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About Johnny

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  • Your relationship to the individual who died
  • Date of Death
  • Name/Location of Hospice if they were involved:

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    Sumter, SC

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  1. From my experience, Doctors do not seem adept in prescribing for the feeling of utter pain and sadness from devastating loss. I went to a urgent care just to talk to a Doctor about my unshakable sadness and he said it was normal given I had only been grieving for five months. He prescribed an anti-depressant. I tried the anti-depressant, but it gave me headaches and made me unsteady on my feet which is dangerous for me at work so I stopped taking it after two weeks. When I went to see my family on Easter day for Easter dinner, I told them I honestly knew I was sad all the time and that I thought I should see if I could find some help. They thought it was a good idea and supported me in my decision, so I went to the ER as I have no regular Doctor. When I arrived at the ER with my Mother and my Sister accompanying me, the nurse asked me a few questions and told me that they would have me talk to a Doctor, I did not know what I expected for him to do I only knew I had to do something. After talking to him at length about the loss of my dear wife Rene'e, and telling him all of the feelings I've had since I lost her, he had only two questions for me. One question was, "What is it that you love now?" to which I answered very quickly "I love my dogs and my work". The second question was, "Do you own a gun?" to which I answered very quickly "No, I have never owned a gun". He seemed satisfied and informed me that I suffered from Major Clinical Depression, so I thought "Oh great, wonderful times ahead". On all, I would say I spoke to him for about 30 minutes, at most, and he was done. He referred me to some outpatient Doctor and Counseling I could not afford and I have not been back to see another Doctor since. I think I felt worse for having tried. Thank goodness I can talk here, and sleep 😴
  2. I absolutely do not agree with this new normal at all. I was alone before for a very long time (20 years) and I never felt alone like I feel now. This alone is different kind of alone. Before, I was alone and I had hope, hope that I could find someone who loved me the way my wife did. With her I finally felt happy and had everything figured out. I had purpose. I had a life for us imagined as we were just getting started, and I gave thanks for her presence every day. Now I have none of that. It's all gone. This is a strange normal. A normal that should never have happened. I think it's more like facing your worst nightmare, a nightmare you can never wake up from, more than anything else.
  3. Gwen, KayC, and Jackie, When I hear you all speak of the greatest love, the love that defines the happiest days of each of our lives, my thoughts resonate with yours. The new normal definitely sucks.
  4. Since I lost my wife Rene'e on Nov. 30th 2018, I have known I would have to face a number of difficult first. All of those significant first days in our time together, and all of those same dates re-lived, only this time so very painfully obvious of the incredibly overwhelming, tormenting, unending great sense of pain of loss without her. The first anniversaries of the day we met and the day I proposed. Sunday 8/18/19 was supposed to be Rene'e's 50th B-day. I remember last year when we celebrated her 49th B-day together, I was picking on her because of her upcoming 50th B-day. She did not seem to be amused until I said "just watch, next thing you know, Joshua will be married and you will probably be a Grandmother", she definitely got a kick out of that one because she couldn't imagine that her son would ever get married and have a child making her a Grandmother in only one years time. All she did was smile and say "No way". I smiled back and said "Yes way". At the arrival of her would be 50th B-day, I sadly realized that she would be 49 forever. I told her happy 50th B-day just the same, and then the tears started. The next big difficult first day after the anniversary of her B-day, will be our first wedding anniversary which will be coming up soon. I knew that going through these difficult "first day without her" anniversaries would hurt. But, I could not anticipate just how bad it would really hurt until the day itself arrived and I realize all over again with great finality that she is gone. That is all that these days seem to mean to me. She is gone. One these significant days worth remembering, all I can do is try to imagine the happiness I used to feel, when she was still with me.
  5. KayC, Thinking of you and Arlie every day now. My prayers are with you both.
  6. KayC said "I don't want him suffering so I can keep him longer." I've been fortunate to have three of the most gentle, loving, wonderful companions in my adult life that I could have ever dreamed of having. Wubi was my first dog as an adult and he was born under my house on Dec. 12th, 2000. He was a part of a litter of three and I showed them to some kids and I think that was a mistake because when I went to look for them the next day, they were gone and my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. I sat down on my porch feeling utter despair that they had been taken and had my head down on my knees when I heard a little peep and out of the corner of my eye I saw just one lonely little guy wondering around all by himself. He was a beautiful red short haired Lad/Chow mix. His Dad was a yellow Lab and his Mom was a miniature red Chow. I fell in love with him and named him Wubi which stands for "Will You Be Intelligent". He lived to be eight years old but passed away due to "Bloat" or gastric dilatation volvulus which is what Marley died of in the movie. I took him to the emergency Vet and they told me they made a small incision to relieve the pressure and he was responding well and wagging his tell and standing on his own when all of a sudden he had a heart attack. He was about to have surgery and I was hoping for the best as he appeared to be responding to the treatment but it just wasn't to be. I was totally devastated and found myself afterwards wondering around outside aimlessly and I even filled his water bowl before I realized what I was doing. He was my first and holds a special place in my heart forever. I had him cremated so he remains with me always. Four days later I adopted Stretch. He was a beautiful black Lab who grew to be 110 lbs in just four years. He was never sick or hurt for a single day in his life. He got a small bump on the underside of his belly and it looked like an insect bite that might be getting infected so I immediately took him to the Vet to get checked out. He turned out to have Mast Cell cancer and in just three short weeks he had the tumors almost everywhere. He had tarry black stools for two weeks and gradually became weaker and weaker. I tried to remain hopeful for him because he was still eating and even on his last day he managed to eat some chicken and rice I cooked for