Mutual understanding. Angeline and I are trying to come to a mutual understanding. We are trying to close the gap from her cage to my lap, her fear to my confidence in her ability to overcome. A kind tech in the ICU tried to explain to me her mutual understanding with Angeline and how she picks her up but sadly she was not really able to demonstrate because Angeline came flying out the front of the cage so I think the woman just really had time to catch her and help her land gently in my lap. It seems Angeline was going to take matters into her own hands.
Once in my lap Angeline snuggled in, periodically closed her eyes and slept and otherwise was quite alert and attentive to all that was going on around her. She seems to crave the warmth, the heartbeat, the security of a lap and blanket, but calmly please, not too much fuss. Wrapped in the blanket she stops quivering, she is comforted.
The evening report is that she continues to eat well and that they discontinued using the feeding tube to her stomach instead letting her just eat (and still get the TPN directly to her bloodstream). This is a step towards coming home. They have also switched most of her meds to the oral formula, also a step towards coming home. She is so much brighter eyed, she is awake so much more. Three Good Things.
The kind tech who caught flying Angeline told me she’d taken Angeline outside (TPN line and bag trailing) for a short time today and she reported Angeline sniffed the air vigorously and walked around tentatively. The tech also let Angeline snuggle in and held her while she slept. I was amazingly grateful to know Angeline had that kind of care. One of the ICU doctors told me she has become the unofficial ICU mascot, she said they will miss her when she goes. I am amazingly grateful also that we have a facility here with committed individuals that could save the life of a tiny little girl dog.
Next steps for Angeline are to finish this bag of TPN which will be done by Sunday am. To continue eating on her own and to be able to eat enough on her own to sustain her daily caloric needs. Soon she will need to be off IV fluids too and able to sustain herself that way as well. Then she can Come Home. Her care will be monitored closely. She will need small, frequent meals, her calories will be counted and gradually increased so she can put weight on her tiny, emmaciated little frame. But soon, she can come home.
A week ago tonight at this time I was just getting my first real look at Angeline, at her unbelievable condition, I was about to get in my car and take her right to the e vet. A week ago tonight we didn’t know if Angeline had a chance to survive. This week has been a year and a minute both. In the living it out it felt like it lasted an eternity, each day agonizingly full of decisions, angst, worry. In the looking back it feels like a dream, like walking through a foggy whirlwind and popping out on the other side. It feels like time stood still, like one big breath in and no out breath until just today.
Still, every time I see Angeline I am horrified by her body condition. I have seen her every day for one week now but each time it’s like a punch in the gut all over again. I should be used to it but I am not. Her body looks so wrong and I can’t get my head around the fact that she can look that way and still be alive. It simply does not compute, like an inalienable truth that has been breached. The new inalienable truth is that Angeline is one tough cookie.