This Valentine’s was especially memorable because I almost lost one of the loves of my life in a very familiar way. This past week was both emotionally and physically exhausting when I found my fur baby Cody unconscious in his own vomit. When I say fur baby I should also say my unofficial emotional support dog because he truly is. I immediately rushed him to our local vet who said they feared it was neurological and so his only chance of survival was getting him to a speciality vet 2 hours away. Needless to say, I was devastated and not only did I have to sort out who would stay with my youngest son but also support care for Shawn. Luckily everything worked out with the help of my incredible older kids and our private support worker and I was able to get Cody to where he needed to be. He was barely alive when I arrived and they took him in right away. After their assessment they determined he probably had a traumatic brain injury and wouldn’t survive the night. I lost it. It was all happening again. All the emotions from 11 years ago came flooding back. Regardless of it being my husband or my best fur friend was irrelevant, the emotions were just as real and almost like a PTSD coming back x 100. I was hysterical and I wanted answers so I authorized the on-call Neurologist to exam him because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. My mom and I were put in a private room , almost exactly laid out the same as the ICU private family room from years ago. Everything was so familiar and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. You think you have moved on emotionally and then something like this happens and you are forced to relive the worst day of your life. I knew if my little guy didn’t survive I would have been broken. Somebody may think it is “just a dog” but not to me he isn’t. He is only 2 years old and I got him when he was 6 months old and he fixed a part of me that needed to be fixed. He had helped me in a way I can’t explain. I have never felt anything but pure happiness when I am with him regardless what type of anxiety or stress I am feeling. His companionship for me is invaluable. I am so happy to say that the Neurologist came and gave me that bit of hope I needed. After extensive tests, he was diagnosed with meningitis. It was days of tests and uncertainty and the possibility of deficits due to the meningitis. For those fellow spouses of a brain injury survivor you can understand why it was history repeating itself. It has been 7 days and we are home and the other love of my life is recovering and bouncing back. It is going to be a long road of recovery but I am just happy that he is still here. Everyone has different ways of coping and for me that is my Cody. This post is not only about how we never truly heal from the trauma of almost losing someone we love but how we try to heal and what makes up cope. Never trivialize someone for who or what they love and when something bad happens take a look around and see who actually stepped up to be there because we need that support for ourselves and our spouses.