Last week, when I was thinking about what I was going to post for annual "I am thankful" Thanksgiving post (shut up - I did it last year...that makes it annual!), I was overwhelmed by feelings of stress, anxiety, and self pity.
Most of these were brought on my Kempton being hurt and his impending surgery.
I know that sounds ridiculous for those of you out there who have never had the opportunity to fall in love with an animal, but for those of us who understand that the bond we have with our pet, while very different than the bonds we have with another human, is very, very strong - you will understand my drama.
Not only am I concerned about the surgery, the 4 month recovery, the things that could go wrong, the money it is going to cost and the long term effects it will have on him...I have also found that it makes me physically and emotionally distressed to see him in any kind of pain. Watching him hop and hobble around on 3 legs, struggling to find a comfortable position to lay down in and struggling even more to try to get back up has been torturous for me.
Finding out after his x-rays that both of his back hips have arthritis and that it was probably painful for him to do these things before he tore his ligament makes me feel even worse.
Do I put him through surgery?
Can I afford to fix his other knee if the ligament in that one tears too (which is quite likely)?
Once he has recovered from knee surgery, is he going to have to have hip surgery?
Where do I draw the line?
He is already 8 years old...do I want his last few years to be plagued with painful surgeries and even more painful recoveries?
Can I handle putting him to sleep?
Am I ready for that?
Will I die if I no longer have him around to bury my face in his fur while I snuggle with him?
These are the things that have been going round and round in my head.
Last night, Steve and I decided to go ahead with the knee surgery. I'm pretty sure that Steve is skeptical but he is respecting the fact that emotionally I can't handle not having Kempton around, and that I can't stand to see him in pain.
The arthritis in his hips we will treat with anti-inflammatory and supplements for as long as we can keep him comfortable, and we will do what we can to avoid having him injure his other knee.
Beyond that, all I can do is hope that I am lucky enough to have him healthy and in my life for a couple more years.