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16 May 2013

What a day, what a day

Today, for the most part, was a good day. The sun was shining, and I was able to read outside for most of the day with my kiddos. I even got a little sun on my shoulders and face. I was looking forward to an evening making crafty cards with friends to send to the soldiers. I rushed home from work to feed the dogs and change my clothes and feed myself, the abundant sunshine just making me happy.

As soon as I got home, everything shifted from happy-go-lucky to emergency mode. As soon as I let the dogs out, I knew something was wrong. Bailey was panting heavily and hyper salivating  What was even more worrisome was the fact that she could barely walk and she couldn't support her back end. She stumbled and fell repeatedly in the back yard and was acting totally out of her norm. After bothering the neighborhood vet tech, I rushed her off to the vet for an emergency visit. She couldn't get into the back seat alone, and, when we got to the vet, she stumbled and fell out of the car. Needless to say, I was more than a little terrified.

After a quick intake interview, they swept my baby girl into the mysterious back of the clinic to performa a variety of tests, primarily neurological. Her ability to walk was improving, but she was still suffering a weird array of symptoms. Her eyes were dilated at different sizes and her left side was weak and non-responsive to pressure. The three initial concerns were seizure, infectious disease caused by a tick bite, or a tumor. The blood work came back and ruled out the infectious disease and made a tumor less probable. After more tests, the vet narrowed her primary concerns to seizure/other neurological incident or a bad disc in her spine. Because she had improved significantly (but not completely) during our two-hour visit, the vet decided to send her own with some NSAIDs and a strict order for rest for the next five days, hoping that the cause of the incident was a bad disc. She's going to do additional research on a few of Bailey's symptoms to determine if she missed something, but now we wait for the next five days to see if she improves. Or gets worse. Or stays the same. Either way, now we wait.

I always get nervous every time Bailey gets sick because, let's face it, she's my baby. She's been my near-constant companion for the last 11 years and 10 months. She's helped me through a divorce and through moving 600+ miles away from my comfort zone and through grad school and through a rough break-up and through everything else that life has thrown at us. But she's getting old. She's already exceeded her breed life expectancy by a year. I know that sooner than later, the time will come for me to make some hard decisions. So now whenever she gets sick or hurt, those are the thoughts that first come to my mind. I know that it's only a matter of time before the next trip to the vet is The One. And I keep praying that I won't have to deal with that for a little longer.

If her back has a bad disc, I can probably deal with that. She'll require medicine and extra gentle care, but that's manageable  If she requires surgery to fix things, that brings other things into consideration. If she has developed a seizure disorder, I'm not sure where we go from there. That's an indication of something much more intense and severe, and I'm hoping that I don't have to deal with that.

But for now, she's resting. Sleeping in her bed and relaxing. She's not allowed to go upstairs alone or roughhouse and play with her brother and sister. Which, right now, I think she is pretty okay with that.

And, of course, worrying about my girl made me bring out her baby book and bask in her adorableness. I've taken pictures of pictures to share, so they aren't the best quality. But her beauty comes through. :)

Love that puppy face. 

Sleepy girl. 

Look at those ears!!

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