Delay in posting chapters.
As you might remember from a previous post, our shepherd was diagnosed with glaucoma in February. She was put on a regimen of eye drops both to make her blind eye as comfortable as possible and to prolong the sight in her "good" eye. We had a three month appointment scheduled for May 16, but at the beginning of this month I noticed her blind eye was looking much different than usual, and had a spot of what I assumed was blood pooling on the lower section of the iris. We called her ophthalmologist and were able to see her last week, earlier than scheduled. There was definitely something not right going on in her blind eye. An ultrasound showed what looked like a lens luxation, and a test of her eye pressure was showing 60+, clearly way too high.
So we made the decision to have her blind eye removed.
Knowing that the day would come was much different than actually setting a date for it. I dreaded the countdown. Logically, I knew that other than the temporary discomfort of the recovery process, she would only feel better. She was already seeing the world through only one eye, so all she was losing in the deal was pain. But for me was the selfish sadness of knowing she would no longer have two eyes on her face. She would no longer look like all the other dogs I have known. This was going to be different, and that difference felt so scary to me. My biggest fear was not knowing how I would feel seeing her after the surgery. Would I be shocked? Would I be saddened? Would there be an expression on my face that would make her feel like she was not loved in the same capacity as before? All these thoughts, admittedly selfish thoughts, were running through my mind up until the days of her surgery.
We took the day off from work for her surgery, bringing her in promptly at 7:30 a.m. on May10th. Dropped her off with kisses and a small zip-lock baggy of some dog food from home. And then we drove home. To distract us, we cleaned out the garage, went to the dump, and generally did a lot of busy work. Then around 3:30 p.m. we got an unexpected phone call from the doctor.
There might be a complication he said.
We pulled over to the side of the road and listened to what he had to say. Mika had not gone into surgery yet. They did a blood test and chest X-ray as part of the surgery prep and her heart rate wasn't in the range they would like it to be for her size and breed. They tried an injection to speed it up, and it didn't respond. Then they tried a different medication and it did respond well to that. He had the cardiologist take a look at all the tests and the chest X-ray and they didn't see anything unusual, so there was a possibility this was just how her heart rate was normally. Some dogs just have lower heart rates. But there was a chance, albeit a slim one, that her heart could stop during surgery.
What did we want to do?
We discussed the risks a bit more and decided to go on with the surgery. The doctor said they would start in about 30 minutes and call us back in about 90 minutes.
The wait was excruciating. At that point, I didn't care about her only having one eye, hell, I didn't care if she came home with no eyes, I just wanted her home safe and sound at that point.
They actually called earlier than expected. Mika was out of surgery and doing fine and pickup was going to be at 9:30 a .m. Thursday morning.
She's been home since then, bumping into things with her giant cone, but looks so happy to be back. And her face, still as beautiful and expressive as it ever was. Looking back, I was silly to have been worrying about that in the first place.
So because of all that emotional tension and stress, I have not been in the right state of mind for my final check of Chapter Sixteen. This weekend is looking calm and pleasant, so I am hoping to be finished then.