My Sweetie is Too Sweet
I remember when I was seven or eight I got this encyclopedia. It was a thin red hardback. It featured the Peanuts, and it was about the body. It was Vol. 1, and it was free at the grocery store. I never got to see Vol. 2.
I was fascinated by the whole idea. How complex bodies were. The whole system of nerves all talking to each other. How fast it was. How I could move, well before I could *think* 'move'. I remember lying in the dark, flexing my hand in front of my face, and thinking about how amazing it was, all those bits and pieces working together.
But the thing about machines is, they break. The more complex, the more unstable. Some come pre-broken for your convenience. Some just have the warranties expire much too soon.
There's been another dire medical situation here at the Dragon Lair, and, horribly, it's not mine.
On Friday, the guys had their annual vet appointments. They were due, but we were also worried about Phoenix. The poor boy just couldn't seem to drink enough. He went from a lick of water a day to draining the water dish--even the bubbler--and he was literally leaving seas of wee in the litterbox. I was horrified at what I thought that meant, and my worry waves were affecting storm systems, and possibly the alignment of the planets. I couldn't sleep.
Or eat. Or think. At least not thoughts that weren't half a shiver from panic attack. My stomach wolverine woke up and tried to claw its way out. Aside from pacing, tearful fretting, and stalking Pheen to the point where I could have provided a three hundred and ten page report, just on how much water he drank that morning and what he did with it and when he moved and where he had napped and how he was feeling about the wheat trade in 17th century Russia, I played Final Fantasy XII. Focusing on hunts and levels and where to find a chocobo, and, as always, slashing bad guys, helped a bit with my twitching, although I would start frequently and have my head whip around checking for Boo. Although he had rarely stirred from the nap location at which I had ruthlessly snuggled him just minutes before.
It was pretty bad at the vet's. He had me flip him over so the vet could use a needle and draw urine from his very full bladder. Pheen has rules, and about five of them are never ever touch the belly, so he was anxious before the needle was even in the scenario. And then, after the vet left to get vials for bloodwork, Pheen growled, and went down on the floor, and while I was petting him and telling him it would be okay, he hid in the corner, and wet himself. :(
It was awful. You can't tell him it's not his fault, he can't understand, he can't understand any of this, and that's the worst part, but of course it's not his fault. His poor bladder was already bursting, and then they jab a needle in it. Anyone would have had an accident. Hell, most of us would have lost it and peed on the doctor. But he didn't believe the comfort; he was humiliated and *extremely* distressed.
Then they had to shave him and draw blood from a vein in the neck. They were as gentle as they could be, and he was good boy, but man...it sucked. They took two vials, as I held his head and told him he was wonderful and how much I loved him and sucked my tears down into my toes.
He *hates* it when I cry. His eyes get shimmery and he crawls into my stomach and gives off worry waves that affect the tides.
They did the dipstick test, and it went green. A normal level of glucose is yellow. As I feared, my little Boo tested positive for diabetes.
The vet left, and I had a few tears leak, and I sucked them back into my toes. My poor buddy was already having one fucking bad day. He didn't need me to make it worse. I had to make it better. That's my job.
I wish my job was also taking two needles a day for him, but instead I have to give them to him.
The good part is it's treatable. Just like for a human, his pancreas is shot and he needs insulin injections, twice a day for the rest of his life. But he'll *have* the rest of his life. That's what counts. I know that meds are worth it, even when they suck.
We had to change all their food, because he needs a special prescription diet. He deeply misses his Temptation treats, but I'm going to make up for it with more chicken. He can still have all the meat he wants, and that bit he'll approve of.
The blood tests came back on Monday, and confirmed the dipstick test.
Yesterday, I learned how to give my buddy an injection. They shaved him bald at his shoulders, and they made me practice on him. That was awful.
We got through. That's what you do for family.
I gave him his first shot of insulin this morning. I was so scared. I didn't want to hurt him. But the needles are small, and he only seemed annoyed that I was fussing over him. That's fine. As far as he knows, I'm just going to insist on an extra snuggle every twelve hours. :)
Afterward, my hands shook for an hour. I'm just happy they held it together when they had to. I'll get better at it. I'm going to get lots of practice. At least ten years of it, I hope.
He's already got a bit of his pep back, although if we move too fast around him he dashes upstairs to hide, convinced we're going to stuff him in the carrier and off to the vet's again. The great part is he has the pep to sort of dash; the bad part is he *does* have to go back to the vet. He has to spend twelve hours there, all alone, on Monday. They want to monitor his glucose levels, to help get him regulated. They'll be jabbing for blood every hour. But the worst is that we can't be there. It's horrible to see him hurt, but it's so much worse for him to be hurt and alone.
That will be a long lonely day.
At least he won't see me cry.
Sometime on the weekend, in a random moment from inside the hyper stress ball, my jittering brain thought this:
My sweetie is too sweet, and I have the blood tests to prove it...