jump to navigation

Hospital Days 18 September 11

Posted by turtlemom3 in Disability, Dog, Exercise, Illness.
Tags:
add a comment
Total Knee replacement : Lateral view (Xray).

Image via Wikipedia

Well, the day finally came – my right knee required replacement. RA often does that to people. It eats up joints, makes them hurt and go “krackel-krunch” off and on. So, the time came, and I was ready to have it done. It was a little scary.

When a service dog is involved, especially one as sensitive and bonded as Emmy is, plans have to include her. Well, I couldn’t take care of her by myself in the hospital. Himself and I worked out the plan. He would bring Emmy to see me on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Since he is still not recovered from his heart attack of July 14, he could not stay all day and all night with me. I asked him to come in about 10am and leave about 3pm – to avoid traffic and to keep him from getting too tired out. Well, the traffic part worked, but he did get much too tired.

Another part of “the plan” was for Emmy to adjust to me using a walker and not balancing well. That part did work on Friday and Saturday. Thursday I was too groggy to function well.

Emmy, of course, bonded a bit more strongly with Himself. But we aren’t worried about it. She and I will bond again, just as strongly, as she works with me on my rehab.

Everyone in the hospital who saw her fell in love with her. Since it is the same hospital Himself was in for his MI in July, there were many people who recognized her. She obeyed pretty well – EXCEPT – when she first came into my room in the mornings. She would come to my bed, and just go into ecstasy sniffing and licking my hand, dancing beside the bed with a goofy “Lab grin” on her face. I have to admit, I didn’t interfere. I let her do it for about 5 minutes, then cued her to “Settle!” It took a couple of times of telling her, but she did settle down. The rest of the day was great.

Total Knee Replacement. Hurts a good bit but the pain gets better each day. Percocets work.

The PT and OT people loved her, but thought she did too much for me. {WHAAAA??} Finally I told them that this was necessary for me – and had been for over 3 years. I don’t think they ever really understood, but I do know whereof I was speaking!

So – Emmy arrived each day, greeted me rather too boisterously (but I liked it!), and then lay on a pillowcase (as a “place”) over by Himself. When I was gotten up out of bed (twice a day), Himself kept her from greeting me too much (again). Then we went for a short walk – about 100 feet, and then back to bed. Emmy was the best, most obedient and helpful little service dog that ever was! She picked up what I dropped (except pills, of course),

Well, we are home, now, and Emmy is still very confused about what’s going on, but she comes to me for everything, wants me to feed her and let her out. I thought it would take a few days, but it hasn’t! Of course, one of the grandsons have to take her out and play with her, but I can feed her. I’m watching lots of TV and DVDs, reading a lot, but I can’t think very well, so it’s the mindless stuff that I need. I need lots of mindless stuff until my brain engages again!

And Emmy, of course. I need her desperately. She helps me exercise. I have to walk for 15 minutes every 2 hours. Emmy helps me walk. Tomorrow I’ll take her out on the patio and see how we do.

Thanks be to God for PAALS – and for Emmy!

Advertisements

Where Were You? 16 February 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Aids, Disability, Here Fido!, Illness, Partnership, Tasks, Team, Training.
add a comment

I’ve been pretty sick for the last week – had to have emergency oral surgery after several days of major pain from a spreading abscess.

As I was on pain pills, I was even more teetery on my feet than usual, so I mainly stayed my chair except to visit “the little house behind the house to meditate.”

While Magnus the Magnifi-cat was a wonderful Purr-motor for me, but I felt really loopy from the pain meds. Wasn’t up to getting up to the kitchen to making meals for myself. I fed the cat, but couldn’t figure out much of anything I wanted to eat.

“What,” you might ask, “could an assistance dog do for you when you have an acute illness? An assistance dog is for mobility, or for psychological or therapeutic purposes.” Well, that defines what I needed last week! Mobility! Help walking from room to room, from house to daughter’s car, to dental office, to car, to house.

Help with my functioning even if I didn’t feel good. Help with making me move – there is something really therapeutic to knowing you HAVE to take the Woof out to poop and either work to exercise the doggie or get the grandkids over to exercise him and what not.

I’ve researched ways to exercise my Woof without my having to be very active – for those days I’m crashing. Found THIS

It’s called a Go Dog Go, and it’s an automatic (or as we say around here, an “automagic”) ball-thrower! Wonderful for the obsessive ball chasing/retrieving breeds (the retrievers! – go figure).

Go Dog Go

You fill up the bucket with tennis balls, set the electronic control for the frequency (7 or 15 seconds) you want it to throw a ball and how far (15 feet to 30 feet) and sit back and watch your dog have a “ball” chasing balls! You can even train your dog to refill the bucket for continuous, obsessive fun!

Go Dog Go   Go Dog Go Control

For those of us with energy and mobility problems, exercising the dog is no problem! And we can train the dog to refill the bucket. Do I want one when the Woof comes? O yeah! But I want neon pink tennis balls!

Back to my acute illness – This is the reason there is a “team” approach to assistance dogs. There must be a team at home. We have a team – my ol’ curmudgeon and me are the primary team members. But we have extended team members, too. Son #1 lives next door and his wife and sons are part of our extended team. They help with everything already, and are more than willing to help with the Woof. Daughter lives a few miles away, and she and her husband and son are involved and will help. Son #2 lives a bit too far away to be be involved on a daily basis, but will be involved in crises as needed. So that’s my “team.” And a great team it is!

How did it work for my acute problems with the tooth? Well, daughter (DD – dear daughter) took me to the dental surgeon for my surgery and stayed with me the rest of the day, bringing me little comfort things, and ensuring I did not fall when going to the bathroom and back. DIL (daughter-in-law) was in and out several times.

Woof would have helped. First, DD would not have had to stay with me. Second, DIL would not have had to come in and out. If “something had happened,” Woof could either have gone next door to get DIL, OR pressed the 911 button on the K-9 Rescue Phone we will have installed when Woof gets here.

K-9 Rescue Phone

It may not be cute or pretty – but it’s utilitarian! It’s also kinda expensive, so knowing the Ol’ Curmudgeon, we’ll probably have a home-made variety!! We are also in an area with weird 911 service. It’s available for medical but not for police services. We’ll have to work with the various services on how this will work in reality!

Where were you, Woof? I was sick and I needed you! Pass time, grow and develop Woof, learn Woof! Soon we’ll be together!