Quote of the Week

Never underestimate the power that one good workout will have on your mind. Keeping the dream alive is half the battle.”

-Kara Goucher

This speaks to how I’ve felt this week.  It’s been a roller coaster ride at best, and it’s only Wednesday!  Working out has been a release for the anxiety and stress and sadness that has overcome my mind since Sunday.  I have used speed drills to clear my mind and get the angst out of my body physically.  It’s also been good to exhaust me physically so that I could finally sleep.

Bisou is not out of the woods.  I fully expected to bring her home from the animal hospital last night after Monday’s good visit and good results from the blood panel.  I visited her yesterday morning and she seemed happy and alert, although she had refused to eat overnight.  Soon after I left, she started vomiting and had bouts of bad diarrhea.  She was also retaining fluid and had swelling from the large amounts of fluids pumped through her IV for 36 hours.  The vet called, explained that she would cut back on Bisou’s fluids through her IV to get the swelling down and informed me she puked up a 10 inch piece of cloth, presumably from the bed she apparently ate (and no one told me about…) the first night she stayed at the hospital.  They did x-rays and could see another “foreign object” in her stomach.  Since the medication she overdosed on can cause the blood to thin and not clot, the plan was to perform an endoscopy to remove the object in her stomach.  They ran some blood panels to make sure she was strong enough for the procedure and her white blood cell count came back low.  Worrisome low.  They were then concerned that gastric fluid had begun to leak into the body, which is a fatal situation in both humans and animals.  The medication she ate can also cause internal softening of intestinal lining and the concern was that there may be holes leaking the septic fluid.  She now has an infection that has gone into her blood stream.  With the new concern that the internal linings were soft, an endoscopy was no longer an option as it may have torn her tissue.  I got a call that surgery would be the best option, although, with her current deteriorating condition, the risk was still high she would not survive, even with surgery.  All of this happened while I was en route to Iowa City to give a lecture to a class I am assisting to instruct.  My colleague made the decision halfway there to pull over, drop me off at a gas station and have my mom come pick me up.  I was quite the sight.  Bawling.  Talking to the vet on the phone, asking her t be blunt with me what her chances of survival were. At one point, a man came up and put his arm around me and asked if I was ok.  Tearfully, I looked at him and said no.  He asked if he could help in any way and I just shook my head.  Whoever you were- THANK YOU for that kind, kind gesture.  I was such an emotional wreck, I stopped comprehending what she was saying.  She offered to call my dad and talk to him and let him guide me through it.  Thank God for dads!  He had a long conversation with the vet and by the time he called me back, I was riding back to Des Moines with my mom.

Once back in Des Moines, I was more collected and had listened to the scenario from my dad.  We returned to the vet together to talk to the surgeon.  The concern was that if there wasn’t already a hole in her intestine leaking gastric fluid, there would be tomorrow.  Bacteria was already leaking out, due to her white blood cell count, and she would continue to deteriorate without surgery. Surgery would fix any weak spots they found and remove any other foreign objects she may have swallowed.  Without surgery, they gave her a 30% chance of survival.  With surgery, she had maybe 70%.  At that point, I felt I had no choice and authorized the surgery.  I knew the risks.  She may not make it out of surgery.  And if she did, the next 3-5 days would be critical for the infection to clear up.

Well, she made it through surgery.  They found nothing.  No soft tissue had developed.  No tears.  No foreign objects.  This is good news.  Whatever had made her sick, had passed out of her system through the vomiting and diarrhea she had all day long.  Now, we need to concentrate on the infection clearing up.  I was able to visit her this morning and she seemed alert and happy to see me.  She’s as strong and stubborn as her owner and this is one time, that’s a very good thing!

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