Just Keep Swimming

My life has been so crazy this past week. I’m too busy and worn out to function now. I’m trying to take care of myself. I’ve actually forgotten to eat a couple of times because I’ve been so focused on getting my dog to eat. I did make a pot of homemade soup though and it turned out great. I could eat soup every day of the week if necessary. It’s my go-to food for everything.

My dog is healing well from her surgery but we’ve got a long road ahead of us yet. In saying that, week one has been a success. I haven’t killed anyone and I’ve only had a few fairly minor meltdowns.

To be quite honest I think I’ve done pretty good.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 2 Of Our Journey

February 13th, 2018 Day 9

It was one week ago today that Zoey had Bilateral Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy surgery. She has successfully completed week one of her recovery, 7 more to go. This has been one heck of a journey so far. An experience I will never forget as long as I live. It has been incredibly draining in every way possible. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. You may not think that your pet having surgery would be such a big deal as this but when that pet is your entire world and every aspect of her recovery depends solely on you then yes, it is a big deal. Today has allowed us to feel a small glimmer of hope. She ate some canned dog food. She drank a little water from a small glass. And we were able to push her Tramadol (pain medication) forward by 3 hours. She also graduated from ice therapy to heat therapy today. 15 minutes of a heat wrap that was followed by 13 almost perfect repetitions of range of motion exercises. After that my mom and stepdad dropped by to visit and in the moment of excitement over seeing them come in she banged her neck collar/cone off the wall and split it right down the side. It’s so big and bulky and awkward and it’s always in the way but without it she immediately resorts to licking her incisions. The LAST thing I want right now is for her to develop an infection. Sorry baby girl but you have to keep wearing that ugly plastic bling for another little while yet.

February 14th, 2018 Day 10 Valentine’s Day. We’ve been so caught up in everything that’s been going on with Zoey that David and I both completely forgot about Valentine’s Day. I happened to see someone’s post on facebook and I called out to David and asked if he knew what today was. He said Wednesday lol I was like no! It’s Valentine’s Day! We both felt awful because we didn’t have anything for each other so while I had a nap my amazing hubby made me the most beautiful valentines cake ever! And I must say that overall it’s been a really good day. Zoey has been calm and relaxed. She starting to get a little more courage in herself now and is sitting up on her own. She very rarely stands up without assistance because she’s very weak and wobbly. But once she’s up and she shakes herself off a bit she’s ready to go. She’s had several walks around the garden with David. It’s been such a huge blessing to have David off the past 2 days. He’s been taking her outside because our yard is nothing but ice and I’m dreading the upcoming days with a passion because it’s really hard to try and keep my own balance and handle Zoey with one hand as well. Good grief. If I fell down … no. Not gonna go there! Today Zoey also had her last dose of antibiotics. Her chances of fighting off infection are much better now going into week 2. Fingers crossed we can continue forward with the strength and determination she’s been showing today.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zoey’s Journey Continues

February 10th, 2018 Day 6

She pooped!! After 6 days she finally pooped!! I’ve never been so happy to see dog poop before!!

February 11th, 2018 Day 7 – Morning

I’m worried. Zoey has developed a bit of a cough now. I know that sometimes there is some throat irritation from the tubes and the anesthetic and it’s not uncommon for them to have a sore throat and a slight cough for the first couple of days after surgery. But it doesn’t seem to be going away and this morning when she coughed it sounded like it was coming straight from her lungs. You know how a person sounds when they have pneumonia and the cough is kind of loose and sort of raspy? That’s what it sounded like. So today that will be the main thing to be monitored because the last thing we want is for her to have some sort of chest infection now. Last Night was the first night that she has slept straight through without waking up crying. She slept right up until it was time for 7 AM medications. It’s ironic because the more she slept the less comfortable David and I were. I don’t know how many times last night that David whispered to me ‘is she ok?’ or how many times I leaned over the bed to check on her, to see if she was comfortable, even to just make sure she was breathing. I honestly think I am more tired today than ever. This whole experience is extremely emotional for us and it’s amazing how emotions can drain you so much physically. I am also missing buddy to the point where I cried to my mom for an hour on the phone. The house is so quiet without him and I know Zoey misses her brother too. I think it would feel a bit more normal around here if he was here. But we are so hesitant to bring him home just yet because he is very hyper and he loves her so much and they are always so close, like licking each other and sleeping in the same bed with each other and so on. Trying to protect her has meant that buddy has had to stay on vacation for a few extra days. It’s causing me a lot of guilt because I feel that I’m home now and I should be able to take care of them both. We are going to give it a try this afternoon and bring buddy home for a few hours. If they get along really good and he doesn’t pick at her or give us any reason to be worried that he’ll accidentally hurt her then he is home to stay! But if we are worried then we are going to have him spend another night at mom’s. My biggest update though is that Zoey had a perfect round of exercises with her Daddy this morning!! Lots of icing before and after and she did exactly 15 perfect reps of her range of motion stretches!! On #15 she growled. Enough of that she said! It was such an amazing achievement. Proud parents here now!

