Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ummmm...Not So Fast There, Poopsie

Yesterday, a total of 3 nice things happened:

1) I had a pumpkin milkshake, something I've been wanting for ages.

2) I got to snuggle with Sara at the very end of the day and sing her songs.

3) My dog is still alive, meaning that she is not dead, not that she is well.

No, sir. Not well at all.

She has "the dwindles", which in medical terms is not as bad as "crumping" and certainly better than "circling the drain" but really is not doing at all well. Instead of getting to take her home, a tired, yet healing pup, we spent an hour and a half playing "What The Fuck Is Wrong With This Dog?" with the on-duty vet, yet another in a string of simply amazing, caring and competent physicians we have had over this past week. The surgery went fine, yet she has lost all interest in food or social interaction. Her nose is terribly congested, still. Her labs are becoming more, not less abnormal. We ponder and talk things through out loud. She takes us practically minute-by-minute through the events of the past 8 days. (It never occurred to me, for some reason, how much her job is that of a human doctor, specifically a pediatrician. The history comes not from the patient, but from the parents. She felt like our doctor as much as Emma's.) We keep coming back to the possibility of Addison's Disease (aka: adrenal insufficiency) as the underlying problem. Sort of the villain behind the scenes, lurking and twirling his long, black moustache, wrapped in a dark cape.

From the human perspective, she has that "feel" about her. She is that patient who has just undergone, say, successful surgery for her appendicitis, who should just bounce back, but slips slowly downhill. Consultants cluster at the bed, quizzing the nursing staff and each other, pouring over lab trends, urine outputs, the change in bowels, all that stuff we get off on, until someone blinks and says, "Has anyone checked her adrenal gland function?" Everyone else slaps their head, as once again, this great mimicker has been allowed to lurk. The intern dashes off to do the stim test and administer a dose of hydrocortisone, and everyone holds their breath, hoping they are right, as if they are, all should be well and the patient should turn around, nicely.

As last night's wonderful vet said, "It's a pain-in-the-ass disease that won't shorten her life one bit."

We then got to spend some time with our poor, pitiful, pet. She just looks like hell, not so much physically, but her spirit just seems sapped. No tail wag for greeting. No looking us in the eyes, certainly no attempt to lick. So unlike her. This is an almost 2-year-old normally bouncy dog. She is walking on her own and seems fairly comfortable, otherwise.

So, there we are. We should know Wednesday, when the lab results return, although as she is already on treatment, we may see a response sooner. Something to hope for, but I am now afraid to hope.

Maybe you can hope in my place.



Blogger Karen said...


12:44 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

I'm sorry, I simply must say it: FUCK. Fuckfuckfuck. Not fair, poor dog and you lot.

I still have hope, her condition isn't much improved but it's not dramatic yet either, and should it be Addison's she should respond soon to it and then we'll all be happy. And if it isn't, she's young and the vets are good and there are vet sleuths as well you know, it's not just you and your breed, so they'll find out what is wrong w her and she will be healed. She may not be happy bcs well, her abdomen's been cut open and she was feeling rotten even bfr that but she is walking abt and that is excellent news. So says I. And you know how it sometimes is w human medicine, there are findings that make no sense within a diagnosis, they're not part of it and shouldn't be there at all and yet they are. And then you tweak a bit and the whole thing sorts itself out, leaving many a happy but puzzled dr behind.

You know, the owners bit is killing me already, since I am not the most diplomatic person and will often want to just wring their soddy little necks. But YES, it is absolutely like paediatricians and their not yet verbal patients. A heartbreak.

To sum it up, Emma will be fine bcs you're most excellent and so says I. My antennae back me up fully. And I'm a Pisces, you know, we know shit and stuff.

1:02 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

So sorry Emma is not bounding back like the puppy she is...will continue to send good thoughts your way in hopes she gets better and is back to her tail-wagging, hand licking ways in time to beg for Thanksgiving left-overs.

Take care and take time out for pumpkin milkshakes, cuddles, glasses of wine, beer, etc.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I am hoping for you, yes I am. I dare. Poor pup.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Crap. More crap. I'm so sorry. Here's hoping for Addison's.

2:01 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Oh, jeez, I don't check in for a couple of days, think everything must be fine by now and find out everything's gone to hell. Oh, poor you and yours! I'm so sorry things haven't gotten better and am sending hope that they soon will.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Don't you just wish you could speak dog language and explain to her that you're trying to help her not torture her.

It must be unbearable to see her in such as state.

Hopefully, it will all be figured out soon and she will be on the road to recovery.

3:06 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Oh sweetie. I'm still thinking warm thoughts for Emma and hope that the root of the illness is found soon so she can get back to the fun loving two-year old pup she is. My thoughts go to you as well. Your love for her is so obvious and I know you'll do what you can to make her feel better.

3:54 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I am all teary now. Poor Emma. I am teary because she is still sick but also because there is hope that she'll bound back and because I know what this must be doing to you.

Okay, wiped eyes. Can see to type. Anyway, I have great hopes that she'll be okay because, like Johnny says, she must be because you are so great. And I'm a Pisces as well. We do know stuff.

Hugs to you and yours.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Karen- Thanks. *hugs back* Greatly appreciated.

Johnny- That is the aggrevating part. You just get the feeling that it is a case of "one of these things just doesn't belong here" and if you could pull that out, all else would fall into place. The one thing I know is that her care has been top notch. She has all of the vets at the clinic scratching their heads and digging in books. Unfortunately, as I am fond of saying, damn bodies don't read text books. I hear you about the owners. Just one reason I couldn't do peds, I'd be in prison for assaulting the first horrible parent I came across. You just keep those antennae up, dahling. It means more than I can say.

Stacy- Thanks. We will be so amazingly thankful if she does get to come home for Thanksgiving.

Teri- That's why I have you for an evil twin, so you can dare where I can not.

Linda- Isn't it odd to wish for that? Yet wishing for it I am. Hey, better that than, say, diabetes, eh?

Listmaker- Our own little soap opera, here. I keep trying to wake and find it is all a dream, but maybe to do that, I'd actually have to sleep...

Rozanne- That is absolutely what I wish. Last night, it was clear that she was past all caring, which in some way was much, much worse. Left me this fucking sobbing mess. Charles has been a rock, though, thank goodness. At work, I keep having these strange eye-watering "allergy" attacks.

Beth- Oh, I hope so, I fervently hope so. We keep repeating the fact that she is so young and previously healthy over and over like a mantra.

Dana- Well, two pisces can't be wrong, can they? I went to lunch with 2 of my closest friends today and found I couldn't tell them about it. I just couldn't face bawling in the restaurant and then coming back to work with my eyes matching my red sweater. We virgos must be good at suppressing.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Sending lots of Hope your way!!!

10:23 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

It's Wednesday 9.11 am here, I am thinking of you lot and keeping my fingers crossed for excellent news. We ARE thinking of you, sweetie. We are and will be here. Much love.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

She'll be right. I've got my fingers and me toes crossed for her.

8:09 AM  

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