It finally happened! Last Friday, my wife and I rushed to the hospital. After a late dinner at East Atlanta Thai and Sushi we came back to the house to only rush back out. However, our third passenger on the ride home was the same Dachshund-Jack Russell mix we took to the Emergency Animal Clinic earlier that evening.
Earlier on Friday morning, I dropped Gilligan, my dog, off at the vet for a dental extraction. When I picked him up after my work day, he was extremely disoriented and whined the whole ride home. The doctors assured us he would be OK so, after he went to lay down, we went out to grab some dinner.
When we returned home, aside from some whining, he seemed fine. After a while though, my wife noticed that his face began to rapidly swell. We called the vet and emergency clinics and both recommended that we seek help. So there I was, with a very pregnant wife and an extremely confused dog in a bunch of pain on the way to an emergency room.
This was going to be some trip.
I had just taken the dog bed out of the car but it was not where I thought I left it. There was no more newspaper to protect my interior (Gilligan is a puker). I was not sure where the procedure paperwork was located. My wife could not be talked out of taking the ride. I had an idea of where the clinic was located but was not entirely sure. This might be hectic.
We rounded up all of the paperwork and located the bed. I used a blanket to cover my interior and I strapped my buddy in and we were off. I hit a lot of bumps that I normally would not notice but with a pregnant woman in the car, I now know where they are. I am usually not one to complain too much about poor roads but the ride to and from Tucker from East Atlanta Village was a rough one.
While driving up I-285, the dog was making a lot of noise but seemed to calm a bit when we talked to him and scratched his ears. So, we did our best to maintain a half hour conversation with him while driving up there.
I only made one wrong turn and had some slight issues navigating the parking lot but I made it there without any major traffic violations.
In the end, it was a normal reaction to the trauma of having a tooth removed. He was given a shot for pain and had been doing great since. It was a long night that had us shaken up for a bit but could not have happened at a better time.
Friday night was a great dry run for our eventual rush to the hospital. I can only hope that the circumstances of that evening are similar to when my wife goes into labor. It was perfect, we were together and it was easy to mobilize.
I also think, as a team, my wife and I held our composure pretty well. We thought logically about what needed to bring with us and about how we should go about the trip. I also learned that speeding over potholes and flying down off-ramps will not earn anyone points with their pregnant wife. We also learned a nice cadence in which to speak when someone is in distress. I am certainly no dog whisperer but Gilligan was a lot calmer after we spoke to him than when we, my wife and I, got in the car and finalized our plans while pulling out of our neighborhood. This is a cadence that I can only hope to replicate on our way to Dekalb Medical in the next couple of weeks.
With everything being said, I know this was a far cry from the actual trip to the delivery room but I think this helped a lot. We know that this baby is eventually coming so we have 2 bags and some pillows waiting patiently and we also have a car seat longing for a passenger so we are a couple of steps ahead for the baby than we were for the dog. One major difference, however, is that the dog cannot talk and was not able to express his level of pain. I believe this may be a major variation from my trip the other night. If my wife is in tremendous discomfort, she may let me know which can possibly throw me off my game. I do not plan on cracking under pressure.
I think I stayed rather focused last week and will attempt to do so again sometime real soon. Also, We know the route and will have a lot less guess work and my wife is tough and makes sure things get done properly in crazy circumstances.
Although I hate to see him in pain, I thank my 18 pound friend for presenting us with this little drill to get us prepared. It will make our next trip that much more familiar.