at what cost, love?
Poor George. The past few days have been a trial. Apparently George was feeling a little bit, well, lovey dovey, shall we say? And went out looking for a little amour… (And lest you think I am irresponsible, I already had the “cure” for what ails him scheduled…but they couldn’t get him in for a few weeks yet.
So two days ago he was gone all day. All day. I usually see him back at home base every couple of hours, so I was starting to get worried. But I also knew he was feeling a little affectionate, so I figured he was out cruising chicks. Which he probably was, but hours went by and I was getting more worried. Finally, at 10 o’clock in the evening he showed up, a little blood on one of his legs but he seemed okay, he didn’t look seriously injured. I figured he had found himself a girl and she wasn’t very happy with his advances.
But. The next morning he wouldn’t get out of his bed. So I picked him up and felt him over and there was a bubble on his stomach. I took him to the vet right away.
I turned out that he has several puncture wounds, one pretty large and deep, right in his “armpit,” several other scrapes and scratches, a muscle injury to his right shoulder, and worst of all, three hernias. Yikes. So all of that is bad enough, and surgery is necessary to fix the hernias, but he also has seriously elevated liver numbers and his potassium level is through the roof. And they can’t figure out why. And surgery under these conditions could result in a heart attack.
So now we must wait, until Monday, to hope that his potassium level goes down. If it doesn’t, we may have to risk the surgery and hope for the best. Usually a potassium level this high indicates heart problems, but he shows no other symptoms of that. They are saying it could just be the result of the muscle trauma, and it may go down as he heals.
Meanwhile, he is confined to a crate in the hopes that his hernias won’t worsen before Monday. And he is not happy about it.
Meanwhile I am worried about him, about what could happen. And, as much as I hate to say it, about how much all of this is going to cost. The vet has already been very generous, and we are so grateful. My sister works there, and they know that George was a stray that just happened to show up, so they are being very kind and giving us reduced prices on everything, but still, it is adding up. All the extra tests, the unknowns.
Which made me start to think about the cost of health care, how hard it is to make these decisions and he is a cat, a cat I’ve only know for a couple of weeks. (But have already grown to love.) What if it were my child, my husband, my parents, and there was no insurance? How do people make these decisions, deal with the cost? How do you say that is too much, when do you say that is too much? You can’t really, can you?
And what happened to George? His injuries don’t add up. If he was shaken or slammed by a dog, his puncture wounds shouldn’t be as clean as they are, they should be jagged. But to have the muscle damage and hernias that he has, it would have taken blunt trauma. And nothing really explains the liver and potassium numbers.
George, your density (destiny) brought you to us. (In case you never saw Back to the Future, that is a reference to George McFly, his namesake.) And we love you, George. And you went looking for love…
And now, as so often happens, you are paying the price.
Get well, George.