Yesterday was a bad day for Ginger. She started swelling through the middle again, and by the time we went to bed she was hugely swollen and miserable. Not only that, but she didn't pee all day long. She could barely stand up, she was so swollen with fluid, and she didn't eat much. In the middle of the night she drank a bunch of water and then threw up the little she had eaten during the day as well as the pills we had given her. We were sure today was going to be the day we were going to have to have her put to sleep. And she had been doing so well all week!
After a terrible sleepless night for us both, we called her vet and took her up there this morning. We steeled ourselves for what we thought was coming. Dr. Causey, to our surprise, offered to drain the fluid off again and to check her again at the end of this week. We were so torn about whether to do it or not; she was so miserable yesterday that we hate the thought of this just happening again and again. But on the other hand, she felt so much better last week that she was able (and eager) to eat, go on easy walks, and sniff around the backyard after they got the fluid off. So we decided to try it one more time.
It only took a few minutes, and they got 5 pounds of fluid off her chest and belly. Doc says that her kidneys are fine despite the fact that she wasn't peeing yesterday, and he said she should be back to peeing normally today and we should continue to give her the heart pill and lasix. He wants us to bring her back Thursday afternoon to see how things are going. We do NOT want another weekend to catch us when we're helpless to watch her struggling.
We're trying so hard not to be selfish. We of course want her with us as long as possible, but on the other hand we don't want her to feel bad. Also, I'm not sure how many more times my heart can take staying up all night wondering if we're going to have to have her put to sleep in the morning, steeling ourselves to go through it, and then bringing her back home for another week's reprieve. But if she still can have quality of life, how selfish is it to put her to sleep just because the situation is causing us stress and heartache? Last night I hoped that she would just die peacefully in her sleep at home so that we wouldn't continue to be faced with these terrible choices, and so her last moments on earth wouldn't be spent in the vet's office. I feel guilt both ways. Especially when this morning she managed to climb willingly in the back seat of the car and willingly walked into the vet's office. She trusts us (and them) to fix things for her but I'm not sure how much longer we're going to be able to. This is so hard.
But for the next few days, she's at home again and already seems to be feeling better with all that fluid off her body. Hopefully we'll have another good week with her, spoiling her, but when this fluid builds up again I think we're going to have to say "enough" both for her, and our, sakes. None of the choices feel right and I feel like my heart is breaking afresh every single day.