February 11th, 2018 Day 7 – Night

We are so tired and worn out. My reminder alarm is going off all day long. Food time. Medication time. Icing time. Exercise time. Time to walk her. Take her to Pee. Cooking chicken. Forcing her to eat the chicken. And she doesn’t want me to leave her side. I go to the bathroom and she’s out in her bed crying because she can’t see me. David is home from work now and while he does her exercises I’m going to hide out in the shower until the water runs cold. And then I’m going to bed so I can get off and do it all over again tomorrow.

February 12, 2018 Day 8 – Morning

Zoey had a terrible night. Upset tummy. Coughing. Gagging. And hours of crying. Her pills are hurting her stomach because we can’t get enough food into her to prevent it. She’s tolerating small random bites of whatever we can get her to eat. Can food. Kibble. Peanut butter. Cheese. Chicken. A couple bites at a time is all she will take. I think the stretch of time from her 10pm pain medication until her 7am dose is too long because it seems that she’s waking at the same time every night. 4 AM. And from 4 AM till she gets her morning dose she is in constant agony and then after her 7 AM pills she just collapses and falls asleep. It’s draining the life out of us all. David is having sleepless nights, getting up and driving to work, gone 10 hours a day. Then he’s getting home and dives right in to do rehab exercises with Zoey which takes about an hour with the icing and all. Then it’s force feeding so we can get meds in her for 10pm. I’m worried that he’s going to crash and burn. I’m trying to keep him strong, keep Zoey on track, give attention to Buddy, keep the house clean and just prevent everything from crashing down around me but I’m scared that I might end up failing. I actually forgot to eat supper yesterday and I woke at 2am with hunger pains so I made myself a sandwich and ate it in the dark. I need to take better care of myself today. Maybe we can all get a nice nap in this afternoon.

February 12, 2018 Day 8 – Night

Zoey had a very relaxing afternoon. She slept for 3 hours straight and she was the most relaxed that I have seen her its entire week. For a while I sat on the couch and just watched her breathing.

February 12th, 2018 Day 8 – Night

Thank you Ashley!! She’s got a full belly and after lots of snuggles she’s out cold, happy and content. Ashley came to visit and brought yummy dog food that she ate out of her hand and some pedialyte which she’s taking by syringe. Zoey adores Ashley and we are all so excited she came by!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zoey’s Journey

February 5th, 2018

Day 1 of this new journey.

Heading to St. John’s to meet with her surgeon, Dr. Bailey, at the VSC hospital. She’s hungry and in pain as she fasting and her morning pain medication was withheld. Struggling to get comfortable in the car. I’ve been sitting in the back seat with her and she’s been resting on my lap but now, an hour into our trip, she’s restless, uncomfortable, and panting, which is one of the signs of excessive pain in dogs. I really wish we could have given her medication to help with this trip. But we have to follow the dr’s orders strictly because the last thing we want is something to go wrong.

February 5th, 2018

Day 1 – Afternoon

So it looks like Zoey’s leg was in even worse shape than we thought. Her CCL ligament is completely ruptured, she has a torn meniscus and her knee is completely non-functional. And to make matters worse, her right knee is also full of inflammation and fluid and has a partial CCL tear as well. So what does that mean? She has been diagnosed with Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease. The rupture is something that has resulted in a slow degeneration over time, not an actual injury. The only way to fix it and prevent her losing all function of both hind legs is surgery. A very big surgery.

