Yesterday, we had to rush our little dog Lucy to the hospital. She couldn’t walk all of a sudden and was panting very heavily. Her eyes were terrified and her breathing was so labored, that I seriously thought we could be losing her.
It turns out that she has some sort of congenital disk disease and her spine was swollen. She was pumped full of steroids and given pain medication and after several hours at the hospital was sent home to us on strict bed-rest. The doctor gave us a list of signs to watch out for and kind of a “wait and see” prognosis.
Twelve hours later she was exhibiting signs on the “bad list” and we rushed her into the hospital again. She was getting worse, not better, and it was likely that she had ruptured a disk in her spine. The doctor suggested hospitalizing her overnight and sending her for surgery in the morning. This is an extremely expensive surgery (thousands and thousands of dollars).
Our other option was hospitalizing her overnight, then taking her home the next day and keeping her comfortable while we wait for permanent paralyzation of her lower body. I imagine some people may also choose to euthanize at this point because of the whole quality of life issue.
Neither were an option for us. We gave the go ahead for spinal surgery because we could not imagine putting her to sleep and the idea of just waiting for her to be paralyzed. . . well, we couldn’t even fathom it.
On a side note – we have worked tirelessly to dig ourselves out of debt for the past several years. Student loans, back taxes, credit cards – my husband and I both brought a sack of debt to the table and believe it or not, we have pretty much wiped it clean over the course of four years.
Now, for the past year we have been scrimping and saving in order to purchase our first home this year. And I mean- SCRIMPING. I make my Hot Nerd a lunch to bring to work, we don’t eat out, order in, go to any movies, and I don’t buy any unnecessary groceries – why drink juice when we can have water? We even downsized and moved into a one bedroom apartment to temporarily cut costs. It has definitely been a challenge sharing a room with our toddler and having two dogs, two grown ups, and a little one in a teeny, closet like space. But we did it for the main goal- OUR OWN LITTLE HOUSE.
It’s amazing how focused we have been on saving money lately, yet when it came time to discuss our options for Lucy – we talked about it for no more than thirty seconds. The cost doesn’t matter, getting a house doesn’t matter, nothing really matters more to us right now than preserving and caring for this little life that has been entrusted to us. We made a commitment when we got her, and we are not about to fall short.
So, presently, Lucy is in surgery this morning, and the rest of us anxiously await the outcome. There is a small chance that things won’t go well and we’ll lose her- but that chance is very small. There is also a chance the surgery won’t work and she’ll be paralyzed anyway- that chance is bigger than small. But, she is so loved, and so precious to us, that I can’t imagine any outcome but a good one.
We would sell all of our possessions if it meant saving her.
Because there is no price tag on little lives.
She is priceless.