Abe's at the vet. He's an old guy, with a lot of swelling going on in his cheek, so much that they don't know exactly what the surgery's going to entail. They'll let me know in an hour or so.
People wonder how pet rats could really cost us many thousands of dollars over the last few years. This one procedure was estimated between $500 and $750. Anesthesia, X-rays (not normally necessary, but there's the possibility of a bad tooth, and pinpointing things in the skull is harder anyway), and the surgery itself... and it may all end up moot if it's something like cancer under all that abscess. He's the abscess king, though -- this is his fourth or fifth, sometimes for no apparent reason. That's a lot of surgeries, just on him; at least he doesn't have the chronic respiratory infections the others did.
The good news is that he's always been tough, and even with a little sneezing and snuffling today, his immune system is usually fantastic. I trust Dr. Adams' surgical skill (even if her bedside manner isn't as good as Dr. Garrow's), and I fully expect to get my rat back later today, with a hole in his jaw, pain meds, some antibiotics, and some ideas on how to give him soft food. If that's the case, he can probably heal it all completely in a week or less. Scary regenerative power.
I'm feeling okay, though I was a little confused by a crying jag coming home from the vet. It feels like an echo of the exposure from Saturday, as I seem to be emotionally calm now. It may have something to do with getting less than 6 hours of sleep, too.
Good luck, Abe.