Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lena's digestive system revolts

Sit back and let me tell you the tale of my life for the past couple of days. 

It all starts on Sunday night with some severe stomach cramps that led to a very restless and wakeful night.  My constant movement and unsettled attitude clearly had an effect on my dog, who decided that 12:30 a.m. was the proper time to rise and shine for the day ahead. 

I was able to convince her to remain in the bedroom, but alas, there was no more sleep to be had for us.  This resulted in a "sick day" for my Monday.

It was a fairly lethargic day with one exception.  I decided that after my night of pain and drama that I would wash all of my bedding, including the three quilts that cover my bed every night. 

Monday night was eagerly awaited as I hoped that my general lack of sleep would make it much easier to get through the night.

This time around, it was not my stomach causing problems; it was Lena's.  Around 3 a.m., I was awakened to the strange sound that sounded like laughter at the end of my bed.  I saw Lena's outline and quickly switched on the light.  I beheld my poor dog sitting over a pool of vomit on my comforter and top sheet.  Although I was a bit disappointed to see this on my newly laundered bedclothes, I quickly stripped the soiled linens and put them in the washing machine. 

Optimistically, I returned to bed, hoping that this episode with Lena was a glitch and all would be well now.  I realize now that this was pretty stupid of me, but it was 3:30 in the morning and I really wanted those last two hours of sleep.

One hour later, Lena was curled up by my side when I heard the faint sound of her lips smacking.  Fearing the worst, I turned on the light.  Sure enough, she had vomited on the fitted sheet and another quilt.  This time, however, it also soaked through to the mattress pad.  At this point, I decided to cut my losses and get up.

More laundry was started.  I was upset.  I was frustrated that I had now washed the same things twice in 24 hours.  I was sad that I could not get more sleep.  I was worried that something was wrong with my dog. 

In response to all of these things, I had to sit down to calm myself and consider my options.  I did not want to take another "sick day" to sort this all out, but I could not in good conscience leave my dog alone while I was at work.  Not only because of the potential mess I could encounter upon my return, but mostly because I was not sure if she would survive.

My final decision was to pack up and drive down to my parents' house before traffic picked up.  My reasoning was that this would allow me time to clear my head and would also bring me closer to my vet clinic. 

Before I left the house, I made a quick call to my veterinarian brother in Wisconsin.  I knew that it was unlikely that he would be awake at 5:20 a.m. on a Tuesday, but I figured that leaving a message couldn't hurt.

I sent my parents a message to warn them of our imminent arrival and hit the road.  Shockingly, Lena did not vomit in the car on on the way to the house.  She had already vomited on the carpet of my loft, bringing her tally to that point to three.

We made it to their house safe and sound.  The dogs all greeted each other and my concerned parents offered up advice before departing for work.  I decided to shower and think about things.

Shortly after I finished my shower, Lena threw up a large amount of what appeared to be water all over the hallway floor.  I decided to give my brother another call.  This time he answered.  After consulting his veterinarian girlfriend, he told me that based on the number of times she had vomited, I should probably bring her in.

I dressed and we left for the emergency vet clinic.  Thankfully, we got in right away and the staff was very kind to me.  In the end, after more consulting with my brother, I opted to let her stay in their care for the day.  I know I did not make the wrong choice, but I am sure the monetary repercussions will not be slight. 

So yes, I was able to avoid taking another full "sick day," but I am still unsure about the final diagnosis for Lena.  I am hopeful that it will all pass through her system, tonight will be normal and tomorrow will bring no new drama. 

The past couple of days have felt like weeks.  I have a planned three-day weekend coming up alone with three dogs.  As long as there are no more vet visits, I think I should be OK.

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