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Full Version: This Is The Death Of Tink, Not Her Life
Lightning-Strike Pet Loss Support Forum > Pet Loss Support > Pet Memorials, Tributes, and Eulogies
I was told I'd feel better
I have been trying to write the story of Tink for sometime, I have not succeeded, but I did write something... I don't really expect everyone to read it all or understand any of it, but it is doing me no good keeping it to myself.

( If you want to know more about GME her insurance company posted a detailed description of her battle: )

At this time I am still unable to tell the story of a beautiful life shared with my most amazing friend. I am not yet past the incredible tragedy of her death, and so that is the story I am able to tell today. I hope one day I can tell you a more accurate story, one less cluttered with the distortions of my grief.

What is there to say other than “ I am sorry?” I think of her everyday, I think it may be that the worst is over, but I remain overcome by pain, guilt, remorse, and deep sorrow.

This is what happened:

Tink had many of her teeth removed due to periodontal disease and infection. As a GME dog infections could mean relapse, or even death. Tink fought really hard to beat GME. She was only one pound and a tiny six ounces, five inches tall and 6 inches long. It took her three days to eat a single jar of baby food… And yet she started her second pred schedule taking 7.5 mgs TWICE a day! That’s like if I took 889 mgs twice a day. Plus she was on leflunomide, cytarobine, cyclosporine, and lomustine. I am amazed she didn’t wee radio active waste.

I gave her all those meds for many months and after nearly a one year she was prednisone free and going off all her meds rapidly. I had to consider whether to risk infections in her mouth that may rob her of her recovery or have a third surgery to remove the last few teeth.

She had an oral infection three times already in less than a year, it was stupid to think that she would not have more, the question was the odds of another infection causing a relapse. The odds were stacked against her.

Still I did not want to have another surgery. The first surgery her heart rate drop too low before we could get all the teeth out. The second surgery a few months later, even though some of the teeth were infected and puss was found on removal, four of the teeth could not be removed. Her jaw is about the size of a tooth pick and those four teeth were still healthy enough to hold and could not be pulled without breaking her jaw. So I was told by he who shall not be named, shall we say Dr. X? I was told we had to wait until they get bad enough to loosen.

After that second surgery the first day was fine, the second day she had trouble breathing. On the morning of the third day I woke to find her limp, unable to move anything but her eyes, breath so shallow it could not be seen. a heart beat so weak it could not be heard. I rushed her to Dr. X and said my goodbyes in denial and silent panic. Her glucose was 32 and she popped back after glucose injections.

She had never had low blood sugar before.

For two days after that she could not be moved without violent coughing and vomiting/or dry heaving. It was the weekend and Dr. X sent her home with me, a catheter in her leg. So I didn’t move either, I laid perfectly still so that she could lay on me and rest. Occasionally I HAD to get up and every time it risked her life, but I had to comfort her. When her tongue turned gray/blue/or she went limp I had to inject saline followed by the pre measured glucose. I was told not to get my hopes up. She survived that post surgery crash. Dr. X was amazed, and I knew she could never have another surgery.

After all that we went through to beat GME I started to consider that if I could have those four (now infected) teeth removed she might have a chance at permanent remission. I searched the USA and Canada for a dentist and anesthesiologist. I weighed the stress of travel vs. the lack of certification in Alaska. I met a wonderful “dentist” here, not certified as such, but who had taken a special interest in dentistry and made that his career, Dr. T.

Dr. T. said that Dr. X had broken her jaw in the front, she had mandibles, but Dr. X had said that was just from the infection. Dr. T. told me twice that it was not and it was clearly from the way Dr. X extracted her lower k-9s. Dr. T. explained how the back teeth should have been sectioned and surgically removed. Dr. T. said he was aware (and worried) of a very big risk because she was only one pound and she was a GME survivor, and had cashed post surgery last time, but he said he would do it. He thought the crash she had before could have been prevented, and he planned on a very light anesthesia regimen.

The best time to do it was after she was off pred but before she stopped her last drug. That day was approaching fast.

I decided to give her ANOTHER surgery. I was so nervous that I locked my keys in my car when I left my office in the middle of the day, so that I could wait in the lobby while she was under. As the cabby I called tried to break into my car Dr. T brought her out (a little groggy) to say her goodbyes, just incase.

It took more than three hours, but she survived the surgery and Dr. T. explained Dr. X had broke her lower jaw in two places, and there were portions of teeth that were not fully extracted, she also had exposed roots. All of this was discovered once she was under, as a result the half hour surgery turned into a three hour marathon trying to repair all that had been done to my baby girl.

Every time I think of that I remember letting her eat kibble or chew on a biscuit. How painful that must have been for my love. Oh god I feel so bad. How did she go on with a broken jaw and shards of teeth for over a year?! Why didn’t Dr. X tell me so I could have given her pain medication and only soft food? So that we could have planned this surgery for all that it was, and not planned the surgery assuming Dr. X had done a good job. How could Dr. X do that to her,?!!! God’s most tiny angle, and he broke up her jaw and just hid it from me. Just let her suffer and never felt the need to say he was even sorry!

