Regular readers will remember that my high school best friend, Eddie, sends a gift each year to be used to help a pet or pets whose owners cannot afford their care. Click here to read the original story. Each year I write about the recipient(s) of Eddie’s largesse.
Here is this year’s story.
It was a Monday, in fact, a week ago today. I was at a regional grocery-store chain, Rouse’s, that is based in Louisiana but has several stores here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They have an eat-in/take-out food bar and I try to eat there at least every Monday (and, usually, several other days of the week) because Monday is traditionally Red Beans and Rice Day. The legend goes that the custom started when housewives assigned washday duties to Monday, which took all day. The ladies needed a hearty meal that didn’t take much time to prepare. A pot of white rice could be cooked up quickly. Dried beans could soak all Sunday night, be thrown into a pot to simmer Monday morning, adding onions, sausage and spices, then the dish was on autopilot for the rest of the day while washing went on.
Son of a real Louisiana native, I grew up with red beans and rice in my baby bottle. To this day it remains one of my most favorite meals. Mama served them with sliced bananas with sugar sprinkled on them. With or without the sugar, bananas and red beans and rice have a wonderfully complimentary taste. As a kid I drowned the beans in catsup, too. I can no longer “afford” the calories in the white sugar or the red!
A week ago today I was enjoying my RB&R at Rouse’s when my cell phone rang. Well, it didn’t actually ring, because the clinic’s ringtone is actually a barking dog. Assistant Sicily was on the phone, telling me that another doctor’s office had seen a canine patient, tested its blood sugar and found it to be 344, and was sending the poodle and his owner to us for a diabetes mellitus workup.
Scooby was his name, and he belonged to a local pastor and his mother, both residents of Long Beach. Scooby was pitiful, his once-pretty grey hair dull, mucus draining from his eyes, no appetite and dehydrated. It was going to take a lot of work, and money, to turn Scooby around, but Pastor Jerry was determined that Scooby would make it.
Scooby was in DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis, meaning that in the absence of insulin his body had to convert from metabolizing glucose for energy to burning fats. Ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism. That meant his condition was particularly worrisome, especially since he had not eaten in two days.
“Proper” treatment of DKA is highly intense and very expensive. We needed to find a way to treat Scooby and provide for as many of his needs as possible while still controlling costs. The good news is that we did, and today Scooby is having his first glucose curve, which shows that he is responding well to treatment. He is mostly eating on his own and is back to running and playing like he used to.
Thanks, in great part, to Eddie’s gift Scooby has a new lease on life.
Pastor Jerry, his mother and I give thanks to God for sharing His healing power, and for Eddie’s love and generosity.