Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Surviving Hurricane Alvie

I haven't left the house since Sunday when I had to take Alvin to the ER and it's a good thing because I look just ridiculous!  I look like the lone person in those award winning photos where there has been a bombing or natural disaster, and there is still smoke seeping up, with the one person wondering aimlessly around, with their hair sticking up all over the place, while starring incomprehensibly at everything around them.  That's me and I am in the middle of Hurricane Alvie, which continues to hit unrelentingly.  The worst part is just when I think we have found the solution, he disappoints me at every turn.  This has caused me to be stressed out all the time because he is on those back legs way, way too much.  Tonight when my mom was over I started laughing for no apparent reason and couldn't stop.  I told her that I thought Alvin was actually causing me to lose it a little bit because the night before I had done the same thing but I was all by myself.  As someone with a career in mental health, I was actually evaluating myself while continuing to laugh uncontrollably and the diagnosis was grim.
I don't remember where I left off here but yesterday we spent the entire day in bed.  It was the one place where he would lie down and sleep but that required me to be in bed with him for a grand total of 12 hours.  We have spent so much time in bed that this morning I noticed a very tender, red spot on my tailbone.  I couldn't figure out what the problem was until tonight, after having spent the entire day again in bed that it dawned on me that it's a possible bed sore.  It may be a coincidence but it's exactly where my body meets the bed while sitting continuously on the bed.  Is it really possible that I have developed a bed sore through this?  Heaven help me.

Yesterday, later in the day, I became elated because I thought I had found the answer.  I took Alvin's favorite bed out of his x-pen because I can't keep him caged because all he does is stand in there crying, while repeatedly circling.  The reason for keeping him in a pen is to keep him off of his feet and so it becomes pointless to use the x-pen.  I took his bed and put it in the exact same place in my bedroom where it usually is.  I hadn't tried that before because there is a play pen in my room, which makes the room very small and there is only one, very narrow escape route for him.  I assumed that it would be too confining but he ended up following me in and was trying to get in the bed before I had even situated it on the floor.  He got in it and after circling and pawing at it for at least five minutes, he settled in and went sound asleep for three hours.  I sent off an e-mail to Cathy at Camp Cocker letting her know that we finally had success.  After his nap he didn't want to be in the bed and instead opted to get in his x-pen (the door is open) and sleep the rest of the night by himself in the living room.  Honestly, that was just weird.  He has never slept in the living room by himself and why he wanted to be in his x-pen, one can only guess.  Believe me when I say that his behaviors defy logic at this point and it isn't worth the time taken to surmise.  I was so relieved that he went to sleep that I did not give him his sedative and thought all was well.  This morning he was up and moving way too much.  I gave him his sedative, which didn't help slow him down a bit.  I then gave him a second sedative an hour later, which the vet said was fine.  He still wouldn't stop walking around.  His eyes were sedated by he just wouldn't give in.  I finally told him that he was grounded again and I put him back in bed and hunkered down with my Kindle.  He slept for three hours but then was back up and walking way too much.  At exactly the six hour mark when I am allowed to give him another sedative, I gave it to him but after an hour of continuing to walk around like a lunatic, I gave him the second dose.  He has just gone into the bedroom and must be lying down because I don't hear the tinkling of his ID tag on this collar.  I don't dare go in there because chances are he will jump up and start walking around again. 

I just don't know what to do because he could absolutely be undoing the work the surgeon just did.  He is supposed to have a few walks just to go potty and they aren't supposed to be more than five minutes.  Instead, he is walking sometimes for hours before I can get him back down.  I had anticipated that he might try to be on his feet to much so I have all kinds of rawhide and chewable items that would usually be very enticing to him but with him having gone back to all this odd mouth behavior, he can barely eat his own kibble and is incapable of chewing anything else. 

I have an appointment with his regular vet tomorrow for him to take his Fentanyl patch off and re-wrap his legs and I will discuss what to do then.  I did talk to his regular vet last night and we agreed that Alvin is very "unique" and what would work with nearly every other dog is not very effective with him.  Clearly we are going to have to continue using sedatives but even that doesn't seem to help.  We had entertained the idea of putting him in a medical cage at the vet's office but my fear is that he is either going to continuously circle or stand up for hours at a time.  I knew this was going to be bad but I had no idea that it would be this bad.  The problem was that if he didn't have the surgery he would develop severe, debilitating arthritis.  When the surgeon went in he already found quite a bit of arthritis but it would get so much worse without the surgery.  Just heaven help us if at his six-week check up they find they have to go back in to correct anything.  At that point, I am going to ask that they just sedate me and leave Alvin alone. 

I probably need to get out of the house for a few hours and get a break but I don't want to leave him alone.  My mom has graciously offered to come over and watch him for me but my mom is a worrier and Alvin is very worrisome right now and so I picture them worrying each other into a heart attack. 

I just tiptoed in and Alvin is asleep in one of the beds he has previously shown no interest in.  Of course, I went in there like a Navy Seal on a secret, top mission but he still detected me and started to pop up.  I backed out of there as though I had just encountered the Taliban, who might be more reasonable and manageable right now. 

My dog, Timmie seems to detect how crazy it is here and he just wants out.  When my mom left here earlier today he ended up scratching at the front door and sniffing it, clearly wanting grandma to come back and save him from Toon Town.  He also started rejecting his food because clearly he got a taste of the good life over at grandma's and is no longer interested in the healthy stuff over here.  I am so grateful to Timmie and Stevie who both continue to be so good with Alvin.  Timmie is a humper when anything is different with a dog, but he has maintained the no-humping policy in this household.  They also are staying clear of him when he is asleep on the bed, which relieves me because I have worried about one or both of them walking on his legs while he is asleep.  They have both been champs.   

I do so very much appreciate your kind words and encouragement.  I believe that many of you are sincere in stating that if you lived closer that you would come to help but honestly, someone needs to stay sane in all of this and it's definitely not going to be me.  It will be no fun if this blog is written by a certifiable crazy person and all the readers are too crazy to be adequately entertained. 

The good news is that his knees look good and I don't think he is experiencing much, if any pain.  The bad news is that they continue to prescribe sedatives just for him.

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