Friday, June 23, 2017

SPIROCHETE—Downward Facing Spiral 4

Early in the still cool of a summer morning, I rode along in a neighbour’s pickup to Redwood Meadows a Tsuut'ina development south of the city. Spotting a sign stapled to a stake advertising puppies for sale we we turned up the lane and stopped for a look. By the time we left, I was the owner of Tika, a tiny, female Golden Retriever. I was excited about the prospect of having company and a walking companion. My life had felt hollow since the kids had moved away for lives of their own with their girlfriends.

I launched into a new lifestyle as a dog owner. With the exception of no longer being able to mow my own lawns and developing an allergy to printer ink that caused itching and swelling around my mouth, I got through to another autumn without new or major health setbacks. 

Between puppy care and work I allowed myself to be distracted with a quick trip to a family reunion. I arranged a boarding kennel for Tika then flew away for a rushed yet happy three days and two nights of contentment. October 2002 — my last time in Ontario, my last trip on a plane.

All was not well upon my return. Tika was ill. She looked different, with puffy eyes, as if she’d been crying. She was vomiting and had diarrhea for days. Her vet was concerned it was a parasite but it turned out to be colitis. And I faced more health problems of my own.

One morning, while downtown doing payroll deposits, I experienced an odd sensation in my eyes, and lost part of my vision for about twenty minutes. When my vision corrected my mouth and tongue went numb and I felt as if a hand was pushing the back of my head. 

I saw Dr. Sheila that day. She thought it was an atypical migraine but had concerns about the lasting numbness, a neurological deficit she called it, and re-examined me the next morning. I saw my opthamologist who checked for retina damage, a CAT scan was booked and I had a neurological assessment. “Nothing frightening,” assured the neurologist. But no answers either. No more pieces to my health puzzle.