The second opinion

Monday, September 17

My stupid phone dies right when I need it the most.  Yesterday I’m talking with Joyce, the camp host, when she recommends All Creatures Animal Hospital in Eagle Point, south of here, for excellent care for Bridget and more-than-reasonable fees for me.  Her friends give stellar reports, too.

It’s Monday morning and the plan is to drive down to Prospect for cell signal to call for an appointment.  

However, the dead phone changes that. I drive all the way to Eagle Point and show up at the animal hospital without an appointment.  Although the staff people are friendly and courteous, I get the feeling the doctor is a bit chilly.  I feel like a creepy “walk-in,” the words I later notice written on the invoice.  Maybe she is stessed-out or has no people skills.  Anyway.

Her diagnosis is the same as that given by the vet in Grants Pass.

Sweet little Honey Boo-Boo Badger

Cranial cruciate ligament tear.

The vet can’t detect and doesn’t suspect any broken bones.  Xrays are necessary to rule that out.  She admits that a for-certain diagnosis with this kind of “presentation” can only be made with the dog under sedation.  That’s when she gives me the bad news.

“The doctor who specializes in this kind of injury is on vacation for a week.”

Oh, no!  That dang phone.  If I could’ve called . . . .  Well, what difference does it make now.

She continues . . .

“He’s the only doctor here who does that kind of surgery.”

Given the situation, her recommendation is to keep Bridget from walking around and jumping, keep her pain-free, and make sure she rests.  Then re-evaluate in a week or ten days.

The bill is incredibly low, just as Joyce promised.  $19 for the exam and $4 for more pain pills.

It’s all I can do to keep from reacting with “You’re kidding me.”

We motor on down the highway . . .

. . . to Wal-Mart!  Our groceries are down to the stuff I don’t feel like eating.  Besides groceries, I also pick up a new hair brush, dish towels, some one-ply toilet paper, and a cell phone!

The guy in electronics can’t test the phone’s battery because “It isn’t standard.”  And, of course, they don’t have a replacement battery.

He begins to name stores that might stock it.  The memory of the Verizon fiasco is still fresh.  That’s when I crisscrossed the GREATER PART OF THE STATE OF WYOMING for a battery out of existence.

“No, I’m not running around from store to store looking for the right battery.  Give me the cheapest phone you’ve got and I’ll be happy.”

On the return trip I realize how much I enjoy our home at Natural Bridge Campground.

According to Camp Host Joyce, the 14-day limit has been lifted. 

Campers can stay until the campground closes November 1st.  Oh, I’d love to stay a long time.  But then there’s Bridget’s injury.  I wish I knew what is the best thing to do.  Maybe time will reveal it.

rvsue

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About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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52 Responses to The second opinion

  1. Bobbie Mayer says:

    I PM’d you on Fiberglass RV about surgery..

    If you get a bounce back from a message or don’t get a reply, try emailing me at carts@corgiaid.org

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Could you put your message here? My connection is very slow. Emails take forever. (It’s a laborious process to go to forums and find a private message when I’m sitting in the PTV with impatient pups. I usually have to ignore private msgs.)

  2. So happy the vet bill was low and Bridget is feeling less pain with her meds. We are so enjoying your blogs. Thanks for sharing with us. We had a Verizon battery search for our Mifi and ended up on a wild goose chase. No Verizon store had our battery.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Iona… Hello! If you haven’t read my previous entry (in June I think) called “In Search of a Little Battery,” please do so. (You can find it using my blog’s search box.) I had the same experience with Verizon!

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying my blog.

