From good to bad to worse to impossible

So the weekend started out well. At least Sunday was cool. I almost completely forgot it was the 7th of May, and would have spent the day lounging on my butt in front of the TV if not for a sudden realization that the Hoboken Art and Music Festival was that day. As life has shifted over the past couple years, the Festival does not have nearly the appeal it once did. I still thoroughly enjoy it, but the semi-annual event is no longer a “must-see” as the inconvenience of travel and lack of central meeting place makes it a tad cumbersome. This time, however, the old crew was getting back together at the Rodeo-Ristra for a big show. It was a great way to reconnect with a lot of people, and a great way to work on my photography. Unfortunately, Lisa had to work – so a full reunion was not to be had.

And that was pretty much all of the good. You see, Jessie (our little guinea pig with the wild hair) had begun to squeak in pain sometime Saturday, and by Sunday night it was pretty obvious a trip to the vet was needed. After a couple attempts on Monday, I finally took him to the doctor that had taken care of Teddy last year. The vet at the other hospital said that it might just be gas – and I was really hoping all of that pain was just a fart that couldn’t get out. But this one (who knew guinea pigs much better) was pretty certain it was a stone. An ultrasound (yes, he had an itty-bitty ultrasound done) showed what looked like a stone, but was not conclusive. The doctor gave us some antibiotics to help clear up anything in his urinary tract, a solution to clean his irritated penis (boy, have I said that word way too much the last few days), and told us to comeback in a couple days for checkup.

Before we get to the end of that story, we must cover the interlude that was the following day. After administering the various treatments for Jessie, I headed out to work a tad late – and a tad flat. Yup, as is my luck, one of my tires decided to have a fight with the largest nail imaginable – and lost. After a longer than usual attempt to put on the spare (the jack almost fell over with the car on top), I headed up to the Sears Auto to take advantage of the road hazard warranty I (thankfully) purchased. While there, I knew I could use an alignment and was overdue for an oil change. After a brief discussion with the mechanic, I also decided to have my brakes looked at. And that would be my undoing.

When I got the phone call from Sears, I had already been thinking about the $180 for the vet, the $130 for this work, and the potential cost of surgery for Jessie. The bills sure are piling up – and my credit card isn’t getting any younger. So when the estimate came out to almost $600 for the brakes, I honestly couldn’t tell them to just go ahead and do it. I will eventually have to get it done, but I actually had to decline the service for now while I look at other options. Are brakes really that necessary?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… Jessie’s condition wasn’t getting any better. He was still eating and running around – so he wasn’t deteriorating as quickly as Teddy did – but the squeaking was still there. So this morning we took him back to the vet. And after a brief exam which essentially confirmed the previous diagnosis, I awaited their estimate. Lisa asked how much I’d be willing to spend. I could really only imagine 3 to 400 dollars. Well, put a 1 in front of that. There’s no way we can spend $1400 on one of the piggies. No matter how much I love hime, we just can’t do it.

Tomorrow I hope to start a series of natural therapies in an attempt to break down the stone. But I’m afraid that his condition is getting worse. And in that case, there really isn’t much else we can do.

More updates to follow…

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