'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

14 May 2010

Trooper Update II

I have news that may bring a smile to your face. Trooper is alive and doing pretty well. Please forgive my lengthy stay away but I wanted to be sure we really were past the crisis point before I posted another update.

Let me recap where we've been and tell you what's happened and where we're going.

On Friday, April 30th Trooper suffered a heart attack and nearly died. You already know so I won't go into that night any further. On Monday, May 3rd we went in and saw his Vet. The news was bad and we prepared for the worst. Now, the Vet is a great Doc who loves Trooper. We cried, he cried but he also saw something I didn't and drew blood and ran tests.

On Tuesday, May 4th Trooper was diagnosed with Insulin dependent Diabetes. His blood glucose was 370. Normal is 70 to 138.

As funny as this may sound I was relieved. I now had something I could see and touch. Something I could fight and battle and fucking choke away from my dog. At the very least I saw a way I might at least ease his pain and give him some relief. I wasn't going to let him die without a hell of a fight. Doc agreed.

I went to the pharmacy and loaded up with Humulin N, Bayer Keto-Diastix test strips and 30 gauge needles. Lu made a check list and form for me to keep track of medications, injections, tests and diet. He got his first injection on the 4th at 2000. 10 Units. He gets a shot every 12 hours with a meal.

I keep track of everything that goes in and comes out. I get up and test him first thing in the morning. I feed him and give him his shot at 8 on the button. I monitor his food and water intake like a momma with a sick child. We've modified his food a bit. Same kibble but no people food, no pig ears (His stomach won't handle them anymore) and no rich treats. He gets canned food twice a day now to make sure he eats just before his shot (This is important. The Insulin must be given with a meal). Trooper doesn't even mind the shots. Hell, half the time he either sleeps through it or goes to sleep right after. Doesn't even ask for a cookie. What a dog. At night the same. A meal at 1930 and another shot at 2000.

The results? When Trooper was in his prime he was a tad over 90 pounds. After his hip replacement surgery I dropped him into the low to mid 70's and kept him there. At his Vet appointment on May 4th he was 62 pounds. At our last Vet visit on the 11th he had gained 3 pounds back. His blood glucose was 242. He's stopped panting like he's fighting for every breath. His balance is good. He has almost stopped having accidents in the house. He sleeps soundly and restfully. Even his eyesight has improved (Take heart Laura). He's stopped drinking and peeing gallons at a time. He even spends time in the living room with the family. He's not running around and playing but he will lie quietly and watch us and the kids.

He stays near me almost constantly. He's virtually never more than a few feet away and will follow me around the house. Sometimes the pants will come back and the only cure is to sit or lie beside him and stroke his fur and gently scratch his belly. He gets overwhelmed by loud noises and strange places. His walks (And he must get his regular exercise) are short, casual strolls.

But he's still here. He's at ease and peaceful. His pain and discomfort are lessened and maybe gone. He's gaining weight and is happy just to be with me. I'm happy just to be with him.

I don't go anywhere much right now. To the gym is about it. I missed out on the Disneyland trip with the grand kids but I don't really mind. It's for the very best of causes. I'm Trooper's nurse and companion. If it makes his life easier to be near me 24 hours a day then I will be near him 24 hours a day. His care has taken over my life and I'm grateful I have the time to be that caregiver. It is a labor of love.

We're adjusting and fine tuning his diet and especially his Insulin. He started out at 10 units but we've upped his dose to 12 now. We'll do another blood test next week at the Vet and I expect to see it down another 50 points. I suspect we'll finally settle in at 13 or 14 units.

I want to be clear here. I am a happy man. I know he's got a serious disease but it's something I can deal with and help Trooper to fight. The DO and I have been studying and researching to make sure we're doing all we can. She's been a peach by the way. Not only helping out but also taking care of posting while I've been otherwise occupied.

I'm trying not to get carried away. I know trooper's time is still short. He's 14 years old, has had a heart attack and is dealing with Diabetes. The Vet was clear on this. I believe I'm buying him time but if I do nothing except make his remaining life easier it is a salve to my soul to be able to do so. Frankly, in the dark hours when I was sure I was watching him slip away I prayed for a way to ease his suffering. I was lost and in anguish because he was in such terrible pain. I nearly...... I am a man and I know what my duty to Trooper is. I am eternally grateful to God that it didn't come to that.

Here's a couple of links I have found useful should you ever find yourself in our shoes.

Both are great sites full of useful information and links. I am seriously indebted to my Veterinarian, a man I will cherish forever. I love you Doc. The DO is doing the bulk of the research because she's smarter than I am and is learning and passing on to me critical stuff every day. Lu has been a rock and has taken on the meds and shot on those mornings when I'm completely worn out and she just wants to see me get some sleep. Thanks guys, I love you both.

So, bottom line here. Trooper's health is steadily improving. We've got a handle on his Diabetes and he is pain free. Trooper is a strong dog and he's aptly named. He's a real Trooper. I know this sounds sappy but we're both pretty happy and determined to be together as long as we can. I'm looking forward to the future with more than a modicum of optimism. I get to keep my boy for at least a little longer and the world is just a bit brighter today.

Thank you again my friends. I am indebted to all of you as well. Your well wishes and prayers meant more to Trooper and me than I can ever say. This is our pledge to you. Trooper and I will live each day together in memory of the beloved pets each of you have lost along the way. We dedicate this fight to all of them and to you, the people they loved.

Prayers sometimes are answered.



Me said...

Good deal. Best wishes to you and Trooper. He's lucky to have someone like you.

The Six said...

Thanks for everything. And let Lagniappe know his dog-fu is still strong.

LauraB said...

What WONDERFUL news!! I did a chair dance of happiness for you guys! Sure, maybe it is just an easing into the end - who cares? Trooper FEELS better. That's all there is to know.

Thanks for those links, too! Definitely going to take a look.

As for diet - have you considered the stuff from thehonestkitchen.com?

Such good news...made my night!

Daphne said...

I'm so glad his pain is easing and yours too, my friend.

The Six said...

Thanks Laura. My thoughts exactly. I'll go check out that link. Much appreciated.

Thanks Daphne. I'm tickled beyond my ability to describe.

It's the power of prayer and positive thoughts from all you guys.

Kanani said...

This is really good news. I'm happy you've been able to improve the quality of his life. Yes, 14 is old for a big dog, but it sounds like he's enjoying the ride.

The Six said...

Thanks Kanani. He actually went out into the back yard this morning and wandered around eating grass and just hanging out.

dick said...

Hang tough, Trooper.

The Six said...

Thanks Dick.