Percy has been with us little over a month now and if there’s one thing I can say for certain, it’s that he is a teacher. Everyday, I’m learning something new from him and some of these lessons are hard to swallow. I like progress; gradual but continuous. I like checking tasks of a list.
Percy’s progress, if it can be called that, is erractic and unpredictable. The list of things I can do for him, endless. At first, he began getting stronger and standing longer. I was so pleased and thought maybe he’d be able to walk one day. These last ten days, he’s been lying down all the time. Yesterday, I noticed the beginnings of a presure sore. I have worked so hard to fix the few he had when he fist arrived and now we’re back to pressure sores again!
On the other hand, he loves his wheelchair. He was, initally, most bemused by our efforts. Lifting, slotting limbs into holes and clipping buckles galore. Now, he happily trots round the garden and interacts with the other dogs and the kids. But without it, he is …… completely immobile. Did I make a mistake introducing him to the wheelchair? Has it made his take the easy path and lose hope of walking on his own steam?
The whole issue of bedding and bandages is also every evolving. Not sure how they are connected? I never would have guessed too but I am learning fast. At first, because he could stand and drag himself about, it was imperative to protect the bits that were getting injured from being scraped around on the floor. They also had to be changed frequently because the damage to his spine meanst he is permanently curved in such a way that he can almost never urinate without getting his front legs. This also meant he needed heavy, non-slip bedding. Two types of, so as prevent sores from lying on one type of surface all day, all night.
Now he has sores where his skinny legs slot into the wheelchair harness. And because he’s not dragging himself around as much, he’s wetting himself and his bed more frequently. IThe latex mattress is ruined. t’s all well and good washing towels but no one wants to lie in piss soaked bedding so we’ve not added plastic bathroom mats that are slightly raised so the liquid will drain. But it’s not really comfy so there’s the layer of spongy non slip mat that drains but is a little softer too. Now, he’s not getting bandaged as much unless he’s in his wheelchair but it has still gotta be tough enough to take being dragged around on the floor. It goes back to the curved spine which means his legs cannot go in to support straps because he then losed balance and ends up almost rigweltered.
So where, the progress you say? Not sure. He fur started growing back at first but now he skin has erupted into some manic massive acne type reaction. Granted its been lookign better these last few days but then again….
With Percy, everytime I start to think, OK I’ve got it covered. I can handle this. Something changes. All I can say is thank goodness for his physiotherapist and acupuncturist. Their support and advice is invaluable. But the friendship and understanding is what has kept me going.
The only rewards are Percy’s gentle licks and gentle acceptance of all the things we’re throwing at him.