When it rains it really pours as they say. Visited with Joey last night and this morning, and about to head back up north to visit him again. He's very happy when Dad and his friends come to visit, and we saw a partial tail-wag this morning. He sits on his little bed all hooked up to tubes and such, and we sit on the floor next to him - he wants so badly to sit in his Dad's lap, he gets up and inches closer and closer with all the strength he has, but there are just too many tubes that keep him separated. Maybe one day very soon.
Joey continues to be stable, which is the good news. He is resting well, his blood pressure is good, his temp is a low normal, his heart rate is good, no arrhythmias, incision healing well.
It's the surgery complications which continue to plague us to no end. Yesterday he developed the pulmonary embolism, but the positive news around that is that it has not progressed. It seems that when dogs get a PE, they often go downhill quite quickly, but the fact that he has remained stable is positive. His breathing is still labored, but slightly better.
We tried to get him to eat last night, but he wasn't having it. Canned dog food, an Ensure supplement, even chicken and gravy baby food, but he wouldn't touch it. They tried to get him to eat later as well, and the smell made him vomit.
He also vomited several times early this morning for no apparent reason, so they did some blood tests, and have determined that Joey has developed pancreatitis, another complication from his surgery. He was hopefully looking at getting weaned off of his fentanyl drip soon, but pancreatitis is quite painful and he now won't be able to eat or drink anything for 48 more hours at least, and will remain on his fentanyl drip for pain relief. It looks like he will remain in the ICU through the weekend.
All of this makes you rethink the decisions made to this point. Other than his excessive water drinking, here was an outwardly heatlhy boy, albeit one who would not be healthy for long, and the decision was made to attempt to prolong his life, and was that a selfish decision? Was that in his best interest? It certainly seemed like the best thing to do at the time, but he is certainly not enjoying his time in the ICU. If I knew what I know now, I would not have made the same decision. But that's the feeling today, and maybe things will change. Life doesn't hand you a crystal ball.
But we couldn't have predicted these postoperative complications, they are relatively rare, just like Joey's adrenal gland tumors which got us here in the first place.
After long talks with his vet and the vet techs, and describing how overwhelming all this is, they offer good advice: take one complication at a time and work to resolve it. It's time that Joey needs right now. Time. He is just 48 hours post a complex surgery, he's a senior boy, and his body needs time to adjust and heal.
And the most important thing they said, which was repeated by friends, as well as in the wonderful comments and emails here, is to remain positive. Don't give up. Because if Joey senses his Dad has given up, he will give up too. He needs more time.
Off to see the J-Man. We're printing off all the comments and emails that have been written for Joey, and will be reading them to him tonight. He loves to hear his name, he will really enjoy it.