I made it into work today…

I made it into work today. With the three-day weekend coming up, I think I can tough out one day here.

Looking back at my last two blog entries, it’s apparent that much happened between “I do think we’ll be taking Mickey home alive.” and “Our Mickey passed to the Rainbow Bridge tonight. “

In a nutshell, he had an afternoon of tough tests. The results didn’t let us know exactly WHY he was so sick. But we did learn that his right lung was almost flooded with a bloody mucus, his heart was pretty damaged, his liver was enlarged, and he had four bodily systems in failure. He had to be sedated because he didn’t feel comfortable breathing while lying down. The alternatives were 1) more tests, involving general anesthesia from which he probably wouldn’t survive; 2) a “Wait and See” approach, where we’d let him linger for 3 or 4 days and see if he inexplicably gets better, or 3) do the ‘humane’ thing and let him go.

We decided to let him go. Dr. Biele affirmed that our decision was, in fact, the humane one. It’s not good when a doctor says, “There are just so many things wrong with him.” They eased up on the sedation so that Mickey would be up and about when we said goodbye. He licked our hands and wagged his tail happily when he saw us (David, Mom, John, and me) . That was very hard — I almost wish that they had left him sedated. Mom and David stayed with him as he fell asleep. It was quick and peaceful. I stayed outside the room with John. I’m such a wimp. Dr. Biele gave us a piece of clay with an imprint of Mickey’s paw and his name etched into it. I baked it last night. It’s on Noelle’s shelf, along with Mickey’s picture.

The apartment is amazingly quiet without him. Cats are quiet beasts, except when they fight. There’s a certain joy to a house that only a dog can bring.

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RIP Mickey

State of the Pooch:
Our Mickey passed to the Rainbow Bridge tonight. David and my mom were with him as Dr. Biele at the UoP Hospital helped him on his way. There was nothing else that could be done. He is now free of needle pricks and pills and bumps on his body and kidney stones and cloudy eyes. The only pain left behind is ours.

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State of the Pooch, continued

State of the Pooch, continued:

The University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital is THE place to go when your furbaby is sick. We got there relatively quickly. Mickey rested quietly in his blanket in my arms, and licked my hand on occasion as if to tell me that everything’s ok.

They take him and put him into an oxygen cage (looks like a glass cube) to facilitate his breathing. After a wait, we give his complete medical history (which takes a while) to a vet student. Then we wait again. We meet with the doctor, who is fantastic. He explains all of Mickey’s symptoms and where they come from. The breathing issue stems from his heart problem. I think our Vet gave him too much fluids and the dog couldn’t get rid of them, which pushed his heart into failure, which resulted in the gurgly breathing. :(

They’re going to get info faxed to them from the regular Vet (hereafter known as “Vet 1″) and redo some tests. Meaning that all the things we worried about and became relieved about, we’ll have to worry about again. And poor Mickey has to suffer through more pokes and prods. If all goes well, he should be home tomorrow or Saturday. I hope his heart can take the stress of another hospital stay.

I think these docs are committed to helping him get back to normal. Again, if there is no pancreatic mass, Addison’s, or Cushings disease (which is a new one), he should have at least one healthy, happy year left. I do think we’ll be taking Mickey home alive.

We got to see him after we put down the deposit (did I mention we paid $1100.00 earlier to get him OUT of Vet 1?). He was sleeping peacefully in his glass cube. I cried at the sight of him hooked up to another IV. I had only taken his old bandage off mere hours earlier.

Didn’t get home until 3:00 am. I stayed home this morning until David arrived so that I’d be there if the Vet called. So I’ll be here until 4-ish. This is going to be a LOOOOOOOOOONG day.

Wt: 138.8, which will change because I need a cheesesteak w/fried onions and ketchup.
Mood: FURIOUS at Vet 1 for ignoring the heart/fluid issue, and giving us back a dog with a 600+ blood sugar level AND charging us $1100. We are now back at stage 1. DEVASTATED that Mickey’s going through hell again. EXHAUSTED from crying.
Work docket: Did communities and scrapbook. Will now redo the dining guide. I started that yesterday.
Lunch plans: I have $5.00. Sounds like a subway sandwich.
Afternoon plans: I have no afternoon today. I’ll be here until 4ish.
Evening plans: Unsure. I’m supposed to have “coffee and coping” at Starbuck’s with Mom-n-John tonight, but we may go and see the dog.

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State of the Pooch

State of the Pooch: Jeebus, what a night. We triumphantly took Mickey home at 6:30 last night. His sugar level shot up to the 600s again before they discharged him, but they gave him 5units of insulin to take care of that. We bring him to the apartment, put him down, and he promptly falls over on the floor.

We call the vet. They say that the insulin needs to take effect and that he may be getting his ‘sea legs’ back from being in a cage for a few days. Fine.

A few minutes later, he perks up, but starts breathing heavily. Hm. David goes to karate. I didn’t feel right going to yoga, so I stayed home to watch the dog. At 7:30, I’m really troubled. He’s breathing loudly, and it worsens when he lays down. He’s not comfortable laying down so then he sits back up. The dog is so tired he’s falling asleep sitting up.

I call the Vet. Vet says to give him a Lasix pill because he had a lot of IV fluid pumped into him and may need to get rid of it. I give Mickey the pill and a handful of dry food, which he eats. He was still breathing heavily. Exhausted, he lay down. He starts almost-choking and sits up, startled. Then he pitches face-forward on the chair, legs splayed behind him, but in the air, head on the chair. He did this twice.

That’s it. I wrap him up in a blanket (actually, one of our good Disney throws), stick a “AT VET” note on our front door for David and go the the vet at 8:30. Vet’s gone for the night, but the nurses hear his breathing problems. They hustle him to the back for a lasix injection and to give him oxygen. Ugh. They page the vet, who basically tells me to take him to the hospital, since he’s going to need overnight monitoring. Ugh.

Bawling like a baby, I take Mickey back home, get some socks on, and tell David what’s up. At 9:15, we head to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital.

–ok…I gotta go to work. I’m still home. I’ll update this later. Dog still alive. His parents are wrecks. And his mom weighs 138.8.

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