At 7:30 tomorrow morning Zoey will be admitted to VSC Hospital in St. John’s to undergo what’s called a Bilateral Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (BTPLO). The complete ligament will be removed and then they will cut right through the tibia bone and rotate it 90 degrees. A metal plate will then be screwed into her bone to secure it together and make her knee strong and sturdy. This will be done on both legs.

They tell me that things have to get worse before they get better. But how do you explain this to your baby girl when she’s looking deep into your eyes, questioning why her mommy and daddy are crying so much?

February 6th, 2018

Day 2 – Morning

At 7:30am we left our baby in the care of the professionals. Lots of hugs and kisses and many tears were shed as we told her we loved her and that everything was going to be ok. She licked our tears away with such strong confidence, as if to say ‘yes, I know Mom. Everything is going to be fine.”

Her level of communication and her ability to show compassion exceeds any level that I’ve ever seen in an animal.

Now, we wait. For calls, texts, pictures etc from Dr. Bailey throughout the day. First she will be given a bath with a micro-antibacterial shampoo to cleanse her skin to reduce chance of infection. We certainly don’t want infection to get into the implant. Good luck, baby girl. We’re right here waiting.

February 6th, 2018

Day 2 – Evening

Zoey’s Bilateral TPLO surgery was a success. It’s been a very long day on all of us. We spent 4 hours just wandering through the Avalon Mall because we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We went back and forth to the hospital 4 times to check with the staff and get updates despite the fact that they promised to call. I just needed to hear it in person. And she’s ok! She’s awake and doing well tonight. She’s in pain and uncomfortable so they’re giving her some more sedation and gravol and keeping her in the icu tonight. They said that despite her being so miserable she is still very friendly and gentle with the staff and all the technicians have fallen in love with her. Both legs are bandaged now and will be changed in the morning. She’s being watched all night by her very own personal aid.

Personally? I’m completely exhausted. I’m worn out both emotionally and physically. My feet are aching from so much walking today and I’m having a lot of phantom pain in my shoulder. But it’s nothing I haven’t dealt with before! I am definitely looking forward to a nice hot shower and a chance to lie down with David beside me. He has been having a hard time as well. To hold my husband in my arms as he sobs is a very humbling thing. We are in bay Roberts at my mother in laws for the night. We will be going to St. John’s tomorrow afternoon to visit my baby girl and we are allowed to go and sit with her and feed her supper if she is awake and able to handle the excitement of seeing us! One of the technicians just text us this picture, of the aid sitting on the floor giving Zoey some cuddles. And anyone who knows Zoey knows that no matter how miserable she is feeling she always wants to be cuddled.

February 6th, 2018

Day 2 – night

Her bandage on her knee is starting to slide down and they were just getting ready to take it off and re-bandage it. She’s quiet. Haven’t barked or whined much at all. She’s on a morphine drip, Onsior, Tramadol and Gabapentin tonight. Sweet dreams, my precious angel. We love you to infinity and beyond!

February 7th, 2018

Day 3 – Morning

Zoey had a good night. She ate a little chicken and a few sips of water. She was on IV fluids until 3am. Unfortunately she hasn’t done her pee since yesterday so they are a little concerned about that. They are thinking it’s because she still recovering from the epidural so they are giving her a little more time And if she doesn’t Pee soon they are going to express her bladder. When Dr. Bailey took her bandages off this morning one of her legs is oozing fluid a little so that is another cause for concern. They are going to put her on some antibiotics to make sure that she doesn’t get a full blown infection in the incision. She has also been trying to pick at the bandage on that particular leg so she ended up having to start wearing the cone. I hate those big plastic cones because they look so uncomfortable on her so we went and purchased a Kong E collar which is like a doughnut and it is inflatable. It will be a lot more comfortable for her and it’s much less awkward for her to turn her head and to see things around her. So we are bringing that in when we go visit this afternoon. During the night the staff had her standing on her legs and she is bearing her weight which they are very pleased with. Of course they have a support harness on her so someone is holding her at all times. So even though she can stand she isn’t bearing 100% of her weight on her own. They also had her outside to get some fresh air three times now. And she loved that. I am very impressed with the care and attention that’s always getting at this hospital. And they have been very patient with David and I as well. David jokingly said that Zoey is getting better care than most people do in our regular hospitals! They have been very patient with me and my anxiety over all of this. They have been texting us with pictures and updates and throughout the night we text them several times because we couldn’t sleep, wondering how our baby was doing. And within five minutes of sending a text to them they always responded with an update and a picture of her at that particular time. I am so incredibly grateful for the people that work at the VSC hospital. I really could not ask for anything any better for our girl.

