Thursday, January 04, 2007

update, day 14

This is an update on the health of our courageous little dog who has suffered a spinal cord injury. If you'd like to follow the story sequentially, start here. To see beautiful photos of him before the incident, go here.

Hi, everyone! I didn't realize I had gone so long without giving an update for Simba. Thanks for all your comments and kind thoughts. I hope you weren't worried. It's mostly because there's not a lot to report. His progress has slowed to a crawl, which isn't entirely a bad thing. What it means, as far as I can tell, is that we've gotten the spinal cord swelling under control, and we're seeing what his steady-state, sort of worst-case scenario will be if for some reason the nerve cells in his spinal cord are unable to regrow. And folks, the story's not too bad. He's clearly not back 100%, but he's in the 70 - 80% range, I would say. He's not completely stable on his feet, but he gets around very well and even trots a little sometimes. He's eating and eliminating well, and if the world outside weren't one big sheet of half-melted and refrozen snow, he'd be exploring the outside world happily. In just one more week, when we take the restriction off going up & down the stairs, we'll see how well he does with that. I'm betting he'll do just fine, given that he's managed to get a least halfway up or down them illicitly already!

He continues to eat snow obsessively and lick his paws excessively, both things that he did before but not obsessively or excessively. That's a question for the vet the next time I talk to him.

I'm looking so forward to not feeling as if I have to pick him up gingerly, and being able to hold him in what I used to think of as his meercat position. The picture to the left is sort of that, but in the true meercat position, he's completely leaning back against my left arm; my right arm could be totally free but was usually scratching his tummy while he occasionally leaned forward for a little doggie kiss on my cheek. Sometimes we would stand cheek to cheek for a while. So sweet. But for now, I have to try to hold him carefully in a more neutral position, both ends supported, so my view is of his back.

This will probably be my last post about Simba's health for quite a while, unless something significant changes. Maybe a little celebratory "he's approved for stairs!" post next week. In the meantime, I just want to end on a note of gratitude. I'm so grateful that his spinal cord swelling came under control so we didn't have to make the hard decision between a terrible surgery or the even more terrible alternative which I can't even speak of. I'm so grateful that he's got enough function in his legs to be able to enjoy his life. That his innards are functioning normally and his appetite is good. That his spirit is just the same, even though his body is diminished. I'm grateful for the prayers of friends and the God who answered "Yes." I'm grateful for you bloggers who have cared about us and fall somewhere in between strangers (what do you look like, anyway?) and friends. "No man is an island" goes for me, that's for sure. I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have gone through this all alone. Thank you.

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3 comments:

Faith-in-Capitalism said...

YEAH!

chrispy said...

I just saw on Sweetnicks about your little one. My heart and prayers are with you. Our little one died the same day yours got injured. I am so glad God spared Simba. You will be in my prayers when I remember my little one.

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

Such a cute picture of you and Simba! Sophie sends her best and we keep Simba in our thoughts every day.
(PS thanks for voting for Sophie!)