Well, where do I start? This has been a rough few weeks, to say the least. What’s the saying…? I believe it’s “it all hit the fan.” I thought I had a big fan, but apparently not b/c it’s been pretty messy. Let’s start with sweet Honey and her heartworm treatment.
1) Honey went in for her second treatment last Monday, and unfortunately we were faced with more than we anticipated. When she arrived at the clinic she began coughing a great deal. She hadn’t coughed during the past month’s recovery period, so when I got doc’s call about it, I was shocked, and quite honestly felt like a bimbo…but she’d not been coughing, I promise! So, doc took some radiographs only to find her in worse shape than when we started. Her heart was quite enlarged, more so than before, her lungs were congested, and simply put, it was not a pretty picture. We’d mentioned to them that she seemed a little wobbly, and this gave us our answer as to why…she wasn’t improving, and she was weaker.
When I got doc’s message, it really hadn’t been a good day, and I was devastated. The docs had all discussed it among themselves, and had even picked the brain of the internist (Thank you, Dr Toshach!). The only way to describe things is that we were in the middle of a pile of bad news. It’s either pulmonary hypertension or congestive heart failure…and to boot, we can’t continue heartworm treatment or it will most likely kill her. We can find out which it is, but she has to go to the internist for an ultrasound, and that starts at about $500. Rescue just doesn’t have it, nor do I personally, esp when it could go up to as much as $1000 by the time it’s all done. I simply do not have the funds, and I feel shameful as a result. The work-up would let us know which disease and which route to take, and perhaps buy her more time…even up to a year, apparently…and heck, knowing Honey and her fight, maybe even longer. However, the funding isn’t there, and I still have 2 more heartworm treatments to do, as well. Those could hold off a bit and be okay, giving me time to raise funds for them, but I still don’t have it for Honey’s ultrasound. This is a miserable feeling…utter failure is the only feeling I have at this point. I do NOT like being unable to do the proper care. I just don’t. I know people will say I do a great deal, it’s a lot of money, etc….I know this is true. However, I still feel as if I’m failing her. If you knew this sweet girl, you’d understand why.
As a result, Honey is on lasix short term and on prednisone. If she rides through this week okay, we’ll start her on Heartguard for the heartworms and probably have to keep her on prednisone. At this point, there’s really not a lot more that we can do. I’m heartbroken. My family is heartbroken. The doctors and staff are heartbroken…everyone adores this dog. We’ve cried over the circumstances. I’ve stared into space thinking…is there a way?…I’ve found no answers as of yet. Her last bit of time will be with us. We treasure her, and she will stay with us until she can’t hold on any longer. I just don’t know what else to do…other than love her…and that will be easy. She still has the best attitude…smiles, chews on bones, wags, and of course, paws you. I wish I had that great of an outlook on things…..esp now.
2) Sunday morning, about 5am, I had the wonderful experience of slipping a disc. I was alone, walking from the bathroom to the bedroom, and BOOM! It happened. I literally could not move. I yelled out in pain, and was stuck in my position. With the assistance of my Rocky, about 15 min later I made it 15 ft down the hall to the bedroom, unintentionally screaming w/almost every move. Later that morning I called my family to come and get me, and I went to the doctor. X-rays showed a slipped disc. It didn’t hit me at first, not until doc started telling me what I had to do, and what I couldn’t do. It was then that I started crying, only b/c of the animals. How was I going to take care of them? China has to be walked with a towel, dogs have to be fed and watered, medicated, let out for potty breaks, some walked, etc….yet doc was telling me I couldn’t do anything but lie in bed. I can’t lift, can’t bend, and can’t sit – truthfully, I cannot sit unless I’m going to the doc in the car. I can barely walk, and I hang upside down like a bat for traction. I can’t work, I can’t do rescue, and I can’t even sit at the computer. I couldn’t stop crying. Bless my mother, for she looked at me, knowing why I cried, wiped my tears, and said “Honey, we’ll get through it – it will be okay.” Yet all I could think about was the animals…how was I to care for them?
Long story short, I have been in bed for over a week, minus doctor visits. I had incredible nausea, and I even got the flu and a temp of 102.6 that I couldn’t shake without the aid of an antibiotic. This flu also came with a horrific cough that I’m still not rid of over a week later. I have lost my voice…however, I’m sure this is a blessing to some. 😉 Add a knee that went out on me, adding it’s own amount of pain (yet thankfully corrected by doc), and I’ve been in complete and utter misery. Woe is me. 😉
My poor mother is now leading a double life, living here and taking care of me and the dogs. She is 70yrs old and does not need to be wrestling 100+lb dogs, walking an almost 50lb China, lifting enormous bags of dog food, etc. However, she pushes on and just does it, never giving up. The dogs have been…to be truthful…ornery and horrible. They have protested against the current way of life in multiple ways, and let me know they are not happy. On the same note, they’ve all checked on me and let me know they’re concerned.
Mom has been unbelievable, although surely she’s also been miserable at some points, too b/c…well, my goodness. When you have multiple varmints acting up, not listening, confused b/c their routine is different, etc., it’d be dishonest to say it doesn’t wear you down sometimes. Yet she still makes a point to play with the dogs and let China have her “exercise” time. She threw the ball for AbraHAM and made sure they all had clean blankets. She’s been amazing. I don’t know of many 70yr old women that would walk in and take over caring for this many animals, as well as her (seemingly) invalid daughter. Thank goodness she’s a nurse, too, b/c it’s really paid off lately! LOL! I think about what I would have done if this had happened to me in TN…I have no idea.
My doc, Dr Awe, has been a Godsend. For me to be up and typing this (standing, not sitting, but still) and my disc to have remained in place since the 2nd day is amazing. He told me what to do, I did it, and I am recovering wonderfully. I don’t want surgery, so I will hang upside down from the Empire State Building if he says that’s what I need to do! 😀 He said now that it’s staying in place, I must continue to wear my belt, hang upside down like a bat, and of course see him, and let the disc rebuild itself and heal. I’ve got my supplements and my water, and by golly, I’m ready for it to be healed. He stated that it will take about 6wks, and I’m ready for it to be the last day of the 6th week.
He also let me know that it is now susceptible to slipping again. This, I think, was even more upsetting b/c it limits me. Lifting, moving wrong…it could happen a 2nd time. I don’t know that my mother could take care of things again as she is now. This brings to me the obvious question…What does this mean for rescue? Admittedly, it doesn’t look good…but I’ll have to stop there b/c it makes me too emotional.
So, please keep Honey in your prayers. She’s a good girl who deserves more than she’s had in the past. If you can throw one in there for me to be even stronger in the end, that’d be appreciated, as well.
Thank you to everyone for your support. It’s time for me to lay back down.