Friday, February 20, 2015

Day 1893

We have scheduled Dot for surgery. This was and will remain a very tough decision. Dot is an old dog. She doesn't know this however. Her irrepressible spirit has carried her through tough challenges before and I'm hoping it will again. Watching her progress this week, I am convinced that she is determined to walk again. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that prednisolone alone will ever provide a realistic path to recovery. After a week on the drug, she still can't stand on her own. Prednisolone isn't a long-term solution anyway and we have already had to reduce her dosage to avoid risks and complications. The real problem is that her spinal cord is still compressed and pinched by the herniated disc. Until this pressure is released, there is a real danger that she could damage the cord further, eliminating any chance for recovery.

If Dot could continue to make small improvements day after day until she eventually walked on her own again, I probably wouldn't even consider surgery. Both the neurosurgeon and my regular vet have already told me that this outcome is unlikely. The initial improvements we saw from giving her prednisolone have already slowed and we can't continue using steroids forever. I'm becoming more and more convinced that despite the risk, spinal surgery is the only alternative that will give Dot a realistic opportunity of walking again.

I really hate making decisions like this, but avoiding them is even worse.You've got to be able to make decisions to lead a normal life. I have known some genuinely indecisive people in my life and most of them were miserable. You simply can't stay sane if you are continually second guessing every aspect of your life. I know that Dot wants to walk again. I also know that Janet, Dot and I cannot continue living like this forever. Our current routine is unsustainable. When Dot finally realizes that she can no longer move, she will become depressed and lose her will to keep going. Janet and I will simply burn out at some point. The surgeon told me today that in the best of worlds, Dot could be walking again within two weeks after surgery. In the worst of worlds, recovery could take up to three months. I can live with that. Of course there is always the possibility that the surgery will fail completely. Everyone says this possibility is very small, but you've got to be prepared for it.

I'm glad I had an opportunity to go out and have my special breakfast this morning. The rest of the day was extremely busy and stressful. I spent the day trying to anticipate what Dot was going to do next while I was working on completing my writing assignments and fine tuning the new business presentation my friend and I are working on. There were some website revisions as well, but I haven't even had time to get around to them yet. I wish that Dot preferred sleeping right next to my computer, but she usually doesn't. The petcams work pretty well for monitoring Dot's activity in other rooms, but I have to act fast if I sense that she is going to try to get up on her own. We don't want her to do that! Dot needs to go outside and pee a lot more often now as well. That's one of the side effects of the prednisolone. So far, I am juggling all these activities pretty well, but it is exhausting.

I'm glad that Dot is still happy. That helps a lot. I wish I could sleep all day tomorrow, but I suspect that tomorrow will be exactly like today. They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If that's true, I should be pretty strong by Summer.

Odie is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

1 comment:

  1. How soon will she have the surgery? At least the agony of the decision is done. Now you have a plan.