|March 21, 2003 - March 30, 2012|
Friday, April 6, 2012
Payton’s battle with PDE...the war is over
In the end it wasn’t the seizures that took Payton’s life, but a nasty infection in her lungs, most likely a severe bacterial pneumonia. True to form, she showed no signs of any illness until it had progressed. Why did she have to be so tough, always putting on a strong face? After returning from Texas (and her collapsing trachea diagnosis), she quickly lost the cough and perked up. She enjoyed her birthday as you all witnessed on the blog, and was doing great until Tuesday night (March 27th) when the cough returned and Payton began to shake/shiver with pain. The emergency vet was nervous, the XRAYs didn’t look good. I won’t even bother listing all of the things that were likely wrong. But the next day brought hope as Payton seemed better, if only more stable. Then early Thursday (March 29th) morning she started to struggle. When our local vet couldn’t help, Gampy drove us to Chicago (Tim was in California on business). We dropped her off in the emergency facility where Dr. Podell worked. They put her in an oxygen chamber and switched antibiotics to give her a fighting chance. When we left, she was sitting and wanted out of the box. I didn’t want to leave her, but I knew she was getting the best care. Thankfully, Tim arrived soon. After Dr. Podell had a chance to evaluate the situation and watch her, he called us with bad news. The infection was winning. Years of immunosuppressive drugs made even the smallest bug a battle for Payton. And this time there was so much fluid building up in her lungs that Payton’s little body just didn’t have the strength to fight to breathe while fighting off the infection. He didn’t think that she would pull through but he wanted to give her the night to prove him wrong. I wanted to camp out in the waiting room, but the doctor and technicians said we should stay at the hotel and get some sleep. Unfortunately, we got a call early Friday that she had declined significantly. The wonderful technician that was watching Payton said we needed to come in and make a decision. After checking in, the technician brought us in the back and said that Payton had just coughed up fluid and didn’t have the energy to move. When the chamber doors were opened, Payton recognized us and used her last bit of spunk to smile at us and wag her tail. I held her head and we petted her. It was time to say goodbye. I held her and she took her last breath. She was the most beautiful girl in life and death.
Payton fought hard her entire life, and without hesitation I declare her victory over PDE. Kicked its butt. Yes, it took her life too early, but if you think about it, every one of us will eventually meet the same fate one day or another. And there is no one (furry or not) that I have known in my life to fight with so much courage and determination, with so much love and passion. I’ve said it before, but now it takes on a whole new meaning…she is my angel of love, my hero, and my inspiration.
It is an understatement to say that I miss Payton. There is a hole in my heart, an unsettling emptiness in my life. There are different levels of sadness that I feel throughout each day. Sometimes I can smile when I think about her, but sometimes I find myself having such a horrible panic attack…a pit in my stomach that we have left her somewhere and when I try to run to her she keeps getting further and further away. I am struggling, so much pain and heart ache. There is no place to hide from the hurt, sometimes I feel trapped. My brain knows we made the right choice, but my heart feels like we gave up on her. Despite how sick and tired she got so quickly, I really thought she would pull through…that’s what always happened. I had hoped we would never have to make that decision, to have her life in our hands.
Please do not worry about me. I know over time it will get easier and the healing process will start. I intend to fight through this for Payton. She would not want me to be sad forever. There are so many things that she would want me to enjoy, and I plan to continue having adventures in her honor, more of which I will share later.
The amount of support we have received is remarkable, from people we know and many that we don’t. Thank you. Those words are not enough to give, but it’s all I have right now. The daily comments, emails, text messages, and cards have been so uplifting and encouraging. And the tributes on so many other blogs, each one is so special and meaningful. Please know that I look forward to reading them each day, and they are making a big difference. Just knowing that so many are mourning and crying with us has touched us more than we can say.
I wish that everyone could have met Payton, but I can’t tell you how happy I am to know that so many of you felt as if you did know her. Really, words are not enough to express the joy I feel knowing her memory will live on beyond her immediate family. She wasn’t the kind of pug you keep to yourself. In fact, I think it will help me to share more of her with you. Payton and I had drafted some posts that we planned to publish throughout April. If you don’t mind, I’m going to publish them over the next few weeks.
Thank you for letting me express some of my feelings. Maybe it will help others that are grieving. I do still plan to respond individually to everyone that has reached out to us, but please be patient with me as I gather the strength.
PS. We were able to donate Payton’s remains to Dr. Kimberly Greer's research in hopes that even after death Payton can help kick some PDE butt! If your pug or a pug you know has been diagnosed, please consider reaching out to Dr. Greer when the time comes. Monetary donations are always welcomed too. I will make sure to keep her contact information up to date on the blog. If you have trouble reaching her, please feel free to email me and I’ll help in any way I can.