      • Connie & Mugsy says:

        Oops… looks like my post went into oblivion because it had a link. Maybe you will find it later. 🙂

  3. cozycrafter says:

    Found a wonderful article with some alternative suggestions…my son in law is a vet and agreed surgery can be 50/50. Second opinion always a good idea for humans too, I always say. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/13_2/features/Canine-Ligament-Injury-Options_16198-1.html

  4. Sherry says:

    I sure don’t envy you this decision for Bridget with so many conflicting suggestions. How did we live without cell phones? Seems to me we did OK but now it seems hard. Same with the computer. Are we becoming owned by our electronics. Campground looks fabulous. What a great place for all of you to relax and recooperate. My best thoughts and wishes to you all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      As always, Sherry, I appreciate your comment. This IS a fabulous campground. BTW, I don’t know why WordPress is putting comments into moderation for no apparent reason. My apology to you and anyone else who has trouble posting (other than trolls, that is!).

  5. cathieok says:

    I think we are all very envious of that campground. Just looks like like little forest imps are sure to be there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s funny you should say that. Some of the trees have knarled roots that chipmunks burrow under. They remind me of illustrations in children’s books … places where the elves live, like the Keebler elf. The shady forest with lush vegetation and trees so incredibly tall, sunbeam streaming through boughs, beds of moss and ferns … magical!

  6. Billy Bob says:

    Man boy howdy, I sure do like that campground. I’m think’n I could stay in a place like that until the first snow. Then I’m gone I betcha.
    I know your frustration with Bridget. Wonder’n, with the doctor on vacation, who diagnosed her injury? Also agree with “conflicting suggestions”. I would never tell ya to wait and see what happens….all the while my pup suffer’n because I “listened” to a suggestion. Good luck get’n her back on all 4 wheels go’n a hunnert mile a hour down the trails.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Billy Bob… You’re right to like this campground. It’s one of the finest I’ve been in. Every time the crew and I go on a walk (stroller ride), it’s like the first time I’ve seen it. The light through the trees constantly changing and the river! What a treasure!

      Don’t worry about Bridget suffering. I watch her all day long and she sleeps in my arms at night. I’m constantly watching to see if her mood changes or her eyes look funny or her behavior gets weird. She’s eating, sleeping, and pooping well and is interested in everything. I’ve seen no sign of discomfort. I give her a pain pill before bed every night, as prescribed.

      Thanks for the good luck wish.

  7. Mick says:

    First time I saw you with the awning out … and your in the shade???

  8. cinandjules says:

    Great that the 14 day limit has been lifted. What a beautiful place. Bridget looks quite content sitting in the stroller. Maybe it’s a good thing that the vet is on vacation. That gives Bridget a week more toward recovery. You might want to cut down just a bit on her food. Being that she isn’t running around burning the calories…like Spikey. You certainly don’t want to hear…..she has to lose x amount of weight due to her inactivity….and extending your stay.

    And how is Mr Spikey?

    Have a wonderful evening.

  9. Toni says:

    Hubby Glenn and I live in Florida presently with Gerte our 5 yo lab. (She doesn’t know she’s a dog)! We have lived in our motorhome for about 6 years but have a truck/camper we use as our million dollar escape from real life. Verge and I just did a loop from Fl to Ontario through TN, MI and back thrum NY, SC. About 2 months. Enjoyed Shenendoah NP and Blue ridge prkwy. Love reading your posts as I spent a lot of time exploring n Calif as my daughter got her masters @ Humbolt SU in Wildlife. I assisted her with some field work for several years

    Now that u have a little background, if Verge had such as your baby, I would go slow as u r. Maybe the vet being gone is a take it slow sign. Has a hone suggested any kind of a wrap or can it be supported to rest it for a spell? GERTE broke he’ll rear leg at 6 months and they splinted it. Came off a couple off a couple times but worked without the evpensive surgery.

    Anyway I’ll enjoy keeping in touch.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A splint hasn’t been suggested because there isn’t a break involved. I, too, believe it’s best to take it slow. My intuition from the beginning has been wait-and-see.

