- Simon had a Bile Acid Test done. This is done to determine if the liver is functioning normally. The results of the test indicate that Simon's liver is healthy. ---> *So, that's one in the Wahoo! column*
- Simon had a Cushing's Disease Test done. This determines if he has excessive cortisol (a naturally occurring steroid that, in high quantities can be detrimental) circulating in his system. The results of the test showed that Simon had levels that are borderline for Cushing's Disease. My vet, wanting to clarify the results, contacted the lab that did the blood work. The pathologist he spoke to said that she believed that Simon did not have Cushing's based on the lab work. Still not satisfied, my vet called back to further discuss the results and once again was told by the pathologist that Cushing's was unlikely. So, if it isn't Cushing's, then what was making Simon drink and urinate so excessively? ---> *One in the Huh? column*
- Next, Simon went for an abdominal ultrasound at an emergency vet (the only local clinic that has the equipment) to check the size of his kidneys and adrenal glands. Since we had hit two dead ends, my vet thought that maybe there was a tumour or some other abnormality. The ultrasound required that Simon's belly be shaved and then he was held immobile on his back by a vet tech while the emerg vet did the testing. Simon was not happy - we could hear his howls of indignation in the waiting room. It took every thing in me to refrain from going to his rescue. The ultrasound showed nothing of concern, just healthy organs. ---> *One in the Yippee! column*
- At this point, my vet, admittedly at a loss for answers, posted Simon's case history on a website that is frequented by vet specialists in the field of internal medicine. The diagnosis came back as Cushing's disease. ---> *One in the Aw, Shit! column*
- My vet then called back the lab where the original Cushing's test was performed and asked to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor confirmed, based on the lab results, that he would diagnose Simon with Cushing's disease - he said that the other pathologist was foolish to have dismissed it. Now my vet was understandably livid and demanded that I be reimbursed for the cost of the testing and the ultrasound. So, I should be getting a cheque in the mail. ---> *One in the Unexpected Windfall column, followed by one in the This Fuckin' Sucks, My Dog Has Cushing's Disease column*
Once again, thank you so much to all the people that have left kind comments or emailed to inquire about Simon & I. The last few weeks (months?) have been a stomach-twisting, insomnia-filled roller coaster ride (that doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon) and the support I have been given has helped to keep me going.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't send out a special thank-you to Leslie for providing me with the benefit of her knowledge and sharing her story with me at a time I needed it most.
*"The Bean" is my knickname for Simon. I always thought this In Living Color skit was funny, especially the "Lazy lima bean" comment. And, as you can see in the photo above, Simon is definitely a lazy lima bean.