It’s so nice to have your own blog so you can type the word “asshole” in the title of your post. CURSE WORDS. FREEDOM. ‘MERICA. I LOVE THEM ALL.
Before I left for California I consulted with Warner’s physician on what I should do. Taking Warner to California wasn’t an option, because in order to bring him with me on a plane he would to pass a health inspection and, well, I’M CHOKING ON IRONY. I could cancel my trip, and I would have, except the doctor told me she was over 50% confident he would be ok at a boarding facility.
I believed this. I showed up at the boarders with a 10 pound bag of meds, food, bribery treats to get Warner to eat and a rawhide bone for the moments he missed home. I called everyday, twice a day to check on him. Each day I was told: “you have the best boy! He’s doing great!”
And then one Thursday, he wasn’t.
Ups and downs are the new “normal” when dealing with Warner’s sickness. One minute he’s acting like a joyful puppy, the next he’s lost 5 pounds and we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to fix it. But, having a “down” while on the other side of the country was something I was not ready for. The vet at the boarding facility called me and gave me an ear full: why did I leave Warner when he was so sick? Did I realize the stress he was under due to being boarded on top of his illness? What was my vet thinking putting him on such high doses of medication? He said all this while I was in my car on the way to the airport to pick up my middle/high school best friend, who was flying into town for my 30th birthday party. I was in tears. I started calling everyone: Delta to change my flight, Enterprise to see if I could return my rental car early, Tessa to see if she could take me to the airport, the vet (again) to ask him why when I called at 5am that morning to check on Warner he was fine, but 4 hours later he was about to die? It was a frantic hour of trying to organize a very disorganized situation.
And then the vet called back.
“There is a specialist at one of my other clinics and he’s a great man. I’m having him come up and look at Warner. Don’t go anywhere or do anything. We will take care of it on our end.”
Oh ok bro. Let me just change everything I’ve just done. I HATE CHAOS.
I felt guilty. What kind of person was I to leave Warner like that?! Had I really abandoned my baby at the worst possible time?! Here I was, straight west coastin’ and Warner needed me. Never mind that I booked this vacation back in January. No, I was the worst person alive. I had to make some big decisions from very far away.
One ultrasound, a blood test, a urine test and an extra $400 later, I was encouraged to see Doctor Wonderful for a second opinion. It’s like the vet at the boarding facility could sense my desperation: like I was in 11th grade and his name was Justin Baker and I just wanted him to notice me. (That’s really desperate, FYI)
What do I have to lose besides more money (and I don’t have much more of that anyway)? Off to Doctor Wonderful we go.
Yesterday, Warner and I met Doctor Wonderful. He gave Warner a hug, told him he looked better than the last time they met, and Warner thanked him with kisses all over his face. Doctor Wonderful sat patiently as I rattled off my list of questions, petting Warner the entire time. He handed me tissues when I started crying. And then, he spoke words like pure gold:
“I have treated cases PLN before. In fact, I’m seeing a dog this afternoon who was down to 50 pounds from 70 pounds with PLN and we’ve been able to keep him stable and get him back up to 70 pounds. I don’t have all the answers but I can find them. Let’s run a few tests and start over, shall we?”
Doctor Wonderful had momentarily become the man of my dreams and he was going to help the number one man in my life. I had heart eyes. Sorry Kyle, you were almost replaced by a doctor who tucks his scrubs shirt into his slacks.
Doctor Wonderful took Warner off all the nasty medication he’d been taking for 5 months. Apparently, the meds were upsetting his stomach; causing Warner to have no appetite and lose a lot of weight. He told me the immunosuppressive was WAY too intense and insisted we take Warner off it immediately. He changed Warner’s food to and told me the new food had a kidney recovery aid in it and an Omega 3 fatty acid that Warner needed. He ran some tests and asked to see us back in 2 weeks.
Yesterday, we left Doctor Wonderful’s office and we still had no answers. But we had hope. Hope that maybe this doctor will give me more time. Hope that we were on a new path; a path that could be more “ups” than “downs”. Later that night, Doctor Wonderful called to give me Warner’s blood and urine test results. He calmly told me the levels were “not where he wanted them to be” so he adjusted one dose of his medication and told me to stay positive and we would talk again on Monday. No pressure, no stress, no doom and gloom, no adding another pill to our line up; just “have a great weekend and tell Warner to keep eating!” I had heart eyes.
Warner ate 4 cups of food last night. He hasn’t eaten that much in a week.
Boarding Warner was traumatic for both of us: there is no stress like that of leaving your baby in a strange place and counting on them to give him the kind of care you give him at home. But, I am eternally grateful for this boarding facility. Without them scaring the shit out of me I would have never gone for a second opinion. Without their compassion for Warner and I, we would have never been connected with Doctor Wonderful. While we are still very much in the same place we were before I left for California, and we may not have the results Doctor Wonderful’s other patients had, I am thankful for his willingness to try. I am thankful for his second opinion and grateful for the fear that brought us to it.
And now, we pray. And we wait. And we adjust some meds and we pray some more. And we are grateful. And we use the word “asshole” in the title of blog posts because I LIVE RECKLESSLY AS LONG AS IT’S PLANNED RECKLESSNESS.