Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Medicine

I don't know too many people who look forward to a trip to their veterinarian's office. But then they've never been to see my vet. Barbara is funny, hip, and often irreverant; some folks might consider her an acquired taste. I, however, revel in her humor and marvel at her unflappable nature. She can handle them all- from the craziest of cat ladies to the stalwart backwoods hunter. Sometimes grace shows up in the darndest places.

Don't get me wrong- this woman really cares. When my 5 year-old Golden Retriever Emma became sick, Barbara suspected she had a spleen tumor and wanted to do surgery right away. I agreed, and left my beautiful dog as they inserted the intravenous needle into her leg. About an hour and a half later, I received a phone call from Barbara that Emma's liver was gone. She cried as she told me of the advanced cancer and apologized for her tears, saying that she wasn't prepared to see it in such a young dog. Emma never woke up.

Two days later I had Gracie. Even though I had Bonnie, a terrier mix, I so missed Emma and her golden dispostion. An ad in a local Pennysaver led me to a breeder who had two pups left for sale and I went to "take a look". Well, you know how that worked out.

A few months after her second birthday, Gracie had her first seizure. Barbara was with me every step of the way as we waited to see if another would follow or if it was an isolated incident. Two weeks later, she had three seizures, seven hours apart. Two weeks after that, she had a cluster of five, four hours apart. We decided to put her on phenobarbitol and she has had only one seizure in the last five years. An increase in her medication has kept her seizure-free for the last year or so. We always have our paws crossed, and know that they could start up at any time. To quote Barbara, "You know, medicine is not an exact science... don't you hate that?"

After losing Emma so suddenly, Barbara knew I was a little gun shy and paranoid. She never let me feed into my fears, however. When Gracie's seizures started, Barbara said, "You can handle this. You've been through worse." Simple words, yet I refer to them often these days.

Thanks, Barbara.

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