Preparing the Dog for ACL Surgery

I don’t feel ready for it to be Monday morning already. Despite feeling really sick, which usually makes time drag, the weekend flew by. We had beautiful weather, so I did my best to get outside some without overdoing my activity with a fever. I took some slow, sunny walks and relished in the luxury of not needing a coat; in fact, I had just a t-shirt on yesterday! I also seemed to need a break from work, so I just put in three hours or so per day. On weekends, I usually work approximately ten hours split between the two days, so the six hours I put in was barely half my norm. I filled the extra time resting more than usual, working on an old puzzle I had kicking around that I had not yet tackled, and cleaning up the house.

We are in for an unusual week, one that throws our normal routine completely by the wayside after today. Comet’s surgery is tomorrow, so Ben won’t be working. He will bring her in the morning and pick her up at the end of the day. The animal hospital is about 30-minutes away. He may see his parents as well, though I’m not sure the timing will work out well for that. We ended up not being able to bowl yesterday because my nausea caused me to throw up my entire lunch and I had a fever. I offered for Ben to go alone, but he decided to stay back with me, which I was secretly very glad about. I hate being alone when I’m throwing up, especially when it coincides with our precious weekend time, the only time I’m not alone the entire week.

While he picks Comet up tomorrow, I’ll be at my long-awaited psychiatry appointment to discuss potential pharmacological adjuncts to my care. It’s supposedly a two-hour consult, so even though it’s nearby, I’ll be tied up for much of the afternoon. I’m simultaneously dreading it and eager for it; I think it will be tiring and not necessarily useful, as I’m far from sold on the idea that I even want some sort of medication, but I’m curious about the potentially viable options (for depression, anxiety, sleep, and ADHD). I tend to react quite poorly to all medications, especially psychoactive ones, so I’m certainly wary of trying anything.

Ben is leaving early Wednesday morning for a work conference in Rhode Island, so I’ll be the sole nurse for Comet and in charge of everything around the house. I’m hoping to have few obligations away from the house so I can be around for Comet. As such, we will preemptively stock the house with the foods I’ll need. We already have the pain medication Comet will need, so hopefully she’ll tolerate that well. She gets one pill tonight and one tomorrow morning before the operation in addition to those she’ll take in the post-operative period.

I think she’ll be okay and ultimately much happier having the ligament repaired so she can walk again. We took her on two short walks this weekend (she sort of hopped, jumped, and limped along), and she seemed thrilled to be outside. She displays excitement by jumping, sneezing, and wagging, and all three of these behaviors were prominent. She even tried motoring down the road, pulling us in tow. Her injured leg is completely lame, but the surgeon said since it’s getting fully repaired, a short weekend walk couldn’t cause any damage. Of course, after the repair tomorrow, all of this will change and she’ll be on strict bedrest and then held to an explicitly-devised rehab program. Leash walks won’t be permissible for at least four weeks. That will be a very sweet day though, for her and for us. It made my heart squeeze to see how overjoyed she was on just a short walk. Since she can’t comprehend most of what I say to her, she probably has no idea why she hasn’t been invited to come walk with me all these months of her injury, nor why she has not been called upstairs to sleep in her bed in my room. Most likely, she assumes I’m mad at her or she’s been “bad,” rather than the understanding the true cause to be the physical limitations imposed by her leg. I try to tell her I miss her and long for her company too, but the way she cocks her head in confusion, I gather these words are meaningless.

I have more than lingering symptoms of whatever little virus or flare-up I’m dealing with; I’d say I’m smack in the midst of it still. I’m really achy and fatigued, definitely overcome with the dreaded malaise this morning. Accordingly, I’ll have to carefully stay in tune with how I’m feeling as I embark on my normal activities. Even though it’ll be important to work a lot today (as our expenses lately have been astronomical), it’s probably wiser to err on the conservative side of what I attempt today so that I’m strong and healthy by Wednesday when I’ll have my little canine charge depending on me. Maybe if it gets warm enough this afternoon, I can drag her bed and my chair out to the deck so I can work in the sunshine and she can soak up the relaxing radiant warmth. That way, neither of us will be too deprived of the much-needed spring weather while we rest our bodies from more strenuous physical activity. Tomorrow is a big day for my little love, and she tends to be just as anxious (if not more!) than me, so I want her to go into it feeling safe, contented, and relaxed.

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