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Frequent Flier

When the staff at the emergency vet’s office know you and your dog by name, it is a horrible feeling.
Ace has been to the vet twice in the past week. I have avoided blogging because it was too upsetting to rehash all the scary details of her recurrent health issues. Perhaps, what with my immune system taking a dive and my consciousness clouded by cold medication, I am feeling distant enough to share.
In sum, last Tuesday we brought her to our vet at 8 A.M. after I was up all night with the little girl while she had explosive, liquid diarrhea. She was so heartbreakingly good about alerting me when she needed to go out on the porch to let out another torrent of gross. The last few contained bright red, and then dark, blood, prompting our vet visit. They kept her all day for observation, and sent us home with the same drugs she took for giardia. We received lab results Saturday morning that revealed Ace has a C.diff infection, but the doctor became concerned when I told him she was still shitting blood, which should have stopped if the C.diff was her only problem. I was to bring her back in today if the bleeding continued. It stopped Sunday evening, and I can’t decide whether I’m relieved that it’s gone for now, or if I wish it had continued so we’d be forced to run more tests to get some concrete answers.
Over the weekend, I tried not to freak out over her increasingly reddening left eye, the same one that had the corneal abrasion a month ago. Last night, after dinner, Jeff convinced me I wasn’t being an overly-protective crazy dog mama, and back to the ED we went. My stomach twisted when the vet found two more corneal abrasions. More medication, more Cone of Shame-wearing. This vet guessed that Ace is sleeping with her eyes open (she does; I used to find this endearing…), which dries them out and causes the ulcers. He referred us to a doggie ophthalmologist. Yikes.
I can’t escape this feeling of guilt, that somehow I am letting her down. Serendipitously, I read this timely article about the author’s immense grief over the sudden loss of his dog; he kept whispering “I’m sorry” to the pup days after his death, because he couldn’t shake the feeling that he might have done more to save the little guy. That part of his story struck me; I apologize to Ace daily for her current troubles. She is just so young to be suffering so much.
And where do I go from here? I’m immensely lucky to have a loving partner, family, friends, and dog walking duo that are supportive of me as I try to determine what’s best for my puppy, my wallet, and my sanity. Despite reassurances and positive reframing, I admit that I am fearful that we will keep walking down this road without finding a bit of a plateau to rest upon and take a break from antibiotics and anal thermometers. Being sick is exhausting, especially for mamas.



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