him. I knew that I had to do something when he was standing on the porch and he was so weak that his legs were sliding out from under him. I got on the phone with the vet and she said to bring him in and we would decide what to do when I got him there after she had a chance to see him. I knew that it would be selfish of me to keep him when I knew he was just hanging on for my sake. I loved him way too much for that. My neighbor Mr. Strange asked me if I would like him to go with me and I was grateful that I didn't have to take him alone. The vet said he had stage IV Mast Cell Cancer and the tumors I could see on the outside were nothing compared to what was on the inside. He was so anemic that his gums and his little pee pee were almost white. I understand that this is the hardest thing ever. He took his last breath in my arms. I am grateful that I was with him at the end. I could not stand the thought of leaving him only to come back home and find that he had passed away alone and in pain. There was no way I could let that happen to my precious little boy. I am so sorry and my thoughts are with you and Arlie.
  7. Gwen, I love it that you refer to them as your kids. When Rene'e was with me I used to shout out "Daddy's Home!" when I came through the door after work. They would run to the door to great me tails just a wagging so hard with excitement. And I would reach down and give them a good scratching and ask them "Where's Mommy?".
  8. Gwen, Strider is definitely a bed hog. Little girl Arwen prefers to sleep at the foot of the bed. Strider always wants to lay across the bed and just looks at me like "Where are you going to sleep"? I think the peanut butter is a great idea. KayC, Strider does like green beans and he will eat other vegetables if they are mixed in with meat. Ya know, I have been thinking a lot about this topic and how hard things are going to happen to us and we have to feel the additional pain of facing them without the one person we loved more than anything in the world. Sometimes I find myself doing things just because I think that Rene'e would have liked it and I don't know why because she is gone. Rene'es starter was going out on her car and although I didn't need to have it fixed right away I couldn't stand the thought of their being something wrong with it so I had it fixed right away. I was sick a couple of days with a upset stomach and I turned into a huge baby. I had to force myself to go to the drug store to get something to try to make me feel better. I got sick twice on the way there. I had a bout of diverticulitis once which landed me in the hospital for six days and I just narrowly avoided having to have surgery. I still worry that I will have another inflammation which could lead to an infection and I do not know what I would do then. It is tough to try to take care of yourself when you just can't find the motivation anymore. I know that being negative about the future doesn't help. I hate it when I know that it hurts my Mom when I tell her I am not able to see my life getting any better. It is just so hard to understand everything that grief puts us all through each and every day. I do try to laugh and I know that people care. Everyone is very nice to me at work and I know it's their way of trying to tell me that everything is going to be alright. There is just no stopping the pain sometimes and I know we all grow very tired of hurting.
  9. Had to stop giving him ice-cream sandwiches though. Vet said he needs to watch his weight.
  10. KayC, Thank you! I have been watching Strider closely and I haven't noticed anything unusual when he has go. He seems fine but I will not know for sure if he is truly better until I take a sample of his urine to the Vet with me again on 8/6/19. The Vet said it sometimes takes awhile for the antibiotics to start to really work. She put him on a different antibiotic the last time I took him in to get checked to see if he was improving. I am hoping for the best. If she finds blood in his urine again she said she will need to take some X-rays to see if he has gallstones. It is challenging as well for me to give Strider his pill. He is getting smarter and when I mix it in his wet food he somehow manages to eat it all without swallowing the pill. Now, I have to cut up a hotdog and feed him pieces of it in rapid succession to trick him into swallowing the piece with the pill in it. Also found that putting it in a ball of cheese works well. They are so smart! Love the picture of Arlie and I can see why you were hooked at first site. I also saw a picture of Strider on the computer and I was hooked. I love his markings. Strider showed up at my Dad's when he was only about six months old. He was in a bad way. He showed up at my Dad's house in the 100 degree heat of June in 2012. He had no food, no water, lost with no identification. My Dad showed me his picture and I went and got him the very same day. He was ate up with fleas so the first thing I did when I got him home was give him a good flea bath to kill all the fleas and took him to the vet to get checked out the very next morning. Turned out that he had tape worm from the fleas and he had the red mange because his immune system was weak. That very first night he slept with me in the bed and I know that was probably his first night of peace without all those terrible biting fleas. My heart went totally out to him and he has been spoiled rotten ever since. He is an inside dog and he has slept with me every night until I met my wife Rene'e. He has never spent a single night outside since I've had him. Now that Rene'e is gone, he is back sleeping with me again in the bed. He is so spoiled rotten. I even used to buy him his own box of ice-cream sandwiches. His favorite!
  11. Gwen, Little girl definitely has food radar. She is all of 25 lbs and she drives Strider off of his food. He is 73 lbs and he is scared of her. It's so funny to see!
  12. KayC, Arlie's smile is infectious. Wow! Totally irresistible. Here is a picture of Strider from last Christmas wearing his holiday toboggan. Arwen is the little girl of the house. And yes, have you ever seen such a tongue! My precious boy and girl.
  13. KayC, Gwen, and Dee, I am still hoping for the best for my little boy Strider. I took him to the park and we spent the day walking the trails. He is still behaving as if nothing is wrong so I am grateful for that. I am watching him closely when he urinates. The Vet said if he is unable to go it will be an emergency situation and I will have to get help immediately. Never had experience with a UTI before and I am unsure what to expect. I love him so very much. This is another very tough aspect when dealing with grief alone. The punches keep coming but there is nobody around to lend a shoulder to cry on. When I had my wife, I knew tough times were coming but as long as we had each other, everything would be alright. Now, the hard knocks are that much harder. It's easier to stay strong when you feel the love from the one you care about more than anything. Best wishes and prayers for all our fur babies.
  14. KayC, Do Probios help dogs when they have to take antibiotics?
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