Tiny no longer needs these wheelchairs or anything else; she's running around on the other side of the rainbow bridge now, probably playing with Hachi, Nana, Loki, Fred, Bonnie, Lady, Lucky, Reckless, and all the others before them.
Yesterday morning, though she ate just like her new normal (not as enthusiastically as before all this started, but eating all of her food and cleaning the spoon, bowl, and bib-towel too) she was feeling worse than usual, had very very stinky gas and diarrhea, (had had some blood in it the day before, but not after the one time), and having trouble walking without stumbling (with me holding her back end up completely, using the harness we always use).
Wasn't using the wheelchair cuz I had been finishing up altering and re-fitting it to her to help her with the whole backwards-walking thing she kept doing with it, to try to help her not do that, and the latest fitting wasnt' working out.
So we were walking, not far from it, when she stumbled and fell, pushing backwards and taking me with her. I landed beside and behind her, but she landed on her left hip/leg. She gave no sign of owie, or problem, other than her usual surprise at gravity, but when I helped her up her left back leg didn't look like it hung the same as usual. I thought it might be the harness cuz it doesnt' always stay in the right place when she's not hanging from it, and put her back down on the other side.
But instead of a harness problem, I found her femur was snapped in two right in the middle, and her leg already swelling up. She didn't even react at all to any of my probing, which meant the paralysis was getting a lot worse, too, progressing very quickly from only around three-ish weeks ago needing help to get up, to a couple weeks ago being unable to stand on her own at all but still trying to help me help her up, to a few days after that being unable to do anything with her legs, but still feeling them, to not even always reacting to them, to this.
And somewhere in the last couple weeks losing voluntary bowel and bladder control, but still aware of needing to go, but in the last few days not always even feeling that, and it would just come out. She still had some control over her tail, but I don't think she could feel it very well over most of it (only if I tried to move it, not at the skin/fur).
She's also been hurting more and more, even with the increase in painkillers, because to walk around even supported in the wheelchair she still has to put more pressure and use her front legs more, when the worst arthritis and pain for her is right between her shoulders, on the inside "spokes" of the spine, between her lungs.
Anyway, I called Jacque at the rescue and as soon as she could she came over to see her, so we could see about the vet...but Tiny's leg was even worse then, and I think she was also in shock. After some phone calls, and discussion with the vet, and each other, and others at the rescue, it became pretty clear Tiny didn't have any options left--she was not going to recover from this.
(Tiny waiting for her to arrive, in the front room until her gas got so bad we had to go out front to wait)
Surgery to fix the femur and surrounding tissue damage was as likely to kill her as help her, during the surgery itself--same with amputation instead of adding a plate and pins. Even if she made it thru that, she could be facing months of painful recovery for the plate/pins, and the chance of failure/rejection was not small because of her age and other problems. Keep in mind that a femur isn't normally weak enough to break from a very small fall like she had, and must be weakened very badly from something else, which could even be bone cancer.
Since she apparently couldn't even feel the break/etc., she would probably be unaware of any internal problems with any fix until they became bad enough to see externally somehow (fever from infection, swelling from bleeding, etc), and if they got that bad there might not be any fixing that; she'd be just suffering more, and having pointlessly suffered all of the rest up to that point.
Also, if (more likely when) the plate failed, she'd have to have ti taken out, and she'd be left with the still-broken femur, which could and probably would still damage her leg from the inside since we all know she's so obstinate and stubborn that she'd still try to do things on her own, and without feeling it wouldn't evne know she was hurting herself. Unless she was tranquilized constantly whenever I could not actually be right there with her every moment (like when I'm working or napping, which is what passes for sleep these days most of the time), she'd end up hurting or even killing herself (if the femur cut the femoral artery, for instance).
Same with amputation, though the recovery time might be shorter (a couple of months), the risks were no smaller, though some were different.
She might not even have lived that long, with the progressive paralysis...when that happens this fast it can get to her diaphragm, preventing breathing...and it could be pretty bad for her even before that.
The hardest part...was that the rescue and the vets left the decision up to me: we could go ahead and try fixing her leg up...or we could help her out of her pain now.
I swore a year ago when this whole mess with the Myasthenia Gravis and MegaEsophagus started that I wouldn't give up on Tiny until she gave up herself...but to put her thru all that, when in all likelihood she'd just be hurting more every day, and able to do or be herself less and less....
