Cell phone photo: Joey gets temporarily disconnected from his IV's and oxygen to go outside Sunday, August 22, 2010
We've got more good news for your 'Long and Short of it All' host Joey's recovery and the beginning of the Road to Home. He has been completely weaned off his fentanyl drip, but still has his fentanyl patch which will help provide pain control when he is discharged. On Saturday, they attempted to remove his oxygen, but it was not successful; his breathing began to labor, and his pulseox showed low values. This was a bit of a frustrating setback. But the good news is that he kept the water down that he had on Saturday, so they offered him some baby food on Saturday night, and he was able to keep it down as well.
On Sunday, they removed his catheter, and he has been able to go outside to go potty! He does have some diarrhea, but it is being managed. They also removed his heart monitor. We were able to feed him his baby food on Sunday morning, and he ate about a half jar for us. About noon on Sunday they attempted to wean him off his oxygen again, slowing it down rather than completely removing it, and things were looking good. But he couldn't stand that itchy tube in his nose anymore, and about 6 PM he yanked it out. They monitored him to see if it needed to be put back in, but apparently Joey knew it was time for it to come out, and his pulseox has remained very good. So he is now officially off his oxygen! He also ate some canned dog food last night, and has kept it down. His amylase/ lipase values (which point to his pancreatitis) continue to be high, but the fact that he is keeping his food down is very positive.
This morning's update notes that he is doing "very very well." Pulseoxing well, vitals normal, eating and drinking great, no vomiting. The vet tech took him out to go potty, and he's too exhausted to walk back in the building by himself, so he is pretty weak. He did walk back in the building for Dad and his friend on Sunday, but he was no doubt showing off for Dad.
On Saturday night a friend said that we need to set a date in our mind for him to come home. So, we set the day of Tuesday - thinking that things will continue to resolve through the weekend, he will mostly just be monitored on Monday, and he will come home Tuesday. We told the veterinarian this on Sunday, and she sort of looked at us with a blank stare. We did ask the vet tech this morning if she knew when he might be able to come home, and she said "I keep hearing Tuesday around here." So, obviously he won't be coming home until he's ready, but we got the rumor going.
Joey continues to enjoy all the comments and emails left for him, he is read every single one. Maggie is chomping at the bits to see her brother again, although she also enjoys being in charge of the house and having Dad to herself. She smells him on Dad when he comes back after vet visits, and she's a bit confused about the whole situation. She even hesitates to go outside when a car ride is announced, but all will be normal for her again hopefully very soon.