  10. Anne H says:

    Good luck with Bridget – that article link above had some great ideas! You could get stuck in worse places than Natural Bridge CG if you have an extended vet stay (esp with the 14 day limit gone!).
    Watch out for the chipmunks – I recently had some little marauders get into my trailer (came right through the screen door!) and they caused quite a mess. Maybe yours won’t be as bold with Spike and Bridget on patrol – my chipmunks totally ignored my lazy uninterested greyhound as they scampered around checking out all my gear and even her food.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Since there aren’t any flying insects here, I’ve been careless about shutting the screen door. I spotted two chipmunks scurrying around the door so since then I keep it shut. They want the crew’s kibble!

  11. julieinoregon says:

    Hi Sue,
    That is a beautiful campground. Glad you took Bridget for a second opinion. I too would keep her off it as much as possible and see how it goes. You got a great rate for a Vet! I love my Vet here in KF but they aren’t that cheap! LOL Spike hasn’t been very talkative lately! 🙂 Julie

  12. katy in nh says:

    you might check batteries plus. they stock many different kinds of batteries including ones for older phones. they have several stores in Oregon

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think that’s the store the WalMart guy suggested. After the long drive, vet visit, and Walmart shopping, I didn’t feel like trying to find a store in a strange town with the possibility of it being a futile effort. There have been very few times in my life when I could buy myself out of a problem. In this case, buying a cheap phone was an easy solution.

  13. Awwww Susan, I am so sorry about Bridget and her injury. I know you will do the very best for her and I know things get so confusing. The campsite is gorgeous. I am praying for all 3 of you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Pauline. I’m not in a hurry to put Bridget under the knife. Yes, this campground is a special place. I could stay here a long time and not be restless at all.

  14. Bev Deem says:

    We used to drive to where you are parked to pick sugar pine cones (huge). Can’t remember the others but they were long. We would bake them at 200 degrees. This opened up the cone so we could decorate them for Christmas. Oh…for the memories! The scent is wafting through my mind!

  15. azpatriciao says:

    I wrote a comment on the previous post but it sounds like the internet ate it… anyway, I just wanted to say Hi (I was gone for a while and missed a lot) and send good wishes to all of you, especially little Bridget. I’ll keep checking to read how she is doing. Your campground looks very nice and lush, and most of all so peaceful. This must be a delight to stay here.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your comment appeared below yesterday’s post and I replied to it. Several posts were automatically put into the moderation file. I don’t know why. Sorry about that.

      Thank you for your good wishes. Little Bridget is not in any pain. She seems happy and wants to frolic around, which I have to curtail.

      This is a delightful place that I don’t want to leave.

  16. Carolyn says:

    Beautiful campground! So hard to know what to do about surgery in a human much less a liitle dog … do hard to see them suffer ..,

    Does seem it would heal itself but then what do I know … Hate surgery of any kind

    Don’t envy your decision . ..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      If Bridget were suffering or unable to function, the decision would be a lot easier. She’s content and happy. Now she’s showing signs of getting the use of the leg back . . . but then, will the problem return…. I don’t like being indecisive, yet I don’t want to take her down the wrong path.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Well, at the least the vet was very reasonable!! That is nice!! I do not envy you your decisions to be made about little Bridget!! Research all you can online too…sometimes I do that for my human ailments!!

  18. It is so difficult to see our best Pals in any kind of medical stress at any time but especially for you traveling alone with Bridget & Spike. No one to talk things over with or share the weight of decisions. No one there to bounce ideas off. Not an easy time for you & the crew. We’re thinking of you Sue & can only send our best wishes to you all in hopes things work out for the best…………

  19. Sue, I’ve had a dog that’s had both hind knees repaired. If you love the campground, I’d travel for the surgery, bring her home to that campground and hang out until she’s feeling good. Minimal jumping up and down, and you’re happy there! She’ll heal faster, and as the season winds down, it’ll get quieter. Just my $.02 worth. She’ll feel bad for a week or so, but they heal really fast, and mild exercise was recommended for my old man, Sparky. Good luck!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I change my mind several times in a day re Bridget and the course of action or inaction to take. If I want this specialist vet to do surgery, I have to stay here until next week just to get to talk to him. I under a time crunch… and I would like to be near the surgery vet during her recovery time. That is, if she has surgery.

