The last time I posted about Kona and his eye, I explained how I was left with a hard decision.
To recap, The ophthalmologist at OSU recommended surgery to try and remove his tumor, knowing that the surgery was risky and there was a good chance he would come out of it without his eye completely. His initial appointment was on a Thursday and the vet said she would call me on the following Monday for my answer. I agonized all weekend about what to tell them and never felt settled about sending him to surgery. I also had some practical obstacles standing in the way of him having surgery the week after Thanksgiving-I wouldn’t have an open stall for him to recover in for about a month, and my husband would be out of town on a work trip, leaving me to juggle two kids, a horse in surgery, and general barn work. Nothing felt right about sending him in, and I resigned to just postponing the surgery.
The vet called me late on Monday afternoon while I was working and I completely missed the call. Doh… So, I called back and left a message on her voicemail saying that I wanted to go ahead with the surgery, but I couldn’t do it until December when one of boarders would leave for winter break and I’d have a stall to house him in. That seemed like a rational decision to me. Right? But the next morning, the vet tech called me (apparently the ophthalmologist was uber busy) and said that they HAD to do the surgery the following Tuesday because this particular ophthalmologist would be leaving the following week. Oh, and they had to have an answer THAT DAY. Well. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT like to be put on the spot for an answer as big as that! I suddenly began to feel extremely pressured, and for no good reason. Why should I consent to surgery simply because that particular vet was leaving? Was she trying to get one last rare surgery under her belt before she left? I’m not sure, and that’s complete speculation, but that was the vibe I was feeling.
My thoughts just kept circling the same phrase, “Why should I put my healthy horse through a risky surgery if he’s just going to lose the eye in the end? Why now? Why the rush?“
It started to seem like I might be jumping the gun. If he’s not in pain and he can still see, what’s the point? I might get a long time with him and his TWO eyes before the tumor takes over. OR. ORRRRRR. What if there’s a miracle and the tumor stops growing?! Crazier things have happened, right?! But I would never know that if I signed him up for surgery immediately. So that settled it. I immediately felt at peace with my decision to just wait on surgery. I understand that this will not make him a good candidate to ever remove the tumor in the future, but simply his whole eye, but I’m okay with that.
I called that afternoon and asked to speak to the vet or vet tech, and I waited and waited on hold until the receptionist came on the line and said, “They’re too busy to come to the phone, so they just want a yes or no answer on the surgery for Kona.” I was a little taken aback at how chilly that seemed, but I said my “no” and hung up. I felt a little snubbed and wished I could have explained my answer. I did talk to my regular vet and my vet boarder/friend and they both completely agreed with my decision, so that was encouraging to be validated.
My plan is to enjoy Kona with his two eyes, take lots of pictures of him, and keep an eye on that tumor. I will be watching for growth in size, and also any secondary issues that might cause him pain or problems with his sight.