I asked Dr. T. why would Dr. X have done that. Dr. T. said he hoped it was just that Tink was not able to stay under long and so Dr. X was just rushing to try to benefit her. (BS!)

You know if you call Dr. X his hold music is Christian songs? Come on! I asked my religious instructor if Dr. X could get into heaven after inflicting such harm on a miracle such as Tink. She said he would first have to face what he had done, that God loved all his creatures… but I digress.

I took the next two days off work to be with her. I woke up every 2 hours to check on her. On the second day she had some slight trouble breathing, but not too much at all, still after last time it was not to be ignored. I called Dr. T and he said give her a different drug the next day to help with the swelling and inflammation he thought was causing the breathing to be labored.

The third day I wake to find her just fine really, so I gave her the other medication and tried to feed her breakfast.

Feeding Tink meant finding what she felt like eating and feeding it to her bite by bite with your hands. Putting each bite into her mouth for her. If it was a harder food she felt like eating that day… I’m embarrassed to say I would bite it up for her first.

She was just so very small she had to eat no matter the stupid things I had to do, it could be life or death if she didn’t eat, and without any teeth and having had GME intention tremors, and a lack of balance, I had to do most of the work for her, everyday. Every single day, three times a day I put every bite into her mouth for her, for nearly a year (I still don‘t know how to feel my day without her needs).

On this third day she wanted a boiled egg. We watched some t.v., but I could soon tell she seemed tired, and today was a day that she was not going to sleep unless I laid down so she could lay on top of my neck. I was tired too after sleeping only two hours at a time. So was my husband and he really wanted to nap, so I set my alarm for two hours.

After one hour I woke up, I opened my eyes and they met her eyes. They were staring straight into mine, lifeless. “Baby,” I said “Tink is dead.” My husband woke and said “No she is not.” I became excited for a second, could I believe that, could I believe she was not dead? “Yes,” I said “she is. She is dead.”

I took her to the floor and attempted CPR. She was dead. I could not help her. Maybe I could have helped her, but my time had passed while I lay sleeping, I couldn’t help her ever again. The pain was instant, I was robed of my chance to reward her hard work.

My husband was rushing, he wanted to go to the hospital immediately. I said “No she is DEAD! All the hospital can do is take her away from me! Just let me be with her.”

Poncho is a very sensitive dog and he and Tink were very close. He was baying now, and trying to paw at her tiny body. I had to push him away and he set and howled there, it was the most heartbreaking sound I have ever heard. … And we two stayed with her there for a moment.

I had so many strange thoughts I didn’t expect, I felt shear panic, as if there must be a way to turn back time, there must be a way to take back that nap. There has to be! I’m sorry I napped! Just take it back! Please? I was and am just so very sorry.

You know how some situations you cannot anticipate your reaction until it happens to you? Well I never saw this thought coming, but I really, really did not want to take her to the vet because they would never give her back to me ever again. I though well I can’t let her lay out, I’ll have to empty out the freezer, I can’t put her in with the peas. I swear the only thing that stopped me was not reason, but that I knew how much she hated to be cold.

So I wrapped her in her baby blanket and we drove to the vet. (I still can’t drive down that road without crying). I took her in and I handed her to the receptionist. I couldn’t speak I just cried and shook my head. I went outside and I set on the steps. I put my head in my lap and was silent. I could hear that James Taylor song “Fire and Rain”… Just yesterday morning they let me know you gone, Susanne the plans they made put an end to you…

Except it was the plans I made that put and end to her life, and I had to go back in and tell them why this tiny girl was dead.

I couldn’t sleep for days, I couldn’t eat. Over that time I constantly thought about all the awful things I did to her over the last year, surgeries and so many medications, shots, blood draws. I only did that because I thought if she could make it though this one year of trials she could have another decade of a happy normal life.

Her dad lived to be 15 and she was only 4, one month away from turning four. But I did not even know about the pain she was in on top of the treatment for GME. She never told me, she must have run on pure love…

I can find no way around blaming myself, it was not her time, her days were cut short, either by my choice let Dr. X touch her to begin with, or my choice to have third surgery to optimize her chances instead of just being grateful for what I had, or my inattention to her recovery. I still believe I killed her.

Even if there was something else wrong, it was my job to notice every little thing that was off. I was the only one who could have noticed to tell Dr. Sisson. I didn’t of course. I don’t know why she died, but I know it was not a necessary out come at this time.

Most painful of all is that she died right there in my arms, she lay there dying, and I didn’t even wake up to say goodbye, to say I love you, to say I’m SORRY! How could I have loved her so much and just let her die right beside me?! M god that hurts…

I believe she had stared at me thinking I would wake to save her, like I saved her so many times before. I think at the end she may have realized that his time I would let her down. I believe she was looking at me, feeling the life leave her body, and she realized I was just going to keep sleeping, I believe she realized it was the end. (I know many people don’t think that true or even possible, but I don’t care)

I feel such sadness that her last days were in pain. The week before she was happy as can be, she was so feisty and normal. Until I decided to have this done to her. I can’t stand that the last moments of her life she was feeling the pain from her surgery. If she could have hung on the pain would have gone away, but this way it was the last thing she felt on this earth. My angel, to go out like that, oh it’s unbearable!

