Sunday, 1 May 2016

Home is where the heart is;


Our emotional rollercoaster has been on overdrive this week, a quick recap, Monday Blue required surgery to find an internal bleed, which resulted in his spleen being removed.

This is likely part of the battle he is having with the hemangiosarcoma (HSA).

Blue was admitted around noon, operated on late afternoon, and due to the amount of blood entering his abdomen, required a blood transfusion until 2.00am the following morning, much of which was his own blood, that they harvested.

Blue was required to stay in Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology & Soft Tissue centre Guildford (FROST) for a couple of days. However this was to change the next day, Blue had developed an irregular heart beat, meaning difficulty in regulating breathing, common effect of spleen removal and so required to go on a drip to administer a drug to regulate his heart.

As you would imagine our phone was our constant companion for any developments or updates, it was no surprise that Blue once again declined any offers of food. Sue, who works part-time, left work and travelled to Guildford to encourage Blue to eat, this proved a worthwhile visit, Blue took the chicken, that was offered. But was very groggy, but was able to go outside for a wee.

We were planning to return in the evening but decided,  that due to Blue needing to rest and give the heart drugs chance to work, we decided not to return to Guildford.

Wednesday came and after a call to check out how Blue was doing, it sounded like he had a bit of a restless night, so Sue planned to return straight after work, this time all attempts for Blue to take food failed, and he was looking more distressed. Once again the plan was for me to go in the evening, as I was missing him just as much as I hoped he was missing me.

I called Sue for an update, and heard that Blue was not eating, unlike we planned, I sought permission to leave work half hour early and go to see our precious Blue. Less than an hour later I am sat in the consultancy room with Blue and Sue, though in his own way he was pleased to see me, not a single morsel of food passed his lips. They had given him some pain relief and Sue was told he would be more subdued, which he was until it was time for us to go.



We advised the reception desk, who summoned a Nurse to collect Blue. Then Blue reluctantly got to his feet, and I encouraged him to the door, and with all he could muster, he resisted, managing to jolly him up a little he entered the corridor, until he realised that Sue was not following.

His front feet spread and sought all the grip that he could muster, but he could not fend off our pulling him along, then all four feet were firmly planted to the floor, and he would not budge until Sue was along side us, at this point he relaxed enough for the nurse to get him through the door to the kennel area. We all found that hard, but we knew what was best for Blue.

Our journey home was in separate  cars, arriving back in Reading around quarter to seven within minutes of each other. Sue prepared dinner.

Around twenty past seven, Sue received a call, there was a problem with Blue, he was not co-operating with any of the staff, and had had a go at one nurse, it required four members of staff to enable them to sort Blue. The caller Laurent (The Surgeon who had operated on Blue) explained to Sue that Blue was getting himself so worked up, the medicine used to regulate his heart would become ineffective. They felt it in Blue's best interest for him to be discharged.

Less than an hour of being home, we were back on the road to Guildford, where we arrived at about twenty five past eight.

The nurse who Blue had a go at, is a lovely lady who is familiar with "Shepherds" talked us through what we needed to know and be on the watch for.

As we walked out across the car park, Blue had the longest wee I have ever known a dog to have, not biblical but substantial.

In the past we have lifted Blue into the back of the car, but with what surgery he had just undertaken this would not be wise. So out come the folding ramp, which Blue dislikes, but decided to go with it on this occasion.

Blue sat very regally in the back of the car, with a contented look, the Nurse and receptionist came over to give us his remaining bits, and I am sure Blue gave them a knowing smile.

Our journey home was around an hour, but Blue refused to exit the ramp, plan B was required, we lifted Blue out laid on his duvet, once on terrafirma he stood up and walked to the front door.

Just coming up to ten o'clock in the evening Blue was laid contently in his crate, a long day, all we needed to do now was have our long awaited dinner, as a family of three once more.

The next day Sue took time off work to keep an eye on Blue, who was now the model patient, resting as he should, drinking and eating as he should, perhaps Blue knows better than all of us what is best for Blue.

Blue must remain on lead for the next two weeks, unless he is in the same room as us or in his crate, this he has no issues with, his appetite has returned, the sparkle in his eyes glistens ever brightly, we are so blessed.

Blue has had a fresh area shaved, he has more stitches than any gangster, but he remains adorable.

Here are just a few images captured during the last week.