방, 내 침대 위에서 자요. 묘한 기분입니다.

바틀스... 나의 이쁜 바틀스. 잘있어야되. 그리고 피리와 염소와 러시안 도그랑 정말 잼있는 여행 다니고 모험도 하고 신난 시간 보내. 그리고 우리 다시 만나는 날에 누나 한테 다 얘기 해줘.

보고싶어. 그리고 사랑해.
피리 한테도 내가 사랑한다고 전해줘...


  1. So many adventures for them to go on and how perfect for the rainbow, it's like bartles knew you needed to see it and made sure to get Neo in one the plan :) I'm glad your vet was able to reassure you somewhat but I also hope you get further answers for your own journey of healing :)

  2. Thanks for providing such nice information to us. It provides such amazing information on care/as well Health/. The post is really helpful and very much thanks to you. The information can be really helpful on health, care as well as on Exam/tips.The post is really helpful.

  3. I agree with the first comment. That was good that Bartle's primary vet called you and was able to explain what happened and answer some of your questions about the chest bruising and steroid injections.
    I truly believe Piri and Bartles are together now, looking down on you and Yangkyu both with love.


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