Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not OK at all.

“OK,” I smiled before I shrugged into my coat and waved to the group congregated in a room at work. “I should be back in an hour or two. Call if you need me.”

“Hi, pretty girl,” I greeted Chienne when I walked in. We spent a restless night and I woke with a headache. She stayed in bed while I got ready, picking up her head to show me her open but very cloudy eye. I dutifully called when the vet opened, though I did so from work.

“OK,” I said with resignation when they told me 11:30 was their only opening though I asked for something a bit later. “I’ll be there.”

We walked in a bit early and were ushered to a small exam room. I sighed while the vet clucked and hummed and wasn’t fazed when he said he was ‘very concerned’ about the eye. He seems ‘very concerned’ about most things.

“OK,” I blinked at him and replied with my oft-used word when he told me to go immediately to the eye clinic.

“OK,” I said, forehead creasing with worry when he said it was glaucoma. The pressure was far too high, he told me.

“OK,” I said, feeling heavy with guilt and sorrow when he told me the left eye was blind and the condition was likely permanent.

“OK,” I whispered when he noted it would likely need surgical attention. They’d try medication first but by the time most of these cases are caught, it’s too late to do much in the way of prevention.

“OK,” I replied, my response barely audible, when he said there was a good chance it would affect the other eye as well. That pressure was elevated there too, though not as dramatically as the left.

“It’s not life threatening,” I stated, for the alternative was simply unacceptable. I’d taken in all the other information, uttering those same two syllables as I acknowledged that I understood. The vet touched my shoulder and confirmed that she would be fine and with a single nod of thanks, we sped across town to the clinic that was awaiting our arrival.

Her eye glowed green in another exam room, lights extinguished while a thin beam of light illuminated it. The specialist stared as he shifted, moving to his counter to change instruments so he could look some more.

“There’s no vision,” he said gently, regarding me kindly as I stood with tear-stained face and trembling hands pressed to Chienne’s coat.

“In either eye?” I asked, horrified, and he quickly shook his head. He explained pressures and chances of recovering vision and his tech began to administer drops and shots and some goo that would dehydrate her.

“I don’t want to leave her,” I insisted when he offered to keep her for observation and brought her home to put in drops and deprive her of water myself. We returned a few hours later and he noted some improvement. “It’s a blind eye,” he said, not unkindly. Then he outlined plans to put her under anesthesia and inject some antibiotic to reduce the ability of eye to create so much pressure. We have it scheduled for tomorrow.

“OK,” I said, looking up at him as I sat on the floor with my dog. We went outside and I looked into her one brown eye, the other cloudy and useless beside it. I was unable to blink back tears as I pressed a kiss to her brindled head while I whimpered words of love and apologies. She's across the room, more drops administered and pain medication swallowed, asleep in her chair. Conversely, I keep wiping at tears while I write of how I failed my precious puppy. But she had me for today - I never did make it back to work.

20 comments:

EthidiumBromide said...

Oh Katie, I am so, so sorry to hear about Chienne's health. Glaucoma is terrifying enough in a human (one of my migraine medications started to cause problems with glaucoma, and permanent eye damage, though thankfully it was caught before leading to total vision loss) -- I cannot imagine how scary it must be for your pet, because you are unable to explain to a pet the problems.

Both you and Chienne remain in my thoughts; I hope that tomorrow goes as well as possible.

ScienceWoman said...

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! I'm so sorry for you and Chienne. The poor girl. I'll be keeping Chienne in my thoughts and prayers.

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

I am so sorry that you and Chienne are going through this. Try not to be too hard on yourself. I can only imagine how hard this is for the two of you. I'll keep you both in my prayers.

Seeking Solace said...

OH NO. I am so sorry for you and Chienne. Please know that the Boy and I will be thinking of you!

PhDLadybug said...

I am so sorry to hear that! I will send you good vibes so that the vet can do his/her best for her.

And you didn't fail her. You are there and you will be there with Chienne for a long time.
A big hug from Mr. Doggie too!

Lucy said...

I'm so sorry, Katie. But you are taking good care of her. I hope it goes well tomorrow. *hugs*

DocElectron said...

I'm thinking good thoughts for both you an Chienne... I know how hard it is to watch your furbaby be sick and in pain. Sending you all the good ju-ju in the world.

Jenn said...

Oh no Katie, I'm so so sorry. How heart breaking. I'll be thinking about you both tomorrow.

NewKidontheHallway said...

I'm so very sorry!! FWIW, though, I think animals can adapt to blindness better than humans can - they don't understand, but they don't realize what it means, either (i.e. they don't sit and think about what they've lost!), and they have keener other senses to help them adapt. I knew a blind cat once who was perfectly happy.

I hope Chienne feels better very soon!

hypoglycemiagirl said...

oh, I'm so sorry for both of you. I'm so not a pet person, but this got me all teared up anyway.

eMelectric said...

So sorry to hear this, Katie. :o( Try not to be so hard on yourself, you're a lovely mummy to Chienne. Sending you both big hugs.

WomanScientist said...

Big hugs for you and Chienne! I'm sure she knows how much you love her!

Citronella said...

Katie, I don't think you've failed her. You've been taking care of the issue rather swiftly, actually. I think Chienne will be fine; as NewKid said, she won't be depressed by having lost sight. Smelling and hearing are actually more important than seeing for dogs, which helps them adapting quickly to blindness.

I'll be thinking of both of you.

Citronella

Psych Post Doc said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Katie. I hope today goes well and you can both begin to adapt. I would be devastated as well.

comebacknikki said...

Oh, I'm so very sorry.
{{{Katie}}}

Ambivalent Academic said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. Don't be so hard on yourself - you haven't failed her. Quite the opposite. Glaucoma is not your fault. And now you are getting it treated...she couldn't do that herself. You are taking great care of her, and you will continue to do so. It doesn't feel OK right now, but it will be. You will both be alright. Hang in there.

rpg said...

{{Katie}}

oh, and

{{Chienne}}

Estrella said...

Prayers for Chienne and you ... I hope today's procedure was successful.

saxifraga said...

I'm so sorry. Hugs for you and Chienne.

JustMe said...

oh dear, i am so sorry, katie. i hope that things have all gone well, and are much better now....

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