06 May 2008

Heartbroken

The dog is not better. Her atrophy will soon stop, yes, and this is the only good news,but that's only because there is no more muscle left - the masseter (for chewing) and the temporal are gone. She is leishmaniosis-negative (unlike in humans, a very bad illness for animals to have) and has no symptoms of anything other than the atrophy and the sunken in eye - and knowing how little I am bothered by gore I think it says a lot that physiotherapy is freaking the bloody hell out of me bcs when I lower her mandible the whole eye is pulled down and there is a hole where eye should be. She doesn't seem to have much of the ocularmotor muscles left either. She has lost a bit of weight but I think it's only because eating had become tiresome since her left side can't really do anything anymore, but other than that she's cheerful and normal and as sweet as she's always been.

Unlike what we all expected, placing her on corticosteroids actually made it worse, she now has these huge grooves where muscle should be. I took her to school with me today so she could be neurologically evaluated again. There now seems to be involvement of the facial nerve as well. She has everyone puzzled. It doesn't make sense that it's infectious or a neuropathy of sorts because it is unilateral, unless it's a very localised process. Could be a tumour. So we gave her the corticosteroids hoping for an improvement should it be auto-immune or inflammatory and in 4 days what was left of her muscles is gone, so as of today she's being weaned off them. That would rule out auto-immune were it not for the fact that some auto-immune processes do not respond to corticosteroids and were that the case she might need cyclosporine, which is a drug I'd hoped I'd never ever have to give an animal of mine. But we're getting ahead of ourselves bcs, it could still be a not-even-described-in-the-books localised infection that amazingly has no systemic effects whatsoever even after all this time, so she is now on antibiotics as well, just in case, regardless of the fact that no one seems to know what the case might be. Or, it could be a tumour or a narrowing of something that is compressing the nerves from the outside, and that means that what she needs is an MRI. An MRI costs 500 Euros and, therefore, I cannot afford it. We have to take the animals to a human clinic bcs we don't have a machine in our hospital and so there's not even the chance of paying in installments. The MRI is the only thing that would give us answers, because it's the only way you can reallly view the trigeminal nerve and its roots. I've cut superfluous expenses, not that I had many anyway, but will not turn to my parents either bcs they already help me too much, this month included, since I spent 150E in less than a fortnight and then I stopped keeping track and then I had 7 E left in my account all of a sudden, so what I can afford is a CAT-scan, which will cost 160 E altogether - maybe more if they decide to collect some CRL - a ridiculously cheap price for a CAT scan but one I can only afford bcs they know me and I'll be able to pay along the course of 4 or 5 months. The CAT-scan being negative doesn't mean she will be fine but it will allows us to see whether she has some abnormal structures. And what is really slaying me is that, at my age, all it takes is a medical emergency for my finances to derail, and it doesn't matter that I knew I'd have to live poor for the duration of this degree, my dog needs an MRI to find out whether she has a tumour and I cannot even pay for it, and I feel totally incompetent bcs what sort of an adult can't afford to find out if her dog is dying?

I feel absolutely crushed rigth now but am also still in shock and when that wears off it might happen that I will go into hiding. I don't know if I will or not, I may even not fel the need to, but don't worry should I slightly disappear, I'll update when relevant.

7 furballs:

The Cartoonist's Wife said...

Oh darling, that's what I was afraid of. I'm so very, very sorry.

brooksba said...

I am so sorry that Papolia is going through this. I know it is heartbreaking and you both will be in my thoughts. Much love to both of you.

José said...

:(

Um hug virtual e as melhoras da Papoila.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner - I'm in my writing cave and haven't come by here in more than 24 hours. I'm sending huge quantities of love and support and hugs....

Maybe you could put one of those donation thingies on your website and each of your readers could chip in $25 or something, I know we'd get enough to pay for the MRI in no time. It would only take 20 of us (well, given the exchange rate, probably more like 30), but you know we'd do it, so please consider it, a little PayPal donation fund for Papoila.

Who's in? I am, definitely.

You know who this is, it's Papoila's American tia, and my heart aches for you both.

PAPOILA MRI FUND said...

Everyone reading comments, read the above, please, and let's convince Johnny to let us do this for Papoila.

Nancy said...

Johnny, Lioness. Please, let us do this. You will be an amazing doctor, and will help so many people dealing with what you are having to do now.

You will have an opportunity to pay this forward. Let us also.

liquicat said...

i would happily contribute to a fund for your sick puppy. as an animal lover and a cat owner, it just breaks my heart.