Well. I have just lived through two weeks that will surely be noted in Moogie's Biography as among the worst of my life. But -- they could have been considerably worse.
We did get to bring Mysti home Wednesday before last with potent antibiotics and special food. She ate some and drank water and just enjoyed being with us that afternoon and evening. I even did a most-of-the-family portrait:
Pepper went to bed fairly early, but when my adrenaline gets rushed, I don't sleep well. So, after reading a bit, I probably dropped off about 1:00 Thursday morning. Thursday would turn out to be a verrrrry long day.
A little before 4:00, I heard Mysti panting in the crate. When she kept it up for awhile I got up to see what was going on and to offer her some water. The vet had told us that if her temperature spiked -- anything above 102.5 -- she could be in trouble. She refused the water and was clearly agitated. I managed to find a thermometer (now strictly dedicated to canine temperature readings, if you know what I mean), and managed to get a reading. 102.7. Crap.
She paced around a bit and, every now and then, would stretch her neck up as if in a spasm. I took her temp again about thirty minutes later -- 103.2. Double crap. I awakened Pepper, telling him that Mysti was in trouble.
Bouie was upset -- he's very sensitive and knew something was not right.
At 5:00 we called the vet. After we described what was going on, he told us to make her as comfortable as possible and to meet him at his office at 7:30. So Mysti lay on the floor at the foot of the bed with one of us lying beside her on either side. She was in such obvious pain that we both feared she would die right there in our arms. We spoke softly to her, petting her and telling her what a good girl she is and how very pretty. That was a long, difficult two hours. I checked her temp again about 7:00 and it had dropped back below 103. Good news, but it didn't last.
We headed to the vet's at about 7:20 in all the rush hour traffic. That's not harrowing at all. Mysti could barely get in and out of the truck.
The vet took her temp first thing -- 103.7. He said that's high but not dangerously high. Then he explained our options, leaving the most permanent one unspoken. He could open her up again and see what was going on, but he was a little leery of the location of the bad part of the intestine -- very near the pancreas. The other option was for him to call veterinary surgery specialists in Memphis and we could take her over there as an emergency patient. Then he told us that, if she were his dog, he'd have her in the car on I-40 eastbound, pdq. So, that's what we did. We headed home to throw a few things in a bag in case we had to stay the night and called our dogsitter friend on the way to the house -- we couldn't leave the pup crated all that time without a break. Fortunately, Carolyn had been following Mysti's saga on Facebook and said she'd be here as soon as possible. Here we are on the way to Memphis:
Actually, no. That's on the way home the first time Wednesday afternoon. We had put pillows in the back for her before going to Memphis.
It seemed like it took forever to get there, and once we did, we got onto the interstate loop at the wrong on-ramp and had to circle the whole freakin' city amid some seriously crazy and flawed drivers. Added about 30 minutes to the trip. No additional stress there.
We arrived at the Memphis Veterinary Specialists a little after noon. Wow. What a ritzy place! All new and clean and well-designed. We met with the regular vet in one of several "Consultation Rooms," and she explained what they would do -- and the price range, depending on what they found during the exploratory. And, no, you really don't want to know. We paid our deposit, left our little girl in the hands of strangers in a strange place, and wandered off in search of something to eat, anticipating a call from the surgeon when they took Mysti back.
The vet had recommended Las Tortugas, a small, authentic Mexican place nearby in Germantown. Good recommendation. After lunch, we took a walk around a small lake on a nice paved path. That was just what we needed. Then we needed a nap, so I had a chat with Mr. Google and found a hotel near the hospital where there were a lot of Hispanics tearing up the parking lot with jackhammers. I napped really hard and quickly anyway.
Pepper woke up before I did and went out to the truck to charge his phone, so he was gone when I awoke, making me a little nervous. But, when he came back in, he had talked to the surgeon and Mysti had done beautifully! There was a tear leaking fluid into her abdomen, so he did a resection of her intestine and there were no complications, her bloodwork showed no organ failure, and she was resting comfortably with no suggestion of peritonitis! We could visit her Friday morning, but they wanted to keep her until Sunday so they could culture the liquid they removed from her abdomen and keep her on IV antibiotics and pain meds. The vet would call in the morning with an overnight report.
Thank you, Lord!
But then the next crisis hit -- the Saints were playing the Panthers at 7:30 Thursday evening and the hotel didn't offer NFL Network!!
I found a sports bar. And a liquor store. We went to both.
The Saints won!
We went to visit Mysti Girl shortly after the vet called on Friday morning, and were seated in the "Visitation Room." They put a tee shirt on her so she couldn't mess with the staples. It said "We be Jammin', Mon," so we decided that she was going as a Rasta for Halloween:
Our girl was what the vet described as "dysphoric." We called it "loopy." She was happy to see us, but whined and "sang" for us. I felt really mean leaving her there -- she really wanted to go home. But, it was Halloween and I was expecting a houseful of family and friends that evening.
We made it back to Moogie's Manor in time to make the chicken chili and get things cleaned up. I took Yap to the vet for her next round of puppy shots. Trick or Treaters came and went. Here are Elder Daughter and her sweet family as "Jack and the Beanstalk" characters (the "Golden Egg" painted on ED's shirt was the Halloween costume for Grandbaby #6 who is growing in there!):
And Younger Daughter with hers as the Rubble Family from "The Flintstones":
The Son had Guard drill.
As I was cleaning up, I noticed several twinges in my back and gut, and realized that I hadn't eaten anything. By Saturday morning, I was in a full-blown flare-up of diverticulitis. Stress tends to settle in my gut and I think it's taking an extended vacation in there. I can eat now, but can't throw off the nagging little low-grade fever. I hate diverticulitis drugs, but I guess I'll have to suck it up and call the doc on Monday. Bouie and Yap were missing their Mysti on Saturday night, so they needed a little extra attention from Pepper:
The vet called Sunday morning about 10:00 and Pep was on the road by 10:45. Mysti and her tee shirt came tail-waggingly into the house Sunday afternoon! Along with her own personal pharmacy. Our days have revolved around her med schedule for a week! but I gave her the last dose yesterday evening and all she has left are pain pills. I'm still giving her a reduced dose of that at night.
She still must take it really easy for another week, then keep being wild and crazy at a minimum for a month, but she looks good, she's happy and playful, her appetite is back, and her coat looks good and shiny. I think we have our girl back. And everyone is happy about that (we changed her tee shirt because it was getting really stinky):
My gut can't take much more drama.