A New Normal

Driving home without Myra Sunday night was a difficult trip. Hue and I were both silent, lost in our own thoughts about the long weekend. With tears streaming, I questioned myself about her care, wondering if I should have followed a different path. Caring for a dog with a permanent tracheotomy requires constant upkeep. I have clients with dogs that have had this procedure, but have never had to deal with this in my own pet. Complications can occur. I wondered if Myra would be in pain or have chronic infections or whether this would shorten her life. I think we always worry when the health of our beloved kids is jeopardized.

Monday morning we were up early to unpack from the expo and care for the eight dogs and four cats at home. At 6 a.m. I called the emergency clinic to check on Myra and spoke with a very nice ICU technician who updated me with good news; Myra was doing well and eating the home made stew we had delivered. I headed to the office early to check my appointment schedule so I could call to schedule an appointment to pick up Myra. I called the emergency center at 8 a.m. and asked for an appointment. The receptionist informed me I would have to speak with the doctor first. I informed her my dog WAS coming home that day and insisted on an appointment time, which she reluctantly granted.

I was able to speak with the doctor a little later; we had another strange phone call where we just couldn't seem to connect on any level. Maybe we just got off to a bad start the day before, but things didn't seem to be improving. I couldn't wait to get my little girl out of that hospital.

Hue and I arrived at 2:30 Monday afternoon to pick up our little girl. A technician came in the exam room and went over Myra's care and discharge instructions. She handed me a suction tube apparatus that I had never seen before. When I asked how to use it, she said I just needed to hook it to a suction canister. I gave her a blank stare. I had no idea what she was talking about. And once again, I wondered, if I was in the dark, what would this experience be like for a non-medically-trained owner? She headed off to ask the doctor what could be used instead and returned with a more simple apparatus. Then she left to get Myra. The doctor, once again, never made an appearance.

Being her usual self, Myra came bouncing down the hall, full of life. Myra LOVES every day. She doesn't think about tomorrow or yesterday or anything bad that has been done to her. She just wants to play with dinosaurs, eat good food, and be with Mom and Dad.

Myra is my constant companion now that she has the tracheotomy. Hue is a little nervous about caring for the wound and I don't blame him. Myra is more than happy to go to work and follow me around. We now have a new normal, which includes cleaning her tracheotomy site often. I wake up every hour or two at night to check on her breathing and clean the site as needed. I'm sure she won't need as much care once it heals, but for now I'm a nervous mom who needs to check on the kid every hour.

In my next blog I'll let you know about our follow up visit with Dr. Vickery...

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