Friday, September 05, 2008

And You Could Hear a Pin Drop...

The silence was deafening. Somebody I hadn't heard from in awhile called to say that she loved my jewelry and maybe she would buy my earrings made from violet leaves in the future, and then asked about Carmella. I told her we still hadn't found a vet to do the procedure and that I hadn't been able to get a return call from Dr. Norwood about exactly what happened regarding UGA. She didn't have much to say about that, just that she didn't "want her to suffer" and asked if she was. I said sometimes but that she plays when she isn't jerking, and that the rest of her body seems healthy. There was something ominous about her statement, and then she just went back to saying, "I really like your jewelry. I'm still working. I have to go" leaving me feeling like I'd taken a short walk off a long pier.
My mind wandered, following that thread and it seemed to go involuntarily to places I didn't want it to go. I'd pull it back but then it seemed to slip back into playing scenes that had not happened yet, as if I were in a movie and every scene was one I didn't want. I'd yell, "Cut!" and somehow it just kept going like some horrible out-of-control flashback, only it was forsight, not hindsight.

I have been known to foresee things so I worried this could be a bad premonition rather than some trick of the mind after not enough sleep, and too much stress.

I took Carmella out into the back yard and stood out there with her and she seemed not to be suffering then, even though she stumbled and fell a few times while running, but the bad scenes that kept playing in my head cast an eerie tinge juxtaposed against her seeming normalcy. It was like a broken record. The day was too quiet and being by myself didn't help matters. I told myself that Caroline's implication was ridiculous and I should take it with a grain of salt.

Nevertheless it kept intruding into my consciousness even as I played with Carmella and took more pictures of her, and I couldn't keep from crying because I knew if I ever dared entertain such a thing I'd hate myself for the rest of my life, and that led me to an even darker place I really didn't want to venture into. I resolved to close that door and take another angle. It was not up to the arm chair quarterbacks and nothing was inevitable!

It made me angry to think that this idea was so socially acceptable whereas doing this procedure that can cure an animal was not. How twisted our culture is, I thought.

If these vets really do not want animals to suffer, I thought, then why do they just sit there and refuse them lifesaving treatment? Dr. Johnson, leading a speeding frieght train of negligence could have instead ended both Carmella's and my suffering weeks ago if he had not dug his heels in and refused to help. So could UGA, Tuskegee, Dr. T, and the female neuro vet I'd contacted here in Atlanta, and so could Dr. Brantly... the caboose. This prolonged agony could all be over and Carmella and I could be on to happier times by now, rid of this dark cloud forever.

I called the vet's office in Perry, my last Ace in the hole, and hoped for the best. A young woman answered and I explained to her that I had e-mailed this vet, Dr. Westmoreland a few days ago and had not heard back. I told her that I was running out of options, so I hoped he could help us because even UGA wouldn't help. She was nice but said that the doctor left early on Fridays and that he was already gone until Monday. I asked if there was any way she could contact him before Monday so that by Monday he would have been sure to read my whole story and be familiar with the case, and she said she'd try to get a message to him. I was still crying.

"I'm sorry, it's just that I'm really upset. Nobody will help my dog and she's getting worse, and I'm running out of options here. I think my own vet is giving up on her. He's not even returning my calls after he heard the bad news from UGA."

"It's OK, I understand. Could I get your name and number and I'll see if I can reach him?"

I gave it to her, thanked her, and we got off the phone.

After that I lay down to try to rest or sleep and that seemed to help.

There was mail in the mailbox when I walked down the steep driveway to the bottom of the hill. It was mostly junk mail, but there was a letter from my pet insurance company. I really didn't think they'd cover much at all, but when I opened it I was pleasantly surprised. They reimbursed me for quite a chunk of the costs, and as I'd already written and mailed off a check for $300 toward the bill earlier today, the reimbursement check I received today meant I would get the balance paid down alot sooner than I thought. There may be more expenses to come, especially if it takes very much longer to find someone to do the procedure, so I can't sit on my laurels just yet, but this is a relief! It came at a time when I was just about at the end of my rope.

I went out with a friend briefly this evening and came home to find that Carmella had chewed a hole in the bottom of her dog bed. It was starting to get a little small for her anyway, so maybe I'll look for a larger and more durable one for her. The pillows she hasn't messed with, but the bottom of what they fit into is a rather thin plastic material.

Tomorrow I will start looking for some media sources through which to get this story out to more vets. If we can take care of that central detail then things just might start falling into place afterall.

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