What a week.
Bill was out of town Tuesday through Thursday. I always miss him when he's gone, but I'm an independent gal. I do alright. Or so I thought.
Tuesday morning as Bill was literally getting ready to leave, we heard a huge yelp from the other room. We both ran and found Annie shaking, very stiff, shaking slightly, pacing, licking her leg and acting very strange. We didn't know if she was having a seizure or what. Bill said she had done the same thing the other night. But when I got home, she seemed OK. I was very worried. Our old girl is 14 now and I didn't know if this would be her final deal-breaker.
Went to the vet that morning and she didn't have many answers. Annie has had a high white blood cell count for three years. The kind of count that almost always means cancer. Truly, the docs have been surprised when we bring her in year after year, symptom-free. So, the first thought was again - the blood work. Maybe this is brain cancer, they thought. Not much to do for now, just keep watching her. I took her to Fred and Francie's for the rest of the day, just so they could keep an eye on her. She had no episodes all day.
I picked her up that evening and she seemed fine. About 9:15 p.m., I went in to bring our now 8-month-old Libby in from outside and her paws were all muddy. I put her in the garage instead and not even 15 minutes later, let her in. Right in the middle of the garage floor was an empty box of D-Con. No, I'm not kidding.
Fortunately, we have a really fantastic vet, Mountain View, that allows established patients to call a pager for after hours emergencies. Within minutes, I was connected with Dr. Vicky Smith, the same vet we'd seen that morning, and who happened to be the one on pager-duty that night. She instructed me to feed Libby two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to get her to vomit and call her back.
OK, this task is easier said than done. Got the first tablespoon in alright. Second one - yeah right. Libby wanted nothing to do with me. The girl who just fed her nasty, bubbling yuck that was making her stomach feel awful was coming for her again. As soon as I'd grab her with one hand, holding the teaspoon of peroxide in the other, she'd wriggle away. I had no choice - I needed help.
I went next door to our next door neighbor's house. The house was dark - I felt awful. I quietly knocked and Casey appeared and said he'd be right over. Two extra hands did the trick. Thanked Casey. Called Dr. Smith back and she asked if Libby had emptied her entire stomach contents. Well, it sure seemed so. Dr. Smith said there was only one way to make sure - do an active charcoal treatment. She said it was "messy, but effective" and she'd meet me at the clinic in 15 minutes. I went to get Libby and Annie started having another episode. Her head was bent down, back arched and she was licking her leg. Oh my gosh - when will this end?
Fast forward to 10:45 p.m. Libby had her messy, gooey and very black activated charcoal down her throat. She had it everywhere and it was on me too. We were on our way home. I put her in her kennel, said a little prayer she wouldn't throw up that night and went to bed. Or so I thought. Annie had a very difficult night - I was up with her several times.
Took Annie to the vet the next day so they could do X-rays. They kept her all day in a pen in the center of the clinic so they could watch her. She had no episodes all day. They referred me to a veterinary neurologist in Tacoma (just ignore this my non-pet lover readers - I know you think I'm insane).
Went to the Tacoma vet on Thursday morning and my friend Lynn came with me for moral support (oh, thank you, thank you, my dear friend). I showed Dr. Demuth the videos of Annie's episodes and he did a physical exam. He was pretty confident it was a bulging disk and not cancer. He said an MRI would confirm and surgery would cure. But, that is a very expensive and risky option for a 14-year-old. He said we could also treat with pain relievers and muscle relaxers when she has flare-ups and also showed us how to massage her neck when it occurs. He warned that it might sound crazy, but a very helpful treatment is also acupuncture (I know, I know!). So, that's what we'll be doing. He couldn't believe she was 14 and even asked if I knew for sure. He said she is incredibly healthy otherwise and was hopeful we could get past this. The meds have helped and we're working to schedule time with the acupuncurist. You know I'll be blogging that!
Bill got home Thursday night and Friday we delivered layoff notices at work. I normally don't mention anything about work on here. Being in HR, there's usually not much I can share anyway. But, I will say - that was one of the hardest days I've had at work in a long time. It is so hard to let people go who have great performance and have done nothing wrong.
Saturday we went on a beautiful bike ride to Woodard Bay and I took a long afternoon nap. It's now Sunday afternoon and I just made Smitten Kitchen's Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream cake. It looked and smelled good and hopefully it will be tasty. But, it is not for us. It is for Libby's helper Tuesday night - next door neighbor, Casey.
Hard week and so glad it is Sunday. Amen.
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