I tried to convince myself to fix her up anyway...but eventually, I realized it's just selfish of me...that *I* didnt' want to lose her, but that I think if she could be offered the choice, and understand it, that she would choose to stop hurting.
So I made that choice for her...as much as I hated it and loathed myself for it, and as much as it hurt me it would mean she wouldn't anymore.
We did it here, in the backyard with Yogi there beside us, with a place the rescue has used before, with Raine (my sibling that is staying with us), and one friend who has had to do this a few years ago, for his dog at his home, for similar reasons. I'd called some others who knew Tiny, to let them know and give them the chance to come see her a last time, but only two besides Steve even responded--one had to stay at work to close the store, so he coudln't be there until at best a half hour after it was over, and the other had stuff already setup with other people that she couldn't cancel, and was too far away to get here and then go back there in time, and might not even have been able to make it here before they arrived anyway.
Raine took some pictures (the elongated ones that don't have funny colorations).
So Tiny, Yogi, Raine, Steve, and I waited for them to arrive, feeding Tiny and Yogi their favorite noms, letting Tiny slurp up as much water as she wanted to (since obviously even if she aspirated it it wouldn't matter now), rather than having to eat icecubes like usual. Was about 3 hours; we knew they could arrive anytime in the last two of that, but by the time they got there Tiny was ready; I think her leg had swollen so much at that point (from internal bleeding, possibly) that she was feeling pain from it's effects even if not directly. She had also completely lost bowel and bladder control by then, and stuff was just coming out in dribbles pretty often (with quite a bit of extremely-horrible-smelling gas every few minutes, so I think something else was wrong, too, that we couldnt' otherwise tell about, as she's never smelled like that before even at her worst).
She went peacefully; you could feel how the pain went away at the
first step (painkiller/sedation injection), and she was easy and ok about the rest. I don't remember much except her, and Yogi who was right there with us, though I had to hold his harness so he wouldn't eat anybody, trying to protect Tiny and me; he settled down after a while after they got here, and we had to wait for that before they could start, but I still couldn't let go of his harness cuz he didnt' trust strangers in his yard.
Raine took some video of Tiny having some noms and ice cream while we waited for them to show up (which was around 9pm), and I will post those for you to see as soon as I get them from her.
Steve helped me start Tiny's grave, but was himself too exhausted to finish, so I did the best I could until I was so exhausted I couldn't move anymore, and put Tiny in the crate on the trailer so cats/etc wouldn't "disturb" her, and went to bed with Yogi till I could get up and finish, finally getting her buried (right next to Hachi, who I lost in the fire) this morning, just as it sprinkled some.
I coudln't dig very deep; it was around a foot or so average when I had to stop last night, and I only managed to a bit more than double that, before I simply couldn't dig any more. Not wanting to experience what Tiny would be like after another day of trying to get this deeper, and without anyone else that could or would help, I simply buried her in it anyway, and planted some lantana on top.
Yogi doesn't want to be anywhere near it so far, but as stuff progresses I will have to keep an eye on him--while he has shown no digging inclination before, he does like really stinky things, and I don't want to experience what might happen because of that.
Below are some pictures of Tiny (and Yogi and I) before the end. After it is uploaded there will also be a link to a vid of Tiny having some of her last noms. Below the images will be a spoiler link to other images you may not wish to see, from afterward.
This is me with Yogi resting in my lap and Tiny next to me on my left, after it was done, and after I got most of my crying out the first time around (there has been a lot more of that in bouts in the bit-more-than-a-day since then, and will probably be a lot more to come).
This is her grave, before the rain today (it's a lot muddier now).
[spoiler="Warning: the images hidden below may be very disturbing, so don't click on this unless you're sure you want to see them."]
All of these are after Tiny died. Some people might not want to see these, so I left them "hidden" the only way the forum has to do it; they're in another post somewhere else and just linked here, as the forum can't spoiler-ize an actual image.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/downl ... ?id=192651
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These are some pics of improvements I'd just made to the wheelchair the previous few days, including a head rest and an icecube bowl. I'd replaced the hanging crossstrap for her hip support clip with a bicycle handlebar and stem holding the clip instead, better height and adjustment and more sollid so no slippage. I'd also moved the folding stuff down to teh bottom as non-foldable bolted together, which widened the chair and gave her more room but I didn't get pics of that or some other stuff I did; probably won't bother now, as it doesn't matter anymore, and I don't really remember it all now with intervening events.