Thursday, May 28, 2020

Friday will be a difficult day

No matter what I do, tomorrow, Friday, will be a very difficult day. If things go badly, it’ll be a very, very terrible day. If they go perfectly, I’ll probably still be a wreck at the end of it all.

Early tomorrow morning I take Sunny up to the vet to have a couple teeth removed and the rest cleaned. That means putting her under general anaesthetic, which is always risky, but she’s nearly 12 and has a heart murmur, so the risks are higher. As always, they’ll do a blood test first to see if she can tolerate anaesthetic, though I realised this evening they never told me what they’d do to treat her teeth if she can’t be anaesthetised.

This started a couple weeks ago when she would sometimes not eat her food. It was mostly her breakfast she wouldn’t eat, and she usually ate her dinner. Other than that, her behaviour was completely normal (including playing with Leo), and she seemed happy. But it wasn’t getting better, so last Friday I took her to the vet to get her checked out.

The vet looked at Sunny’s teeth and probably gasped. Well, probably not literally, but it felt like that to me. She told me, almost apologetically, that the procedure would cost somewhere between $600 and $1100. “It is what it is,” I said. She seemed pleased by that because some people won’t spend the money—more likely, they can’t. But as I’ve said many times over the years, I feel I have an obligation to give the furbabies the best possible life, even if that costs me.

When she told me the diagnosis, I instantly felt intensely guilty. I felt that I’d broken my promise to Nigel, because Sunny shouldn’t be going through that. When the vet stepped out for a minute, I was, very briefly, almost near crying, but I didn’t.

I realised that this problem didn’t suddenly appear over the past eight months: It’s been years in the making. Several years ago, the same thing happened to Jake, when he was younger than Sunny is now. That was a big message that we should be brushing the teeth of both of them, but we never did, and this is the result of that.

Thinking about all that interrupted my guilt: Both Nigel and I were negligent—neither of us wanted to do it, and neither of us insisted the other one do it. And, that’s not the sort of thing that was ever in the front of our minds. This means that it took both of us to get Sunny into this mess.

My brother in law reminded me that taking Sunny to the vet to get her checked out IS looking after her, and it is. I realised that after I remembered all the tooth brushing that didn’t happen. I share responsibility for the situation with Nigel, but now it’s up to me to do something about it.

Even so, it still makes me very sad that she has to go through that when it probably could have been prevented if—as Nigel would put it—we’d been better daddies. The worst thing is, obviously, that she may not survive the procedure, and if that happens—while I’m still grieving Nigel—it would be devastating.

So tomorrow morning I’ll get up early, have my shower, and then she and I will go off to the vet. Jake and Leo don’t understand why I leave them behind, and they won’t understand why when I’ve come back a little while later without her. They won’t understand why I’ll be distressed until I get the phone call from the vet, but they’ll sense it. At least they’ll get their breakfast when I get home; they’ll like that.

Tomorrow is 36 weeks since Nigel died. Having said that, there’s not a single say he’s not on my mind, and tomorrow will be no different. But it will add to my worry about Sunny.

And, if all that wasn’t enough, late this afternoon I got the estimate, and the original verbal one was a little bit off: Instead of costing $600 to $1100, the final estimate is $1036 to $2124. It is what it is.

At least I got the back lawn mowed today.

The photo up top is of Sunny and Leo playing tug-of-war with a stuffed toy last month. She's using her paws to try and pull it out of Leo's mouth.


Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Lots of money. A consultation and two treatments for my human periodontal disease is often more than that, and I had no extractions.

rogerogreen said...

1. I'm sorry for your distress. 2. Two grand? Yow.