  20. earthdancerimages says:

    Sounds like this is the place to be, beautiful affordable campground and vet hospital that charges a very reasonable price! If this surgeon has a good reputation, I vote thumbs up! Does Bridget seem to be doing any better as time goes by??? We have all 3 of you in our thoughts and prayers!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Today for the first time Bridget has her foot on the ground and is putting a little weight on it. This is so confusing, I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Thanks for your caring, Geri.

  21. Chuck says:

    Bridget putting a little weight on that leg is a good sign. Did the vet rec Chuck n Scotty meds( Glucosamine/Chondroitin)? Scotty gets a half1500/1200 mg and I get two and eacha baby aspirin.Gettin’ old sux but it beats the alternative!!!! Regards from the Herd!!!

  22. hobopals says:

    When Jack was sick in 2011 I did a lot of research as he was given only a 20-40% chance of survival with surgery and 0% without at the specialty center. He was healthy as a horse otherwise and the condition was only found through a blood test at a routine exam. I found a vet who works in conjunction with the DeBakey Research Center in Austin and only does his particular surgery and has had a very high success rate. The specialty center worked with me to get in touch with her. I was going to drive down and stay in Austin until he was fully recovered, but she offered to fly up to Atlanta to do the surgery because she thought it might be too difficult for him to travel for quite a while and there were wild fires in my path and the heat was unbearable at the time. She is incredible.

    Fortunately, I had a very good internist for Jack and had his heart and everything from head to toe checked out by various specialists beforehand. He would have a dedicated anesthetist which most regular vets don’t have. She came out of surgery saying that his lymph vessels were in a mess and that was the cause of leaking fluid into his chest. She said she tied off everything she could find, but could only hope that she found them all; there were so many. So, it would be wait and see to see if he leaked, again.

    While the general surgeons are very good, he wouldn’t have gotten off the table because as she taught them, she realized they wouldn’t have known how to repair him. She did a die test first to try to trace the vessels–feeding him 4 pints of heavy cream first. Anyway, long story short we wouldn’t know the success for 6 months. Jack made a quick recovery and was back to himself in no time never knowing he was sick. This wonderful doctor still keeps in touch. She is one in a million. AND, the surgeons at the specialty center learned from her and I’m sure other dogs with this rare condition will benefit, in the future.

    The point of my story is to say there are vets and there are vets. My normal vet found the problem through a blood test and referred me to a specialty center. I wouldn’t have surgery done on my dog in anything other than a specialty center. It’s the equivalent of having a trauma center available in the event of a serious accident-better survival rate and results.

    Please give Bridget a pat on the head. As long as she is in no pain, that’s a comfort. It’s also not a life threatening condition so you have time to do research. Some of the big universities have vet schools–that might be an alternative for you, Sue. I know you love Bridget and Spike as I love Jack so I know you’ll make the right decision. The best of luck to the three of you in your travels.

  23. Carmen D says:

    Hi Sue,
    Carmen D here again. I have had the same thing happen to my Chance (Blackmouth Cur) His spinning has caused a ligament to tear and the vet told me “surgery will do no good unless you can stop the spinning”. It took 3 months for his left leg to heal on it’s on and then he started his spinning again, and just last night he went down again, this time his right back leg. My vet is a great female Vet and my BMC (Blackmouth Cur) is just going to have to heal on his own. 100 lbs. of muscle and already been into surgery too many times. Yes, he hopped around on three legs and did just fine. At first I felt bad but I could not stop the spinning. He is a high energy breed and made for hunting and a guard dog, I just take it one day at a time. I wish the best in your decision for Bridget, it’s always a tought decision to make. I wish all the best for RVSue and the Canine crew.

  24. HI,sue, timber say’s, he’s praying for Bridget to get well real soon, I’m praying too. great camp, i’d stay as well, but watch the snowline on the mountains,if you can, if it starts dropping, its time to mozy on the road, anyway, stay safe.

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