When I had a molar pulled a few months ago, I understood that I’d be on a soft-food diet until I got my stitches out ten days after the extraction. Ten days seemed like an awfully long time to go without any food that crunched, especially since so many of my favorite foods fall into that category. Still, I got through it, and was really looking forward to a return to normal eating the day the stitches were removed.
But it turned out that I was wrong about that ten-day thing. Because the morning I had my stitches removed, the dentist casually informed me that my soft food diet needed to continue for another ten days, until he removed the membrane that was protecting the new bone graft he put in my jaw. Even worse, I’d be out of town the week I was supposed to come in for the procedure, so I’d actually be on soft foods for at least another two weeks. So much for the celebratory dinner of all things crunchy, especially nachos, I’d planned for that night.
I can’t say that I enjoyed my three-plus weeks on a soft-food diet, but I did get used to it. What had seemed like a horrible inconvenience soon became a minor annoyance, and I learned to get creative with my food. (I found that I actually could eat nachos, as long as I stuck to the really soggy chips at the bottom of the pile.) My most recent dental procedure has me on another ten days of soft foods, and this time it honestly feels like no big deal at all. It’s amazing what we can get used to when we have no choice.
Last week our dog, Finn, tested positive for heart worms at his annual check up, and he’s already begun his four-month treatment program. He’ll be on antibiotics for four weeks, and then four weeks after that he’ll get the first of three injections that will actually kill the worms that have taken up residence in his heart. It will take almost four months to complete his treatment, and during that time we’re supposed to keep him calm and quiet. Because if he gets too excited a chunk of worms could break off and cause a nasty, and most likely fatal, reaction.
It’s going to be a real challenge to try to keep a two-year old terrier calm and quiet for four months, especially when he’s feeling just fine, which he will be except for the days immediately following the injections. We’re talking about a dog we call “Bubbles” because of his bubbly personality, and who loves to spend his days running full speed around the yard and who goes berserk every time he sees his leash or he thinks it’s dinner-time.
The prospect seems daunting now, but all we can do is take it one day at a time. We’re already realizing that some of the trips we had planned for this Spring and Summer might not happen, and we’ll make whatever other adjustments are needed to make sure we take the best possible care of our dog. This wasn’t what any of us wanted, but it’s what we got. Yet we’ll get used to it, and we’ll get through it. Because as everyone who has ever dealt with a long-term issue, no matter how big or how small it may be, knows….sometimes we just have to “soldier on.”