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Staying Strong for Gracie: Part 10. Tested.

(Continued from Parts 1, 2 and 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9)

Sam and I returned to the waiting area. What was once a twilight zone was now beginning to fill with other people and their pets; many had dogs of varying sizes. For some reason a good number of the dogs were paralyzed in their hind legs. Some people in the waiting room wore the same sort of anxiety-ridden expression I knew all too well while others had retreated even further into a blank stare of total shock over what was happening to their pet. I didn’t want to see this so I took my homework out and began reading. Thankfully the medication was working well enough so I felt I could concentrate.

Happy face i waiting room
©2015 Robin AF Olson. Another happy client waits for his appointment.

A lady wearing lots of purple sat down near Sam and struck up a conversation. She bred Labrador Retrievers and somehow one of the puppies got Parvo. The dog was named Mabel and she thought that she just might survive after some very bad days.

The conversation helped me forget to worry until I looked up and saw Dr. Carolyn walking towards me. I held my breath as she knelt down by my chair. She said that the procedure went well and that Gracie was starting to wake up from the sedation. That she wanted to keep Gracie on an IV for a few hours to make certain she was well enough to go home. She also added that she wanted to send the sample to the University of Pennsylvania because she knew the specialist who read the samples. She added that bone marrow samples required a very specialized expertise and that she knew and trusted the person who would study Gracie’s sample. The problem was we wouldn’t get results for two more days. Did we have two more days to wait?

I nodded that I understood and thanked Dr. Carolyn, grateful that the worst might be over for the day. Now all Gracie had to do was relax and get some fluids, certainly something that would help her feel better.

It’s funny how your body stops working when you experience long periods of stress. I hadn’t eaten more than a few bite of food for two days and now I suddenly felt a bit hungry. Though I’ve been very careful about my diet for three months I decided that it was okay to get something from the vending machine as long as I didn’t go overboard. Sam and I chose to get a small bag of plain potato chips. They also had Danish rolls in the vending machine which I assumed had to be completely disgusting for a number of reasons. The thing that made me smirk was seeing the smattering of signs adhered to the vending machine asking to “Please Don’t Shake Me.” I wanted to peel one off and stick it onto my forehead.

Do not shake me 475
©2015 Robin AF Olson. I couldn't have said it better myself.

A few hours later one of Gracie’s team saw us and came over to tell us she was doing well and getting a lot of snuggles and that she personally had held Gracie on her lap for a long time. She remarked at how sweet Gracie was, but of course that was just how Gracie always behaved. She said it would be another few hours but not to worry.

So I returned to my homework, learning about litterbox aversion while Gracie got her fluids. You see I’ve been accepted into an online program held by the Humane Society of the United States. I’m going to become (I hope) a Certified Cat Behavior Counselor. That way I can help people keep their cats in their home any time a behavior crisis occurs. I’ll be like Jackson Galaxy, Junior. Now if I could just get my own TV show I’d be all set.

We’d been in the waiting room for six hours before it was finally time to take Gracie home. Dr. Carolyn came out and talked with us and answered some of my questions about continuing medications or whether or not Gracie needed us to give her subcutaneous fluids (not yet). She handed Gracie over to us. She was quiet, but she was alive.

This horror was over for now and we could finally go home together. There’d be no taking a dead cat to Dr. Larry’s to be sent out to be cremated. There’d be no euthanizing Gracie right then and there because her blood work was getting worse. For now we had this extra time together and we could find solace in that without feeling the need to be greedy for more. I suppose we’d already had two more months than many Vets had told us we’d get, so I’d accept this gift for what it was and not look for more.

Gracie after sedation at pieper
©2015 Robin AF Olson. A bit worse for wear after recovering from sedation, Gracie rests her head on my hand as Sam drives us home.

In two days we’d might not have “the” answer but we’d have a some sense of an answer. I doubted it would be good news, but we’d know what we were dealing with and what Gracie needed to help her feel comfortable. Until then all I had to do was keep her belly full of good food and love her as much as possible.

I could do that. No problem.

Coming up next…the test results come in and once again I’m left shocked to my core, but not before Gracie gives us a very special gift.

Sun bow on way home
©2015 Robin AF Olson. A sun bow guides us home.

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*PRAYERS* ongoing for Gracie <3 

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