Wednesday, April 3
(Facebook status update)
Update on Lilly: We visited the vet this morning (After being unable to go last night) and the results are mixed. Luckily her blood counts are normal, indicating there is not an infection, however her metabolic results indicate that she is in kidney failure. The question remains if this is acute or chronic, as that will influence her likelihood of pulling through. The vet said that his prognosis is guarded- neither grave nor stellar. The one spot of hope is that she is continuing to eat and drink (sparsely); the vet was shocked stating that her levels were so high there is no way she should be feeling good enough to be eating (at which point I informed him that she's no ordinary rabbit and has an unbelievable level of stubbornness, which Im sure she gets from her mother). The plan for now is to leave her with the vet today through friday for subcutaneous fluids and monitoring (I can bring her home at night) and then recheck the levels on Saturday. If she can start peeing on her own the odds are in her favor, but if we can't get those levels lowered then I'm going to have some tough decisions to make. Please pray, for her health, that I can finagle getting her to and from with my work schedule, and that i will have peace throughout this process that I am making the right decisions for her.
I wake up first thing that morning, see that she has survived the night, and immediately begin getting things ready to take her to the vet. I grab some hay and her water dish, put her in her travel cage, and we set off. Upon arriving at the vet, the very pleasant lady at reception sets me up in a room, oohs and aahs at how cute my bunny is, and tells me the doctor will be in shortly.
I sit in that room alone, frightened, and isolated. I want to cry, I'm scared to cry, I'm scared to think. Thinking brings fear. It also brings hope, which can be so dangerous. In that sparse, sterile, room I am alone, except for Lilly. I'm encouraged that she is hopping around slightly, the lethargy has let up a bit. But all we can do is wait.
The vet comes in. He starts examining her, he asks me about myself, where I'm from, where I work. I mention I work at the hospital, he says he was just there with his son. We realize that I took care of his son, though I never actually met the dad. We bond instantly, and I feel a bit at peace. He states that he is definitely concerned, although her stomach sounds alright. He begins a physical exam, and Lilly is terrified. She tries scurrying away, she gives me a helpless look, and then he takes her away for her blood work. I know I can trust him, I don't doubt that he needs to do his tests outside of our room, but I'm scared to let her out of my sight. I'm scared to let her feel abandoned. I feel helpless that I can't explain it all to her. I begin to wonder how my families at work do this.. with human children, not just a pet rabbit.
I pull out my phone and start reading scripture, reading Psalms. It's a spontaneous action, but one that immediately begins to calm me. I'm still terrifed. I'm still overwhelmed, but in that moment I don't feel so alone. I read scripture, I text friends, and I pray. The vet brings her back to me, she huddles in her cage, he tells me we'll have results in 30 minutes. I begin to pray again. I read psalm after psalm about prayer, and the need for fasting. I 've never done anything like that before, not sure if I believe it works (as I have serious issues with praying for things), but in that moment I am willing to try anything. I can't physically fast due to blood sugar/anemia issues, but I feel the urge to fast sugar and alcohol. I tell God I will refrain from both things until this resolves. And then I wait.
He comes back, the good news is most of the results are normal. No infection, no gastrointestinal problems. However, her kidneys are in trouble. One of her levels, (which should be between 1 and 2) are at a 10.35. Essentially, she is in kidney failure, and if we can't fix it, that will be it for her. The vet wants to keep her during the day for fluids and meds, and have her back during the day on thursday and friday for fluids as well. We'll recheck Saturday and it must be at least to 5 or she has no shot. Lilly begins to drink water and eat hay while we talk,. He tells me he can't understand how she feels like doing that, normally once the levels approach a 3 humans/dogs/rabbits will just shut down emotionally. Her tenacity is encouraging. He tells me she has a chance, but these first days are critical. I ask him about cost. He says it will be a couple hundred when all is said and done, but definitely not thousands. I feel God urging me to go forward and trust him.
I leave her there and go to work, a bit more at ease, knowing she is in better care and they will call if something goes wrong. I pray, specifically that she will pee on her own. I ask my friends to do the same. I begin feeling awkward asking for this; it's a rabbit after all... people have bigger concerns than this. But my friends come through for me... surprising me. People come out of the woodwork, people who have met her before, telling me how special she is. People who haven't met her comment that they would like to. I get permission at work to adjust my schedule to account for the frequent vet visits over the next couple of days, a true blessing from God.
At lunch time I go to the chapel to pray, and as I'm getting up to go back to work I get a call. It's my mother, letting me know my grandmother is in the emergency room, can I go see them? I call my coworker and tell her, she responds "Good J---s, will it ever end for you?!" I find my grandfather in the room, grandma was in pain , had paralysis of her face, and difficulty breathing. She is going for tests now, he will call me when they get answers. I numbly agree and go back to work.
I go to pick Lilly up; the closer I get, the more convinced I am that something went wrong. I go in, go to the check out line... and her chart is not there. The guy at the desk goes to inquire. He comes back and simply says "we'll have the bill soon, the vet wants to talk to you in person first". My heart drops into my stomach and I begin breathing rapidly, stemming off the panic attack. I sit down on the bench, fighting back tears, open my bible app and read the psalms like there is no tomorrow. My mind races and I begin to fear.
The vet comes out with his hands raised about his head in a victory salute "WE HAVE URINE PRODUCTION!". I begin to cry for real. He hugs me. "It's a great first sign Mommy, you did the right thing in bringing her in, but I want to do this again tomorrow." I agree. As I'm putting everything together, waiting on the bill, the receptionist comes over to see her. We chat, I comment that the vet had been encouraged this morning that she ate, the receptionist interrupts me:
"Oh no! I heard him talking, he was SHOCKED. He was saying there is no medical reason this rabbit should WANT to eat. I told him its because she isn't ready to give in yet. She's a little fighter, and she's fighting for her life."
I begin to cry, because right there is my answer from God. Do I keep pushing her or accept fate? As long as my stubborn, vivacious, tenacious little baby is fighting for her own life, I will fight along side her. We go home that night and I continue my prayer vigil. I feel God nudge me to fast on television as well, to focus on Lilly and prayer.
I get a call from my grandfather, my grandmother is alright. It was a reaction to an antibiotic and she is going to be fine. She has back surgery scheduled for a weeks in the future, but for the moment, everything is ok. I thank him, and as I hang up begin to cry. Right then a friend calls to check in. I tell her I'm doing alright... but that the load is too much. I feel like God is stretching me, and stretching me, and is going to keep stretching until I finally yell Uncle. I feel like he is testing to see how far he can push me before I crack, to see if I will be strong enough TO tell him to stop. She tells me that's a valid way to feel, and I should tell that to God.
I beg him to lighten the load. I pray for it to stop, I tell him I have too much on my plate. I feel a bit of peace, and I go to bed that night, anxious for what the morrow will bring.