Friday, October 16, 2009

Snowy Update

It's been a very long day as tears and love were all wrapped around one white, 5 1/2 pound package and delivered to the surgeon at 2 pm.

We met with a doctor who explained that they would do blood work first thing. She said that since Snowy hadn't been able to urinate for so long, toxins could very well have built up inside his body affecting many different areas, including his heart function.

She then explained that during the surgery, the surgeon would first attempt to push the (huge) kidney stone back into the bladder and then make an incision in Snowy's abdomen and remove the stone from that direction. That would be the best case scenario.

She said that if that didn't work, there was the possibility that they would have to re-route his "plumbing" altogether so that for the rest of his life, he would urinate like a female dog instead of a male. (That scenario had something to do with fissions and scar tissue that would make urinating difficult or impossible the "old" way. That would also push the cost of the surgery to over $3,000 instead of "only" $2,000.)

We sat in that little room and filled out forms and signed papers having to do with "Do Not Resuscitate Orders" and what we wanted them to do if he had a cardiac arrest during surgery. By the end of it, we were both broken down in tears and basically cried all the way home.

Sarah spending a few last minutes with her dear little companion at the doctor's.

When we got home, the three of us sat at the kitchen table and had a pretty serious and heartbreaking talk about how high the expenses could go and how much we thought we would be able to justify paying if it went way up over $2,000.

That is NOT a conversation I ever care to have again with my daughter. Snowy has been her shining light throughout the worst months and years of cancer treatment and to contemplate with her that he could be at the end of his life was a conversation that was beyond excruciating.

Although she was teary eyed, she was also level headed and she bravely told Steve and me that she understood that as much as we all loved Snowy, there were financial issues to consider as well, in light of our recent (almost) year of unemployment. We all finally agreed that we would just wait and hear back from the surgeon once he got into the surgery and could actually tell us what direction the surgery would end up going.

There were more tears, a family prayer and a hug before we all drifted away to various parts of the house to just be alone.

And also to think about a beloved white doggy at the hospital, with needles in his veins, love in his heart, and a difficult surgery ahead of him.

They said we would hear something around 8 pm. I'll let you know. . .

Just as I finished typing this, the hospital called.

Snowy came through the surgery very well and thankfully, they WERE able to get the stone pushed back into his bladder and remove it! Woo-hoo!

He is still on IV's and on morphine and isn't quite awake yet, but they said if he starts eating a little bit tomorrow morning, we can conceivably plan on bringing him home tomorrow afternoon. (The hospital is about an hour away.)

We're still not sure what we're going to to do about Manteo; Steve, of course, will go tomorrow regardless, but we'll have to see how well Snowy is feeling before we decide what Sarah and I will do.

Thank you for your kind comments, thoughts, and prayers!

We are one very happy, grateful, Snowy-blessed Smith family tonight!!!!

21 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

lesley said...

Oh such good news!!!!!!! Yippee!!!! Hooray!!!

Is there such a thing as animal health insurance?

Melanie said...

That's great news!!! I hope he'll be feeling better soon!!

Amanda J said...

I'm not afraid to admit my eyes are tearing up reading this. I'm just SO glad the surgery was a success and Snowy is on the mend.

To Lesley above who asked about animal health insurance, YES! they do have health insurance available for pets. I dont have it for my dogs but I've actually thought about getting some....

Anonymous said...

I am SO happy that Snowy is doing good!

Excuse me while I go get a kleenex...

Hunker, PA

Mamasita said...

Wow, so glad that I read this after the update. I would have been stir crazy waiting on the update.

Coming from having to put our male kitty down for a similar issue not too long ago, I sure was praying for a different outcome for you guys. SO SO GLAD for your Snowy. Way to go little guy!

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear the good news about Snowy. Manteo will be fine if you and Sarah (and Snowy) have to miss the trip this week. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers...


Nancybratt said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh God. Thank you God

Anonymous said...

Praying for Snowy and for all of you. We know what it is to love one of God's furry creatures so much it hurts. Praying for many more years of togetherness for all of you. God bless.
jenny in Idaho

Anonymous said...

I have am so glad to hear Snowy is doing well. I have worked as a vet tech for a few years and understand how hard it is both financially and emotionally to have a sick pet. Wishing Snowy a quick recovery from here on out!

Since it has been so long since I have commented I also want to say a Yippee for Steve finding a job. Hoping you are able to find a house in Manteo soon.

I am sure Sarah will be a great nurse for Snowy when he gets home. Praying for Snowy's speedy recovery.

~Kristin from AZ.

Pam D said...

Oh, I am in total agreement with Mamasita; I would have been a wreck if I had known what was going on! I am just so relieved to hear that our (because he really IS a member of our Smithellaneous community!) handsome little man came through with flying colors. Thank you, God... please keep Your hand on him through the recovery period; we all want to see pictures of him as a beach dog.
love y'all....

brooke said...

it's been a good day. my friend janiel got surprised by her parents - they showed up while we were at the park.. after 18 months away on a mission for the mormon church (i nearly cried- there had been plane issues (they were on christmas island) and no one knew when they were going to get home). then did you pop over to erin b's site? president obama mentioned her as a point of light! and now snowy is okay. i know what those difficult decisions and conversations are like. my own max-cat has dealt with horrible things. so yeah! a good day. i hope sarah is able to breathe better (y'all are all breathing better).

Meg said...

Praying for Snowy!! We just spent $1,300 on our 13.5 year old dog, Marley. He tore his ACL as he was running up our driveway. The vet said he was impressed that he was actually RUNNING and said the surgery would give him less pain with the time he had left. My son thinks that he has at least 5 years left in him (oh how I wish) but we are just happy he is pain free. Hang in there Snowy!

Unknown said...

Praying that when you wake up in the morning you get the wonderful news that Snowy can come home. Hope you have a rather uneventful weekend with Sarah and Snowy :).

Anonymous said...

Praising God in His goodness and praying He helps you find a way to pay for this sweet and faithful four-legged servant's needs.

Placing you all in His loving arms...will be looking for an update to know how things are going.

many blessings

whiterecluse said...

Oh my gosh, I am SO glad for you that Snowy is doing well! I hope he feels better soon.

Anonymous said...

I was very relieved to read your update on Snowy. Hoping for a speedy recovery. Anna

Cindy said...

Our prayers are answered! Here's hoping for a speedy recovery. Now Sarah can nurse Snowy back to health:)! He did such a good job helping her.

Sue G said...

In the immortal words (paraphrased) of Jerome Robbins from "West Side Story," "When you're a Smith, you're a Smith all the way...."

Praising God for Snowy's good health, the doctor's skills, and your family's faith.

Anonymous said...

What awesome news!

Prayers and hugs,
Connie F-G

Anonymous said...

I am just reading the blog for the first time in two days. I am so sorry to hear about Snowy's ordeal. :( So thankful that Snowy will be OK!

We had one of our dogs go thru intestinal surgery in mid Sept. Our vet had to do emergency surgery on him. He had an intestinal blockage (had to have 12 inches of dead intestine removed due to the blockage). I was very nervous about he vet bill. Well, our vet only charged $700 and the dog lived. Romeo (our dog who had the blockage) is doing fine now!

Dogs are important members of the family. We have four of them and they have kept my mom going thru her cancer treatment.

Kristi near KCMO

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