Friday, April 30, 2010

Magical Times: Disney 2010

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dr. Doogie (Doom) & How I Almost Cut a B

1 pm and all Junior / Doogie could talk about is how it's surgery or death - essentially. 7 pm I go and pick up our first baby girl. From the waiting room I can hear the nurses and/ or doctors trying to control Abelle. "Hold on ... wait a minute - Abelle wait a minute! Calm down." 

And I think to myself, self: "How much trouble can a two legged dog give a person?"  It's right about now that my blood boils and heart smiles (*cheesy and 100% true). In WALKS in Abelle on FOUR LEGS. FOUR LEGS. FOUR FREAKING LEGS. 

6 hours before we were steps away from putting her to sleep. And not the good kind of sleep I would take a life for. The permanent sleep you can't take back. 

My out loud response was, "What the hell?" 

Turns out after we left Abelle was starting to use her back legs more - and Junior didn't want to get our hopes up. OUR HOPES UP? What a D. No instead she is going to talk to us about a surgery we can't afford over and over again while I cry uncontrollably. Oh yeah, that makes more sense. What a D. 

As I signed her out, and heard about all the medications we'd have to give her and when they were due and when they would change dosage (you need a graph to understand it all) a real doctor came on by. She stopped to say goodbye, apparently and not surprisingly, Abelle was a favorite. The doctor mentioned that she has been doing much better, each day (I KNEW IT) and the fact that she was using all her legs and able to get the traction up to stand on the hospital floor was a miracle and showed her that we were going in the right direction. The floor was pretty slipperly - so it was all good signs. Did I mention I KNEW IT?  

That night, after an hour home, she went back to using 2.75 legs most of the time.  We took her outside to use the bathroom, in the dark, only to find that home girl has some stomach issues. Yuck. Use your imagination - a 2 legged dog with stomach issues.
But all in all we were happy to have her home hott mess across the lawn or not. 

Junior called us the next day, asking how things were going - I was nice (I know it's true) because ultimately Abelle was home despite the doctor - so whatever? Right? Until I mentioned the stomach issues. 

Junior: "What color is it?"
Me: "I don't know? It was dark. I guess I'd say..."
Junior: (interrupting me): "Was it reddish?"
Me: "Yeah - I'd say reddish..."
Junior: (interrupting me, again): "Reddish brown?"
Me: "Yup."
Junior: "I was afraid of that. That might be our fault. You see, Abelle was a favorite here and you see - I noticed this morning that the treat jar, which is very large, I filled yesterday or the day before and we're just about out of them at this point. I think that she may have gotten more treats then she should have."
Me: (in reality) "Oh, I thought it had to do with the medication."

Why so calm? Because at the end of the day she's home and for today, for now, we don't have to make a horribly difficult decision. It's pretty amazing how horrible situations can put things into prospective for you. And how in the face of horrible situations you realize the kindness of those around you - and the generosity in hearts.  More than a few people have approached me - providing me with great resources, advice, positive vibes (for god sake - I'm getting more comments now on this dang blog than I ever have before), even donations!  I was told it worked for Eat. Love. Pray. why not Abelle? (Not a clue what the correlation is - sorry was never able to get into that book) BUT I think the long and short of it is - if a collection was needed there were willing benefactors. Truly amazing. And as much as I appreciate it - we won't be going forward with the surgery. 

I am hopeful and optimistic in a way that is a little bit not my norm - but encouraged by her improvements. Who knew love is what she needed most? I'm pretty convinced that is helping her along the road to recovery.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mama I'm Coming Home

Here's the update. Abelle, Aditty, Annie, GrandDog, Kujo, whatever you fondly call her... is coming home (don't celebrate yet). 

We talked a LOT to the doctor.  It's a new doctor, not the first doctor who I miss and wish would come back.  I have no idea how to ask this girl - can we trade you in? Oh and boy is she a girl, pretty sure she isn't legal to drink, so I'm not quite sure where she got her vet license from... we'll call her Junior).  ANYWAY - Junior continued to push the surgery like she was going to make a commission on it - no matter how many times we said surgery was not an option for us.   
C asked, out of curiosity - what was the estimate for the surgery? The answer was $2000. We were now confused because we thought it was $10,000. Her response? "Oh well it's 2 thousand for the surgery, but between the hospital stay, complications with the surgery that could happen, recovery time, medication..."

How in the hell could she give the cost the surgery with out all that has to come with it? Idiot. 

