Tough Day - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a sad day today. Within one hour I got two pieces of very bad news. The beautiful little girl whose birth I attended almost two weeks ago has a heart defect. 3 different ones in fact. She will be needing surgery by January. This was caught within 3 days of her birth by the homebirth midwife, but was thought to be a murmur that would clear on it's own. The ped. agreed, but both thought getting an echo. would be a good idea. The poor thing is really starting to struggle, so the family is now facing medication until surgery time, and then the recovery afterwards while juggling a very active 2 year old.

While I was on the phone hearing this sad news, the vet called about my dog. She has been ill for awhile. She has pretty much stopped eating, and though she has not been in obvious pain, I wanted her looked at. We had bloodwork done, which confirms she is in liver failure, due to a mass of some kind on her liver. She is 10. She would not survive a surgery of this magnitude, and we are not willing to subject her to chemo or radiation. We don't know what to do just yet. She is still ok, except for the weight loss, and lack of energy from not eating enough. it is not right to put her down at this time, but it probably won't be too long if we choose to do nothing and let the disease/cancer take it's course. We could get an ultrasound, learn more about the mass, and possibly put her on steroids. This would prolong her life. It would stimulate her appetite, and may slow the growth of the cancer. It wouldn't cure her, and it might do damage to her kidneys.

I am really torn. I don't know that I could handle an invalid, terminally ill dog, my special needs home schooled DD, the twins, and a new baby by myself this winter. I feel selfish for wanting to keep her with me, but worse for wanting to end it sooner rather than endure what is coming. I had to explain the illness to DD today. She just would NOT leave the poor dog alone. It was just heartbreaking. I really thought I would be able to stop at explaining that she was very sick, and must be treated gently at all times (she is a lab, and recently weighed as much as 90lbs.). DD immediately understood the gravity of the situation, and burst into tears because her dog was going to die. I had to get into waaaaaay more detail than I thought was appropriate at this time, but I couldn't let it drop with her sobbing.

(sigh) Now I can't sleep.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#2 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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That is a lot to try and decide. Having just got the news I am sure you have *some* time to think about it!

Also, the wee little ones do so very well with major surgery! It is amazing the strength they have. We had a friend who's child had a few heart issues and surgeries early in life and she is doing amazingly well now almost 4 years later! They are tough little people!

Hugs to you and hope you can get some rest soon!
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#3 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 05:09 AM
 
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I'm so sorry all this is hitting at once and you're having to go through this. Last summer, I had to watch my beloved cat of 10 years waste away to a tumor in her stomach the size of a golf ball. My decision was to let her live as long as she could--it wasn't my life to end and she couldn't tell me she didn't want to live, instead, everything in her demeanor told me she DID. Unfortunately, she passed while we were on vacation (that had been planned long before her cancer diagnosis), but thankfully in the arms of my best friend whom she loved. I came home, expecting to see a horror and I saw a peaceful 'smile' on her face and her paw curled the way she did when she was kneading in happiness. I hate that I wasn't there, but I know I made the right decision to let her live out the rest of her life (I just wish it had been longer--we only got a month from the diagnosis until the end).

Do what your heart tells you. As for your daughter--I can say that I wouldn't have understood as a child. My mother had to put down one cat, but she didn't tell me that she made the choice, just that he passed that day (he was drowning in his medicine--some neighbor had poisoned him). At that age (I was 11) I would not have forgiven her. As an adult, I understand the choice she made.

I'm really sorry you're going through this now

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#4 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 08:29 AM
 
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That is a lot to process in one day. I hope your friends' baby is able to recover quickly and that the surgery will help her live a normal life.

We had a similar situation to yours at this time last year with our 12 yo lab. She stopped eating and we just didn't know what to do. Some decisions are just tough--and you're never sure if you've done the right thing. I think this is one of those where you have to do what you feel is best for the dog, and know that you've done your best for her.


Melissa, loving wife love.gif and mama to 4 girls now! DD 12, DD 10 1/2, DD 4, DD 2 Happily homeschool.gif, doing lots of hang.gif very little sleeping.gifof and as much as I can knit.gifsewmachine.gif reading.gif
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#5 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 11:02 AM
 
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#6 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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Ugh, I am soooo sorry you are having to deal with all of that sad news I am definitely keeping your family (and the family of the little girl with the heart defect) in my thoughts and prayers.
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#7 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your support everyone. I wish I could say today was much better, but my dear friend who is adopting her beautiful FS today, found out YESTERDAY that he has 1)damaging silent reflux, not just mere allergies, and has since birth (he's 2 1/2) and 2) He also has SPINA BIFIDA!!! Yes, that's right, the doctors missed it it for 2 1/2 years!!! Thank goodness the adoption went off without a hitch.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#8 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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