The Mystery Illness - Part 3
We made the appointment right away and drove out early the next morning. While filling in the paperwork at the hospital this tall skinny man came through the door with a long white coat, black rimmed glasses and a thick Italian accent. “Please follow me” he said through his moustache. He took us to this small room maybe four by four feet with a steel table just off to the side. After asking a few questions he handed us a little black pager “Why don’t you go have lunch” he said peacefully, “It’s a beautiful little town with some great restaurants.” We both looked at each other and before we could say anything else the doctor led us out to the front door and said “I’ll page you as soon as I know anything”. We went to a little diner just down the road from the hospital and tried to have a little lunch but each bite became harder and harder to swallow. We left the hospital at 11:30 am and it was now after 1:00pm. Sitting at that restaurant I don’t think we said more than a few words to each other as each minute seemed like an hour. The tension was beginning to mount when just then the pager went off. It sent a jolt right through my body! Our instructions were to call the vet first. I ran outside and dialed the vet, my hand shaking with every push of the buttons. The phone must have rang four times but seemed like ten. “Come on” I screamed and then he answered. I was sure to hear the worst. “Hugo is running all around the hospital! You must get back here quickly because I only gave him a half of a pill and it will wear off shortly… I know what it is” he said. I went back to the restaurant to tell my wife the great news. We were back at the hospital within minutes and waited for the doctor. He came out and once again led us to another room near the back of the hospital. There he was, Hugo running up and down the corridor like nothing ever happened. We had smiles from ear to ear! “What was it”? I said with excitement “What did you do?” “Your dog has a human disease. I’m afraid he’s got Myasthenia Gravis. Certain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors aren’t functioning properly.” …WHAT THE!?! It’s neurological and has nothing to do with his hips. We didn’t really understand what he was talking about but at the same time it didn’t matter. Hugo was going to be ok. Hugo needed to take pills for six months starting with two a day and over time dwindling down to just half which we would keep him on for about a year. The doctor said that he may be able to stop the pills completely and be perfectly normal. The worst scenario would be he would need to start the pills again if the problem reoccurred. Hugo is now ten years old and after one year of taking the pills he never had to take them again. He’s been just perfect!
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