Monday, 9 May 2016

The Most Monday-ish Monday that Ever Mondayed

We had a plan for today. Kyle was due to go into hospital for back surgery this morning. I'd booked the day off work to accompany him for moral support and possibly to film him talking gibberish when he came round from the general anesthetic, and to make sure he got home in one piece.

And then the surgery was cancelled, because the surgeon has an eye infection. And I guess, yes, you don't want a visually-impaired surgeon messing around with your spine. So that happened. And I figured I may as well go to work and take back my day of annual leave, and use it later in the month when the surgery actually happens.

And then, whilst casually passing the snake tanks, I saw Remic. This is not unusual. What was unusual was the huge distended lump in the middle of my very slim and elegant idiot. I am 95% positive that was not there last time I looked. Panic ensued.

We were pretty sure it wasn't a gut issue, because he hadn't been fed for a while (in fact, today was supposed to be feeding day). Sometimes when a snake is constipated, you can deal with it yourself by bathing him in warm water, changing the temperature of his environment, or even just handling him yourself. But, like I say, given his feeding schedule, we thought this probably wasn't food-related. Luckily there is a vet in Cambridge that specialises in exotic pets, so I gave them a call, and after a few misunderstandings (I was very nearly registered as Naomi Quark, and Remic as Bulwick), we got an appointment.

An appointment hours and hours away, since I discovered the Grotesque Bulge around 11.30, and the appointment was at 5.15. That's a really long time to have to just hang around and worry about your pet. We were slightly mollified by the fact that Remic didn't seem to notice he had a Grotesque Bulge, but then Remic once bit himself in the tail, so...you know. He's not smart.

He would struggle to qualify as simple



Anyway, since we had no choice but to wait, we waited. I'd have to take him by myself, as Kyle was working from home, and I'd have to take a taxi. That was fine; the taxi company assured me they were happy to transport a snake. The question was, how was I going to transport a snake?

The answer is: in a duvet cover, in a washing basket. Let me say now that getting Remic into a duvet cover ranks up there as one of the most stressful things I've ever done, and I've worked with academics for nine years. He didn't want to go in the duvet cover. He wanted to go in my perfume drawer. This fundamental disagreement between us took place while Yuki, aghast at being shut in the living room, cried mournfully at us. She loves Remic. He's her favourite thing to sit and stare at for hours, and we were not only depriving her of this entertainment, but also keeping her behind a closed door, which she is opposed to on a molecular level.

So. Eventually we got Rem in the duvet cover. Then the taxi driver showed up, having simply been told I would have "a pet" with me. Needless to say, he wasn't expecting the pet to be tied up in a duvet cover. Nonetheless, he hid his concerns well and off we went.

The vet was brilliant, and Rem behaved himself uncharacteristically well, without biting anyone, including himself. Rem had no problems with me or the vet touching the Bulge, and didn't seem to be in any discomfort, but again...idiot. The problem was, the vet has no idea what's causing the Grotesque Bulge. He said it looked like fluid, but when he poked Rem (carefully) with a needle, no fluid of any kind came out. The Bulge is too low down to be a problem with Rem's heart or stomach, but could possibly be a gut issue or a tumour, although it didn't really feel like one according to the vet. We could be looking at some kind of infection or virus, but there's no way to tell with just an external examination.

So I've had to leave him there overnight so he can have x-rays and ultrasounds tomorrow. There is the possibility that these won't help with a diagnosis, but there's really nothing to lose by trying. I guess every animal lover knows how hard it is to leave your baby at the vets' for any reason, but I kind of take comfort in knowing that Rem will likely not notice any difference.

So there we are. That was a pretty long, worrying Monday that didn't go according to any kind of plan. I have to go back to the vet after work tomorrow, hopefully to bring Remic home. Ket is currently doing his best to fill the void by trying to eat a mouse tail-first, and Yuki is staring into Rem's empty vivarium in a slightly offended manner. And I am having my first cup of tea of the day - it's now gone 10pm and I'm about six cups behind my usual schedule - and waiting again. Waiting for news, be it good or bad. That kinda sucks. This year has not been kind to me on the pet front so far. I shall be crossing Yuki's paws and Ket's tail that Remic comes home without a Grotesque Bulge tomorrow.

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