Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Crash

AP here:
The ER at CVRC is a busy place but it is the best place for Tonka when he is in distress. Most all of his specialists are there and everyone knows him. So when he had the multiple instances of diarrhea and was weak and dehydrated it was the place for him to get the best care.

We arrived around 5:00pm on Monday June 3rd and he would not be leaving till Tuesday June 4th at 7:00pm. They had taken him back and started him on IV's and his Aunt Gina came to sit with me and make sure he was OK. She also came to make me go get dinner with her since she knew that I would be spending the night there and would not eat otherwise. They put my boy in one of the nice large condos with lots of comfy bedding.

In the Condo
This is where I would also be spending part of my night and most of the next day. It was a little surreal being there again overnight as it was just a month earlier I had been there for 2 nights when he had his surgery.

Sleeping with Me

The next morning his care was transferred from the ER staff to the Internal Med./Oncology staff.
Diana who had helped me carry him in the night before was kind enough to bring me coffee and a muffin for breakfast when she came in to work. Since it was Tuesday morning it was also his usual therapy day so all his therapists were there and came by several times to pet him throughout the day as well as his Aunt Gina and his surgeon Dr. Roa.

I went back to sit with him whenever they would let me and I stayed cuddled in the condo with him for a good part of the 20 some hours we were there. At lunch his therapist Chris went out and got me a sandwich and sat with him while I went out front to eat it. Everyone was super about taking care of him and me and giving him lots of love. It is both a blessing and a curse that he is so well known there by everyone. We are fortunate that we have the resources locally for the kind of support and medical attention he needs.

In the afternoon his oncologist Dr. Peterson talked to me about his blood work which was pretty normal and wanted to do an ultrasound to see if they could come up with anything else that could have caused this. Since the last chemo dose had been Friday and he tanked early Monday the theory was it was not the meds that had upset him. The chemo meds are supposed to clear the body within 48 hours.  I agreed to the ultrasound and when it was done it also looked normal the only thing was a little thickening of the intestinal wall in a spot but after consulting with Dr. Roa it was agreed that was from he surgery. Tonka may be a big boy but he is a very sensitive guy when it comes to meds and this had not gone well. Part of the medicine protocol was Metoclopramide which helps move food through the system. I had given Tonka his heartworm meds Sunday morning which consists of two squares that look like treats (heart guard) and the smaller one had passed through completely intact. I think perhaps the medicine worked a little too well.....

It was now past 24 hours of being on fluids non stop and both of us were ready to go. They wanted to keep him overnight again but I said no and promised to keep him hydrated. Now that he was no longer in distress the best place for him was home.

Going Home

I had wrapped up his tail with an ace bandage after his third bout of diarrhea as I was out of vet wrap and Caitlin had bought some with her and re wrapped it for me. Once home I kept his tail wrapped for a few more days just in case.

He could not seem to get comfortable and would puff his cheeks out and sigh as well as twitching and jerking a bit. He was still hating to lie down on his left side and his breathing was not getting any better. I was hesitant to put him back on his meds for his allergy/sinus problem so I waited a few days to make sure he was OK and eating well. I kept him on Flagyl for the diarrhea for next seven days. On that seventh day we went to see Dr. Philips for acupuncture, we had tried it before for his lameness but now I wanted to see if it would stimulate his appetite and perhaps make him relax. I showed Dr. Phillips how he had an issue laying on his one side and how he was jumpy around his ribcage. She agreed that something was definitely off and that he was not his normal happy self. We discussed maybe having a full MRI done to figure out
1. does he have a tumor in his nose and it is not allergies or sinus 
2. is something broken and making him uncomfortable
That night he had a full blown seizure. It had been two years since he had one and it caught me off guard. It was 11:30 at night and I called the ER and spoke to one of the Dr.s that had seen him the week before. We agreed that since it was only one and under 5 minutes long we would wait to see if he had another one before rushing him in. Running down his list of meds the only one that could have possibly been a cause was the Flagyl. He was postictal for about 20 minutes and during that phase he knows nothing not even his name. He kept trying to stand and walk which completely broke my heart. I had to keep repositioning him to stay down and he was flailing frantically.  When he did come back to being fully himself he was very hungry and thirsty. I had been sleeping on the floor with him for only 1/2 of the night but after the seizure I went back to sleeping with him all night.

He was very jumpy and snoring a lot and then one night I could not wake him up. His face was contorted in a horrible grimace and his breathing was very labored. He stayed like that for almost an hour and then sat up like nothing had happened. I got him some water and he then laid down and slept normally the rest of the night.

This became a nightly occurrence so I took a video and sent it to someone who could maybe tell me what this was. The answer came back perhaps a different form of seizure. Every vet I talked to about this felt that perhaps his breathing and strange activity was being caused by a tumor in his nose that was now pressing up into the brain. It was time to decide a course of action


liparifam said...

Good Lord, this is dreadful to even read :( Truly, I do not know how you made it through all that - you are one strong person!

Tina said...

Thinking of you with a heavy heart, AP. Lee sends his love and bratty boy kisses.

Rose said...

Thank God for leading you to that special baby boy. The joy you two have brought to us all will forever brings on the smiles.