Let's not forget her pitch for a "health card credit card" - which if we paid off the 10K in 3 months, no interest... then after that interest goes up to 20%.  I asked how the interest would be paid back - because as I said - we can not spend 10 or MORE on a freaking surgery.  Was there a scholarship? 

Earlier in the morning, when she called to give us the update, something she said was that Abelle could go home NOW as they aren't doing anything that we can't do here. She has can do her buisness on her own, though obviously she'll need help getting in and out - walking as she can still NOT use her back legs. Basically - as the doctor told us, she is paraplegic right now. Only front legs work - but when we are there she gets around by dragging her ass around.  Sounds funny - it is if not for how sad it makes us all at the same time. 

We don't want her to live in pain, or to have a quality of life that isn't 100%. That said/ Junior said that the surgeon, who wasn't there for us to talk to (again pushing surgery) - usually suggests 2 weeks on steroids (anti-inflammatory meds) IF the dog isn't in a ton of pain that can't be managed by pain meds. Which is what Abelle is - I'm sure she must be in pain but is getting some medicinal help with that. Also, Junior said when we talked to her that Abelle hasn't gotten better... but from when I saw her Tuesday to today, I think she has - so I'd rather her be home so we can see what really is best for her verses making blind decisions. 

We called the doctor and told her to get the girl ready she is coming home! She said that she didn't want to give us hope (of course) but since we left she has been trying to stand more on her own and doesn't want to alone, crying when people leave the room - so I'm thinking / hoping (sorry doc) that love is just what this mutt needs. 

She's home. More on that later. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kick to the Croch

Abelle is in the hospital. It's a long story - but the long and short of it is - on Sunday night she jumped on our bed and fell on her back on the hard wood floor.  And no, I didn't push her. I wasn't in there so she wanted in before I got into bed.  She jumped back up - and all seemed to be fine.  She got down with no issues when I came in - and in the morning she seemed OK. 

Fast forward, at 8:30 am C noticed she was limping a bit in her back legs. 8:45 am they get back from their morning walk and she couldn't get up the stairs. By 9am she lost complete use of her back legs. She "walked" into my office and use the term walk loosely. She came in with her front legs, dragging ass. Literally dragging her ass and her front legs steering the ship. 

At 9:30 am, C took her into Urgent Care and at 11:30 am he got home.  Things were not going well.  She ruptured a disk in her back, basically her back legs. She can't walk yet - her back legs don't work. I went to visit her yesterday - and she seems better, minus the whole back legs not working. For a day she was in ICU. Yes, this exists at an animal hospital. They asked C if she should be DNR if she went into cardiac arrest. Yes, this exists at an animal hospital. It has been awful.

They are saying for 100% recovery that she should have a surgery. Easy, right? Wrong. The cost of the surgery, which she is an excellent candidate for, would run us over 10K.  That's right. $10,000. To start. 

Alternatively, if she starts walking surgery isn't necessary - but leaves her susceptible for something like this to happen again, which means she has to have a 'lifestyle' change. How do I go about that talk with her? A dog. Sit her down and have a serious chat? No more jumping. Hilarious. In the most un-funny way. 

They told us on Monday that by day three we will need to make a decision – if surgery right away isn’t an option we can wait it out. On day three, a decision may need to be made, if no improvements are made. Tomorrow is day three.

The doctor says when she came in on Monday she was in excruciating pain, they thought she was a mean dog. “Nothing worse than treating a horribly mean dog.” Turns out she isn’t mean, she was just in horrible pain. She isn't in any more pain.  That said, she on just about 10 pain medications.  Last time I was involved in hospitalization I found out by accident that detox is a real thing that anyone can be admitted into. Why should a dog be any different than a baby? Who knew babies could be hooked on drugs?

In addition to the pain pills, she is popping (or actually being intravenously given) she is on 'anti-inflammatory' medications- so we're hoping she will respond to that. Time is not our friend right now though, tomorrow is day three. The doctors say yesterday that it looks hopeful she will respond to the medications, where as in the beginning they weren't sure. Today, a new doctor called – she didn’t seem as optimistic. 

I couldn't visit her today. I know she is a dog, and probably isn't counting hours - but I went for a visit yesterday and today I literally didn't have 20 minutes to spare. C is traveling and L is home now - bringing her with me is quite possibly the worst idea I could have. Another bad idea? Thinking about life with a monetary price tag on it.  The bottom line is - and let me preface this I am not trying to get a one way ticket to hell - I know how this movie ends. This is how this is going to play out if we get the surgery. Approximately 2-5 weeks later home girl will be struck by a car or get cancer - something completely unavoidable, much like jumping on the bed and falling down.

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