Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Oh, dear god, please make it stop already!

I really do need to come up with a better, more socially appropriate way to respond to people who politely ask about how my father is doing. I mean, my current response--"Well, he's dying, so it's only downhill from here"--isn't really what most people want to hear.

I did hear from his girlfriend today, in between appointments at the VA medical center up where they live. Apparently, he was sick enough for them to insist he lie on a stretcher while he waited for the next doctor to see him, and he'd fallen almost immediately asleep. In the meantime, the hospice worker had told Dad's girlfriend that it was time to set up a room for him downstairs, and time for her to order a hospital bed, a wheelchair, etc.

"They think it's moving along quickly," she confided. "They think it's going to be sooner rather than later." I did my best to respond empathetically, while thinking to myself, "What later? Who ever said there was going to be a later?" It cannot come soon enough, by my reckoning. Later, I mean. The end, I mean. This is already no kind of end of life. And as I said, it's only downhill from here.

But today's real medical crisis came courtesy not of my dad, but of my doggie, Snug, the canine love of all of our lives. Long (and I do mean long) story short, after transfusions of plasma at the local vet's office, he was transfered tonight over to the local emergency vet clinic. He is bleeding from various orifices (his mouth, his rectum, his penis); he also seems to be bleeding internally. His spleen is enlarged; his stomach has blood in it. He's running a low-grade fever. He's moving like he's a 20-year-old dog, not a 20 month old dog. His platelets are low. His clotting times are slow. He's a sick puppy.

And the worst part? My fault. Our fault. Proabably, at least. Because the current working diagnosis is that it's likely a tick-borne disease that's causing all of this (despite the fact that the initial tick titre done in the vet's office came back negative; it's apparently not a foolproof test, and the blood work that will be back in the morning will tell the real truth). How did he get a tick-borne disease? Well, probably because his idiot owners don't always remember to give him his Frontline every month...or every other month. Clearly, catch-as-catch-can flea and tick protection isn't all that good at keeping a dog healthy. Who knew? Besides you and you and you and you and everyone but idiot us, I mean.

Poor pup.

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