Sunday, August 03, 2008

Where the Rubber Meets the Road; Will He or Won't He?

That still remains the million dollar question. With the developments of the past few days I figured I better have a plan in case Carmella started getting significantly worse over the weekend. Dr. Norwood was there until 12:00 yesterday but there were power outages that slowed up an already busy day. There was a french bulldog with a pink harness looking google-eyed and tired, a woman with a miniature poodle, a family with a tiny Chihuaua puppy, an American Staffordshire, and a giant brindle Cain Corso (sp?) that looks like a huge mastiff with a head bigger than mine and only 9 months old waiting in the waiting room between 10:00 and 12:00. I was glad to have left Carmella at home as there was barely enough room for everybody.

At the end of the half-day I went in to speak with Dr. Norwood about Carmella's neuro symptoms and he seemed concerned but a sort of helplessness seemed to be seeping into his consciousness rather than the new urgency spurring him to leap into action, but a slow drain as though he were an hourglass with the bottom cut out and sand was escaping willy-nilly and out of control. I asked if he'd gotten my messages the day before and he said yes, but it appeared he only got the part about Carmella needing her antibiotics. They still had not been delivered at his office yet. As far as the neuro symptoms, it did not look like he was aware of that from the look on his face until that moment. He looked suddenly as though he might faint when I described the jerking/tremors she was having. Clearly he knew that time was ticking and that we may not have much more time before it became an emergency.

I asked him to please call Dr. Johnson and tell him so that maybe he could get on this early in the week, and he meekly said "Well, I can't make him do it", squirming perceptibly. He seemed intimidated by the man. He said he'd call him on Monday and "ask him what he wants to do", as though his opinion was insignificant to a man of that stature. Board certified or not, he's still a man, and human-I hope. Carmella's life had to be worth the uncomfortableness of asserting himself, and if Dr. Johnson was going to take offense to that well then maybe he was not the right one for the job. After all, Dr. Norwood is the treating physician and so why wouldn't he have a personal interest in Carmella's recovery? I stated that he needed to impress upon him that every day he waits that virus grows in Carmella's brain and her chances of a full recovery without permanent damage get slimmer. Dr. Norwood nodded but looked almost embarrassed as though he were standing before God himself and didn't want to appear irreverent in any way to this doctor he felt outranked him.

There comes a time when one must risk being unpopular in order to do the right thing and if there was any time Carmella and I needed him to advocate for her very life with every ounce of courage he had in him it was then.

It made me sad and enraged at the same time that this specialist held the power of life and death over this defenseless puppy just because he could, and that the one man who might have some influence with him was starting to visibly cave.

We concluded that if an emergency should happen and her neurological symptoms got worse I should take her over there where Dr. Johnson works instead of the Dekalb Emergency Vet Clinic because with this one being a facility for specialists it was likely Dr. Johnson would be on call even if he was not there.

Dr. Norwood suggested also trying a holistic vet's office that is known to be made up of all women who practice both traditional medicine and holistic methods, thinking they might be more open-minded than Dr. Johnson. I hope they also have the experience in doing spinal taps.

When I came back into the waiting room my friend asked me what he said when I came out. This is the one who is less reliable and I could already see the wheels turning as to how she was going to get out of this one. She told me that Sunday was out of the question because that's the day she spends with her husband, and that she didn't want to drive all the way over to the Dunwoody area, couldn't J do it (my other close friend) and on and on...

I felt as though I was totally on my own if anything happened, as I don't have a car, so it seemed as though it was a pile of mishaps waiting to come tumbling down. She proceded to think of every negative scenario she could and tell it to me as I just got sadder by the minute. This was particularly hurtful given the fact that I am the type of friend that if someone needed a kidney and I was a match I'd give it. I don't care how inconvenient it might be to do it. If a friend needed it then that would happen because I'd MAKE IT HAPPEN.

On the way home I just burst into tears. This could not be happening. The solution was really very simple. Why were these people being so obstinate and not cooperating to make this happen. There really is no such thing as dumb luck. It all really comes down to each person in the chain of events doing their part to ensure that things turn out. When they don't, things don't. When they do, it works. I went home yesterday feeling like a bicycle with half a wheel, teetering on the edge of disaster.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse I got online to promote my Saturday Night Special Sale while Carmella slept in her bed next to my computer chair, and as I was posting the internet went out. Although I had promoted in many threads on Etsy before it went out I worried that somebody might convo me about a revised invoice and that because I couldn't get online I'd miss sales. I had increased the discount until midnight to 20% from the 10% it had been the previous week. I called AT+T and found out on their recording that there was an area-wide outage and they did not think it would be fixed until 5:00 AM. My heart sank. I went to bed and slept fitfully, then woke up with my nose stuffed and body aching. I really didn't want to get up at all except that Carmella needed to be fed and walked.

This morning after a hot shower I logged onto Etsy expectantly hoping to find that I had in fact sold something just to see the same number of shop items I had before and no convos from buyers. That pretty much answered my question as to whether the price made any difference. Apparently it doesn't. All this just added insult to injury. I guess a discount only works if they want it to begin with. Barring that, it doesn't give a seller much to work with.

Carmella went through some rough periods including a coughing fit in which it sounded almost like her lung cracked, and more of the tremors. I held her in my arms and sang that song "You Are So Beautiful", the one by Joe Cocker, until it passed. That seemed to calm her and she looked straight at me like she understood what it meant. That has now become her theme song.

It may have been God that intervened, because Carmella amazingly seemed to stabilize! Although she still has the tremors/myoclonic jerking in her right shoulder and leg, it does not seem to have gotten any worse and it is not constant. I remembered learning at some point that sleep could be stabilizing to conserve resources in the absence of the right help until that help could be found, so I've been encouraging Carmella to sleep as much as possible. She does have the neuro symptoms more consistently during sleep, but her breathing is less labored and she appears to be maintaining. Well good. It looks like we made it through the weekend. When awake she seems to be more like a normal puppy, wanting to chew on things, investigating the various rooms of the house, barking furiously at dogs and people outside my computer room window, and chasing bugs that come out under the security light when I take her out on a leash to go to the bathroom. She just loves the taste of the crab apples that are scattered all over the driveway and grabs and eats those with the speed and precision of a striking rattlesnake swallowing a mouse. Her tremors don't slow her down in those two persuits. I was amazed at the burst of energy she had tonight, and afterwards she came inside and plopped down in her bed. In just a few minutes she was out like a light.


jill Q said...

"You Are So Beautiful" too, Pippit!

Giftbearer said...

Thanks. :-)