My world is out of kilter without K being home with our family.
The good news is that K is improving and her situation is starting to become clearer. I visited her at the hospital this afternoon, and she's more alert and perky than yesterday. She's starting to eat and drink tiny bits now and then. However, she's still in a lot of pain. As I talked with her vet, I absent-mindedly gently stroked K's belly, and she yelped. Now, that's a sore abdomen.
K is still in the hospital because she needs to get fluids IV until her body can handle eating and drinking more. She'll probably come home tomorrow, assuming her improvement continues.
Actually, when I step back from the scary part of this situation, I realize that my vet appointment was a bit humorous in one way. I spent the afternoon in K's cage keeping her company at the hospital, and the vet came by to have our appointment while I was in the cage. I consulted with the vet through the cage bars while the vet sat on the floor outside the cage. Then, the vet, operating on auto-pilot, latched the cage from the outside before walking away. I had a good laugh, for the first time in a day, when I had to call for a tech to let me out later!
Figuring out exactly why K feels so terrible hasn't been easy. The mushrooms that she ate and then vomited probably set off a cascade of events that were much worse due to an underlying case of pancreatitis. Without the pancreas problem, she might have sailed through the mushroom ingestion fairly easily.
Usually, the pancreas manufactures and releases digestive enzymes into the digestive tract. In pancreatitis, these enzymes leak into the gut and start damaging other organs, causing intense pain. I've noticed over the past 2 weeks that K seemed to have a tender abdomen and now I know why. I'm still learning about pancreatitis but, so far, my understanding is that it can't usually be cured but it can be managed via diet.
K will have to take it very easy after coming home. As one vet put it, that's not 'Boulder easy' where a 10 mile run is considered to be short but rather truly easy where a slow walk is a big event. But, we're all hopeful that K will be back to our high-energy lifestyle before too long. My fingers are crossed.
In any case, when I briefly thought that K's life might be in danger yesterday, I didn't have regrets about the life that we've given her. K has lived incredible years here in Colorado, frolicking in our mountains. I want her to live a long life but I do know that she's already lived a life full of adventure and love.I can't thank you all enough for your nice emails, comments, and good thoughts!