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From Nigel's Mum

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Sep. 6th, 2004 | 09:48 am
mood: sadsad

It's Nigel's Mum again...

I had the baby on Aug 17, an emergency c-section. It's a boy - his name is Jake. He was born 2 days before Nigel's birthday.

Meanwhile, things with Nigel have taken a downslide. Here is the entry from my personal LJ. PLease don't hate me for what I'm writing.

(BTW, "DH" = my husband)

As you know, Nigel, my 9 yr old English Bulldog, is suffering with a heart condition, brought on this summer, probably exacerbated by the move from Miami to Seattle..but it was still inevitable, acc to the vet.

I have to admit - I am feeling very overwhelmed with the baby...and being in a new place, where I know no one. Nigel's condition is not helping, either.

You see, though Nigel is on the meds (4 pills, 3 times a day), he doesn't seem to be improving. He's lethargic - he doesn't even bark to be let out & has been urinating in the house. His stomach keeps filling with fluid, even though I've brought him to the vet to have them drain it. (One time they drained 3 liters!) His gums are white.

The timing of this breaks my heart - I love that dog so much - but I have a newborn baby now. I don't want to sound like one of those people who wants to get rid of the dog when a baby comes....which is why I'm posting here.

I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses, but my new house is 3 levels. Our bedrooms are on the top floor..kitchen, living/dining room on on the middle floor, & Nigel stays in the family room, which is in the basement (it's "finished" - there's also a guest bedroom & full bath down there) & opens up to the backyard. It's difficult for him to climb up the stairs to join me in the kitchen/living room...plus, the vet said to limit his stair climbing, due to his swollen stomach. To top it all off, it's colder in the basement..too cold for me to bring the baby at this point. Not to mention that I am still recovering from the c-section, and I am unable to go up & down the stairs more than necessary.

DH is working all day & into the night, so I am home by myself. My mom was here since the beginning of August, but she left last week because of the Hurricane...she'll be coming back in a couple of weeks or so.

Back to Nigel...yes, the thought that I have dreaded is in my mind. I think about it all the time...and honestly, I am crying a lot. I think I am suffering from post partum depression...but that's another story. To see Nigel so sad & basically immobile breaks my heart...but to put him to sleep if there's still hope wracks me with guilt...esp because I brought him cross country & probably sentenced him to this death. I feel even more guilty when I miss giving him his pills at the right time. If only I had more time to spend with him...but all he does is sit there - he doesn't get his toys to play with, he hardly eats, unless I add canned dog food. He's eating and drinking, which I know is a good sign.

When I come downstairs, he doesn't even get up. Yesterday, I cleaned up his mess 3 times...and we have carpet down there. Because I'm still healing, it's hard for me to bend & clean it thoroughly. LAst month, when he got really sick, he had diarrhea all over - I had to call the carpet cleaner to come twice in one week.

And then there's taking him to the vet. I go to one that the Bulldog Club of Seattle recommended & they're a 20 min drive on the freeway. Though there are vets who are closer, I'm happy with the practice - if I'd gone anywhere else, I'd feel guilty I didnt give Nigel the best treatment. But now, I have the newborn...how am I going to juggle getting Nigel in the car & bringing both him & the baby to the vet? LAst week, DH went with me (I havent been able to drive until this weekend, because I was taking meds), and Mom was here to stay w/ the baby. But now, DH is back to work, Mom is gone, I don't know a babysitter yet (nor do I want one @ this point - Jake's only 3 weeks old)...

So, I think you see where this is going. My brother (he's an MD & a doglover) said that maybe it's time to put Nigel to sleep, because he is suffering...and sometimes, it's good to put an end to his suffering. But, I just feel so bad thinking of that! It feels so selfish. DH mentioned giving Nigel to the rescue here, but I won't go for that. Yes, THAT is selfish, I know, but I'm the only Mom that Nigel has ever known.

How much more time should I give Nigel? What if he stays this lethargic way & shows no improvement? I can't keep going to the vet every week to have his belly drained.

The tears are pouring down my face as I type this...I am so distraught over what to do.

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