Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Zane's recovery from June 09 - April 10

Zane's spring update

Zane is doing well. He is loving the cool mornings of Spring. He will spend as much time as I allow him to hanging out in the backyard. He loves to wander through his "jungle" where he can nibble on the leaves of his favorite trees- the white ash tree. He loves to lay on the deck on one of his soft deck beds and enjoy the shade under one of his big sunbrellas. He won't have much longer before the heat of the day takes over and forces him back inside with the air conditioning. He gets very weak in the heat and certainly prefers these more moderate temperatures.

The winter passed uneventfully for Zane. That's a first for him so a welcome reprieve for all of us! After the events of last year, we all needed a break. We are so thankful that Zane continues to do well.

Following the knee surgeries of last year, Zane developed more neuro issues. It was said that the additional strain on his neck came as a result of coping with the gait issues that were a result of the knee issues. Zane had an emergency myelogram to determine his sudden problems last June. He ended up needing another decompression surgery. That surgery took so long that Zane's surgeon had to do it in 2 stages. Zane stayed in the ICU for a week while he recovered from the surgeries. We visited daily and brought him his favorite foods to keep him eating. As soon as they could get him off his pain drip meds, we brought him home.

He could not sit up sternally or hold up any of his body weight. He was essentially non functional from the neck down. We knew his chances of improving would only come if he were at home where he was most comfortable.

Days went by with no improvements. After 2 weeks, we constructed a stretcher and brought him into the city for acupuncture. That evening, he was able to start lifting the front of his body upright so that he could sit up sternally with support. It was amazing. We continued with flipping him every 4 hours on his aerobed and lots of PROM. I used a couple of types of horse brushes to massage him throughout the day. He was fork-fed chicken and beef throughout the day and drank his water from a syringe. He continued to make slow progress. We followed up with more acupuncture sessions and saw improvements following each one. At 3 1/2 weeks post surgery, Zane was able to stand upright with assistance. He was slowly walking again by 4 weeks post op.

Zane was the perfect patient throughout the whole ordeal. Never one to complain, he just rolled with things. He was perfectly happy to allow us to slide him onto a blanket so that we could carry him to the bedroom at night to sleep close to us. He would even help us by edging his body on to the blanket as he grew stronger. He would give us fair warning by howling when he needed to potty so that we could get the pee pads ready for him. We never doubted that we were doing right by him. Enjoy the pictures.

Zane and the giant rope toy