Those who follow my tweeting may have seen that the two most important males in my life, DH and Pancake, are both in need of surgery. 🙁
For DH, he is getting a bullectomy. I’d love to link you to a site explaining it, but much googling (and binging) has led me to few if any results. I mean, there’s one site that talks about it in reference to emphysema (which is apparently the most common way to end up with a giant bullae in your lung) or to COPD (other common way), but neither of those apply to DH. DH has a congenital bullae. It is possible that he’s had it for 2 years or 20 years. It’s caused by a weakness in one area of the lung that causes a pocket to form where there shouldn’t be one, hence being common in patients with emphysema (b/c that weakens the lung tissue). It isn’t causing him any immediate breathing problems or stress, but it could burst or become infected (the latter being more likely) at any point and cause him lots of pain and potential lung collapse. The thoracic specialist/surgeon said that if DH were in his 70s, they might not bother with it, but with him being in his 30s, the chances of it becoming bad are higher. So, to remove the large bullae, what they do is go in kind of like they did for my gall bladder (although they won’t blow him up the same way…they’ll collapse his lung and get room to work that way, from what I’ve read…I watched a video of it being done), with camera and instruments. First, before they cut in, they’ll send a camera down his throat and into his lung to verify that it’s where and what they think it is from the cat scan. Then, assuming it is, they’ll do the bullectomy using 3 small incisions for camera and instruments, triangulated to allow them to work without tripping over each other. They’ll basically remove the air from the bullae, and there’s some other bits, too, but the point being, they’ll make it so his lung can inflate fully again. He’ll be in the hospital for 2-3 days following the surgery, and during that time, he’ll have a chest tube. The surgeon said he’d be able to work again in about a week but that it’ll take 3-4 weeks for him to be at 100%. DH and I still need to talk more about the plan for this. He came home for awhile, but he was restless and wanted to go to work. 🙂 So, he’s at the casino now, and he and I will figure out the details later…but surgery is scheduled for 7/6. It’s very likely that I will work remotely from the hospital during that week, though I need to check in with work on that…I may also just take the week off so I don’t have to worry with it, but problem is we have a project milestone that I need to be there for during that week, so…well, point being, it’s a TBD situation.
While DH was finding this out, I was at the vet with Pancake. I’d been neglectful and not taken him in for a checkup for ~18 months. (I’d taken him in because he had a bump on his head during the summer last year, but I hadn’t scheduled a check-up b/c Banfield ticked me off during that visit…and then my work project (now cancelled) kicked in and I lost track of time until now. Point being, I was a bad cat parent. 🙁 ) So, I was taking him a new vet that is a cat-only practice. And around the same time I made the appointment, coincidentally, his breath got really nasty smelling. I’d changed his cat food, so I changed it back, but the really nasty breath persisted, so I asked them to take a good look at his teeth, figuring he probably needed a cleaning and he’s at the age where I might need to start brushing his teeth. But, it was worse than that. He has advanced periodontal disease. His gums are all pus-filled and nasty. He’s already lost two of his small grooming teeth in the front. 🙁 And I feel terrible because if we’d caught this earlier, it’d be better. Plus, he’s probably been in pain, although, as cats do, he’s hiding it. He’s been eating dry food and such, and his appetite is strong and healthy. But, anyways, this is why yearly check-ups are important, because this sort of thing can sneak up on you. He probably had some plaque build-up that just got worse without care and I didn’t realize it. 🙁 Anyways, so he’s getting a full cleaning on Monday and they may have to take his teeth out if any of them have more than 50% decay. The vet said his gums are receding badly, that there’s a bump on his canine teeth that is visible that shouldn’t be visible, so she suspects that he will have some teeth that have to be removed. The good news is that this doesn’t really affect his lifestyle. Even with no teeth, he can still eat both soft and hard food. It may change his face structure a little, but generally, the most important thing is that he won’t be in pain. And I feel like a total jerk, because I let it get to this point, unknowingly, but still. I should have known better, and he should have been seen 6-8 months ago, and maybe we wouldn’t have gotten to this point. Granted, Maggie never needed a cleaning in her life…she had all her teeth when she died, and she never had more than a tiny bit of build-up that the vet cleaned with a little scraper and a regular cat toothbrush…but all cats are different. The vet pointed out that some cats are more susceptible than others. These are excuses, though. I was a bad owner, and Pancake is suffering for it. 🙁 Pancake goes in for dental cleaning and potential (likely) surgery on Monday. He’ll be on antibiotics until then, and he’ll be on painkillers and antibiotics for a week or so afterward. And tonight, he’s having Alaskan salmon.
Speaking of Alaska, some of y’all may know that we were tentatively planning to take a cruise to Alaska in July. We held off on booking to see what happened with DH’s lung thingie. Given things as they are, we’re going to skip the cruise this year. DH will probably be recovered in time, but we don’t want to tempt Finagle’s Law by booking a non-refundable cruise. 🙂
In other news, I’m doing fine! 🙂 Also, it’s too damn hot outside. You may have seen my tweet that my credit cards melted into one congealed mass in my wallet, that I’d left in my car all day while at work. My Dad quipped, “That’s one way to consolidate your credit cards.” 😛 He’s too funny for his own good.