We arrived at the Veterinarian Hospital about 15 minutes prior to our appointment. Since we did not know where we were going, I wanted us to have plenty of time to arrive and therefore, we arrived with plenty of time. Paperwork was signed- account was set-up and we waited in the lobby for only a few minutes.
This center was gorgeous- it had a kids' play area with toys and blocks and plenty of seating. We were ushered into an exam room and ended up waiting only a little while for a vet tech to come and check us in.
The tech was immediately lovey with Neala. That always gives me a positive feeling- when the staff is hands-on and loving, you always feel more confident. Since Neala found her purr last night, she has not stopped purring. The tech had to literally turn on the water to get Neala to stop purring for her to obtain a heart rate.
We went over the finances- we ended up paying the low end of the surgery up front and will pay anything extra if it's needed. I know how things go- I'm sure we'll pay the high end for the surgery when all is said and done, but that's okay as long as Neala is alive and well after this surgery.
We were given the choice between CPR or no recessative efforts made, plus 'CPR Plus'. The decision was not easy, but the 'CPR Plus' involved cracking the chest wall and massaging the heart- I did not agree with that. I did sign for normal CPR if needed. I pray she does not need any recessitative help.
Finally, we met Dr Morgan. You know how you might picture a veterinarian surgeon as an old benevolent man, wrinkles, sugar-white hair with bifocals perched on his merry red nose? Oh, maybe you don't- but I do. Dr Morgan definitely breaks those stereotypes.
He is a tall man, bright eyes, and imposing gaze, with a head shorn clean of anything but the finest fuzz of hair. I can't help but think that him and Neala have that in common. He looks like he'd be more comfortable at the handles of a Harley Davidson versus doing microsurgery on a tiny animal, but you could tell he was competent by the way he spoke and handled tiny Neala.
He told us all of the issues we had already researched with the surgery. The chance that this will not solve her megaesophagus (which was secondary to the PRAA, but since her esophagus is so blown up, he thinks it may never resolve itself even after this surgery). That this was an expensive surgery that may not make 'everything right'. But we knew that going in- that she has chances of survival and chances of success and all one can do is try.
And I told him that... I told him we were taking this day by day. The first success we need is for her to survive the surgery and aftercare.
He did say 10% of all animals with PRAA either do not make it to surgery or through surgery.
I did not ask for solid odds, though, for Neala. I decided that we have been against the odds this entire time, so what's the point? Once she was diagnosed with this expensive defect, we were against the odds of ever obtaining the money to pay for this surgery. Obviously, all of you rallied and through your donations, brought us to this point. We were against the odds of finding a surgeon who would do the surgery without costing us $6000. Through the network of cat and animal lovers, we were pointed in Dr Morgan's direction. We are against the odds with Neala being barely 500 grams, but I hope once again, we beat those odds.
We should know within the next 2-3 hours how the surgery went. First, they are putting her on an IV and getting an ultrasound of her heart. Then they will continue the work-up, bloodwork, etc, check her glucose...
I will keep you updated.