She died on Easter Sunday, and I went to work the next day, and Tuesday. I did not sleep at all either day, nor did I eat. On Wednesday my boss went out of town. About noon I asked my office manager if I could go home. She said I could. I felt bad abut leaving, but I was just so broken and so sad and empty. Also I remembered when my boss’ dog died, how very hurt he was, it was the only time I ever hugged him, I did so because he was crying when he told us how his dog died and so I thought he would understand. He did not, and upon his return, he yelled and cursed at me for being gone. I had gotten Tink’s ashes back by this time as well as her tiny paw prints, the last prints her body would leave on this earth. I had wanted to show the prints to my boss, but after his outburst I was too hurt.

I NEVER forgave him for this. I walked away from this job exactly two months later. After six years, this had gone too far. Losing Tink literally changed everything.

Over the months my days have grown fuller, but the pain has not lessened. I was told I would feel better, I do not.

It has been 7 months, I have a new job and new friends, but the pain remains the same; a mix of guilt, sorrow, panic, and longing.

I killed my baby girl and the world just went on! Fine, I will remain here! Maybe forever…

(Thank you for letting me post this, if you read it thank you so much for caring. I know most people will disagree with my guilt, I have already been told this, but thanks none the less)

Lori Ann
Dear Lori Ann

I have just read your story of your precious Tink, and also the link to the Insurance Company. What a beautiful little darling girl she is. Your sweet Angel here on Earth and your Angel for all time.
What a journey you two have had. She has taught you love and devotion, hope, when we are told that there is none, and most of all what a wonderful blessing it is when we are chosen to share our lives with our beloved fur/feather babies.
It is so clear to see how much you love and cared for Tink, and you now have a great big hole in your heart and 'life' which will slowly, slowly heal. It will never completely 'heal', but it will become more bearable. I'm just over the 1 year 3 months mark after losing my sweet , darling Noushka. I still think of her so much, as I do my precious Tasha who has been gone almost 5 years now. They will always be my Angels. Just like your dear Tink. Your Tink would not want you to spend your life being so sad, and she will be happy when she sees that you can think of her in 'happy' ways.
Please know that I am thinking of you and I send a HUG to help you in your sadness.

Jan and my Angels and Pixie xx
I was told I'd feel better
Thank you Jan,

It seems most people have reach the limit of how much they can give to my grief (You probably have felt the same?) I am so glad that there is still someone out there that has time for my sorrow. Thank you, I look forward to reading more about your angels.

Lori Ann
Lori Ann, I'm so sorry for your loss of your precious Tink. When I read your story...Lori Ann....all I could see was how much love a mother has for her daughter. I know that guilt can be such a horrible emotion to deal with right now....but please don't feel guilty. You cared for Tink with all your heart and she knew that because she knows how much you love her. Most people in the world don't even care for their own human kids the way you cared for her. I hope in time your sadness will lessen. I know....I was in a hole....inside a dark tunnel. I've managed to climb out of the I'm just making my way through the darkness. It takes time....a lot of time. And thanks to this site and the wonderful people is getting easier. You are not alone.

So when you are ready, I hope you can share some pictures and happy stories of you and Tink.

We will be here for you
Please let us know how you are doing

Dusty Moonrise
I killed my baby girl...

Lori Ann

Lori Ann, let me say one thing first DID NOT KILL your baby girl! From everything I have read of your post, you did everything in your power to save her! Do you think I killed my precious Bitsy, because after nearly 14 years, her little body was so worn out that her every waking moment was agony, that I had to make the agonizing choice of telling the Vet that it was time to let her go? Yes, I could have asked for more prednisone, even though several years of steroid use had left her frail little body so weak. Yes, I could have asked for even stronger anti-inflamation drugs, even though her little body was passing blood in her stool from them. I can sit here all day and talk about the things I could have done, but in the end I made the hardest decision possible...asking that her life be ended. Trying to keep her going would only haqve served my feelings, at the expense of her suffering.

I know that Tink died while you were asleep, but at least she died peacefully, snuggled up to someone who she obviously adored. Maybe that is what she needed, to die peacefully next to someone who obviously loved her so much, and tried so hard to help her! I believe that Bitsy is looking down on me, and Tink is looking down on you, and they are both saying..."Thank you, that I don't have to suffer anymore!".
My heart goes out to you, Lori Ann. I know the unbearable pain of waking up to realize your baby has died while you are sleeping. When I woke to find my darling Nicole had died beside me, I was engulfed with such agony I could barely stand it. Even today, 2 years later, the memory of that waking moment tears me apart. May you be filled with deep comfort at the loss of your darling Tink.
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