Friday, June 24, 2011

The Outdoors Love to Find New and Inventive Ways to Hurt Me.

Today I decided i'd had enough of laying in bed doing nothing, so I got up and prepped to go outside. I changed into more appropriate clothing and slathered on the sunscreen, then headed out the door with my net and bucket.

You see, even at 22, I still love to play in the muck. Two days ago I took my little brother tadpole hunting, and we'd started a little mini pond in a kiddie pool in our backyard. Today I wanted to go by myself so I would get to do it my way. We have at least four ponds and a river down the path by our house, so I headed out. I left my shoes home, as I didn't want to get them wet. This is where I screwed up. You see, it was 73 and sunny today, and the blacktop was extremely hot. I walked down to the river, caught soom minnows, then stopped at a couple of spots by the closest pond to catch tadpoles before heading home. I'd noticed my feet kind of hurt on my way TO the river, and by the time I was headed back home, I knew how big of a mistake i'd made.

I am now the proud owner of 2nd degree burns on both feet. I have 3 blisters that are larger than a half-dollar, and 5 more that are dime sized or less. I can't really walk and I'm attempting to use blister bandaids to cushion them. Did I mention that Becca and I will be attending a concert on July 1st? I hope these heal fast!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Life Is Looking Up :)

It really is.

Oscar is almost 100% back to normal, acting like a total spaz.

I visited Becca on Thursday, she looks amazing, but don't take my word for it, here's a picture!

Oh, and I went from being unemployed to having 2 jobs, woo!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Miracles do happen. Organ donors are true angels.

The liver was a match.

Becca went in to surgery around 7pm CDT, and should be out of surgery and transferred to the ICU within the next hour or so.

She still needs all the prayers and healing thoughts she can get, as she's not out of the woods yet, but we're all extremely hopeful!

UPDATE 8:33am CDT 06/15/11: She is awake and feeling good this morning! :)

The Call.

Just got a text from Becca.
She got "the call".
Mayo Clinic may have found her a matching liver.
I am beyond excited, and so hopeful that it is truly a match.
Please send thoughts, prayers, and all the positive vibes you can her way, she'll be needing them.

Dealing with my SECOND animal crisis this year, or, how owning a Dachshund is EXPENSIVE.

I swear, I'm cursed as far as animals go.

Last Thursday, I took my mini doxie, Oscar, to the vet. I'd found green discarge on his penis, he yelped when touched near his back end, and I worried he had a sheath infection. So off to the vet, who examines him, tries to get a urine sample (no dice) and then informs me that he's got some weakness in his back end. Okay, that was not what I was expecting. She put him on metacam and told me to call back on Monday to talk about how he's doing. Okay.

Cue Friday night. I go out to bring Oscar in (he loves the outdoors, and so he plays in the back yard during the day) and can't find him. I eventually do, hiding in the garage. I try to get him out of his hiding spot, and he starts screaming and biting me. I lost it and started sobbing, partially out of shock, pain, and knowing something is horribly wrong. I bring him inside and set him down. He attempts to go lay down, but his back legs are not cooperating. My mind reels, and I know that this is the start of a bad thing.

I calm myself enough to call the vet's office. It's 7:30pm on a Friday night, but the vet has his personal cell phone number left on the voicemail for emergencies. I call and explain what happened. He reassures me that Oscar will be fine until Monday, continue with his meds, and then tells me to take care of my wounds (Oscar broke the skin in several places when he bit me) fine.

Today comes, and I call the vet's office. I tell them Oscar has deteriorated significantly since Thursday. I ask for the soonest appointment, and it's set for 1pm. The time comes, and I load Oscar into the car, still in his bed. We get there and Dr. Rich examines him. I know what's coming, every Dachshund owner's worst nightmare, the prospect of Intervertebral Disc Disease. I voice my fears to Dr. Rich, and he agrees xrays are in order to see where the problem is.

On a bit of a side note, Dr. Rich knows I want to be a vet, and that I'm currently trying for my Animal Science degree. Because of this, he always keeps me 100% in the loop, and consults with me on care and such. He treats me like not only a customer and pet parent, but also a colleague. I see all test results, and we discuss them together. So when Oscar's xrays came back, we took a look, and though being closer to the brightness of the backlight and having a harder time seeing it originally, the problem was plain as day from my vantage point. A narrowing of the space between the L1 and L2 vertebrae. Classic IVDD.

My world collapsed a little. I knew what this meant. Oscar would need aggressive treatment if he was to regain the function he'd lost. Surgery is the best option, but unfortunately, I don't have $3000 to do that. That left only one option, steroids. We discussed outcomes and quality of life, agreeing that if he was in pain constantly, euthanasia would be the best option, but obviously we'd try what we could first. Dr. Rich said at one point that he'd like to try doing a lamenectomy sometime at their clinic. Obviously he's not a specialist, but he'd assisted on a few in vet school.

So it was that Oscar is now on steroids, in hopes he'll rally and all we'll have to do is modify what he can and cannot do, and he'll live a long, happy doxie life. Second best outcome is he'll only need a cart, and will live paralyzed but pain free. Worst outcome is he'll get worse and be in immense pain, at which point the decision will be to put him to sleep so he doesn't suffer. My mom and I talked about it, and if it comes to that point, we will offer Oscar to Dr. Rich to attempt a lamenectomy on, depending on how much it would cost. Obviously he's no expert, and hasn't ever done one himself, hasn't assisted on one in years, but if there's no other option, we'd at least give him a chance.

For now Oscar is confined to the laundry room, carried outside to go potty, and his activity is kept to a minimum. He's on prednisolone and tramadol, so every eight hours I shove a tramadol down his throat, and twice a day I do the same with the steroids. It's a pain in the ass, but I love him and would therefore do anything for him. All people entering the house are told to, under no circumstances, touch or otherwise engage the dog. Thankfully my mom and step-dad have been helping with potty breaks so that I get a break. All in all, I'm terrified, I can't lose my best buddy, I've already lost one animal that meant a ton to me this year, I don't want to lose another.

And that's been my life recently.
Prayers and healing thoughts would be much appreciated.
I hope things are going better for the rest of you.