Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Warning from our Pastor

On Monday, as we were making our various ways home from the New England conference, our pastor sent us all an email warning which said, in part:

All of you are now going to face brand new challenges, especially from our best friend's enemy - BEWARE!

The conference has not ended; THE CONFERENCE HAS JUST BEGUN.

So I got home Monday night, we took Quigley on his walk and he had runny, watery diarrhea. Well, maybe it was stress, we thought. Or something he ate. No biggie. He seems to get diarrhea somewhat regularly, though not usually all watery.

But the next day, he still had it. Sometimes it was thicker than others and in late afternoon he left one that had blood in it. So we fed him a bland diet of rice and chicken. He loves rice and chicken and gets all excited just when I'm making the rice. He gobbled down a whole batch of it last night. Then we took him on his walk and though he stopped frequently, he never left enough to even pick up.

This morning when things were a little bit more formed in his first two droppings, with no blood n them, I thought he was getting better. Then he refused to eat. No rice, no chicken, no yogurt (which he loves) -- he wasn't even very interested in the treats during our (very brief) training session. And he seemed very lethargic. Finally I called the vet, and was told to withhold food for the rest of the day and bring in a stool sample this afternoon or tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

Well, when I went out around three o'clock and found he'd just had another squirt, and it was very runny with blood now mixed throughout, I collected as much of it with a spoon as I could (about a tsp) and put into a ziplock bag and took it to the clinic for sampling.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to do both parts of the test, though the part that was done didn't show any bacteria or parasites (the other part still could, which means we still don't know anything) (which seems to be the story of my life when it comes to medical tests, both for myself and for my dogs). When I was asked if Quigley was being normal in all respects except for this, I said no, and told about his lack of interest in eating, the lethargy, and the limited drinking. That wasn't good, and I was advised to bring him in tomorrow, along with another stool sample, because he might need to be watched or get fluids.

The additional complicating factor in all this is that it turns out my husband doesn't think Quigley's acting particularly lethargic. Apparently he's been acting like this for the whole week I was away. If he's still eager to take his walk, and able to do so, then he's behaving as he has been for the last 9 days. If that is so, then we don't need to bring him in tomorrow (Thursday) and have him watched and get fluids but can go ahead with our original plan to wait until Thursday night/Friday morning to see if he's going to get better before going in to the vet at all. Arg.

I can soooo see that this little affair has been orchestrated to produce maximum uncertainty and confusion and distraction. Why am I not surprised? (Our battle is not against blood and flesh...) If I'd not been gone a week before this happened, and Quigley had suddenly gotten the diarrhea and starting acting like this, then it would have been different, because the behavior is strikingly different from what it was before I left. If he'd not gotten the diarrhea and was acting all mellow and stodgy like he is, then it would be easy to believe that he is finally "maturing" into a typical adult hound. (Even the not eating wouldn't be all that alarming because sometimes in the morning he doesn't eat much) Instead... we have confusion, inconclusive tests, disagreement from different perspectives, the pressure to try to see into the future and from that predict the best course of action, tension, the huge temptation to worry... DISTRACTION!

Well, I was warned. And now have opportunity to apply all the doctrines I've learned, especially last week. And what I know is... I have no clue. I don't know what's wrong with him. I don't know what is going to happen. I don't know what he needs. I don't know what to do. I can't stand not knowing, and I can't stand all the waiting in uncertainty. Which is probably why this test is here. Again.

So I have to put it all into God's hands and not think about it. Even if I make wrong decisions, He can still take care of things. It's His plan that matters, not mine. One of the things we learned last week was the importance of really focusing on and believing and living in the fact that He loves us. That He loves me. Personally. Specifically.

When you know that you are loved with the kind of love He has for us, that would drive Him to send His Son to the cross, that would drive His Son to agree to GO to the cross -- and that this One who loves you is the creator and ruler of the Universe -- what can there possibly be to worry about? He will handle it. He wants you ... He wants ME to trust Him with all of this and forget about trying to work it out myself. He really and truly does not need me to help Him with all my attempts to peer into the future and make the "right" decisions so as to avoid a possible disaster, to demand we do things my way because "I am right." How do I know I'm right? Maybe I'm not. I have no clue.

What I do know is that while I definitely do not have all the facts, He does. What I know is that nothing happens in my life that He did not choose, down to the smallest detail, to be a part of His perfect and wonderful plan that provides ultimately only His highest and best for me. If I don't understand, well, that's part of it. Because more than anything He just wants that trust. He wants me to know who He is and then to trust Him in that, regardless of what sight says. And He wants me to bring to Him all my concerns by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving...

So right now I have no idea what is going to happen. Except that I think I'm going to go eat dinner now, and maybe I'll manage to get in a bit more work on Enclave this evening before it's time for bed. As for tomorrow? One day at a time.