Thursday, November 27, 2008
One year ago tonight I was preparing dishes to take to my daughter & son-in-law's home for our annual Thanksgiving gathering with some wonderful friends that we consider our family. My son was staying at our home recovering from his accident and I was dog sitting for a friend's greyhound's. The smells were wonderful, the house was full of greyhounds and my world was perfect.
One year ago tonight, my world came to a crashing halt, one that would not start for almost another year.
One year ago tonight I heard the scream from her, I rushed to the door to see her in the yard, paw held up, blood pouring out. I rushed to her, carried her to the back stoop and held her exposed bone in my hand as I tried to control the bleeding, I screamed for my son to get the other dogs in and get wrap items to stabilize her leg. I frantically called family members to come to help get us to VSEC. My son's leg was broken and his external fixator looked like an erector set the length of his leg, yet he did all he physically could to help us. Family arrived, we got her to VSEC where she was given pain medications and her leg was splinted. The x-rays seemed to not show the cancer I had dreaded the entire ride to the doggie ER. That was the only bright spot.
This past year has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs as she has had a total of 6 surgeries now, each one held the hope of bringing her back to her leg back to normal. For most of the year, she has been in a splint and not been able to run & play with her littermate brother Morgan or her other brothers. It's been a year of telling her to calm down, don't jump, don't run, don't do anything that makes you be a happy girl. Only the final surgery accomplished the results we sought for her, the final surgery that removed her leg.
The final straw came on October 21 when she re-broke the leg. When I heard that scream once again, when I called for help in getting her to VSEC once again, when it was like deja vue all over again. The only difference was that her bones did not break the skin this time. We were all sick.
The decision to amputate her leg was not made on a whim, but rather 2 days of thought and discussions. Could the leg be fixed once again? How long of a recovery? Would the bone that had lysis even be repairable? We only wanted the best for Calamity. The best was amputation.
The first 2 weeks were hell. I kid you not. Healing for all of us was painful, physically pain for her, emotional pain for us. We made it through it. Sometimes I still grieve the loss of her leg and I am sad that it came to this, but I know she doesn't miss it at all.
Tonight, the eve of Thanksgiving, Calamity is a month post-amputation. She is once again alive! Her eyes sparkle as she watches Morgan poop, stalking him and then bursting into a full run to get him! She always has loved to do that! She races her little sister Munchkin as fast as she can across the yard. She races out the door with her pack, head held high, tail wagging. She is once again a happy girl.
Tomorrow we will gather with family & friends, people who love us & love Calamity. She will be going with us and she will be happy to see her greyhound friends as they gather together with us also. She'll play & beg for food & chase the pugs. She'll be happy.
We will give thanks for the blessing of still having her with us. We'll give thanks for the doctors and staff at VSEC that loves her also. We really have a lot to be thankful for, we are blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!