Monday, March 9, 2009

Week 4.5 - Setback #1

Warning: graphic images in this one - they look GROSS!

Well, we have had our first surgery setback, but not nearly as major as I thought. Last Tuesday, Heisman's daddy and I took her to get her stitches out at the 4 week mark (she got these after she got her staples taken out). As she got out of the car, she had her first "OOPS" moment. She slipped and fell right on her bad leg. Talk about breaking a mother's heart! She would not put her leg down, but we were glad that we were at the best place in the world for it to happen - Dr. Greenwood's office! Dr. Greenwood took out the stitches and assessed the "structure" of the leg. Everything was FINE and we were on our way!

Well, Friday evening (3/6), Harding and I both noticed that Heisman's limp was getting worse. We also noticed a small bump (not discolored, not weeping) forming just below her knee joint. Safe to say from the picture at right that the "small knot" developed into something much larger and quite discolored. When I called the surgeon first thing Monday morning, I heard the words that the mom of an "OrthoDog" dreads, "When is the soonest you can get her in?"

My heart dropped. At this point, Heisman, who was bearing weight on Day 2 after surgery is now bearing no weight on the leg, and has this NASTY lesion on her incision site RIGHT over the plate. I was terrified that the surgery was ruined AND that it would be something that somehow was MY FAULT!! Lucky for Heisman, it is her Granny Massengale's Spring Break, so we had some company (and support for ME) for our trip to Clarkston. Dr. Greenwood was off today, so Heisman saw his partner Dr. Corse. He was AMAZING and so great with Heisman. He took some x-rays to make sure that we are structurally sound. WE ARE!!! What a relief. He also saw some "new bone" formation, which is rare to see at only 4 weeks out of surgery. This was the good news. The bad news is that Heisman has an infection of the surgical plate that was inserted during surgery. Heisman, my precious genetic mutant, in addition to being predisposed to the ACL tears, also has HORRIBLE allergies and has suffered from skin infections from birth. After surgery, she was on 2 weeks of Clavamox (antibiotic) for her skin infection, but, apparently, as soon as she got off the Clavamox, she got a skin infection, and that led to the infection of the plate.

Dr. Corse said that there is no need to panic yet, just to watch Heisman VERY closely. She is on 1000 mg of Clavamox per day and back on Tramadol to help her with the pain. He also took a blood culture from Heisman so that he could determine the type of infection and, if necessary, adjust her antibiotics accordingly.

I guess the moral of the story is that we are back on the road to recovery. My mom (Granny Massengale) asked Dr. Corse if he could give ME a shot of Valium. I just can't get past the everyday worry of Heisman to relax into the recovery phase. It also doesn't help that I know the 2nd surgery for her is imminent. I see other dogs running and playing with their owners and turn green with envy - it is hard to imagine the "other side" of surgery after a setback of this nature AND an impending surgery to the other leg. I want MY dog to run and play and be normal with her friends. I know that day is ahead, somewhere. I am going to try to make "mini-goals" for Heisman - the first one being that she can come with us to the tailgate for the Georgia Tech vs. UNC game on September 26. She LOVES football season and seeing all of the people, so I would hate for her to miss one. She is TWO YEARS OLD and I hate that so much time is going by when she would normally be so active, but can't be.

Enough worry, here are some fun pictures:

It SNOWED IN GEORGIA last Sunday!! Here are Heisman and Daddy in the snow!
And Heisman and Mommy in the snow!!
A long trip to the vet and some x-rays is nothing that a nap with my sister can't cure!
Finally, Hamilton wanted me to let you know that she is doing just fine, thanks for asking. Here is our cheap, low maintenance animal.
Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers - we're still hanging in there. I will try to do a better job of keeping the blog up to date - especially with this recent complication.

1 comment:

  1. Parker and I are sooo sorry to hear about your setback. We have been on vacation and Parker is back home safe and sound from the kennel. I will update his blog soon, so stay tuned. I am GLAD you are BACK on the road to recovery! Hang in there : )