Buddha had his annual check up last week, and they found that his right front fang was cracked and would need to come out. This naturally sent me into the throws of panic and anxiety for the past 5 days.
As anyone who knows me can attest, my little Buddha is the love of my life. He knows me better than anyone in the world, and loves me just the same. The thought of my little one in pain is more than I could bear, so his surgery was scheduled for this morning.
As I got up and got ready to take him in, I saw my most hated and loathed of household pests in the bathroom, a centipede. I immediately reached for some toilet tissue to kill the little monster, but then rethought it. While a centipede is no spider, I quickly remembered the old myth of it being bad luck to kill a spider in the house and refrained from the old squisheroo. In all actuality, I thought that it would be extremely bad taste on my part to kill a creature on the same morning I was asking the universe to save another. So I let it quietly lurk on the wall, making a deal with it that today was it's extremely lucky day.
Soon, Buddha and I were in the car and on the way to the vet. Sadly, Buddha was very excited to go this morning, probably thinking that he was on his way to the park. His tail sagged quite a bit when we got out of the car at the Vet. So did my heart.
I stayed with him as he underwent the first shot, which was a sedative plus pain meds shot. This shot made him vomit about 6 times and then he got sleepy. I noticed in one of his little nausea attacks that a pumpkin seed came up. Tricky little bandit must have snuck one that fell to the floor without anyone noticing.
Then it was time to take him into the back, where they shaved a little patch on his forearm and started an IV. I held his little head and kissed it as his eyes got heavier and heavier. It was everything I could do to not break down into hysterics with every second that passed. I managed to hold myself together, and then they proceeded to the next step, which was to take him to the operating table and hook up the pain meds through his IV. He quickly was unconscious, and then they put a tube down his throat and hooked up the heart monitors. A lump the size of Nebraska started to grow in my throat.
I watched his heart come up on the heart monitor with much relief. A little electronic beeping noise was never so happy to be heard.
The surgery team quickly went to work writing things down and prepping for the operation. I had come back into the surgery room just to be with Buddha until he was unconscious, and now was my cue to exit before I could witness anything further that would scar me for life. It was my cue to exit and I knew it. I suddenly had the feeling of being completely obsolete for the time being.
I turned to go and barely got the words out, "Well, I'll just get out of your way now..." before my voice broke and the Nebraska sized lump made a huge push onward and upward. The doctor looked at my broken and redding face with pity before saying, "Please don't worry. He is going to be fine, I promise you." I shook my head gratefully but said nothing as I was afraid that the dam of tears would shoot out of my eyes if I did.
This was the hardest part, after all. Leaving him there and giving my faith and trust to others who I didn't know personally, who were suddenly holding my best friend's life in their hands. My feet were carved out of stone as I lumped out of the hospital. I felt dazed and blurry. I felt so totally disconnected that I felt like a boat cut from it's ropes. I got in the car, turned the ignition and started the car. Then Nebraska had it's way with me. I let the tears come and come and then got myself under control enough to drive home.
All morning I have been watching the phone like it is my job. hours ticked by, and my nerves ticked my entire body. I realized about an hour ago that I had not eaten anything at all yet, so I made myself a pizza. This made me incredibly sad, since I cannot even think of making pizza without having the little one observe the proceedings and wait patiently for the crust of each piece I eat. The apartment suddenly felt very lonely.
It is important to realize in these moments that this is, in a way, a dress rehearsal for what it will be like when the little one slips away from me for good. As horrible as that is to think about, it is a truth. A hard, horrible fact that no matter who it is, the centipede on the wall, little Boo, you or me - we all gotta go at some point. Ok - I didn't really dwell on it too long, though.
The phone rang and all my fears were laid to rest. He made it through the surgery just fine. It apparently took longer than they thought it would, and was difficult to get all of the root out of the bone, but they did. They also took out 2 other teeth that were apparently loose. So the total is three teeth removed in one morning. The little one will undergo pain medication and antibiotics for about ten days. I write this piece as I sit at my house and wait. I pick him up at 4.
So I have some thanking to do to everyone who was praying for him and thinking positive thoughts.
And as the Buddha Bear makes his recovery, and I wait on him hand and paw, I will pass on the updates to all of you. I also thank Matt, for without his support, this operation would never have even been a possibility. More to come later.
Much love and thanks,