February 7th, 2018 Day 3 – Evening

We just left from visiting with our baby girl. She’s hurting. A lot. We had the family room to ourselves, which was really nice. Both David and I got on the floor and lay down with her. I was wearing a black shirt and I didn’t care how much dirt and dust and fur covered me, I just wanted to be on the ground on her level. We laid with her on the floor and as she cried we cried. A lot of tears were shed in that family room today as we wrapped her arms around our baby girl and listen to her crying. My heart is so heavy that it feels like my chest can’t hold it in place. My shoulders are aching and my head is throbbing. But this is completely insignificant compared to the pain that Zoey is in at this moment. Her eyes are getting matted from tears. After 15 minutes with us she began hyperventilating and Dr. Bailey came in and gave her a morphine injection. She’s back in her kennel in the ICU now and they said she should be asleep very soon. She did her pee so they didn’t have to express her bladder after all. She hasn’t eaten all day though. Had a mouthful of chicken overnight. We brought her food but couldn’t get her to even taste it. She is trying very hard to lick her legs and ended up scratching herself with the edge of the cone so they are going to put an even bigger one on her. She’s very confused and I think seeing us just made her worse because she wants to come with us. So we had to leave. She was too upset. It broke my heart. I wanted to scoop her up and take her home. But she’s not ready for that yet. Dr. Bailey is very proud of her though because she’s able to stand and bear some of her weight. Some dogs are fearful and take much longer to make their first step. Zoey is a true fighter. She is extremely well behaved and obeys every command she is given. Keep fighting my angel. You can do this!

February 8th, 2018 Day 4 – Afternoon

Zoey isn’t doing as well as Dr. Bailey was hoping today. So they want to keep her in another night. Not the positive update I had been hoping for. Her incision on one leg is oozing and they don’t want to release her until they make sure that it’s not going to turn into a full-blown infection. And she’s also not eating much of anything other than a few bites of chicken. They have her on antibiotics so hopefully that will catch any infection there may be. She’s much more alert today and was very excited to see Dr. Bailey when she went in this morning, tail wagging and lots of kisses. She’s a little restless which is actually a good sign because she wants to move around now. So we are here now for another night, staying at David’s mom’s place in Bay Roberts. David had to call work as he was scheduled to go in tonight and he had to cancel his shift for both tonight and tomorrow. So that’s a full week now off work. But what else can you do? We are not taking Zoey home until she is well enough to do so.

February 8th, 2018 Day 4 – Night

Zoey is doing really good tonight. Ate a little bit more, dog food this time. Still no poop but the pain meds are probably constipating her. Hasn’t been eating much or moving around so Dr. Bailey isn’t too concerned. They are giving her another day and if she still hasn’t had a bowel movement then she will be prescribed something to help move things along. When we go home, I will start giving her a 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin 2x a day. It acts as a stool softener. As long as she’s not active we will keep pumpkin as part of her daily menu. They started her off with no cone around her neck to see if she would be OK with not licking her legs but that didn’t last. They put a cone on her that was a size large but discovered that she was still able to get access to the bandages on her leg so they removed that one and put an extra large cone on her. Then earlier this evening when I got a call from the doctor with an update she started to laugh. Apparently Zoey is incredibly smart and very flexible because despite wearing an extra large cone she still managed to twist her body in a way that allowed her to still be able to reach her incisions. So now she has graduated to what they call the satellite dish! It is the largest cone that exists and it is usually only use on the large Newfoundland breed dogs, which are at least twice her size. She’s going to have to wear this for at least the next three weeks because it is very important that nothing happens to those incisions. If she pulls out her stitches then it could possibly result in them having to do another surgery. I can’t imagine what is going to be like to have her going around our house with that satellite dish on her head. It’s going to be quite a challenge, that’s for sure! I was told tonight that Zoey has made quite an impact on the staff that have them working in the ICU section these past few days. So he has such a unique personality. The doctor said that a lot of animals come and go through that place and OK usually you’ll get one that really makes an impact on them because their personality is so unique. And Zoey has done exactly that. Whenever someone walks by her kennel she wags her tail and gives them her famous grin. She is getting her legs iced several times a day and when they do it the staff sit on the floor with her. They wrapped her legs with the ice packs and they spent some time talking to her, giving her lots of hugs, scratching her ears, and just spending one on one time with her. She pays no attention to the fact that there is ice on her legs because she is too busy giving those sloppy kisses. When you talk to her so he listens to your every word. She makes direct eye contact and it’s as if she understands every single word you say. You could sit and tell her your life story and she will sit and look at you and listen to your every word. I am positive she knows exactly what you are saying. The staff have grown to really enjoy these direct one on one sessions with her. Can you imagine having a job like that? Getting to sit on the floor and cuddle with all of these amazing animals? I would love to be able to do something like that all day and get paid for it! But anyways, Zoey is there for one more night with the staff at VSC hospital and at 9 AM tomorrow morning we are going to be getting our baby girl! We are having an information session with Dr. Bailey where she will teach us exactly how to work with Zoey and use the harness that she will be wearing for the next several weeks. I have been very upset and anxious about how I, personally, I’m going to be able to handle all of this with just one arm but Dr. Bailey promised that when we leave with her tomorrow morning I will be able to handle her on my own. She is going to show us, not just tell us, but actually show us how to walk with her and use a harness to assist her. There’s going to be lots of physical therapy to be done with her every day which we will be learning about tomorrow. The surgery part maybe don’t but it’s real journey is just beginning

