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Freya's tale

Our journey starts with a single step on three legs

Day 8 AA

Filed under: Uncategorized — mschelleau at 11:48 pm on Friday, December 28, 2012

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Again another day post amputation has passed. Today I made an effort to be around for the whole day (I’ve been out and about the past two days) to see how Freya is coping and what she is getting up too. Sleeping appears to be the order of the day. I did notice she is more alert and that her elimination after the pain killers and antibiotics have finished are now almost solid and that is great (the measures of success in my life have certainly changed since the operation!). I also noticed that her solid eliminations (or rather semi liquid ones if you know what I mean) were actually quite odourless and that now she is off those meds the ….. hmmm…… bouquet (?) that normally accompanies her deposits is beginning to return.  Her food intake is great, and she seems to be moving around with a bit more certainty.

The slight swelling and the liquid (very very small amount) I observed from the mid point of the incision yesterday appear to have sorted themselves out today. I spent a few minutes looking over the incision in great detail this morning and it is looking very good again. I have kept an eye out for a seroma as a number have suggested (nothing appears puffy today) but it does not appear to have been that, but it is worthwhile keeping an eye on it.

In terms of phantom pain, I think Freya had a little bit of it this evening. She was curled up behind my legs (I was lying on my side on the couch) and she made a bit of a squall/growl cross, no movement as such. I hurriedly moved around and petted her and she was quiet – it didn’t last more than 5-10 seconds really and thanks to posts here and elsewhere I pretty much knew what it was. When she looked at me her pupils were really concentrated slits and they remained that way for maybe a minute and then her pupils returned to their more normal circumference. I’m not sure she needs any pain killer as she has settled down well again, but I am pleased to know that I have it there if needed.

This evening we also had another return to one of our favourite positions – me lying on my side on the couch and Freya lying on me. She has been a bit hesitant making that move before tonight but sure enough she measured the distance from the floor and made it up and she settled down like nothing was different.  It’s these little things that really make each day a better day. In terms of other usual habits, she hasn’t been sleeping with me on the single mattress downstairs, but part of me thinks that is because it is a smaller mattress and that when the upstairs is open again that she will return to what was her normal behaviour before the amputation.

I’ve also decided to keep her from trying the stairs until at least 10 days after the operation, which is really only two days away!


Was it really a week ago that I picked her up at the vet and brought her home? You know, it is. Did I anticipate I would be this calm and content in a week? Nope. I was pretty much thinking morose and gloomy thoughts for the medium term. My life after Freya’s diagnosis had constricted to this narrow, dark and scary tunnel and I could not see light at the end. And the tunnel smelt of fear – mostly my own. Everything I had read (and I read a lot – thanks Tripawds, and Fang and Jill in particular) had told me Freya would cope well and that the worst affected would be me. I cannot stress how true this is. If you are someone just approaching this decision and wondering if it will be for the best, I can add my voice to the chorus of ‘trust your pet’. Our companions are strong, bright, loving creatures and they have strength to cope and they have the desire to live. I read somewhere that they truly live in the now and they do not dwell on what was yesterday and from what I have observed first hand, that is so true. I know Freya no longer has her leg but Freya has (pardon the upcoming pun) taken it in her stride. It is confronting, it is radical surgery and it is scary ….. for us. For Freya? She knows the leg isn’t there but she does not dwell, she does not worry – she assesses new paths, new techniques and new strategies for getting around, but she gets around, she adapts and she appears to be thriving. Take a deep breath and know that many have made a similar decision before you and it has been a good decision for our pets and, ultimately, for us.

Because Freya has been doing so well, I’m thinking of going to visit some friends for New Years, which would mean leaving her alone for one night (11 days after the amputation) – but if there is feedback on that I’d appreciate it. I’d keep her in the one room and she’ll be a bit peeved at that, but it would give me peace of mind to know she is confined. If that is the case I might keep her from the stairs until after that, which would be 12 days after amputation. If I time it right I could head down 7pm on the 31 December and be back in the afternoon of 1 January, so less than 24 hours …… actually when I think about it like that I’m not so confident – 20 hours or so on her own? I’ll think some more on it but would appreciate knowing when others felt OK leaving their tripawd unsupervised for 24 hours.

Anyway, I’m about to go make a chamomile tea and then return to the laptop (might do a FB update) and my position beside Freya on the couch.  And so ends another day. Another good day.

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1 Comment »



December 29, 2012 @ 3:00 am   Reply

Your update is REALLY uplifting and will really be helpful to so many others. I’m so glad that just one week later, things are looking up.

As for leaving her alone…I think she’ll be like “Geez it’s about time I get some ME time!” Leave her in a room where she can’t hurt herself, and she’ll be fine. A dog is a different story, they need more paw-holding than cats it seems. She’ll probably just sleep the entire time and be so glad to see you when you get back.

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