Thursday, June 7, 2012

We Were Just So Close

When my kids were little and they weren't feeling well, I tried to do whatever I could think of to make them feel better, especially if it meant a trip to the doctor. For Ashley, nothing was better than new jammies. We would get home, cozy in to some fresh sheets (usually in Mom and Dad's bed), get some great movies going and start the "getting better" process. For the boys, it usually involved food, even if they were feeling sick to their stomach. Nick loved McDonald's, and could say "fries" before he could say "Mom", well almost, and Andrew was all about Wendy's and Taco Bell. Once they had their favorite eats, they would also want to go home and cozy in to bed to watch their favorite movies. I hated having them be sick, but I have to admit that I somewhat enjoyed the fact that life slowed down during those times and it allowed me extra snuggle time with kids that were normally busy busy busy.

I have come to realize that with Brutus the pattern has continued, minus the whole movie watching part. Brutus isn't feeling good. He has a small mass on his groin, a little smaller than a walnut, that we have been watching for the last few months. It seems to have grown a little over the last two months, and when Don got home from the lake this past weekend, it seemed a little red and puffy. We decided it was time to get it looked at again. The veterinarian checked it at his physical in February, and we decided to just watch it until his tooth cleaning appointment in July.

Here is where it gets ridiculous sounding. You know how there are crazy politics about health care for humans? Well, I have health insurance for Brutus. Trust me, it saves me hundreds per year, and allows me to get him regular care to keep his health up to snuff. Anyway, if I decided to have the mass removed now, anesthesia and the procedure would cost around $1000.00. If I wait until July when his dental cleaning is due, it would only cost me $300.00, because the anesthesia is included under a "preventive" medicine procedure. I actually sat there speechless for a couple minutes. The majority of my life was spent processing medical insurance charges and payments, so I'm really familiar with how insurance works. I couldn't believe that it had transferred over to the animal world. It's wonderful that there are those of us that have the opportunity to purchase health insurance for our four legged loved ones, but it just goes to show how closely it correlates with the human world. Those that "have....can". Those that "don't....can't". On the one hand it pissed me off that because of an eight week time difference and $700.00, I had to make a decision that could have an effect on his life. In reality, I'm thankful I have choices at all.

So, being the self advocate that I am, I pulled myself together and asked for the compromise that I felt needed to be made, which was another suggestion. The suggestion that we agreed upon was a much less expensive sedation with an aspiration of the cyst and cytology to determine what it was. If it turns out to be cancerous, then I will pay the money NOW to have the mass removed. Chances are it's still encapsulated. If it isn't cancer, I will have them remove it while he's "under" getting his teeth cleaned in July. Don and I have agreed that we would not take any further measures other than surgical removal of the cyst if it is cancer. It was just a personal decision that had many pieces that were taken in to consideration.

Here is the WE WERE SO CLOSE part of this story. If you have followed this blog for the last two years, you know that Brutus has tried in the past to kill the vet. He has slowly been getting better and better with his manners. Yesterday was amazing. The vet tech came in, and he loved her up and gave her all kinds of kisses. He even let her examine the lump, which is in a very personal area. I was amazed. No growling or being upset involved. Then the vet came in. She was a little more leery because she had noticed on Brutus's chart that he was listed as viscous, but she took our cue and got down on the floor. Brutus loved her up and tried to shake with her and give her kisses too. She did his exam, and there were no problems........and then SNAP! She had been examining the lump while we were talking about it, and all of a sudden he growled and jumped up and snapped right in her face. He didn't bite her, but he sure could have. Was he warning her? I hope so. She handled it really well. She looked at him and said "Buddy, are you kidding me? We were doing so well!". I was heart broken. I actually thought that we were maybe over this veterinarian phobia. I guess we'll just keep working on it. I always go in to it telling them that their safety comes first, and I am more than willing to muzzle him, but they have found that he gets much more upset once he is muzzled. Next time, at the very least, I will have an extremely tight hold of his collar. We all got way too comfortable.

All in all, he just isn't feeling well. He's lost about four pounds this month, which he needed to do anyway, but preferably not from being sick. He's had terrible diarrhea since we got home from the vet, as in up every two hours all night, and still going out every hour this morning. I have pulled all food from him, and tomorrow I will start him on the rice and hamburger diet. Keep your fingers crossed that his tummy calms down. 

It will be a couple more days before we get the results, but in the meantime, Brutus has his new frog (which he desperately needed in order to feel better) and we are snuggling up while he is on the mend. The rest of the world will just have to wait.


1 comment:

  1. poor guy not feeling well, so that vet wasn't a friend that day, huh? is the tummy problem just from stress?