February 9th, 2018 Day 5 – Morning In less than 2 hours we will have our princess in the car with us, heading home!! There are Many mixed feelings floating around in the air between David and I here in the car. We are both sitting in silence, lost in our own thoughts and fears about this next part. What if we hurt her? What if we do something wrong or forget to give her all of her pills? Or what if our other dog, Buddy, accidentally hurts her? That poor little guy …. Right now he thinks he’s on vacation lol He has been staying with my aunt and uncle in Comfort Cove and by the sounds of things he’s having a wonderful time! Yesterday they even took him in the woods with them! He has been doing good while away from us so for that I am beyond thankful. But inside, my heart is aching to have him with me. I miss him. His cuddles, his sneaky ways, his bark, his body against my chest. My biggest fear is that he thinks I abandoned him

February 9th, 2018 Day 5 – Night Reality has hit me like a slap in the face. Yes, we are overjoyed to have her out of hospital and home with us. But that means it’s OUR responsibility to care for her now. There are no doctors or technicians. There’s no one. Here we are now with a bruised and battered creature that we are afraid to touch for fear of hurting her or doing something wrong that could cause more damage. Me and David sat on the floor in our living room with her and iced her legs, one at a time. We cried our way through the range of motion exercises with her because we had no idea if we were doing it right and we knew we were causing her discomfort. But it’s done now. Meds have been given. And she’s relaxing again. Tomorrow is a new day, and David is back to work. Am I capable of doing this??

February 10th, 2018 Day 6 – Morning First night home was … interesting. Zoey slept comfortably on her bed next to us up until 3am, when we woke to her crying. She was restless and uncomfortable and we didn’t really know what to do for her because she wasn’t do any medication until five hours later. David ended up sleeping on the floor for a few hours with his head on her bed next to her and after that I took over and laid on the couch with my hand resting on her as she lay on our bed right next to me. That got us through until 8 o’clock this morning when she woke again. Getting her to eat is difficult because she doesn’t seem to have much appetite. I wouldn’t be trying to force food so much if she didn’t have to eat with the medications. Her breakfast consisted of two spoonfuls of wet dog food one spoonful of a peanut butter and banana mixture and one small piece of cheese, all with pills hidden inside. It was a long morning, but I got through it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Needed

But zoey needs me. I am needed. My beloved furry lifeline, my spirit twin, the one who has saved me repeatedly and who I am now ready to save in return. She needs me. I Have a job now. I am going to nurse my girl back to health. I am going to spend every waking minute of my days taking care of her. I have memorized care plans for when we bring her home from surgery. I am constantly going over and over and over in my head what I have to do and what I’m not supposed to do to make sure that her recovery goes exactly the way that it should. One wrong move and the surgery could be all in vain and her future will be cut short because without full recovery from this, we have been told that Zoey does not have a future. Without this surgery we would be saying goodbye to her. And I am not prepared to do that. Not now not ever.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment