I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. It was a long day at the vet.
Dr. Rustebakke is a great guy, and he worked hard and long to figure out what we had going on. At first he was convinced Soxy had a mass in her nasal passage. But when he scoped her he was able to get the scope up in there, which surprised him. But as it passed the nasal passage closed up on it. He said it looked like there was maybe nerve damage there, keeping it from staying open. He had another appointment coming in so we waited a while and then he came back and did x-rays. The right side showed up cloudy in the sinus area, but no defined boundaries that would be expected with a tumor. He tapped around, and strangely the problem side sounded hollower than the good side. Then he felt around the pointy part of her face bone and found a divot that seemed to be filled with edema. He decided to drill into the sinus and flush it. I'm not queasy and I deal well with vet procedures, but seeing him take a power tool to her skull was rough. Luckily he deadened the area really well first. What he found when he inserted the catheter to flush the sinus, is that he couldn't. There is a solid mass in there. He said we could biopsy it. I figured I'd already spent more than I could, so I asked how much that would cost. Which is when he got down to the bitter truth. Whether it's cancerous or not, it's inoperable, and there's nothing we can do but enjoy the time we have left with her while she still has good quality of life. He thinks she's still breathing well enough, and he doesn't think there's a lot of pain. I'm not so sure. I talked him into trying antibiotics again, and he gave us a steroid as well. If we can get her breathing easier and looking happier I'll feel better. Right now she's not looking too happy, but she has a hole in her face and her skin is stapled shut, she was sedated more than once, plus she got her teeth floated and had to stand in stocks for almost 4 hours, not to mention the long trailer ride each way, so it's been a stressful day.
I appreciate what they did today IMMENSELY. He doggedly pursued every option until we had an answer and then he gave me a huge break on the price. I need to send him a thank you note.
I also have to give big kudos to the Les Schwab tire store a couple blocks away. When I unloaded Soxy I noticed that one of my trailer tires was pretty much shredded. I called Les Schwab, told them the situation and that I might have a horse in the trailer. He said he had a tire for me and I could unload her or leave her in the trailer while they fixed it. Dr. Rustebakke gave me a stall for Soxy and I went down and had a new tire within 15 minutes. I guess I was VERY lucky the tire didn't blow out on me on the way there. On the Lewiston Grade? No thanks! Someone was watching over us today.
I owe a lot of gratitude all around.
I'm really upset to find out for sure that Soxy's days are numbered. I tell myself we're all going to die someday, and she's old. But that doesn't help much. On the way home I thought, "wouldn't it be easier if I was a painter instead of a horse person?" Sure, you probably get emotionally attached to your art. It would hurt to have it destroyed. But you don't have to wonder whether it's in pain. Or make the decision when to end it.
And then I thought about how many, many lives this horse has touched, and that I have also touched through her. Experiences that will never be forgotten. She'll live on in some people's memories long after I'm gone. So many kids love her. So many adults love her! I love her. And it's worth it. But it still hurts like hell.