German Shepherd black and silver
Week One – Day 6: How Many Inches to Healthy?
Duchess Dustine von Bahm (“Dusty”)
9 wk, female German Shepherd, black and silver
Date of diagnosis: 9/24/11
Medication: 1/2 tab Pepcid AC morning and night
Feeding schedule: I/D prescription diet wet gastrointestinal health mixed with goat’s milk 4 x daily in milkshake form, 20 minutes in Bailey chair after eating, knox blox for hydration along with small quantities of water with meals
My dad says that tragedy always comes in waves. As a matter of fact, when I was younger, he used to keep me in the house when tragedy began to strike. When I was sixteen and got my driver’s license, in a week where several bad things happened all at once, he would take my keys and ground me, just because he was afraid I would be next.
This week has been one of those weeks. I woke up bright and early yesterday morning to get Dusty ready for her visit to Dr. Jane. On our way out of the house, I suddenly felt very sick. The butterflies in my stomach were more like a swarm of angry wasps, stinging and buzzing. I ran upstairs and threw up a few times, only to hear Joe shout, “What’s going on up there? Are you okay?”
I walked down the steps and tried a smile that I’m sure looked more like a grimace, “Nerves.”
“Jesus, are you throwing up?”
I nodded, “Let’s go.”
“Yes.” I picked up my keys and we both got in our separate cars. He took Dusty, I took her X-rays and medical charts.
The news was not good. I guess I should have expected that, but the hope was burning brightly, and I couldn’t put the fire out, not even with the fire extinguisher of facts that I wielded against it. I was hoping that Dr. Jane would tell us that our Doctor was wrong, that they’d caught Dusty at the wrong angle. But the Barium contrast seemed to explode like the Aurora Borealis on the screen. All I could see was white, blinding, beautiful, swirls of white against a screen of black.
“What am I looking at?”
“Her esophagus.” It spread deep into her chest cavity, thick and dominant. It seemed to take up 75% of her body. “This is one of the worst cases of this I have seen.”
I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Behind me, the vet tech was holding our puppy who was whining and struggling to get back into my arms. I barely heard her, I just kept staring at the screen. I still wasn’t sure what it meant or even what I was looking at it, but I knew it couldn’t be good.
“Mommy? Your puppy wants you.”
I turned around and took Dusty into my arms, “So, what does this mean? I mean, how big is it supposed to be?”
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